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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.

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Poster Session #256
Monday, May 30, 2016
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
AUT
Chair: Jessica L. Thomason-Sassi (New England Center for Children)
90. Training ABA Service Providers to Conduct the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised Using a Self-Instructional Manual and Video Modeling
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY L. BORIS (University of Manitoba), Karli Pedreira (University of Manitoba), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Self-instructional training manuals and video modeling have been demonstrated to be effective for teaching university students and direct-care staff to conduct behavioral procedures, such as preference assessments and discrete-trials teaching with persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities-Revised (ABLA-R) is an assessment tool used by Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service providers for determining the learning ability of clients with ID and children with ASD. I evaluated the effectiveness of a training package involving a self-instructional manual and video modeling for teaching direct-care staff to administer the ABLA-R to children with ASD. I evaluated the training package using a modified multiple-baseline design across a pair of ABA service providers, replicated across five other pairs. Data coding is in progress; however, results thus far demonstrate a significant increase in the accuracy with which participants administered the ABLA-R to an experimenter from baseline to post-test, as well as high accuracy in a generalization assessment with a child with ASD. An implication of this research is that the self-instructional training package may be an effective tool for training ABA service providers to accurately administer the ABLA-R to children with ASD. Additionally, self-instructional training may be an effective and efficient method of training direct-care staff to conduct other behavioural assessments and procedures.
 
91. Comparing the Effects of Tact Prompts and Echoic Prompts to Establish Intraverbals in a Preschooler With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
CHIH-LIANG CHEN (Morning Light Clinic), Tz-ying Li (University of Taipei, Taiwan)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of two prompting strategies (Tact prompt versus echoic prompt) to teach intraverbal behaviors to one preschooler (3y8m) with autism spectrum disorder. Adapted alternating treatment design was adopted to compare two prompting strategies. The independent variable is prompting strategies and dependent variable is the immediate, generalization and maintenance effect to intraverbal behavior. Results as follows: 1. Both tact prompt and echoic prompt is effective to teach intraverbal behavior to the subject 2. No difference to generalization and maintenance effect to intraverbal behavior between prompting strategies. 3. Better immediate effect to intraverbal behavior through echoic prompt. Researcher discussed the result of the study in order to provide suggestions to further study in teaching intraverbal behavior to children with autism spectrum disorder.
 
92. Joining Community Resources to Promote Success of an Adolescent With Autism and Severe Challenging Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
AERIKA LEEANN HAESELI (The Homestead), Denise White-Staecker (Heartland AEA), Samantha Cermak (The Homestead), Martin Ikeda (Heartland Area Education Agency), Katherine Krieg (The Homestead), Jessica Netsch (Heartland Area Education Agency), Stacy S. Volmer (Heartland Area Education Agency), Evelyn Jo Horton (The Homestead)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: The purpose of the research was to evaluate the outcome of an inter-agency, multi-component treatment package on reducing challenging behavior and increasing functional replacement behavior. Participant was a 14-year-old male diagnosed with autism residing in a residential home with 24 hour care. He was not attending public school due to severe aggression toward adults. His public school utilized a community-based ABA provider to implement his individualized education plan with a goal to return him to school. He has no vocal language and has a history of high intensity challenging behavior including aggression, property destruction, vomiting, spitting, elopement, dropping, and disrobing. Intervention included use of differential reinforcement, token systems, escape extinction, increased number of demands, Functional Communication Training, and weekly collaboration with the school. Results suggest that the implementation of the treatment package decreased challenging behavior and increased replacement behaviors. The participant met criterion on three of six IEP goals. Increasing his day at the autism clinic has been the first step to guide pinpointing reintegration back to school. Inter-agency collaboration is an effective treatment to promote best outcomes for students exhibiting barriers to learning, while keeping their daily lives consistent.
 
94. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Perseveration
Domain: Applied Research
KARA LACROIX (The Autism Community Therapists), Dewey DeLisle (The New England Center for Children), Jessica L. Thomason-Sassi (New England Center for Children), Kevin J. Schlichenmeyer (TACT, LLC )
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often exhibit perseverative speech related to restricted topics. When a majority of an individual’s speech is perseverative, as opposed to appropriate, it limits the individual’s ability to access social reinforcers and maintain relationships (Fisher, Rodriguez, & Owen, 2013). In the present study, a functional analysis of perseveration was conducted using procedures similar to Iwata et al., (1982/1994). The participant was a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with an ASD. After initial functional analyses yielded inconclusive outcomes, researchers modified the form of attention included in test and control conditions. In pair-wise design, researchers alternated between social approval (test) and social disapproval (control). Data indicated that perseveration was maintained by social approval. Intervention consisted of a Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (DRA) procedure combined with extinction. The DRA schedule was thinned through use of a multiple schedule, wherein perseveration remained low and appropriate speech persisted under the terminal schedule. This study adds to the limited research in assessment and treatment of perseverative speech. Inter-observer agreement was collected on 33% of functional analysis sessions and averaged 94% (range, 87% to 100%). Inter-observer agreement was collected in 33% of treatment sessions and averaged 90% (range, 83% - 97%).
 
95. Effects of Mand Variability Training on Acquisition and Variability in Sign Mands Emitted by a Boy With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (The University of Texas at Austin, Special Education Department), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Behavior analytic interventions for repetitive and stereotyped behavior (RSB) exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have historically targeted RSB for reduction. However, reinforcement of operant variability may replace RSB with adaptive operant variability. For example, studies have shown lag schedules of reinforcement can replace RSB with variability in intraverbals, tacts, vocalizations, and play skills of children with ASD, suggesting lag schedules may have similar effects on behavior in other skill domains affected by RSB. The need for additional work in this area is highlighted by calls from behavior analysts and behavioral neuroscientists for more translational research on operant procedures that predict and control operant variability. Prior work by our group showed that mand variability training using a lag schedule of positive reinforcement combined with a progressive time delay increased variability in vocal mand topographies of young children with ASD. This study extends that work by evaluating the effects of a nearly identical procedure on the acquisition and variability of multiple sign mand topographies of a largely non-vocal boy with ASD. The results suggest the procedure added three new, functionally equivalent sign mand topographies to the participants repertoire and established moderately increased levels of variability across topographies. Some limitations of the current study and implications for future research will be discussed.
 
97. Preference for Alternative Reinforcement Within a Treatment Package to Decrease Problem Behavior During Circle Time
Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW SODAWASSER (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado School of Medicine; Children's Hospital Colorado), Brenna Cavanaugh (University of Rochester Medical Center), Amber Godsey (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: We conducted a two-experiment study with a 7-year-old male who engaged in aggression, disruption, and self-injurious behavior during a circle time activity in an early intervention classroom. Experiment 1 compared a baseline condition to a differential reinforcement of alternative behavior plus response cost treatment package using an ABAB reversal design. Treatment resulted in low rates of problem behavior and high levels of compliance compared to baseline. Experiment 2 evaluated choice allocation for circle time versus independent cubical time using a concurrent schedules design. Three choice arrangements were evaluated. Choice One consisted of a choice between circle time and independent cubical time, each containing alternative reinforcement. Choice Two consisted of a choice between circle time with alternative reinforcement and independent cubical time with no alternative reinforcement. Choice Three consisted of a choice between circle time and independent cubical time, each with no alternative reinforcement available. Results showed higher allocation to cubical time during Choice One and to circle time during Choice Two. Higher choice allocation to circle time persisted during Choice Three. These data suggested that the alternative reinforcement was a preferred component of the treatment package and that the circle time activity may also function as a reinforcer.
 
98. Identifying Social Reinforcers for Problem Behavior Using a Concurrent Chain Procedure
Domain: Applied Research
JONATHON METZ (Bancroft), Sonam G Dubal (Bancroft), George Miller (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Berg and colleagues (2007) evaluated a concurrent operant assessment to determine the relative value of functional reinforcers that may be maintaining problem behavior. In this methodology, participants are asked to choose between two sides of a room in which reinforcers are available. Some conditions of a social reinforcer assessment may require the addition of a person present (e.g., demand and attention conditions) which may influence choice between reinforcers. Current study evaluated a concurrent chain procedure to evaluate relative preference for social reinforcers. Each condition was associated with a colored card and forced exposure sessions were conducted until all possible consequences were delivered by the therapist. Free-choice trials immediately followed using a concurrent chain to determine relative preference. Assessment results were compared to a differentiated functional analysis and results indicated that the concurrent chain assessment identified the same social reinforcers as a standard functional analysis. The utility of this procedure for identifying reinforcers for individuals with low rates or dangerously high rates of behavior during a standard functional analysis will be discussed.
 
99. Comparing Two Instructional Methods to Increase Accuracy on Daily Living Skills for Adolescents With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER WERTALIK (The Pennsylvania State University)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: As individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) approach adulthood many have a difficult time working, living independently, socializing and participating in the community, and staying healthy and safe. Additionally, many adolescents and young adults with ASD remain largely dependent upon others for support in day-to-day activities. Therefore, the development of independent behavior, specifically for daily living skills, is critical as students pass through the high school environment into adulthood. The present study sought to compare the short-term effects of two instructional methods (i.e. TAGteach, video modeling) to improve accuracy on daily living tasks for adolescents with ASD. The experimenter implemented an alternating treatments design to compare the effects of TAGteach and video modeling for teaching daily living skills (i.e. tooth brushing, face washing, applying deodorant). Participants included three 17 year-old male students diagnosed with ASD who had made minimal progress acquiring these skills in the past. Results indicated that short-term instruction using both TAGteach and video modeling produced immediate and significant improvements in accuracy on tasks for all three participants. Future research exploring instruction for a longer duration is needed in order to determine which intervention is more effective in increasing accuracy in daily living skills for this population.
 
100. Using a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Procedure to Establish the Maintenance of Treatment Effects During Transitions Followed by a Preference Assessment for Transitions
Domain: Applied Research
ANDRESA A. DE SOUZA (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ashley Fuhrman (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often engage in problem behavior during transitions that may disrupt daily activities (McCord, Thomson, & Iwata, 2001). Studies have demonstrated that differential reinforcement and extinction can be an effective intervention package to decrease problem behavior and establish the maintenance of treatment effects (Wacker et al., 2011). In the current study, we used a noncurrent multiple baseline with reversal design to evaluate the effects of a differential reinforcement of other (DRO) behavior plus extinction procedure in the maintenance of treatment effects during transitions with two children diagnosed with ASD. We then assessed preference for transitions using a concurrent-chain arrangement. Two colored cards were presented; selecting the yellow card resulted in 10 s of walking, whereas selecting the blue card resulted in 10 s of standing still. Color contingencies were reversed or altered once stable selection occurred. The results demonstrated that the DRO procedure was effective in decreasing the levels of problem behavior for both participants. During the final return to baseline, we observed the maintenance of treatment effects, as zero or near-zero levels of problem behavior occurred. During the preference assessment, both participants allocated the majority of their responses to the alternative that resulted in walking.
 
101. The Emergence of Intraverbals Following Equivalence-Based Instruction in a Young Male With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
JAMIE FITZGERALD (Alpine Learning Group), Kathryn Looney (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Past research has demonstrated that oral labeling can emerge following equivalence-based instruction (Groskreutz et al., 2010). We designed an equivalence-based protocol to determine if other vocal verbal skills, such as intraverbals, would emerge following EBI. A pretest/posttest control group experimental design was used to examine the effects of teaching specific conditional relations among visual stimuli representing planets on the emergence of untaught relations, as well as intraverbals (i.e., answering questions about the planets). Class A was the written name of the planet (i.e., Neptune, Mars, and Saturn), Class B was a picture representing each planet, and Class C was a fact about the planet (i.e., has rings made of ice, is a gas giant, is covered with red rock). The format used for training and testing sessions was a match-to-sample protocol using a one-to-many training structure. Stimuli were presented on PowerPoint slides on a touch screen computer that required the participant to engage in an observing response (i.e., touch the screen) to reveal the sample stimulus and to then select the correct comparison stimulus. Prior to teaching, pretests were conducted for all relations and with the exception of C-A, scored at or below 50%. In addition, during a pretest for answering questions related to the planets, the participant did not answer any questions correctly. The participant learned all relations responding correctly on 100% of the trials during the posttest of all relations and answered 70% of the posttest questions accurately. The teaching as usual control comparison included questions about a different set of planets (i.e., Venus, Earth, and Jupiter) and facts that were taught using discrete trial instruction (DTI). The participant could not answer any questions from this set of planets during the pretest prior to DTI. Following DTI in which the participant was directly taught to answer these questions using verbal prompts, prompt-fading and reinforcement, he was able to answer 70% of the questions correctly. Results indicate that, for this participant, accuracy of intraverbal responding that emerged following EBI was similar to that trained directly using DTI.
 
102. Evaluating the Effects of Response Interruption and Redirection on the Stereotypic Vocalizations of a Girl With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE DENISCO (Alpine Learning Group), Kristi Pflug (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: We used a multi-element design within and reversal design to determine the effects of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) on the stereotypic vocalizations of a 12- year-old girl with autism. The results of a functional analysis revealed that stereotypic vocalizations were slightly higher in an alone condition and undifferentiated in the remaining conditions indicating a possible automatic function. This functional analysis also served as the baseline condition of the reversal design. We decided to implement RIRD during the play condition of the functional analysis because a) data were most stable in this condition b) the play condition is the control condition of the functional analysis and does not require the implementation of consequences and c) we could evaluate the effectiveness of RIRD in short sessions to determine its effectiveness prior to implementing it across the day. With the initial implementation of RIRD in the play condition we observed a sharp decrease in vocalizations to near zero levels. We also observed downward trends in vocalizations during all of the other conditions of the functional analysis where RIRD was not implemented, possibly indicating generalization of RIRD to non-treatment conditions. In the return to baseline condition and removal of RIRD, vocalizations increased in the play condition. Vocalizations remained low but variable in the tangible and attention conditions, but increased in the demand and alone conditions. With the second implementation of RIRD in the play condition, responding decreased again in that condition, and is so far, low and variable in all other conditions. Results indicate that functional analyses might be a useful framework within which to evaluate the effects of the interventions while continuing to measure changes in function that might results from the generalization of the treatment effects.
 
103. Google It: Autism Treatment Recommendations on the Internet
Domain: Applied Research
YENUSHKA KARUNARATNE (Penn State Harrisburg), Kimberly A. Schreck (Penn State Harrisburg), Jonathan W. Ivy (Penn State Harrisburg)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Choosing a treatment for a child with autism can be daunting. Many parents and practitioners report the influence of the Internet in making their choices. This study investigated the representation of non-scientifically and scientifically supported treatments for autism on the search engine Google. The top 100 searches on Google.com (N= 213) were evaluated within three different autism treatment keywords (i.e., autism treatments, autism therapies, and autism interventions). Websites were analyzed for the inclusion of autism treatment keywords and negative or positive comments about treatments. Results indicated that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) remained the most frequently mentioned treatment across all three keyword, followed by Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH). However, a variety of non-scientifically supported treatments (e.g., Floortime, Son Rise, and Gluten Free Casein Free Diets) were also found within these searches. These treatments commonly included inaccurate positive and negative comments to describe their efficacy. The results demonstrated the need for parents to be cautious when seeking information on autism treatments on the Internet. Furthermore, parents need to be aware of specific keywords used to inaccurately describe non-scientifically supported treatments for autism.
 
104. Effect of the Writer Immersion Protocol on the Structural and Functional Components of Writing
Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE LEOW-DYKE (The Touchstone Center), Paula G. White (Louisiana Behavior Analysis Association)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Young children with developmental disabilities may experience deficits within their verbal repertoire which can result in severe language delays. One important stage of verbal development is writer status. Research shows that writer immersion may be a useful tactic for teaching effective writing skills; therefore this study employed a delayed multiple baseline across participants design with three participants aged 7 to 13 years with a diagnosis of autism, to examine the effect of the writer immersion protocol on teaching functional and structural writing. The procedure involved the participants writing descriptions of pictures with ten different components for an independent reader to draw. During baseline no feedback was provided. Following daily sessions of writer immersion, the participants viewed the effects of their writing on the reader and received feedback on their structural and functional accuracy. The results showed that writer immersion was an effective tactic which led to increases in the number of components drawn by the reader, where all three participants met criterion for the functional accuracy of their writing. Significant improvements were also made to structural accuracy for two of the participants. Future research may consider targeting different types of functional writing skills such as aesthetic writing.
 
105. The Acquisition of Social Skills for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Peer-Mediated Approaches
Domain: Applied Research
SHELBY LYNN MCGREW (Mississippi State University), Reeva Morton (Mississippi State University), Tawny N. Evans-McCleon (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Research has examined the impact of interventions using applied behavior analysis principles and their effectiveness in improving social skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Lovaas, 1987; Hanley, Iwata, & Thompson, 2001). Recent literature suggests using peer mediated approaches with the inclusion of children without ASD to assist individuals with ASD generalize the skills to new environments (Rogers, 2000). The current study sought to increase the literature surrounding peer mediated social skills interventions for children with disabilities. An alternating treatment design was used to compare the impacts of peer-mediated groups versus large group interaction on children between 8 and 12 years old diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum or related disorder. The peer group was based on level of functioning relative to results of the Leiter 3. Peer groups included at least one high functioning child. Social skills intervention took place in a group setting once a week for approximately 8 weeks. A partial interval recording of social reciprocity was collected for each child. Results indicated that large group interaction was more effective in improving social reciprocity between the children than peer mediated group interaction. Limitations and future research will be discussed.
 
107. Intensity of Early Behavioral Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective Evaluation
Domain: Service Delivery
MORENA MILJKOVIC (University of Manitoba ), CT Yu (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (St. Amant Research Centre)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) is currently the most studied and most practiced intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. There has been increasing evidence over the past few decades supporting the use of EIBI for improving cognitive and adaptive functioning and reducing autism severity. However, there have been limited evaluations of the effectiveness of EIBI service intensity in the context of a government-funded service program. The current study addressed this gap in the literature using archival data obtained from St.Amant Autism Services, a government-funded EIBI service for children with autism spectrum disorder in Manitoba, Canada. This study compared children who have received an average of 22 hours per week and an average of 30 hours per week of EIBI for a period of one year. Standardized measures in cognitive functioning, adaptive behavior, and autism symptoms were examined using a 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA, with intensity (lower versus higher) as the between-group variable and time (Intake and Year 1) as the within-group variable. Communication subscales were examined for changes in language outcomes. Significant main effects for time were found for cognitive functioning, adaptive functioning, and autism severity. Data from communication subscales yielded significant main effects of time for both expressive communication and general language skills, but not for verbal performance. These results suggest the importance of both treatment intensity and duration for improvement on outcome measures. Future research should aim to address our research questions with a larger sample size and a low-intensity control group.
 
108. Effects of Role-Playing on Dramatic Play of Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
AYA FUJIWARA (University of Tsukuba), Shigeki Sonoyama (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders have difficulties imaginative and interaction in play. Therefore, they have few opportunities to participate in pretend play and dramatic play. This study examined instructions to help the development of dramatic play skills by using role-playing. The participant was a six-year-old boy suspected of having autism spectrum disorder. The theme of dramatic play was selected a squadron hero that the participant liked. Before commencing, the participant was instructed about skills of how to cooperate to defeat an opponent. He then performed the role-playing. As a result, the participant learned to use the skill to cooperate during dramatic play. Simultaneously, the participant performed an action of helping a playmate. When the participant pretended to attack an opponent, the pretense of attack increased and aggressive behaviors disappeared. It can be said that role-playing proved to be effective in facilitating appropriate behaviors in dramatic play for this participant. It might also be suggested that role-playing of one appropriate behavior can facilitate another appropriate behavior. This study is ongoing. After reinforcing the activity under same conditions, we will examine maintenance and generalization of other dramatic play in future.
 
109. A Descriptive Analysis of Heart Rate and Self-Injurious Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement: Can This Biophysical Marker Be Useful in Behavioral Treatment?
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
KAITLIN ROSS (PAAL), Lauren Erion (PAAL), Lena Handley (PAAL), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), David Dragone (Melmark/PAAL)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Automatic functions of behavior are among the most difficult to determine and treat. The explanation for self-injurious behavior (SIB) remains controversial and can occur due to any of the functions. When SIB is socially mediated, there are many treatment plans from which to chose. However, SIB maintained by automatic function is more difficult to treat One hypothesis relates to whether SIB is influenced, or influences, biophysical activity and there are two competing theories in reference to physiological states of the person. These hypotheses suggest that individuals engage in SIB in order to regulate their arousal state-to either activate or reduce the activity of the central or peripheral nervous systems. Often the measurement of arousal states focuses on heart rate, among other areas such as salivary cortisol, and (electroencephalogram) brain activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the patterns of heart rate in relation to various environmental contexts and activities. An 18 year old woman with severe autism, mild intellectual disability, and a significant history of severe SIB wore a device on her wrist that measured heart rate while observers recorded these data throughout her program day for several weeks. Data collection focused on specific activities in which she was engaged (e.g. free time, demand situations, transitions). Results showed distinct heart rate patterns correlated with different environmental contexts, including a marked difference in heart rate immediately preceding instances of maladaptive behavior, providing an indication that SIB was likely to occur. Conclusions suggest that in the future treatment plan can use heart rate as an antecedent for managing challenging behavior that is maintained by automatic reinforcement.
 
110. The Impact of Program Funding on the Stress of Caregivers of Children With Autism
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
BUSISIWE NCUBE (York University), Carly McMorris (York University), Olivia Jon (McMaster University), Jessica Abrams (York University), James M. Bebko (York University), Ginny Kontosic (Autism Ontario), Layne Verbeek (Autism Ontario), Margaret Spoelstra (Autism Ontario)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Parents of children with autism report higher levels of stress than other parents (Estes et al., 2009). Support programming is cited as a major factor in reducing parental stress (Cowen & Reed, 2002); however, the financial burdens placed on families seeking such services can be overwhelming. Autism Ontario is a service provider for individuals and families affected by autism that offers families the opportunity to apply for funding that can subsidize children to attend external programs during March and summer breaks. The goals of the present study were to examine the impact of this funding on parental stress levels and to understand how funding was utilized by families. 695 caregivers of children with autism participated in an online survey. Thirty one percent of respondents stated they would not have been able to take advantage of support programs without subsidization and 78% of caregivers reported a significant decline in stress from their childs program participation. Results revealed a wide-spread improvement for children in social skills and increased interaction with others. The current findings highlight that the funding provided by agencies, such as Autism Ontario, offer a critical financial opportunity to those families who would not otherwise be able to afford these support services.
 
111. Effects of a Treatment Package on Homework Related Disruptive Behaviors of Child With Autism
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
MAUD SELASIE DOGOE (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Aimee Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract: Research indicates that homework time is a trying moment for most parents. For the majority of parents with children with disabilities, especially parents of children with autism, it becomes a battle ground for parents and their children with disabilities. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of an intervention package on homework related disruptive behaviors of a twelve-year-old boy with autism in the home setting. The intervention comprises the establishment and explicit teaching of rules as antecedent strategy, and self-monitoring with self-reinforcement as consequent strategies. A brief functional analysis revealed that the target behavior was maintained by positive reinforcement in the form of attention and a tangible (i.e. access to computer game). The goal of treatment was to reduce homework related problem behaviors while increasing behaviors that enhance homework completion. The A-B with follow-up design was used to evaluate the effect of the treatment package. The results indicate that the treatment package was effective in reducing the target inappropriate behaviors and increasing appropriate homework completion. Implications for practice are discussed.
 
112. Attention Training: Increasing Eye Contact in Children With Autism Using Overcorrection
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LLOYD BOUDLOCHE (Behavioral Developmental Services, LLC), Victoria Johnson (Behavioral Developmental Services), Kristen Nobles (Behavioral Developmental Services, LLC)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: A critical part of teaching and training children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is to develop and maintain eye contact with the therapist. Based on the study by Foxx (1977) an overcorrection procedure, functional movement training (FMT) combined with preferred items and praise were compared with preferred items and praise alone as a method to develop and increase eye contact in 4 children. During baseline the child was given the preferred item and praise when eye contact was made within 5 seconds of the therapists vocal prompt: Look at me and no consequence or reward was given for failure to make eye contact. During the intervention, condition preferred items and praise were given when eye contact was made within 5 seconds of therapists vocal prompt: Look at me and failure to make eye contact within the 5 seconds resulted in implementation of functional movement training and vocal reprimand I said look at me. During intervention the use of preferred items and praise combined with function movement training produced 87.81% eye contact in the 4 children. Preferred items and praise alone during baseline produced 63.97% eye contact in the 4 children, proving to be less effective among the children in the study. The data collected supports that functional movement training is an effective method for teaching and maintaining eye contact. However, this experiment warrants further research.
 
113. Structural Analysis to Inform a Preschool Classroom Intervention: Effects on Stereotypy and Engagement
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BETSIE JOHNSON (Vanderbilt University), Jennifer Ledford (Vanderbilt University), Mary Louise Hemmeter (Vanderbilt University), Emilee Harbin (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: During child directed times of the preschool day, children with autism tend to engage in stereotypy instead of functional play. Few studies have investigated the use of multi-component interventions to decrease stereotypy in preschool classrooms, and no known studies have designed an intervention through a structural analysis to do so. A structural analysis was designed for a child with autism who engaged in vocal stereotypy and self-injurious motor stereotypy. A simultaneous treatments design was embedded in the structural analysis to determine the participant’s preference for 4 pair-wise treatment comparisons. The results of the structural analysis and the preferred conditions informed the development of a multi-component intervention aimed to reduce stereotypy and increase engagement during a classroom free play activity. Results indicated that the intervention was effective in decreasing vocal stereotypy and increasing engagement in functional block play. Motor stereotypy was variable, but was lower across intervention conditions compared to baseline.
 
114. National Survey of Special Educators: Communication Use for Students With Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE ANDZIK (The Ohio State University ), John Schaefer (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: The nations schools support a large group of students requiring the assistance of augmentative and alternate communication (AAC). According to the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS, 2006) 53.1% of students with intellectual disability and 78.7% of students with Autism have a lot of trouble communicating or dont communicate at all. It is currently unknown what types of training and supports special education teachers require or are receiving to meet the needs of these students. A convenience sample of 3,200 teachers were surveyed about the following topics: (a) number and description of students they serve that do not have a functional ways of communicating, (b) the efforts teachers to support AAC adoption, and (c) the type and length of training the teacher has had. Using a chi-squared analysis we found correlation between amounts of training the teacher has received and the communication acceptability of their students. This study will help drive continued discussion about how educators can further support the communication access for all students.
 
115. Evaluating Techniques for Thinning Reinforcement via Chained Schedules With Two Brothers With Autism
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA ROBISON (University of North Texas), Joshua Jessel (Child Study Center), Hillary Kirk (Child Study Center), Ruth Whipple (Child Study Center), Einar T. Ingvarsson (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Chained schedules are often recommended for escape-maintained problem behavior when thinning reinforcement during treatment (Hagopian, Boelter, & Jarmolowicz, 1998). We evaluated two ways of fading reinforcement via chained schedules with two young brothers with Autism who exhibited multiply-maintained, severe problem behavior. An interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA; Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014) was conducted with each sibling to determine the socially-mediated variables contributing to their problem behavior. After the maintaining variables had been identified, functional communication training was implemented and successfully reduced the problem behavior of both participants. In the subsequent treatment phase, two different techniques for thinning reinforcement were incorporated using chained schedules. Jax was required to complete a number of demands before the reinforcer was presented. Jace was required to appropriately engage with alternative activities or transition with the therapists for a scheduled duration. Problem behavior remained low for both participants as the number of demands was increased (Jax) and the duration of required appropriate play/transitioning (Jace) was progressively increased. We suggest that chained schedules may be adaptable to situations in which both positive and negative reinforcement maintain problem behavior.
 
116. Effects of Varying Number of Trials in a Trial-Based Functional Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ARTHUR GLENN DOWDY (Melmark/Temple University)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: The trial-based FA is an abbreviated FA procedure with emerging empirical support (Bloom, Iwata, Fritz, 2011; Lambert, Bloom, and Irvin, 2012). The trial-based FA, which is conducted in the individual’s natural environment(s) by inserting test and control conditions into typical activities, is potentially advantageous because it requires less time than the standard FA. However, previous studies have differed in the number of trials in the trial-based FA; therefore, the minimum number of trials necessary to determine behavioral function in the trial-based FA is unclear. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the correspondence between results of a trial-based and a standard FA for three participants, and to determine the minimum number of trials necessary for experts to determine a behavioural function from the results of the trial-based FAs. Trial-based and standard FAs were completed for three individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. Results were then provided to experienced behavior analysts to determine the correspondence between analyses. The percentage of agreement of correspondence between the trial-based FAs and the standard FAs was consistently under 30% for 5, 10, 15, and 20 trials. The results suggest that the efficiency of assessment may not be improved by increasing the number of trials in the trial-based FA.
 
117. Employing Sight Reading Technique To Teach A Child With Autism To Read
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
POOJA PANESAR (Kaizora Consultants), Antony Mwangi (Kaizora consultants)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Reading is an important skill that allows individuals to navigate their environment, open them up to whole new worlds and ideas as well as promoting independence and is widely viewed as a skill that sets individuals up for success and progress in every other facet of life. Children with autism experience difficulties learning skills especially abstract ones like reading. Sight reading is a technique in which individuals are taught to automatically recognize whole words (important and high frequency) as opposed to learning letter- sound associations and spelling patterns. It has been found to be an effective way to teach individuals with significant cognitive disabilities. This study shows the effectiveness and functionality of teaching an autistic child to read using sight reading technique A 9yr old autistic boy was instructed to read whole words from flash cards with gradual fading of prompts until he could read the words independently. Once a set (6) of words was considered learned ( scoring 90-100 % for two consecutive days), he moved on to a new set. Sentences containing words he’d learned two months ago were presented to him again and he was asked to read. He took 7 sessions to learn the first set of words and then 3 sessions to learn the second set of words. After 2 months of learning the 1st set of words, he was retested and found to recall them 96% of the time. He had a cold when he was learning the 1st set and it may have affected his performance. Previously,he had been learning to read by blending but his rate of acquisition and generalization was quite low and consequently sight reading tried out. The data is limited to the few months of school he had left but is set to continue when he resumes school. It would be interesting to see which of the two techniques is generally more effective with autistic children. Also, a longitudinal study would provide some insights into the challenges or success of using sight reading technique.
 
118. Polyvagal Theory Improves Dental Desensitization Programs for Children With Intellectual Disability
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY MARGARET MILLER (Long Island University), John C. Neill (Long Island University)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) often avoid or escape dental procedures. Dental professionals typically resort to restraints, sedation or general anesthesia, which are dangerous, alter results and may increase future problem behaviors. Desensitization programs can increase patient compliance. Polyvagal theory, proposed by Stephen Porges, focuses on prevention of biological setting events such as stress responses. The purpose of our research is to determine if a Polyvagal intervention would improve cooperation with dental procedures for individuals with a diagnosis of ID. The participants for this study were two children with a diagnosis of ID and Autism Spectrum Disorder and their ABA instructor. Pilot data indicated high escape behavior. Procedure: A desensitization program was modified with a task analysis with forward chain presentation to facilitate child compliance. The instructor was trained in therapeutic presence and assessed with a therapeutic inventory. Through direct observation, the researcher rated the instructor using a Likert-like scale. All observations yielded high rates of therapeutic performance in adherence with Polyvagal theory. Current data illustrates an increasing trend in patient compliance for one subject, indicating the effective value of integrating Polyvagal therapy techniques into dental desensitization programs. Treatment and data collection will begin shortly for the second subject.
 
119. A Comparison of Verbal and In-Vivo Choice Making in the Assessment of an Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
GUNSUNG LEE (The University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa), Deva Carrion (University of Iowa), Jennifer Andersen (University of Iowa), Kristy DePalma (The University of Iowa), Anna Ryan (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Studies have suggested that there is not always concordances between what people do and what they say. The purpose of the current study was to compare hierarchies of potential reinforcers generated by verbal (i.e., interview) concurrent operants assessment (COA) with those generated by in-vivo COA in an adolescent diagnosed with ASD and his caregivers. We present data from this participants behavioral assessment in a clinic for challenging behaviors. All sessions were completed in a clinic room. Inter-observer agreement was calculated across 30% of sessions and averaged 100%. In the verbal assessment, a therapist conducted a concurrent operants verbal interview with Ken and his parents separately. Ken was asked his preference for two potential reinforcers and his caregivers were asked what they believed Ken would choose. During the in-vivo portion Ken was allowed to allocate time to one of two choice options involving different potential reinforcers. The results of the verbal assessment showed that both Ken and his parents consistently chose the option associated with toys. The in-vivo assessment results also showed that Ken consistently allocated his time to the choice option that included toys. All in all, the two assessment methods yielded the same preference for positive reinforcement (i.e., tangible).
 
120. Eye Movement and Gaze Differences Related to False Belief Understand and Autism
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
NADIR MOHAMED BALBA (Oregon Health and Science University), Garet Lahvis (Oregon Health and Science University)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty understanding that another person may harbor a false belief that contrasts with reality. These children also often avoid making eye contact. The current study uses an animated narrative to examine the relationship between where a child looks during a scene and whether they understand the perspective of a character. ASD and typical children watched an animation featuring a character searching for a marble that hides beneath different shells. While the character looks away, the marble moves to different shells. We tracked their eye movement to see how often and how long they looked at the character’s eyes, and the marble itself. We then asked each child where the character thinks the marble is hiding. Children with ASD were more likely to incorrectly answer this question and spent less time looking at the character’s eyes. Irrespective of diagnosis, children who answered incorrectly spent more time looking at the marble, but spent a similar amount of time looking at the character’s eyes. This is evidence that where a child fixates their gaze is related to their ability to demonstrate Theory of Mind, but the causal direction of this relationship remains a question.
 
121. A Comparison of Descriptive Assessment and Trial Based Functional Analysis to Drive Function Based Treatment
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER JONES (The Learning Tree Inc.), Caitlin Kite (The Learning Tree Inc.), Karri Humphries (The Learning Tree Inc.), Marc Williams (The Learning Tree Inc.)
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Functional analysis protocols are very well established within the literature and are considered best practice within the field (Hanley, Iwata, and McCord, 2003). Experimental functional analysis protocols may not be possible within public school classrooms. Furthermore, these methods may not be the most appropriate approach to identify functions of problem behaviors that occur within a more naturalistic setting (Bloom, Iwata, Fritz, Roscoe, & Carreau, 2011). Bloom and colleagues found that a trial-based functional analysis protocol demonstrated similar results as compared to traditional functional analysis. The trial-based sessions were completed within daily classroom activities. The use of descriptive assessment is another practice that is widely used in education to determine the function of problem behaviors. The current study seeks to compare the results of descriptive assessment and a trial based functional analysis protocol as described in Bloom, (2011). Next, function based treatment was identified for a student with autism based on the results of the assessments. The treatment package included: token economy with response cost, functional communication training, and non-contingent escape. Overall, results showed that the descriptive assessment and trial-based functional analysis identified consistent potential functions. Furthermore, the treatment package data showed a decreasing trend in all problem behaviors.
 
122. Trial-Based Functional Analysis of Tantrum in a School Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RASHA BARUNI (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), Jenny von Rosen (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi ), Caitlin Moulton (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi ), Elizabeth Hudson (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi )
Discussant: Sacha Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Hundreds of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of treatments for problem behavior based on an understanding of its function (Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003). A functional analysis (FA) is an assessment tool used to determine potential environmental variables that maintain problem behavior. Sigafoos and Saggers (1995) described a modified FA consisting of a 1-min test segment, during which an EO and contingency for problem behavior were present, followed by a 1-min control segment, during which the reinforcer was available continuously. Segments were terminated if and when problem behavior occurred. These procedures warrant further examination because of their potential to extend functional analysis methodology to classroom settings, allowing teachers to conduct them under more naturalistic conditions. Furthermore, few studies have examined the use of functional analysis of tantrum behavior (Vollmer, Northup, Ringdahl, LeBlanc, and Chauvin, 1996; Wilder, Chen, Atwell, Pritchard, and Weinstein, 2006). In the current study, we systematically replicated the trial-based FA described by Sigafoos and Saggers to assess the function of tantrum behavior displayed by one boy with autism. Results indicated that the FA produced differentiated outcomes for the participant.
 
123. The Use of the Social Skills Module Training to Teach Appropriate Communication Skills to a Adolescent With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MARK E SIMMONDS (Missouri State University), Linda G. Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University), Megan Boyle (Missouri State University), Rose A. Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), David Goodwin (Associate Professor, Missouri State University)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of video modeling (VM) on-line instructional modules, to increase socially appropriate skills with an adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Using an ABAB Reversal design, direct observations of the participants' identified target behaviors were collected two times per week. Generalization was provided to the participant throughout the study in a community setting. Data revealed an increase in the participants ability to start, maintain, and end a conversation with same-aged peers as well as an increase in the number of times the participant emitted the targeted sub skills with online module training, provided social sessions and coaching opportunities. There was a decrease in these behaviors when the intervention package was withdrawn. In addition to current research this study complements evidence that a combined intervention presented via computer may be a beneficial method for addressing social skill difficulties for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
 
124. Exploring an Effective Interprofessional Staff Training Model: Application for Teachers Working With Children Diagnosed Wiith Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LINA SLIM-TOPDJIAN (ASAP-A Step Ahead Program, LLC)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The increased prevalence of Autism has generated increased enrollment in schools requiring teachers to acquire the specialized skills needed to address the unique challenges facing children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. At the same time, however, budget cuts have generated a shortage of qualified professionals with expertise in autism interventions. As teachers we are frequently challenged with incorporating and implementing specialized strategies across professional disciplines when working with children diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, we often receive minimal, ineffective or no training on how to do so. This study suggests a theoretical model for effective staff training, which improves intervention outcome, and enhances sustained skill acquisition. Specifically, this study investigates the impact that a Staff Training Model consisting of the Staff Training Procedures (STP) of Video Self-Monitoring (VSM), Performance Feedback (PF) and Reflection (R) with and without Mentoring has on sustained and generalized teacher performance and on Procedural Integrity, on two Dependent Variables - application of the Learn Unit (LU) and Rate of Effective Instruction (ROI). Results revealed that the STP appeared to enhance teacher performance and sustainability of Procedural Integrity. The greatest improvement and most consistent performance was observed among teachers who received STP plus Mentoring as opposed to STP alone. In conclusion, adding Mentoring to an existing STP appears to enhance teacher performance and Procedural Integrity with sustainable outcomes. The possibility of using VSM as a skill acquisition procedure is highlighted. Practical and theoretical implications for interprofessional practice are discussed.
 
125. Effects of Rapid Toilet Training and Video Priming on Toileting Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ERIC ANDERSON (Haugland Learning Center; Western Michigan University), Amanda Fishley (Haugland Learning Center), Kelly Kohler (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of a rapid toilet training procedure on the toileting behavior of a preschool student with autism. The dependent variables were the number of correct and incorrect toileting behaviors (e.g., voids in toilet, pulling pants up and down, washing and drying hands). The independent variable was a rapid toilet training procedure that included rapid toilet training (i.e., scheduled sits), video priming, and positive reinforcement implemented in an educational setting utilizing a positive reinforcement based approach. During baseline, the participant had an average of .76 toileting accidents per day with a range of 0-2 per day. After the introduction of the treatment package, toileting accidents decreased to zero accidents per day and correct toileting behaviors increased to mastery criterion. Underwear tolerance was introduced before fading the intervention. After the intervention was faded, correct toileting behaviors maintained. A replication and component analysis are recommended to differentiate treatment effects.
 
126. Targeting Reading Fluency Through Brief Experimental Analysis and Evidence-Based Intervention for a Child With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SHENGTIAN WU (Mississippi State University), Emily Seals Mathis (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Carlen Henington (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Repeated Reading (RR) and Paired Reading (PR) have long been recognized as effective interventions in improving reading fluency (Foster, Ardoin, & Binder 2013; Macdonald, 2010). However, there were few researches that examined the effectiveness of RR and PR in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Especially, there were even fewer researches targeting at improving reading fluency of children with low-functioning ASD (LFA). Thus, the purpose of this study is to improve reading fluency of a child with LFA through BEA and evidence-based interventions (e.g. RR and PR). First, in order to have child engage in reading, the clinician provided an Ipad game as a reinforcer contingent upon finishing reading a passage. Second, the clinician conducted brief experimental analysis (BEA) by alternating RR and PR. Then, the clinician provided RR in the rest of sessions because RR was a more effective intervention than paired reading. The percentage of nonoverlapped data was 84%, which indicates that the intervention is was effective. However, it is important to note that he exhibited significant behavior difficulties on the final day of SAC and his performance was impacted, resulting in a lower than expected score.
 
127. Using Mobile Technology to Reduce Engagement in Stereotypy: Preliminary Findings
Domain: Applied Research
ISABELLE PRÉFONTAINE (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often engage in stereotypy, which may interfere with ongoing activities and social interactions. To address this issue, we developed an iOS app, the iSTIM (individual stereotypy treatment integrated modules), designed to support parents in reducing stereotypy in their child with autism. The purpose of our study is to preliminary test the effects of the iSTIM on the behavior of children with autism spectrum disorders using university students as behavior change agents. We implemented the procedures recommended by the iSTIM and examined their effects on the stereotypy and appropriate behavior of children with ASD. To date, four children between the ages of 3 and 8 have completed their participation in the research project and five other children are currently participating in various phases of the study. Using the iSTIM reduced engagement in stereotypy while increasing appropriate engagement in three of the first four participants. Our preliminary results indicate that following the instructions of the iSTIM may lead to reductions engagement in stereotypy, but that some of the decision-making algorithms may benefit from modifications before beginning testing with parents.
 
128. A Consecutive Case Series of Intensive Toilet Training for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
LAURA BARNES (University of Missouri - Thompson Center), Anna Hogg (University of Missouri - Thompson Center), Anne Doyle (University of Missouri - Thompson Center), Jenny Teator (University of Missouri - Thompson Center), Casey J. Clay (University of Missouri - Thompson Center), SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Toileting is an important life skill that can often affect quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Incontinence can adversely impact socialization as well as community placements. Despite its importance, there have only been a handful of studies examining toilet training interventions most of which have demonstrated that some variation of behavior interventions are effective. To date, there have not been any studies that provide a comprehensive examination of the outcomes of intensive toilet training. Therefore, the purpose of this study is use a consecutive case series design to present the outcome of an intensive toilet training program. A consecutive case series design includes all data that meet a certain criteria, regardless of outcome. The participants were 12 individuals with ASD who participated in a toilet training clinic. Treatment consisted of frequent prompting, feedback when the child was incontinent, positive practice, and reinforcement for appropriate voiding. The results showed that in most cases, the participants continent voids increased at follow-up (at least two weeks after initial training). This study shows that an intensive toilet training program is effective for a majority of children who participated and that the effects were relatively quick.
 
129. Inclusive Special Interest Groups to Teach Social Skills
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA F. NOEL (Western Kentucky University), Krista Cummings (Western Kentucky University), Hillary Jenkins (Western Kentucky University)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Difficulty with social interactions is a defining characteristic of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, DSM-V). This study investigated the use of special interest groups in conjunction with social skills training to address social deficits present in participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The structure of this social skills group utilizes key components of evidence-based practices for social instruction for students with ASD, such as explicit teaching of social skills (Klinger and Williams, 2008), modeling and reinforcing appropriate interactions (Goldstein & McGinnis, 1997) and incorporating special interests (Koegel et al., 2012). Students with ASD and students without ASD met once weekly for 8 weeks at an after-school special interest club centered on the popular online game Minecraft. Embedded in the Minecraft Club, we used direct instruction of the social skills curriculum Skillstreaming to target individual social deficits. Data were collected using a multiple baseline across behaviors research method for three participants with ASD. Results suggest that students with ASD successfully learn targeted social skills in inclusive special interest groups. Future research should continue to examine the effects of using perseverative interests to teach skills to students with ASD.
 
130. Using Task Analysis to Teach a Student With Autism to Memorize and Dial Telephone Numbers
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JOE MWENDA (Kaizora Consultants, Kenya.)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Telephone communication has been etched into almost every aspect of human relations. Telephones help in sharing information, reporting danger and generally keep in touch with significant others. Memorizing telephone numbers of others and making calls are skills that pose a challenge to many persons with Autism making it hard for them to use this convenient technology. This poster will outline how Task Analysis was used to train an eight year old boy with Autism to memorize and dial telephone numbers of his mother and grandfather. The task was broken into five steps, each step comprising of two digits making up the ten digit telephone numbers. Baseline was established for his mothers phone number after which the respondent was trained to memorize it. He was then trained to press the numbers on a cell phone and to make a call. The same procedure was used to train him to memorize and dial his grandfathers number. At the end of the intervention the student was able to dial the numbers without errors and the skill was maintained at a score of 100% in novel environments a year after training.
 
131. The Effects of a Self-Management Strategy to Increase Social Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MEAGHAN MCCOLLOW (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorders typically receive social skills instruction in adult-facilitated formats, limiting the number of practice opportunities available to students. This study sought to provide a comprehensive intervention model addressing concerns related to the generalization of social skills, a chronic concern in the field of social skills. This presentation will discuss the results of an investigation involving the addition of self-management strategies to typical practice. That is, small group, adult-facilitated social skills training typically used in public school settings for elementary students with autism spectrum disorders. The investigation was guided by the following research questions: 1. Is the addition of individualized self-monitoring strategies to adult-mediated social skills training in the public school setting an effective means for increasing positive social behaviors for students with autism spectrum disorders? 2. Does the addition of a self-monitoring strategy affect generalization of positive social behaviors? Results from this study indicate an increase in social behaviors when the self-monitoring strategy is in place. Information from this study can be used to direct future research in the area of social skills interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, including strategies for increasing the effectiveness of social skills training and generalization of social skills.
 
132. Response Interruption and Redirection With Stimulus Control to Decrease Stereotypy in a Student With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
KAITLIN M GOULD (University of Massachusetts Boston/Melmark New England), Jill Marie Harper (Melmark New England), Emily Gillich (Melmark New England )
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often engage in repetitive movements that interfere with academic and clinical programming (Potter, Hanley, Augustine, Clay, & Phelps, 2013). Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) and stimulus control are interventions that have successfully decreased stereotypy (Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, & Chung, 2007; Rapp, Patel, Ghezzi, OFlaherty, & Titterington, 2009). The current study examined the effects of RIRD using a multiple schedule on the stereotypic behavior of a student with ASD. Before treatment, high levels of motor stereotypy were observed across leisure and academic conditions. During intervention, a matching task was presented in the presence of a red card (Component 1) and stereotypy resulted in RIRD. Directly following this session, noncontingent access to a preferred item was provided in the presence of a green card (Component 2) and there were no programmed consequences for stereotypy. Baseline probes were conducted within an alternative setting to examine generalization of the stimulus control procedure. Preliminary results indicate that response interruption and redirection with stimulus control is effective for decreasing the frequency of motor stereotypy. With a moderate level of confidence due to limited data points at this time, we can expect a decreasing trend for motor stereotypy with continued intervention.
 
133. Using Incidental Teaching and Discrete Trial Training to Teach Picture Communication to Student With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JOE MWENDA (Kaizora Consultants, Kenya.), Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Consultants)
Discussant: Jason Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Communication is vital for helping humans express their desires and to relate with others appropriately. Persons with Autism however face challenges developing universal modes of communication; some may not develop speech and can only use alternative modes of communication. This poster will outline how a non-verbal nine year old boy with Autism and without imitation skills was trained to communicate using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to request for desirables in his environment. The participant attends school at Kaizora Consultants in Nairobi, Kenya. Incidental Teaching was used during his outdoor sessions where pictures were stuck on the surfaces of his favorite play structures which he was prompted to pull and hand to an instructor before he could access the structure. The participant was then trained using Discrete Trial Training to request for edibles and other reinforcers in a class set-up. Prior to the intervention baseline was established and his manding skills were tested using the Verbal Behavior and Milestones and Placement Program (VB MAPP). Significant improvement was illustrated by the data and the VB MAPP manding indicators also confirmed an improvement in his specific mands and the spontaneity of his manding.
 
134. Pilot Test of a Model for Remote Provision of Evidence-Based Services for Rural Families of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Kathleen Simcoe (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), MARIE MARTINEZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Alacia Stainbrook (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center), A. Pablo Juárez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Zachary Warren (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Outreach services are provided to families who recently received a diagnosis of autism. Families of children under three referred by the early intervention system for a psychological evaluation and who reside in any county within the service area are eligible. As part of this service, families are provided with two home visits following the completion of the evaluation. During these visits, a Consultant provides the family with evidence-based strategies to facilitate social communication, increase independence, build play skills, and reduce challenging behaviors, within targeted daily routines to build caregiver and provider capacity to address the needs of children with autism. Families residing in a subset of rural counties are eligible for expanded services, including two additional home visits. These families are already receiving services from an Early Interventionist (EI) through early intervention, whose participation is required. During sessions, the Consultant works with the caregiver and EI to implement strategies recommended previously. Service also includes two bi-weekly clinic visits, including remote attendance of the Consultant, who watches a live video feed and provides coaching via Bluetooth. Data collected on satisfaction with services, and skill acquisition. Implications for future service expansion discussed. Additional data available following project completion in February 2016.
 
135. Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders in Family Settings
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MALENA ARGUMEDES (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal), Serge Larivée (Université de Montréal)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Most children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) engage in challenging behaviors, which often require intensive behavioral intervention. It is difficult for parents to plan and implement those interventions without specialized guidance. A solution to this challenge is adapting the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model (PTR; Dunlap et al., 2010) to family settings. The PTR aims to reduce challenging behaviors and increase apporiate behaviors by identifying the behavioral function and providing a plan for modifying the antecedents and the consequences as well as for teaching an adaptive behavior. In our study, the PTR was implemented for eight weeks with eight families of children with ASD aged from 3 to 8 years old within a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants. The PTR was effective in reducing one challenging behavior and increasing one adaptive behavior for seven of eight participants. Levels of parental treatment integrity ranged from 50 to 100% (M = 74%). Data are still being collected for this project, but preliminary results show that parents can effectively be trained to implement multi-component behavioral intervention programs to produce desirable changes in their child’s behaviors.
 
136. Decreasing Rigidity in Child With ASD by Establishing Flexibility Within a Picture Activity Schedule
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY DOUGLAS (Beacon ABA Services), Paulo Guilhardi (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Rigidity or inflexibility is one of the diagnostic characteristics of ASD (DSM-V Citation).We investigated the effectiveness of using video modeling and graduated guidance to transfer control of aspects of a rigid routine from the previous history, to a schedule (controlled by others).The routine involved (a) activities on a visual schedule, (b) engaging in a specified social initiation, and (c) doing the activity at specified location. A 4-year-old girl, (Mary) diagnosed with autism who displayed repetitive play, rigidity about location, and deficits in social initiation participated. A multiple baseline across components (a/b) and (c) was used. Mary was taught to check a schedule specifying an available activity and person to play with, find the person, bring the person to the activity, play with the person until criterion, and then repeat the process until the end of the schedule. Although there were opportunities for her to engage appropriately in play tasks in different areas of the house (signaled in the visual schedule), Mary did not acquire the location until video modeling and graduate guidance were introduced. May demonstrated generalization across people and activities on the schedule and rates of inappropriate topographies of behaviors were reduced.
 
137. Comparing Standardized Language Assessment Outcomes of Two Parent-Implemented Interventions for Young Children Diagnosed With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JODIE ANN JUSTICE (Rowan University), Bianca Pizzo-Coleman (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to compare two adjunctive parent interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Applied Behavior Analysis based on Skinners Analysis of Verbal Behavior (ABA/VB) and Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), a non-behavior analytic intervention. Ten parents received 16 in-home sessions over 12 weeks in which they were trained on the assigned intervention. Standardized assessments were administered at baseline, immediately following treatment, and at 3-month post-treatment follow-up. Standardized assessments evaluating language outcomes included the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS). For the MSEL, no statistically significant differences were found given the small sample size, but inspection of the visual data indicated that participants in both groups improved performance over time on the Receptive and Expressive Language Subscales. On the CSBS, a 2 (condition) x 3(time) ANCOVA found a statistically significant main effect for time for the Speech Composite (F (2,7) = 8.62, p = .013). Children in both groups increased speech over time, with a significant increase from end-of-treatment to 3-month follow-up in the ABA/VB group. Results from the standardized measures will also be compared to rates of joint attention and verbal behavior observed during structured parent-child interactions.
 
138. An Evaluation of Modified Behavioral Relaxation Training on a Child With Autism
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
MARY HALBUR (St. Cloud State University ), Sara M. Athman (MAWSECO), Eric Rudrud (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: The effects of Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT) on a 11-year-old male with autism were investigated. A modified version of the behavioral relaxation scale was used to measure 12 relaxation positions during training. Three positions were prompted at a time using least to most prompting until mastery criteria were reached. The prompting hierarchy consisted of visuals, vocal, partial physical, and full physical prompts. Following mastery of all positions a multielement design was used to compare 3 conditions that included: vocally prompted relaxation, shown visuals and allowed to mand, and a no relaxation condition. Conditions were counterbalanced and target problem behaviors were measured in the hour following each condition. Results suggested that the child was able to learn the 12 body positions. Additionally target problem behavior durations in the hour following were lowest when the child was prompted to relax. These results correlate to the social validity measure distributed to staff members at the start and end of training. The possible efficacy of BRT in a school setting is discussed.
 
139. Using Matrix Training to Teach Appropriate Communication During Sociodramatic Play in a Child With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
HAYLEY SEDGWICK (St. Lawrence College, Behavioural Psychology), Gary A. Bernfeld (St. Lawrence College, Behavioral Psychology)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Play skills are important for children to develop because expand social and communicative skills (Lewis, 2003). Children with autism show impaired play skills because of repetitive or stereotypic behaviour (Jung & Sainato, 2013). Matrix training is defined as a generative form of instruction and it is commonly used to teach communication (Axe & Sainato, 2010). After some skill combinations are taught, other untaught skill combinations within the matrix are tested for generative learning and responding (MacManus et al., 2015). A multiple-probe design was employed to test whether matrix training can teach play actions and language use during sociodramatic play in a 6-year-old boy with autism in an intensive behavioural intervention setting. Scripted actions and vocalizations were each arranged in a two-dimensional matrix and probe data were collected for correct responding with both components of the target play skills. The data showed an increasing trend and after teaching of three target combinations, the participant generalized four of the six alternative untrained combinations for actions and vocalizations. The mean level of acquired combinations was 83.33%. A visual analysis, using PEM, showed that the use of two parallel matrices was effective to concurrently increase both action and vocalization components of play.
 
140. Comparison of Reinforcement Models on Maladaptive Behavior of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
JANA GOLDBERG (Verbal Behavior Associates), Matthew C. Howarth (Verbal Behavior Associates), Kerry Udo (Verbal Behavior Associates)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: A delayed AB design across participants was utilized in this study to assess the effectiveness of the Self & Match intervention in reducing aberrant behaviors and increasing self-management skills. The study was conducted in each participants home environment within a major metropolitan area. Participants were selected after pre-intervention baseline measures indicated high rates of aberrant behaviors. Baseline measures included assessing the percent of accuracy in which participants were able to tact their own behavior during specified time intervals. Furthermore, participants were all assessed for and were found to have the Naming capability in repertoire. The dependent variable in this experiment was the frequency of aberrant behaviors. The independent variable in this study was the Self & Match intervention, a derivative of the differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure, which requires clients to respond to a series of individualized survey questions and compare Parent and/or Therapist responses. The results for Participants A-D are pending completion of the Self & Match intervention package.
 
141. Using a Chaining Prompt within Matrix Training to Promote Acquisition and Recombinitive Generalization of Tacting Two-Digit Numbers
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER D. DOLL (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea Clements (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kendall Lanning (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tamara L. Pawich (Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology), Jennifer Felber (Summit Educational Resources)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in expressive language. Matrix training is a procedure that has been used to teach expressive language and evaluate re-combinative generalization of targets. In the current investigation, two children with autism were taught to tact two-digit numbers. The matrix consisted of the tens position on the first axis (20 - 90) and ones position (2 - 9) on the second axis producing a matrix of 64 two-digit numbers. Pre-treatment baseline probes resulted in zero levels of independent responding for all numbers for both participants. Eight two-digit numbers were taught using chaining and progressive prompt delay procedures. The chaining prompt involved presenting flashcards with each the two-digit and one-digit number (e.g., 20 and 3 for 23), while simultaneously vocally modeling the correct number. Post-treatment baseline probes with Marty showed correct responding for all trained and untrained two-digit numbers except for two numbers in the matrix. Standard prompt delay procedures were used to teach the two unlearned numbers. Post-treatment probes with Spencer resulted in complete correct recombinitive generalization and no additional training was required. This treatment procedure will be evaluated with these participants to teach three digit numbers.
 
142. Effect of Listener's Question to Establish Reporting Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SAWAKO KAWAMINAMI (University of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: The children with ASD tend to have difficulty of reporting what they did. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the question from the listener facilitated their reporting behavior. The participants were two children with ASD who went to the elementary school. The target behavior was to report their task and play in which they engaged during the session. There were four tasks and four play opportunities in the session. After the end of the session, the listener asked two questions, (1) What kind of task (or play) did you do today? and the number of the topic and clause of their reporting was the independent variable. The dependent variable was that the listener asked the questions right after each task and play, and if they couldn't answer the question correctly, the listener prompted their answer by pointing or modeling verbally. On the baseline condition, both of them couldn't report a lot and report unrelated things. However, the number of the topic and clause of reporting increased gradually on the intervention condition. One participant showed maintenance on the probe condition. We discussed the effect of the question in the point of view of stimulus control.
 
143. Flipping Contingencies: Ignorantly Continuous Versus Strictly Contingent Use of Positive Punishment
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JOSEPH CORPA (Youngstown State University), Stephen Ray Flora (Youngstown State University)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Children pose a danger when they engage in aggression and self injurious behavior (SIB). For protection safeguards may be put in place. But without understanding their functions, the safeguards are being used ignorantly. Although ignorantly continuous safeguards may appear to be effective, they may be dysfunctional in the long term exasperating and intensifying aggression and SIB. A 14 year old, non-verbal, approximately 5 8 and 250 pounds boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently engaged in SIB and aggression. As a safeguard, he was made to carry a stuffed backpack in each hand each time he left the classroom. Despite carrying around the weighted bags the child continued to engage in aggression and SIB. We hypothesized that carrying the bags was aversive to the child and flipped the contingencies making carrying the bags contingent on the occurrence aggression or SIB. Using Positive Punishment in this strictly contingent manner aggression and SIB were reduced to near zero levels. Once aggression and SIB were reduced and his hands were freed, the child was taught to use his hands in appropriate and reinforcing ways
 
144. Assessing the Effects of Different Methods of Data Collection on Pace of Instruction
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE BAUER (Western Michigan University), Thomas Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: A. Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Data collection is an important part of conducting Discrete Trial Training (DTT) as it allows practitioners and researchers to determine whether their treatments are effective. One consequence of collecting data is that it increases the duration of the intertrial interval, resulting in behavior aides delivering a slow pace of instruction. Previous research has demonstrated that a quick pace of instruction when conducting DTT results in children engaging in higher rates of correct responding and lower rates of problem behavior. We evaluated two methods of data collection: 5-trial probes and 20-trials being used at an Early Intervention Center. Behavior aides were presented with a different data sheet each session, and observers collected data on the frequency of trials presented in the first and last 30 minutes of their session. The purpose of this poster is to display the effects of these types of data collection on pace of instruction in behavior aides in an Early Intervention setting.
 

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