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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #221
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Management of Medication Administration
Sunday, May 30, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Joel Hundert, Ph.D.
Abstract: Adherence to medication regimens is crucial to successful medical treatment and yet some children with and without disabilities display difficulty swallowing pills. Administering medication in liquid form is another option but it, too, can be difficult with some children. This symposium consists of three studies which applied behavioral intervention procedures to medication administration difficulties in children with and without autism. The first study examined the separate and combined effects of stimulus fading and positive reinforcement in teaching children to swallow pills. The second study extended behavioral intervention procedures by applying them in a telemedicine format. The third study implemented behavioral intervention procedures for addressing difficulties in compliance with liquid medication administration. The symposium concludes with a discussion by Dr. Becky Penrod.
Using Stimulus Fading to Teach Pill Swallowing to Children
TAIRA LANAGAN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Melissa L. Olive (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katelyn Anne Marks (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Megan D. Aclan (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Stimulus fading is an empirically validated treatment that has been demonstrated to teach various skills. Approximately 26% of the general population demonstrates difficulty swallowing pills (Anderson, Zweidorff, Hjelde, & Rodland, 1995). Stimulus fading has been used to teach developmentally disabled children to swallow pills for this reason (Yoo, Tarbox & Granpeesheh, 2008; Babbitt RL, Parrish JM, Brierley PE, et al., 2004). This is a particularly relevant skill for individuals who are required to adhere to oral medication or supplement regimens. The purpose of this study was to teach four children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to swallow pills using stimulus fading and differential reinforcement. Data were recorded for each pill presentation and graphed as percentages.
Using Telemedicine to Train Parents to Teach Children to Accept Oral Medication
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Several studies have demonstrated that young children with disabilities can be taught to swallow oral medication (e.g., Anderson, Ruggiero & Adams, 2000; Babbitt, Parrish & Brierley, 1991; Yoo, Tarbox & Granpeesheh, 2008). Children in rural areas need to learn to accept oral medication but they may not have transportation to clinics in cities, their families may not be able to afford travel, and the child's medical condition may not allow time to wait to reserve travel arrangements. Telemedicine procedures have been used for various types of treatment in rural locations (e.g., Fiadjoe et al. 2009; Machalicek et al. 2009). Thus, the purpose of this clinical investigation was to determine if telemedicine procedures would be effective in training parents to teach their child to accept oral medication. Two children and their parents participated. Sessions were conducted using a web camera, microphone, speakers or headset, and Skype software. All training materials were mailed to participants prior to the start of the study. Baseline sessions were completed prior to parent training. Following parent training, children were able to accept and swallow their oral medication. Implications and limitations regarding the use of telemedicine will be discussed.
Establishing Compliance With Liquid Medication via Stimulus Fading and Positive Reinforcement
SIENNA GREENER-WOOTEN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Averil Schiff (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Taira Lanagan (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Peter Farag (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Children often display difficulty with swallowing pills (Anderson, Zweidorff, Hjelde, Rodland, 1995) and medications are therefore often made available in liquid form. However, some children may display avoidance of medication, even in liquid form. Previous research has demonstrated that behavioral intervention procedures are effective in establishing pill swallowing in individuals with developmental disabilities but no previous research has been published on the use of behavioral procedures for establishing compliance with the administration of liquid medication. In this study, stimulus fading and positive reinforcement, without escape extinction, was used to establish compliance with liquid medication administration. All procedures were conducted in the context of regular behavioral intervention sessions in the home.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh