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 #332
CE Offered: BACB
Supporting Schools in Working With Their Most Challenging Behaviors
Sunday, May 27, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andrew McNally (Grossmont Union High School District)
Discussant: Paul A. Dores (Psychologist in Private Practice; Verbal Behavior Associates)
CE Instructor: Matthew C. Howarth, Ph.D.

As a field, behavior analysts have seen much success in working with individuals with challenging behaviors in the home, private school, and clinic settings. Public school systems, however, generally do not have rigorous behavior analytic programs, and when available, these behavior analytic services are provided in a limited capacity. Effective implementation of applied behavior analysis in public schools and fidelity of implementation of behavior plans can be a difficult task, due to various reasons, including: lack of regulations with regards to credentials required for individuals in "behavior specialist" roles, vague criteria for what constitutes an appropriate functional behavior assessment in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, school district- employed Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) working administrative and program specialist positions rather than in direct supervision roles, and insufficiencies in training for district 1:1 aides as well as in the staffing ratios necessary to provide effective 1:1 ABA instruction to students. In this symposium, we demonstrate how Non-Public Agencies (NPA) who practice rigorous applied behavior analysis programming can successfully support districts in working with their most challenging cases in a systematic step-by-step manner. Effective staff training and instructional tactics will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Behavior Plans, Challenging Behavior, FAA, Public School
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCaBAs, behavior specialists in public school settings, and other educators or professionals who work with individuals with problem behaviors

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to 1) Describe effective tactics for training staff to accurately implement an individual's behavior intervention plan and instruction for replacement behaviors. 2) Describe three critical components that contribute to successful implementation of applied behavior analysis interventions within the public school setting. 3) Describe delay and denial tolerance training and how to implement it with individuals.

Conducting Functional Analysis Assessments in School Settings and Training District Staff to Implement Behavior Plans With Fidelity

(Applied Research)
MATTHEW C. HOWARTH (Verbal Behavior Associates), Cleo Schmitt (Verbal Behavior Associates), Kaitlin Johannsen (Verbal Behavior Associates)

We examined the efficacy of conducting Functional Analysis Assessments (FAA) in public school settings, and training school staff to implement behavior plans with fidelity based on FAA findings using a multiple single-subject AB design. The independent variable was the implementation of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services delivered by a non-public agency (NPA) which occurred as follows: 1) conducting an FAA and developing a behavior intervention plan based on FAA results, 2) NPA aide implementing the behavior plan 1:1 with the student until identified maladaptive behaviors decreased to target levels, 3) using a fidelity of behavior plan checklist to train district aides to implement the behavior plan and Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy scale (TPRA) feedback to train accurate instruction for replacement behaviors, and 4) systematic fading of NPA aide to consult services only once district aide demonstrates mastery of behavior plan and instruction, and low levels are maladaptive behaviors maintain across transitioning of staff. The dependent variable was the level of support required by the student, measured as restrictiveness of placement on an intensity scale, and the frequency of occurrences of maladaptive behaviors. Data indicate a functional relationship between NPA ABA intervention and improvements in restrictiveness of placement, and decrease in maladaptive behaviors for all participants.

Using Delay and Denial Tolerance Training to Reduce Emission of Maladaptive Behaviors
(Applied Research)
Matthew C. Howarth (Verbal Behavior Associates), CLEO SCHMITT (Verbal Behavior Associates), Kaitlin Johannsen (Verbal Behavior Associates)
Abstract: Part of functional communication skills training involves the systematic fading of consistent and immediate delivery of reinforcement following the emission of mastered replacement behaviors (functional communication), as access to reinforcement is not always possible or realistic in the natural environment. Therefore, teaching the skills of waiting for reinforcement, as well as appropriate responding to denial of reinforcement is necessary. We tested the effects of a delay and denial tolerance training procedure (Hanley, 2014) in applied settings (public schools) on the reduction of maladaptive behaviors using a delayed multiple baseline across participants. The independent variable was the implementation of the delay and denial training protocol. During the delay training phase, the participants were taught to “wait” following the emission of an appropriate mand, in increasing durations of time up to 2-min, without emitting maladaptive behaviors, before allowed access to the specified reinforcer. Following mastery of the delay phase, participants were taught to emit appropriate responses to the denial of reinforcement following appropriate mands, until they met the mastery criterion of zero emission of maladaptive behaviors when 60% of mands are denied within 20 trials (of mands) training session. The dependent variable was the rates of target maladaptive behavior. Data indicate a functional relationship; reductions of behaviors were observed following delay and denial tolerance training across all participants.



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