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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #463
Monday, May 29, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
AUT
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
144. A Parametric Analysis of Prompting Errors During Discrete-Trial Instruction
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER M OWSIANY (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University), Ashley Felde (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that low-levels of treatment integrity with the implementation of a controlling prompt may interfere with the acquisition of skills during discrete-trial instruction. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of three levels of prompting errors on skill acquisition for two children with an autism spectrum disorder. We used an adapted-alternating treatments design to compare acquisition during a condition with 100% integrity, 75% integrity, 50% integrity, 25% integrity, and a control condition. The results showed that participants acquired skills taught in the high-integrity condition and in the conditions with a lower percentage of errors in fewer number of teaching sessions relative to conditions with a higher percentage of errors (e.g., 25% integrity condition). We will discuss important areas of future research related to teaching children with autism spectrum disorders and training practitioners to implement discrete-trial instruction.
 
145. Role of Intraverbal Training in Inducing First Instances of Speech in Non-vocal Children With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
SMITA AWASTHI (Queen's University Belfast, Ireland), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast), Sridhar Aravamudhan (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Behavioral research on the intraverbal operant has focused on increasing existing verbal repertoire of children (Shillingsburg, Kelley, Roane, Kisamore & Brown,2009; Valentino, Conine and Delfs, 2015) in the autism population however there is no research on its value for non-vocal children. Intraverbal fill-in training with rhymes, fun and contextual fill-ins can create opportunities for vocals to be emitted under the control of specific verbal stimuli. 13 non-vocal children with autism aged between 1.5 and 5 years participated in 3 multiple baseline studies. The first phase of intervention included sign mand training with paired vocal stimuli. None of the participants acquired vocals under motivating operations, non-verbal or verbal stimuli. In phase 2 intraverbal training was introduced. Results suggest 9 of the 13 participants acquired speech defined as acquisition of 7 distinct vocals. IOA across participants was 100%. The study holds significance in presenting a new technology for inducing speech and vocal-verbal behavior in children with autism. Emerged speech varied across intraverbals, mands and echoic-mands.
 
146. The Impact of Delay in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention on Educational Outcomes for Children With Autism
Domain: Service Delivery
Adele F. Dimian (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota), MARIANNE ELMQUIST (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: With increases in diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade, it is imperative that children have early access to services (Chasson, Harris, & Neely, 2007). Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) is an applied behavior analytic approach that can be effective for remediating ASD symptoms for some individuals (Matson & Smith, 2008). Stakeholders report long waitlists for services and the effects of a delay is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect a delay in EIBI for children with ASD (aged 3-5) have on later educational outcomes. Medicaid records from Minnesota were used to create a cohort who received a diagnosis between 2008 and 2010. Education records were matched from 2014 (94.5% match rate, n= 607). Delay to EIBI and educational outcomes (e.g., primary educational ASD diagnosis, instructional placement, standardized test scores) were evaluated with logistic regressions. Approximately 70% of children in this study experienced a delay to EIBI, with an average delay of nine months. Delays of five months or more were significantly associated with more restrictive instructional placements. Although some received services before a diagnosis was given, there are delays in Minnesota which may be detrimental. Future research should investigate if a telehealth delivery model could supplement services early on.
 
147. Evaluating the Social Validity of PEERS for Young Adults, Teens, and Preschoolers in a Clinical Replication
Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY ANN ENCE (University of California Santa Barbara), Tara A. Glavin (University of California San Francisco), Robert Klinkel (University of California San Francisco ), Tara Rooney (University of California San Francisco), Katy Ankenman (University of California San Francisco ), Gregory L. Lyons (University of California San Francisco)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: PEERS is an empirically supported, parent-assisted social skills group for teens. PEERS research suggests positive and durable social skill improvements for teens with ASD. Research has not evaluated the social validity (SV) of PEERS. Stakeholder approval is paramount as stakeholders are more likely to select interventions they deem acceptable. Given this, PEERS research must examine stakeholder experiences. The objective was to survey parent and patient participants across PEERS acceptability, feasibility, perceived effectiveness, and satisfaction. We have gathered data from 24 stakeholders across one teen, one young adult, and one preschool group (n = 12 parents; n = 12 patients) and aim to gather data from 56 more participants by May 2017. SV questionnaires were distributed on the final session (5-point scale: strongly agree = 5 to strongly disagree = 1). Exploratory correlations suggest, at p < .05, that (a) perceived effectiveness on parent behavior was negatively correlated with feasibility (r = -0.62) and positively correlated with overall satisfaction (0.77), (b) perceived effectiveness on patient behavior was positively correlated with acceptability (r = 0.54), and (c) attendance was correlated with overall satisfaction (r = 0.49). Preliminary results suggest modestly positive SV. Understanding this domain could help stakeholders improve successful contact with intervention.
 
148. Differences in Behavioral Resurgence Between DRO and DRA Interventions as a Model of Treatment Relapse
Domain: Applied Research
BENJAMIN C. MAURO (The Sage Colleges, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Krystine Cardenas (Behavior Analysis, Inc.), Daryl L. Jordan (The Sage Colleges), Andres Gallego (Behavior Analysis, Inc.)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Pritchard et al. (2014) demonstrated that the resurgence of problematic behavior during extinction (a model of treatment relapse) was greater following a richer than a leaner non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) behavior intervention. The current two experiments extend this important applied research by examining differences in behavioral resurgence among differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). Experiment 1 (6-year-old boy with autism) involved a series of four conditions: (1) baseline measure of aggression during a pre-experimental functional analysis, (2) alternating treatment between DRO and DRA with yoked reinforcement, (3) extinction of other/alternative behavior as a test of resurgence, and (4) a return to the optimal treatment (DRO or DRA) that had the best behavioral reductive effect while showing the least likelihood of resurgence. The results (data gathering complete) showed that DRA had a slightly greater behavioral reductive effect than DRO, and that the degree of behavioral resurgence was substantially greater during extinction of DRO than the extinction of the DRA intervention. Experiment 2 (ongoing data gathering) compares behavioral resurgence following DRA training dependent on the occurrence of problematic behavior with response-independent DRA training arranged according to a time-based schedule yoked to the response-dependent DRA training.
 
149. Identification of Prenatal, Obstetric, and Neonatal Risk Factors Associated With Having a Child With Autism
Domain: Basic Research
SABA TORABIAN (San Jose State University)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The research study was a descriptive survey design as well as reviewing the mother’s pregnancy medical records and child’s neonatal and infancy medical records. Participants completed a 110-item questionnaire that contained a vast number of questions about prenatal, obstetric and neonatal factors. Child’s ASD diagnosis was confirmed using ADI-R scale. The preliminary data consists of 46 families of children with ASD and 49 typical control families in the United States. Among the prenatal factors, a preliminary analyses revealed a significant effect of the following prenatal factors and having a child with ASD: maternal anxiety disorder, paternal age at conception, low sexual satisfaction with the marriage in overall, maternal Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs) as well as paternal STDs), specifically genital herpes (HSV-II), parent’s age difference, living proximity to the freeway and high voltage area, and maternal and paternal education level. Among obstetric factors, significant results were found between having a child with ASD and excessive weight gain during the pregnancy, gestational diabetes at second and third trimester, hypertension at second and third trimester, maternal bacterial infection and high fever during the third trimester, close proximity of the living to the freeway and high voltage area, cesarean section, low amount of vomiting and low amount of morning sickness compared to control mothers. The major finding of the study revealed significant results for the effect of parental herpes (HSV-II) infection and having kid(s) with autism. The results further revealed a significant interaction between both maternal and paternal (HSV-II) infection and the type of the delivery with having a child with autism (See Fig. 1). This suggests that unlike what majority of the studies emphasize solely on the role of maternal factors on autism etiology, paternal factors might be as significantly important.
 
150. Positive Effects of Self-Monitoring on a Seven-Year-Old Boy With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
Avantika Sharma (Behaviour Enrichment Dubai), MEERA RAMANI (ABA India)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The focus of this presentation will be to study the effect of a self-monitoring list on the transition across dissimilar tasks allotted during an hour long behavior analytic therapy session in a child exhibiting Autism Spectrum Disorder. The purpose of this experiment is to show that the use of a self-monitoring list will have a significant effect on the time taken to transition from one task to another. It is a single case experimental design and the participant is a nine year old boy who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He was provided with a personalized self-monitoring list containing a randomized array of tasks with slots specifying the varying schedules for reinforcers which was monitored by him through the course of the session. The use of the self-monitoring list has minimized transitioning difficulties experienced by the participant with reference to both time and behavior. A future implication could involve the use of self - monitoring list to help the participant transition through tasks in social and other non-academic settings.
 
151. Identifying Alternative Sources of Stimulation to Reduce Rate of Diurnal Bruxism With a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA KLASEK (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Mary Halbur (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Bruxism is a condition characterized by the grinding, clenching, or gnashing of one?s teeth and jaw. This condition appears to be more prevalent in individuals with developmental disabilities than in typically developing individuals (DeMattei, Cuvo, & Maurizio, 2007), and is associated with health concerns such as tooth and gum damage, headaches, and pain. The purpose of the current case study was to identify whether providing alternative forms of auditory or tactile stimulation reduced the rate of bruxism with a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used a multiple baseline design across settings with reversal to compare rates of bruxism during discrete trial instruction (DTI) and break intervals when the client had continuous access to a highly preferred item. An embedded alternating treatments design was used to compare rates of bruxism during exposure to alternative sources of tactile stimulation (i.e. a Nuk or teether). When presented individually, the teether and Nuk produced lower rates of bruxism during breaks compared to no alternative source of stimulation. During DTI, rates of bruxism were lowest with the Nuk. These results suggest that safer, alternative sources of tactile stimulation may be sufficient for reducing bruxism for some children with autism spectrum disorder.
 
152. Using a Self-Management Package to Assist a Young Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Participate in Postsecondary Education: Improving Sleep
Domain: Applied Research
YADAN LIU (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Abstract Although adults with autism spectrum disorder faces a number of challenges, such as low rate of postsecondary education participation and employment; this topic is under-researched. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a self-management intervention package involving goal-setting, self-recording and self-monitoring in improving sleep in a 24-year old young college student with autism spectrum disorder. A single-case, ABCD design with no treatment (baseline) conditions maintained in the second setting was used. Results supported that 1) by applying this self-management intervention package, sleep was improved in the training setting; and the positive behavioural changes generalised to a non-training setting; and 2) the social validity of this self-management intervention package assessed by both the BIRS-Adapted and interviews was relatively high. This self-management intervention package was an effective treatment for this college student with ASD to improve sleep. Positive generalisation effects and good social validity were obtained.
 
153. Teaching Classroom Skills to Children With Autism During Group Instruction
Domain: Applied Research
ANA BIBAY (IME MAIA, France), Afifa Magram (IME MAIA, France)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The study was completed to evaluate the effects of systematically using physical prompts and differential reinforcement to teach classroom skills to 3 boys with autism, aged between 10-14. In a group, 3 learners with autism learned :1) to copy text written by the teacher on the board; 2) to raise their boards to show their answers when they heard the SD teachers clap. Steps were broken down to teach 2 subjects the skill of raising their boards to show their answers using modeling/ imitation. Steps were also broken to the therapist presenting only the SD when I clap raise your boards. Daily probe data were collected in the subjects classroom. Copying text before instructor completes writing on the board, raising boards before instructors discriminative stimulus of clapping and copying text that doesnt match what the instructor wrote were all considered as incorrect responses. A generalization/ follow up phase (1 month later) indicates that the learners had retained the skill of copying text and raising their boards to show their answers on signal.
 
154. Evaluating the Efficacy of Video Self-modeling for Remediating Dysgraphia in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
GERI HARRIS (Walden University Texas Young Autism Project Uni), Steven G. Little (Walden University), Elizabeth Essel (Walden University)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Writing is essential to human communication. A severe deficit in handwriting is known as dysgraphia, a problem frequently associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Video self-modeling (VSM) has proven effective for children with ASD by strengthening social skills, verbalizations, and daily living skills. However, there remains a paucity of information regarding the use of VSM for the treatment of dysgraphia in children with ASD. Because VSM has demonstrated success in the acquisition of many types of skills, it may prove similarly effective for remediating dysgraphia in children with ASD. This study seeks to determine if VSM is an effective treatment for improving handwriting legibility and proficiency. Data will be collected from 3 participants, ages 7-9, within a day treatment center setting. After establishing a baseline level of behavior for writing simple words, researchers will administer the VSM treatment and rate the legibility of the participants responses based on scores recorded in baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases. A pretest/ posttest evaluation will determine changes in handwriting proficiency. This would be an important contribution to the existing literature, and would enhance social change initiatives through strengthening the communication skills of individuals with ASD.
 
155. An Assessment of Staff and Child Behaviors During Unstructured Time in a Special Education School Setting
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
SUMMER BOTTINI (Binghamton University), Jennifer M. Gillis Mattson (Binghamton University), Rachel N.S. Cavalari (Binghamton University-SUNY), Lisa Cooper (Binghamton University)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts understand the importance of building skills in multiple settings and situations as a critical component of maintenance and generalization for learners. Unstructured periods throughout the day (e.g., lunch, recess, free play) provide appropriate opportunities to expand skills; however, data are rarely collected during these periods without formal programming for specific concerns. Also, it is unclear how often staff embed naturalistic teaching during these periods of the day. The present project was designed to obtain objective, quantitative data on staff and student behavior during unstructured periods at a private special education school where ABA is the primary theoretical approach to instruction. Momentary time-sampling was used across five classrooms serving children with ASD between the ages of 3-11 years old. Child social and play behaviors and staff-child interactions or prompts to promote social and play behaviors were recorded. Results indicated that child-directed interactions by staff occurred during fewer than 30% of the observed intervals. There were numerous occurrences of functional play recorded, but these behaviors were exhibited by a limited number of the children. There were also many occurrences of inappropriate play across classrooms. Implications for staff training to increase productive use of unstructured periods via naturalistic teaching are discussed.
 
156. The Relative Effectiveness of the Complexity of Instructions on Receptive Language Skill Acquisition for an Individual Diagnosed With ASD
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
NORMA TORRES (Autism Partnership Foundation), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Responses to the spoken language of others (i.e., receptive language) is commonly targeted, directly or indirectly, within interventions for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Grow & LeBlanc, 2013). Receptive labels are one of the common receptive language response often targeted through a discrete trial teaching (DTT; Lovaas, 1981, 1987) approach. Some authors have discussed the risks (e.g., faulty stimulus control) of including irrelevant or additional information in the instruction (e.g., "Touch the ball" as opposed to "ball"; Green, 2001; Grow & LeBlanc, 2013). The purpose of this study was to explore the relative effectiveness of the complexity of instructions on receptive language skill acquisition for an individual diagnosed with ASD.
 
157. An Evaluation of a Progressive Extinction to Assess Response Class Membership of Multiple Topographies of Problem Behavior
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE WARNER (Western New England University; New England Center for Children), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Mahshid Ghaemmaghami (University of the Pacific Western New England University), Robin K. Landa (Western New England University), Jessica Slaton (Nashoba Learning Group)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Persons with autism often engage in multiple topographies of problem behavior. Conducting functional analyses of each form as recommended by Hanley, Iwata, and McCord (2003) may be too time consuming for most practicing behavior analysts. In this study, we applied progressive extinction within a single test condition to determine response class membership of multiple topographies of problem behavior. First, an interview informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) based on the procedures described by Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, and Hanratty (2014) was conducted on problem behaviors that were reported to co-occur in five children with autism. During the initial analysis, all reported problem behaviors were reinforced. Next, progressive extinction based on the procedures described by Magee and Ellis (2000) was implemented during which problem behavior types were sequentially placed on extinction. An expedited assessment was conducted for one participant in which only the most concerning topography of problem behavior received reinforcement. Results showed that all topographies of problem behavior that were reported to co-occur were evoked and maintained by the same contingencies across all participants. We highlight the conditions under which a practitioner may want to consider a full or expedited extinction analysis with children who exhibit multiple topographies of problem behavior.
 
158. Treatments Evaluation for Increasing Seatbelt Wearing in a Teenager With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Melany J Rosa (Bancroft), REBECCA LASOSKI (Bancroft)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Safely accessing transportation is an area of deficit for many individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, which can negatively impact their ability to access important educational and community based learning experiences. Despite this, the majority of research on this topic has focused on increasing seatbelt wearing with young drivers specifically high school and college students. This lack of research on seatbelt safety is an immediate concern for the safety of individuals within the intellectual and developmental disabilities population. The purpose of this study was to determine an effective treatment to reduce seatbelt removal while in a vehicle. The participant was a 16-year old diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and an intellectual disability, who lived on a residential campus where his behavior while in vehicles was a significant barrier to less restrictive settings. First, a reversal design with an imbedded alternating treatments design was utilized to evaluate interventions, including blocking, differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), noncontingent reinforcement (NCR), and a combination of DRO and NCR. Results of the treatment evaluation indicated that a DRO procedure alone was most effective in increasing seatbelt wearing and decreasing seatbelt removal, along with other problem behavior. Therefore, the DRO procedure was evaluated independently and faded to acceptable rates for direct care staff implementation. These results indicate that a single component intervention was successful at increasing seatbelt wearing resulting in greater community access and an improved quality of life. Reliability data was collected for 89% of sessions across conditions with an average agreement of 99%.
 
159. A Meta-Analysis of Pivotal Response Treatment as an Early Naturalistic Developmental Behavior Intervention for Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY L. LYONS (University of Wisconsin-Madison; UCSF STAR Center for ASD and NDDs), Robert Klinkel (University of California, San Francisco STAR Center for ASD and NDDs), Lori Beth Vincent (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center), Tiffany Born (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Stakeholders routinely consider Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) empirically supported; however, the literature lacks sophisticated meta-analytical studies aimed at ascertaining cumulative PRT evidence and effect sizes (ES) across early intervention outcome areas. Furthermore, meta-analyses should employ appropriate methodology to investigate moderator variables, as well as both single-case (SCD) and group designs (GD). We systematically selected articles that compared PRT to no-treatment conditions for children with autism under 6 years old; 36 studies (30 SCD, 6 GD) were included. We coded operationally-defined variables, and extracted SCD data point coordinates and GD statistics. We gathered adequate inter-coder agreement at every stage of search, selection, and variable coding. For SCD, we employed HLM, Tau-U non-overlap, and the Shadish d-statistic. For GD, we aggregated Cohens d random effects by inverse variances. Accounting for study quality, we found moderate-to-strong SCD ESs across social-communication and language, play, and affect outcomes (Tau-U = 0.74), with more robust estimates for social-communication and language. The GD meta-analysis indicated a moderate-sized effect across outcomes. For SCD, higher study quality significantly penalized PRT effects. The HLM analysis revealed significant variation between participants. Claims of positive PRT effects beyond social-communication and language are tenuous. We outline a model for advancing PRT research.
 
160. Assessing Interventions for Automatically Maintained Self-injury and Self-restraint as a Reinforcer
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW DAVID LASOSKI (Bancroft), Brian M. Hinchcliffe (Bancroft), Lauren F. Troy (Bancroft), Virginia Kaufmann (Bancroft)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Multiply maintained self-injurious behavior remains difficult to effectively assess and treat. The participant, a nonverbal 26-year-old male, diagnosed with autism, resides on an adult transitional campus due to severe self-injury. Self-injury has resulted in several recent hospitalizations and prevented him from transitioning to a less-restrictive environment. A multi-element functional analysis, preceded by open-ended functional assessment interviews, was conducted. Results of the assessment suggested self-injury is multiply maintained by social positive reinforcement (attention) and access to self-restraint. A competing stimulus assessment suggested a combination of a helmet, gloves, and arm sleeves would be successful in maintaining low rates of self-injury. For the duration of the assessment phase, direct care staff implemented continuous reinforcement of self-injury during non-assessment times, which was used as a baseline. A function based treatment package composed of a combination of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), functional communication training, and structured visual schedules will be evaluated. In the absence of self-injury to the head for a predetermined amount of time, he received access to a self-restraint item in his bag, also for a predetermined amount of time. By following his visual structured schedule and using an augmentative communication device, he will receive verbal and tactile praise, along with access to his requested items as appropriately defined. The results of this study indicate, with quick assessment techniques, multiply maintained self-injury could be accurately assessed allowing for timely implementation of a function based treatment package.
 
161. A Meta-analysis of Single-Case Research on the Use of Tablet-mediated Interventions for Persons With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
LIYUAN GONG (University of Tsukuba), Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Jennifer Ninci (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Kristi Morin (Texas A&M University), Sawako Kawaminami (University of Tsukuba), Yan-qiu Shi (University of Tsukuba), John Davis (University of Utah), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: There is a growing amount of single-case research literature on the benefits of tablet-mediated interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). With development of tablet-based computers, tablet-mediated interventions have been widely utilized for education and treatment purposes; however, the overall quality and evidence of this literature-base are unknown. This article aims to present a quality review of the single-case experimental literature and aggregate results across studies involving the use of tablet-mediated interventions for individuals with ASD. Using the Tau nonoverlap effect size measure, the authors extracted data from single-case experimental studies and calculated effect sizes differentiated by moderator variables. The moderator variables included the ages of participants, participants diagnoses, interventions, outcome measures, settings, and contexts. Results indicate that tablet-mediated interventions for individuals with ASD have moderate to large effect sizes across variables evaluated. The majority of research in this review used tablets for video modeling and augmentative and alternative communication. To promote the usability of tablet-mediated interventions for individuals with ASD, this review indicates that more single-case experimental studies should be conducted with this population in naturalistic home, community, and employment settings.
 
162. Tablet-based Interventions for Persons With Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview of Generalization and Maintenance Measures in Literature
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SAWAKO KAWAMINAMI (University of Tsukuba), Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Liyuan Gong (University of Tsukuba), Kristi Morin (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio), John Davis (University of Utah)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Recently, more educators and researchers have widely utilized tablet-based interventions with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) for education and treatment purposes; however, it is little known if the use of tablet-based interventions promotes skills generalization and maintenance within individuals with ASD. This systematic review evaluated peer-reviewed single-case research concerning the generalization and maintenance of tablet-based interventions for individuals with ASD. A total of 28 studies were included and summarized in terms of (a) generalization dimension, (b) generalization design, (c) maintenance assessment design, (d) maintenance and generalization teaching strategy, and (e) latency to maintenance probes. Using the Tau effect size measure, the authors extracted data from single-case experimental studies and calculated effect sizes differentiated by the type of generalization and maintenance teaching strategies. Of the 28 articles evaluated against the preset inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 18 studies collected measures regarding the generalization and/or maintenance of the dependent variables (64%). Data from this study yielded a total of 130 separate AB contrasts (i.e., baseline/intervention vs. generalization/maintenance) from 19 articles with 62 participants. The omnibus Tau nonoverlap effect size for baseline to generalization comparisons was .8282 CI95 [.7424, .9139], indicating a moderate effect. For the contrasts between intervention and generalization comparisons, the omnibus Tau nonoverlap effect size was .2018 CI95 [.1215, .2820], indicating a small effect. The omnibus Tau nonoverlap effect size for baseline and maintenance comparisons was .9480 CI95 [.8686, 1.0000], indicating a strong effect. For the contrasts between intervention to maintenance comparisons, the omnibus Tau nonoverlap effect size was .1865 CI95 [.1146, .2583], indicating a small effect. The findings in this review suggest that more studies should investigate if tablet-based interventions are truly effective in improving skill generalization and maintenance within individuals with ASD by including generalization and maintenance measures.
 
163. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGAN B. BOUCHER (The Ivymount School), Stacey M. McIntyre (Ivymount School)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Previous research has evaluated functional analysis procedures for problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. Typically, these functional analysis procedures involve running extended alone sessions. However, when evaluating the function of behavior that is hypothesized to be maintained by automatic reinforcement, extended alone sessions may not capture the antecedent stimuli that evoke the behavior. Research on sexual arousal exhibited by sex offenders with developmental disabilities supports the use of repeated measures to identify antecedent stimuli that elicit arousal (e.g., penile plethysmograph) and fetishism. The current study provides a demonstration of automatically maintained problem behavior (i.e., inappropriate sexual behavior) that is more likely to occur in the presence of other individuals and environments that have likely been paired with a history of accessing reinforcement in the past (e.g., therapy rooms, office space). The participant was an 18-year-old student enrolled in a special education school. The participants diagnoses included Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. Total duration interobserver agreement was assessed during 39% of sessions and average 99% (Range, 96% to 100%). Results support the need to conduct functional assessment in order to develop an effective intervention, while highlighting the importance of empirically identifying antecedent stimuli that may occasion automatically maintained inappropriate sexual behavior.
 
164. Teaching an Adult With Autism to Use an Activity Schedule During Vocational Beekeeping Tasks
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA SANCES (Drexel University), Jessica Day-Watkins (Drexel University), James E. Connell (Drexel University)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Adults with autism spectrum disorders experience poor employment outcomes compared to adults with other disabilities (Roux, Shattuck, Rast, Rava, and Anderson, 2015). New state and federal guidelines on employment of those with disabilities (http://apse.org/employment-first/map/) and investment in sustainable green jobs (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009) provides incredible opportunity for job-carving and customizing employment. Bee-keeping is a sustainable green job. Vocational tasks such as Bee-keeping typically require chains of behavior to be completed independently. Activity schedules have shown effectiveness in increasing the independence of children with autism engaged in various tasks (e.g., Carlile, Reeve, Reeve, and Debar 2013). This study investigated the effects of an activity schedule with contingent reinforcement designed to increase the number of steps completed independently by an adult with autism employed at an apiary. The data demonstrate that the treatment package led to a higher percentage of steps completed correctly, indicating that activity schedules may be used to aid in vocational training with sustainable jobs for adults with autism. Additionally, this study demonstrates that adults with autism may find success in the green job sector, particularly if they have interest in the outdoors, insects, or beekeeping.
 
165. Towards a More Functional Analysis of Prompt Maintained Behavior
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
LOGAN MCDOWELL (The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: One potential side effect of multiple years of discrete, trial-based instruction is the emergence of prompt dependent behavior, or prompt dependency. These terms refer to the tendency for individuals to actively wait for a prompt rather than engaging in a target behavior. In this case, they will engage in this waiting period, even when the behavior in question is within their repertoire. It has been suggested that rather than referring to this phenomenon as prompt dependency, a more appropriate term may be prompt maintained behavior, as the prompts themselves appear to function as reinforcers for the behaviors described. In this study, we attempted to more specifically define the terms of the relationship between prompting and active waiting through the use of brief functional analyses. We set up conditions in which specific prompt levels (physical, verbal, model, gestural, and visual) were provided contingent upon the occurrence of behaviors defined as active waiting. Preliminary results indicate a degree of differentiation in rates of responding between the different prompt levels. Implications for further research into this area will be discussed.
 
166. What to Know and Where to Look: Dissecting the Male-driven Research for the Evaluation and Diagnosis of Autism in Females
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
BEAU A. DUVALL (ABA Group, Inc.)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: The gender disparity in autism has received significant attention in recent years. However, only a few studies assess the symtomatology of autism in girls (Van Wijngaarden-Cremers et al). Recent research has found differences in the core triad of autism. For example, females demonstrate fewer symptoms regarding rigid and repetitive behavior, and those with higher intelligence tend be under-diagnosed or mis-diagnosed. Moreover, common neuropsychological subtests (i.e., NEPSY-II: Social Perception) that contribute to the diagnosis don't publish normative data for gender differences in autism. The present paper proposes to systematically evaluate what we know so far regarding the accurate evaluation and diagnosis of girls with autism.
 
167. Improving Caregiver Achievement in Implementing Applied Behavior Analysis Strategies with Young Children Evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHLEEN SIMCOE (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder (TRIAD)), Ashley Vogel (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder), Amanda Spiess (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder), Mary Morton (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder), Alacia Stainbrook (Vanderbilt University Medical Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder), A. Pablo Juárez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Zachary Warren (Vanderbilt University Medical Center )
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: This program evaluation study summarizes behavior specialist and caregiver fidelity from two years of early intervention service delivery for 42 families of young children (18-34 months) evaluated for ASD. Subsequent intervention included twelve 90-minute caregiver training sessions utilizing a manualized curriculum. Each familys state-funded early interventionist (EI) attended at least four sessions. Self-reported behavior specialist fidelity was collected. Caregiver fidelity measured caregiver use of target intervention strategies within sessions. Similar to previous research, behavior specialist fidelity was high while caregiver achievement was variable. In order to address this discrepancy, we restructured our model to utilize more focused curriculum modules. A new fidelity procedure captures didactic implementation of caregiver training procedures and a new service model narrows the scope of services. The revised model is underway with 30 families each receiving six 60-minute caregiver training sessions in one of four focus areas. Measures include a fidelity checklist that reflects evidence-based practices for didactic coaching of caregivers and is completed by EIs to rate behavior specialist performance and a caregiver fidelity checklist specific to each curriculum module. It is hypothesized that these refinements will result in the maintenance of high fidelity levels for behavior specialists and increased caregiver performance.
 
168. A Coaching Intervention Package to Teach Parents Contingency Management of On-Task and Undesirable Behaviors of Their Children with Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
KEVIN J. BROTHERS (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Caldwell University), Sandra R. Gomes (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Caralyn Harris (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Courtney Biondo (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Sarah Losowyj (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Managing contingencies effectively is critical to a behavior-change agent’s success. Here we share a systematic approach to coaching four parents of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to become skillful agents of behavior change across a variety of settings, contexts, and child behavior. Specifically, parents were taught to manage contingencies at school, at home, and in the community; surrounding children’s initiations, anticipated undesirable behaviors, and undesirable behaviors occurring in vivo; with expectations of child behavior and across specific activities individualized to child needs and parent concerns. Contingency management was defined as (a) correctly identifying an opportunity, (b) stating/ arranging the environment to communicate contingencies surrounding access to specified reinforcer(s), and (c) delivering the specified reinforcer(s) when and only when children engaged in the specified behavior(s). Each opportunity with all three components displayed correctly was considered correct; parents’ performance was summarized as the percentage of opportunities with correctly managed contingencies per session. Results indicate that parents displayed these skills at criterion levels across a variety of settings, contexts, and child behaviors with rapid acquisition across numerous successive phases; these outcomes produced tightly corresponding changes in secondary dependent variables measuring children’s on-task and undesirable behaviors.
 
169. Effects of Digital Superimposition and Fading to Establish Sight Reading Skills for Learners With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
EDGAR D. MACHADO (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Barbara Etzel (University of Kansas), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Research suggests that stimulus superimposition with fading may successfully transfer stimulus control of vocal labeling from pictures to text for many learners (e.g., Birkan, McClannahan & Krantz, 2007; Fields, Doran, & Marroquin, 2009; Schilmoeller, Schilmoeller, Etzel & LeBlanc, 1979). Corey and Shamow (1972) defined stimulus superimposition with fading as the process of adding a new stimulus dimension to a stimulus dimension already exerting control over responding, and gradually fading the initial stimulus dimension to transfer control of responding to the new one. The location of stimulus features was also an important variable to establish stimulus control (Rincover, 1978). Similarly, Schilmoeller, Schilmoeller, Etzel and LeBlanc (1979) demonstrated that criterion related cues (i.e., stimulus features common to initial and terminal stimulus complexes) were better than non-criterion related cues for shifting stimulus control. The current study extends this work, in particular, the work of Birkan, McClannahan and Krantz (2007), by fading the superimposed stimuli that appear outside the target S+ first and then fading the superimposed stimuli that appear inside the target S+ to gradually shift responding from pictures to corresponding text to teach sight-word reading to people with autism. Results demonstrate the effective transfer of stimulus control to the target stimuli.
 
170. The Use of iPad to Promote Leisure Activities for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
KAORI G. NEPO (Autism Life Support), Matthew Tincani (Temple University), Saul Axelrod (Temple University), Lois Meszaros (Chimes)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterized by difficulties in social interactions, functional communication skills, and the presence of repetitive behaviors and restrictive interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). These skill deficits could adversely affect their daily functioning and pose problems in obtaining and maintaining stable employment. In addition, the limited ability to engage in leisure activities could diminish the quality of life for people with ASD (Garcia-Villamisar, & Dattilo, 2010; Patterson, & Pegg, 2009). Employing an iPod Touch or iPad, the current study will use a multiple-probe design across participants to investigate the effects of a most-to-least prompting procedure, on the duration of leisure skills and incidents of maladaptive behaviors for six adults with ASD. The study will also examine the impact of a visual schedule on the participants independent access to leisure. Furthermore, the social validity of the interventions and the social perception of the use of these commonly available devices and the stigma associated with ASD will be explored through surveys.
 
171. The Effects of Individualized Positive Behavior Support on the Aggressive, Self-injury and Spitting Behaviors of Students with Developmental Disability : Case study
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University), DAEYONG KIM (Pusan National University)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to analyzed the effects of individualized positive behavior support(PBS) on the aggressive behavior, self-injury behavior and spit behavior by the students with developmental disability(DD) in special education high school. The participant were male students enrolling a special education high school. During the beginning of this study, a functional behavior assessment(FBA) was conducted to identify the primary and secondary functions of the target behaviors by using a indirect assessment(i.e., parent/teacher interview, MAS, and QABF) and direct assessment(i.e., ABC narrative analysis). A behavior intervention plan(BIP) was developed and implemented based on target behavior?s functions. The BIP consisted of participant?s basic information(e.g., diagnosis, language level, etc.), FBA results, proactive/reactive strategies(i.e., vicarious reinforcement, reinforcing alternative behaviors, planned ignoring, location change during lunch time, etc.). An AB design was employed to identify the positive effects of PBS on the target behaviors. The target behaviors were recorded via a frequency recording and the collected data were graphed and visually analyzed. The results depicted that the individualized PBS intervention packets would be effective to decrease the frequency of participant?s aggressive and spitting behaviors. PND values means of aggressive behavior for PBS was 95.1(i.e., highly effective), self-injury behavior for PBS was 97.7(i.e., highly effective) and spitting behavior for PBS was 95.1(i.e., highly effective).
 
172. Evaluating Learner Consistency of Reinforcer Choices Within Pre and Post Trial Assessments
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JEFF FOSSA (Beacon ABA Services), Steven Rivers (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that preference/reinforcer assessments can improve performance on learning activities with children with a diagnosis of autism. It also suggests that performance and behavior are improved when learners are given choices of reinforcers to be provided. However, such assessments are traditionally done prior to presentation of instructional trials. Once the trial is completed, the previously selected item is immediately delivered. Up to this point no research has evaluated if choices made/preferences expressed prior to instructional trials remain consistent after the trial has been completed. The present study assessed preference prior to the onset of a trial and after the completion of the trial. Two versions of preference assessments were evaluated; first a five choice array was compared pre and post-trial, then a forced choice (two choice) condition was conducted Results suggest that for some learners initially expressed preference changed after the trial was conducted. These data were more pronounced in the five choice condition than in the forced choice presentation.
 
173. High Probability Request Sequence: An Evidence-Based Practice for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSI BROSH (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Larry Fisher (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Charles L. Wood (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: A comprehensive review of the literature published in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2011 was conducted to evaluate high-probability request sequences (i.e., behavioral momentum interventions) as an evidence-based practice (EBP) for children, adolescences, and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Wong et al., 2014). Using quality indicators developed by Gersten et al. (2005), Horner et al. (2005), and review guidelines set by the What Works Clearing House, high-probability request sequence was identified as a focused intervention practice with some support; however, this intervention was not considered an EBP due to an insufficient number of participants included in the studies. The purpose of this review was to expand on the findings from previous authors to determine if high-probability request interventions can be considered an EBP for individuals with ASD. By expanding the literature review and replicating the procedures from previous analyses, results indicate that the intervention can be considered an EBP for individuals with ASD. Implications for practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
 
174. An Evaluation of the Effects of Social Interaction on Preference and Response Allocation in Preschool-Age Children
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MADISON R. MCNINCH (University of Kansas ), Amber Lessor (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Elizabeth Foley (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Stimulus preference assessments (SPAs) have been successful for determining preferred stimuli and activities to be used as reinforcers (Hagopian, Long, & Rush, 2004). The delivery of social interaction (SI) during access periods of SPAs may influence outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of social interaction on preference for leisure items in young children. First, we compared the results of SPAs in which toys were provided alone (Solitary Assessment) with one in which the same toys were paired with SI (Social Assessment; Study 1). Second, we determined an overall preference hierarchy when toys alone and those same toys + SI were in the same SPA with participants from Study 1 (Combined Assessment; Study 2). Study 1 results showed that preference for toys was stable across assessments for the majority of participants, and Study 2 results showed that SI displaced toys alone for most participants.
 
175. Decreasing Challenging Behavior during Overnight Hours Using a Response Cost
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA A. CLARK (Melmark New England )
Discussant: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Challenging behaviors that occur during overnight hours can be dangerous. Staff resources decrease within the residential setting, increasing the risk factor for both the staff members as well as the individual engaging in challenging behaviors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a response cost on the occurrence of challenging behaviors during overnight hours. Data were collected on occurrence of self injury, aggression, and property destruction. Data were summarized as percent of overnight success. At bedtime, a visual contract was reviewed; if the participant maintained “good hands” while in his bedroom he earned access to a preferred edible item in the morning. Upon the occurrence of any challenging behavior a token was removed from the visual contract. During the twelve weeks preceding the implementation of this procedure, challenging behavior occurred on 4 occasions. A decrease in challenging behavior was observed with only 2 occasions during the overnight hours across 24 weeks. These results were replicated during a brief reversal. Thus, results of this study indicated that use of a response cost was effective in decreasing occurrences of challenging behavior during the overnight hours.
 
176. Teaching Empathetic Responding to Children With Autism: An Extension
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY KEEGAN KELEHER (Beacon ABA Services), Laura J. Dantona (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Children with autism display deficits in engaging in empathetic responses. The researchers involved in this project sought to extend the study, "Teaching Empathy Skills to Children with Autism" by Shrandt et al. 1) to study the effects of a treatment package on generalized empathetic responding in individuals with autism 2) to evaluate the use of video modeling for teaching empathy in a home-based intervention environment. Participants had a diagnosis of autism and were between the ages of 4-8 years old. Prerequisites included experience with token economies, the ability to imitate 3 word phrases, and minimal disruptive behaviors. The treatment package involved video modeling, role play, and reinforcement. It was modified from the original study to promote more rapid acquisition and generalization of skills, as well as efficient implementation for the purposes of extending the application to practitioners and families in an home-based clinical setting. Results showed that video modeling was an effective method for teaching target empathetic responses and promoting generalization across SDs, response categories, people, and settings.
 
177. Changing Typography to Improve Reading Fluency in Individuals Who Engage in Vocal Stereotypy
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY SEALS MATHIS (Mississippi State University ), Grace Drumheller (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Although the function and treatment of vocal stereotypy has been evaluated throughout the literature, it’s effect and interference on academics, specifically reading, has not been evaluated. Vocal stereotypy is known for its maladaptive effects; specifically, it’s disruption to the learning environment. The current study aimed to distinguish the best intervention for improving reading fluency in a 14-year-old female with Autism that engages in high rates of vocal stereotypy by conducting a brief experimental analysis. From this analysis, an intervention, repeated readings with a change in typography of the text, was selected and further examined. The individual was presented with enlarged portions of the text at a time and read through the text once with error corrections and second time without. With this intervention, the individual continued to show higher rates of Words Correct Per Minute (WCPM) when the intervention was implemented than when it was not. The study suggests that this intervention decreased rates vocal stereotypy and increased on-task behavior, as it led to higher rates of words being read per minute.
 
178. Improving Rate of Responding in Receptive Identification Tasks in Four Children with Autism Using Behavioral Momentum
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
RAZIA ALI (Behavior Momentum India), Anupama Jagdish (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: This study evaluated the effectiveness of behavioural momentum, (Mace et al., 1988) in building the pace of responding to mastered receptive identification tasks in 4 children with autism whose rate of responding was between 4 and 10 per minute. In the intervention phase, participants were required to complete a sequence of high probability responses comprising of motor imitation tasks and this was followed immediately by the presentation of low probability receptive identification tasks. Post intervention probes demonstrated increase in rate of responding to receptive identification tasks by 43%, 50% and 125% with three participants and 18% with fourth. The Inter-observer agreement for the study was 90%. A multiple baseline across subjects was used to demonstrate experimental control.
 
179. Decreasing Vocal Stereotypy Using Antecedent Cues in a 14-Year-Old Boy With A Diagnosis of Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
RAZIA ALI (Behavior Momentum India), Anisha Tanna (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Previous research has focused on interventions such as Response Interruption and Re-Direction (RIRD, Ahearn et al., 2007), Non-contingent Reinforcement (NCR, Falcomata et al., 2004) to reduce stereotypic behavior. This study aimed to assess effectiveness of antecedent cues (Conroy et al., 2005) in decreasing vocal stereotypy. Participant was a 14-year-old boy with autism who engaged in nonfunctional speech and high rates of vocal stereotypy. A functional assessment indicated that the behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcement. The intervention for this single subject study involved antecedent cues of being seated on a wooden chair and printed word “quiet” in conjunction with differential reinforcement- Omission (DRO) with access to stereotypy in a white plastic chair. Vocal stereotypy which was more than 90% of intervals observed in baseline reduced to 0 within 7 sessions of intervention. Brief follow up probes demonstrated a positive impact of this intervention across home and school settings as well.
 
180. The Impact of Preference Assessment on Independent Responding in Two Children With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SMITA AWASTHI (Behavior Momentum India), Razia Ali (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Fischer (1992) demonstrated that using high frequency stimuli selected as reinforcers were correlated with higher rates of responding compared to those that were selected fewer times. This study examined the impact of using Multiple Stimulus without Replacement (MSWO; De Leon & Iwata 1996) for identifying and using high value reinforcers to increase the rate of independent responding. Two 2-year-old children, MC and VB with diagnoses of autism participated in the study. The children were observed to respond with a delay greater than 5 seconds to familiar instructions. The MSWO preference assessment procedure was used to identify and classify preferred stimuli as high, medium and low. independent responses from participants within 5 seconds resulted in delivery of high value reinforcers and prompted responses contacted low value reinforcers. Independent responding increased from 12% to 25% for MC and from 10% to 65% for VB over just 5 sessions of training. The results demonstrate the value of preference assessments in identifying stimuli that could strengthen responding.
 
181. Shaping Across Four Parameters: Accuracy, Consecutive Instructional Frequency, Distance From Learning Station and Complexity Of Instructional Tasks Complied With To Improve Accuracy In Responding
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Madhavi Rao (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Behavior can be shaped in terms of topography, frequency, latency, duration and amplitude/magnitude (Copper, Heron and Heward, 2007). In this study, shaping was simultaneously attempted across four parameters, accuracy, number of consecutive instructional tasks, distance from learning station and complexity of instructional tasks complied with. A 5-year-old girl with autism was responding to mastered tasks at less than 10% accuracy in her designated learning station in baseline conditions. An improvement in accuracy was initially achieved by moving from designated work station for academic tasks to play area one floor and 15 meters away from stairs, dropping low probability instructions and reducing the number of trials per sitting to 5. Through 7 phases and 53 days, the terminal criterion comprising of a) 80% plus accuracy in responding b) 10 consecutive trials per sitting c) Interspersed high-p and low-p tasks and d) location at designated workstation on first floor was reached. This study explores the importance of systematically varying multiple criteria to progress towards terminal goal. Conceptual issues of discriminating between generalization across settings and location as an attribute of behavior for shaping are discussed.
 
182. Teaching An 8 Year Old Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Mand for Information Using "When"
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
VIDUSHI SHARMA CHAUHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Asking for information is an important element in language development as it can help in acquisition of additional verbal behavior (Sundberg & Partington,1996).Children with autism have difficulties in acquiring mands for information and require structured teaching (Charlop & Milstein, 1989; Endicott & Higbee, 2007). While there are limited studies on teaching mand for information using how (Valentino, 2011; Lechago et al., 2013) and using which (Marion et al., 2012), there are none on teaching to mand using when. Teaching to mand using when can be accomplished by creating a motivating operation (MO) for information involving passage of time (Sundberg and Partington, 1996). In this experiment an 8-year-old boy with autism was taught to mand for information by using When? (Kab) in Hindi. The motivating operation was contrived and access was interrupted by specific verbal stimulus Not Now, followed by a prompt to mand using when. This resulted in information that access would be allowed after completion of a specific brief task. Completion of task resulted in access to preferred item. Manding by asking When (Kab) was acquired within 5 sessions of training. IOA was 100%. Generalization probes for Mand When with other verbal interruptions like later (baad mein) and after some time (thodi dair baad) were also acquired.
 
183. The Benefits of Teaching Simple Signs to an Individual Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Increase Appropriate Requesting Skills
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
NATHAN VANDERWEELE (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Western Michigan University ), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: As practitioners, behavior analysts must continually search for the most effective method of producing socially significant behavior change. In accordance with best practice guidelines, when a problem behavior is targeted for reduction, an appropriate alternative behavior must also be taught to replace that aberrant behavior. Functional communication training (FCT) is one such option utilized by behavior analysts to teach the desired response followed by reinforcement, while minimizing reinforcement for or placing the undesired response on extinction. This study illustrates the benefits of implementing a functional communication training program with a 14-yr old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Baseline data was collected for a period of six months before the FCT program was implemented. Components of the program included discrete trial teaching (teaching simple hand signs to request preferred items), natural environment teaching (teaching hand signs to request items with current motivational value), and ignoring or redirecting undesirable behaviors which previously resulted in obtaining the desired reinforcer. All components of the program were taught as needed to caregivers and staff as turnover occurred. A significant decrease in several target behaviors has been observed, with the number of novel signs and the number of independent requests continuing to increase.
 
184. Using Non-Contingent Reinforcement with Extinction to Reduce the Aggression In A 7 Year Old Boy With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Madhavi Rao (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) has been used to reduce self-injurious behaviors in adults with developmental disabilities (Kahng, Iwata, Thompson, Hanley ,2000). NCR with extinction was evaluated to reduce aggressive behavior in a 7-year-old boy with autism. A functional analysis confirmed the function of problem behavior as access to preferred activity (jumping on trampoline) and ruled out the previously hypothesized escape function (from instructional tasks). Functional Communication training (FCT) was introduced and was withdrawn as it resulted in demands for non-stop access to the activity for extended durations. In the next NCR plus extinction phase, access to the preferred activity was provided for constant 20 seconds and the NCR interval was increased (thinned) systematically from an average of 30 secs to 11 minutes. A differential reinforcement procedure was instituted to shape appropriate transitioning. From a baseline average of 26 mins per session, the duration of aggressive behavior reduced by 50% within the first few sessions and to zero in 35 sessions while inappropriate transitions were reduced to zero in 14 sessions.
 
185. A parametric analysis of the effects of physical activity on stereotypy and academic engagement
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
KISSEL JOSEPH GOLDMAN (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Sarah Weinsztok (University of Florida ), Gina Nicolini-Green (Behavior Analysis Support Services )
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Several investigators have observed decreases in stereotypy and increases in academic engagement or on-task behavior following bouts of physical activity (e.g., Celiberti, Bobo, Kelly, Harris, & Handleman, 1997; Neely, Rispoli, & Gerow, 2014) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some have attributed these effects to changes in the value of reinforcement for stereotypy following physical activity, but fatigue may also be a factor. Either way, the effects may be related to the amount of physical activity. The duration of engagement in physical activity varies widely within studies that have examined these effects, and only Celiberiti et al. (1997) have observed participants engaging in physical activity for extended periods following physical activity to determine the duration of these effects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze changes in stereotypy and on-task behavior following varying durations of physical activity. Two participants with ASD were observed for 10 min before, between 1 and 15 min during, and 30 min following engagement in physical activity. Results revealed that engagement in stereotypy and on-task behavior did not vary systematically as a function of duration of physical activity. These data suggest that more physical activity may not result in longer durations of effects.
 
187. Increasing the Acceptance of Low-probability Foods Using High-probability Sequence With Children With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Monalisa Costa (AFETO), Bárbara Souza (AFETO), Ronildo Silva (AFETO), DANIELA DE SOUZA CANOVAS (Grupo Método - Intervenção Comportamental), Michelle Sutherland (Sprouts Feeding Therapy)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to increase the variety of foods accepted by a 5-year-old child with ASD. Initially two preferred foods were established as high-probability foods (one crunchy food and one low texture food). Then a high-p instructional sequence was implemented with each type of food. Two sessions were conducted daily. Initially, each food was presented in a ratio of 3:1 (high-p:low-p food). After criterion (90% or higher acceptance in 3 consecutive sessions), ratio was 2:1; 1:1; and finally only the low-p food was presented. The intervention also included other components such as escape extinction and re-presentation of food if expulsion was observed. Performance with crunchy foods was consistent and the criterion was met in 3 to 5 sessions in each phase. With the low texture foods intervention took more sessions; acceptance was consistent (90% or higher), however the child had a cough in 90% or more of the trials. Additional procedures were implemented and successful to decrease cough. The intervention was effective to establish the acceptance of a variety of 8 new crunchy foods and 3 new low texture foods. Data collection is still ongoing to establish 2 more low texture foods.
 
188. Establishment of Generalized Identity matching With Objects in Children With Autism Using a Modeling Procedure
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Anne Caroline Carneiro (AFETO and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco), Cecília Freitas (AFETO and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco), Michelle Brasil (AFETO and Universidade Federal de Pernambuco), DANIELA DE SOUZA CANOVAS (Grupo Método - Intervenção Comportamental), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to establish identity matching with objects in children with ASD, who had previously failed to learn this repertoire. During each trial, three comparison stimuli were simultaneously presented on the table in front of the participant. The experimenter then presented a model, which consisted of positioning a sample stimulus in front of the participant and then matching it with the corresponding identical comparison. After that, the sample was again positioned in front of the child with the instruction "match". Two children with ASD, who had a history of imitating with objects participated in the study. We used a concurrent multiple probe design across sets of stimuli. Pre and Posttests consisted of sessions of identity matching-to-sample with each set of three stimuli, in 9-trial blocks under extinction. Training sessions were conducted daily until criterion (8/9 or 9/9 correct responses in two consecutive sessions). One of the children met the criterion during training with the two sets of stimuli (objects) and also performed accurately during posttests (90% or higher correct responses). Data collection is ongoing for the second participant.
 
189. Abbreviated Intensive Parent Training Program for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Sienna VanGelder (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), ALEXIS N. BOGLIO (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Parent involvement is a crucial component of behavioral interventions, particularly as it relates to language development for toddlers and young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. An intensive short-term training model has previously demonstrated efficacy in teaching parents to implement Pivotal Response Treatment (Koegel, Symon, & Koegel, 2002). However, the 25 hour one-week model lacks social validity for some parents of toddlers because the schedule can interrupt natural sleep routines. As a result, an abbreviated 15-hour model was offered to parents of toddlers, while parents with young children continued to enroll in the 25-hour model. 28 parent-child dyads participated in the current year-long pilot study, with 7 dyads enrolled in the 15-hour model and 21 dyads enrolled in the 25-hour model. Results indicate that across both service options parents increased their fidelity of implementation with average scores in an acceptable range of fidelity. During the one-week training period, 5 of 7 dyads enrolled in the 15-hour model and 16 of the 21 dyads enrolled in the 25-hour model obtained fidelity of implementation. These findings further support for short-term training models and warrant further investigation of the brief model and programming for toddlers.
 
190. A Case Study: Increasing Independent Consumption of Low-probability Food using Textual Cues
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHELLE MCDERMOTT (Firefly Autism ), Michael Ray (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: A few studies indicate success of using a high-probability sequence to increase consumption of low-probability food by learners with autism and developmental disabilities. Previous studies included verbal prompts by therapists, care givers, or family members to cue independent consumption of low-probability food by learners with autism and developmental disabilities. This study aimed to increase the learner's independence during mealtime using textual cues to further research using high-probability sequence to increase consumption of low-probability food by a learner with autism. Two forms of textual cues were used during the case study. The first textual cue intervention comprised of a written list of food ordered in a high-probability sequence. The second textual cue intervention used guidelines indicating the amount of food the learner was required to consume to gain access to the post meal reward. Results of the case study indicate the textual cue interventions were successful in increasing independence during meals and consumption of low-probability food. Twelve low-probability foods were independently consumed at a criterion level during the study. Additionally, consumption maintained over time. Independent consumption of low-probability food generalized across settings to the learner's home during meals with his family.
 
191. A Systematic Review of Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention and Developmental Intervention Treatment Outcomes for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Theory
SARAH DAVIS (Brock University), Kirsten M. Wirth (Wirth Behavioural Health Services; University of Manitoba), Kendra Thomson (Brock University )
Discussant: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Empirical support for early intensive behaviour intervention (EIBI) as a treatment of choice for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is extensive. There is a dearth of research, however comparing the relative outcomes of EIBI to developmental interventions including those with some behavioral components. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, this systematic literature review will compare the treatment outcomes of: early intensive behaviour intervention (EIBI), Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), Relationship Development Intervention (RDI or Floortime), and Developmental Individual Relationship-Based intervention (DIR). Databases searched were: PsycINFO, Education Resources Information Centre (ERIC), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), PubMed, and PubMed Central. To be part of the ongoing analysis, studies had to include: a systematic evaluation (i.e., randomized control trial, single-case design, or open trial), children aged 10 or younger with confirmed ASD diagnoses, a primary target to reduce ASD symptoms or increase functional skills, at least 10 hour of intervention per week, direct observation and/or psychometrically sound outcome measures, publication in peer-reviewed English journals. Results of this review will be discussed as well as implications for service delivery.
 
192. The Itsy Bitsy Pinches
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Amanda Rades (Firefly Autism), REBECCA PERRY (Firefly Autism), Lily Dicker (Firefly Autism)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: We completed a component analysis of a treatment package (which consisted of a competing items procedure, response cost procedure, and sensory extinction procedure), on the problem behavior for a young child with autism spectrum disorder. Each component was systematically implemented to determine the individual effects on rates of pinching. In addition, a functional analysis was conducted and the results indicated that pinching is maintained by automatic reinforcement. During intervention, the response topography shifted which caused the previously successful intervention to require further investigation. The initial definition of pinching was as follows: using fingers and/or thumb to grab his skin or skin of therapist using light pressure to push skin together, targeted areas include elbows, neck, and knees. The modified definition includes pinching hands as the participant targeted the webbing of his fingers. Initially, access to competing items decreased rates of pinching to a socially significant level. With the shift in topography, the competing items no longer decreased rates. Preliminary data suggest that sensory extinction may be effective in decreasing the current topography of pinching.
 
193. Horton Hears an "Eeeee!"
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA PERRY (Firefly Autism), Amanda Rades (Firefly Autism), Mary Allietta (Firefly Autism)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: A reversal design was used to examine the effects of self-recording on vocal stereotypy with a four year old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participant's vocal stereotypy was defined as a high-pitched continuous "eee" or "uuh" vocalization, and/or other continuous noncontextual vowel sounds occurring for at least one second. The treatment involved wearing a Bluetooth hat that played a recorded loop of the participant engaging in vocal stereotypy during sessions. The hat was worn for 30 minutes and removed for five minutes to prevent satiation. Data were recorded using momentary time sampling (MTS) on vocal stereotypy across various settings, activities and staff in both baseline and treatment phases. Eight five-minute time samples were recorded throughout sessions. Data suggest that he engages in vocal stereotypy at higher rates during activities that involve gross motor movement. Although wearing the Bluetooth hat did not have an effect on performance in skill acquisition programs, the intervention decreased vocal stereotypy to a socially significant level.
 
194. Pete and Repeat
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Rebecca Perry (Firefly Autism), AMANDA RADES (Firefly Autism), Elyse Murrin (Firefly Autism)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: A multiple baseline design was used to examine the effects of behavioral momentum and positive punishment on echolalia. The procedure was implemented for a child with autism who engaged in high rates of echolalia following vocal instructions. Echolalia was defined as any instance where the student repeats a word or a phrase said by an adult or a student, outside of an appropriate context. The intervention increased correct responding and decreased echolalia for a 6-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder.
 
195. The Use of Defusion Exercises to Explore the Emergence of Creative Responses
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID LEGASPI (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Andrea Mazo (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Sara Morris (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Kayla Diane Brachbill (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Daniel Spohr (St. Louis Community College), RuthAnne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Creative behavior may be described as a mutation of behavior, a product of selection by which behavioral variability and novelty occur (Skinner, 1959). Rigidity is described as the inability to break rules and is a characteristic of autism (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), though research has been limited, it supports the use of defusion to change levels of psychological flexibility by altering the function that a verbal event may have. (Eilers & Hayes, 2015). Wulfert et al. (1994) explored rigidity by comparing responses across inaccurate and inaccurate rules referring to two different schedules of reinforcement (SOR), comparing the effects of rule following and contingency control. Psychological flexibility is described as the ability to contact the present moment, allowing for behavior change in response to goals or values (Hayes et al., 2010). In our pilot study, individuals responded differently depending on accurate or inaccurate instructions regarding a machine’s SOR. The accurate group responded on average of 44.09 clicks per minute, the inaccurate group’s average was 181.55. In the present study, individuals diagnosed with autism will then be interviewed and observed to identify idiosyncratic rigid habits/rules, be given the appropriate questionnaires, and undergo individualized defusion sessions to study the emergence of creative behavior.
 
196. The Effectiveness of Picture Exchange Communication System on Increasing Vocalizations for a Child With Autism
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Frances Parkes (Tomorrow's Voices Bermuda Autism Early Interventio), NAOMI LOUISE TAYLOR (Tomorrow's Voices Bermuda Autism Early Interventio)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: This study utilized an AB design to examine the effects of PECS training on increasing vocalizations in a three year old child with autism. Pre and post probes were carried out for each PECS stage, as well as in the natural environment through video observation. Results showed the participant met mastery of criterion across all long-term objectives. Results from a follow up video observation showed a considerable increase in vocal mands in comparison to video observations prior to the onset of the intervention.
 
197. Teaching Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Perform Multistep Requesting Using an iPad
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
NOUF ALZRAYER (Texas Tech University ), Devender Banda (Texas Tech University), Koul Rajinder (Texas Tech University, Health Science Center)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and developmental disabilities fail to develop spontaneous requesting without direct instructions and express their wants and needs using prelinguistic forms of communication or through maladaptive behaviors. Mobile touchscreen devices as speech generating devices (SGDs) have been used over the recent years to improve communication skills. This study evaluated the effects of the iPad with Proloquo2Go in developing multistep requesting in children with ASD and developmental disabilities using systematic instructions during playtime. Four children between the ages of eight and ten-year- old diagnosed with ASD and developmental disabilities, participated in this study. The results showed that the intervention was effective in increasing multistep requesting using the iPad in children with ASD. All participants were successful in both page navigation and symbol combination. Additionally, they requested new preferred items and activities during the generalization probes. Results are discussed and implications for research and practice are provided.
 
198. Effects of Lag Schedules on Topographical Mand Variability and Challenging Behavior During Functional Communication Training
Area: VRB; 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: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Reinforcing multiple mand topographies or modalities during functional communication training (FCT) may increase the persistence of manding during challenges to treatment. However, validated procedures that reinforce the use of multiple mand topographies during FCT are lacking. Prior research demonstrated that FCT with a lag schedule of reinforcement reduced challenging behavior and increased non-vocal mand variability across modalities in individuals with autism. This finding suggests similar procedures may have similar effects on challenging behavior and vocal and/or sign manding. Also, studies have shown that lag schedules following response prompting and/or prompt fading can increase variability in vocalizations, tacts, and intraverbals. Therefore, we compared the effects of response prompting procedures and a lag schedule of reinforcement on topographical mand variability and challenging behavior during FCT. The current data from two of three children with autism suggest that lag schedules can reinforce topographical mand variability during FCT following the fading or elimination of response prompts. This finding warrants study of the effects of these procedures on the resurgence of manding and challenging behavior following treatment with FCT in children with autism. Limitations of the current study and directions for future research are discussed.
 
199. Comparing Echoic and Textual Prompts in the Establishment of Tact for a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SAWAKO KAWAMINAMI (University of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Several tact training studies have been implemented for children with autism spectrum disorders and language development disorder. These studies have revealed the effectiveness of vocal or visual prompts; however, which types of prompts are more useful for individuals with particular characteristics is still unclear. The present study focuses on echoic and textual prompts and investigates the relative effectiveness of each in establishing tact behavior in a child with autism spectrum disorder and a language development disorder manifested through delayed echolalia. We compared two training conditions, one using an echoic prompt (vocal stimuli) and another using a textual prompt (written stimuli), in an alternating treatment design. The materials were video clips that were used to develop tact through three-word utterances (e.g., Ms. Sato throws a ball.). Nine video clips were made for every condition. The dependent variable was the number of correct tact through three-word utterances. The result indicated that the participant displayed more rapid inculcation of tact using the echoic prompt. We discussed the significance of selecting appropriate training prompts considering the participants characteristics.
 
200. Examining Hispanic Parent/Child With Autism Interactions Through Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ALLEGRA MONTEMAYOR (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The purpose of this behavioral phenomenological investigation was to explore the contingency histories of Hispanic parents with children diagnosed with autism regarding the use of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in a home setting. Often referred to as "perceptions" (Creswell, 1998), Hispanic parents of children with autism were asked to define their lived experiences and interactions they have with their child with autism in terms of antecedent variables and consequences. Few research endeavors have been directed towards examining the reciprocity of parent-child with autism interactions using an AAC. The use of behavioral phenomenological inquiry however, provides detailed descriptions of Hispanic parents' personal histories of reinforcement that can help shape a comprehensive understanding of their interactions with their children with autism, and the extent to which forms of AAC enhance these interactions. Ultimately, this study is an examination of the verbal community for a child with autism using an AAC. The antecedent variables were responsible for AAC implementation in support of the child's communication skills. There were numerous consequences that parents reported as variables that led to the maintenance of AAC. A salient factor derived from the findings showed that parents faced many challenges implementing AAC in the home that caused them to give up. In three of the four cases, the consequences to using the AAC were not hopeful enough to outweigh the antecedent variables related to contextual fit of the device and familiarity of how to use the AAC appropriately.
 
201. Isolating Important Procedural Elements Using a Conditioned Transitive Motivating Operation to Teach a Mand
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSIE PARENT (ABA & Verbal Behavior Group, Inc.), Anita Lynn Wilson (ABA & Verbal Behavior Group, Inc.)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Mand training is an important aspect of teaching language to children with a diagnosis of autism. The current study compared the occurrence of unprompted manding for specified toys under two treatment conditions and a non-treatment condition. Conditioned transitive motivating operations were an element of both treatment conditions. Using a reversal design, the first treatment condition consisted of a vocal instruction to complete a pre-trained two-component play sequence. If the instruction was not consistently effective across sessions in establishing a motivating operation and a corresponding unprompted mand for a missing item, the second treatment was implemented, which included direct mand training if necessary (i.e., echoic prompt after a 5-second delay) and a vocal description of a pre-identified presumed terminal reinforcer (e.g., "first feed the baby, then iPad). The non-treatment condition consisted of free access to the toy set used in the experimental condition (with the relevant “mand” item hidden) during a two-hour session. Participants were two four-year-old children with autism that did not demonstrate mands for missing items. Results demonstrated no manding for the items during the non-treatment condition, variable unprompted manding under the first condition, and acquisition of consistent unprompted manding during the second condition.
 
202. The Effects of Rapport-Building and Instructional Fading During Discrete Trial Instruction
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA CHERIE WRIGHT (Marcus Autism Center), Bethany Hansen (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Discrete-Trial Instruction (DTI) has been shown to be a beneficial procedure used to teach new academic skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Escaping from instructional situations had been found to be the second most common function of problem behavior in children with ASD (Love, et al., 2009). Shillingsburg et al., (2014) found that pairing the therapist and teaching setting with highly preferred activities and removing instructional demands can reduce avoidance behaviors. The addition of an instructional fading component may assist in bridging this gap. Instructional fading has been effective in decreasing maladaptive behavior during teaching (Pace et al., 1993, Piazza et al., 1996, Ringdahl et al., 2002). The benefit to this strategy is it could eliminate the need for an escape extinction component, which has been shown to be effective (Iwata et al., 1990) but can be associated negative side effects (Lerman et al., 1999, McConnachie & Carr, 1997). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of combining these procedures to increase social approach behaviors, reduce social avoidance behaviors, and establish and maintain compliance with instructional demands during DTI. Five participants were included in the study. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized.
 
203. An Evaluation of Language for Learning on Language Acquisition for Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SHANTINIQUE JONES (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often demonstrate language deficits that limit social communication and learning opportunities. The present study examined the effects of a Direct Instruction (DI) program, Language for Learning, on language and group learning outcomes for preschool aged children diagnosed with ASD. Language for Learning is designed for kindergarten and primary-age students as well as English language learners. The intervention was delivered daily in a small-group format as part of a 30-hour per week early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with a diagnosis of ASD. Daily dependent measures included listener responding, tacting, intraverbal responding, and imitation. Imitation trials were added to the curriculum to ensure mastered skills were interspersed with novel targets in order to increase accurate responding during initial lessons. Participants were required to meet 80% accurate responding for each operant to progress through lessons. A repeated pre-post probe design was used to evaluate learning once participants met mastery criteria for 10 lessons. The results of this study speak to the potential of Language for Learning as an effective curriculum for teaching early language skills to preschool children with ASD.
 
204. Group-Mediated Effective Instruction Delivery Training for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
ANDREA ZAWOYSKI (University of Georgia; Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kayzandra Bond (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Roderick O'Handley (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Sarah Smith (East Tennessee State University; Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cody McCormick (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are more likely to engage in noncompliance than typically developing peers when parents provide indirect instructions (Bryce & Jahromi, 2013). Training parents to use Effective Instruction Delivery (EID) has been shown to increase child compliance (Mandal, Olmi, Edwards, Tingstrom, & Benoit, 2000). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of a group-mediated behavioral skills training (BST) package to increase parent accuracy of EID. Participants were three parents of children with ASD. The primary dependent variable was percentage of EID steps completed correctly. Data were collected on parents’ attempts to gain compliance from a researcher acting as a child across randomized demands and randomized “child” responses (e.g., compliance, noncompliance, compliance with verbal opposition). The BST package consisted of didactic instruction, skill modeling, role-play with feedback, and a booster session. Data were evaluated via AB design. Improvement in EID was correlated with intervention; for example, 100% of data points between baseline and intervention were non-overlapping. Strong procedural integrity and inter-observer agreement percentages indicate a high degree of confidence in the data. Ultimately, results demonstrated that group-mediated instruction can improve the efficiency of training in EID for parents of children with ASD.
 
205. Using Matrix Training to Test Generative Learning of Expressive and Receptive Language with Children Diagnosed with Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JESSEBELLE PICHARDO (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology), Adam Thornton Brewer (Florida Institute of Technology), Regina Nastri (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Matrix training is a form of generative learning. This efficient method organizes and selects targets for teaching to promote the generalization of novel targets. Using this approach, only a subset of targets is taught and the emergence of new untrained responses is later evaluated, thereby obtaining a greater number of acquired skills through fewer training trials. The goal of this study is to evaluate whether matrix training can enhance expressive and receptive language in children diagnosed with autism. Participants for this study consisted of three, 4-year old, boys diagnosed with autism. Two matrices consisting of six nouns and six play action verbs were arranged, resulting in 36 possible noun-verb combinations. Initially, all targets were probed, but only three were trained. Once trained targets reached mastery criteria, other noun-verb combinations were probed for generalization. For two participants, noun-verb combinations were probed and taught as receptive language targets (i.e., performing play actions) and for the third as expressive language targets (i.e., labeling play actions). Because generalization of communication skills is of interest, a language assessment was conducted and natural environment play samples were recorded prior to training; these will be reassessed at the end of the study.
 
206. Teaching Peers with Autism to Recruit and Respond to Bids for Social Attention in a Dyad
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JAMIE LEE COHEN (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Ashley Stevens (Marcus Autism Center), Brittany Lee Bartlett (Marcus Autism Center), Taylor Thompson (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: A core feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is significant impairment in social communication (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This impairment includes lack of spontaneously sharing interests or achievements, and lack of gestures. These behaviors are sometimes referred to as joint attention skills. Joint attention is recognized as one of the earliest forms of communication and involves coordinated attention between a partner and event or object in the environment (Taylor & Hoch, 2008). This study used a non-concurrent multiple baseline across dyads to teach one child to initiate bids for attention and teach the peer to respond. Observational learning of untargeted skills was assessed through a role reversal. During baseline the target child was instructed to complete a scavenger hunt. Any bids for attention (e.g., “Look at my dinosaur”) from the target child and comments (e.g., “Cool”) from the peer were recorded. During training, script fading procedures were used to teach the target child to recruit attention. Additionally, echoic prompts were used to teach the peer to respond. The target participant learned to show items and the peer learned to respond following intervention. Following mastery, roles were reversed. Both participants responded correctly, despite never being directly taught to do so.
 
207. The Role of a Differential Observing Response on an Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination Task
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JAKE PAGANO (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kathryn Glodowski (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Victoria Cohrs (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Children with autism may respond over-selectively with respect to a given element within a conditional discrimination (Reith, Stahmer, Suhrheinrich, & Schriebman 2015). In such cases, prompting a differential observing response (DOR) can reduce restricted stimulus control. For example, Dube and McIlvane (1999) demonstrated the efficacy of a DOR during a visual-visual conditional discrimination task for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and Kisamore et al. (2016) found that a DOR improved multiply-controlled intraverbals for some children with autism. The purpose of the current project was to extend this research by examining the role of a DOR in establishing a different type of conditional discrimination, namely, an auditory-visual conditional discrimination. We asked four children with autism to tact one of two components when presented with a two-component compound stimulus (e.g., a green square). If responding was not at mastery-level performance, we prompted a DOR. Preliminary results show that a DOR alone improved responding for some participants, and high-level performance maintained with the removal of the DOR. However, differential reinforcement was necessary to increase responding in some participants. These results suggest that a DOR may be sufficient to establish auditory-visual conditional discriminations for some children with autism.
 
208. The Effects of Visual Prompts on Improving question-asking Behaviors in a Child with ASD
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LIYUAN GONG (University of Tsukuba), Sawako Kawaminami (University of Tsukuba), Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulty presenting question-asking behaviors in natural social contexts. In this study, one 7 years old child with ASD and intellectual disability learned how to make “wh-” questions including “Where is this place?”, “What is this?”, and “Who is he or she?” using visual prompts and prompt fading procedures. The visual prompt was fading out with 3 steps. A multiple-baseline design across three questions was utilized. As a result, the participant showed an improvement in making “what is this?’ and “where is this place?” questions, also initiated without visual prompt. However, the participant seemed to have more difficulty making a “who is he or she?” question. After the completion of the intervention implementation, maintenance and generalization probe observations were conducted for three questions. One of the questions “What is this?” was generalized to the real item in play time. Limitations and implications for future research were discussed.
 
209. Assessing Multiple Control Over the Verbal Behavior of Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (Univ of Texas at San Antonio), Alonzo Alfredo Andrews (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Extending the work on functional analyses of verbal behavior, we report the results of a procedure designed to assess converging variables over the language of children who display autistic speech. Four primary verbal relations were assessed: mand, echoic, tact, and intraverbal. Subsequently, we assessed the control of six bivergent variables: mand/echoic, mand/tact, mand/intraverbal, echoic/tact, echoic/intraverbal, tact/intraverbal. This was then followed by assessing the trivergence of: mand/echoic/tact, mand/echoic/intraverbal, mand/tact/intraverbal, and echoic/tact/intraverbal. Finally, we assessed the simultaneous multiple control of all four primary sources to serve as a control condition against which other conditions can be measured. The results of this verbal operant analysis of multiple control demonstrate the interaction of environmental variables and may be useful for assessing present levels of functional language, developing treatment plans, and designing individualized prompt fading procedures for transferring control across operant classes.
 
210. Using Blocked-Trials to Teach Conditional Discrimination between Tact Noun and Tact Action
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Ashley Simmons (Marcus Autism Center), KATE GOODRICH (Marcus Autism Center), Julia Kincaid (Marcus Autism Center), Camille Woodard (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder often exhibit difficulties with conditional discriminations, in which responding to a discriminative stimulus is reinforced only when another conditional stimulus is present. Saunders and Spradlin (1989) implemented a blocked-trials procedure to teach discrimination to two adults with intellectual disabilities. Recently, a blocked-trials procedure has been effective in establishing control over intraverbal responding (Ingvarsson, Kramer, Carp, Pétursdóttir, & Macias, 2016) and teaching color discrimination (Williams, Pérez-González, & Beatriz Müller Queiroz, 2005) in children with autism. The present study used blocked-trials to teach discriminations between “what is it?” and “what’s happening?” when presented with a verbal instruction and 3D stimuli for a child with autism. Six targets were selected using three items (three tact noun and three tact action) in a multiple probe across targets design. In baseline, targets in sets 1, 2, and 3 were presented in a mixed order (i.e., mixed trials), with no more than two of the same target presented consecutively. In set one, blocked-trials treatment with fading was required to demonstrate discrimination at mastery levels. For set two, discrimination occurred following mixed trials treatment. For set three, discrimination between targets was mastered in mixed trials baseline. Maintenance was observed across all sets.
 
211. Teaching Children with Autism to Emit Mands for Social Information in a Naturalistic Setting
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BETHANY TALMADGE (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Frampton (Marcus Autism Center), Cecilia Crowe (Marcus Autism Center), Ashley Stevens (Marcus Autism Center), Cassondra M Gayman (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the utility of contrived establishing operations (EOs) to teach children with autism to mand for information related to obtaining tangible items. Recently, Shillingsburg, Frampton, Wymer, and Bartlett (in press) contrived EO and AO conditions in which personal information about another person was either unknown or known and demonstrated that children with autism learned to ask questions when personal information was unknown. This study, however, was limited in that the trials were conducted in a contrived format. The current study sought to extend this research by teaching a child with autism to mand to peers for personal information within an ongoing classroom activity. The participant was tasked with giving peers their preferred items related to the activity topic (e.g., farm animals, etc.). In AO condition, the participant was provided with information regarding one peer’s preferred item. For the EO condition, the peer’s preferred item was unknown. During intervention, the participant was taught to ask the peers about preferred materials in order to provide the correct items (e.g., “Allison, what’s your favorite farm animal?”). The participant acquired mands for personal information within a small group. Responses to novel activities and to probes evaluating inferences of preferences were evaluated.
 
212. Teaching Gestural Communication to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Ashley Simmons (Marcus Autism Center), JENNIFER GIOIA (Marcus Autism Center), Meighan Adams (Marcus Autism Center), Caitlin H. Delfs (Marcus Autism Center), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Gestural communication typically begins in infancy and remains an important skill throughout development. Taking many forms, communication with gestures is used to socially interact with others, request or refuse items, and to direct attention to oneself (Watson, Crais, Baranek, Dykstra, & Wilson, 2013). While there is significant evidence to support that children with autism exhibit lower rates of appropriate gesture use (e.g., pointing to request items) when compared to typically developing children, limited research exists on how to teach these skills (Braddock et al., 2016). Additionally, studies completed to teach requests by gesturing were taught under the control of discriminative stimuli. The present study evaluated teaching three children with autism to point to indicate preference under the presence of an establishing operation (EOP). Before treatment, a pretest was completed in a natural setting followed by baseline and treatment in a structured setting. Pointing did not occur during the pretest or in baseline. All participants learned to use a distal point when motivation for the items was present (EOP) and did not use a point when motivation for the items was not present (EOA). During posttest, pointing was observed across participants when conducted in the same natural setting as the pretest.
 
213. Stimulus Fading: Establishing Visual Discriminations in an Early Manding Repertoire
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
ELIZABETH LEFEBRE (Bierman ABA Autism Centers), Ashley Alhers (Bierman ABA Autism Centers), Jessica Sivak (Bierman ABA Autism Centers), Jessica Gutwein (Bierman ABA Autism Centers)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Manding, is a critical communication skill for individuals of all ages. Individuals can mand using vocal communication, picture exchange, augmentative device use or gestural communication. Using pictures as a primary mode of communication requires the recruitment of many component skills. One of the many component skills includes discrimination of visual stimuli. Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize differences, details, similarities, color, etc. in visual images in order to differentiate one stimulus from another. When using pictures to mand, teaching visual discrimination skills across different stimuli can be a challenge for children with Autism. This intervention used stimulus fading. In this study, we used Stimulus Fading procedures by increasing the saliency of the different features of the target stimulus and the distractors and systematically fading the salient cues. The learner quickly progress through the Stimulus Fading procedures and demonstrated generalization with a variety of new targets.
 
214. An Analysis of Intraverbal Responding Through Syllogistic Frames
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ALONZO ALFREDO ANDREWS (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Lee L. Mason (Univ of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Conditioning stimulus control over intraverbals, the operant class of social behavior, is a primary function of the verbal community. Addressing intraverbal deficits, however, continues to be a challenge for researchers and practitioners, due to the lack of precise measures and sparse literature on establishing discriminations across derivations of intraverbal stimuli. Applying a stimulus equivalence framework to intraverbal relations, we designed and employed a novel outcome measure consisting of brief affordance narratives premised upon syllogistic logic to evaluate the relative control of reflexive, symmetrical, and transitive stimuli over responses to Wh- questions by children with autism. Similar affordance narratives were composed across the four figures of syllogisms to assess differences in participants' responding. Results demonstrate disproportionate degrees of derivational stimulus control as an operant dimension of behavior across syllogistic figures.
 
215. Establishing Naming in Children With Autism Through Sufficient Exemplar Training
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Roy Salomonsen (University Hospital of Tromso)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Naming was defined as being able to receptively and expressively label an item after observing another person tact that item. We selected 40 items that the participants were not able to receptively or expressively label (name). However, the participants had to be able to echo the name of the items. We employed a non-concurrent multiple probe design and the participants were assigned either a 1 day or 14 days baseline. The first step of the procedure consisted of the teacher twice tacting the item with the child was observing. The second step was probing if the child could receptively and expressively label the item - based merely on this observation. If the child could not do this, naming was taught. If the child named the item, the next item on the same procedure was followed for the next item on the list. This procedure was followed until the participants named three consecutive items. Both participant met this criterion, however the number of items needed to be trained varied. Both participants established the receptive labelling part of naming quicker than the expressive labelling part. These findings need to be replicated and future research should check if naming generalizes to daily life.
 
216. Establishing two-component instruction following with children with autism using multiple exemplar instruction
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
FANNY SILVA (AFETO, Pernambuco, Brazil), Ana Eduarda Vasconcelos (AFETO, Pernambuco, Brazil; Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil), Milena Pimentel (AFETO, Pernambuco, Brazil; Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil), Daniela De Souza Canovas (Grupo Método - Intervenção Comportamental), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Listener responding, more specifically, following instructions is an important skill to be developed in children with ASD. However, some children respond under the control of only one part of the instruction, rather than both components (e.g., "raise arms" versus "cross arms"; or "raise arms" versus "raise legs"). The purpose of this study was to investigate a training procedure to establish accurate listener responding under the control of all components of the instructions. Two children with ASD participated in the study. We used a multiple probe design across sets of instructions. Each set included three instructions (e.g., raise arms, open arms, cross arms). The multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) included the simultaneous training of four different operants with the same action: 1. pointing to the picture of the corresponding action (given the instruction, e.g. "raise arms"); 2. tacting the picture of the action, 3. imitating the action in the picture and 4. following the instruction. Results showed that after MEI training, both participants demonstrated responding (90% or higher), indicating the effectiveness of this procedure.
 
217. Pre-treatment Verbal Functioning as a Predictor of Response to Parent-implemented Verbal Behavior Intervention for Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY RAE CONNOVICH (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Approximately 67% of children diagnosed with autism are estimated to respond positively to Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI, Perry, 2008). The child’s initial level of verbal functioning has been hypothesized to be a predictor variable for these heterogeneous EIBI outcomes (Itzchak, 2009). The purpose of this study was to explore pre-treatment level of verbal functioning as a possible predictor of the mixed treatment outcomes of a parent-implemented ABA intervention based on Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior (VBA). Outcome measures including the Mullen Scales of Early Development (MSEL), the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), and direct observation of verbal behavior (VB) and joint attention (JA) skills during parent-child interactions were collected at baseline, immediately following the 3-month parent-implemented VBA intervention, and 3-months after the end of intervention (6-month follow-up). Data from 12 children assigned to VBA were analyzed in the context of their pre-treatment language functioning level as measured by the VB-MAPP and portions of the MSEL. Growth patterns in VB and JA were detected to cluster by pre-treatment level on the VB-MAPP, and the specific patterns were largely dependent upon the demand characteristics of the “presses” designed to differentially evoke JA and VB during the parent-child interactions.
 
218. Using Tact Training to Produce Emergent Relations between Numbered Musical Notations and Notes in A female with Autism.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
YI-CHIEH CHUNG (National Pingtung University)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: In recent years, there have been an increasing numbers of studies that empirically investigated the emergence of derived equivalence relations among individuals with autism. Traditional match-to-sample approaches involving error corrects were usually used in building target stimulus-response relations. In the field of verbal behavior, several studies have examined emergent stimulus equivalence following tact training. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of tact training with errorless learning procedures in a many-to-one (MTO, i.e., A=B and C=B) format on emergence of derived relations between seven numbered musical notations (A) and notes(C). A multiple probe design across behaviors was used to first teach the participant to tact numbered musical notations (A=B) and then learned to tact musical notes(C=B). Following tact training, untaught relations including symmetry (i.e., B=A and B=C), and transitivity (i.e., A-C relations) were observed. Specifically, generalized effects of some responding were found in more natural conditions.
 
219. Methodology for testing whether tokens function as reinforcers
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MEACHA LYNN COON (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Stephanie Bonfonte (The New England Center for Children), Mary Katherine Carey (New England Center for Children), Joshua Jackson (New England Center for Children), Julie M. Stine (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Many experimenters have employed token systems but few have explicitly demonstrated that tokens function as reinforcers. In this poster we present a methodology for testing whether or not tokens act as reinforcers. Our primary method entailed a comparison between a token production condition and a yoked tandem condition. In the token condition, we delivered tokens contingent upon responding. The token condition was identical to the tandem except that there were no token deliveries during the tandem condition. We held the ratio to responses to primary reinforcers constant across token and tandem conditions. In order to avoid temporal contiguity between responding and primary reinforcement, participants exchanged tokens at a delay following sessions. Likewise, we delivered primary reinforcers earned during the tandem condition at a delay following the session. We identified primary reinforcers via paired-stimulus preference assessments. Participants were seven students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder that were attending a school for individuals with intellectual disabilities. These methods allowed us to detect when tokens did and did not function as reinforcers.
 
220. Effects of Self-Monitoring Strategy in Increasing On-Task Behavior of a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorder Without Teacher Observation
Area: AAB; Domain: Service Delivery
DAISUKE NAGATOMI (University of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: This study was designed to evaluate self-monitoring procedures on the independent work behavior of a student with autism in a situation without teacher observation. First, the student solved a trace problem in a situation with teacher observation (Condition A). Second, he worked out a trace problem in a situation without teacher observation (Condition B). Last, he applied a self-monitoring strategy in the situation without teacher observation (Condition C). A-B-C-B-C design was implemented, and three dependent variables were observed. (1) The percentage of time engaged in on-task behavior. (2) The percentage of intervals engaged in off-task behavior. (3) The percentage of number traced Japanese words exactly. The results are displayed in Figure 1. The findings indicated that the self-monitoring procedure was successful in increasing stable on-task behavior. Moreover, the student traced Japanese words almost precisely in Condition C. In the future, we aim to reverse Conditions B and C and continue evaluating the self-monitoring procedure.
 
221. Use of flavor spray to decrease the occurrence of post-meal rumination
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANTOINETTE DONALDSON (Children's Hospital Colorado), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Rumination has been defined as the repetitive regurgitation of undigested food, and can lead to serious health consequences (Luiselli, 2015). We present data from a child referred to a psychiatric inpatient unit diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who engaged in post-meal rumination. That is, rumination most likely to occur following a meal or snack. Interobserver agreement was collected on 40% of sessions and averaged 90%. This child’s evaluation was conducted using an ABAB reversal design. During the baseline condition, the child was permitted continuous access to preferred activities, such as reading books, and direct attention immediately following a meal or snack. Rumination was ignored. Results of baseline showed initially high levels of rumination that eventually decreased over time. During treatment, one spray from a flavor spray bottle was delivered on a fixed time 5-min schedule following each meal or snack. Preferred activities and adult attention were continuously available, and rumination continued to be ignored. Results showed initially lower levels of rumination when flavor spray was delivered compared to the baseline condition. However, while occurring less, the overall duration of episode of rumination continued to be approximately equal. These data will be discussed in terms of managing post-meal rumination.
 
222. Extension of a Parent-mediated Joint Attention Intervention With Generalization to Home Setting for Young Children With Autism
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BUKET ERTURK (University of Oregon), Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders have numerous developmental difficulties and one of these difficulties is social-communication deficit. Joint attention is a social-communication skill, which is a pivotal skill for more complex social-communication, language, and social skills. In this concurrent multiple baseline single-case research study, we investigated the effectiveness and generalization of a parent-implemented joint attention intervention, response to joint attention skills of three young children with autism, and parents' treatment fidelity of implementation. Results indicated that parents were able to implement the social-communication intervention following parent training and coaching. Results also indicated that children were able to gain response to joint attention skills with the use of prompts and generalize these skills to more natural settings. Conclusion and recommendation for future research are discussed.
 
223. Further Evaluation of Choice on Instructional Efficacy and Individual Preferences
Domain: Applied Research
CHAVELYS VALLE (Florida Institute of Technology), Yanerys Leon (Florida Institute of Technology), Johanna Sosa (Florida Institute of Technology), Andre V. Maharaj (Florida International University), Carolina Samitier (Florida Institute of Technology ), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of choice making opportunities on the rate of skill acquisition in children with autism spectrum disorder. We systematically replicated procedures described by Toussaint et al. (2015). That is, we evaluated the following conditions: choice (with a differential consequence) and no choice. Additionally, we assessed a condition during which the participant had a choice among an array of identical items (choice with no differential consequence). Additionally, we assessed preference for each of the contingency arrangements. Results indicated that choice-making opportunities increased the rate of skill acquisition when choice is provided with and without differential consequence. However, despite the increased rate of skill acquisition, preliminary results suggest there is little correspondence between efficiency and preference in this experimental arrangement.
 

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