Association for Behavior Analysis International

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

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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Poster Session #502
Monday, May 27, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
110.

Results From a Down Syndrome Early Intervention Project

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
E AMANDA DIGANGI (Arizona State University), Samuel DiGangi (Arizona State University), Shelby Serafin (Texas State University), Carissa VanAsten (Texas State University)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

This pilot study sought to determine whether short term, low dose ABA therapy (2 hours per week for 3 months) would improve overall Developmental Index scores and functioning across 7 developmental domains: Cognitive, Adaptive Skills, Socio-Emotional, Receptive Language, Expressive Language, Fine Motor, and Gross Motor. The assessment measure used was the Developmental Assessment of Young Children, 2nd Edition (DAYC-2). Participants were five children with Down Syndrome, ages 9 months to 3 years old. Results demonstrate improved functioning for all children, with some attaining an average Developmental Quotient after 3 months. Results suggest greater improvements for older children (ages 2-3) than for younger infants. Implications for future research in both Down Syndrome and efficacy of ABA therapy for infants and toddlers are discussed.

 
111.

The Effects of Gross Motor Imitation Intervention for Generalized and Fluent Imitation

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Jinhyeok Choi (Pusan National University), MINYOUNG KIM (Pusan National University), Sangah Lee (Pusan National University)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of GMI (Gross Motor Imitation) intervention on the improvement of accuracy and fluency for untaught imitations. Two 5 year-old males participated in this study, who were diagnosed with an intellectual disability. The independent variable of this study was the completion of GMI in which the participants were taught four sets (i.e., Raise arms, Put hands on the head, etc.). An intervention session was presented in the fashion of Lear Unit presentations: (a) present teacher’s behavior modeling (antecedent), (b) perform gross motor imitation of participant, and (c) teacher’s consequences (e.g., reinforcement and correction procedures) on participant’s responses. The intervention sessions were run two or three times a week for approximately 45 min for approximately three months. The intervention session continues until four sets are complete. The dependent variables were the percentage of correct responses to (a) the probe imitation trials which were conducted in the middle of the intervention phase, and (b) fluency tests which were conducted prior to and after the completion of the GMI intervention. A multiple probe design across participants was employed to identify a functional relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Results demonstrated that the GMI intervention was effective to improve accuracy and fluency for generalized motor imitations.

 
112.

Using Structured Teaching to Teach Preschool-Aged Children With Developmental Delays Functional Play Skills

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Megan Pullum (Tennessee Technological University ), Krystal Kennedy (Tennessee Technological University), SETH KING (Tennessee Technological University)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Deficits in functional play skills can result in long-term social skill impediments for children with developmental delays. This poster describes a multiple probe across participants design study that evaluated the effects of structured teaching on the play skills of preschool-aged children with developmental delays (n = 6) in a school setting. During baseline, participants received adult-mediated play time. Structured teaching consisted of displaying all tasks for the session and items needed for each task, asking the child to work left to right, and setting up the environment to minimize distractions. Five of the six participants displayed a clear increase in their functional play skills following the intervention. However, gains for all students markedly reversed following the withdrawal of the intervention during maintenance. One child displayed no significant change in his functional play skills after receiving the structured teaching intervention. Teacher prompting did not change considerably between baseline and intervention. Social validity measures indicated that parents recognized a noticeable increase in functional play skills at home and all three interventionists stated they were pleased with the program outcomes for each student. Discussion addresses the need for supports designed to address maintenance and generalization of gains obtained through intervention.

 
113.

Using Textual Stimuli to Prompt Intraverbal Behavior Between Older Adults

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
GRACE FRANCINE BOATMAN (Florida Institute of Technology; Nemours Children's Hospital), Diana C. Carlos (Florida Institute of Technology), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology), Maranda Ann Trahan (The Fountains of Melbourne), Trisha Mitra (Florida Institute of Technology), Courtney Hannula (Florida Institute of Technology), Ada C. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Dementia often leads to behavioral changes such as deficits in communication and social interaction. These deficits may lead to withdrawing from social activities. Application of behavioral gerontology can lead to socially significant behavior change, and one effective strategy involves environmental rearrangements (Davies & Snaith, 1980; Burgio & Burgio, 1986; Skinner & Vaughan, 1997). In the present study, researchers placed an individualized textual prompt on the dinner table of four women at an assisted living facility. Textual prompts included large-print font messages with the topic questions about the participants’ interests, memories or favorite activities. Increases were observed in conversation duration as well as initiations, suggesting that antecedent interventions can improve social interactions for individuals with dementia. Future directions for this research include systematic replication with individuals with and without dementia in independent or assisted living, spouse dyads, men’s group, or other arrangements to improve social opportunities. Results maintained during a six-month probe following the intervention.

 
114.

The Use of Errorless Instruction in Teaching Functional Communication Skills to Individuals With MECP2 Deletion Disorders

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY MANDEL (Firefly Autism), Rebecca McVey (Firefly Autism)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Mutations affecting the MECP2 gene are responsible for a wide variety of neuro-developmental disorders, most notably Rett Syndrome and other forms of cognitive and motor impairment. Specifically, the MECP2 gene is plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the nervous system. Individuals impacted by this type of genetic disorder typically acquire new skills slowly and often experience challenges maintaining previously-learned skills. The present study investigated the use of various stimulus and response shaping procedures to teach functional skills to a 3-year-old girl with a MECP2 deletion disorder. The strategies that produced the most lasting behavior change involved errorless instruction and systematic increases in response requirement.

 
115.

Effects of Delay in Conditional Discrimination Tasks in Adolescents With and Without Intellectual Disability

Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
LIDIA MARIA MARSON POSTALLI (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Isabela Teixeira (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

The present research aimed to investigate the effects of different delays on identity and arbitrary matching-to-sample (MTS) tasks in participants with intellectual disabilities and typical development. The participants were four individuals with intellectual disabilities and eight with typical development, aged between eleven and fourteen, who attended in a mainstream school. The experimental conditions were composed by teaching identity matching and delay tests (0, 2, 4, 6, 8 seconds) and teaching arbitrary matching and delay tests (0, 2, 4, 6, 8 seconds). After the establishment of relations with continuous reinforcement, the reduction of the consequences was programmed (50% and 0%). After reaching the criteria, the delay tests were conducted. Twelve participants presented accurate performances in the identity MTS tasks and learned the arbitrary MTS tasks, however, three participants with intellectual disabilities needed more sessions to reach the criteria and two of the three participants required additional procedures to learn arbitrary relations. In the delay test, the results showed that the number of incorrect responses increased with the increasing delay duration, mainly for the participants with intellectual disability and on arbitrary MTS tasks. The results suggested that conditional discrimination procedures and different delays can be used to study remembering behavior.

 
116. Evaluating the Effects of Failing to Adhere to a Token-Production Schedule
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ODESSA LUNA (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Drake University), Barathi Chinnappan (Auburn University)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Within the home, school, and community, behavior–change agents may want a child to engage in a specific, competing response to earn a reinforcer. Interventions incorporating a token economy and differential-reinforcement-of-alternative-behavior procedures are a way to increase a specific response and bridge the delay between appropriate behavior and a reinforcer. Within this arrangement, the behavior-change agent delivers tokens on a specified schedule contingent on appropriate, replacement behavior and places problem behavior on extinction. However, in the natural environment, behavior-change agents may not adhere to the designated token-production schedules due to a variety of reasons (e.g., low staff-to-student ratios, competing responsibilities, poor training). This omission error, failing to reinforce appropriate behavior in a token economy, may be detrimental to treatment success. Thus, the purpose of this study was to parametrically evaluate the extent to which differing levels of omission errors (100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, and 0%) influenced the efficacy of token economies across fixed-ratio and variable-ratio schedules of reinforcement on appropriate and problem behavior. In general, as levels of integrity decreased, problem behavior increased and compliance decreased for five of the six participants. The outcomes suggest omission errors within a token economy can be deleterious to treatment outcomes for individuals who engage in escape-maintained aggression.
 
117.

Evaluating Treatment Outcomes of an Outpatient Behavioral Treatment Program Focusing on Social Validity

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
YUNYI TSAI (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of behavioral science in real –word settings such as school, home, and community and focuses on addressing socially significant issues. Lane and colleagues (2016) described social validity as a keystone variable in ABA (Common & Lane, 2017). Most current researcher on social validity follow the lead of Kazdin (1977) and Wolf (1978) and suggest 3 components of social validity: social significance of the goals; social appropriateness of the procedures; and social importance of the effects. Despite the importance of social validity, the majority of research on ABA treatments for challenging behavior takes place in clinic settings with well-trained therapists and social validity is often not assessed. This study assessed the outcomes from an outpatient behavioral treatment program that was designed to incorporate the above mentioned components related to social validity. The program aimed for ten 2-hour weekly appointments with a BCBA, with optional extensions if goals were not met. Several aspects were included to promote social validity including developing treatment goals with the primary caregivers, training caregivers on treatment implementation from the start of the program, monitoring the caregiver’s treatment fidelity through direct observation and weekly home practice assignment. We evaluated treatment outcomes by looking at the percentage of caregiver selected goals that were met and outcomes on indirect assessments (e.g., Behavior Problems Inventory). We also explain the procedural aspects of considering social validity in the development of the treatment program.

 
118.

Use of Visual Supports to Increase Treatment Integrity of Parents' Implementation of Noncontingent Attention in Non-Native English Speaking Families

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN VAN DIEPEN (ABA Works), Sonia Saavedra (ABA Works), Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Noncontingent Attention has shown to be an effective and easy to implement treatment to reduce problematic behaviors maintained by access to attention from others (Hagopian, Fisher, and Legacy, 1994). In order to produce these behavior reductions, treatment integrity of the intervention must be high across settings and people. In fact, low levels of treatment integrity can undermine potentially positive intervention outcomes (Fallon et al. 2016). While there is evidence of numerous behavioral strategies that lead to higher treatment integrity, there is limited research on their use during parent training with non-native English-speaking parents. The use of visual supports in the applied setting of Parent Training is discussed, including implications of these findings, and areas for future research. This study included one 11-year old girl diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disability who engaged in aggression maintained by access to attention. Her father was semi-fluent in English while her mother’s English was more limited. While parent participation and implementation of treatment was high, treatment integrity remained low after repeated parent training sessions, therefore, visual supports were added. Results indicate that parent treatment integrity increased following the addition of the video modeling and further resulted in a reduction of client aggressive behavior.

 
119. A Descriptive Assessment of the Effects of Treatment Errors on Problem Behavior and Vice Versa
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DREW E. PIERSMA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Severe problem behavior (SPB) is common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disabilities (ID) and often occurs at rates significantly higher than in the typically-developing population. Fortunately, behavioral treatments can be an effective means to treat SPB by altering conditions to support alternative behavior and weaken motivation to engage in SPB. However, these treatments do not erase the individual’s behavioral history. Thus, when caregivers implement treatment, errors are inevitable and SPB can reemerge quickly. Further, caregiver-child interactions related to SPB are likely to be part of an interlocking contingency (e.g., a caregiver providing a reinforcer for problem behavior causes this behavior to cease, thereby reinforcing both child and caregiver behavior). Currently, there is little research that investigates the nature of the relationship between child and caregiver behavior in the context of treatment errors. In this study, we examined the effect of caregiver errors on child SPB and child SPB on caregiver errors using a second-by-second descriptive assessment for one individual undergoing intensive treatment for SPB. The data suggest that for some treatment elements, the relationship between errors and SPB was bilateral, where problem behavior preceded errors and errors preceded problem behavior. However, for other treatment elements, a unilateral relationship was present, where problem behavior preceded errors, but errors did not precede problem behavior.
 
120.

Improvement to Consultation Model and Impact on Supports

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JODI LYNN CUSHMAN-PURCELL (State of Minnesota - DHS), Elizabeth Harri-Dennis (State of Minnesota - DHS, MNABA), Hilary Williams (State of Minnesota - DHS), Ashley Warling-Spiegel (Behavioral Health Division - MN Dept of Human Services)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate Successful Life Project’s service model and its effectiveness. Our team was charged to provide more efficient consultation services to a captured population. The team created a consultation model and associated tools where none existed before. Through a behavior analytic approach, Successful Life Project provides person-centered positive behavior support consultation to people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and complex health needs. The team utilized existing statewide data reporting methods to evaluate the impact of changes to the consultation model and documented changes to the consultation model over time. Consultation model changes included development of outcome measures for quality of life indicators, different and targeted levels of consultation based on intensity of need, provider-level trainings, and streamlined assessment tools. The results of these efforts suggest services are faster and more targeted, more people have received services, and that there have been ongoing treatment effects of these services for the people receiving consultation.

 
121.

Assessing Social Validity of the Parent Training and Coaching Program: Values of Using Mixed Methods

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MOON YOUNG CHUNG (University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Hedda Meadan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), James Lee (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Gakyung Jeong (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The term social validity was developed from anecdotal reports of concerns about the social meaningfulness of interventions in ABA-based research (Wolf, 1978). In the ABA field, conducting research that is “socially important” is the primary purpose (JABA, 2016). Since 2005, measuring social validity became one of the quality indicators in single-case research (Horner et al.). However, according to the reviews of the literature, in single-case research, there are several limitations of measuring social validity (Snodgrass, Chung, Meadan, & Halle, 2018). One way to overcome the limitations of social validity assessment is to apply a mixed-methods. With multiple data sources from various methods will capture a different dimension of the social validity in a certain intervention. We conduct a mixed methods study to assess the social validity of the intervention we previously delivered to three parents who have children with disabilities and challenging behavior. The purpose of the intervention was to evaluate the effectiveness of a parent training and coaching program, delivered via telehealth, for implementing functional communication training (FCT) with their children. We used single-case design to demonstrate the intervention effectiveness by observing parents’ and children’ behaviors change. The intervention demonstrated a functional relation between parent training and coaching program and parents’ fidelity of behavioral strategy. Also, the intervention showed decreases in children’s challenging behaviors. To assess whether the intervention was necessary, acceptable, and effective to the participated family members, we conduct pre- and post-intervention questionnaire and interviews with parent implementers and other family members. In addition to that, we survey blind parent and professional raters to evaluate the acceptability of the intervention procedures and effectiveness of intervention outcome. By mixing all those data, we evaluate whether the intervention was socially valid to the participants and related stakeholders. Data collection and analysis are currently in progress, and the findings, limitations, and implications will be discussed.

 
122.

Supporting Parents in Reducing Children’s Challenging Behaviors: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the FBSApp

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANGEL FETTIG (University of Washington), Erin E. Barton (Vanderbilt University ), Kaitlin Marie Kloes Greeny (University of Washington), Gounah Choi (University of Washington), Marina Velez (Vanderbilt University), Elizabeth Pokorski (Vanderbilt University), Moon Young Chung (University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Rebecca Hacker (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors are a significant concern in the homes, and research has demonstrated that without timely and effective intervention, challenging behaviors in children with disabilities can continue to worsen. Parents need support to enhance their capacity to prevent and reduce their child’s challenging behaviors; however, most families do not have access to home-based supports for challenging behaviors. We developed a Family Behavior Support mobile software application (FBSApp) for use by parents with young children with disabilities and challenging behaviors. The FBSApp uses positive behavior support framework to guide parents in using functional assessment based interventions to address their child’s behaviors. In this poster, we will share features of the app and present the randomized controlled trial findings of our study with children ages 6 and younger with disabilities and challenging behaviors. Sixty parent-child dyad participants are randomized to receive the FBSApp or webinar training. We hypothesize that parents will implement more function-based behavior support strategies which leads to significant reduction of child challenging behaviors and increased replacement skills when compared to the webinar training control group. The findings will support the utility of the FBSApp in supporting parents in reducing young children’s challenging behaviors in the home setting.

 
123.

The Effects of Lag Schedules on Vocal Responses

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Sarah Katherine West (University of Georgia), ANDREA ZAWOYSKI (University of Georgia), Lindsey Powell (University of Georgia), Sarah Jacqueline Frantz (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Previous research shown that lag schedules of reinforcement can increase mand variability and decrease problem behavior. These previous studies have compared variability of responding using distinct responses in each component of the comparison (lag 0 and lag X). In the current study, a young child with ASD was taught three vocal requests for preferred items. Following mastery of those requests, their use was reinforced on either a lag 0 or lag 1 schedule, in an alternating treatments design. Results were evaluated with respect to rate and variability of communication exhibited in each treatment component. Results demonstrated that the participant exhibited similar higher rates of requests, and greater variability of requests, in the lag 1 condition, relative to the lag 0 condition. Results are discussed relative to the existing literature related to the effects of lag schedules on communication training, the implications for including the same responses across lag schedules, and the potential of exposures to lag X schedules to bring about variability.

 
124.

Using Tactile Discriminative Stimuli to Signal Chained Schedule Components for Individuals With Visual Impairments

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW SODAWASSER (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Natasha Chamberlain (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Alicia Odell (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Chained schedules are frequently used during treatment of escape-maintained destructive behavior. The discriminative stimuli used to signal each component are often visual, such as colored smocks, cards, or lighting covers (Saini, Miller, & Fisher, 2016; Greer et al., 2016). As most of the discriminative stimuli used in the literature require visual abilities, the applicability of these procedures to individuals with visual impairments is limited. The current study used tactile stimuli, in the form of hard and soft Velcro, as discriminative stimuli to signal the components of a chained schedule for two individuals with visual impairments and autism spectrum disorder who engaged in escape-maintained destructive behavior. For both participants, the chained schedule resulted in greater than 80% reductions in destructive behavior from baseline. These results provide one example of the successful use of tactile discriminative stimuli within a chained schedule to reduce the occurrence of destructive behavior in individuals with visual impairments and autism spectrum disorder.

 
125. Evaluating the Efficacy of and Preference for Signaling Extinction in a Multiple Schedule
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
ALICIA J. ODELL (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a common treatment for destructive behavior. After teaching a functional communication response (FCR), behavior analysts often thin the schedule of reinforcement for the FCR using a multiple schedule in which they (a) signal the availability and unavailability of reinforcement for the FCR and (b) increase the amount of time without reinforcement. Despite the effectiveness of multiple schedules, bursts of destructive behavior can occur during schedule thinning. Previous research has suggested that these bursts may be due to signaling the extinction component. However, the findings of previous applied studies on this topic are difficult to interpret due to their use of common stimuli to signal the availability of reinforcement across conditions that do and do not signal extinction. The present studies correct this limitation by comparing multiple-schedule arrangements that do and do not signal extinction when unique stimuli signal each component across conditions. Results from an eight year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder indicate that both multiple schedule arrangements are similarly efficacious when teaching the successive discrimination. In addition, the participant preferred the arrangement that signaled both reinforcement and extinction. Behavior analysts can use these results to better inform the multiple schedule arrangements they employ.
 
126.

Use of a Moving Average Data Smoothing Manipulation to Identify Cyclical Patterns of Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TODD M. OWEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Andrew R. Craig (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Alex O'Donnell (DePaul University), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

For some individuals, destructive behavior varies in a predictable pattern, irrespective of the programmed contingencies during behavioral assessment and treatment. Identification of these cyclical patterns of destructive behavior can lead to treatments that are more effective as well as the potential identification of biological processes that disrupt treatment effects. However, identification of cyclical patterns of behavior can be difficult using traditional visual inspection methods. We describe a data manipulation method, referred to as data smoothing, in which one averages the data from the previous and subsequent days across a specified range (e.g., 3, 5, or 7 days). This minimizes variability in the data and can increase the saliency of cyclical behavior patterns. We provide two cases for which we identified cyclical patterns as well as a demonstration of the importance of analyzing smoothed data across various ranges. Practitioners are encouraged to analyze data in this way when a client’s behavior varies independent of programmed contingencies.

 
127. Cancellation Rates in Families Receiving Outpatient Applied Behavior Analysis Services
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
MARGARET ROSENCRANS (Marcus Autism Center), Stephanie Liollio (Marcus Autism Center), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Caregiver-mediated applied behavior analysis (ABA) interventions are successful in reducing problem behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders. However, research suggests that familial barriers (e.g., family stressors) can increase the risk of dropping out of treatment. Families who ultimately drop out of treatment are more likely to cancel or fail to show up to appointments, compared to families who complete treatment. Research on factors that predict cancellations is warranted, particularly in this high-risk population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate variables that predict treatment cancellations. Our preliminary investigation included a chart review of 20 participants receiving weekly ABA services for problem behavior. We examined cancellation rate based on family (e.g., number of siblings) and institute (e.g., location of appointments) variables. Data reveal an average cancellation rate of about 20% for all families, with two or more siblings in the home (44%) and at least one cancellation of an initial intake appointment (25%) as variables relating to higher cancellation rates in treatment. These preliminary results suggest that there are variables that may relate to cancellation rate of ABA appointments. These should be targeted in future research with more participants to determine predictive direction and potential interventions to reduce cancellations.
 
128.

Levels of Tegulation and Self-Injury in a Female Subject With Rett Syndrome

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SHAWN GIRTLER (University of Minnesota), Rebecca Kolb (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Christine Drew (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

Rett syndrome is a severe X-linked neurodevelopmental disability affecting an estimated 1 in 10,000 girls resulting in profound multiple disabilities across motor, communication, and cognition domains. Rett syndrome is considered a ‘Rosetta Stone’ disorder; understanding the behavioral phenotype will provide insights with broad generality for other developmental disorders associated with regression periods. There is autonomic dysregulation component to Rett syndrome that may impact behavior, but very little research has been conducted on these effects. This study aims to examine the relationship between the self-injurious problem behavior and level of regulation for one female subject with Rett syndrome. Self-injury was recorded using partial interval data recording (10 second intervals). Levels of regulation were scored using a partial interval coding system, where 1-minute intervals of each session were coded as either over-excited, neutral, or agitated. Sessions were conducted via telehealth and initial results suggest there may be a relationship between self-injury and levels of arousal, specifically agitation and over-excited, but the relationship is not consistent.

 
130.

Free Operant Comparison of Interventions for Off-Topic Speech Using Reinforcement With and Without Preferred Topics

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Ingrid Saavedra (University of the Pacific), SADAF FAKHARZADEH (University of the Pacific), Corey S. Stocco (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Deficits in conversation skills can be one barrier to developing and maintaining relationships for individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals with developmental disabilities may deter conversation partners if they do not stay on topic or if they dwell on topics. A majority of function-based interventions have targeted the reduction of off-topic or perseverative speech and withheld attention for its occurrence (e.g., Noel & Rubow, 2018). In addition to leveraging attention as a reinforcer, Fisher, Rodriguez, and Owens (2013) provided signaled access to preferred topics contingent on talking about nonperseverative topics or a therapist selected topic. Despite showing clear improvements in on-topic speech and stimulus control of preferred topics, little is known about the additive effects of contingent access to preferred topics as a component of intervention for attention-maintained off-topic speech. We used a free operant assessment to evaluate participant preference for including access to preferred topics as a component of intervention for attention-maintained off-topic speech. To date, results have shown that two participants preferred intervention with access to preferred topics over intervention without or noncontingent access to a leisure activity.

 
131.

The Effects of Noncontingent Music on Classroom Attending of a Student With Williams Syndrome

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY HOGAN (ABC Group Hawai'i), Keri Monteith (ABC Group Hawai'i)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

A common feature of Williams Syndrome (WS) is hyperacusis or sensitive hearing. Meaning, children with WS are more sensitive to certain frequencies than other children and higher noise levels can be aversive to the individual. In a classroom setting, the level of noise can be variable and unpredictable at times. Traditional interventions include wearing headphones or teaching a request to leave the distracting environment. These interventions have been shown to be effective, however communication training is required and some children may not tolerate wearing headphones for long periods of time. Little research has been completed on alternative interventions that include children with WS preference for music. The use of music can be immediately implemented and potentially block out certain frequencies of noise. The current study uses a reversal design to evaluate the effects of soft music in a classroom setting and the frequency of ear plugging and delay to task completion in a 10-year-old male diagnosed with WS and Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is anticipated that the data will suggest that when music is played in the classroom, the frequency and duration of ear plugging and delay to task is reduced compared to when no music is playing

 
132.

A Comparison of Continuous and Discontinuous Measurement on Acquisition Rate and Maintenance of Skills

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CYNTHIA DELA ROSA (Florida Autism Center; University of Florida), Crystal M. Slanzi (University of Florida), Daniel E Conine (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), James E. Carr (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Previous studies comparing continuous and discontinuous measurement have reported different outcomes regarding which measurement systems were optimal. For example, Cummings and Carr (2009) found that although targets were acquired more quickly when a discontinuous measurement system was used, they were less likely to be maintained. However, Najdowski et al. (2009) found no difference in rates of acquisition or maintenance between the two measurement systems. Furthermore, mastery criteria in all previous studies were based on a single target rather than a set of targets. Given that individuals with developmental disabilities often need to learn conditional discriminations, which are ideally taught in sets (Grow & Leblanc, 2013), it remains important to evaluate the relative benefits of continuous and discontinuous measurement systems when teaching multiple targets simultaneously. The current study will replicate and extend previous studies in this area by arranging mastery criteria that are based on correct responding across all three targets as a set (i.e., conditional discrimination) rather than with individual teaching targets. Preliminary results with 3 participants suggest that conditional discriminations met mastery criteria in fewer sessions when discontinuous data collection was used, and no difference in maintenance of skills has been observed with either measurement system.

 
133.

Systematically Shifting Wake Times to Treat Sleep Problems in Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAITLYN CONNAUGHTON (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Ashley Nicole Carver (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Molly K Bednar (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Difficulties with sleep, such as delayed onset, night waking, and early waking, are pervasive amongst individuals with developmental disabilities. Interventions that seek to improve sleep outcomes are particularly useful when these individuals have experienced extended hospitalizations where low activity levels and decreased exposure to light-dark cycles develop or increase disturbance in sleep patterns. Previously developed interventions, including faded bedtime with response cost and chronotherapy, employ phase advances (i.e., making bedtime earlier) or phase delays (i.e., making bedtime later) to improve sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance (Piazza et al., 1997; Piazza et al., 1998). Alternatively, the current study examines the effects of phase advances to wake times on the sleep patterns of a 16-year-old male and 17-year-old female, both of whom presented with autism spectrum disorder, significant sleep disturbance, and severe aggressive, self-injurious, and disruptive behavior. In baseline, individuals were allowed to sleep until they independently woke. Irregular sleep patterns and late wake-up times were observed across individuals. As wake times were systematically shifted earlier to align with typical sleep patterns of same-age peers, an increase in total amount of consecutive sleep, decrease in inappropriate sleep, and fewer instances of night waking or early waking were observed.

 
134.

Effects of Fluency Training on Competence and Reported Self-Confidence in Use of a Vagus Nerve Stimulator Magnet

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Amanda Duley (Indiana University South Bend), SORAH STEIN (Partnership for Behavior Change/Indiana University South Bend)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

This study investigated the effects of fluency training on competence and reported self-confidence in use of a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) magnet, when used on persons experiencing seizure. The VNS device was replicated on a mannequin to train and test competence in use of the magnet. Magnet use was previously demonstrated, however, many experienced ‘freezing’ or reported discomfort during a learner’s seizure. In the present study, participants completed fluency training drills with the magnet, to improve seizure detection, reaction time, and correct use of the magnet. Mastery criteria were established by conducting timings with four fluent performers who reported comfort and confidence regarding the magnet. For social validity purposes, participants completed a survey, before and after training, to report confidence in working with learners who may have a seizure, confidence in detecting and reacting to a seizure, and questions about previous training on the magnet. Baseline social validity data showed that when asked about comfort in working with a learner who may have a seizure, 37.5% selected “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable,” only 50% of staff indicated they were confident they would know what to do, and 62.5% of staff reported they would not feel comfortable using the magnet.

 
135. Increasing Ecological Validity Through Use of a Function Based Individualized Levels System During Tolerance Training
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
NEALETTA HOUCHINS-JUAREZ (Vanderbilt University), Allyssa Lariviere (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Multiple component interventions may be required to not only successfully decrease severe challenging behaviors, but to also increase the ecological validity of the overall intervention. Functional communication training (FCT) is used to teach individuals an appropriate response to gain a functional reinforcer. However, functional communication responses are not always practical to reinforce at all times in the natural environment. FCT can be used in combination with tolerance training procedures to increase an individual’s ability to tolerate delays and denials of requests. However, these procedures may not always be sufficient to decrease severe problem behavior in the natural environment quickly. Function based individualized levels systems are punishment procedures used to reduce problem behavior. The purpose of this poster is to present a case study illustrating the use of tolerance training and a function based individualized levels system together with a 6-year old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder to reduce aggressive behavior to improve the ecological validity of the treatment.
 
136.

Evaluating the Relationship Between Derived Relational Responding and the Weschler Nonverbal Scale of Ability

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AYLA SCHMICK (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Natalia Baires (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Linda Muckey (Southern Illinois University), Blair Williams (Southern Illinois Unversity), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Recent research has emerged suggesting positive correlations between derived relational responding (DRR) and various measures of intelligence (O’Hora, et al., 2008; O’Toole & Barnes-Holmes, 2009). Although such correlations have been found, most evaluations involve administration of verbal subtests of intelligence tests. To date, few studies have evaluated the extent to which measures of nonverbal intelligence relate to derived relational responding. The current study sought to address this limitation by evaluating the relationship between derived relational responding, as measured by the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK), and the Weschler Nonverbal Scale of Ability – Short Form. Assessments were administered across a total of 47 participants, all of which had a developmental or intellectual disability, and scores were then compared to determine the extent to which the measures were related. The results showed a strong, positive correlation between scores on the PEAK and scores on the Weschler Nonverbal Scale of Ability. These findings are consistent with previous research suggesting a relationship between intelligence and DRR.

 
137.

Effectiveness of Behavioral Parent Training for Problematic Behaviors in Children With Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
YOONJUNG YANG (Yonsei University), Yuna Kim (Korea Institute for ABA)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

The behavioral parent training (BPT) has been shown to be an effective method managing problematic behaviors in children with developmental disabilities (DD). However, only limited number of studies proved the effectiveness of BPT by objective methods. The current study examined the effectiveness of BPT with Parent Child Interaction Direct observation Checklist (PCI D) in the situation of free-play and instruction-following between the parent and respective child. 2-hour BPT was provided once a week for three months to seventeen parents of children, age from 3~19 years old, with DD who exhibit serious problematic behaviors. Seventeen pairs of parent-child participated in free-play session and instruction-following session for ten minutes each before and after BPT. Both parents and children’s behaviors were analyzed afterward through recorded session videos with PCI D; it scores behaviors of parent-child from 0 to 3 for the frequency of appropriate behaviors, and from 1 to 4 for frequency and severity of problematic behaviors of children. The results showed that parents’ behavior score in some areas significantly increased after BPT, and the follow up session indicated the prolonged effectiveness of the training. Yet, no significant changes were detected in children’s behaviors. Further implication and limitation of the study are discussed.

 
138. The Stigmatization of Concealable and Unconcealable Intellectual Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
CLAIRE M’LYNN LUNDY (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Yash Bhambhani (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which people stigmatize individuals with unconcealable, visible, intellectual disabilities as compared to individuals with concealable, invisible, intellectual disabilities. The first study presented 19 participants with three self-report surveys: the Attitudes Towards Disabled Persons survey (ATDP), the Multidimensional Psychological Flexibility Inventory (MPFI), and a demographic survey. Participants also completed the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP), which measures the accuracy and responding time of the association between images and target words. The second study aimed to improve the disctinction between the photos of people with concealable and unconcealable disabilities. In both studies, participants had an easier time saying that every individual was good and a harder time saying that any individual was bad on the IRAP measures. Although we did not find statistical significance between the self-report measures or of the self-report measures and the last three trial types of the IRAP, we found slight statistical significance between the ATDP and the Apparent- Negative Trial Type of the IRAP.
 
 

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