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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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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #462
Monday, May 29, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
DDA
Chair: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
114. Self-Management Intervention for Task Completion and Compliance of a Child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
SUSAN COPELAND (University of New Mexico), Megan Griffin (University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Although the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is high (estimated prevalence of 2%-5% of the school aged population in the US) and many individuals with FASD exhibit serous problem behaviors, relatively few empirical studies have examined interventions to decrease problem behaviors in this population. Parents of children with FASD report significant stress related to coping with their children’s challenging behaviors in the home. This study utilized a withdrawal design to examine the effects of a self-management intervention on increasing independent task completion and compliance with adult demands of a 9-year-old Native American male with FASD and ADHD. The intervention took place in the child’s home during daily routines identified by his mother as problematic. The intervention package consisted of a self-monitoring checklist and positive reinforcement for task completion and compliance. Implementation of the intervention was associated with immediate positive changes in both task completion and compliance with first demand. The participant and his mother expressed satisfaction with the intervention procedures and outcomes. Implications for continued research examining ABA interventions with this population are discussed.
 
115. Acquisition of Self-Feeding Skills for a Child with a Feeding Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
HALLIE SMITH (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Mississippi State University ), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Typically developing children and children without feeding disorders gradually develop and advance their self-feeding skills without any formalized intervention; however, children with feeding disorders are not likely to develop skills needed to self-feed or self-drink at an age appropriate level without individualized treatment (Carruth & Skinner, 2002; Peterson, Volkert, & Zeleny, 2015). Although children with feeding disorders may have met treatment goals for acceptance of liquids and solids, this likely may not translate to the child being able to independently feed themselves using those same treatment strategies (Rivas et al., 2014; Vaz, Volkert, & Piazza, 2011). Unfortunately, the literature is limited regarding treatments to increase self-feeding skills, particularly for children with feeding difficulties whose deficits are related to delays in skill development (Rivas et al., 2014). The current study explored the use of errorless learning and prompt fading procedures to increase self-feeding of a preschool-aged child with developmental delays, short gut syndrome, and feeding tube dependency. Results indicated that these procedures increased independence of self-feeding skills of both solids (with a spoon) and liquids (from an open cup). Further, findings support further exploration of the use of these procedures at increasing self-feeding skills for children with feeding disorders.
 
116. Self-Monitoring and Contingent Reinforcement to Improve Behaviors of a Child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN GRIFFIN (University of New Mexico), Susan Copeland (University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is one of the most prevalent causes of developmental disability, impacting up to 2-5% of children in the United States. Yet, evidence-based treatments for individuals with FASD are notably limited, and individuals with this diagnosis have been very underrepresented in the empirical behavior analytic literature. This study employed a withdrawal design to investigate the effects of an intervention package consisting of self-monitoring and contingent reinforcement on the behavior of an 11-year-old Hispanic male with FASD. The intervention package increased the participant’s percentage of accurate and independent task completion related to chores and homework, and decreased his rate of argumentative statements. The intervention and its effects also had strong social validity with the participant and his primary caregiver. As the first study to document a functional relation between a self-monitoring intervention and the behavior of a participant with FASD, this study begins to establish the evidence base for the effectiveness of behavior analytic interventions for this population. Implications for behavior analytic research and practice among individuals with FASD are discussed.
 
117. Comparison of a 3 and 5 Second Delay of Verbal Mands for Individuals With Developmental Delays
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
SAMUEL GARCIA (The ABRITE Organization)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Constant time delay is a prompting procedure in which a predetermined interval is inserted between an antecedent stimuli and the controlling prompt. CTD has become an effective instructional strategy in teaching skills to individuals with developmental delays, specifically verbal mands. This study examines the efficiency of a 3 second constant time delay and a 5 second constant time delay in the response rates of verbal mands with 3 individuals diagnosis with autism. Utilizing a alternating treatment design both procedures were implemented across a series of 10 minutes sessions. Results indicate increases in verbal mands across a three individuals. However, implementation of the 3 second CTD demonstrated greater efficiency of the two CTD procedures with increased response rates in the subjects.
 
118. Transitioning From Simple-General to Framed Specific Mands During Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLE IONE LARSON (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Caitlin Fulton (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Functional communication training involves teaching a mand to replace problem behavior. In cases in which problem behavior serves to obtain multiple reinforcers within the same class (e.g. multiple tangible items), it is common to teach a general, or omnibus mand that the individual can use across circumstances (e.g., can use, "More" to request multiple reinforcers). It is frequently suggested that following this initial training, FCT should then expand the specificity and complexity of the mand to better approximate normal language, but we are aware of little research that has examined the transition from simple to complex mands. The current study examined the transition from a general mand, "my way" to a specific, framed mand ("Put the _____ back please") for a young man with autism who engaged in problem behavior when various materials were rearranged. We implemented framed mand training in a multiple baseline across rearranged materials until we saw generalization of the frame across untrained materials.
 
119. A Systematic Review of Differential Reinforcement Without Extinction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNAH LYNN MACNAUL (University of Texas at San Antonio), Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement interventions typically seek to reduce a target problem behavior while increasing the use of an appropriate, alternative behavior. Extinction is a common procedure used in conjunction with differential reinforcement interventions, but in certain circumstances, extinction is not ethical or feasible. The purpose of this literature review is to review all existing studies conducted using differential reinforcement procedures without an extinction component. Using predetermined inclusion criteria, a total of 13 studies were identified, reviewed, and summarized in terms of the following: (a) participant characteristics (e.g. sex, age, and diagnosis), (b) treatment setting, (c) target behavior, (d) desired alternative behavior, (e) behavioral function, (f) type of differential reinforcement intervention, (g) intervention outcomes, and (h) whether the intervention compared with and without an extinction component. 12 studies successfully reduced challenging behavior in a total of 34 participants. The findings of this review suggests that a number of treatment options can be considered promising practices for the treatment of challenging behavior without the use of an extinction component. Of the 12 studies with positive results, 9 studies successfully reduced problem behavior by manipulating different reinforcement parameters (magnitude, immediacy, and quality), while 3 used concurrent schedules of reinforcement (e.g. differential reinforcement + noncontingent reinforcement). Implications for practitioners and future research are offered.
 
120. Improving Accuracy of Data Collection on a Psychiatric Unit for Children Diagnosed with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AIMEE SUE ALCORN (Childrens Hospital Colorado), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus), James Linares (Childrens Hospital Colorado)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: We present data from an evaluation to identify the conditions under which four direct care staff could be taught to collect accurate data. A second observer collected interobserver agreement (IOA) during an average of 30% of sessions. IOA averaged 97.8%. Using a multiple baseline across participants plus reversal design, we evaluated the effectiveness of four conditions. During the first condition, staff received a didactic training on data collection practices. During the second condition, staff was given a counter to track the frequency of target behavior occurrence. During the third condition, staff continued to use the counter and also received simplified operational definitions that included one or two topographies of target behaviors. In addition to these components, during a fourth condition, a signal was introduced to prompt data collection to occur. IOA for all four participants increased to 100% during the course of the project. Two participant’s IOA increased upon introduction of the counter only. One participant’s IOA increased upon introduction of the simplified operational definition plus the counter. The fourth participant’s IOA increased with the combination of all three treatment components. Results will be discussed in terms of their influence for identifying effective data collection practices in a therapeutic setting.
 
121. Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Effective Conversation Skills to Individuals With Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALLISON SCHMIDT (Missouri State University; The Arc of the Ozarks), Michael C. Clayton (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: A behavioral skills training (BST) package consisting of instructions, modeling an appropriate conversation, participant rehearsal, and constructive feedback, was used to teach appropriate conversation skills to three adults with developmental disabilities. A task analysis was used to define the steps of having a conversation. These steps included greetings, initiations, initiating a topic, responding, and maintaining a topic as the target skills. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants was used; an A-B-C format was embedded within the design for participants 1 and 2. Participant 3 was assessed using an A-B format. In situ was measured across three settings: each participants home; the assessment room where the sessions were held; and the lobby of the facility housing the assessment room. Latency to begin a conversation with a confederate was measured during baseline and in all in situ settings. The results of the study demonstrated the BST package was effective in increasing the appropriate conversation skills of all participants and all settings, while decreasing the amount of time it took for participants to initiate a conversation.
 
122. Assessing the Effects of and Preference for Response Blocking in Children With Self-Injurious Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER M DILLON (University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Hagopian, et al. (2015) examined a model for subtyping automatically reinforced self-injurious behavior (SIB) based on patterns of responding observed during the functional analysis (FA). The utility of this model was demonstrated through the model's ability to predict response to one form of treatment (reinforcement). Similar to reinforcement, response blocking is a common treatment component for automatically reinforced SIB (Rooker, Bonner, Dillon, Zarcone, submitted), however how SIB changes when it is blocked has not been examined across different maintaining functions and automatic subtypes. In the current study, nine children with SIB (two with socially maintained SIB, two with Subtype-2, and five with Subtype-3 automatically reinforced SIB) participated in a two-stage assessment of response blocking. In stage one, conditions of blocking and no blocking SIB were compared. In stage two, a blocking choice assessment -- a concurrent operant arrangement where subjects choose to have SIB blocked or not blocked was conducted. Results indicated varying levels of reduction of SIB as a function of blocking SIB across subjects. Additionally, eight out of nine participants demonstrated some preference for engaging in SIB over having their SIB blocked.
 
123. A Comparison of Modeling, Prompting, and a Multi-Component Intervention for Teaching Play Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER QUIGLEY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Melmark), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Play skills are an essential component of a learner’s repertoire to access social interactions with peers and adults. Children with developmental disabilities frequently require explicit teaching to acquire play skills rather than acquiring them through natural learning opportunities. Without targeted practice, these deficits could continue to expand, separating the children from their typically developing peers. This study aimed to teach three children with developmental disabilities independent play skills in the form of building blocks with a diagram. We evaluated three methods of teaching play skills, prompting, modeling, and a multi-component approach, within an alternating treatments design to determine which, if any, is most effective. Each teaching strategy included a three-step prompting hierarchy and was paired with an edible reinforcer delivered following independence. Successful responses at the targeted prompt level resulted in verbal praise. Levels of independence and success across teaching plans will be compared and results will be discussed.
 
124. Reducing Vocal Stereotypy With the Use of DRL and Discriminative Stimulus
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
BETSY CHEN (University of Central Oklahoma), Alexis Briana Pendarvis (University of Central Oklahoma), Mary Ann Hubbard (University of Central Oklahoma)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: The use of differential reinforcement of lower rates of behavior (DRL) is an uncommon practice used in interventions targeting stereotypy. The current research utilized the combination of DRL procedures and visual discriminative stimuli to lower the rate of vocal stereotypy. The participants were two children, aged 7 and 8 years with developmental disabilities, both exhibited high rates of vocal stereotypy. One child repeated the same word, at the rate of one word per minute. The other child repeated random non-contextual phrases at the rate of one word every 20 seconds. Using an increasing criterion design, the reduction in rate of behavior allowed occurrences of vocal stereotypy to earn reinforcement. A reinforcer assessment was conducted on each child prior to the onset of the intervention. If the child engaged in stereotypy before the elapsed time, the visual stimulus was provided, the timer was restarted, and they did not receive reinforcement for that interval. Throughout the intervention interval times were gradually increased and the intervention was generalized. Both children demonstrated reductions in the rate of behavior, with one childs vocal stereotypy being extinguished by the 15th session, while the other child exhibited much lower rates of the behavior, and was later extinguished.
 
125. The Effects of Teaching Fine Motor Skills on Acquisition of Daily Living Skills in Adults with Disabilities
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
JASMINA NALEID (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: The study investigated the effects of fine motor skills taught using Precision Teaching on daily living skills in adults with disabilities in order to increase their independence. Additionally, the study’s goal was to add to the limited body of the research on this topic. Three participants were taught to brush their hair through repeated timed practice of Big 6+6 component skills of push/pull, twist, shake, and squeeze to fluency. The research design was multiple baseline across participants. The results showed that teaching component skills of daily living skills to fluency aim is an efficient way to teach daily living skills, thus helping promote independence in adults with disabilities. Additionally, the implications of the results can be applied to teaching vocational skills to adults with disabilities.
 
126. The Effects of Self-Management using Fitbit® to Increase Walking in Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
MARREN MARIE LEON-BARAJAS (The University of Kansas), James A. Sherman (The University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) often have health concerns (e.g. obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure). Research suggests that one way to remedy these health concerns is to increase physical activity. Self-management is the use of techniques to change one’s own behavior. This study evaluates the effects of a self-management package (wearing a Fitbit®, rationales, goal-setting, self-graphing, and sensory feedback from the Fitbit®) to increase steps taken by adults with IDD. Weight was recorded as a secondary dependent variable. A multiple baseline design across three participants was used. For the first participant, the treatment package alone did not increase steps; however, after adding a tangible reinforcement component, the number of steps increased for several consecutive weeks. Weight was not affected for this participant. The other two participants, who currently are in baseline, will receive the treatment package that includes tangible reinforcement. The preliminary findings suggest that a Fitbit® combined with self-management components and tangible reinforcement may provide a modest increase in steps taken but may not affect weight. Although future research should explore other determinants of health promotion for adults with IDD, this package may be considered one component in improving overall health.
 
127. Increasing Daily Living Independence Using Video Activity Schedules in Middle School Students with Intellectual Disability
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SALLY BEREZNAK SHEPLEY (The University of Kentucky), Amy Spriggs (University of Kentucky), Mark Samudre (University of Kentucky )
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: This study used a multiple probe across participants design to (a) evaluate the use of system of least prompts to teach students to self-instruct and (b) evaluate the use of a mobile device for a video activity schedule of a functional daily living skill. In baseline, the classroom teacher asked participants to make a snack and collected performance data. In the technology training condition, the teacher implemented a system of least prompt procedures to teach participants to initiate use of the mobile device, navigate to a training video activity schedule, and pause/play videos of training tasks, as well as performance of the modeled training tasks. Following criterion in technology training, the classroom teacher evaluated participant performance making a snack following use of a mobile device to self-instruct using a video activity schedule. Participant technology use was still assessed but not included in criterion. All four participants learned to independently initiate and navigate the mobile device during technology training. Three participants self-instructed using the video activity schedule to independently make a snack.
 
128. A Review of Recent Advances in Teaching Academics to Learners with Developmental Disabilities
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
DANNA WEBBER (Northern Illinois University), Emily Morzy (Northern Illinois University), Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: One challenge that school-aged children and adolescents with developmental disabilities face is acquisition of academic skills that are necessary for success in post-secondary and vocational settings. The purpose of this literature review is to update the review by Spooner, Knight, Browder, and Smith (2010) and analyze recent peer-reviewed journal articles that reported the outcomes of interventions for teaching academic skills to learners with developmental disabilities. We included 12 articles in the review, and the following information was analyzed: participant characteristics, setting, implementer, target skills, intervention components, research design, and results. Further, we analyzed authors’ reports of generalization, maintenance, treatment fidelity, and social validity data. Various skills were targeted for intervention, such as literacy skills, mathematics computation, comprehension, and engagement. Interventions such as time delay prompting, verbal prompts, modeling, computer based instruction, and commercial curricula were assessed in the included studies. Schools were the most frequent sites of research activities, and participants ranged in age from 3 to 16 years old. Researchers reported primarily positive results across all studies. Implications for practice and future avenues for research will be discussed.
 
129. Teaching Yoga with Students with Developmental Disabilities in a Small Group Classroom Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN S. RYAN (Ryan Psychological, P.C.), Kimberly Heinemann (Reach for the Stars Learning Center)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: The current study demonstrates the effect of an independent group contingency implemented in a private special-education classroom serving four students with developmental disabilities. Appropriate target behavior was described for: on-task performance and accurate demonstration of a specific yoga pose while situated in a small group. Target behaviors were defined and displayed using written daily schedules. The experimental design was a changing-criterion with reversals design. Baseline (Contingent Reinforcement, CR) was presented immediately following each interval of the yoga group teaching session based on the occurrence of the appropriate behaviors for each student. Each student had the opportunity to earn one token for each behavior displayed throughout each interval scored. Earned tokens during any given interval were paired with descriptive praise and exchanged at the end of the session with one back-up reinforcer of the student's choice according to the number of tokens earned. The current independent group contingency produced consistent and high levels of appropriate behavior. During Baseline, performance for Penny (displayed in the attached graphs) were consistent with the independent group contingencies in effect for accurate performance of yoga poses as well as on-task behavior. During the NCR phases, each target behavior was subjected to the noncontingent reinforcement contingencies. Participants maintained high levels of appropriate behavior which suggests rule-governed behavior. Self-monitoring appeared to be effective for Penny. Additional student data will be presented for the final project.
 
130. Increasing Physical Activity in Adults With Intellectual Disabilities: A Preliminary Evaluation
Domain: Applied Research
HUGO CURIEL (Western Michigan University), Rachel Burroughs (Western Michigan University), Anita Li (Western Michigan University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: Physical activity recommendations, alone, have not proven sufficient in increasing levels of physical activity. This is evident by the overwhelming prevalence of overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity. Between 2013-2014, the CDC (2016) reported that 70.7% of adults met classifications for overweight and obesity. Furthermore, individuals with intellectual disabilities have been reported to have higher rates of obesity, as compared to the general population (Hsieh et al., 2013; Melville et al., 2007). This study evaluated a goal-setting and interdependent group (dyad) contingency strategy on physical activity with four young adults with intellectual disabilities. Aerobic physical activity was measured as accumulated number of steps per school day. Each dyad accessed preferred items or activities contingent on meeting or exceeding their individual goals. Prior to intervention, the participants average number of steps were 2,693, 3,519, 4,006, and 5,701. During the final week of the intervention, the participants average number of steps were 4,521, 6,016, 5,064, and 7,563, respectively. The data suggest that physical activity levels were higher during the intervention weeks for all four participants. The results provide initial support for the efficacy of goal-setting and dyad contingency strategies among young adults with intellectual disabilities in a school setting.
 
131. Functional Communication Training Using High-Tech AAC Devices for Children With Developmental Disabilities via Telehealth Coaching
Domain: Applied Research
Adele F. Dimian (University of Minnesota), Jessica J. Simacek (University of Minnesota), MARIANNE ELMQUIST (University of Minnesota), Joe Reichle (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: Caregivers need support with teaching augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The purpose of this study was to coach caregivers via telehealth (i.e., video conferencing with Google Hangout) to implement functional behavior analyses and functional communication training (FCT) to address both idiosyncratic and challenging behavior exhibited by two young boys with developmental delay (age 5) and autism (age 7) who were non-verbal. An adapted multiple probe design across three contexts was used to evaluate acquisition of communicative using high tech aided AAC (e.g., a Tobii Dynavox T10). A forward chain was also introduced to teach symbol selection and navigation on the Dynavox. Both children acquired the communicative alternatives taught with the Dynavox across each context (i.e., mands for tangibles, caregiver attention, and escape from demands). Caregiver implementation fidelity was measured with procedural checklists and was acceptable across baseline and intervention sessions for both children. Several challenges came up due to using a dedicated AAC device that should be addressed by future research such as providing technical assistance with setting up a device and symbol arrays remotely. Supplemental modules and other tools may be needed to facilitate larger scale implementation of evidence-based practices for children with disabilities and their families.
 
132. A Review and Commentary on Preference Assessments for Individuals Diagnosed With Developmental Disabilities
Area: PRA
CHRISTINE MILNE (Autism Partnership Foundation), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: A key component of comprehensive behavioral intervention for individuals diagnosed with ASD is the use of positive reinforcement contingencies. Formal preference assessments (FPA) are frequently used to identify potentially reinforcing events for use during treatment and are commonly evaluated within the literature. The common use and evaluation of these rigorous yet highly predictive assessments have set the occasion for the review and discussion in the present paper. In this paper we reviewed the recent literature on FPAs that (a) included a FPA for an individual or individuals with a formal diagnosis of a developmental disability and (b) the sole effort was to identify potential reinforcers. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were quantified and categorized along several dimensions. The summated data were critically evaluated and a commentary is provided regarding clinical implications and recommendations for future research.
 
133. Programming for Generalization through Parent Training in a Function-Based Intervention Package
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH LICHTENBERGER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Roy Justin Boyd (Kennedy Krieger Institute (NBU-OP))
Discussant: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: Function-based interventions, particularly those developed in a clinical setting, have been successfully used to decrease problem behavior for decades yet the concern for long-term maintenance and generalization still exists (e.g.,Stokes & Baer, 1977). In a literature review of functional communication interventions, Falcomata & Wacker (2013) only identified 10 studies were treatment and generalization data were provided. An even smaller number of studies have focused on training caregivers to “generalize” treatment implementation behavior; this was the main purpose of the current study. After a function-based treatment to decrease destructive behavior was determined effective, treatment expansion and generalization goals were targeted. Based on pre-treatment structured descriptive observations conducted in the home, common stimuli (from the home environment) were systematically introduced into the training environment. Next, caregiver training was conducted and monitored during contrived antecedent conditions (e.g., denied access to snack items). Caregiver “homework” in the form of practice trials was also used. Caregiver integrity in-clinic and in-home, in addition to child behavioral data, will be presented.
 
134. Treatment of Escape-maintained Aggression Using an All-day Instructional Fading Procedure
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA CHEWNING (Florida Autism Center), Jonathan K Fernand (University of Florida), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida; Florida Autism Center), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Several studies have identified escape from demands as the functional reinforcer for subjects’ problem behavior and evaluated at least one treatment aimed at decreasing the rate of their problem behavior. Escape extinction is one treatment that has been consistently shown to do so. However, blocking and physical prompting may be reinforcing for some subjects or their problem behavior may be so severe that escape extinction becomes too effortful or dangerous to implement. Instructional fading is commonly added to the treatment package in such cases. Piazza et al. (1996) utilized instructional fading and DRA to decrease one subject’s problem behavior during sessions up to 68 minutes. The current study replicated these findings by examining the effects of instructional fading and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior procedures on aggression emitted by an eight-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These effects were shown across five and a half hour sessions within a clinical setting. Escape extinction alone proved ineffective in decreasing the subject’s rate of aggression where as instructional fading proved to effectively decrease the rate of aggression even as the rate of instructions gradually increased. The clinical utility of all-day treatment procedures will be discussed.
 
135. Working with Interpreters during Behavioral Skills Training when Practitioners and Caregivers Speak Different Languages
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE TRAUSCHKE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sarah Lichtenberger (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Craig Strohmeier (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training (BST) with caregivers is a critical component of the behavior assessment and treatment process when working with individuals with co-occurring intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and problem behavior (e.g. Miles & Wilder, 2009; Seiverling et al. 2012). While conducting BST with caregivers, practitioners may face challenges related to behavior plan nonadherence (see, Allen & Warzak, 2000). These challenges may be compounded when caregivers and practitioners speak different languages and an interpreter is needed to facilitate communication. The current study discusses the challenges of implementing BST when working with an interpreter. Challenges include practical and productive utilization of the interpreter during BST and cultural considerations in describing behavior plans. Importantly, this study discusses how these challenges were overcome with three families from a Middle Eastern country who sought behavior analytic services in the United States. All families had children with IDD and problem behavior. Data will be presented on treatment integrity when the intervention was conducted by the caregivers. We also present data related to social validity assessment of the interpreter’s experience. Finally, we offer a problem-solving process that may help other practitioners overcome similar challenges when working with an interpreter to conduct BST with caregivers.
 
137. Providing Alternative Activities While Thinning a Multiple Schedule of Reinforcement
Domain: Applied Research
NATASHA CHAMBERLAIN (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wendy Strang (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Functional communication training, a common intervention for destructive behavior (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008), is often introduced under a dense schedule of reinforcement. Schedule thinning is important to ensure a treatment package is practical for caregivers and may be accomplished via a multiple schedule (Greer, Fisher, Saini, Owen, & Jones, 2015). However, as non-reinforcement (S-Delta) intervals increase, clinicians may observe high rates of destructive behavior. In the current study, alternative activities were embedded into the S-Delta component of a multiple schedule with response restriction as the schedule was thinned. The participant was a eight-year old male referred for aggression and self-injurious behavior. A multi-element design was used to compare rates of destructive behavior during S-Delta intervals with no alternative activities, high quality attention, and low preference tangible items. The conditions which included alternative activities resulted in lower rates of problem behavior than the condition with no alternative activity. Schedule thinning was accomplished most rapidly when a therapists high quality attention was continuously available during the S-Delta interval. These findings are discussed in terms of clinical implications for the treatment of destructive behavior.
 
138. Increasing correct parental behavior support plan implementation through systematic introduction during behavioral parent trainings.
Domain: Applied Research
REBEKAH HINCHCLIFFE (Melmark)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Parents of children diagnosed with developmental delays often encounter difficulties surrounding the implementation of their childs behavior support plan components. These difficulties parents face are problematic due to the social significance of the challenging behaviors their children emit. Chronis, Chacko, Fabiano, Wymbs and Pelham (2004) described behavioral parent trainings (BPT) as a way of teaching parents to implement behavioral strategies that have been proven effective and are empirically supported. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of systematically introducing behavior analytic principles of a behavior support plan during parent trainings. By slowly introducing the different components of the behavior plan, it was hypothesized that an increase in correct behavior plan implementation would be noted, as well as consistently low levels of challenging behavior. Initial behavioral parent trainings consisted of positive pairing. Final trainings concluded with the mother implementing her sons behavior support plan with staff present only for behavioral support. The results of this study showed a decreasing trend in challenging behavior and an overall improvement in behavior plan implementation through the use of systematic introduction of components of behavior support plans over time.
 
139. Using Backward Chaining to Increase Self-Feeding and Self-Drinking in a Child with a Pediatric Feeding Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
Kate M. Peterson (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Caitlin A. Kirkwood (University of Nebraska Medical Center/ MMI), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), HOLLY M NEY (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Typically developing children often begin self-drinking between the ages of 12-36 months, and begin self-feeding by 12 months. Unfortunately, independent feeding skills do not always emerge without treatment in children with feeding disorders. Studies have shown that consequence-based interventions such as physical guidance are effective at increasing self-feeding and self-drinking. Very few studies, however, have evaluated the efficacy of antecedent-based strategies for increasing self-feeding and self-drinking. Backward chaining is a procedure that involves breaking a task down to its component parts and teaching the final step first. Once the child achieves mastery of the final step, the therapist teaches the earlier steps of the chain, one at a time, until the child is able to emit the full target response independently. To our knowledge, Hagopian, Farrel, and Amari (1996) were the only investigators to increase self-drinking in one child with a feeding disorder using backward chaining; however, the treatment package included multiple variables which could have affected child responding (e.g., fading). In the current study, we increased both self-feeding and self-drinking in a 4-year-old child with a feeding disorder using backward chaining. Keywords: backward chaining, feeding, self-drinking, antecedent-intervention
 
140. Removing Extinction Late in a Treatment Evaluation
Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN RITCHEY (Marcus Autism Center), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Extinction as a treatment component is important in the development of function-based treatments for problem behavior (Lerman & Iwata, 1996). However, withholding reinforcement for problem behavior is not always possible (Fisher et al., 1993; Hagopian, Fisher, Sullivan, Acquisto, & LeBlanc, 1998). For example, individuals who engage in severe aggression or self-injury pose a danger to themselves or others. This study examined two cases where caregivers were physically unable to implement extinction due to the size of the individuals and the intensity of the problem behavior. Extinction was removed following initial implementation from both treatments in order to ensure the safety of the caregivers, to maintain treatment integrity, and to aid in treatment generalization. After removing extinction, problem behavior resulted in escape from demands in the form of a room time out in the first case and differential access to preferred items in the second case. A reduction in problem behavior was observed in both cases. Results suggest that treatments without extinction were successful in reducing problem behavior in generalization settings (i.e., home) while also maintaining caregiver safety. References Fisher, W., Piazza, C. C., Cataldo, M. F., Harrell, R., Jefferson, G., & Conner, R. (1993). Functional communication training with and without extinction and punishment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 2336. Hagopian, L. P., Fisher, W. W., Sullivan, M. T., Acquisto, J., & LeBlanc, L. A. (1998). Effectiveness of functional communication training with and without extinction and punishment: A summary of 21 inpatient cases. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, 211235. Lerman, D., & Iwata, B. (1996). Developing a technology for the use of operant extinction in clinical settings: An examination of basic and applied research. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23, 345-385.
 
141. Refinements to increase the efficiency and social validity of paired stimulus preference assessments
Domain: Applied Research
AMI J. KAMINSKI (Munroe- Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center ), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jessica Akers (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Paired-stimulus preference assessments (Fisher et al., 1992) are a common method for determining a hierarchy of preferred items that may be used as reinforcers (Hagopain et al., 2004). One limitation is that they can be time consuming. The current studies evaluated methods of increasing the efficiency and social validity of these procedures with 10 participants. In Study 1, we developed a novel procedure for creating a caregiver-nominated hierarchy and compared caregiver paired-choice rankings with child rankings. Previous literature has shown that edibles frequently displace leisure items when presented together (DeLeon, et al,, 1997; Bojak, & Carr, 1999). In Study 2, we evaluated the results of a combined edible-leisure preference assessment with separate edible and leisure assessments to determine whether (a) displacement occurred in a paired-choice preference assessment and (b) relative rankings from the combined assessment correlated with rankings from the separate assessments. Results indicate that (a) caregiver rankings alone were not strongly correlated with the childs preference hierarchy, (b) displacement of the highest ranked leisure items by edible items was not observed for the majority of participants, (c) and there was not a strong correlation between rankings from the separate assessments and the relative rankings from the combined assessment.
 
142. A Preliminary Evaluation of Stability in Behavioral Function
Domain: Applied Research
JONATHON METZ (Bancroft), Katherine Hurlock (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: Functional analysis researchers have identified ways to move from brief to more complicated functional analysis procedures (Vollmer, Marcus, Ringdahl,& Roane 1995) and clarify initially ambiguous functional analysis outcomes (Rooker, DeLeon, Borrero, Frank-Crawford, & Roscoe, 2015). Although research in preference has also explored stability over time (e.g., Hanley, Iwata, & Roscoe, 2006), no known research has explored changes in behavioral function over time. In the current study, we identified 4 participants that had experienced at least two functional analyses as part of their assessment and treatment process at a residential treatment facility. Participants were only included if the assessments were completed for the same topography of target behavior and were conducted at least 6 months apart. Assessment results were compared and results indicated that the functional analysis results of all four participants remained unchanged when the assessment was repeated, even when the assessments were completed by a separate clinical team. Results will discussed in terms of implications for clinicians and best practices in functional analysis.
 
143. The Use of a Brief Functional Analysis with an Individual with Deaf-Blindness
Domain: Applied Research
HAILEY RIPPLE (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Megan Anderson (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Jessica Bostic (Ball State University)
Abstract: While functional analyses have been used for some time, recently researchers have begun using them with low incidence populations (i.e. severe intellectual disability; Delgado-Casas et al., 2014) and less common behavioral concerns (i.e. rumination; Lyons et al., 2007; Beavers et al., 2013). The current study uses the brief experimental analysis (BFA) procedures to identify the function of noncompliance with wearing hearing aides in a 13-year old male diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome, the leading cause of congenital deaf-blindness. Five-minute sessions were used with the participants mother present. The participants mother wore a headphone in one ear while the researchers watched from a one-way mirror and gave her instructions on how to react to each behavior and complete each condition. While current data suggests the function may be social attention, data collection is on going. The completion of this BFA will add to the research of the utility of functional analyses in low incidence populations as well as less prevalent behavioral concerns.
 

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