Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #492
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding Behavioral Skills Training: Application With Adolescents With Autism, Care Partners of Individuals With Cognitive Loss, and College Professors
Monday, May 28, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom G
Area: EDC/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nicole Domonchuk (Lambton College)
CE Instructor: Nicole Domonchuk, Ed.D.

Behavioral skills training (BST) procedures are one approach to teaching complex skills based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. Clinicians and researchers have successfully implemented BST across a wide range of skills while working with children, adolescents, care providers, and paid staff. Extension of BST to fields of burgeoning interest to behavior analysts, such as behavioral gerontology and higher education remains limited. In this symposium, we will describe how BST can be applied in three diverse settings. The first presentation will describe how BST was applied to teach adaptive living skills for individuals with ASD transitioning to adulthood in a community setting using college students as instructors. The second presentation will share the results of a BST intervention designed to support college faculty members to adopt new teaching techniques over the course of an academic semester. The final presentation will provide a comparison of interventions commonly used to support care providers of older adults with cognitive loss, then make a case for the utility of BST as an intervention appropriate to this growing population.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia, BST, College Teaching, Functional Skills
Target Audience:

Clinicians working within diverse settings, designing behavior change programs.


Transitioning Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Life Prep Course

(Service Delivery)
MEAGHEN SHAVER (St. Lawrence College), Andrea Roblin-Hanson (Hotel Dieu Hospital, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

In this study, community service gaps were identified in relation to the development of adaptive living skills for individuals with ASD transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. A scan of the literature was conducted to identify evidence based practices for this population and target skill area. In the initial phases of research, the Assessment of Functional Living SkillsCommunity Participation Protocol was used to identify target skills in 8 participants diagnosed with ASD, and subsequently these skills were taught in a five-week skills group format called the "Life Prep Course." A treatment package that included Behavioral Skills Training, Video Modelling and In-Vivo Generalization opportunities was implemented. Assessment scores, probe data and social validity scores were collected to demonstrate the effectiveness and acceptability of the intervention. Results showed that the participants acquired the targeted skills. Specifically, 6/8 participants increased their assessment score by over 10% upon reassessment. Generalization of skills was moderate, and was demonstrated to be at 80% success by week 5 of the program. Participants and caregivers reported high levels of satisfaction with the intervention. In upcoming phases of research, maintenance will be assessed, and a replication of the "Life Prep Course" will be conducted.


Supporting College Faculty to Adopt New Teaching Practices With Behavioral Skills Training

(Applied Research)
NICOLE DOMONCHUK (Lambton College)

The landscape of higher education is evolving. Students are accustomed to almost continuous use of their mobile devices. As a result, professors may feel pressure to incorporate technologically savvy instruction into their practice with the goal of leveraging those devices to improve learning outcomes. While professors often have expert content knowledge and/or research expertise they may not have well developed pedagogical or technological skills. This may leave faculty members who are motivated to adopt new teaching techniques uncertain how to proceed. In addition, attempts to incorporate technology in the classroom may not have the desired effect further discouraging experimentation with new techniques. Behavioral skills training (BST) has been demonstrated to be effective in numerous settings with varied participants. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the effect of a modified BST procedure on faculty adoption of technology-enhanced teaching practices. The intervention spanned one academic semester, used a changing criterion design, and incorporated instructions, modeling, rehearsal, performance feedback, and goal setting. The results of the intervention were positive, with participants endorsing the approach.


Training Family Care Partners of Older Adults With Cognitive Loss: What Happened to Skills?

(Service Delivery)
RACHEL VANPUTTEN (Eastern Michigan University ), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)

Most older adults with cognitive loss live at home and are cared for by family members. Family care partners require skills to effectively assist their loved ones with basic and instrumental activities of daily living, with managing co-occurring chronic illnesses, and with the emotional and behavioral changes associated with cognitive decline. Family care partners predominantly receive interventions addressing caregiver stress, burden, and depression. These interventions neglect skills-based approaches that would otherwise equip care partners to implement behavioral interventions targeting their loved one's presenting problems. Additionally, increased skills might alleviate stress, burden, and depressed behavior related to overwhelming task demand. Despite care partner need for skills, the application of evidence-based training practices such as Behavioral Skills Training (BST) remains unevaluated. Both prevalence of use and potential efficacy of in-home BST for care partners of adults with cognitive loss are unexamined. A detailed comparison of interventions for family care partners of adults with cognitive loss will be provided, and aspects related to the implementation of behavior analytic methods assessing for and informing skill-based interventions will be discussed.




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