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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Poster Session #302
AUT Poster Session 3
Sunday, May 30, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
2. A Parent Training Program Combining Discrete Trial Training and Incidental Teaching in the Home Environment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LINDSEY A. JONES (University of South Florida), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University), Debra Mowery (University of South Florida), Mary M. Fuller (Behavior Analysis and Intervention Services)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of a parent training program teaching discrete trial teaching (DTT) and incidental teaching (IT) methods using a parent training manual. Three families with children between the ages of 5-6 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participated. Both parents received parent training although Parent A received training from the experimenter and Parent B received training from Parent A. The parents taught their children one skill each from three categories: communication, self-care routines and a household expectation. This study sought to expand upon the literature in the realm of combining DTT and IT as well as adding the dimensions of training in home environments in a short period of time and examined the role of one parent training the other. Results showed that all of the Parent A’s were able to learn and apply DTT and IT in teaching their children. All Parent A’s were then able to teach Parent B’s how to use DTT and IT without additional training from the experimenter. The generalization effects of learning skills in multiple environments with different people was also examined and discussed.
3. Implementation of a Culturally Appropriate Positive Behavior Support Plan by a South Asian Grandparent
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PREETINDER NARANG (University of British Columbia), Parbinder Bains (University of British Columbia), Joseph Michael Lucyshyn (University of British Columbia)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is recognized as the most prevalent neurological disorder affecting children. Despite increases in the prevalence of ASD and the population of visible minorities in North America, there is a dearth of research literature examining the efficacy of behavioral interventions with culturally and linguistically diverse children with autism. Specific to this study is the unique identity of South Asian grandparents, who are often the primary caregivers for their grandchildren and play a critical role in their upbringing. Despite a clear need for culturally sensitive service delivery, no study to date has focused on teaching South Asian grandparents how to engage their grandchildren with ASD. The purpose of this study will be to teach a South Asian grandparent to implement a culturally appropriate positive behavior support (PBS) plan with their grandchild with ASD. A single-subject multiple baseline design across two valued play routines will be employed and both qualitative and quantitative measures will be used. It is hypothesized that, once data has been collected, results will indicate a functional relationship between the implementation of a culturally enhanced PBS plan and both an improvement in child participation and a reduction in problem behavior.
4. Teaching Parent Implementation of Discrete Trial Teaching: Effects on Functional Communication Skills of Autism Spectrum Disorder Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHIH-LIANG CHEN (SEEK Education, Inc. - Taiwan)
Abstract: Parent training is an important part of intervention to children with autism spectrum disorder. This research is to investigate the effects of teaching parents implementation discrete-trial teaching to their children with autism spectrum disorder on functional communication skills. Multiple-baseline design across 3 parents was used in this research. The parents were trained by experimenter to use discrete-trial teaching method to teach their children’s functional communication skills. Functional communication skills in this research are defined in three categories: make a request, follow instruction and receptive language. Result shows that after parents learned to use discrete-trial teaching method, functional communication skills of all 3 ASD children were improved.
5. Using TPRA and Feedback to Train Staff
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARISSA J. TYBOR (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Adrienne Mubarek (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Eric L. Carlson (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The purpose of the current investigation is to apply the teacher performance rate accuracy (TPRA) as a form of feedback for staff that provides direct services to individuals with developmental disabilities. The Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS) has shown to be an effective tool for teaching in the education systems. However, CABAS has not been used to teach direct staff in in-home intensive intervention settings. The TPRA will measure the amount of learn units that are correctly or incorrectly provided. This will allow direct staff and supervisors to analyze their rate and accuracy of performance and make data based decision when necessary. Data are being collected. Results and discussion will focus on the behavior change of staff before and after the implementation of the TPRA and feedback.
6. Using Parent Child Interaction Therapy to Teach Functional Language to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SARAH CROSSETT (Binghamton University), Natalie A. Parks (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan A. Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a behaviorally based, empirically supported parent training program for the reduction of problem behavior in young children (Eyberg & Matarazzo, 1980; Hembree-Kigin & McNeil, 1995). Recently, researchers and clinicians have begun using the PCIT model to address problem behavior in children with developmental disabilities, with positive effects on both problem behavior and adaptive functioning (Mcdiarmid & Bagner, 2005; Solomon, Ono, Timmer & Goodlin-Jones, 2008). Anecdotal observations suggest that the PCIT model may also be worthwhile for increasing language in this population. For the current study, PCIT was adapted for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or severe language delays. Participants were between the ages of 3 and 7 and had limited functional language skills. Specific coaching for parents on evoking and reinforcing appropriate vocalizations during child directed play was added to the program and rates of vocalizations were tracked across sessions. Preliminary evidence on the frequency of utterances and use of functional language during PCIT sessions suggest that the revised model can successfully increase rates of spontaneous vocalizations, prompted and unprompted imitation of language, and prompted and unprompted mands.
7. An Empirical Evaluation of A Sensory Integration Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAURA VALENCIA-ZIEBA (BEACON Services), David Robert Dilley (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Applied behavior analytically based treatments are one of only a few empirically validated treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Howlin et al.,2009; Reichow & Wolery, 2009). However it is not always the only treatment provided. Many families pursue additional treatment options for their children with ASD. These treatments often include Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT). According to some estimates up to 95% of children with ASD demonstrate some degree of sensory processing dysfunction (Tomchek & Dunn, 2007). Despite a relative lack of empirical support, SI therapies appear on treatment plans for a large and growing number of children with ASD. The present study assessed the effects of the implementations of SI recommendations from licensed occupational therapists in two boys diagnosed on the autism spectrum. A reversal design was used to compare levels of “attending” and “stimulatory behavior” with SI procedures in place and absent. Results of this study show that the sensory integration therapies had little to no effect on the levels of targeted behaviors.
8. The Effects of Sensory Integration Therapy on Behavior and Skill Acquisition During Behaviorally Based Programming
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MICHELLE A. HICKMAN (Buffalo State College)
Abstract: Recent surveys of school-based educational programs for students with autism demonstrate a disconnect between the popularity and scientific basis of certain interventions. One intervention that continues to maintain its popularity among service providers and parents despite a lack of scientific support is sensory integration therapy. The purpose of the current study is to demonstrate the effects of sensory integration treatment on the inappropriate behavior and skill acquisition by elementary aged children with autism spectrum disorders. The participants in this study are 3 boys, ages 7-11, enrolled in a school-based program for children with autism who are receiving sensory integration therapy as well as behaviorally based programming. A reversal design is being used to evaluate the effects of the sensory therapy on inappropriate behavior (stereotypic behavior, aggression, and noncompliance), accuracy and compliance during “table time” work periods, and duration of involvement in instructional activities. Data collection is currently in the initial stages, but is predicted to be completed by February 2010.
9. The Effects of Music on Language
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE M. ACCARDO (The Shafer Center), Janet Preis (Loyola University Maryland), Nita Adkins (The Shafer Center), Lauren Belmonte (The Shafer Center), Heather Priscilla Partanen (The Shafer Center), Maureen June Rushton (The Shafer Center), Brendan Russell (The Shafer Center), Dara Silbert (The Shafter Center)
Abstract: Research supports that music is an area of interest and strength for children with autism (Applebaum et al., 1979; Blackstock, 1978; Thaut, 1987, 1988), and recent research is reporting some connections between music and improved functioning across skill areas (see Gold & Wigram, 2006). Since presenting music as a support to intervention is a common practice, a controlled analysis of music’s specific effects on verbal expression and skill acquisition of children with autism continues to be relevant and necessary. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to systematically examine the effects of music across a variety of children diagnosed with autism. Specifically, this study will evaluate the effects of music across 10 participants (ages 3 to 7 years) on two dependent variables: (a) rate of acquisition and (b) accuracy of response to social/conversation questions. Data will be collected over a period of at least 10 sessions during the participants’ individual ABA therapies, using an alternating treatments design with music as the independent variable, presented in equal proportion to a non-music condition. Results will be examined to determine the differences between the two conditions across participants. Further analysis will be conducted to evaluate the impact of the participants’ developmental profile on their rate and accuracy of learning.
10. A Comparison of Discrete Trial Teaching and Dyadic Instruction for Two Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NAOMI WHEELER (Behaviour Institute), Joel P. Hundert (Behaviour Institute), Farah Bacchus (McMaster University)
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching (DTT) has been shown to be effective in producing gains in the acquisition of skills by young children with autism. In DTT, a child with autism is taught a specific skill using a concentrated sequence of highly structured learning opportunities. Typically, as a child with autism progresses in skill acquisition the method of instruction shifts to more naturalistic forms of teaching so that the child’s skills may be more likely to generalize. One of these more naturalistic forms of teaching is small group instruction in which more than one child with autism may be taught the same material at the same time. Dyadic instruction (DI) consists of teaching two children at the same time using small group instruction format (e.g., children answering group- and individual-directed questions, choral responding). A study was conducted comparing DTT to DI on the acquisition and generalization of pre-academic skills for two children with autism. The results indicated that DTT produced faster acquisition of skills but showed less generalization to new settings than did DI.
11. Programming for Generalization During Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LEAH C. GONGOLA (Youngstown State University), Jennifer Sweeney (Kent State University)
Abstract: Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) do not learn from their natural environment leading to difficulty generalizing skills. As a result, children with ASD require explicit instruction to acquire and maintain skills that they can use in natural environments. Intensive behavioral intervention (IBI), a specialized field characterized by the implementation of systematic ABA principles, has repeatedly been shown as an effective method for teaching children with ASD (Eikeseth, Smith, Jahr, & Eldevik, 2002; Lovaas, 1987). An IBI program is designed to address the unique and individual needs of each child. While IBI has been shown to be an effective treatment of choice for children with ASD, generalization of skills remains a concern throughout programming. An IBI program must emphasize the development of specific procedures to ensure that skills are generalized across various settings, different individuals, and to naturalized contexts (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968). This poster will outline strategies for skill development specifically describing generalization procedures among children with ASD.
13. Video Modeling Versus Discrete Trial Instruction in the Teaching of Sightwords to a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NANCY PHILLIPS (The Genesis School), Mary E. McDonald (Hofstra University)
Abstract: There has been limited research in the area of teaching children with autism to read. It is helpful to look at existing research on interventions that have been effective for these children in other areas and apply them to reading. Children with autism are more often than not, visual learners. Video modeling has been utilized in the teaching of skills to children with autism. The present study was designed to compare the effectiveness of video modeling with traditional discrete trial instruction in the teaching of sightwords to a student with autism spectrum disorder. An alternating treatment design was used. The student was presented with two sets of sightwords that were comparable in difficulty; one set was taught using video modeling and one set was taught using DTI. The student was tested on his ability to read the words after each intervention. Results suggest that video modeling allowed for faster acquisition of the target words.
14. Testing the Effects of Touch Math on the Acquisition of Multiplication Math Facts
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALLISON FISH (Mercy College), Christine O'Rourke Lang (Mercy College), Sudha Ramaswamy (Mercy College)
Abstract: The study presented herein tested the effects of a Direct Instruction procedure, specifically, Touch Math, on the acquisition of multiplication math facts of a 9-year old student diagnosed with Autism. A multiple baseline design across behaviors (various multiplication families) was utilized. An event recording procedure was used to collect data and data were reported as percentage of correct responses to learn unit presentations. A functional relationship was demonstrated across behaviors. Touch Math Instruction effectively supported the participant in the acquisition of multiplication facts and the results of this study correspond to the published research on the topics of Touch Math and Direct Instruction.
15. A Comparison of Mastery Criteria in Children Diagnosed With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHELSEA B. HEDQUIST (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Nicole Scharrer (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Allie Marie Hensel (University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire), Jeffrey Robert Miller (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Lindsey Sime (University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Abstract: Behavioral therapy for children diagnosed with autism includes a focus on teaching new skills. Skills are often taught using a discrete trial format. In past studies, skills have been taught using varying numbers of trials per therapy session (e.g., Cummings & Carr, 2009; Volkert, Lerman, Trosclair, Addison, & Kodak, 2008). No studies to date, however, have investigated how many trials are necessary each day for skills to be acquired and maintained. The current study investigated the number of trials necessary each day for skills to be acquired and maintained. Two conditions were compared, including one with a minimal number of trials per day (e.g., 5 trials) and one with considerable more trials per day (e.g., 20 trials). The current study investigated the total amount of trials and training time to reach a mastery criterion. Skills were then probed once a week to determine if the skill maintained.
16. The Effects of Pictorial Self-Management on Children’s On-Task Behavior in a Classroom Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALEXANDRA PETZ (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Susan K. Malmquist (Educational Diagnostic & Consulting Services), Charles T. Merbitz (Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Melissa Twarek (The Hope Institute)
Abstract: Many children with autism or other developmental disabilities have a difficult time staying on-task during activities, and therefore miss learning opportunities in school and at home. Many children with autism or other developmental disabilities have a difficult time staying on-task during activities, and therefore miss learning opportunities in school and at home. Research suggests that on-task behavior may be addressed directly by systematically reinforcing longer work intervals or providing a stimulus environment that more effectively supports such behavior. This study will assess the effects of pictorial self-management schedules on on-task classroom behavior of kindergarten students diagnosed with autism or another developmental disability. . A multiple baseline design across activities will be utilized to assess the effects of pictorial self-management schedules on on-task behavior and activity duration. Teacher redirection and stimulus generalization will also be evaluated. Expected results include the frequency of off-task behavior, teacher redirection and verbal prompting, and activity duration will decrease significantly post-intervention, showing that the use of the pictorial activity schedule was effective in increasing on-task and on-schedule behavior, as well as decreasing the amount of time it takes the child to complete each activity.
17. Investigating the Difference Between Step Size Type in a Progressive Ratio Schedule of Reinforcement in Children Diagnosed With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KATHRYN R. HAUGLE (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Stephany Kristina Reetz (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Allie Marie Hensel (University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire), Jeffrey Robert Miller (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Chelsea B. Hedquist (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Abstract: Roane (2008) urged researchers to further examine progressive ratio (PR) schedules in applied settings. Roane suggested researchers investigate procedural considerations, the use of PR schedules to bridge basic and applied research topics, and the use of PR schedules in applied settings. One procedural consideration researchers need to investigate is the type of progression to use in a PR schedule, arithmetic or geometric. In laboratory settings with non-human animals PR schedules have been implemented with both arithmetic and a geometric progression. Researchers in clinical settings have not examined the difference between the two types of progression. The current study sought to examine any differences between implementing a PR schedule with a geometric progression and a PR schedule with an arithmetic progression in responding of children diagnosed with autism. The current study also sought to examine other variables that could effect responding of children diagnosed with autism during a PR schedule of reinforcement.
18. Training Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders to be Compliant With a Physical Exam
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JULIE A. BRANDT (University of Kansas), Anthony J. Cuvo (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to train children with autism spectrum disorders to be compliant with a 10 component physical examination. After a physician assistant administered an exam pretest, noncompliance on steps of the exam were considered with respect to a skill deficit and escape from aversive stimuli. A package of training procedures was implemented, including preference assessment, priming DVD, various prompts, contact desensitization (i.e., fading in aversive stimuli), shaping, escape extinction, and differential reinforcement of other behavior. Results showed the efficacy of the intervention procedures, maintenance of responding, and stimulus generalization of responses. The study provides a model for the assessment and intervention of noncompliance to health care procedures by children with autism spectrum disorders.
19. Reducing Self-injurious Behaviors in a Middle-school Student with Autism: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MIRIAM CHACON BOESCH (Purdue University), Teresa Taber-Doughty (Purdue University), Oliver Wendt (Purdue University)
Abstract: Because of the relationship between communication and aberrant behaviors, there is a need for evidence-based practices that directly address the communicative and behavioral impairments of children with autism. Therefore, a case study using a changing-criterion design was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment package in reducing self-injurious behaviors (SIB) that were escape and tangible-motivated. A treatment package consisting of delayed reinforcement and functional communication training (FCT) was implemented with a middle school-age student with autism and no functional speech who displayed SIB. The student was taught to use manual signs to request wrist-weights, a highly-preferred item. Because the wrist-weights were used as self-restraints and thus, prevented him from engaging in many classroom activities; intervention also consisted of gradually eliminating the wrist-weights while increasing time on task. The primary goals of this study consisted of 1) reducing the student’s dependency on the self-restraints, 2) increasing time on task, and 3) reducing SIB. The data to be collected from this study will help practitioners select a more fine-grained intervention approach for multiply controlled behavior. Results will be discussed in light of their implications for evidence-based practice.
20. Does Your Grandma Hoard, We Got Help?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LISA GOODSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Tara A. Glavin (Hope Institute Learning Academy)
Abstract: An individualized behavior program was implemented to extinguish hoarding behavior, decrease running in cafeteria, and aggression behavior such as pulling hair exhibited by a 17-year-old male student living with autism attending high school. The individualized behavior program consisted of scheduled reinforcements, bonus response cost, positive reinforcement, and intercomponent-intravels as the main interventions for the target behaviors. Leadership role such as leader of the line to redirect student's attention while transitioning into a new setting to reduce hoarding. Intercomponent-intervals provided to student before leaving an enriched activity (access to reinforcers) into a less preferred activity (academic assignments) will reduce target behavior (aggression) (Cooper, Heron, Heward, 2007). According to Catania (2007), implemented interventions such as verbally prompting student to place hands into lap before entering his personal space to ensure zero probability that hair pulling would occur while assisting student with assignments. Replacement behaviors were selected and modeled for student to follow after completing tasks to promote the success of extinguishing target behaviors (Catania, 2007). Techniques used in study were based on previously conducted evidence-based research and data was collected to support findings on whether individualized behavior program was effective.
21. An Evaluation of a "Sit and Watch" Procedure in the Treatment of Disruptive Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RACHEL ADLER (California State University, Los Angeles), Courtney Bloom (Shabani Institute), Robert S. Pabico (Center for Behavior Analysis and Language Developm), Daniel B. Shabani (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Contingent observation, known informally as 'Sit and watch', is a variation of time-out that has been demonstrated to effectively reduce disruptive behaviors. In the current investigation, "Sit and Watch" was used to decrease problem behaviors maintained by both attention and escape in a 7-year-old female diagnosed with autism. The procedure involved having the participant sit in a chair next to the play situation within which disruptive behaviors occurred. Results indicated a decrease in problem behaviors when the chair was present and an increase in behaviors when the chair was absent.
22. Decreasing Inappropriate Behavior of a Classroom Before Decreasing Inappropriate Behavior of a Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Daniel L. Fudge (Omaha Public Schools), STACY BLISS FUDGE (Omni Behavioral Health)
Abstract: An autistic child was in need of consultation services to try and ameliorate his out-of- seat behavior in a general education first grade classroom. Pre-intervention data revealed that the child was out of his seat 71% of the time during three half-hour observation. When doing peer comparison, it was noted that three quarters of his peers were also out of their seats the same amount or more time (74%). Before being able to help decrease the behavior of the child with autism, his peers’ out-of-seat behavior had to be decreased. A randomized interdependent group contingency was used as the intervention to help the classroom decrease out-of-seat behavior. First, the class was instructed on how the intervention worked. Second, the class practiced using the intervention for three days without data being collected. Lastly, five data points were collected on consecutive days during the intervention phase. Since this was a consultation case an AB design was conducted to observe if the intervention worked. Post-intervention data indicated that as the classrooms out-of-seat behavior decreased (31%) the child with autism (43%) out-of-seat behavior decreased.
23. The Analysis and Treatment of Vocal Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JENNIFER M. DERDERIAN (The May Institute), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy is characterized by repetitive vocal responses, which when occur at high rates can interfere with activities of daily living. Few studies have focused on the function and treatment of vocal stereotypy. The current study sought to extend previous research on interventions for vocal stereotypy. The participant was a 17-year-old male, diagnosed with autism. Vocal stereotypy was found to have an automatic function, and was not mediated by social consequences. Following the functional analysis, the effects on vocal stereotypy of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) were compared to differential reinforcement of the nonoccurrence of behavior (DRO) using a multieliment design. During the RIRD procedure, contingent on the occurrence of vocal stereotypy the instructor would deliver vocal demands in the form of social questions or repetition of phrases. During the DRO procedure, contingent on the nonoccurrence of vocal stereotypy for 15 seconds, a small edible reinforer was delivered. RIRD did not reduce levels of vocal stereotypy; however the results of the DRO produced levels substantially lower than rates in baseline. These results do not support recent data suggesting the use of RIRD to reduce vocal stereotypy.
24. Self-Observation and Correction of Inappropriate Behavior by a Young Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Valerie R. Rogers (University of Nevada, Reno), DAYLEE MAGNISON (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: This procedure examined the effects of self-observation (via videotape) and discrimination training on the inappropriate and appropriate behavior of a young child with autism in a home and school setting. Prior to implementation, the young learner engaged in a variety of inappropriate behaviors including noncompliance, elopement, property destruction, aggression, whining, and crying in instructional settings both at home and at school. Specifically, these inappropriate behaviors occurred upon the emission of an error to an academic task. An intervention was developed and implemented at home where immediately following a mistake to an academic task, the child was instructed to observe her behavior (via videotape) and identify if the response to the error was appropriate or inappropriate. In addition, rules were provided at that time regarding the necessity of behaving appropriately. Reinforcement was provided for a correct label of her response to an error as well as responding appropriately to that error. Over time, this intervention resulted in more accurate labeling of her behavior as well as a decrease in the frequency and duration of the inappropriate behaviors, both at home and at school.
25. A Review of Self-Management Procedures for Students With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
GEOFFREY D. DEBERY (Eden II Programs), Frank R. Cicero (Eden II Programs), Nancy Phillips (The Genesis School), Nancy Ferrer (Eden II Programs), Panagiota Stathakis (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: Self-management has been broadly defined as the personal application of behavior change tactics that produces a desired change in behavior. In the field of autism treatment self-management generally refers to any behavior intervention program in which the individual receiving treatment performs some part of the intervention program. Thus, a successful self-management intervention increases an individual’s level of independence because the individual decreases his or her reliance on other people. In the field of autism treatment, independence is an important treatment goal. Accordingly, many researchers have reported successful self-management interventions across a wide range of behaviors in students with autism. However, successful self-management interventions are highly individualized, and as a result procedures vary greatly across studies. The current poster will review the research on self-management in autism and provide the reader with an organized summary of the procedural variations and behaviors targeted using self-management interventions. Suggestions for future research will be offered.
26. A Comparison of Reinforcer Assessments for Children With Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALLISON B. VIEIRA (Caldwell College), Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College)
Abstract: The effectiveness of caregiver interviews and a paired-stimulus preference assessment in identifying reinforcers for children with diagnoses of autism or pervasive developmental disorder was assessed in the present study. An alternating treatments design was then used during a subsequent reinforcer assessment to measure the frequency of completed tasks. Correctly completed tasks resulted in access to a top ranked item from either preference assessment on a progressive fixed-ratio schedule. If identical stimuli were identified as the most preferred for both preference assessments, the second most preferred stimuli from both the caregiver interview and paired stimulus assessment were used as reinforcers in the reinforcer assessment. Both preference assessments correctly identified potential reinforcers as evidenced by an increase in task completion under both conditions. Response rates increased substantially for all participants when the top-ranked item from the paired stimulus assessment was presented contingent on task completion. However, response rates under the caregiver condition were lower than those of the paired stimulus condtion. In general, task completion occurred at a higher rate when preferred items from the paired stimulus assessment were used as a reinforcer in comparison to items used as reinforcers from the caregiver interview. The results suggested that more potent reinforcers are identified in paired stimulus assessments when compared to the items generated from caregiver interviews.
27. Assessing Play Interests in Toddlers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MITSURU KODAKA (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Lashanna Brunson (University of North Texas), Rachael E. Shrontz (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Play is a significant part of childhood. Typically developing children exhibit a wide range of interests within their play, but children with autism do not. The purpose of this study was to design and implement an assessment tool that will capture the constellation of behaviors indicating play interests in young children. The Early Play Interests Assessment (EPIA) includes categories of play behavior and their components behaviors. Additionally, measures of child affect were built into the EPIA. All behaviors were observed under various environmental conditions. The results show that the EPIA was useful in observing toddlers’ play behavior within behavioral categories and components and assess the interactions among these measures of play interests. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of creating observational systems to quantify play interests in typical and atypical children and for establishing a link between the information gathered in assessment and the planning and implementation of autism interventions.
28. Measuring and Evaluating Happiness in Teaching Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CLAIRE ANDERSON (University of North Texas), Megan Geving (University of North Texas), Sara M. Weinkauf (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The measurement of happiness has received increasing attention in the behavior analytic literature. Happiness in individuals with developmental disabilities has been measured by counting specific behaviors or constellations of behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the two approaches while observing nine child and teacher dyads at an autism treatment center. Results showed that, overall, a constellation of behaviors can yield similar patterns as compared to a specific behavior count, but no consistent relationship was found between the affect of the children and teachers or between teachers under similar instructional conditions. The possible implications of these results and future directions are discussed.
29. Beyond Greetings : Using Social Checklists to Teach a Child with Autism Social Skills.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ALICE F. GUTIERREZ (The Shape of Behavior), Domonique Y. Randall (The Shape of Behavior)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with autism frequently lack the complicated language necessary to interact socially with peers. While some children with autism have a desire to interact with peers, their social skills are frequently limited by their difficulties in initiating verbally to peers or answering a peer’s questions with more than one word utterances. The present research study explores the use of social checklists to concurrently improve social skills and encourage verbal initiations to others. The subject has an autism diagnosis and is mainstreamed in a typical pre-kindergarten classroom. While the subject has delays in speech, he is academically and behaviorally similar to the peers in his class, none of which have an autism diagnosis. The subject has difficulty with complex social interactions, specifically in the areas of initiating to peers beyond a greeting. The study used a social checklist to develop more complex social skills and then faded the checklist to increase independence in social interactions.
30. Measuring Joint Attention During and After Toy Activation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CATHERINE PARRISH (New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine IJA [Initiating Joint Attention] scores of 28 children with autism [CWA] and 7 typically developing children [TDC] during and after toy activation. Composite scores summarized performance of three behaviors (gestures, eye contact, and commenting) across toys. Performance was evaluated during toy activation only, and two seconds and five seconds after activation. The results of the analysis indicated that for 9 out of 28 CWA and 1 out of 7 TDC, joint attention continued to occur within two seconds after the activation period. When observations included five seconds after the toy stopped joint attention increased for 17 of 28 CWA. Extending the observation period after toy activation from 2-s to 5-s, resulted in the number of joint attention initiations increasing. To obtain the most accurate assessment of joint attention behavior, observation and scoring should continue until 5-s after the activation period.
32. An Evaluation of the Benefits of Inclusionary Time for Students With Autism and Typical Peers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANDREA CHAIT (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Sheila Quinn (Salve Regina University), Brian McGovern (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Maureen Doyle (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Matthew Maynard (Salve Regina University), Chelsea Bourn (Salve Regina University)
Abstract: Public schools are increasingly including students with autism with typically developing peers because the law requires students to be educated in the least restrictive setting possible. Inclusion is not only a legal issue but a social issue and remains a controversial topic. Limited research exists assessing the benefits of inclusion for students with autism and their typically developing peers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of inclusionary time for adolescents with autism as well as their typically-developing peers. Typical peers received a presentation and the opportunity to participate in Project New Friends, reverse inclusion time. For the typical peers, pre and post assessments were conducted on self concept and attitude and awareness of disability. Record reviews were conducted on attendance, tardiness, and disciplinary referrals. For the students with autism, data was collected on the frequency of initiations, attention to peers, and responses to peers. Results will be discussed along with recommendations for future research and practice.
33. Using Applied Behavior Analysis Methods to Assess Prosocial Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SARA CHRISTIANSON (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Laura Mulford (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Julie A. Horner (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Cara Vaccarello (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques are effective at assessing challenging behaviors with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little research has been conducted using these techniques to examine appropriate social behaviors of children with ASD. The purpose of the current study was to adapt descriptive assessment and structural analysis methods typically used to treat challenging behaviors to examine the antecedent variables that maintain appropriate social behaviors between children with ASD and their peers. Participants included three early elementary aged students with ASD and their classroom peers; participants were videotaped in the general education classroom. Descriptive assessment measures and direct observations were used to analyze multiple context variables and adult behaviors, target child and peer initiations, responses, and interactions, and the perceived outcome. Based on the direct observation data, contexts where the most prosocial behaviors occurred for an activity, group size, and adult engagement were compared to the contexts where the least prosocial behaviors were observed in the structural analysis. Information gathered from the assessment assisted in developing individualized interventions for children with ASD. Attendees will learn about a systematic approach to assessing prosocial behaviors with children with ASD that can be applied in a school setting.
34. Using pantomime to teach a youth with Asperger’s Syndrome discrimination of social cues.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
SCOTT D. NIPPER (The Shape of Behavior), Domonique Y. Randall (The Shape of Behavior)
Abstract: People with Asperger’s Syndrome and other related disorders often have above average verbal repertoires, but still have significant deficits in their social communication. From a behavior analytic perspective one likely cause for this deficit is that the individual is not responding to all of the social cues in his environment. Even a gross task analysis of social communication reveals a complex set of concurrent behaviors that include decoding as a listener and encoding as a speaker not only words ,but voice, face, body, and context clues. By using behavioral social skills training with various theatre disciplines such as pantomime these affective cues can be isolated and combined in a systematic way to shape complex behavior chains. Testing the efficacy of this approach as a package is beyond the scope of a controlled single subject research design. However, this study takes the first step, as data will be collected on a subject’s discrimination of non-verbal affective social cues before and after receiving pantomime based social skill training. By combining the tools of behavior analysis with the craft of drama a technology of teaching emerges for improved social skill training.
35. Using Activity Schedules and Video Modeling to Teach Adolescents with Autism to Play Nintendo Wii Fit?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JULIA MANDELBAUM (Caldwell College), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell College), Tina Sidener (Caldwell College), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell College)
Abstract: People with autism often have difficulties engaging in independent leisure activities. Currently, there is little research investigating methods to teach these skills to people with autism. In the present study, a multiple probe design across participants was used to assess whether four adolescents with autism could learn to play Nintendo Wii Fit. Specifically, manual prompting, graduated guidance, and reinforcement was used to teach the adolescents to (a) use an activity schedule to set up the Nintendo Wii and to select the exercises, (b) follow the Wii Fit video model to complete the various exercises, and (c) stay on task during the session. In addition, multiple exercises were taught to promote generalization of the use of the Wii Fit? system. The results indicated that all participants independently played Nintendo Wii Fit and these skills generalized to novel exercises not used during teaching demonstrating a generalized repertoire of the use of the Wii Fit system. In conclusion, this study extended the literature by providing an additional way to teach functional leisure time activities for people with autism.
36. Variables that affect video modeling results in an Early Intervention setting for children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KOJI TAKESHIMA (Fremont Unified School District)
Abstract: Video modeling technique is an evidence-based intervention to teach various skills for individuals with Autism. The use of video modeling technique is evaluated in an Early Intervention setting for children with Autism. The siblings of the participants are the actors of short video clips to teach independent and interactive play skills. The participants are two, 2-year-old children with Autism, who shows emerging play skills, and have demonstrated basic gross and fine motor imitation skills through Discrete Trial Training. Dependent variables include scripted and unscripted play actions, vocal statements, and initiation to peers. Multiple baseline design across two different types of play activities is used to evaluate the effects of video modeling intervention. The discussions include variables that may affect the results of video modeling training in this population, including use of siblings as opposed to strangers in video clips, multiple presentations of video clips as opposed to single presentation of video clips, and target play activities, which are an independent play activity and an interactive play activity.
37. Assessment of Communication Modality Preference in Learners with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TINA RIVERA (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Michele L. Newman Lefebvre (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rugters, The State University of New Jersey), Suzannah J. Ferraioli (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger, The State University of New Jersey), Amy Hansford (Rutgers University), Mary Sens (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Mary Jane Weiss (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Individuals with autism have significant impairments in their ability to communicate with others. Estimates indicate that about fifty percent of children with autism are nonvocal (Frankel, Leary & Kilman, 1987). To address these deficits, several supplemental/alternative communication strategies have been developed. Different topographies of trained communication responses have included vocal speech (Carr & Durand, 1985), communication cards/ picture exchange (Bondy & Frost, 1994; Horner & Day, 1991), and sign language (Mirenda, 2003). While these topographies of communication have all been shown to be effective in specific clinical instances, the selection of communication topography has generally been based on arbitrary guidelines, such as the individual’s developmental level, motor skills, and the recommendations of a speech-language pathologist. The selection of communication modality for learners with autism can often be a contentious issue. To this point, relatively little research has evaluated procedures to determine which modality represents a “best fit” with individual learning styles. The purpose of the current investigation is to design an assessment model that evaluates the rate of acquisition and student preference to determine the most appropriate communication modality for use with instruction.
38. Testing the Effects of a Backward Chaining Procedure on the Independent Location of PECS(Picture Exchange Communication System) Books
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ANDREA DEVARIE (Mercy College), Christine O'Rourke Lang (Mercy College), Sudha Ramaswamy (Mercy College)
Abstract: Providing an accessible and effective means of communication for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders is an essential component in promoting independence and social interaction. The study presented herein tested the effects of a backward chaining procedure on the independent location of PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) books utilizing a multiple baseline across participants design. Three students, consisting of two females and one male from a K-2 communications classroom participated in the study. All the participants were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and had severe speech and language delays. The dependent variable-independent location of the student’s PECS book was task analyzed into five steps and was designed to teach the participants to locate their communication books from another part of the room. The results demonstrate a functional relationship between the independent variable-backward chaining and the dependent variable-independent location of the student’s PECS book. The results add to the literature documenting the effectiveness of backward chaining as a teaching strategy for children with disabilities.
39. Teaching Vocal Imitation to a Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NICOLE CARLSON (Organization for Research and Learning), Krista Zambolin (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract: This paper will demonstrate how a non-verbal four year old child with autism was taught to imitate vocal sounds. The student was involved in a home based behavior analytic program that utilized applied behavior analysis (ABA), precision teaching, and fluency based instruction. The young child began her ABA therapy in February 2006, and over the next three years obtained 25-30 hours of ABA therapy each week. The purpose of this program was to teach vocal control of singular sounds as a composite skill to verbally communicating. With the help of a Speech Pathologist (who aided us with the scope and sequence of sounds for this child) we used timed practice and charted data to make data-based decisions. Through direct instruction the student successfully learned to purposefully emit and imitate the sounds /m/ /h/ and /a/ over the span of eleven months. All data observed was recorded and will be displayed on a standard celeration chart.
40. Generalization of the Picture Exchange Communication System With Nonverbal Students Across Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
REBEKAH L. NICHOLS (Evergreen Center), Jennifer M. Silber (Evergreen Center), Gordon A. DeFalco (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether four non-verbal students with a diagnosis of autism would demonstrate generalization of manding using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) across settings. The typical PECS training procedure was modified by using a basket containing the reinforcers for which students could mand. The goal was to determine whether the presence of this additional SD would eliminate the need for a physical prompter in the natural environment, something that typical PECS instruction requires. This study used a multiple baseline design across students to assess the effects of modified PECS training on the generalization of manding behavior across settings. First, students were taught up to phase IIIb of PECS in a separate training setting, in which the basket was present. Following training, students were assessed in their classroom and residence on the frequency of their manding behavior. If students failed to demonstrate generalization across settings, the basket containing the reinforcers was introduced into the natural environment to facilitate generalization. Across all conditions, community probes were done once per week to assess for additional generalization. The results indicated that students demonstrated generalization of manding behavior after participating in modified PECS training.
41. The Effects of Positive and Negative Reinforcement on Teaching a Young Child with Autism to Mand
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE M. COFFMAN (University of Nevada, Reno), Sara L. Stratz (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: This procedure compared the effects of positive reinforcement to negative reinforcement when teaching a manding repertoire with a young child diagnosed with autism. Prior to implementation, the young learner demonstrated no manding repertoire for preferred or non-preferred items. First assessments were conducted to determine preferred and non-preferred items to use for training. Following identification of stimuli to be used in training, baseline sessions were conducted to assess the child’s manding repertoire with respect to preferred and non-preferred items. Mand training was then implemented to teach the child to emit a two or more word response for the removal of a non-preferred item or to gain access to a preferred item. Generalization probes were conducted for items not used in training, and two weeks after termination of training a follow-up assessment evaluated if the mand was emitted under similar conditions. The data show that the child reached mastery for the mand maintained by positive reinforcement before mastery of the mand for the removal of the non-preferred item. In both training and generalization probes, manding maintained by negative reinforcement produced more complex appropriate responding than mands for access to preferred items.
42. Examining the Effect of Community-Based Employment on Maladaptive Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TODD FRISCHMANN (Rutgers University), James Maraventano (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Christopher Manente (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Although supported community employment is one of the most popular objectives for service providers in the field of autism in adulthood, there is very little evidence to suggest any positive outcomes related to this objective. The present study employed a multi-element design to determine the effects of adapting stimuli from a community jobsite to an adult day program setting for an adult with autism. Sessions were conducted at an adult day program and a community jobsite where the individual cleaned a public men’s room. Data indicated that rates of maladaptive behavior were low in the community setting and high while in the day program setting. To evaluate the effects of stimuli from the community jobsite, specific aspects of the community setting were integrated into sessions conducted at the adult day program setting. The results indicated that integrating specific aspects of the community environment to the day program resulted in a reduction in maladaptive behavior. The findings are discussed as they relate to the importance of employment for adults with autism and especially for those who engage in socially stigmatizing behavior.
43. Teaching Grocery Shopping Skills to an Adolescent With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHERYL COTTON (Erik's Ranch)
Abstract: A 17-year-old adolescent with autism often left the proximity of staff and family during shopping trips and community outings. A grocery shopping training curriculum, that utilized a task analytic approach with pictorial prompts, was implemented to teach the participant to identify and select specific grocery items. Each grocery shopping trial consisted of finding five grocery items. Grocery shopping was trained alternating five items from two different shopping lists. Baseline data indicated the participant was unable to identify and select grocery items. After 15 training sessions, the participant achieved master of selecting five items from both lists. Maintenance and generalization data indicated the participant was able to identify and select 40-50 items. Additionally, the participant is able to accompany family members and staff during "natural" grocer shopping trips.
44. Teaching an Adolescent With Autism to Complete Purchasing Transactions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANGELA ENGBRECHT (FEAT of Washington), Jamie Rose Feddock (FEAT of Washington)
Abstract: One important component of adult and adolescent independence is the ability to regularly complete purchasing transactions in order to obtain items such as food, hygiene products, and other goods that may be of interest or use. This skill is often taken for granted but can be difficult to master for some people on the autism spectrum. Using a chaining procedure, and a community based instructional arrangement, we aimed to teach a 15-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder to complete purchasing transactions across a variety of purchasing locations. This poster focuses on both the process and result of that intervention.
45. First- and Second-Order Pairing During an Exchange-Only Token-Conditioning Procedure With Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
KARRIE WEPPLER (QSAC, Inc.), Cynthia E. Pichardo (QSAC, Inc.), Ronald Lee (QSAC, Inc.)
Abstract: Weppler et al, (2009) demonstrated the effects of a token-conditioning procedure where a neutral stimulus (NS) was noncontingently delivered to a student and an independent exchange for a back-up reinforcer was trained. This led to a rapid increase in the preference for the previously neutral token. The present study extends those findings by comparing the effects of this conditioning procedure during first- or second-order pairings of a neutral stimulus with back-up reinforcers. During first-order pairing, the NS1 was exchanged for a back-up reinforcer. During second-order pairing, the NS2 was exchanged for a preferred token, which was later exchanged for a back-up reinforcer. The effects of these conditioning procedures on the percentage of trials in which each token was selected during paired-stimulus preference assessments were evaluated within a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. The reinforcing properties of each token stimulus were also evaluated within a multiple-baseline-across-participants design. Results demonstrated that the token-conditioning procedure was effective at increasing the preference for neutral stimuli with both first- and second-order pairings. These stimuli were demonstrated to function as reinforcers. Additionally, the effects of pairing generalized to a novel stimulus that had no history of pairing with back-up reinforcers.
46. Comparing a Discriminative Stimulus Procedure and a Pairing Procedure to Establish Social Stimuli as Conditioned Reinforcers for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RACHEL LEE KOELKER (University of North Texas), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas), Duy Dang Le (Child Study Center), Jesse Anderson (Child Study Center), Janet Ellis (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Social stimuli such as smiles, head nods, thumb-ups, and OK signs often do not function as reinforcers for children with autism. However, it may be important for such events to acquire reinforcing properties for social skills (as well as other types of skills) to be maintained in the children’s everyday environments without the use of arbitrary, non-social reinforcers. Previous research has shown the effectiveness of a pairing procedure (respondent conditioning) and a discriminative stimulus procedure to condition neutral stimuli to function as reinforcers. However, the relative effectiveness of these procedures is unknown. In the current study, we compared the effectiveness of these two procedures in establishing neutral social stimuli as reinforcers for simple responses with children with autism. Results from the first participant showed that the discriminative stimulus procedure was more effective; however, results from the second participant raised questions about prerequisites that may be needed for either procedure to have the desired effect. We collected IOA during at least 30% of sessions in each condition: IOA averaged above 90% for all participants. Data collection is currently under way with additional participants.



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