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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Paper Session #51
Understanding and Enhancing a Variety of Functional Skills Across the Lifespan
Saturday, May 26, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom AB
Area: DDA
Chair: Meaghan McCollow (California State University East Bay)

Sexuality Education and Developmental Disabilities: Supporting the Development of Sexually Healthy Individuals Through Behavior-Based Strategies

Domain: Theory
MEAGHAN MCCOLLOW (California State University East Bay), Marissa Congdon (Cal State San Bernardino)

Sexuality education is an often overlooked aspect of education for children and youth with developmental disabilities. However, it is an important aspect of the development of healthy individuals. Without explicit instruction, these individuals are at risk of lack of information regarding sexual development, sexual and reproductive health, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, body image, and gender roles. This lack of information can lead to misinformation about sexuality, lack of development of sexual and gender identities, and leaves these individuals open to abuse. Behaviorally-based strategies can be used to support sexuality education for individuals with developmental disabilities, including the use of task analysis, video modeling, reinforcement strategies, and self-management. This presentation will describe the current research literature on sexuality education as well as results from a practitioner survey on strategies used to provide sexuality education. Future directions for behaviorally-based strategies for sexuality education include a focus on ways in which generalization can be achieved and the ethical parameters practitioners need to consider.


Influences on Developmental Delay as Antecedent Conditions: Support for Early Intervention

Domain: Theory
RAY BROGAN (Kaplan University), Nelly Dixon (Kaplan University)

Developmental assessment instruments are used to determine how close a child is to developmental norms when screening for developmental disabilities. While delay in development is a symptom in the diagnosis of several disabilities, it is not a disability itself. Although the literature often treats developmental delay as a disability, there is no consistently recognized treatment (as required in the diagnosis of a disability). Addressing the target behavior is recognized to be more effective in early interventions than addressing the symptoms of the diagnosis. Addressing the target behavior is, therefore, even more appropriate when the diagnosis of developmental delay is not specific. Recognizing the environmental conditions influencing the target behaviors associated with development delay can lead to identification of antecedent interventions and discriminative stimuli. The goal of this study is to suggest means of enhancing interventions by understand the nature of developmental delays that are unassociated with a diagnosed disability. Examining archival data and analyzing interviews with early intervention practitioners will support resolution of problems associated with environmental influences on delays. Recommendations will be presented regarding ways in which parents, educators, and professionals can enrich development in early childhood.


Acquisition of Self-Feeding Skills for Children With Feeding Disorders

Domain: Applied Research
HALLIE M. SMITH (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Aaron D. Lesser (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Melissa Luke Gonzalez (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Typically developing children and children without feeding disorders gradually develop and advance their self-feeding skills without any formalized intervention; however, children with feeding disorders are not likely to develop skills needed to self-feed or self-drink at an age appropriate level without individualized treatment (Carruth & Skinner, 2002; Peterson, Volkert, & Zeleny, 2015). Although children with feeding disorders may have met treatment goals for acceptance of liquids and solids, this often does not translate to the child being able to independently feed themselves using those same treatment strategies (Rivas et al., 2014; Vaz, Volkert, & Piazza, 2011). Unfortunately, the literature is limited regarding treatments to increase self-feeding skills, particularly for children with feeding difficulties whose deficits are related to delays in skill development (Rivas et al., 2014). The current study explored the use of errorless learning and prompt fading to increase self-feeding of three children ranging from age 3 to 8 years old; participants presented with various developmental delays and/or medical diagnoses. Results of a multiple baseline and multiple probe study indicated that these procedures increased independence of self-feeding skills of all participants.


Using Google Maps to Teach Independent Navigation of the Community for Adults With Intellectual Disabilities

Domain: Service Delivery
RICHARD PRICE (Michigan State University ), Marisa H Fisher (Michigan State University)

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often have difficulties developing independent living skills, including navigating their community. Acquiring the skills to use GPS-based mobile applications to navigate the community could enhance opportunities to live independently and to obtain competitive, community-based employment. A multiple baseline design was used to teach seven adults with IDD, ages 18-26, to use Google Maps to navigate their community. Specifically, Google Maps was used to teach walking navigation and public transit (e.g., the bus) navigation in a community setting. Two phases of instruction were implemented. Total task training was first used to teach walking navigation. Once participants reached criterion of 100% independence for two consecutive sessions, total task training was used to teach navigation on a public transit system. In baseline, participants were unable to use Google Maps to follow walking directions or public transit directions. To date, all participants have reached mastery criterion for walking directions and 4 have reached mastery for public transit training. Data are being collected on skill generalization to novel locations. These results provide evidence for the utility of using a GPS-based mobile application to teach navigation skills to young adults with IDD.




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