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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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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #117
CE Offered: BACB
Training Professionals How to Do Conduct Function Based Assessments in Schools
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
4:30 PM–6:20 PM
Studio AB, Niveau 2
CE Instructor: Sean D. Casey, Ph.D.
Chair: Sean D. Casey (The Iowa Department of Education; Heartland Pediatric Feeding Disorders Services)
Discussant: David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: The use of Functional Analysis (FA; Iwata et al., 1982/1994) has been established as the standard for determining the function of a specific problem behavior for several years. The technology has extended its initial applications with adults whom engaged in severe self-injury to: 1) persons of all ages, 2) with various levels of functioning (e.g., persons with multiple severe disabilities to typically developing children), 3) who display different topographical forms of challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, destruction, elopement, etc.), and 4) across various settings (i.e., residential settings, hospitals and clinics, and schools). Thus, FAs have been demonstrating to be an assessment technology that has broad reaching implications for nearly all individuals who display challenging behaviors. As a result, the field has produced various procedural modifications (i.e., Indirect Assessments, Descriptive Assessments, and other Experimental Analyses) of the FA that make up the constellation of technologies under the umbrella term "Functional Based Assessments" (FBA) because of the various limitations of FA's. These limitations (e.g., lack of training, time to conduct) are often cited as reasons for why FBA technologies are seldom used is schools. To permit broader usage of FBAs, specifically in school based settings, having professionals who possessed the skills and knowledge (i.e., breadth) of the technologies that make up the FBA continuum would better permit the "system" to have the capability to work with a larger universe of students who possessed challenging behaviors. In this symposium, four different teams will discuss their the process of training educational staff in the continuum of FBA technologies and discuss the resulting outcomes for the targeted school-based professional trainees who were trained by each model as well as the concomitant outcomes for the students and consequently the schools who were benefited by increased access and usage of FBA technologies. Finally, discussion will center of the broader implications of these training models.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Functional Analysis, Functional Assessment, Skills Training, Telehealth
Improving Outcomes for Students by Advancing School-Based Functional Behavior Assessment Practice
(Service Delivery)
BRENDA J. BASSINGTHWAITE (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Jayme Mews (University of Iowa), Julianne Elizabeth St John (University of Iowa), Brooke Natchev (University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Sean D. Casey (The Iowa Department of Education), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: IDEA ’97 and continued reauthorizations have made Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) a requirement of school-based behavior assessment when a student’s behavior is impacting his or her success at school. However, FBAs often lack adequate direct observation and experimental analyses to appropriately identify the function(s) of behavior (Roscoe, Phillips, Kelly, Farber, & Dube, 2015). To address this concern, the Iowa Department of Education supported training school-based behavior teams in the design and procedures of experimental analyses. Training activities included didactic lecture and in vivo behavior assessment in the school and clinic setting. Trainees demonstrated an increase use of preference assessments, concurrent operants assessments, antecedent analyses, and functional analyses in their practice. Data collected from the 20015-16 school year indicated that a sample of students who were assessed experienced, on average, a 30% increase in engagement in appropriate behaviors and a 64% decrease in levels of problem behavior. Additionally, when time-out and restraint were used prior to the behavior teams’ assessment, substantial decreases in frequency and duration of the time-out and/or restraint were observed. We will discuss the training model, the advances in practice, and the positive outcomes for students in the state of Iowa.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Web-Based Training Program in Functional Behavioral Assessment and Interventions With Special Education Schools in Singapore
(Service Delivery)
ANURADHA DUTT (Nanyang Technological University), Rahul Nair (Nanyang Technological University), Alison Cheng (Nanyang Technological University), Shengyu Leong (Nanyang Technological University), Marilyn Tan (Nanyang Technological University)
Abstract: The primary aim of this study was to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a web based training program in the area of functional behavior assessments (FBA) and behavioral interventions. As higher levels of challenging behavior are observed across students in special education (SPED) schools in Singapore, this training program was offered to special educators that are involved in the direct care of these children. To cater to a larger target audience, the training program was offered across two instructional modalities: a) traditional face to face workshops and b) Web Based Instruction (WBI). Specifically, the study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of each instructional modality in meeting the professional development needs of SPED school teachers in the area of FBA and behavioral interventions. We hypothesized that both instructional modalities would be equally effective in meeting professional development needs of SPED school teachers. The descriptive and quantitative outcomes of this study would suggest that WBI could be used as an alternative sustainable tool for conducting future training workshops in FBA and behavioral interventions for in-service teachers in Singapore and worldwide via online learning platforms. Thus, building human resource capacity for meeting unserved needs.
Training School-Based Consultants to Conduct Data-Based Functional Assessments
(Service Delivery)
John E. Staubitz (TRIAD, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center), Lauren A. Weaver (Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectr), Verity Rodrigues (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD), A. Pablo Juárez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), BRENDA J. BASSINGTHWAITE (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Even when practitioners understand the importance of function-based interventions for challenging behaviors, their skill and confidence deficits may prevent them from incorporating valid data within the Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) they are required to develop and implement. The Tennessee Department of Education contracted board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) from Vanderbilts Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) to pilot a program training 8 school-based consultants (e.g. school psychology, special education) to improve the quality of their FBAs for students. In a small-scale replication of the work of Bassingthwaite, Casey, Wacker and colleagues, TRIAD BCBAs conducted behavioral skills training using a combination of live and telepresence support to teach trainees how to plan, conduct, and analyze preference assessments and descriptive assessments, and to synthesize assessment results into a valid and complete FBA. This presentation will include data reflecting consistent, marked improvements in trainee knowledge and self-assessment of their skills over the course of the project, along with rising procedural fidelity, inter-observer agreement, and accuracy for assessments and reports generated. These findings suggest that these training procedures are likely to result in improved FBAs conducted by school-based consultants, and include several practical implications.
The Effects of a Remote Behavioral Skills Training Package on Staff Performance in Conducting Functional Analyses
(Service Delivery)
Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (Western Michigan University), Yannick Andrew Schenk (Kennedy Krieger Institue), STEPHANIE M. PETERSON (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The present study sought to extend the current literature on utilizing behavioral skills training (BST) to teach practitioners how to implement functional analyses (FA). Using a multiple baseline design across participants, this study measured the effects of using a remote BST package on accurate implementation of FA procedures. Specifically, we used the latest HIPAA-secure teleconsultation technology and BST to train 10 practitioners who had limited formal training in FA methodologies. Each participant experienced four phases, which included baseline (only instructions with simulated clients), BST (instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback with simulated clients), post training probes (probes with simulated clients), and in-situ probes (probes with actual clients). All participants increased their performance in conducting FAs during the remote BST phase. Seven out ten participants maintained their performance at or above mastery criterion during post-training probes with simulated clients and during in-situ probes with actual clients. These results suggest that the use of remote technology for training purposes could be a cost-effective and feasible solution to increase the quality of services and number of trained professionals in underserved rural areas.



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