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

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Symposium #388
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of Stimulus Fading to Increase Meal-Time Behavior and Leisure Skills
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
217A (CC)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Jeanine Plowman Stratton, Ph.D.
Abstract: Stimulus fading involves highlighting a physical dimension of a stimulus to increase the likelihood of a correct response. Thus, stimulus fading is a useful method of transferring stimulus control to prompt a response. The purpose of this symposium is to present three applied examples of the use of stimulus fading to prompt novel responding. The first two studies used stimulus fading to improve mealtime behavior. Both studies used a spoon-to-cup fading procedure to increase cup drinking in children with pediatric feeding disorders. The first study conducted an analysis to identify the motivating operation for liquid refusal and used this as the basis for their stimulus fading intervention. The second study used a stimulus fading procedure after their initial function-based intervention failed to increase liquid consumption. The results of both studies showed that their stimulus fading procedures led to increased cup drinking. The third study used stimulus fading to increase a novel leisure skill, rock climbing, in children with autism. Stimulus fading in conjunction with an errorless learning procedure and positive reinforcement resulted in the acquisition rock climbing. These studies highlight the utility of stimulus fading strategies to increase behavior.
Acquisition of Cup Drinking Using Stimulus Fading
MELANIE H. BACHMEYER (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Linda J. Cooper-Brown (University of Iowa), Joanna Wiese (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Stimulus fading procedures have been demonstrated as effective in shaping a wide variety of new behaviors. Specific to the acquisition of feeding skills, stimulus fading procedures have more widely been applied to the acquisition of solid food consumption. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of stimulus fading in the acquisition of cup drinking with two children diagnosed with feeding disorders. An analysis of motivating operations for liquid refusal was conducted within a multi-element design. Results suggested presentation of the liquid via cup was an establishing operation for liquid refusal, whereas presentation of the liquid via spoon was an abolishing operation for liquid refusal. A six-step fading procedure was used to transfer stimulus control from presentation of the liquid via spoon to presentation via cup. Probe sessions using the target cup were conducted between each step of the fading procedure as a control condition in a multiple probe experimental design. Interobserver agreement was collected during 25% of sessions and agreement was above 90%. Results showed that for both children cup drinking skills were established only following the fading procedures. Results will be discussed in terms of motivating operations and transfer of stimulus control.
Assessment of the Effectiveness of Function-Based Treatments and Spoon to Cup Fading in Increasing Mouth Cleans for Cup Drinking
REBECCA A. GROFF (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jason R. Zeleny (Monroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jack R. Dempsey (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Function-based treatments have been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior in children diagnosed with pediatric feeding disorders (Bachmeyer et al., 2009). When a function-based treatment for inappropriate mealtime behavior is implemented, there is often a corresponding increase in acceptance and mouth cleans (a product measure of swallowing). The current investigation provides an example of when a function-based treatment for inappropriate mealtime behavior alone was not sufficient to increase mouth cleans for cup drinking. Attention and escape functions of inappropriate mealtime behavior were identified via a functional analysis conducted with a four-year old child diagnosed with Short Gut Syndrome and Gastrostomy (G-) Tube and Total Parenteral (TPN) dependence. Attention extinction and escape extinction were implemented with liquid presented in a cup and resulted in a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an increase in acceptance, but did not result in an increase in mouth cleans. Spoon to cup fading was implemented according to the procedures described by Babbitt, Shore, Smith, Williams, and Coe (2001) and mouth cleans for cup drinking increased. This investigation is an example of when stimulus fading was needed, in conjunction with extinction, in order to increase mouth cleans for cup drinking.
Evaluating a Stimulus Control Fading Procedure to Teach Indoor Rock Climbing to Children With Autism
HANNAH KAPLAN (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), David W. Sidener (Garden Academy)
Abstract: The present study used a multiple probe design across participants to evaluate an intervention package for teaching route following to two children with autism at an indoor rock-climbing gym. The intervention consisted of multiple within-stimulus fading procedures in combination with errorless learning and positive reinforcement. In addition, conditional discrimination training technologies were implemented to foster appropriate stimulus control. The results demonstrated that both participants learned to climb at least 10 ft/ 3 m on specified routes. Furthermore, both participants learned to climb an entire 22-ft/6.7-m wall for at least one of three different routes without any errors in a regular rock-climbing gym setting. The acquisition of this skill provides children with autism with an additional option for leisure participation with others.



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