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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #17
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Elopement for Individuals With Disabilities
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom H
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Christina Fragale, Ph.D.
Chair: Tasia Brafford (University of Oregon)
Discussant: Christina Fragale (The University of Texas; The Meadows Center for the Prevention of Educational Risk)
Abstract: Elopement is a common topography of challenging behavior among individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. Elopement can lead to exposure to dangerous situations, disrupt learning, limit access to residential services and community activities, and even lead to serious injury or death. A systematic literature search identified 18 studies published from 2009 to 2016 that evaluated interventions to decrease elopement. The studies were summarized in terms of (a) participant characteristics, (b) assessment procedures, (c) intervention procedures, (d) intervention results. Frequent interventions included functional communication training, differential reinforcement, and response blocking. Functional analyses were conducted for each participant with several methodological modifications to address difficulties associated with functional analysis of elopement. Functional analysis of elopement may be challenging as participant retrieval may be necessary for safety purposes, but could serve as a confounding variable providing attention across all conditions. Systematic replication of functional analysis procedures utilized by Lehardy et al. (2013) was implemented with a 5-year-old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Results indicated elopement was maintained by access to tangibles. Functional communication training resulted in markedly reduced instances of elopement, confirming the results of the functional analysis. Implications and recommendations for practice will be discussed and suggestions for future research will be offered.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): elopement, FCT, functional analysis
Target Audience: Behavior analysts including clinicians, teachers, researchers, BCBAs, and BCaBAs.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) state common interventions in research for elopement and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches; (2) recognize functional analysis procedures that can be used to identify the function of elopement behavior; (3) identify areas in need of further research on the assessment and intervention of elopement.
 
Systematic Review of Assessment and Treatment of Elopement in Individuals With Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Buket Erturk (University of Oregon), NICOLE O'GUINN (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Elopement is commonly occurring topography of challenging behavior among individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. Elopement can disrupt learning, limit access to residential services, limit access to community activities, and in extreme cases lead to serious injury or death. A systematic literature search identified 18 studies published from 2009 to 2016 that evaluated interventions to decrease elopement. The studies were summarized in terms of (a) participant characteristics, (b) assessment procedures, (c) intervention procedures, (d) intervention results. Across the 18 studies, intervention was implemented across 27 participants with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, ages four to 47 years. Functional analyses were conducted for each participant with several methodological modifications to address difficulties associated with functional analysis of elopement. The most frequent interventions included functional communication training, differential reinforcement, and response blocking. Implications for practice will be discussed and suggestions for future research will be offered.
 
Evaluation and Treatment of Elopement Among Children With Developmental Disabilities
Nicole O'Guinn (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), VIDA CANESTARO (Baylor University )
Abstract: Elopement is a frequent problem among individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Elopement can lead to an individual being exposed to dangerous situations. Moreover, elopement can increase stress for caretakers. Functional analysis of elopement may be challenging due to the fact that participant retrieval may be necessary for safety purposes, but could serve as a confounding variable providing attention across all conditions. A review of the literature revealed a variety of functional analysis methodologies to address these difficulties associated with functional analysis of elopement. The current study is a systematic replication of functional analysis procedures utilized by Lehardy et al. (2013). This functional analysis methodology was implemented with a 5-year-old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Results indicated elopement was maintained by access to tangibles. Functional communication training resulted in markedly reduced instances of elopement, thus confirming the results of the functional analysis. The results of this study, recommendations for practice, and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 

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