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 #85
Saturday, May 25, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
164.

Assessment of Parental Acceptability and Preference for Behavioral Interventions for Childhood Problem Behavior in Saudi Arabia

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
AHMAD KHAMIS EID (Center For Autism Research; University of Nevada , Reno), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles), AlAnoud Al Saud (Center for Autism Research), Ohud Alhaqbani (Center For Autism research), Aman Jobeir (Center For Autism Research)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

Wolf (1978) suggested that behavioral interventions should not only be evaluated on the basis of the behavior change associated with them, but also on the extent to which the consumers find the interventions to be acceptable. The treatment acceptability model (Kazdin, 1982) was developed to assess the acceptability of various behavioral interventions and has been explored in the research literature in various ways. The present study assessed the extent to which parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, residing in Saudi Arabia, found various behavioral interventions to be acceptable and preferred. Consistent with other studies, parents found interventions using positive reinforcement to be the most acceptable. Positive reinforcement was followed by response cost, time out, medication, and spanking. Generally speaking, less intrusive interventions were preferred to more intrusive interventions. Interestingly, treatment preference rankings corresponded to acceptability scores, suggesting that acceptability may be a valid reflection of preference. The present study is important as behavior analysts continue to work with various groups and cultures around the world, and better understand the extent to which interventions are found to be socially acceptable across different cultural groups. Implications for further research on social validity and treatment acceptability are provided. In addition, recommendations for practicing behavior analysts are reviewed.

 
165.

Effects of a Functional Communication Training on Disruptive Behaviours Maintained by Task Avoidance in Children WithAutism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENATA MICHEL (Grupo Conduzir)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

The present study intended to verify the effects of a Functional Communication Training (FCT) plus a procedure to avoid escape of important activities (Fading Out Procedure), on disruptive behaviours, on the emission of verbal responses and non-verbal responses and to verify if there was a generalisation of the verbal and non verbal response to a naive experimenter. Participants were three children between three and six years old, diagnosed with autism. Initially, the results of the Functional Analysis showed that there was a considerably greater number of disruptive responses emitted by the three participants in the demand condition. In the Functional Communication Training (FCT) Phase, each participant was taught to request to stop a tasks through verbal responses. At the Fading Out Phase, the task execution response and a gradual decrease (most to least prompt): FP - total physical prompt, DL - partial physical prompt, DG - gestural prompt and I - independent response. The results showed that all three participants presented a decrease in the emission of disruptive responses after the acquisition of the verbal response to request a pause to perform tasks.The results from the Fading Out Fase indicated that the three participants acquired the response for the task execution, reducing the emission of verbal requests for execution and maintaining a low number of disruptive responses. At the Generalisation Test of the verbal response (mand) and the non-verbal response (to do the task) to a naive experimenter, it was verified that for all the participants there was generalisation of the verbal and non verbal responses.

 
166.

Using Functional Communication Training With Extinction to Reduce Attention-Maintained Problem Behavior: A Novel Application to a Spanish-Speaking Family With English-Speaking Therapists

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
R. KYLE CALDWELL (Marquette Univeristy), Margaret Rachel Gifford (Marquette University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Marquette University)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-established treatment package used to reduce problem behavior by arranging extinction for undesirable responses and providing reinforcement for a separate, appropriate response. However, the utility of FCT in treating clients and families of different cultures has yet to be explored. The present evaluation replicated standard functional analysis and FCT procedures and subsequently introduced parent training implemented by English-speaking therapists to two Spanish-speaking caregivers of a young man with severe problem behavior through the assistance of an interpreter. After identifying attention as a functional reinforcer for problem behavior, FCT was completed with a manual motor response to recruit 30 s of therapist attention. Overall, we were able to assess and treat all referred problem behavior to near zero levels and subsequently train two parents of a different native language successfully on the implementation of our procedures through additional supports including a family translator. While small in scope, the successes of our treatment extension provide a possible avenue for future research on how to achieve significant clinical outcomes when working with non-English-speaking families, a growing, yet under-represented, population in the U.S.

 
167.

Use of Video Prompting to Teach Cooking Tasks to Korean American Adolescents With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUNYOUNG KIM (University of Illinois at Chicago), Veronica Youn Kang (University of Illinois at Chicago), Brandi L. Walton (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

In response to the growing needs to consider the cultural and contextual needs of stakeholders with disabilities in experiment, this study examined the effectiveness of video prompting using an iPad with a system of least prompts on three Korean American adolescents with autism. Through the replication of major procedures used in a study by Mechling, Gast and Fields (2008), researchers focused on teaching independent completions of cooking tasks to make their three preferred foods. Multiple probe designs across cooking recipes were utilized and replaced across the three participants. Results indicate that independent completion of multistep cooking tasks was increased with the use of video prompting using an iPad and maintained across all three participants.

 
168.

The Effects of Enhanced Milieu Teaching for Young English Language Learners With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUNYOUNG KIM (University of Illinois at Chicago), Veronica Youn Kang (University of Illinois at Chicago), Ragan McLeod (University of Alabama)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

The purpose of this experimental study is to evaluate the effects of Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT) in two Korean American (KA) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), replicating a previous study of EMT in preschoolers at risk for language delay (McLeod, Hardy, & Kaiser, 2017). Despite the recent increase in culturally responsive intervention research (Aceves et al., 2015), KAs have been underserved for mental health services (Yamashiro & Matsuoka, 1997; see also Becerra et al., 2014), including EMT. Using a multiple probe design across play materials, the two KA children with ASD engaged in home-based book reading and free play with an interventionist, 3 times every week. EMT techniques were used to teach five target vocabularies for each child. Maintenance of learned skills was also evaluated. Pre- and post-intervention language was measured using the Preschool Language Scale, Fifth Edition (Zimmerman, Steiner, & Pond, 2011). The findings suggest that EMT was effective in improving the vocabulary use in KA children with ASD. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

 
170.

Using a Response-Based Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior With Multiple Schedule and Response Cost to Reduce Dangerous, Stereotypic, and Non-Compliant Behavior in a Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BEN RHODES (SEARCH Learning Group), Nicole Journe (SEARCH Learning Group), Kayla Kopchak (SEARCH Learning Group)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

This present study combined the use of differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) with a response-based token economy system, response cost, and a multiple schedule to reduce the interfering behavior of a seven-year-old girl with autism. The combination of interval DRO and DRA procedures combined with a token economy system had previously proved ineffective in meaningfully reducing high rates of aggression, elopement, tantrums, spitting, oral stereotypy, nose-picking, and non-compliance. In addition, skill acquisition of current programming remained markedly stagnant due to the presence of these behaviors. A response-based DRO procedure combined with a motivational system, response cost, and multiple schedule was introduced. Correct responding to skill acquisition tasks in the absence of interfering behavior were reinforced on an VR2 schedule. Any instance of the previously mentioned behaviors resulted in the removal of all tokens. In addition, a multiple schedule was implemented in which controlling behavior was reinforced contingent on earning all of her tokens. Within several days of beginning the intervention, changes in rates of the interfering behaviors were seen followed by a reduction to near-zero levels. These data suggest the effectiveness of Response-Based procedures combined with response cost and multiple schedules in the reduction of interfering behavior.

 
171.

Effect of Component Analysis and Discrimination Training Across Reinforcers on Acquisition of Discriminative Stimulus Control in Children Diagnosed With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Jessica Quintanilla (Central Texas Autism Center), Aarti Haresh Thakore (Central Texas Autism Center), ANDREA KELLY (Central Texas Autism Center), Morgan Stockdale (CTAC), Kelle Rich (Central Texas Autism Center), Marcella Gonzalez (Central Texas Autism Center)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

Teaching children diagnosed with Autism to discriminate common objects is one of the imperative receptive language skills. Discrimination training helps to establish a discriminative stimulus control across various stimuli. Although there is an ample literature on teaching discrimination using transfer of stimulus control (e.g., matching-to-sample to listener responding), there is a need for different techniques that can be used to teach discrimination to children with limited receptive skills and poor stimulus control. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effect of 1) teaching the component steps necessary for selecting the discriminative stimulus separately and 2) teaching discrimination across the already established reinforcers using errorless training on the acquisition of discriminative stimulus control. This technique was used to teach discrimination to one boy with Autism and significant language delays. The result suggests that the analysis and training of component steps and teaching discrimination across various edible and tangible reinforcers was effective not only in increasing the discriminative control across the trained reinforcers, but also across untrained common objects.

 
172.

A Quantitative Literature and Quality Review of Intervention Research for Infants and Toddlers "At-Risk" for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN SANTOS (University of Texas at San Antonio), Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Chelsea Hardt (University of Texas at San Antonio), Katherine Cantrell (Autism Treatment Center)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

The purpose of this literature and quality review is to synthesize the intervention literature focused on infants and toddlers identified as “at-risk” for autism spectrum disorder. Searches were conducted in PsycInfo (ProQuest), ERIC, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection and combined search terms to describe autism (e.g., “autis*”, “global delay”, “mental retardation”, “at-risk”, “high-risk”, and “autism siblings”). The results were limited to peer-reviewed literature. A total of 30 articles were included and summarized according to (a) age of the children, (b) population type, (c) description of parent involvement, (d) intervention, (e) dependent variables, (f) child outcomes, and (g) other outcomes. Implications for practice and future research will be discussed.

 
173.

Evaluating Thinning Schedules of Reinforcement in Functional Communication Training Using Multiple Schedules and Chained Schedules

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MADELINE MARIE ASARO (Brock University), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University), Laura Tardi (Brock University ), Catherine McHugh (Brock University), Adam Carter (Hamilton Health Sciences), Nancy Leathen (Brock University)
Discussant: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT) is designed to decrease problem behavior while increasing a functionally equivalent alternative communicative response (FCR). Although effective, this procedure tends to produce high rates of the FCR that may not be manageable for parents or teachers. The purpose of this evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of two common strategies (multiple schedules and chained schedules) to thin the schedule of reinforcement for the FCR with a young child whose problem behavior was multiply controlled. The young child was a five-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We used a multiple baseline across functions design and found that FCT plus extinction produced an immediate decrease in problem behavior in both contexts. This decrease in problem behavior was accompanied by an increase in overall rate of prompted and unprompted mands. The schedule thinning evaluation is ongoing across both functions. Results will be discussed within the context of future areas of research and suggestions for improving the practicality of this intervention for parents and teachers.

 
174. Assessment and Treatment of Perseverative Speech
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLELIA DELTOUR (New England Center for Children), Emily Rosenberg (The New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Perseverative speech (i.e., repetitively talking about restricted topics, engaging in high rates of repeated mands) in individuals with autism may be difficult to redirect and hinder social relationships (Fisher, Rodriguez, & Owen, 2013). The purpose of the current study was to assess and treat the perseverative speech of a young man with autism. Perseverative speech was defined as emitting the same mand two or more times within a session. An initial analysis showed that different forms of attention did not maintain perseverative speech. A subsequent functional analysis demonstrated that perseverative speech was maintained by access to tangible items. A treatment consisting of a multiple schedule arrangement, in which signaled periods of extinction and reinforcement were alternated, was implemented. During the extinction condition, mands were ignored while demands were presented for increasingly longer durations to mimic the student’s typical hourly classroom schedule. During the reinforcement condition, mands were initially reinforced on a FR1 schedule. The schedule was then faded such that only the first mand was reinforced and subsequent identical mands were placed under extinction. Perseverative speech remained at zero in both conditions at the target extinction duration (50 min). Interobserver agreement was 98.8% (collected for 40% of all sessions).
 
175. Decreasing Food Selectivity Using Simultaneous and Sequential Presentation: A Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA TARDI (Brock University ), Kimberley L. M. Zonneveld (Brock University)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Simultaneous presentation consists of presenting an individual with a piece of a nonpreferred and a preferred food at the same time (Bachmeyer, 2009). Conversely, sequential presentation consists of providing an individual with a preferred food directly after he or she consumes a nonpreferred food (Kern & Marder, 1996). Researchers have found that both food presentation formats increase the consumption of nonpreferred food in children of varying ages and diagnoses. Three studies have compared simultaneous and sequential presentation, two studies found that simultaneous presentation was more effective than sequential presentation (Kern & Marder, 1996; Piazza et al., 2002) and one study found that these procedures were (a) equally effective and (b) that participants preferred the sequential over the simultaneous presentation (VanDalen & Penrod, 2010). These mixed findings may be due to procedural differences, including (a) food presentation, (b) use of pre-intervention assessments, and (c) use of additional intervention components such as nonremoval of the spoon and re-presentation of expelled food. In this poster, we will examine the current literature on the simultaneous and sequential food presentation formats to treat food selectivity, discuss the procedural variations within and across studies, and discuss areas for future research.
 
177.

Using Video Modeling to Teach Typical Adolescents to Interact Socially With Peers With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARI CRIS MACFARLAND (Saginaw Valley State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

Research has shown video modeling to be an effective procedure for training adult service providers to administer evidence-based practices to children with autism spectrum disorder (Brock & Carter, 2013; Catania et al., 2009; Lipschultz, Vladescu, Reeve, Reeve, & Dipsey, 2015; Vladescu, Carroll, Paden, & Kodak, 2012; Weldy, Rapp, & Capocasa, 2014). The present study extends previous video modeling training (VMT) research by teaching typical adolescents to administer naturalistic evidence-based practices to adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This was accomplished by examining the effects of VMT on typical adolescents’ performance of peer mediated social interaction (PMSI), a 10-step procedure comprised of simplified behavioral practices, during roleplay with an adult actor. A multiple probe design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of VMT on delivery of PMSI by five typical adolescents. All participants demonstrated an immediate increase in PMSI as video modeling was systematically applied. Typical adolescents also generalized delivery to adolescents with ASD. Social interaction between two youths with ASD and typical adolescent participants was also evaluated within a peer mediated setting before and after VMT. Social interaction for both youths with ASD improved following VMT.

 
178.

Effects of Visual Cues on Yoga Pose Duration and Performance in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN WRIGHT (Eastern Michigan University), Jin Bo (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

Fifty to 100% of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience difficulties with motor skills. Motor skill deficits can affect children’s abilities to engage in tasks of daily living and physical activity and may reduce opportunities for social engagement. Previous reports have suggested that task-focused physical activity interventions, including engagement in yoga, may be effective for improving motor skills in children with ASD; however, instructional methods are infrequently or inadequately described. The present study used a multiple-baseline design to implement an in-home yoga intervention and to examine its effects on yoga pose performance and general motor skills in two children with ASD. Prompting was used to instruct yoga poses. Access to a visual cue (i.e., stopwatch) was provided for participants to self-monitor pose engagement. Differential performance of yoga poses was systematically measured through video-coding by trained, independent raters. Visual analysis of the data suggests increased sustained engagement in the yoga poses and some improvement in the performance of yoga poses. Yoga may offer a socially acceptable medium for improving motor skills and increasing physical engagement in children with ASD.

 
180.

Practitioner’s Perspective on Training and Supervision Received in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Community-Based Services in Quebec, Canada

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANNIE PAQUET (Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres), Carmen Dionne (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Jacques Joly (Universite de Sherbrooke), Myriam Rousseau (Institut universitaire en DI-TSA), Mélina Rivard (Université du Quebec à Montreal), Maxime Poitras (Université de Sherbrooke)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

In Quebec, early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programs are offered by community-based services. To date, available studies have identified some components of EIBI that may influence children’s outcomes, including training and supervision. Supervisors need to be competent in several areas and must carry out various professional activities. However, it may be difficult for community-based EIBI programs to access skilled supervisors and to offer intensive supervision of staff. The purpose of this article is to present data concerning the training and the supervision models offered by organizations in Quebec (Canada) as described by practitioners that are applying EIBI. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted on data collected through a survey adaptation of Love & al. (2009) and of Gamache & al. (2010). This communication focuses on the nature of the EIBI supervision models (e.g. frequency of supervision, content of supervision) and training received as described by the participants (n = 115). The results show some variability in supervision models. These data are part of a larger research project concerning the implementation and outcomes of EIBI offered by organizations in Quebec.

 
181.

The Road to Diagnosis: Sociodemographic, Clinical Characteristics, and Service Utilization of Young Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder at a Research Center in Saudi Arabia

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ABDULLAH MOHAMMED ALOTAIBI (Centre For Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC)), Cheryl Oandasan (Centre For Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC)), Elham Alqathmi (Centre for Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC)), Sarah Aman (Centre for Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC)), Hesham Aldhalaan (Centre for Autism Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC))
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

Understanding how clinical services are accessed and utilized by children suspected to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and identifying factors associated with early ASD diagnosis can assist in developing effective models of ASD care delivery in Saudi Arabia. METHOD: This descriptive study is a retrospective chart review of a convenience sample of children (N= 126; mean age= 54.55 months; median=49.00; Min. = 19.00; Max= 121.00) presenting for assessment at an autism research center in Riyadh, KSA over a 20 month period. RESULTS: 68 children (54.0 %) were diagnosed with ASD at the clinic; mean age was 47.63 months (SD 19.43; median= 42.5; Min.19.00; Max. 98.00); mean age at first parental concern was 20.22 months (SD 9.61; Median 18.00); time from first concern to ASD diagnosis was 13.60 months (SD 9.11; Median 12.00); 63.20% were previously seen by a physician or specialist for parental concerns; 64.70% were previously diagnosed with ASD; 66.18 % had received intervention services before clinic presentation. Sociodemographic, clinical, diagnostic and intervention service utilization characteristics are described. CONCLUSION: The study findings suggest there is a delay between parental first concerns and accessing diagnostic and intervention services in Saudi Arabia. More research will help guide development of improved pathways to care for children showing early ASD concerns in Saudi Arabia.

 
182. Improvement Procedures of Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions Practices by a Research-Practice Partnership
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CARMEN DIONNE (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Annie Paquet (Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres), Myriam Rousseau (Institu universitaire en DI-TSA), Suzie McKinnon (CRDITED-CIUSSS Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean), Marie-Joëlle Braconnier (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract: EIBI for children with ASD in Quebec (Canada) is a universal provided public service. A first research project with 15 of the 22 organizations offering this service, permitted to take notice of a great variability in the centers’ self-evaluations of the quality of implementation; documentation received the lowest result (Dionne et al., 2017). This showing of lack of documentation about intervention led to a second project aimed at developing protocols and transfer tools. We will illustrate a research-practice partnership designed to improve intervention practices. The approach chosen, the integrative validity model (Chen, 2010), relies on three sources of information: data from research, observations of the intervention in action and explicit or implicit theories from the stakeholders. Scientific articles from 2004 to 2016, concerning interventions and evaluations for young children with ASD, have been reviewed. Four group meetings were held with representatives of these organizations and researchers: 1) assessment, 2) choice of objectives, 3) choice of intervention strategies and 4) activities involving parents. A protocol was developed and pilot testing was conducted with a small number of children (n = 6). A detailed follow-up was conducted to document implementation (logbooks, focus groups and interviews) in order to improve the content.
 
183. Effects of Early Intervention on Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities Scores in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CARLY CRESSMAN (University of Manitoba; St.Amant), Toby L. Martin (St.Amant Research Centre)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities, revised (ABLA-R; Kerr et al., 1977) tests fundamental visual and audio/visual discrimination skills. There is little research on the progression of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the ABLA-R levels, and even less data on the effects of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) on ABLA-R progress. The present study compares groups of children with ASD, aged 2-5 years, to examine the effects of EIBI and age on ABLA-R outcomes. I evaluated retrospective ABLA-R scores at two time points in children who participated in two different EIBI programs offered by St.Amant. There was no significant difference in pre- or post-intervention scores between groups. A separate analysis of age progression through the ABLA-R showed no statistically significant difference between ages. Results of this study demonstrate that more intensive interventions do not necessarily lead to better ABLA-R scores, a finding that carries clinical significance.
 
184.

Supporting Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Schools: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN J. MARTIN (May Institute), Suzannah J. Iadarola (University of Rochester Medical Center), Lynne Levato (University of Rochester Medical Center), Brenna Cavanaugh (University of Rochester Medical Center), Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute), Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida/Florida Mental Health), Tristram Smith (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Discussant: Jill Harper (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often require intensive support in schools. Unfortunately, educators seldom have the requisite training to adequately address such concerns. For effective implementation, school-based interventions must be feasible and flexible enough to accommodate the needs of students. Students with Autism Accessing General Education (SAAGE) is a comprehensive, modular intervention that uses a systems approach and active coaching to provide evidence-based interventions grounded in behavior analysis to address student behavioral goals and build school capacity. We review the results of a year-long randomized controlled trial that compared SAAGE to enhanced services-as-usual. Due to limited statistical power, a group-by-time analysis did not reveal significant interaction effects. However, students in the SAAGE condition progressed from “moderate” to “slight” impairment on the Clinical Global Assessment Scale (DD-CGAS; a global rating of functioning that is specific to developmental disabilities), demonstrating the promise of the SAAGE model. An analysis of DD-CGAS subdomains revealed an advantage for the SAAGE group on the school/academic, social behavior, and communication scales, and that in some cases, this advantage had emerged by the midpoint of the intervention. Additionally, teachers were able to implement the modules with adequate fidelity and rated SAAGE as socially valid.

 
185. Repetitive Behavior in a Rat Model of Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
KATELYN GUTOWSKY (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a range of behavioral deficits, including an increase in repetitive behavior. Valproic acid (VPA), a medication often taken for bipolar disorder or epilepsy, has been shown, when taken in utero, to be a risk factor for ASD. This observation has led to a successful animal model of autism, in which in utero VPA exposure has been shown to be related to later developmental delays and deficits. In the present experiment, rats exposed to VPA in utero showed increased repetitive behavior, as measured in 10-min sessions in an open arena, relative to non-VPA exposed control rats. These findings agree with those found in previous research, and suggest that the model is sufficiently sensitive to detect differences in treated and untreated rats. Research currently in progress is concerned with procedures to reverse some of the deficits associated with ASD through social and environmental enrichment.
 
186.

Teaching Safety Skills Using Virtual Reality: A Proof of Concept

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANDREA CAROLINA VILLEGAS (University of Florida; BehaviorMe, Inc.), Audrey Taylor Boatman (Childs Path, Help Begins at Home), Brianda Jazmin Martin del Campo (Child's Path)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Current methods to teach certain safety skills, such as street crossing or fire safety, present multiple problems for the practitioner as well as for the learner. The environmental conditions for these skills are difficult to recreate in clinical settings and are typically too dangerous to engage with in vivo. As such, methods for skill acquisition involving in vivo training, in situ training, video modeling, and instructional narratives tend to be effortful for the practitioner to implement and/or may present limited generalization to target settings upon assessment. These limitations may be more readily addressed by the capabilities of emerging technology. Virtual reality is one such technology that allows for the simulation of difficult-to-recreate environments in the safety of a clinical setting. The present is an examination of the usability and feasibility of incorporating virtual reality technology for the acquisition of safety skills in a clinical setting with children with autism.

 
187.

Using Touch Math to Teach Basic Addition to Children Under the Autism Spectrum

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
MEERA RAMANI (ABA India)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

The current study examines how the multisensory approach of the Touch Math program is used in a Learning Centre that educates students with Autism and learning difficulties to improve their basic operation addition skills. The students who participated in this study struggled with traditional teaching of basic operation skills, and they were having difficulty maintaining fact knowledge. The current study used baseline assessments, which the two single digit addends without touch points, to determine the student participant’s individual single digit addend knowledge. Then the students explicitly taught the multisensory approach of how to use touch points to count up and all to create a sum of two single digit addends. After being taught how to use the touch points to help add two single digit addends, students were given post-intervention assessments, with touch points on the two single digit addends to determine their individual progress and possible improvement in basic operation addition skills. Although an individual’s results varied, all students showed improvement in their basic operation addition facts, by using the multisensory approach from the Touch Math program to add two single digit addend. Keywords –Touch math, Touch points,Autism, Addition meera@behaviourenrichment.com,rajashree@behaviourenrichment.com,girishhv11@gmail.com

 
188.

A Habituation Protocol for Increasing Vest Tolerance for Measuring Physiological Responses in Individuals With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NANCY I. SALINAS (Harmony Behavioral Health), Stacy L. Carter (Texas Tech University), Shawn E. Happe (Harmony Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) manifest hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition [DSM-V], 2013). Due to this, physiological measures that require contact with the skin may present problems for individuals with atypical responses to tactile stimulation. In order to address this concern, a habituation protocol was used to assess participants’ tolerance to wearing a vest for the collection of physiological measures. Specifically, a repeated presentation procedure was conducted to decrease possible sensitivity to a vest (Thompson & Spencer, 1966). The results indicated that all five participants in this study successfully completed the habituation protocol and none required a lengthy fade in protocol for wearing the vest. Based on these results, apparatus using these types of physiological measures are feasible for conducting research. These findings should encourage other researchers interested in assessing physiological responses with individuals with possible sensory sensitivities.

 
189.

Using Modeling and Self-Monitoring to Teach Play Skills to Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DA YUN KIM (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Sunhwa Jung (Kongju National University), Jin Mi Kim (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Jina Noh (Kongju National University )
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a modeling and self-monitoring intervention on the play skills and social initiations of two young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A multiple baseline design across play settings was employed. The experimental conditions included baseline, modeling and self-monitoring, self-monitoring only, and maintenance. The children were taught the appropriate play skills and social initiations related to the play context using the modeling and self-monitoring intervention, and then they used only self-monitoring after the modeling was removed. The results indicated that the modeling and self-monitoring intervention was effective in increasing the play skills and play-related social initiations of both participants. In addition, the participants maintained the increased play skills after removing the intervention. The social validity assessment data indicated that the intervention was meaningful and effective, and the procedures were acceptable. In each experimental procedure, an average of 25% of the sessions was randomly selected to measure inter-observer agreements, and the mean agreements were 97.5% for Child 1 and 96.7% for Child 2. This study supports that the modeling and self-monitoring intervention may be effective for teaching play skills and play related social initiations and maintaining the learned skills.

 
190. Disseminating Autism Intervention Technology
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BINYAMIN BIRKAN (Biruni University)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Some behavior analysts note that we are more successful in developing technology than in disseminating it. This presentation will review data on our efforts to disseminate an intervention program in Turkey and compare its results to other four different programs in US and Europe for children with autism ages two to twenty-one. These efforts span more than two decades; the model includes a packaged curriculum, a staff training and evaluation protocol, a protocol for the assessment of child behavior change, ongoing consumer evaluation, and specification of certain administrative variables. Perhaps most importantly, the model specifies a system of interlocking contingencies that affect the behavior of consumers, staff members, and administrators. At the end of the review, the data on treatment outcomes in the education programs and home settings and the consumer evaluation data indicated that the outcomes are quite similar across the five programs. Those results also suggesting that disseminating autism intervention technology is effective among across cultures and maintains over time.
 
191. Experimental Analysis and Treatment of Precursor Behaviors to Severe Self-Injury Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOYEON KANG (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Suwon Yoo (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Jinmi Kim (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Function-based intervention is the main intervention approach for problem behavior and it requires understanding the function of the problem behavior. However, the processing to identify the function of serious problem behavior can be difficult from a safety and ethical point of view. In light of these concerns, as an alternative method, several previous researches have examined utilizing precursor behaviors which reliably precede problem behavior. The current study replicated and extended previous studies which examined the presumed function of the problem behavior and implemented treatment for the behavior using precursor behaviors. The participant is a 15-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The target behavior is self-injury behavior (SIB: biting and head hitting) and precursor behaviors are crying with a frown and shouting. We first conducted a functional analysis (FA) of the SIB and conducted comparative probability analyses and lag-sequential analyses to identify precursors. We then conducted a FA of the precursors to identify the relation between the function of precursors and problem behavior. Finally, we implemented intervention for the precursors to reduce the SIB. Based on the results, we discuss that the approach using experimental analysis and treatment on precursor behaviors is useful and reliable in reducing serious SIB.
 
192. The Effect of Mirrors in Acquisition of Motor Imitation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOYEON KANG (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Ju Hee Park (Yonsei University), jiyun yoo (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Motor imitation is an important skill for facilitating cognitive, language and social development. Many studies have reported that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a lack of the skill compared to typically developing children (Rogers, Hepburn, Stackhouse, & Wehner, 2003; Smith & Bryson, 1998). Previous studies explain the deficit of imitation in this population but not many studies have investigated an effective strategy for acquiring motor imitation. According to literature, mirrors may prompt imitation by giving visual feedback on the movement to follow and the child’s movement. The present study examined the efficacy of utilizing mirrors to promote the acquiring of motor imitation for children with ASD. The participant is a 3-year-old boy with ASD. At first we taught the child motor imitation skill (i.e., putting hands on one’s belly) without a mirror. However, the percentage of correct responses was low in learning the skill. Then we added a mirror to teach the imitation of the same task, and we observed for the maintenance of motor imitating skill without a mirror. Based on the results, we discuss the effectiveness of using mirrors on acquiring motor imitation skill for children with ASD.
 
194. Transition Low to High-Tech Augmented Alternative Communication System: Effects on Augmented and Vocal Requesting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NOUF ALZRAYER (King Saud University ), Andy Bondy (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract: A considerable number of studies have demonstrated that augmentative alternative communication (AAC) is effective in increasing speech production in some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; e.g., Gevarter et al., 2016). Thus, the study aimed to (a) investigate the effects of a picture exchange communication system (PECS) Phase IV protocol on the acquisition of spontaneous augmented mands; (b) evaluate the effects of progressive-time delay and synthetic speech output on the development of vocal mands; and (c) determine the participants’ preference for each modality after reaching mastery. A multiple-baseline design across four children with ASD was used to measure the acquisition of augmented and vocal mands during the transition from low-tech to high-tech AAC system. During a natural condition (i.e., play time), we applied the PECS Phase IV protocol to teach the participants to mand by producing multisymbol messages (e.g., I want + name’s of preferred item) using the iPad as well as vocalizations. After reaching mastery, we assessed the participants’ preference for using the PECS Phase IV app or the communication book by comparing the mand allocations. The preliminary results suggest that the PECS protocol can be used to transition from a low to high-tech communication modality.
 
195.

Building Rapport With Young Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ELENE ABULADZE (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Eric V. Larsson (Lovaas Institute Midwest; University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Establishing a relationship with a young child with ASD is an important variable in the course of successful behavioral treatment. The quality of relationship between two individuals is usually referred as rapport. In behavior analytic literature rapport is measured by its behavioral correlates: proximity, body orientation, eye contact, smiling, physical contact, manding, compliance to demands, etc. Most of the behavioral studies have implemented multicomponent interventions to establish rapport with individuals with disabilities, all of which involved delivery of highly preferred stimuli non-contingently on a time-based schedule (NCR). The current study examined the effect of the non-contingent delivery of reinforcement versus response-contingent delivery of reinforcement on building a relationship with young children with ASD. Multiple baseline design across participants with the alternating treatments component was used as an experimental design. The independent variables were: NCR with preferred edibles, NCR with preferred social stimuli, response contingent delivery of edibles, response-contingent delivery of social. Child-initiated proximity was a primary dependent variable; looking, smiling, physical contact and manding were the secondary dependent variables. The majority of the participants showed increase in proximity after the implementation of the interventions, but there was no clear differentiation between the treatments, which indicates that contingency or the lack of contingency was not a factor for improving rapport as long as highly preferred stimuli were delivered.

 
197.

Implementation of the Power Card Strategy to Increase Appropriate Social Commenting of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder During Game Play

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA PRINCE (Temple University; Brett DiNovi and Associates), Matthew Tincani (Temple University), Heather Francisco (Brett DiNovi and Associates)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have difficulty understanding social expectations and communicating with others. They may have a difficult time making social comments to peers that are on topic to the activity independently. These learners need additional assistance in order to participate in gameplay and commenting about the game being played to others. Visual prompts are a strategy that research has shown to decrease the number of prompts needed to independently make positive social comments during gameplay. Research has also shown that incorporating special interests with visual prompts are used together, the target skill or behavior quickly increases and prompts are able to be faded. Special interests can be characters, people, or things that the child really enjoys. The Power Card strategy is an antecedent strategy, which incorporates the child’s special interest into a script and steps to show how to engage in the appropriate target behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Power Card strategy on the frequency of comments three children with ASD made to peers during a game. Results can be interpreted to support the Power Card strategy as effective in increasing the frequency of independent comments made to peers while playing a game. Additionally, novel responses and generalization occurred across all three participants.

 
198. Video Modeling as a Training Tool for Staff Cohorts Implementing Graduated Guidance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA KATHRYN MCFADDEN (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University ), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children; Western New England University )
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract: Current research indicates that video modeling is an effective training tool for staff implementing behavior analytic procedure. However, at many residential programs for individuals with autism, multiple teachers are responsible for teaching the same task. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of video modeling as a training tool to improve procedural integrity of staff cohorts using graduated guidance. In addition, the effectiveness of a prescribed graduated guidance procedure was assessed. The implementation of the video modeling training procedure was assessed using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across cohorts and a multiple probe design across tasks. Participants were six direct-care staff and two students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Participants were divided into two cohorts, each consisting of three direct-care staff and one student. Video models with voiceover narration and still shots were used to train the teachers to implement a graduated guidance procedure for three play skills. Interobserver agreement across participants and tasks ranged from 83% to 100%. Results showed that the video models were an effective training tool. In addition, the students learned the tasks with the prescribed graduated guidance procedure.
 
199. Web-Based Stimulus Preference Assessment and Concurrent-Operants Reinforcer Assessment for Videos
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HUGO CURIEL (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Emily Curiel (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Amelia Fonger (Genesee Health System), Anita Li (Western Michigan University), Steven Ragotzy (Kalamazoo RESA), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract: This study implemented web-based stimulus preference and reinforcer assessments for videos. Three children and two adults with a diagnosis of autism participated in the study. Preference hierarchies were effectively identified using brief or full multiple-stimulus without replacement preference assessments. Concurrent fixed-ratio 1 (and, for two participants, concurrent progressive-ratio 10) schedules were subsequently implemented to assess the relative reinforcing functions of the high-preferred and low-preferred videos. Three participants demonstrated differentiated responding, responding at higher levels for the high-preferred videos than for the low-preferred videos in at least one condition. Two participants regularly switched between the alternative schedules and did not show differentiated responding. These findings provide further evidence of the potential value of technology in behavior analysis.
 
200. Assessment and Treatment of Immediate Echolalia
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZOE NEWMAN (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Sarah Lundstrom (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract: Immediate echolalia is a type of vocal stereotypy that involves the noncontextual repetition of auditory stimuli that has just been spoken. This behavior can be difficult to assess and treat because it requires additional controls to ensure that equal opportunities to emit the behavior are presented across conditions. Colon et al. (2012) showed that differential reinforcement of an alternative response (DRA) during verbal operant training is effective in reducing vocal stereotypy. However, common reinforcers during DRA present a challenge in reducing the occurrence of immediate echolalia. For instance, praise involves presenting an auditory stimulus that provides more opportunities for immediate echolalia to occur. The purpose of the present study was to assess DRA with preferred social stimuli as an intervention to reduce immediate echolalia. A functional analysis (FA) was conducted to identify the function of immediate echolalia prior to treatment. In baseline, there were no programmed consequences for immediate echolalia. In DRA, pictures of objects and activities were presented on a poster board, and appropriate tacts were reinforced with preferred social stimuli with no programmed consequences for immediate echolalia. Results show that social stimuli can function as reinforcers for tacting during DRA to reduce immediate echolalia for one participant. Interobserver agreement was collected for 33% of sessions and averaged 92%.
 
201. An Evaluation of a Three Component Schedule of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY LLOVERAS (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Meghan Deshais (University of Florida, Caldwell University), Faris Rashad Kronfli (University of Florida)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is a well-established procedure used in the treatment of problem behavior. Although DRA often involves extinction, there are a variety of reasons why extinction may not be possible. Many studies have evaluated the effects of DRA without extinction; however, to date, no study has evaluated the effects of differential reinforcement across three components in the treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior (e.g., compliance, a break mand, and problem behavior). Two individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder participated in the current study. Participants could respond on one of three components: compliance with directives (edibles and highly preferred leisure items), an enriched break (escape from demands plus beanbag and moderately preferred leisure items), or problem behavior (escape from demands). Results showed that the current manipulation resulted in decreases in problem behavior and increases in compliance, even when the schedule of reinforcement was thinned. Interobserver agreement was 92.2% for 45% of sessions.
 
202.

The Utility of a Screener Assessment as a Measure of Derived Relational Responding Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KWADWO O. BRITWUM (Southern Illinois University), Anne Sheerin (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract:

Relational Frame Theory is a contemporary behavior analytic account of complex language and cognition which proposes that language is the result of Arbitrarily Applicable Relational Responding (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). Over the past decade, several assessments have been developed in an attempt to provide a quantifiable measure of an individual’s ability to engage in relational responding. One recently developed assessment, the PEAK-Screener (Dixon, 2018), was designed to provide a measure of an individual’s performance prior to the implementation of programs targeted at building derived relational responding skills. To date, no research has been conducted on the utility of this assessment. The current investigation sought to assess the relationship between scores on the PEAK-Screener and PEAK-T pre-assessment scores in individuals with ASD. Assessments were conducted across 35 individuals with ASD. The results indicated a positive correlation between PEAK-Screener scores and PEAK-T pre-assessment scores (r = .843, p = .017). These results provide some preliminary evidence of the utility of the Screener as measure of skills for individuals with ASD. Additionally, the brevity of the PEAK-Screener may provide a cost effective and time sensitive method to evaluate skills prior to the implementation of behavior analytic programming.

 
204.

Assessing the Need for ABA Services and Potential Autism Diagnoses for Children

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BECKY BARRON (Southern Illinois University), Jessica M Hinman (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract:

The PEAK Relational Training System Autism Screening and Behavioral Observation Summary (PAS-BOS) is a recently developed assessment tool developed to assist clinicians in planning treatment for skill acquisition, challenging behavior reduction, and potential dosage of treatment based on severity of behavioral deficits. Currently, no published research exists on the PAS-BOS, or the extent to which the measure produces valid results. The current study aimed to address this limitation by assessing the convergent validity of the PAS-BOS by comparing it with results obtained from the Social and Communication Questionnaire, a previously validated autism screening tool. To evaluate the convergent validity of the two measures, both assessments were administered to individuals with autism, and then the scores for each were compared to determine the extent to which similar results were obtained. Preliminary evidence showed a strong, significant relationship between the two measures, which suggest the PAS-BOS is a valid measure. Implications include potential use of the PAS-BOS to help justify quantity and intensity of ABA services for clients.

 
205.

The Effect of Training to Distinction Suitable Clothes Using Stimulus Equivalence in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders With Intellectual Disabilities

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAKO ITO (University of Meisei ), Koji Takeuchi (Meisei University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Study objective:The purpose of this study was to allow ASD children with intellectual disabilities to be able to the assessment and training of three relationships by discrimination training based on stimulus equivalence. Setting: This experiment was conducted individually in a laboratory of university. Participant: A 14 years old child diagnosed with ASD and intellectual disabilities participated. Procedures: The multipurpose Matching to Sample Task (MMTS) that was an application for PC was used the assessment and training of three relationships of feeling temperature(cold or hot), clothes (upper: 4 types of photos, bottom: 2 types of photos) , number of room temperature gauge(24°or 40°). Concretely, the MMTS was used to train the distinction of number of suitable room temperature gauge corresponding to feeling temperature . Then I trained distinction of clothes corresponding to number of room temperature gauge Results: It became possible to choose a suitable clothes corresponding to feeling temperature, and the three relations became equivalent.

 
206. Convergent Validity of the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment and the PEAK Relational Training System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE CHOATE (Missouri State University), Leah E Clark (Pender Public Schools), Taylor Lauer (Missouri State University), Annalise Giamanco (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PEAK-CA) provides a standardized assessment tool that estimates a participant’s ability to learn through direct reinforcement, generalization, equivalence, and relational framing. Prior assessments contained in PEAK have only evaluated one of these four learning modalities in isolation. Support for the validity of prior assessments has been obtained by correlating the assessments with common measures of language (PPVT, VB-MAPP, ABLLS-R) and intellectual (IQ) functioning. The purpose of the present study was to compare results on the PEAK-CA to results obtained on each of the PEAK assessments (PEAK-DTA, PEAK-GA, PEAK-EA, PEAK-TA). Results suggest that each of the PEAK assessments have a strong, positive correlation, supporting each as measure language learning as a common developmental construct. Due to a lower overall time requirement for administering the PEAK-IC compared to the other four PEAK assessments, high convergence between these measures suggests that the PEAK-IC may be a more efficient instrument for estimating language learning in individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Results also support the use of PEAK-IC as part of a comprehensive assessments package to guide instructional or curricular programming with this population.
 
207.

Money Safety Skills for an Adult With Autism at a University

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Aaron White (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), LAURA QUINTERO (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Safety skills for individuals with autism is mostly in pamphlet form from organizational websites which target school-aged children rather than adults. University settings pose increased safety concerns for adults with disabilities as many more vulnerable situations can be presented. Participants who filled out the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire in Pfeffer’s 2012 study reported being a victim of property theft. If these individuals had adequate safety skills, these incidents may not have happened. The intervention had three teaching pieces: teaching the different types of relationships using the PEERS program, teaching which types of relationships are okay to give money to and using skills during scenarios to practice skills in situations. When teaching which types of relationships can have money, photos were used. The participant had to place red or green paper over photos to indicate who could or could not have their money. The participant was provided with a decision tree to guide responses during the second and third teaching pieces. All three steps used an ABAB design. Data demonstrates an immediate increase in trend for all three portions. Data during intervention for all intervention phases is above baseline data suggesting an effective intervention.

 
208. Teaching Children with Autism to Make Independent Requests Using Echoic-to-Mand
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAEL LEE TOMAK (Western Michigan University), Kelly Kohler (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Mands are a vital skill for the development of a child’s communicative repertoire and are typically a major focus of early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI). Naturalistic teaching is more efficient than Discrete-Trial Training (DTT) for teaching mands (Jennet, Harris, & Delmolino, 2008). The present study used crucial components from naturalistic teaching to teach mands in a discrete-trial format, using an echoic-to-mand procedure. The intervention increased the children’s independent vocal requests. Initially, it taught the children to mand for items in sight and eventually for items out of sight. Independent mands were successfully taught using this intervention and data indicated that they were taught under the control of the correct stimuli.
 
209.

An Evaluation of Within-Assessment Reliability in Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessment Data

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHAWN J JANETZKE (The New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Stimulus preference assessments are used to identify a stimulus hierarchy in which stimuli are ranked according to their relative reinforcing efficacy. Paired-stimulus preference assessments (PSPA; Fisher et al., 1992) are a common method used in clinical practice. A PSPA functionally arranges experimental control in a multielement design across trials, controlling for the presentation of stimulus position. However, little research has analyzed reliability of selection within PSPAs. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the reliability of PSPA data within each administration across participants. We found that, on average, there was a moderate degree of replication across three PSPA data sets (mean percentage of selections that were replicated: 67%, 68%, 80%). We also found that the higher ranked a stimulus is within an individual PSPA, the higher probability the selection of that stimulus would be replicated (mean probability of replication by stimulus rank: 1) 85%, 2) 69%, 3) 68%, 4) 53%, 5) 27%, and 6) 0%).

 
210.

Changing Criterion Design to Decrease Use of Arm Immobilizers

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARY MCDERMOTT (Elwyn New Jersey ), Alexandra Held (Elwyn New Jersey), Samantha Volpe (Endicott College; Elwyn NJ )
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Arm immobilizers have been used in order to prevent and limit injury in individuals who engage in severe self-injurious behavior (Griffin, Williams, Stark, Altmeyer, & Mason, 1984). However, once stability has been maintained fading arm immobilizers can pose challenges if they have taken on reinforcing properties (Sungwoo, Leak, Vu, & Mishler, 2008). The current study expanded the current literature by increasing of systematically fading arm immobilizers. This study utilized a multi-element design to identify competing stimuli and latency to head directed self-injury and then a changing criterion design to systematically increase the duration of the removal of arm immobilizers (Fisher, Piazza, Bowman, Hanley, & Adelinis, 1997; Sungwoo, K., Leak, J.M., Vu, C., & Mishler, B., 2008). Latency to challenging behavior was first obtained through a multi-element design in order to determine phase lengths across various potentially competing activities. Latency to the first instance of head direct self-injury was assessed across activities of daily living (ADLs), chores, leisure, and meals. The changing criterion design will increase the time this individual is independently engaged in functional competing activities and decrease the time spent in restrictive mechanical arm restraints.

 
211.

A Consecutive Case Series Analysis of Baseline Rates of Reinforcement and Renewal

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
JESSICA M. COHENOUR (Marcus Autism Center, Severe Behavior ), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

The re-emergence of extinguished behavior following treatment poses significant threats to the long-term efficacy of interventions designed to reduce and maintain reductions in problem behavior. Renewal is a type of relapse observed in both basic and applied literature and refers to the return of previously extinguished behavior following a change in context. Parameters observed within the basic literature on renewal include those suggesting that higher rates of reinforcement during baseline procedures lead to larger ABA and ABC renewal effects (Berry, Sweeney, & Odum, 2014). We conducted a consecutive case series analysis of 29 participants whose treatment data indicated renewal and 38 participants whose data did not indicate renewal. As an estimate of reinforcement levels during baseline, we defined high rates of reinforcement as participants with an average rate of problem behavior more than two per minute and low reinforcement rates as participants with an average less than two. We then calculated the percentage of individuals in each group who exhibited renewal during later context changes. Preliminary findings suggest that higher levels of problem behavior did not equate to more renewal (see Table 1).

 
212.

Mitigating Collateral Effects of Extinction During Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior: A Replication of the Enhanced Choice Model of Skill-Based Treatment

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARNEY SQUIRES POLLACK (Vanderbilt University), Johanna Staubitz (Vanderbilt University), John E. Staubitz (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD), Michelle Mahoney Hopton (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, TRIAD), Rachel Haws (Vanderbilt University), Caroline Goerke (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) uses synthesized contingencies to teach alternative responses that will compete with problem behavior (Hanley et al., 2014). When manual guidance is prohibited, unsafe, or non-preferred by caregivers, the Enhanced Choice Model of SBT (ECM-SBT; Rajaraman et al., 2018) may be employed to mitigate collateral effects of extinction. Within ECM-SBT, trained responses (e.g., functional communicative responses [FCR]) and two additional alternatives to problem behavior operate concurrently. These two alternatives include (a) entering a ‘hangout’ area, in which evocative conditions are suspended and the client may access all preferred items and activities as well as low-quality attention from the therapist and (b) leaving the session entirely. We replicated ECM-SBT procedures with three elementary students in a public special day school for children who engage in severe and persistent problem behavior, in which manual guidance by non-district personnel was prohibited. We present procedures, including methodological deviations from the Rajaraman study, results of Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analyses, SBT, and generalization protocols, as well as client response allocation among alternatives within the ECM-SBT model.

 
214. Addressing Limitations to Continuous Descriptive Functional Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SEAN M BARRITE (UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA RENO), Kathleen Wiley (University of Nevada, Reno), Brian James Feeney (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Experimental functional assessments (ExFA) are the gold standard for analyzing behavior-environment functional relationships. Unfortunately, ExFA’s are not always practical. A continuous descriptive functional assessment analysis of antecedent-behavior-consequence (ABC) data (Cooper et. al. 2007) offers an alternative to the ExFA but has limitations of its own such as, accounting for only a limited number of environmental factors, and failing to encapsulate motivating operations, or account for other dimensions of behavior, such as latency and duration of target behaviors. In addition, there is rarely a consensus of results with an ExFA (Lerman & Iwata, 1993; Noell et al., 2001; Tarbox et al., 2009). A modified continuous descriptive assessment (CDA) procedure aimed at addressing these limitations was implemented with a child with Autism-Parent dyad.  Procedural modifications included a structured assessment with multiple conditions utilizing an antecedent manipulation methodology (Carr & Durand 1985), coding the presence or absence of multiple behaviors and stimuli on a second by second basis, and a more precise and flexible temporal analysis of data.  Results suggest the modified protocol may provide more dynamic analysis of behaviors and the conditions under which they occur. By virtue of procedural modifications such as these, CDA’s may lead to greater consensus with ExFA.
 
215. Effects of Single and Multiple Exemplar on Generalization of Foundational Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARIANA CHERNICHARO GUIMARAES (Western New England University and New England Center for Children), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children and Western New England University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Three children with autism (3 and 4 years old) participated in this evaluation of effects of Single Exemplar Training (SET) and Multiple Exemplar Training (MET) on generalization of foundational skills. Stimulus variations and instructional settings were arranged in a 3x3 grid (matrix). One skill was assigned to each teaching method for each participant. During SET, we taught one skill using only 1 combination of stimuli (e.g., produce ID when asked “what is your name?” in the hallway). During MET, we taught the skill in 3 combinations of stimuli (e.g., object imitation using three unique combinations of three objects and three actions). The number of sessions conducted in the two conditions was yoked for each participant. Following mastery in the training context(s), generalization was evaluated in the remaining combinations. For 2 participants, MET resulted in greater generalization to untrained stimulus combinations than SET. Interobserver agreement was calculated for 33% of sessions (mean: 98%, range: 80% - 100%). Incorporating variations of the environment may lead to more efficient acquisition of skills that are performed across various relevant settings.
 
216. Increasing Tolerance of Hair Clippers in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA BUCKLEY (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may display avoidance, noncompliance and other more severe maladaptive behaviors during routine events such as medical and dental procedures (Altabet, 2002). Individuals with ASD may also display maladaptive behaviors when completing other routine grooming tasks such as hair clipping and hair cutting. Previous research has shown shaping procedures to be effective in increasing tolerance for specific phobias in children with autism (Ricciardi, Luiselli & Camare, 2006). The current study assessed the effectiveness of shaping and positive reinforcement as interventions for tolerance of hair clipping in children with autism. A multiple baseline design across participants was used. Baseline data were taken to determine the presentation and duration in which hair clippers were tolerated by two participants. Shaping programs were then written to systematically introduce the presentation and duration of hair clippers, with the terminal result being toleration of a haircut. Results demonstrate shaping procedures and positive reinforcement increased toleration of hair clippers in both participants. Interobserver agreement (IOA) was collected during 40% of sessions with an average agreement score of 100% across phases and participants.
 
217. Investigating the Effects of a Partitioning Nudge in Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement Preference Assessments
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMY WHITTEN SHAW (Central Michigan University), Alexis Price (Central Michigan University), Daniel Abraham Moreno (Central Michigan University), Molly M Conway (Central Michigan University), Seth W. Whiting (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to test the effects of a partitioning “nudge” on choices in Multiple Stimulus without Replacement (MSWO) preference assessments. We compared the outcomes of a standard MSWO and a partitioned MSWO for two children (aged three and 19) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities. Participants completed a series of both types of preference assessment in random order. During standard MSWO trials, eight stimuli were placed in an array and the client was directed to “pick one” until all the items were selected or the participant did not make a selection. During partitioned MSWO trials, procedures were the same except the same stimuli were placed in a cluster with one randomly selected item separated from the cluster. Results showed that items identified as less-preferred in standard MSWO trials were selected later in the array when partitioned, and items identified as high-preferred in standard MSWO trials are selected sooner in the array when partitioned suggesting that partitioning nudges function due to changes in stimulus salience and may be useful in practice to encourage or discourage particular choices.
 
218.

Toilet Training Young Children With Autism in a Preschool Classroom Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GRAHAM GREEN (UGA ), Kelsie Marie Tyson (The University of Georgia ), Emily White (The University of Georgia), Alicia Davis (University of Georgia), Jennifer Ledford (Vanderbilt University), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a toilet training package on the successful voids of young children with autism spectrum disorder. This study used a multiple probe across three participants to evaluate the toilet training package in a preschool classroom setting in northeast Georgia. The participants included in the study were four years of age, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and demonstrated incontinence prior to the implementation of the toilet training procedures. The toilet training package consisted of multiple components such as putting the participants in regular underwear, increasing their fluid intake, scheduled toilet trips, dry checks, neutral experiences for accidents, and reinforcement for successful voids. Following the use of this toilet training package the data indicated a decrease in accidents and an increase in successful voids for each participant during the school day when taken to the restroom on a schedule consistent with other preschool classrooms. Two participants reached criteria after the implementation of the toilet training procedures; however, one participant required additional components during the “off-toilet” times. Maintenance data was also collected, and results indicated that these skills have maintained despite reinforcement for successful voids being faded out.

 
219.

Utilizing Time-Out From Honoring Environmental Manipulation Requests to Decrease Automatically Maintained Spitting Behavior and Increase Rule Compliance Across Multiple Functional Response Classes

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENEE HARTZ (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

Abstract: Treatment of automatically maintained behavior can be challenging at times do limited ability to complete with the quality of reinforcement that is generated by engagement in the challenging behavior. In addition, research is limited in relation to treatment of operant spitting, particularly when it is automatically maintained. This study utilized a non-matched form of idiosyncratic reinforcement, and its contingent removal, to treat automatically maintained spitting behavior in one individual with Autism. Specifically, access to environmental manipulation, such as requesting staff to change the placement of items or the phrasing of communication, served as reinforcement within this individuals repertoire. Accordingly, if the participant was following a given rule, to have a healthy mouth (i.e., abstain from spitting), FR1 reinforcement was delivered in the form of honoring such requests. When honoring of such requests was removed contingent on the target behavior, spitting, a punishment effect was observed. Results were replicated across additional topographies of challenging behavior from multiple functional response classes. Statement of Reliability: Interobserver agreement data were collected throughout this study, with agreement near 100%.

 
220.

Improving Oral Reading Fluency in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Individualized Academic Interventions

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLY MARTELL (Ball State University), Maria Sciuchetti (Ball State University), Jamie Gaither (Ball State University), Shannon Marie Dieringer (Ball State University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

There is limited research evaluating academic interventions to improve oral reading fluency (ORF) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the use of a brief experimental analysis (BEA) for selecting interventions to improve ORF in students with ASD. Two elementary school students with ASD participated in the study. Both participants had an educational classification of ASD and ORF scores at least one grade below their current grade level. The primary outcome measure was correct words per minute (CWPM). A direct skills assessment was conducted to identify instructional and frustrational ORF levels. Next, a BEA was conducted to identify the most effective intervention components for each student. Reading interventions included components of repeated readings, listening passage preview, and/or error correction and were selected using a brief multielement design. CWPM on an instructional probe was compared to scores on high content overlap probes. Based on the BEA, repeated reading was selected for Participant 1 and listening passage preview with error correction was selected for Participant 2. The intervention was implemented for both students and progress monitoring data at the grade level and instructional level were collected on a weekly basis.

 
221. Training Staff and Caregivers to Implement a Behavioral Feeding Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA RYAN (Florida Institute of Technology ), Ronald Joseph Clark (Florida Institute of Technology), Carolyn Ritchey (Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract: Feeding problems are present in approximately 50% of the general population and 90% of children with autism. In research and clinical protocols, it is often reported that trained staff implement the treatments. However, it is unclear how much of the variability observed in the results of behavioral interventions for feeding is a result of differences in the therapist's ability to implement the treatment reliably. Little attention has been dedicated to how to best train novice staff to conduct these procedures. Furthermore, the training of staff and caregivers to maintain consistency in their implementation is at the utmost importance in maintaining pediatric feeding results. This study compares two types of training across both populations. Training one utilizes model and verbal instructions in which participants observe a therapist feeding a client or confederate. The second training consists of rehearsal in which the staff or caregiver feed a confederate and are provided feedback. Participants are randomly assigned to a training group and trained until mastery criteria of the protocol is met. Thus far, rehearsal has shown to be a more effective and efficient method of training caregivers to implement a feeding protocol. Several more staff and caregivers are currently participating in the study.
 
222. The Influence of Momentary State Relational Responding on Skill Acquisition Rates
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AERICA PRESLEY (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract: An assumption in Relational Frame Theory is that the strengthening of derived relational responding as a generalized operant will lead to faster acquisition rates of new language skills. In a series of two studies, we evaluated the influence of momentary state relational responding on mastery of new skills within a standardized curricular training structure. State relational responding was measured using the PEAK-DT Pre-Assessment and the PEAK-E Pre-Assessment. In Study 1, we administered both assessments to participants with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We then conducted 4-months to 12-months of curricular training guided by the PEAK Relational Training System [4 hours / week]. Mean rates of new skills acquired (PEAK programs mastered) were positively correlated with scores on both assessments. In Study 2, we selected the 5 participants with the highest scores on the PEAK-E Pre-Assessment (age 5-7 years) and evaluated the rate of skill acquisition as the participants progressed through the curricular training. Results show that as participants learn new skills, rates of program mastery increase over time. Taken together, results support the influence of state levels of relational responding on skill acquisition within behavior analytic relational training.
 
223.

DRO Plus Punishment Procedure to Increase On-Task Behavior With a Student That Displays Stereotypy

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners In Learning, Inc.), Samaria Juanandres (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Jennifer Cornely (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

Children with autism may engage in stereotypy. Stereotypy may interfere with learning skills such as engagement in appropriate social play, attending to task and other related skills. Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) alone has shown to be an effective treatment for stereotypy (Ahrens, et. Al. 2011) however, according to Laprime, 2014, “the combination of punishment procedures with differential reinforcement has been demonstrated to be more effective at reducing problematic behavior than differential reinforcement alone.” This study used a DRO plus a visual and motor focus punishment procedure to increase on-task behavior with a 5-year-old student who displayed high rates of stereotypy during discrete trials. Using a changing criterion design, duration of on-task was increased by 15 seconds when student met criterion. During baselines, student’s on-task behavior ranged between 5-15 seconds. When DRO and punishment procedure was implemented, student’s on-task behavior increased from 10 seconds to 3 minutes during discrete trials. Results from the study indicate that a combination of a DRO plus a punishment procedure is effective at increasing on-task behavior and is considered more practical than a punishment procedure alone. This procedure was later transferred to the classroom setting, where on-task also increased from 0 seconds to 2 minutes.

 
224.

Toilet Training Children With Developmental Disabilities

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE HOLLINS (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Kolb (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

Development of independent toileting skills is a critical goal for pre-school and kindergarten students. The acquisition of independent toileting skills can lead to an increase in sanitation and comforts, substantial monetary gain, and access to various services and settings. Operant conditioning procedures have been used to successfully train toileting skills. Within the LeBlanc et al. (2005) procedure, participants were exposed to 6-15 instances of positive practice with no schedule modifications reported and no procedures specified for excessive accidents. Frequent exposures of positive practice increase the probability of evoking problem behaviors, which in turn, can decrease the effectiveness of intensive toilet training. Thus, the purpose of this manuscript is two-fold. First, it describes a replication of the LeBlanc et al. (2005) procedures using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participant design to evaluate the success of the intervention. Second, it evaluates the effects of schedule modifications on accidents for children who were previously nonresponsive to toilet training.

 
225.

Teaching Flexible Schedule-Following for the Treatment of Problem Behavior Occasioned by a Variable Time Schedule of Activity Interruptions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER M. FURLOW (Canopy Children's Solutions; Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily Ness (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Parwinder Kaur (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Craig Strohmeier (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may demonstrate problem behavior around changes in schedules of activities (Jamieson, 2004). Although implementing a structured schedule is one recommendation for addressing this issue, unanticipated schedule changes may occur at times. Therefore, it may be beneficial to incorporate schedule interruptions and skills related to flexible schedule-following during treatment for problem behavior occasioned by schedule changes. The participant for this study was a 16 -year-old male diagnosed with ASD, Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. He was admitted to an outpatient clinic for the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. A functional analysis (FA) confirmed that problem behavior was occasioned by a variable time (VT) schedule of activity interruptions. Problem behavior was maintained by regained access to the interrupted activity. Treatment to reduce problem behavior was evaluated within an ABAB withdrawal design and included functional communication training, extinction, and a multiple schedule of reinforcement. The VT schedule of interruptions was faded-in until variability in interruptions resembled the FA baseline, while problem behavior remained minimal. Treatment resulted in clinically significant reductions in problem behavior and high levels of compliance with demands during activity interruptions. Implications for clinical application will be discussed.

 
226. Evaluation of an Indirect and Direct Attention Preference Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA SIMMONS (Rowan University), Sherah Somervell (Rowan University), Jessica Nastasi (Rowan University), Ariana Cacace (Rowan University), Nia Tift (Rowan University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract: Clinicians frequently use tangible preference assessments; however, types of attention are typically arbitrarily selected for assessment and treatment. A structured attention preference assessment interview was developed to assess attention across 9 categories. Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder identified a mean of 8.13 (range, 6-10) forms of preferred attention across 6.63 (range, 5-8) categories. The most identified categories were physical games, praise, and mild physical attention and least identified were eye contact and group attention. Caregivers then ranked the types of attention in two ways. First, caregivers ordered notecards with the type of attention from most to least preferred. Next, a paired stimulus preference assessment was conducted by asking the caregiver to select the child’s preferred attention between two notecards. A hierarchy was created by pairing each type of attention. The rank order correlation between these methods was 0.83 (strong correlation). A paired stimulus preference assessment was conducted with the child participant using images of each type of attention identified. Rank order correlation between the caregivers’ preference assessment and the child’s was 0.20 (weak correlation). The mean administration time of the interview and rankings was 29 min 35 s and the child preference assessment was 18 min 57 s.
 
227.

Effects of Matrix Training Using Mobile Technology to Enhance Generative Language Learning in Minimally-Verbal Individuals With Severe Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
OLIVER WENDT (University of Central Florida), Ravi Nigam (Governors State University), Katelyn Warner (Purdue University)
Discussant: Cory Whelan (Westborough Behavioral Healthcare Hospital)
Abstract:

Minimally-verbal individuals with autism who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) often do not surpass single-word responses for requesting and labeling. A mobile AAC application was developed for matrix training to systematically build up vocabulary and teach longer word combinations. Linguistic elements were presented in systematic combination matrices, arranged to induce generalized rule-like behavior. Multiple probe designs were implemented to assess acquisition of action-object combinations. Generalization probes were taken during intervention to assess performance on combinations not taught before. Participants included five individuals, 8-15 years old, with an official diagnosis of severe autism and no more than 10 spoken words. Performance was measured as the percentage of correct symbol combinations. Magnitude of effect was quantified by calculating the Non-overlap of All Pairs index (NAP). Three learner profiles emerged: “High Performance” participants scored above the mastery level of 80% along with strong effect sizes (average NAP=97%). “Medium Performance” participants needed more time to mastery but steadily increased their performance on generalization (average NAP=93%). One “Low Performance” participant was shifted from a 6x6 to a 4x4 matrix showing low-medium effects (average NAP=64%). Findings suggest matrix training can enhance learning and generalization of semantic relationships in learners with varying levels of language delay.

 
 

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