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 #126
CE Offered: BACB
Utilizing Basic Strategies to Achieve Positive Outcomes for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 26, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom F
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ashly Voorde (LOGAN Community Resources, Inc.)
Discussant: Ian Melton (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Ian Melton, M.S.

Goals in applied settings are to improve client outcome. Frequently fundamental interventions are discounted for more complicated, labor intensive ones. The papers in this symposium will discuss two research projects. Specific data are presented on a specific staff training strategy to teach staff to become proficient group teachers. The second paper presents data on a strategy to increase staff/client engagement across activities in a center-based setting.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:



Teaching Staff to Effectively Teach Groups of Learners With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Service Delivery)
JILL E. MCGRALE MAHER (Behavioral Concepts, Inc), Katelyn Moisan (BCI), micaela grady (BCI)

The literature in applied behavior analysis (ABA) clearly indicates effective strategies to teach staff to successfully teach learners with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 1:1 instructional formats. There are few resources available, however, specific to training staff to become effective and efficient group teachers. The current project takes place in a center with 10 learners with ASD ranging from 3-7 years-of-age, and 10 staff. The project evaluates the use of didactic instruction combined with competency-based checklists to teach skills essential to effective group teaching. Dependent measures include teaching skills broken down into sub-categories consisting of environmental arrangement, prompting, reinforcement, and management of problem behaviors, among others, with corresponding didactic instruction. Skills for both group leaders and support staff are targeted. Data was collected using both per opportunity and interval sampling. A multiple baseline design across sets of skills with-in groups was utilized to evaluate the intervention. Preliminary data indicates that the intervention is effective in providing group teaching skills to group leaders (data attached). Results will be discussed well as suggestions for next steps and future research.


Making Significant Staff and Client Behavior Change Using Basic Strategies

(Service Delivery)
Jill E. McGrale Maher (Behavioral Concepts, Inc), KATELYN MOISAN (Behavioral Concepts, Inc), Desdalin Black (Behavioral Concepts, Inc)

Environmental arrangement, client participation, and systematic treatment measures are essential and pivotal in evaluating effecting change in treatment environments (PLA-Check, Doke and Risley, 1972). Interventions require little observer effort, evaluating and comparing entire activity periods or settings using group recording time-sampling procedures. PLA-check measure sample proportions of time a client is observed to be appropriately engaged or participating in the target activity are then evaluated. The PLA-Check has since been applied to numerous treatment settings and has been used as a staff performance feedback system. This is a basic, effective, and easy system to dramatically change both staff and client behaviors. The current project replicates this basic procedure in a center for 10 clients ages 3-8 with ASD, and 10 staff. Preliminary data is presented. Results clearly indicate an increase in staff/engagement.




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