Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Poster Session #99
Saturday, May 24, 2014
5:00 PM–7:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
101. An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Caregiver-Produced Video Self-Modeling to Improve Independence in an Adolescent With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KEITH D. ALLEN (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Christopher H. Vatland (University of South Florida), Scott L Bowen (The Prevention Group), Ray Burke (The Prevention Group)
Abstract: The current investigation was designed to evaluate the efficacy of a caregiver created video-self-modeling (VSM) intervention to assist in development of self-advocacy and choice making in a transition-age girl with intellectual disability and autism. In a multiple baseline design across target skills, parents worked with their 16 year old daughter to create self-modeling videos of behaviors related to enhancing independence in the community and then evaluated the impact in both analogue and natural settings. Target behaviors were 1) asking for help locating items in a quick-shop, 2) checking out from a store and 3) ordering at a fast-food counter. A task analysis was performed by the investigators and then baseline data on percentage of correct responding were collected for each of the target behaviors. Parents were then asked to produce a video of their daughter performing one of the targeted skills after rehearsing the skill with her in an analogue setting. Parents used a mobile app called "VideoTote" for recording the video on an iPad 2 tablet device. The mobile app included a brief instructional video about how to create effective modeling videos. Parents were provided with no additional instructions and created the video in an analogue setting within their home designed to represent the quickshop, store, or fast-food restaurant. When they had produced a video with which they were satisfied, the participant then watched the video prior to each session with that target skill. Once stable responding was observed, then another VSM video was produced for the second target skill, and then eventually for the third skill. Investigators scored each of the videos for quality of production and instruction. Results are presented in Figure 1 and show that prior to VSM, correct responding was consistently below 50% for each of the targeted skills. However, marked changes in percentage of correct responding were observed when and only when parents created a video of the participant performing the targeted skill and then allowed her to watch it before each session. In addition, generalization probes, which were conducted in the natural setting and are marked by the arrows in Fig 1, show that the participant's performance was over 80% on each probe. Results suggest that caregivers can use available technology to produce effective videos that promote independence in the community for transition age individuals.
102. The Effects of Motivating Operations on the Acquisition of Imitation Skills
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MEGHAN DESHAIS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Cara L. Phillips (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Texas Tech University), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Despite the increasing interest in the effects of motivating operations (MOs) on behavior in the literature, an area in which there has been little research on the effects of MOs is the acquisition of imitation skills. Imitation is a critical pre-requisite skill for children because it creates opportunities for children to learn a myriad of other skills via direct instruction, prompting, and observational learning (Ledford & Wolery, 2010). Ledford & Wolery conducted a literature review of studies that focused on teaching imitation to young children with disabilities. Sufficient demonstrations of effects were only observed for 30 of 48 participants. One variable that may account for these equivocal findings is the lack of control over motivational variables. In light of the research demonstrating the importance of MOs and the importance of imitation skills, it is likely that MOs may play a significant role in the acquisition of imitation skills. In addition, it is possible that the impact of MOs may vary based on the difficulty of the skill being taught. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of MOs on the acquisition of imitation skills for one participant.
103. The Effectiveness of Behavioral Interventions in Treating Feeding Disorders in Children With Cerebral Palsy
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
FIORELLA FERRANDO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alison Kozlowski (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tessa Christine Taylor (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Peter Girolami (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Feeding disorders are multifaceted with behavioral components often contributing to the development and continuation of food refusal. In these cases, behavioral interventions are effective in treating feeding problems, even when medical and/or oral motor components are also associated with these difficulties. Although behavioral interventions for feeding problems are frequently employed with children with autism, they are less commonly discussed for children with cerebral palsy (CP), likely due to medical and/or oral motor components involved. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of using behavioral interventions to address feeding difficulties in children with autism and children with CP. Forty-five children ages 1 to 12 years who were enrolled in an intensive feeding program between 2003 and 2013 participated. Behavioral treatment components were similar across groups, predominately consisting of escape extinction (e.g., nonremoval of the spoon) and positive reinforcement. For both groups, behavioral treatment was similarly effective in increasing gram consumption and food textures, and in decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior and negative vocalizations. A high percentage of individualized goals were also met by both groups. In summary, behavioral interventions for food refusal are effective for children with CP with behavioral refusal, just as they are for children with autism.

104. Services for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Frequency, Satisfaction, and Associated Child Factors
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ODETTE WEISS (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University), Rebecca Shine (York University), Jonathan Weiss (York University), Melissa Rourke (York University)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities require support in a number of areas and therefore utilize different types of services. Professionals often needed by families with children with developmental disabilities include psychologists, behaviour therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists. This poster will examine which services are needed, which are being used, families’ satisfaction with these services, and whether there are services that are needed but not received. Additionally, service need, use, and satisfaction will be examined in relation to a number of child factors: age, level of maladaptive behaviour, and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. An extensive survey, including portions focusing on service access, was completed by 201 primary caregivers of children with developmental disabilities aged 3-21. Families reported receiving services that they need from a variety of providers. A portion of our sample reported that there are services that they need but are not receiving, especially behaviour therapy. Overall, families reported being satisfied with the services they have received, especially from psychologists and behaviour therapists. Results from this study can be used to document gaps in service, especially regarding unmet needs for behaviour therapy.
105. Resolving Control-Countercontrol Issues in an ABA Setting
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DELAINEY BARKES (Indiana University South Bend and Partnership for Behavior Change), Miranda Depoy (Partnership for Behavior Change), Justin McCammon (Partnership for Behavior Change), Sorah Stein (Partnership for Behavior Change)
Abstract: Countercontrol is a topographically unspecific, escape maintained, response to aversive social control. Over the period of a month, client “B”, a 15-year-old male with autism, emitted counter-control behaviors recorded as grabs and slaps directed at male staff. This began when new male staff were introduced, then generalized to existing male staff. An ABABA design was used, changing conditions between verbal and gestural prompts every three minutes embedded within an ABACA design switching male to female staff every fifteen minutes across the session. Analysis revealed countercontrol behaviors were maintained by escape from male staff who overused physical contact to reduce grab attempts. Data indicate that grabs accelerated from introduction of new male staff to the first severe incident and continued until male staff were removed. During analysis, male staff were grabbed and hit. After removal of both male staff, these behaviors dropped to zero. Male staff were informed of the assessment results, re-instructed in noncoercive methods, and reintroduced after two weeks. Follow up data indicate a return to below-baseline frequency for both grabs and hits. Countercontrol was identified, the source of control removed, then gradually reintroduced. This seems a promising approach to resolving control/countercontrol problems in a therapeutic setting.
106. A Comparison of Chained Schedules for Negative Reinforcement Including and Excluding Tangible Items
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA COLE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center  ), Ashley Shier (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of combining tangibles with a break, in increasing compliance and decreasing problem behavior. The participants were two adolescent males being treated for escape maintained problem behavior in an intensive outpatient unit. A chained schedule included a work requirement where x number of consecutive tasks, with the absence of problem behavior for one participant, was required to be met before the opportunity to request a break became available. Condition one provided only escape from demands, while the second condition paired escape from demands with access to a highly preferred tangible item. Work requirements were individually and systematically increased in both conditions as participants engaged in two consecutive sessions with 90% reduction in problem behavior from baseline levels and 80% instructional compliance to varying academic and gross motor instructions. Results supported more rapid decreases in problem behavior and increases in compliance when access to highly preferred tangible items was paired with escape from demands following the completion of a predetermined work requirement. Future implications of these results may include utilizing tangible items in concert with escape from demands as a means to decrease both problem behavior and non-compliance.
107. An Analysis of Academic Treatment Components
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Cara L. Phillips (Kennedy Krieger Institute), MOLLY GEMP (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Catherine Chaille (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Allen Porter (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Many individuals with ID who engage in problem behavior do so to escape demands (Iwata et al., 1994). Escape extinction may be the most straight-forward treatment of escape maintained problem behavior; however, it can be difficult to implement safely and effectively. When implemented with poor fidelity, escape extinction may function as intermittent reinforcement. Alternative treatment options involving modifications of the demand context to make it less aversive (e.g., demand fading; Piazza et al., 1996) may decrease the motivating operation to engage in problem behavior. The purpose of the current study was to systematically examine, via an additive component analysis, several antecedent and consequent manipulations to academic programming to identify the most effective methods for delivering instructional programming, in cases for which extinction cannot be implemented. Two cases were previously presented. In the current study, this treatment was used to reduce the aggressive behaviors of a 19-year-old male admitted to an inpatient unit. Functional analyses indicated that aggressive behaviors were maintained by escape from demands. Results suggested that consequence-based, differential reinforcement procedures reduced overall rates of problem behavior. Unlike previous participants, the current participant may require escape extinction as a necessary component to obtain clinically significant reductions in aggressive behavior.
108. An Evaluation of Analog Functional Analyses
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SCOTT DACOSTA (Evergreen Center), Chelsea Fortier (Evergreen Center), Mark P. Groskreutz (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)

Functional analysis methodology, specifically experimental manipulations of antecedent and consequent events, are the gold standard for assessment of problem behaviors in the field. Such analyses are typically completed in analog settings separate from the individuals natural environment. However, there may be limitations to conducting functional analyses in analog settings. Some schools or settings (e.g., home) may not have access to an analog setting or may not be able to create the specialized environmental conditions typically employed in an analog setting. The analog setting may be so distinctly different from the individuals natural setting that the assessment may fail to evoke the behavior. Conversely, the analog setting might evoke other novel behaviors that were not anticipated. The present study evaluated alternative assessment procedures for one student for whom the analog functional analysis failed to yield conclusive results. Implications for clinicians and strategies for assessing problem behaviors within a natural setting are discussed.

109. The Assessment of Communication Modalities During Functional Communication Training
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
VICKI ROZELL (Gonzaga University), Kathleen MacDonald (Gonzaga University), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), Christopher Doll (Gonzaga University), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of multiple communication modalities during functional communication training (FCT) using augmentative communication devices, as an intervention for problem behavior in three young children with developmental disabilities. A multielement design was used to determine the function of problem behaviors for all three participants. Reversal designs were used to assess the effects of communication modalities. For each participant, results indicated at least one device was shown to effectively decrease aberrant behavior. The study showed the importance of identifying the preferred mode of communication to increase the ability to communicate appropriately. Mean agreement for Gwen was 86%, for Daniel was 100%, and for Jacob was 95%
110. Comparing Communication Systems for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Review of Single-Case Research Studies
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
CINDY GEVARTER (The University of Texas), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin), Laura Rojeski (The University of Texas at Austin), Nicolette Sammarco (The University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lang (Texas State University), Giulio Lancioni (University of Bari), Jeffrey S. Sigafoos (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: Studies that have compared different communication systems for individuals with developmental disabilities were systematically reviewed in an effort to provide information useful for clinical decision making and directions for future research. Specifically, 28 studies that compared (a) non-electronic picture systems to speech generating devices, (b) aided AAC (e.g., picture exchange systems and SGDs) to unaided AAC systems (manual sign ), or (c) AAC to speech-language interventions were included in this review. Dependent variables forming the basis for comparison included: (a) effectiveness (e.g. acquisition of systems and/or rate of use), (b) efficiency or rate of skill acquisition (c) participants preference for systems, (d) occurrence of vocalizations and problem behavior, and (e) generalization across communication partners, settings, and time (i.e., maintenance). Results suggest that clear and consistent differences between communication systems are rare, precluding definitive statements regarding a universal best approach for all people with developmental disabilities. Instead, findings of this review support the consideration of an individuals existing skills, goals and preferences as part of the process of selecting an approach to communication.
111. Closing the Bathroom Door: The Effect of Teaching a Categorization Task on a Crucial Safety Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SHELLEY GORSKI (Indiana University South Bend), Sorah Stein (Partnership for Behavior Change)
Abstract: The few studies that have been conducted about sex education for people with intellectual disabilities indicate the need for more effective and appropriate education towards developing healthy sexuality and decreasing vulnerability to exploitation (Swango-Wilson, 2008; Zylla & Demtral, 1981). Unfortunately, the majority of generally available sexuality education curricula are too complex for and do not meet the needs of learners with intellectual disabilities (Gougeon, 2009; Grievo et al., 2006). Thus, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at increased risk for sexual abuse. When teaching various skills to individuals with intellectual disabilities, we often use categorization tasks and develop concepts, such as animals, foods, and the weather to form stimulus classes (Miguel, et al., 2008). We sought to examine application of this instructional technology to one area of sexuality education. The present study examines the use of pictures from BoardMaker; and Communicating About Sexuality; in a categorization task, with the goal of teaching concepts of open-door and closed-door. The researchers hope to determine if this is an effective means of teaching sexuality education concepts with generalization to closure of needed doors in the natural environment (i.e., bathroom).
112. The Use of a Treatment Package to Increase Independent Transfers Between Siblings With and Without Disabilities and the Effect of the Treatment Package on Initiation of Adult Interaction and Aberrant Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA CAGLE (Gonzaga University), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: This study was conducted to determine if a treatment package consisting of contingent reinforcement, a visual/auditory timer, and a visual schedule would increase independent transfers of a preferred item between siblings with and without autism. Data were also gathered for all participants on prompted transfers of the device, initiation of adult attention, aberrant behavior, and allocation in relation to the device. A combination of a reversal design and a component analysis was replicated across sibling sets to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment package and to systematically assess the specific aspects of the treatment. This study suggests that the treatment package was effective for all siblings for increasing independent turn taking. IOA was taken for at least 33% sessions for each component for each individual, with an average of 48% of sessions overall. The average reliability was 88% (range 80% - 100%).
113. Caregiver Acceptability of Treatment Components for Children With Developmental Delays Who Engage in Problematic Behaviors
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KERRI C. SUITER (Marcus Autism Center), Natalie A. Parks (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Laura D. Fredrick (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis is an empirically supported treatment for problem behavior; however, those treatments may not produce immediate results and may require a lot of effort from the caregiver (Smith & Antolovich, 2000). Because of this, caregivers may not be willing to implement the strategies recommended to reduce their childs problem behaviors. If a caregiver is unwilling or unable to correctly implement the procedures, treatment integrity cannot be expected to remain high (Witt, Martens, & Elliott, 1984). In the current study, three caregivers whose children were admitted to a severe behavior day-treatment clinic for the assessment and treatment of problem behavior participated. Acceptability ratings were obtained for five common treatment components: 3-step prompting, extinction, Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors (DRA), Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO), and punishment. Acceptability of those components was measured four times: first day of admission, immediately after a mid-admission training, immediately after the final training, and immediately after the first follow-up appointment after discharge. A multiple probe design across time for each treatment component was utilized to assess acceptability ratings. For all three participants, acceptability ratings increased from the initial administration to the mid-admission administration for the procedures trained during mid-admission and end of admission.
114. Immediate and Distal Effects of Supplemental Food and Fluid Delivery on Rumination
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY CATHERINE PUTNAM (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Rumination is the repeated regurgitation, chewing, and re-swallowing of previously swallowed food. Several recent studies have examined the utility supplemental feeding as a treatment for rumination. Results of these studies have been mixed, and the distal effects of these treatments are unclear. In this study, we compared the immediate and distal effects of fixed-time food and fluid delivery with baseline levels of rumination. We found no immediate or distal effects for FT-30 s fluid delivery. Food delivery on an FT-30 s schedule resulted in slightly lower levels of rumination during food delivery; however, rumination increased relative to baseline upon termination of food delivery.
115. Behavioral Treatment of Rapid Eating
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DEBORAH LOU GROSSETT (The Center), Chikadibie Amagwula (The Center), Gretchen Arian (Charis Psychological Associates), Karen Webb (Different Directions)
Abstract: Rapid eating poses risks for choking among individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Behavior treatment packages were developed to help reduce the average number of bites per minute per meal for an adult male with IDD. Study A employed a multiple baseline design across behaviors using the MotivAider where fading procedures were begun. Study B continued with a transfer of stimulus control from the MotivAider to the wristwatch and tangible reinforcers were thinned. Results indicated that MotivAider treatment and tangible reinforcement were effective in reducing rapid eating rates. The client was hospitalized for a medical procedure. After returning, bites per minute increased back to baseline levels. Study C was implemented. A functional analysis was conducted. High rates of eating were observed in all conditions. Rapid eating appears to reflect the automatic reinforcement of consuming food. Treatment was implemented in an office setting and successfully generalized to the cafeteria. Client satisfaction was rated high on treatment approach with the therapist. Added benefits also included positive and increased social interactions with others and medication reduction.
116. An Evaluation of a Brief Preliminary Component Analysis for Evaluating Treatment
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ELIANA PIZARRO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carlos Sanchez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: There is little research focusing on the utility of brief assessments for identifying treatment components that will decrease problem behavior and maintain effects over time, despite the utility of such procedures in identifying functions of problem behavior (Daly, Martens, Dool, & Hintze, 1998) and academic deficits (Daly, Martens, Hamler, Dool, & Eckert, 1999). In the current study, a 13-year-old male diagnosed with development disabilities was admitted to an inpatient unit for the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Results from a functional analysis showed problem behavior was maintained by escape from demands. A brief preliminary component analysis (PCA) was conducted to identify treatment components to reduce problem behavior in demand situations. Conditions compared in the PCA included noncontingent reinforcement and differential reinforcement of other behaviors for both food and toys; these conditions were selected for evaluation of their effectiveness over time. Results from a reversal design demonstrated that overall both treatments produced rates of problem behavior that were lower than baseline, even when problem behavior was reinforced with a functionally related break. Overall, the DRO-Toy condition was more effective at producing low, stable rates of problem behavior over time. Discussion will focus on the predictive validity of brief assessments for identifying treatment components prior to extended evaluations, and strategies for implementation in school settings.
117. The Use of Within Session Analyses of Motivating Operations to Clarify Ambiguous Functional Analyses
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: Functional analysis (Iwata et al. 1982/1994) is considered best practice for the assessment of the controlling variables for problem behavior (see Beavers, Iwata, & Lerman, 2013 for a recent review). However, functional analyses do not always yield clear results as to the functions of problem behavior. When the results of the functional analysis are ambiguous, additional analyses must be used in order to clarify the results of the functional analysis (e.g., Vollmer et al., 1995). In the current study, the results of the functional analysis of problem behavior for two subjects did not yield clear functions of problem behavior. Within-session analyses were conducted examining rates and percentages of problem behavior occurring during periods in which the establishing operation for the specific functional analysis condition was present (EO) or absent (AO). Results showed that within-session analyses of these motivating operations yielded data that clarified the functions of problem behavior. Additional experimental analyses confirmed these identified functions. Implications and possible limitations of these analyses are discussed.
118. The Right to Effective Treatment: A Retrospective look at a Controversy in the field of Behavioral Treatment of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
DAVID DONNELLY (University of Rochester)
Abstract: In the 1960s & 1970s, the clinical application of Applied Behavior Analysis, based on the principles of learning outlined by pioneers such as Skinner, Lovaas, Foxx, Wolf, and Risley emerged as a growing voice in the treatment of the sometimes severe behaviors exhibited by individuals with intellectual disability. As this approach gained momentum, however, it was exposed to forces within and outside the field calling into question the methods used to obtain these effects. The right to effective treatment was a position that many (but not all) within the field held, arguing that the use of decelerative techniques including punishment was justified by the severity of the behaviors involved, and the absence of other empirically validated effective techniques. In 1988, a blue ribbon panel that had been formed at the request of the Association for Behavior Analysis published their findings in JABA and The Behavior Analyst. This did not quell the debate, however, which continued to appear in journals and in state legislatures for several years afterward. The question as to where one stood on this issue became a litmus test to identify where ones loyalties lie. To a large extent, the impact of this debate continues to be felt by all involved, and reflects a larger debate within the field and beyond, in the culture at large. A review of the behavioral and other literature sources within and outside the field will be presented, exploring the positions, and looking at the long-term effects of the debate itself on Applied Behavior Analysis and the field of treatment of those with intellectual and other disabilities.



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