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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Poster Session #86
Saturday, May 26, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Pacific Ballroom
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
 
97. Reducing Vocal Stereotypy and Increasing Appropriate Vocalization Using Response Interruption and Redirection
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GITA SRIKANTH (ABA India), Swati Narayan (ABA India )
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy which includes non-contextual vocalizations and socially inappropriate speech presents itself as a problem behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Vocal Stereotypy functions as a barrier to efficient learning for the individual emitting the behavior. It also socially isolates the individual engaging in the behavior and restricts his access to social reinforcement. Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) has emerged as a well-documented method of increasing contextually appropriate vocalizations and decreasing inappropriate (non-contextual) speech and sounds. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the decrease in occurrence of inappropriate vocalizations that served no communicative purpose and was automatically maintained. The participant in the single subject study was a teenager with a diagnosis of ASD who exhibited high levels of vocal stereotypy. Each instance of vocal stereotypy emitted by the participant resulted in vocal demands being placed on him by the therapist in a clinical setting. The therapist withdrew the vocal demands once the participant successfully responded to three consecutive demands without engaging in Vocal Stereotypy. The follow up probes conducted by the specific therapist who had implemented the procedure earlier showed that Vocal Stereotypy was maintained at post treatment levels.
 
98. Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Training Program on Behaviour Intervention Procedural Fidelity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOPHIE ROBITAILLE (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (St.A mant Research Centre; University of Manitoba)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that is characterized by challenges with social communication and social interaction as well as repetitive behaviours, interests, or activities (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). An effective instructional approach for children with ASD is Discrete Trials Teaching (DTT). Mindfulness training has been applied to improve attention, reflection, and skillful responding (Bishop et al., 2004) and has been found to improve work performance (Bond & Bunce, 2003; Ostafin & Kassman, 2012; Ruedy & Schweitzer, 2010; Singh et al., 2009, 2015). Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a mindfulness training program on procedural fidelity of staff conducting DTT with children with ASD. Participants will consist of six autism tutors and their clients from St.Amant Autism Programs. In a concurrent multiple-baseline design across participants, two trained observers will record the accuracy with which autism tutors deliver prescribed DTT steps. During the intervention phase, autism tutors will complete the mindfulness training program. Observations of tutors' DTT performance will continue during this phase. A follow-up phase will be implemented one week following the cessation of the intervention phase in which observations of tutors' DTT performance will resume for 5 days.
 
99. Fathers of Children With Autism: Developmental Influences and Inclusionary Practices
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JULIE LAROSA (University of Rochester)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Fathers of children with autism are influential in their children's development and care, yet struggle with accepting the diagnosis and finding effective support systems for their children. Barriers such as job constraints and minimal training opportunities limit fathers' abilities to be more involved in their children's care. Service providers and educators need to be sensitive to the fathers' distinct needs and address their concerns through training and education separate from the mothers. As fathers learn to adapt to the demands related to their children's diagnosis of autism they experience a sense of empowerment and increase their level of involvement. Empirical studies addressing inclusionary practices for fathers of children with autism are limited and present as a gap in the extant literature. This poster will review existing literature on the barriers and concerns experienced by fathers as they manage the internal and external challenges encountered while raising children diagnosed with autism, including suggestions for service providers and educators involved in parent training.
 
100. Reliability and Treatment Fidelity in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Research in Japan and Taiwan
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Shin-Ping Tsai (National Taipei University of Education), Pei-Yu Chen (National Taipei University of Education), Liyuan Gong (University of Tsukuba), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), HIROSHI ASAOKA (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: While previous reviews provide a snapshot of the current status of the research quality within autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-focused journals, including only English language studies does not represent the quality of the literature published in languages other than English. To evaluate the overall quality of ASD intervention research, this current review summarizes inter-rater reliability (IRR) and treatment fidelity trends in ASD-focused research published in major Japanese and Taiwanese special education journals. To conduct this review, the following steps were taken: (a) literature search of the seven prominent journals in ASD and single-case research in Japan and Taiwan, (b) assessment of potential studies against pre-set inclusion and exclusion criteria, and (c) study coding of descriptive study characteristics and measures of reliability and treatment fidelity. As a result, a total of 198 articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Overall increasing trends in the number of articles that reported IRR data with acceptable levels were observed over time in the Japanese journals while no such trend was found in the Taiwanese journals. In contrast, it was found that no article published in the Japanese journals had reported treatment fidelity data while overall increasing trends in the number of articles that reported treatment fidelity data with acceptable quality degrees were observed in the Taiwanese journals. To improve the overall quality of ASD intervention research, efforts should be made to report both IRR and treatment fidelity data with acceptable quality degrees both in English-language and Asian-language journals.
 
101. Effects of a Short-Term Intensive Behavioural Intervention Program on Student Outcomes in Inclusive Classrooms
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARK DONOVAN (Edmonton Catholic School District), Catherine Ellen Desmond (Edmonton Catholic School District)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often require specialized interventions to maximize their learning outcomes in inclusive classrooms. To explore the effects of a short-term Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) program on the learning outcomes for students with ASD, the Edmonton Catholic School District piloted a project comparing the rates of learning for students in inclusive classrooms, before and after participation in the Genesis Inclusive Support Transition (GIST) program. The GIST program provided IBI to 33 students (28 with ASD) in Grades 1-3 and Behavioural Skills Training to their Educational Assistants (EAs) for a period of 6-18 weeks. Student treatment plans were guided by the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised (ABLLS-R) and rates of learning were calculated based on the average number of ABLLS-R tasks achieved per week. EAs completed a self-report measure before and after GIST to show their changes in confidence and knowledge related to ASD and implementation of behaviour analytic techniques. Results showed that student rates of learning were higher in their inclusive classrooms and EAs reported increased confidence after participating in GIST. Social validity data were collected from parents and staff which showed a high level of acceptance for program components.
 
102. The Effects of Lower Intensity ABA Therapy (25 Hours or Less Weekly) as Measured by Progress on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
WENDY NEBBIA (Autism Learning Partners), Gregory Richmond Mancil (Autism Learning Partners)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Several research studies have demonstrated the success of using 30-40 hours per week of ABA therapy with young learners. However, client schedules and ability to participate in long sessions may limit hours available for therapy. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of lower hours of ABA therapy provided on progress made as measured by VB MAPP milestones. Clients were assessed initially with the VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment, which is designed to provide a representative sample of a child's existing verbal and related skills. The assessment contains 170 measurable learning and language milestones that are sequenced and balanced across 3 developmental levels (0-18 months, 18-30 months, and 30-48 months). The skills assessed include mand, tact, echoic, intraverbal, listener, motor imitation, independent play, social and social play, visual perceptual and matching-to-sample, linguistic structure, group and classroom skills, and early academics. Data was collected by reassessing clients using the VB MAPP every 3-4 months after clients' participation in 25 hours or less per week of 1:1 therapy. Results indicate that clients who received 25 hours or less of quality ABA therapy were able to make significant progress as measured using the VB MAPP. Client gains ranged between an increase of 52 points and 95.5. points. This study potentially impacts planning for individuals diagnosed with autism in terms of prescription of ABA hours.
 
103. The Effects of Different Number of Warnings With Time-Out on Child Compliance to Parental Instructions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Laura Tardi (MacEwan University ), MIRANDA MACAULEY (MacEwan University), Russell A. Powell (MacEwan University)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that time-out procedures can have a positive influence on compliance. The effect of giving a warning prior to a time-out has also been investigated with results showing that in the short run compliance improves when warnings are given; however, in the long run, compliance is better when warnings are not given. The current study examined whether similar results are found if multiple warnings are given before a time-out, using an ABCD design counterbalanced across participants. The participants were children with a history of noncompliance, and a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (n = 3). Parents implemented the procedure and received pre-training and post session feedback. We found that percentage compliance to initial instruction was highest in the no warning condition followed by the one warning condition and lowest in the multiple warnings condition. We also found that overall compliance was higher than compliance to initial instruction in the two warning conditions. The results of this study will benefit parents as they gain an understanding of the factors that influence compliance, which they can then implement in home or community.
 
104. Teaching Icon Discrimination With a Speech-Generating Device
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LISA GUERRERO (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Tina Smith-Bonahue (University of Florida)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: When a child diagnosed with ASD is minimally verbal, speech-generating devices are commonly used to promote functional communication, which decreases problem behaviors and increases access to normalized environments (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). However, limited research has evaluated icon discrimination, a necessary skill for producing accurate communication responses (Lorah, Crouser, Gilroy, Tincani, & Hantula, 2014). This study replicates and extends the procedures of Lorah and colleagues (2014) in a naturalistic setting. A communication training protocol was implemented in which the number of icons on an iPad were systematically increased using stimulus prompts. The terminal step in the protocol included an array of four icons corresponding to high-preferred toys. Correspondence checks (Bondy & Frost, 1994) were conducted to evaluate icon discrimination. The two participants in this study had diagnoses of ASD, were minimally verbal, and had not received previous communication training with an iPad. Our results indicated that, consistent with Lorah and colleagues (2014), the protocol successfully produced accurate requesting for both participants. Implications for clinical practice will be discussed, such as how to efficiently teach accurate communication with an SGD in a naturalistic environment.
 
105. An Exploration of Temporal Discounting in Neurotypical Individuals and Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MIKALA RAE HANSON (Rutgers University; Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University; Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication, and restricted and repetitive interests and activities. While not a defining characteristic of ASD, many individuals with this diagnosis display issues with impulsivity. The presence of impulsivity can be pervasive and dramatically affects the intervention process. In the scientific literature, impulsivity is often conceptualized as an issue with temporal discounting. Temporal discounting refers to the decrease in the present value of reinforcers as a function of the delay of their receipt. Researchers have outlined some procedures for evaluating delay discounting in human populations. However, much of this research is limited to hypothetical choices with typically developing populations. Additionally, little research has been conducted comparing impulsivity of individuals with Autism who are lower functioning to typically developing individuals using real as opposed to hypothetical choices. The purpose of the current investigation was the employ delay discounting procedures with both neurotypical individuals and individuals with ASDs. In the investigation, participants were given choices between an impulsive choice and a self-controlled choice. Indifference points were plotted. The preliminary results suggest that individuals with ASD may respond more impulsively than neurotypical peers.
 
106. The Effects of a Rotated Protocol Immersion on Early Observing Responses in Children With Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TRICIA CLEMENT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Operant responses of looking, listening, tasting, smelling, and touching are characteristically developed very early in typically developing infants (Novak & Pelaez, 2004). Unfortunately, this is not the case for children and served as the premis of this study. The purpose of this paper was to investigate the effects of a rotated protocol immersion procedure on early observing responses in children with disabilities. A systematic extension to the research conducted by Keohane, Greer, and Luke (2008) on the use of rotated protocol immersion on the increase in observing responses in children with developmental disabilities was implemented. This allowed for the investigation of the effects of quicker presentations and ultimately faster protocol cycle in the increase of observing responses, rate of learning, and overall decrease in learn units to criterion. Results indicated various significant changes in the dependent measures examined throughout this study.
 
107. The Effects of a "Secret Word" Program on Improving Auditory Attending for Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NORMA TORRES (Autism Partnership Foundation), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulties sustaining attention to relevant auditory and/or visual information. One procedure that has been utilized clinically, but not evaluated experimentally, has been the use of a "Secret Word" program to improve auditory attending. Within this procedure the learner is told a "Secret Word" (e.g., ball) and a particular action to engage in each time the word is said (e.g., touching his/her head). Engaging in the specified action when the word is said sets the occasion for reinforcement, while engaging in the response in the absence of the "Secret Word" occasions corrective feedback. In the present study, a reversal design was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of the "Secret Word" procedure within a group of three children diagnosed with ASD to improve auditory attending in the context of a therapist reading a book. The results demonstrated that the "Secret Word" procedure was effective at improving auditory attending for all participants in the group.
 
108. Measures to Predict Reinforcing Efficacy: QO and Preference Assessments
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALLISON JOSEPHINE CASTILE (Western New England University; New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Preference assessments are used to identify items for application as reinforcers in behavior analytic practice. What we do not know is if hierarchies will maintain as ratio-requirements increase. Separately, the field of behavioral economics has provided alternate measures of the effects of reinforcers. For example, the QO parameter from the exponential demand equation could be an indicator of an item's value, as this parameter predicts what consumption of an item will be when it is free (similar to the context of a preference assessment). After conducting preference assessments at increasing ratio-requirements (FR1, 3, 12, 24, 48) for 4 individuals with autism, we compared QO and percent selection values from the preference assessments to determine whether the measures correlated. Interobserver agreement was calculated across all participants for 33% of sessions, and ranged from 93-100% agreement. For all participants, there was a strong correlation, suggesting coherence between the measures of reinforcing efficacy.
 
109. Increasing Verbal Behavior for a Child With Autism Utilizing Textual Prompts
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Perpetualyn Du (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Core diagnostic features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are a marked delay in communication, social skills, and repetitive interests. A continued area of research for the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is increasing the areas of social communication for children with ASD. A variety of prompts have been utilized with children with ASD in order to increase social communication. More specifically, research has shown that the use of textual prompts has effectively increased communication skills with children with ASD. The purpose of the current study was to increase initiation of verbal behavior, utilizing textual prompts across environments. Results indicated that the participant increased his initiation of intraverbals and tacting during play activities, across peers and family members. Although, the intervention indicates the efficacy of textual prompts, the sample size is a limitation and does not necessarily support generalization of procedures to additional participants. Further research should include a larger sample size, with continued analysis on multiple control of verbal behavior within social situations.
 
110. Effects of Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HOLLY VOBROUCEK (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Wisconsin Early Autism Project)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy refers to any vocalization that serves no function in relation to the current environment. Oftentimes, vocal stereotypy is maintained by automatic reinforcement, or reinforcement that occurs independent of the social mediation of others. Behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement are inherently difficult to reduce due to the reinforcer being delivered and received by the engager themselves, and therefore a lack of need for an outside listener to deliver reinforcement. However, previous research has highlighted the effectiveness of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) on vocal stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement, and the present study sought to replicate such research in three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Results demonstrated a functional relation between RIRD and vocal stereotypy, in that a decrease in the frequency of vocal stereotypy followed the introduction of the RIRD intervention across all participants. Future research should be conducted to promote external validity and generalizability of the results.
 
111. The Effects of Using an iPad in Teaching Multistep Social-Communication Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NOUF ALZRAYER (King Saud University ), Devender Banda (Texas Tech University), Koul Rajinder (The University of Texas at Austin ), Wesley H. Dotson (Texas Tech University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Tablets are viable tools to be used as speech generating devices (SGDs) with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. These devices have successfully been used to request preferred items, label objects, share information, and engage in social niceties. However, more empirical studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of utilizing handheld multipurpose electronic devices to teach multistep social-communication skills to children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of systematic instruction in teaching iPad-based multistep social-communication skills to children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Three participants with ASD and other developmental disabilities between 7-10 years of age with no prior experience with using Proloquo2Go app were recruited. The results indicated that the intervention was effective in teaching multistep social-communication skills. The participants were successful in using the iPad to perform the multistep sequence in requesting, saying "thank you," and answering personal questions. Also, some participants were successful in generalizing the iPad-based multistep sequence across new items, common-communication partners, and personal questions.
 
113. Evaluation of a Punisher Assessment for Automatically-Reinforced Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HOLLY WIGGINS (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Amanda Verriden (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Although reinforcement-based interventions can be effective in decreasing automatically-maintained stereotypy, they are not always sufficient, necessitating the inclusion of a punishment component. We evaluated the use of a punisher assessment when reinforcement-based interventions were not effective in decreasing automatically-reinforced motor stereotypy for one individual with ASD. A punisher selection interview with a caregiver identified several socially acceptable punishers. Dependent measures during the punisher assessment included stereotypy, leisure item engagement, and emotional responding. Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) alone and in combination with differential reinforcement of an alternative behavior (DRA) were not effective in decreasing stereotypy. During the punisher assessment phase, NCR and DRA remained in effect while five potential punishers were compared using a multielement design. Response blocking resulted in low levels of stereotypy, high levels of engagement, and low levels of emotional responding. Based on this outcome and because of its perceived acceptability and feasibility, care providers selected response blocking and its effects were subsequently replicated using a reversal design. Interobserver agreement was collected in 39% of sessions and averaged 90.3% across all dependent measures.
 
114. Teaching Turn-Taking During Conversations for Adolescent Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRETT EDWARD FURLONGER (Monash University), Sharon Mittiga (Monash University), Stephanie Butler (Monash University), Victoria Kaye (Monash University), Dennis W. Moore (Monash University), Angelika Anderson (Monash University), Margherita Busacca (Monash University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: Addressing the conversational difficulties of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is of vital importance as conversational turn-taking is a governing rule of discourse that facilitates positive relationships with peers. Accordingly, this study examined the effectiveness of an intervention to develop the conversation skills of 10 adolescents (12-14 years), diagnosed with ASD. Group interventions, as opposed to an individual intervention, were selected to provide opportunities to practice social skills with peers. The intervention was based on Elliot and Gresham's Social Skill Improvement System and included target behaviours, 1) reciprocal turn-taking during conversations and 2) active listening during conversations. A multiple probe across three groups design was used to assess performances on both behaviours. While there was low variability at baseline across all groups both social behaviours improved following the introduction of the intervention and provided support for the SSIS group instruction procedure for social skill training and early adolescence as an opportune time for intervention. However, maintenance and generalisation of target behaviours declined from maintenance phase to follow-up with teachers and parents reporting no lasting improvement in the participants' social skills. Further research exploring ways of enhancing maintenance and generalization of treatment effects is warranted.
 
115. Reducing Disruptive Vocalizations of a Young Adult With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Workplace
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ERIN LYNN SORENSON (Western Michigan University), Kayla Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Rachel Popp (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: When compared to developmental disability groups, the rate of unemployment is highest for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at 48% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Obtaining employment is essential as it provides opportunities for financial security, integration into society, increased independence, and meaningful social relationships (Roux, 2015). Often, patterns of unusual or repetitive behaviors commonly associated with ASD present challenges for the individual and others in the work-environment (i.e. coworkers, supervisors, customers) when disruptive or inappropriate. This presentation reviews a case example for a young adult diagnosed with ASD employed in an office setting, where behavior reduction strategies were applied to disruptive vocalizations (i.e. self-talk, imitative responses) that served as a barrier to long-term employment. A variety of behavior-based strategies (non-contingent scheduled breaks, modified awareness training, rule rehearsal, self-monitoring and goal setting) were implemented to reduce both the frequency and intensity (decibel level) of vocalizations. Each intervention was tailored to maintain the highest degree of normalization for the work environment. Following a scheduled rule-rehearsal procedure and the use a self-monitoring system embedded within a program-wide incentive program, disruptive vocalizations dropped to near-zero rates and have maintained across three months. Additional maintenance data will be taken and discussed.
 
116. Short Inter-Trial Interval Drastically Improves Motor Imitation Performance in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAN TIANYI (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: Given that discrete trial training (DTT) is widely recognized as a highly structured, adult-direct behavioral approach for the children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), it has also been criticized by its low motivation and increasing disruptive behavior during tasks. This kind of problem also exists in imitation training programs, pervasively (Ingersoll, 2008). Thus, the current study was to examine the controlling variables, in order to facilitate the performance of motor imitation in DTT training with two different inter-trial intervals (ITI) in children with ASD. Four pre-school children with ASD (CA 3-5; DQ 42-73) participated in this study. One experimenter sat opposite to the children and presented the imitation task, while the other recorder noted the children's performance. The recorder stopped counting when the children showed no response more than 4 seconds towards the task. According to the study setting, imitation task was divided into two conditions: short ITI (1 sec) and long ITI (3 sec). The two conditions were conducted by ABAB design, "A" stranded for three sequential units of short ITI, while "B" stranded for three sequential units of long ITI. The motor imitation tasks included 37 stimuli, mainly focus on the physical parts of face, hands, and body. As the result, four children all showed a higher performance in short ITI imitation task compared to the long ITI task, which suggested ITI plays a critical role in both attracting the attention and improving the task performance of children with ASD. Further research needs to make a strict control of the usage of imitation stimulus, in order to exclude other confounding variables.
 
117. Examining Outcomes of a Brief, Intensive Pivotal Response Treatment Parent Education Program for Families Newly Diagnosed With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELSEY OLIVER (Koegel Autism Center, University of California Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California Santa Barbara), Katherine Byrne (Koegel Autism Center, University of California Santa Barbara), Hannah Wenzel (Koegel Autism Center, University of California Santa Barbara)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Brief, intensive parent education programs that provide introductory training in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) to families of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been shown to improve both child and parent outcomes. Research is limited, however, on the effect these types of programs have on aspects of parent well being for families whose child has recently received a diagnosis of ASD. Using a concurrent multiple baseline experimental design across participants, the current study examined outcomes of an intensive 5-day parent education program in PRT for families whose child has recently received a diagnosis of ASD. The treatment program was characterized by a parent-clinician partnership model and used a strength-based approach to teach parents to implement PRT with their child. Standardized assessments and behavioral observation data were used to analyze parent measures, including stress, self-efficacy, and hope. Results from the pilot study indicated that parents showed a decrease in observed stress levels and an increase in observed confidence levels after participating in the parent education program. Further, parents reported increased confidence in teaching and interacting with their child following the treatment program. Implications and recommendations for future directions regarding parent support and ASD are discussed.
 
118. Using Antecedent Strategies to Teach Implementation of the Brief Response Restriction Preference Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY JAMES (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children), Allen J. Karsina (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: The implementation of frequent preference assessments is often impeded due to a lack of staff capable of conducting preference assessments or lack of time available to conduct sometimes lengthy assessments. Researchers have attempted to alleviate aforementioned issues through development of brief forms of preference assessments and through development of more efficient training methods, including use of enhanced instruction packets and video modeling. We assessed the efficacy of video modeling and enhanced written instructions on successful implementation of a brief response restriction preference assessment (BRR). Participants included 6 teachers at a school for children with autism. Participants conducted sessions of the BRR with the experimenter playing the role of a student. During baseline, participants received all of the necessary materials and a data sheet with brief written instructions. Three participants then received an enhanced written instruction packet and three participants received video training. Feedback was delivered if acquisition criteria were not met. Maintenance probes were conducted with the experimenter, and generalization probes were conducted with a student at the school. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used. Results indicate that both training techniques were effective, but feedback was required for some participants. Inter-observer reliability was calculated in 30% of sessions with a mean of 96.6% and a range of 87.2-100%.
 
119. The Use of Video Prompting to Enhance Independence With Price Comparison for Individuals With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Lisa Lakritz (San Diego State University), BONNIE KRAEMER (San Diego State University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
Abstract: Video prompting has been shown to be a viable tool to teach individuals with autism daily living skills (Bereznak et al., 2012). These skills are often practiced as part of community based instruction (CBI). Weng and Bouck (2014) used video prompts to teach price comparison using a horizontal number line. The current study used commonly available communication software to create the video prompts. The horizontal number line was designed to fit the maximum dollar amount students used for purchases during CBI. Pre-training, error correction and prompt fading procedures were added to instruction to enhance generalization of skills learned. Participants were two males and one female ages 14 to 18 with a diagnosis of autism and moderate to severe intellectual disability. The participants attended a comprehensive high school in Southern California. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicated that two of the three participants acquired the skills to compare the prices of three similar items in a classroom setting. The skill was then generalized to community environments. This study contributes to the literature on the effectiveness of video prompting for teaching functional skills to high school students with severe disabilities.
 
120. The Effects of the Multiple Exemplar Instruction on the Naming and Incidental Language Acquisition for Students WithAutism Spectrum Disorderand Language Delays
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Daeyong Kim (Daejeon Middle Public School; Pusan National University), Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University), BYEOL HAE SHIN (Pusan National University)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: We tested the effects of the Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) procedure on the emergence of Naming. Three kindergarten students, who were 3-6 year old males and diagnosed with ASD and/or language delays, participated in this study. The dependent variables of this study was the emergence of Naming, which were tested according to the number of correct responses to probe trials of both untaught listener responses ("point to __") and speaker responses (tact and intraverbal) following mastery of matching responses for pre-determined probe 2D-stimulus sets. The independent variable of this study was the mastery of the MEI in which listener (matching and pointing) and speaker (tact and intraverbal) responses were taught in a randomized sequence. A multiple probe design across participants was employed to identify a potential functional relation between the dependent and independent variables. The results depict that the MEI effectively increased the number of correct responses to the Naming probe trials (i.e., the emergence of Naming).
 
121. Siblings, Autism, and the Impact of Challenging Behavior: A Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
DOIREANN O'BRIEN (CBI Monarch House)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: The sibling relationship may be the longest and most consistent relationship of ones life. Research focusing on the siblings of children with Autism has been slow to develop as the primary focus has examined the parents. However, increased attention has been paid to the family and sibling research has been gaining momentum in recent years. Current research is variable indicating links to either complexities developing in mental health and increased stress or minimal negative effects to sibling health and well being. Qualitative research has also linked challenging behavior, family size and sibling gender to an possible increases in stress levels for siblings (Feiges and Weiss, 2004). This literature review determines to focus on the area of challenging behavior, siblings and autism and thoroughly examine the impact reflected in current research of sharing a life with a sibling with autism and challenging behavior. In addition, future recommendations for research will be highlighted.
 
122. Training Supervisors to Provide Feedback Using Video Modeling
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NATALIE RUTH SHULER (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Supervisors commonly use feedback to teach staff members to accurately implement behavioral interventions. However, few studies have evaluated methods to teach supervisors to provide effective feedback. In the current study, we used a multiple-baseline design to evaluate the use of video modeling to train four supervisors to provide performance feedback to therapists working with children with autism. We assessed the supervisors' accuracy with implementing eight feedback component skills (e.g., descriptive praise, describing incorrect performance, demonstrating correct performance) during simulated role-plays before and after the video-modeling intervention. Following the intervention, we assessed the extent to which the supervisors' skills generalized to providing feedback on a confederate therapist's implementation of novel behavioral protocols and an actual therapist's implementation of protocols with a child with autism. Results showed that all supervisors implemented the feedback component-skills with accuracy following the video-modeling intervention. Additionally, supervisors' skills generalized to providing feedback on novel protocols and to an actual therapist. These results suggest that video modeling may be an effective method of training supervisors to provide performance feedback.
 
123. Using Token Economy System to Increase Independent Working Duration
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Consultants), Alexander Ambani (Kaizora Consultants), YAHYA HUSSEIN NAJIB (Kaizora Consultants)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Working on a task for long duration is an essential skill for everyone, however, children with Autism find it difficult to work independently for a long duration on a given task. They easily lose concentration which may lead to various problem behaviours. Token economy system provides a consistent reminder of task completion, and a promise of cumulative and valued reinforcer after the task is complete. A study was conducted on an 11 year old boy with autism who displayed aggressive behaviours at Kaizora Institute in Kenya. Initially, the student worked independently to earn 3 tokens to access the back-up reinforcer for 1 minute. This took 5 minutes in total. In this study, after the student successfully completed a task with a score of 90% and above for 3 days, the number of tokens he earned to access the back-up reinforcer was increased by 1 while maintaining the time with the back-up reinforcer. This led to an increase in time spent working on the task before earning a reinforcer. Results shows that the method was successful in increasing the amount of time the child would spend on a given task
 
124. Teaching Discriminated Manding to Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MADELEINE DIANE KEEVY (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe Meyer Institute), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulties in demonstrating discriminated responding. This study examined a method of teaching discriminated manding to children with ASD. All three children received services at a university-based early intervention program and were identified as children who engaged in maladaptive behavior when mands were not reinforced. A conditional multiple schedule was used to teach the children when mands for various preferred items and activities would be reinforced, and when they would not. The primary dependent measure was discriminated responding. Discriminated responding was defined as engaging in the correct functional communication response (FCR) as signaled by the discriminative stimuli (i.e. manding for the item associated with the stimulus) and refraining from responding during the S?. A multiple baseline across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching procedure. In post-teaching probes, discriminated responding occurred for a high percentage of opportunities for two of three participants. This study demonstrates that multiple schedules can be used to teach discriminated manding to children with ASD.
 
125. Teaching a Nonverbal Autistic Student to Answer Comprehension Questions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
YAHYA HUSSEIN NAJIB (Kaizora Consultants), Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Consultants)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: There has been minimal research on non-verbal autism and little is known about the understanding and thought process of the non-verbal autistic children. However, there is limited on-going research that has led to openings on understanding and communication in individuals with autism. This study was done at Kaizora (day-centre) in Kenya on a 5-year-old non-verbal student named Oscar on answering questions after a passage had been read to him. This was after we discovered the student could read with no formal teaching on the same. Lessons started with the student reading a short passage of three sentences (silently), then Oscar was asked questions and given three multiple choices answers written on cards so that he could choose one. At first, he needed gestural prompts to select but after a few trials, we faded the prompts and he could identify the correct answer independently. We gradually increased the length of the passage to a five-sentenced paragraph and Oscar was still able to get an average of 70% independent scores. We tend to underestimate the abilities of non-verbal autistic individuals and we hope to provide insight into how advanced their intellectual abilities can be through appropriate exposure.
 
126. Teaching a Pre-Menstrual Autistic Girl How to Wear a Sanitary Towel Using Task Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
POOJA PANESAR (Kaizora Consultants), Sylvia Mutheu Muema (Kaizora Consultants)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: All females will begin their menstrual period at some point and females with autism are no exception. Using a sanitary pad is an essential skill that doesn't come as easy for females on the autism spectrum as their neurotypical peers. More so, teaching this skill once the menstrual cycle has begun is difficult and can result in additional problem behaviours. There is limited current research in this area, yet it is a skill many struggle with. This study was done at Kaizora Institute in Kenya, with a ten year old pre-menstrual girl who showed signs of physical development. A 24 step task analysis was used with total chaining to teach her how to put on a sanitary pad, keep it on for an hour (maximum time used to avoid rash until she begins her period), and dispose of it hygienically. This process was done on the first week of every month. Initially all steps were done with full physical assistance and after three weeks of trials the student could do all steps independently. This is the second study of the sort done at Kaizora, showing the replicability of the method and its success in mastering this important skill.
 
127. Caregiver-Mediated Interventions to Improve Communication in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Implications of Randomized Controlled Trials
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHING-YI LIAO (Texas A&M University)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Previous studies have investigated interventions to decrease challenging behaviors in children with ASD who used parent-mediated interventions. However, few published studies have focused on randomized controlled trials of caregiver-mediated interventions in individuals with ASD. This presentation will include a quality review and a meta-analysis to review randomized controlled trials to determine whether caregiver-mediated interventions benefit communication skills in individuals with ASD. The meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials involving 602 individuals with ASD aged 2-12 years was evaluated. The dependent variable was caregiver-mediated interventions for communication skills in an experimental-control group comparison design. The experimental groups were individuals with ASD receive training from parents who were trained to implement interventions to their own child with ASD. The control groups were individuals with ASD who receive training from parents who did not receive any training from professionals. Each study was reviewed and coded for information required to calculate effect sizes and information related to the moderators. The results of design quality characteristics of the included studies were shown that there is no publication bias. By using moderator analysis, the differences in some moderators were statistically significant. The presenter will report results, discuss suggestions for future research, and provide implications for practice.
 
128. The Use of a Stimulus Preference Board to Facilitate Acquisition of Conditional Discriminations for a Child With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER JONES (The Learning Tree Inc.)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Grow et al. (2011) compared teaching a set of stimuli for eight learners with Autism utilizing the conditional only and simple-conditional methods. The conditional only method was effective for seven out of eight participants and the simple-conditional method was effective for four out of eight participants. The purpose of the current study was to analyze chance responding and potentially increase conditional discrimination acquisition for a student with Autism and Down Syndrome. Methods: During conditional discrimination training for a learner diagnosed with Autism and Down Syndrome, data showed chance or lower responding across multiple sessions. To potentially increase success, a stimulus placement board was used to systematically increase the distance of the correct answer and potentially increase saliency of the stimulus to the learner. At the first level, the correct answer was placed eight inches closer to the learner than the distractor stimuli. The correct answer was always placed in the middle position. After three sessions at the 80% mastery criterion, the correct answer was placed five inches closer to the learner than the distractor stimuli for Level 2. After three sessions of 80% independent responding, the correct stimulus was placed two inches closer to the learner than the distractor stimuli. At level 3, the correct answer was still in the middle position, and the distractor stimuli were in the same positions. After the learner met the mastery criterion of at least 80% independence across three sessions, the correct answer was at the same distance from the learner as the distractors for Level 4. Furthermore, at this level, we counterbalanced the position of the correct answer and the corresponding stimulus was placed in close proximity to the correct answer (i.e. the "match" was placed right by the correct answer to increase saliency). Differential reinforcement for independent and correct responses was used across all sessions (including baseline). Results: The data shows that mastery criterion was met across all levels. Data were most variable in the last two phases. Conclusion: Overall, these data suggest that the systematic use of a stimulus placement board with stringent and gradual criteria may be effective to increase acquisition of conditional discriminations.
 
129. An Approach to a Highly Aggressive Client's Tolerance to Direct Care Staff
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DEANNA ESTES (Easter Seals Bay Area)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: An AB single subject research design was used to evaluate the implementation of demand fading and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) on the behaviors of a highly aggressive client. The client, an 18 year old male, living primarily in a group home, who is severely impacted by four different diagnoses: ASD, Epilepsy, Cortical Vision Impairment, and Cerebral Palsy. Aberrant behaviors occurred in the form of high frequency aggression; at week ten the client began engaging in high rates of self-injurious behaviors. The aggressive behaviors occurred in the form of scratching, pinching, or digging a nail into another individual's skin, grabbing with enough force to bruise, hitting, kicking, and hair pulling. The high frequency of behaviors impeded the ability for the direct care staff to provide services. A two direct care staff member ratio was executed. A DRA procedure was used to reinforce the client's mands for cessation of staff. Concurrently, demand fading was used to successively increase the demands placed per session in a 10 minute interval. The hypothesized result are a decrease in both self-injurious and aggressive behaviors, as well as an increase in the demands placed per session with an eventual fading of the 2:1 ratio.
 
131. A Systematic Review of Intervention Intensity in Video Modeling Research for Learners With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
LESLIE ANN BROSS (University of Kansas), Jason Travers (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy)
Abstract: Components of intervention science, such as procedural fidelity, have been emphasized in the evidence-based movement in special education. Intervention intensity differs from procedural fidelity by emphasizing the dose-response relationship and has received considerately less attention. A group of empirically robust video modeling peer-reviewed journal articles were examined to determine the extent authors reported six constructs of intervention intensity: (1) dose, (2) dose frequency, (3) dose duration, (4) number of practice opportunities, (5) intervention agent, and (6) cumulative intervention intensity. The studies examined were from Wong and colleagues' (2015) evidence-based practices report for learners with autism. Video modeling was selected because of its demonstrated efficacy through a large body of experimental research yet little known about the intensity of video modeling to achieve maximum learner outcomes. Results indicated dose, dose frequency, number of practice opportunities, and cumulative intervention intensity were reported or calculated for over half of the studies while dose duration was reported for less than half of the studies. The primary intervention agent were researchers. Intervention intensity is a complex, relevant construct of intervention science that warrants additional study by diverse groups of researchers. Limitations and suggestions for future intervention intensity research are discussed.
 
132. ATTENTION! Utilizing Multiple Cues to Teach Attention Gaining to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN ANN HOYLE (University of West Florida; Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Brent Seymour (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: For individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the ability to respond to multiple cues when requesting or sharing information can be particularly challenging in a group setting. Specifically, teaching a variety of strategies to first gain someone's attention, as well as modify one's own behavior if not immediately successful, is critical to initiate social interactions. The goal of the present study was to teach a child with ASD to use a variety of attention gaining strategies contextually applicable to a situation, and independently modify a strategy if not successful on the first attempt. An extra stimulus prompt in the form of cue cards was used to teach contextually appropriate response options. The ratio of situations in which attention was not immediately provided and the client was required to select another strategy was systematically increased. Results indicate that by utilizing an extra stimulus prompt, the participant was able to use a variety of attention gaining strategies, and change strategies when the first attempt was not successful, as compared to baseline levels. Results suggest attending to multiple cues, responding appropriately, and adjusting behavior as needed to gain attention produces higher quality and more effective social initiations.
 
133. Improving the On-Task Performance of a Young Adult With Autism in a Community Employment Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LESLIE ANN BROSS (University of Kansas), Jason Travers (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) typically struggle with obtaining and maintaining gainful employment. Employed adults with ASD will also most likely need workplace supports to perform necessary work tasks. Interventions grounded in principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) can be utilized in community employment settings to support the work performance of employees with ASD. A young adult with ASD employed as a courtesy clerk at a large grocery story received an intervention package consisting of corporate-produced video training modules, practice trials with prompting and reinforcement, and social narratives. A withdrawal design was used to examine the efficacy of the intervention package, and a functional relationship between the intervention package and work performance was established. Results demonstrated the young adult improved his on-task work performance to 80% or higher on work shifts after the intervention package implemented. The degree of confidence of the results is high. Implications for workplace interventions utilizing principles of ABA will be discussed.
 
134. Negative Reinforcer Magnitude Manipulations for Treating Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE MARRA (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Daniel Fredericks (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Nabil Mezhoudi (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) without extinction may have clinical utility when practitioners cannot successfully implement extinction. DRA for compliance without extinction, when both compliance and problem behavior result in equal durations of escape, is ineffective for escape maintained problem behavior (Lalli et al., 1999). Differential magnitudes of escape contingent on compliance relative to problem behavior may facilitate the efficacy of DRA without extinction (Athens & Vollmer, 2010). We replicated and extended previous research on DRA without extinction by evaluating the effects of large, medium, and small escape durations for compliance. Treatment outcomes were analyzed from data that were and were not corrected for reinforcer access time. Across analyses, problem behavior decreased and compliance increased in only the large escape duration DRA condition. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 36% of sessions and averaged 96.45% for compliance and 97.34% for aggression. Increasing the escape duration for compliance relative to problem behavior may facilitate DRA without extinction for treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior.
 
136. Evaluating the Effects of the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure Within a Token Economy on Inappropriate Vocal Verbal Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE BEARISH (Melmark Pennsylvania), Jennifer Labowitz (Melmark Pennsylvania), Tori Massimo (Melmark Pennsylvania), Samantha Sarin (Melmark)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Adapted from the Teaching Interaction Procedure, the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure follows the same basic guidelines in order to teach students with Autism how to respond appropriately in varying social situations. The procedure demonstrates both appropriate and inappropriate forms of responding in order to generalize the appropriate response to targeted social situations (Leaf et al., 2016; Leaf et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure, when teaching students with Autism adaptive replacement behavior that targets social skills to decrease inappropriate vocal verbal behavior and increase socially appropriate interactions with others. This study was conducted with an adolescent, male student in a private residential and school setting, with a primary diagnosis of Autism, who engaged in significantly increasing levels of inappropriate vocal verbal behavior. The steps of the procedure were adapted and applied to a token economy and presented in phases, following the basic guidelines of labeling the targeted behaviors, providing a rationale of why the student should display these behaviors, demonstration of the skill through role-play, and delivery of reinforcement. As a result, the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure did not demonstrate effectiveness until a token economy was included.
 
137. The Effect of Chained Schedule and Functional Communication Training in Reducing Escape-Maintained Self-Injurious Behavior: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARYAM NASSER ALAKHZAMI (Duquesne University), Xiuchang Huang (Duquesne University), Denise Renae Barberich (Duquesne University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience challenging behaviors such as self-injurious behaviors (SIBs). Many SIBs are usually maintained by sensory and social reinforcements. Many individuals with ASD do not know how to access reinforcement appropriately, thus SIBs become handy for them. This study investigates the effectiveness of the use of functional communication training (FCT) plus chained schedule of reinforcement [fixed-ratio (FR) schedule vs. variable-ratio (VR) schedule] to decrease SIB and increase appropriate responses. This is a case study, and uses single-subject alternating treatment design. The participant was reported to engage in SIB regularly and attends Children's Institute that delivers special education services in segregated settings. Data collection is done by a service provider after being trained by the researchers. A functional analysis is done first to identify and verify the function of the SIB. Then two interventions (i.e., FCT + FR and FCT +VR) will be offered to the participant alternately, for example, FCT + FR on days 1, 3 and 5, etc., and FCT +VR on days 2, 4, and 6, etc. SIB will be calculated pre- (i.e., baseline) and post-intervention and comparison will be made to measure the effectiveness of interventions.
 
138. A Review of Reported Mastery During Skill Acquisition Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CASSIDY MCDOUGALE (Auburn University), Sarah M. Richling (Auburn University), Soracha O'Rourke (Auburn University), Emily Longino (Auburn University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: The field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focuses largely on developing acquisition of skills and promoting maintenance of these skills once mastery has been achieved and training commences (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968; Stokes & Baer, 1977). Mastery is generally recognized in the field of ABA as an individual reaching a specific mastery criterion (Luiselli, Russo, Christian, & Wilczynski, 2008). A survey of clinical practices indicates that the majority of practitioners utilize a certain accuracy percentage across multiple sessions to determine mastery (Love, Carr, Almason, & Petursdottir, 2009). Most clinicians report the use of either an 80% or a 90% correct responding across multiple sessions criterion. However, there is little research evaluating what type of mastery criteria are currently used during research. A disconnect between the mastery criteria utilized in empirical evaluations of skill acquisition procedures and the mastery criteria utilized in the application of those procedures in an applied setting may represent a drift away from evidence-based practice. The current study involves a detailed survey of current clinical practices related to the use of mastery criteria in applied settings. In addition, the current study provides a descriptive analysis of mastery criteria utilized within skill acquisition research. Implications of the relationships between the results of these two components is discussed.
 
139. The Impact of Using Behavior Contracts in Treating Students With Antisocial Behaviors and Autism in Grades 3 Through 5 in Public Schools
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RAKAN ALSHAMMARI (Old Dominion University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: This review of the literature will be about using behavior contracts to address students with antisocial behaviors and autism in third grade through five grades. Many researches will discuss how contingency contracting can impact these pupils' performances. This research used many databases to review 14 articles that implemented behavior contracts. By the end of this study, it will show how this method can effect students' behavior and academic skills and provide some implications of and recommendations for using behavior contracts.
 
140. Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention of Visual Perception in an Ecological Space for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MASAYO KOYAMA (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty in controlling visual attention. Previous research suggested that children with ASD showed less joint visual attention to stimuli behind them than stimuli in front and on the side (Yamamoto, Kakutani, & Terada, 2001). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a comprehensive intervention of visual perception in an ecological and large space for children with ASD. One child with ASD (chronological age: 4;10, developmental quotient: 73) participated. The experimenter and the child sat facing each other. Six pictures were set 0.5m (short distance condition) or 2m (long distance condition) away from the child. They were each separated by 60°, so two pictures were in front, two to the side, and two behind the child. At each trial, the experimenter said a name of the cards (e.g., "Apple") to require the child to point the card. As a result, the child showed correct pointing at more than 85% of trials in each distance condition and at each stimulus position. In this study, we found that pointing facilitated visual perception in an ecological and large space. We need to conduct this experiment to more children with ASD.
 
142. Evaluating Interpersonal Distance in Two Behavioral Intervention Situations Using Motion Capture System
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
YUKINO OOMORI (Depertment of Psychology, Keio University), Satoru Sekine (Keio University; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), Airi Tsuji (Tsukuba Univercity), Takuya Enomoto (Keio University; CREST), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: An appropriate interpersonal distance is important for support of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated interpersonal distance because of methodological constraint. In this research, we examined a methodology to quantify the interpersonal distance in two different behavioral intervention. We used the "Motion Capture System (MCS)" to temporally measure the three-dimensional position by the reflection of infrared radiation. As a preliminary study, two adults played a role of a "therapist" and a "child" in two different intervention situations. (1) developmental behavioral intervention condition ; a "therapist" and a "child" played with toys (Suhreinrich, 2011) and (2) interactive movement condition; a "therapist" and a "child" ran, walked, and followed each other (Sekine, 2017).We automatically measured behaviors with MCS and calculated the interpersonal distance for each time series. As a result, the interpersonal distance was stable around 0.5 m throughout the (1) session. In the (2) session, the interpersonal distance greatly varied between 0.5 m and 5.5 m. These results suggested that MCS could automatically measure the interpersonal distance and interactive space as dependent variables for evaluating the effect of behavioral interventions. The research was supported by CREST of Japan Science and Technology Agency.
 
143. Using Assistive Technology to Reduce Sleep Problems Experienced by Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BERNADETTE KIRKPATRICK (Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research, National University of Ireland Galway), Geraldine Leader (Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research, National University of Ireland Galway)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: On-going sleep deprivation can be harmful for the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families resulting in a reduction in health, well-being, daily functioning and quality of life. A high percentage of children with ASD experience sleep disturbance. Fifteen families with a child diagnosed with ASD who experienced sleep disturbances were recruited in a single subject A-B design. The research targeted behaviours related to bedtime resistance, sleep onset delay, night waking, early morning waking and co-sleeping with parents. It utilised specifically developed assistive technology and parent training that incorporated behavioural strategies to promote an effective 12-week ASD sleep intervention. Results indicated varying degrees of sleep improvement which are discussed in relation to the targeted behaviours and compliance with the use of the assistive technology used to support individualise bedtime routines. Overall the intervention empowered families to manage sleep routines which may ultimately promote social inclusion, increased feelings of wellbeing and significantly improve the quality of life for those with ASD and their families. With further research replication the assistive technology utilised within the current study has the potential to support sleep clinicians in the implementation of sleep interventions and promote positive treatment outcomes.
 
144. Single-Subject Comparison Between Teaching Arbitrary Auditory-Visual Successive Relations With and Without Exclusion
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CELSO GOYOS (Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil), Giovana Escobal (Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil), Paola Rafaini (Instituto Voar, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Enzo is a 58-month old child who entered an ABA-based program when he was 36 months old. He entered the program as a non-verbal child and has been taught echoic relations and its pre-requisites since the treatment onset. As part of this general program Enzo is being taught auditory-discrimination training via matching-to-sample tasks coupled with exclusion training. A training session is composed by 12 trials. Each trial begins with the presentation of a sample auditory stimulus and followed by a zero delay presentation of two comparison stimuli. Correct comparison choices were followed by the presentation of an item of preference. Incorrect choices were followed by an inter-trial interval of about 3s. Visual stimuli consisted of pictures of familiar objects and auditory stimuli of its correspondents in Portuguese, presented by the research assistant. Eleven pairs of stimuli were presented. In general, after criterion was met for a set of two stimuli, one stimulus was kept and a different stimulus was introduced. In two occasions, however, a new pair was stimulus was introduced, serving as a control condition. General results suggested that the exclusion procedure did not facilitate acquisition of a new relation of a new pair of relations. The discussion covers some of the reasons that might explain the participant's performance and what exactly the participant may be learning when the exclusion procedure is in progress. Suggestions for further research are offered.
 
145. Examining the Increase in Functional Communication in Children With Developmental Concerns in Comparison With Other Children in Clinical Treatment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE NORTHINGTON (Augusta University), Christine Shelton (Fortis College; Early Autism Project ), Rebecca Howell (Augusta University), Taylor Rodriguez (Augusta University)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Background: Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) has demonstrated significant increase in functional language and communication for all types of children with autism spectrum disorders (Koegel et al., 1999). When compared with analogue teaching conditions, PRT outcomes were superior; children demonstrated more verbal utterances and generalized those utterances outside of the clinical setting (Koegel et al., 1987). Over the past several years, generalization of PRT techniques beyond ASD has been examined, with increased functional verbal output demonstrated not only in ASD, but also in children with other developmental concerns, including global developmental delay, speech delay, and Down syndrome (Northington et al., 2016). PRT principles are useful for individuals with other developmental concerns beyond autism (Northington et al., 2016). Treatments that utilize neurotypical peers also demonstrate significant improvements in the social skills of neuroatypical individuals (Maich et al., 2015). It seems that by increasing the functional communication in neuroatypical children, their verbal output will begin to match that of their neurotypical peers. Objectives: To demonstrate the efficacy of PRT in neurotypical and neuroatypical individuals, and to examine if differences in functional output exists between the two groups after treatment. Methods: Data from three children were analyzed. All three were aged 4-years when data were collected as part of ongoing treatment. One boy was diagnosed with global developmental delay; the second was diagnosed with ASD; and the third was neurotypical and in treatment for a disruptive behavior/anxiety disorder. Data were collected utilizing ten-minute video segments of weekly PRT sessions. Data were analyzed to examine increase in functional verbal utterances and mean length of utterances for all children. Results: All three children, regardless of diagnosis, demonstrated increases in functional communication after intervention with PRT. Conclusions: PRT is an effective method for achieving significant improvement in functional communication for all children, despite diagnosis. Furthermore, it can be utilized with both neurotypical and neuroatypical individuals with great success.
 
146. Effects of Choice Making on Escape Maintained Behavior of Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELYN M. MACDONALD (Regis College), Julia Volchok (Regis College)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: We used a reversal design to replicate and extend a previous study conducted by Romaniuk et al. (2002) that evaluated the effects of choice making on problem behaviors maintained by escape. Three young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder participated. A functional analysis was conducted to determine whether escape from demand maintained problem behavior. Following the identification of the problem behavior's maintaining variable, the effectiveness of instructional task choice on the occurrence of problem behavior was evaluated. The results of this study showed that a choice of task intervention was successful in decreasing problem behavior maintained by escape. These results were replicated further in generalization settings for each participant.
 
147. A Replication of Sensory Extinction or Punishment Effects on Stereotypic Hand Biting in an Individual Diagnosed With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Morgan Weldon Stockdale (Central Texas Autism Center), KELLE WOOD RICH RICH (Central Texas Autism Center), Aarti Haresh Thakore (Central Texas Autism Center), Jennifer Martz (Central Texas Autism Center), Tess Gartenberg (Central Texas Autism Center )
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: The current study is the replication of Mazaleski, Iwata, Rodgers, and Timothy (1994) study. They examined the effects of sensory extinction and punishment effects of protective equipment on self-injurious mouthing with an automatic function. Results of their study showed that one individual's hand mouthing decreased under the sensory extinction condition and another individual's under the punishment condition. In the current study, Functional Analysis was conducted to determine the function of the individual's stereotypic hand biting. Results were mixed, but more occurrences were observed consistently under the alone condition, even in the extended alone condition. High frequency of hand biting was observed during the baseline conditions. Thus, the participant will be exposed to the two treatment conditions i.e., sensory extinction and punishment (Mazaleski et al, 1994). During sensory extinction condition the hand brace will be placed non-contingently on the individual's hand, and during punishment condition the hand brace will be placed on individual's hand contingent upon hand biting. The results will be demonstrated using ABCACBC multiple treatment reversal design.
 
148. Investigating Needs and Barriers Faced by Immigrant Families in Accessing Educational and Therapeutic Services for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
XIUCHANG HUANG (Duquesne University), Jie Zhang (State University of New York-Brockport), Xiaohan Chen (Duquesne University), Mohammed Albahrani (Duquesne University), Maha Ali Alghamdi (Duquesne University), Manal Alsheef (Duquesne University), Ashley Zehner (Duquesne University), Mohamed Aljaffal (Duquesne University)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may yield tremendous impacts on a family, particularly for families from diverse cultural backgrounds such as immigrants. Accessing educational and therapeutic services is often challenging and ridden with various obstacles for these families. This study aims to investigate the needs and barriers faced by immigrant families in accessing these services for their child with ASD. A mixed-method research approach that combines online survey and semi-structured interview was employed to collect data for this project. Thirty immigrant families with various social economic status, racial and ethnic backgrounds completed the online survey and 10 of them were interviewed. Results from the online survey indicated that immigrant families need (1) more information about the legal rights and how the educational system works in the U.S.; (2) more financial and emotional supports; (3) effective parenting skills and communication with service providers; (4) more societal acceptance and inclusion of their child on the spectrum. Data from the semi-structure interviews identified the following barriers: language barrier; cultural and value differences; lack of knowledge of legal rights; lack of knowledge of therapeutic and educational systems; lack of professional supports; and parenting stress/compromised mental health; as well as financial constraints.
 
149. Unpacking Evidence-Based Practices in Parent-Implemented Intervention for Children With Autism: A Systematic Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUN AI (University of Kansas), Songtian Zeng (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: A systematic review of Parent-implemented Intervention (PII) is important as we don't know what specific evidence-based practices (EBPs) have been integrated and trained to support parents. PII entails parents directly using individualized intervention package with their child to increase positive learning opportunities and acquisition of important skills. Parents are encouraged to use EBPs to support their children with autism. It is not clear, however, what specific EBPs have been integrated into the "package" and how parent may be implemented the practice efficiently through structured training. By systematically reviewed effective PII programs reported in previous literature using the 26 EBPs (Wong et al, 2014), this study aims to unpack the core intervention features (i.e., selection and combination of EBPs, related target outcomes), and the implementation process (training and participants' characteristics) of these intervention programs. Thirty two studies were identified and findings suggested that some EBPs (e.g., prompting, modeling) are frequently embedded in the PII package while other EBPs (e.g., video modeling) have not been examined. Also the targeted outcomes and child age are clustered with potential for future research. Moreover, we described how parents were trained overtime and what training strategies may seem promising. Insights about current status of PII research and implication for practices will be provided.
 
150. Increasing Compliance With Haircutting for a Child with Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog - Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Jasmine Irani (Queen's University Belfast), CATHERINE STOREY (Queen's University Belfast)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Children with autism often display extreme escape behaviours during haircuts making it very difficult for families to maintain their child's hair (Schumacher & Rapp, 2011). This impacts the child's appearance which in turn has social consequences. The present study set out to increase compliance with haircutting for a five-year-old boy with PTEN-ASD. The secondary aims of the study were to decrease escape behaviours and to conduct a preliminary investigation into the effects of negative reinforcement (escape) alone compared to a combination of both positive and negative reinforcement (escape and a preferred edible item). A reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of a multicomponent treatment package on the child's compliant behaviour during haircutting. The treatment package consisted of; a performance hierarchy, distracting stimuli, partial in vivo exposure, a mirror and reinforcement. Following treatment there was an increase in the child's compliance during haircutting and a decrease in his escape behaviours and a combination of both positive and negative reinforcement was shown to be more effective in bringing about fast and lasting behaviour change than negative reinforcement alone.
 
151. Evaluation of a Self-Instructional Package for Teaching Parents to Conduct Discrete Trials Teaching With Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LAUREN KAMINSKI (Manitoba Association for Behavior Analysis), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is an empirically based treatment for children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that uses the principles of applied behavior analysis. Discrete-trials teaching (DTT) is commonly used in EIBI as a method for teaching children with ASD. DTT involves a teacher presenting an antecedent to the child, waiting for the child's response, and then providing a consequence for that response (either a reinforcer for a correct response or non-interaction for an incorrect response). These steps occur in rapid succession over many trials during a teaching session. In order to teach others to conduct DTT Fazzio and Martin (2011) created the Discrete-Trials Teaching With Children With Autism: A Self-Instructional Manual, which is now in its 4th edition. The current study assessed the effectiveness of the Fazzio and Martin DTT self-instructional manual plus video (2011) with mothers of children with ASD as the participants. I used a modified multiple-baseline design across a pair of participants, and then replicated across another pair. During the baseline assessment, a mother was given a one-page summary for three separate tasks and asked to teach these three tasks to a confederate role-playing a child with ASD. Once baseline data was collected, the mother had the opportunity to study the self-instructional manual, respond to the study questions, and watch the demonstration videos. She then conducted a post-training DTT session with the confederate and if she achieved mastery (80% accuracy), she conducted a follow-up session with her child. To date, one participant has completed the study and the results suggest that the self-instructional package is effective in teaching mothers how to implement DTT. Currently, there are three other mothers in the study, and data collection is anticipated to be completed by the beginning of December 2017. It is important that we have an effective tool to train parents how to implement DTT as it is a common component of a child's EIBI program.
 
152. Teaching Children With Autism Discriminated Responding to the Lures of Strangers and Police Officers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE LEDBETTER-CHO (Texas State University), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Allyson Lee (Texas State University), Caitlin Murphy (Texas State University), Katy Davenport (Texas State University-San Marcos), Marie Kirkpatrick (Baylor University), Melissa Moore (Texas State University), Glenna Billingsley (Hays Consolidated Independent School District)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) for teaching abduction-prevention skills to children with autism. However, the potential overgeneralization of the response to safe strangers (e.g., police officers) has not been evaluated. The current study used BST to teach four children with autism, ages 6 to 12, to emit a three-step safety response to lures from strangers (i.e., vocally decline, leave, and report the incident). After participants met mastery criterion for responding to strangers, their responses to lures from police officers were assessed. A multiple baseline across participants design demonstrated that all four participants acquired the safety response to strangers and subsequently overgeneralized the response to the officers. Discrimination training was effective for two participants, who consistently emitted the targeted responses to strangers (run away and report) and police officers (walk with the officer). The remaining two participants demonstrated improvement in discriminating. Varying degrees of maintenance of skill improvement were observed at 4 to 16-week follow-up sessions. Results indicate that practitioners should likely incorporate discrimination training when teaching abduction-prevention skills and that booster sessions may be necessary to promote maintenance of appropriate safety responses.
 
153. Serving Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Through Telepractice
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA FRANCO (University of Texas at Austin), Madhu Sundarrajan (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Telepractice is an increasingly popular service delivery option for BCBAs (Boisvert, Lang, Andrianopoulos, & Boscardin, 2010). However, practitioners must take special precautions to uphold our ethical and legal requirements. Due to behavioral and attention issues, children with Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) are often not seen as good candidates for telepractice. However, through parent-directed treatment, children with ASD can benefit from this intervention tool. In a pilot parent training course utilizing telepractice, data suggests positive results for ASD and their parents. Project SKILLS (Skills and Knowledge of Intervention for Language Learning Success) is a parent directed program for caregivers and parents of children with ASD. SKILLS offers 8-week courses of training in evidence-based intervention for enhancing language skills in young children with ASD. Project SKILLS utilizes telepractice in order to provide therapy and parent coaching to reach rural families who cannot regularly access in-person sessions. ZOOM is the teleconferencing software used which complies with HIPAA standards. Project SKILLS is the first to integrate Ingersoll and Dvortcsak's curriculum "Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism" on a large scale via telepractice.
 
154. Manding in Children With Autism: Transfer of Control From Adults to Peers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL LAYNE MILLER (Therapeutic Pathways; Central Washington University), Wendy A. Williams (Central Washington University), Stephanie Stein (Central Washington University), Ian Loverro (Central Washington University)
Discussant: Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit significant delays and deficits, including language and social skills, especially with peers. Of particular concern is the ability to make specific requests (aka manding) For children with ASD, manding often needs to be taught explicitly. Previous research has focused on manding with adult teachers. There is limited research on manding with peers. The present study used a multiple-baseline (single-subject) design method to assess whether children with ASD can transfer the skill manding from an adult to a typically developing peer. Three children (ages 4-7 years) were taught by an adult to request a spoon during several different activities. Similar-aged peers were taught to serve as substitute peer trainers. The adult teacher then supervised the peer trainers as they assisted the participants through the same activities. Participants were assessed for prompted and unprompted mands across a sequence of naturalistic play-based ABA baselines. The participants were also assessed for manding with a novel peer. All of the children showed improvements over the initial baseline. Two children showed increases in prompted and/or unprompted mands (requests) with the peer trainers. Two children showed evidence of generalization to a novel peer. This study extends previous research on manding in children with ASD.
 
156. Treatment of Vocal and Motor Stereotypy Using Response Interruption and Redirection in an 18-Year-Old Female With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ADRIENNE MARCHESE (Spectrum360; Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Previous research has investigated the analysis and treatment of motor stereotypy, however less research exists regarding the treatment of vocal stereotypy. The current study examined the non-communicative vocalizations of an 18-year old female diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A functional analysis was conducted to determine the function of the behavior, which was determined to be automatically reinforced. Follow assessment and baseline of the behavior, an intervention combining response interruption and redirection with a stimulus discrimination visual cue was implemented with the intent of decreasing both the vocal and motor stereotypy. The response interruption and redirection procedure was replicated from a previous study conducted by Ahearn, Clark and McDonald (2007). An ABAB design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the component treatment package. Results show that the intervention lead to an immediate decrease in the vocal and motor stereotypies.
 
157. Adolescents and Adults With Autism: Effects of Preferred Staff on Affect, Compliance, and On-Task Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), James Harrison (PAAL), Gloria Satriale (PAAL)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: This study seeks to investigate the effects of staff preference (highly preferred staff versus non-preferred staff) on the affect, compliance, and on-task behavior of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during demand activities that require prompting for on task and thorough completion. [LB1] Individual participants who indicate a clear preference for certain staff members when compared to others, identified through a preference assessment, will be included in the study. Each participant will engage in the same demand activity during both treatment conditions while direct-care staff members are randomly alternated (highly preferred and non-preferred). Data[LB2] will be evaluated through an alternating treatments design and be analyzed through visual analysis. Implications for the study include the value of providing choice and assessing preference of staff members and the potential impact for changing traditional staff training models.
 
158. A Data-Based Protocol for Reducing High Levels of Medication in Adolescents and Adults With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Gloria Satriale (PAAL)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Medication is often used solely or in conjunction with behavioral procedures to treat behavior problems in individuals with autism. However, the synergetic effect of multiple medications may evoke other difficult challenges that must be addressed in addition to the original dangerous behavioral concerns. Databased decisions and consistent behavioral programming can be used in conjunction with medical oversight and review to systematically reduce medication use so that the individual over time is demonstrating appropriate behavior on the smallest level of medication necessary. This case study demonstrates a formal protocol used when reducing the number and amount of medications used with an adolescent male with autism. He demonstrated such serious self-injurious and aggressive behaviors that he was a danger to himself and others, and that resulted in him being on a cocktail of several different medications to manage his specific problematic behaviors as well as other alleged psychiatric issues. The number and dosage of these medications were such that he was sedated which interfered with skill acquisition. Close collaboration with his medical neurologist, along with consistent behavioral programming and comprehensive data collection, resulted in gradual reduction and elimination of medications along with continued low-to-no rates of the original target behaviors. The protocol was successful due to the collaboration, gradual pace of medication reduction, consistent implementation of the behavior intervention plans, and the systematic collection of behavior data.
 
159. Coaching Parents to Implement an Imitation Intervention With Their Young Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHANNA TAYLOR (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: This presentation will provide participants with an overview of Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT) and the evidence-base supporting the use of this intervention to teach young children with autism to spontaneously imitate. RIT strategies include a combination of naturalistic, developmental, and behavioral principles implemented within play-based routines. Research conducted training four parents to implement RIT through Internet-based modules and in vivo coaching will be presented. Participants will gain an understanding of the procedures used to educate parents and coaching methods used in the home. Measurement of parent and child behavior change within naturalistic environments including improvements in parent fidelity, use of strategies, child imitation will be presented. Video examples demonstrating parent-therapist and parent-child interactions pre and post intervention will be shown. Problem solving methods used during parent training, parent-child outcomes, and limitations will be discussed. Additionally, participants will learn how to incorporate this naturalistic approach to teaching spontaneous imitation into structured, adult-directed applied behavior analysis treatment programs for children with autism.
 
160. Evaluating The Effectiveness of Rehearsal on the Acquisition of Receptive Sequencing Tasks With Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAMUEL GARCIA (The ABRITE Organization)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Extending from Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior (1957) joint control describes the process in which one verbal response is emitted in the presence of two distinct discriminative stimuli. Using a multiple baseline experimental design, experimenters will evaluate the effectiveness of a teaching procedure utilizing rehearsal and joint control on skill acquisition when teaching receptive sequencing tasks. Participants include two school-aged male children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The initial procedure includes rehearsal training in order to acquire a self-echoic repertoire. Next procedures for receptive sequencing training include presenting a set of 10 two-decisional pictures to the participant and then presenting the instruction "Give (object 1), (object 2) and (object 2)" requiring the participant to engage in a self-echoic response and then retrieve the objects in the correct order. Preliminary results show that after rehearsal training the two boys were able to demonstrate a self-echoic repertoire by accurately repeating 4 sets of 3 common objects. One participant, Jack, did not respond accurately to receptive sequencing during baseline conditions. Additional data on both participants are to be recorded as receptive sequencing training sessions begin.
 
161. Identification of Untrained Emotions by Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder After Equivalence Relations Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA PLESSA (University of Auckland), Angela Arnold-Saritepe (University of Auckland)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the application of equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to teaching six facial emotions ('happy', 'sad', 'angry', 'scared', 'disgusted' and 'surprised'), both as an isolated stimulus and within a social context. Nine children with ASD aged 9-12 years were taught to identify six facial expressions of emotions (A) correctly, and to relate them to the situational context (C) by using the stimulus equivalence technology. The participants were using a tablet and the stimuli were presented to the participants on the tablet's screen. A pre-test was conducted to assess the participants' ability to match pictures of facial expressions (A) to written labels of emotions (B) and to match pictures of emotional situations (C) to pictures of facial expressions (A). In the training phase, a matching-to-sample procedure was used to teach the participants to match first AB and then BC. After training each relation (AB/BC), symmetry probes were conducted and if participants' failed to pass criterion, then training was re-introduced. A post-test, identical to pre-test followed. Generalisation probes were conducted using novel picture stimuli and video clips. Preliminary group data on each emotion are presented in conjunction with individual performances. The results contribute to the literature suggesting that stimulus equivalence training can be effective in teaching emotional recognition to children with ASD. Clinical and further research implications will be discussed.
 
162. The Effects of Reinforcement of Vocal Alternative Behavior and Contingent Demand on Vocal Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
FERNANDA CASTANHO CALIXTO (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil), Rodrigo Dal Ben de Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil), Marcio Felipe Tardem (Universidade Estadual de São Paulo, Brazil), Victor Delefrati (Universidade Estadual de São Paulo, Brazil)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Research on vocal stereotypy suggest, at one hand, that it can be maintained by sensory consequences, on the other hand, there is also the suggestion that environmental variables can have a role in maintaining it. The current study investigated the effects of reinforcement of vocal alternative behavior and contingent demand on the vocal stereotypy shown by two children diagnosed with autism. Following an experimental functional analysis, the frequency of vocal stereotypy was measured during a baseline condition. The intervention was delivered following an A-B-A single subject design. During A conditions, vocals stereotypies were followed by vocal demand and alternative vocal behaviors were followed by social reinforcement. During B conditions, no intervention was delivered. Functional analyses showed that the vocal stereotypy of one participant was maintained by sensory consequences and by social reinforcement for the other participant. Vocal stereotypy decreased and alternative vocal behavior increased when intervention was in place (condition A) when compared to baseline and reversal conditions (B). Given the effectiveness of the intervention, we are now training caregivers to deliver the intervention in natural settings, thus, increasing the likelihood of generalization.
 
163. The Effects of a DOT Program on Increasing the Length of Comments With a Child Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA MARIE GOLDSTEIN (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often demonstrate limited or restricted language. Thus, behavioral interventions have been developed to expand the vocal-verbal repertoire of individuals diagnosed with ASD. One program that has been implemented clinically, but has not been evaluated empirically, is the DOT program. Within this program the student is presented a picture directly below a pre-determined number of circles (i.e., dots). Each dot is meant to correlate with a spoken word. The student is prompted to touch the dot and say the targeted word (e.g., "Ball"). The number of dots is systematically increased (e.g., from two dots to three dots which could represent "It's a ball"). In this study, a changing criterion design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the DOT program to expand the number of spoken words during comments for one individual diagnosed with ASD. The results showed that the DOT program was effective at increasing the mean length utterance for the participant.
 
164. Training Effects of Implicit Spatial Perspective-Taking Tasks by Eye Movement in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HIROSHI ASAOKA (University of Tsukuba ), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Implicit spatial perspective-taking is the ability to observe spontaneously an object from an altered viewpoint, consider what is observed, and how it is observed. This study examined how to see objects effectively when participants were moving to an altered viewpoint. Participants were Ken, diagnosed with ASD, and Miki, with typical development. A pre-post design was implemented. At pre-post-test, participants wore eye trackers. Sample stimuli were randomly presented to participants by lighting one of a face stimulus's two eyes, with the stimulus itself rotated 0, 90, 180, or 270 degrees from the upright position. Subsequently, comparison stimuli without the lit eye were presented at 0 degrees, and participants were asked to point to the position where they expected the lit eye to appear. During training, the sample stimuli's lighted eye and nose were alternately emphasized and presented. Participants moved to the upright position while continuing to look at sample stimuli. At this time, the monitor displayed participants' eye movement in real time. When mutual gaze behavior appeared, we provided feedback: "You were seeing lighting the eye and nose by turns" or "You looked very well!" Results suggested that mutual gaze behavior was occurring when participants moved to another viewpoint.
 

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