Association for Behavior Analysis International

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


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #129
CE Offered: BACB — 
Training Care Staff in Applied Behavior Analysis, Part 2: Pyramidal Training Studies
Saturday, May 25, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sarah Grace Hansen (Georgia State University)
CE Instructor: Wendy A. Machalicek, Ph.D.

Dissemination of evidence-based practices to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities requires effective, acceptable and efficient training of many care givers. One solution to this problem is to develop and evaluate pyramidal caregiver training whereby one level I staff acquires staff training skills and then trains multiple level II staff thereby changing the behavior of students and clients with autism and intellectual disabilities. This symposium will present three empirical papers. In the first we will report the effects of training teachers to teach classroom assistants in multiple applied behavior analytic skills in a special school. In the second we will present the effects of pyramidal training on staff acquisition of five applied behavior analytic skills over a 10-month period. The third paper will report the results of a randomized controlled trial in which staff working with adults with autism and intellectual disabilities were trained in applied behavior analytic skills. This symposium will show that pyramidal training is an effective, efficient and acceptable form of disseminating applied behavior analytic skills in applied settings.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): feedback, modeling, pyramidal training, rehearsal
Target Audience: BCBAs; graduate students in applied behavior analysis; researchers in ABA
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1)describe the rationale for pyramidal training; (2) describe the effects of behavioral skill training on acquisition of pyramidal training skills; and (3) describe strategies to promote generalization of application of pyramidal training skills.
Designing Effective And Efficient Protocols To Train Caregivers to Implement Behavior Analytic Procedures
(Service Delivery)
PETER STURMEY (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York), Maya Madzharova (The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a highly effective, evidence-based treatment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Designing efficient and effective protocols to train caregivers to implement ABA interventions is important because low treatment integrity compromises the effectiveness of ABA. Using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across three novice classroom instructors we evaluated the effects of a training consisting of: (1) video and in-vivo modeling and feedback, (2) an algorithm, and (3) multiple exemplars on the acquisition of five ABA procedures (i.e., discrete trial teaching, multiple stimulus without replacement, echoic mand training, stimulus-stimulus pairing, and graphing percentage data). Upon mastery of these procedures we further evaluated the instructors’ generalized teaching skills on novel ABA procedures. All instructors mastered the directly taught skills and some generalized these skills to novel ABA procedures. We discuss the importance of these results in light of designing efficient training protocols for novice instructors in ABA settings.
The Effects of Pyramidal Training on Staff Acquisition of Five Behavior Analytic Procedures
(Service Delivery)
LINDSAY MAFFEI ALMODOVAR ALMODOVAR (CUNY Graduate Center at Queens College), Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Direct care staff members serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are often required to implement several behavior analytic procedures with only limited training soon after being hired. Pyramidal training is an effective model for disseminating applied behavior analytic skills to employees that treat individuals with developmental disabilities. This study used a multiple probes design across teachers and a delayed multiple baseline design across teaching assistants to evaluate the effects of video models, role play and feedback on teachers’ accuracy in implementing behavioral skills training and on teaching assistants’ accuracy in implementing five applied behavior analytic procedures (i.e. stimulus-stimulus pairing, multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment, mand training, discrete trial teaching, and graphing discrete trial data). Pyramidal training was effective in increasing first tier participants’ procedural integrity of behavioral skills training steps and in increasing second tier participants’ procedural integrity of implementing the target procedures. First tier participants required feedback to maintain training skills over time, to train procedures other than the procedure implemented during their own training and to train novel staff members. Thus, pyramidal BST required ongoing supervision by a behavior analyst to effectively disseminate multiple ABA skills to a variety of staff members over time.
Dissemination of Evidence-Based Practice to Frontline Staff Working in the Field of Intellectual Disability
(Service Delivery)
LAURA GORMLEY (Trinity College Dublin), Olive Healy (Trinity College Dublin), Brona O'Sullivan (Rehab Care Dublin), Darragh O Regan (RehabCare, Ireland)
Abstract: Research has shown that staff with varying backgrounds and educational qualifications can be effectively trained to carry out procedures in line with evidence-based practice. Behavior Skills Training (BST) is a competency-based training model, used to effectively educate a broad selection of professionals, including frontline staff, in a diverse range of work-related skills. However, the BST intervention has yet to be evaluated in a large group-based experimental design. Therefore, 104 frontline staff were recruited from twelve service sites within one of the largest intellectual disability service providers in the Republic of Ireland. A total of 54 participants were assigned to the intervention condition, which used BST to coach participants in reinforcement, systematic prompting, functional communication training, and task analysis. Fifty participants were assigned to the wait list control condition. Results from the clustered randomised control trial showed that participants who received BST demonstrated statistically significant improvements across knowledge outcome measures. In contrast, participants in the wait list control condition showed either no change or a statistically significant decrease in knowledge scores over the study period. In addition, there was clear evidence of knowledge maintenance, target skill acquisition and subsequent generalization to the workplace environment, among participants in the intervention condition.



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