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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  • AAB: Applied Animal Behavior

    AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

14th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2020

Event Details


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Poster Session #1
Poster Session
Sunday, February 23, 2020
6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Jasmine & Hibiscus
1. ABAI Education: Accreditation and Verified Course Sequences
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JENNA MRLJAK (Association for Behavior Analysis International)
Abstract: This poster will provide an overview of ABAI’s recognition of university training in behavior analysis. There are currently two mechanisms for programs to be recognized: accreditation of degree-granting programs and verification of course sequences.
 
2.

Missouri State University Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JORDAN BELISLE (Missouri State University), Megan A. Boyle (Missouri State University), Michael C. Clayton (Missouri State University), Linda G. Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University), D. Wayne Mitchell (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Ann D. Rost (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Missouri State University offers a master’s degree program in Applied Behavior Analysis. This degree program provides the verified BACB course sequence required to sit for the BACB examination. Students can also graduate from the program meeting all internship and supervision requirements. Our diverse faculty research interests offer students choices in careers that they may wish to pursue upon graduation. Some of these faculty research interests include autism treatment, applications of ABA in special education, organizational behavior management, acceptance and commitment training, and the experimental analysis of behavior. Community partnerships also provide opportunities for students to work directly with populations of interest and graduate assistantships are available but competitive. The poster will provide information to conference attendees about this program as we seek to play a significant role in training future applied behavior analysts.

 
4.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Caregivers of Children With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Carly Magnacca (Brock University), KENDRA THOMSON (Brock University ), Amanda Marcinkiewicz (Brock University)
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been demonstrated to increase psychological flexibility and decrease stress in caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDDs), which is important because this population often reports high stress. This is the first systematic review to examine strategies used to teach ACT to caregivers of children with NDDs. The databases Medline, The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO, along with EBSCO Discovery Service, were searched. Inclusion criteria were: an experimental or quasi-experimental group or single-case design was used, the independent variable included providing ACT to caregivers of children with NDDs, and group or individual quantitative data were presented on outcome measures. Case studies, review articles, and articles not peer-reviewed or written in English were excluded. Using the PRISMA guidelines, 157 abstracts were screened after duplicates were removed. In total, 11 articles met the inclusion criteria. All but one article (n = 10) used didactic training in comparison to performance and competency-based training. All articles (N = 11) used indirect outcome measures (e.g., questionnaires) to assess?outcomes of ACT, with only one study also including direct outcomes. Further, only two articles discussed treatment integrity. Future research is needed to address these gaps.

 
5.

The Use of High-Carbohydrate Foods in the Reduction of Chronic Rumination in an Adult With Severe Developmental Disabilities: A Systematic Replication

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL DORSEY (Amego Inc.), Annie K. Barlow (Amego Inc.), Paul Mahoney, II (Amego)
Abstract:

Rumination, as a behavior, is the regurgitation of food that had already been consumed, and the regurgitate may be re-chewed, re-swallowed, or expelled. Engagement in this behavior can pose a threat to the health and safety of the individual (Chial & Camilleri, 2009; Fredericks et al., 1998; Sadock, Sadock, & Ruiz, 2014). The participant ia a 39-year-old woman who attends a day habilitation program and residential program for adults diagnosed with a developmental disability. Pre-Meal Sessions Thirty minutes prior to each meal, the participant was brought to the treatment area and provided with three moderately-preferred high carbohydrate foods. Thirty minutes prior to each meal, the participant was brought to the treatment area and provided with three moderately-preferred high carbohydrate foods. Following the regular meal, the participant was returned to the treatment area as described under the pre-meal sessions. These sessions were conducted as the pre-meal sessions were conducted. Following the 30-minute period, she was returned to her regular group room and proceeded with regularly scheduled activities. Results: Baseline - 26.4% of intervals (45.8% just prior to application of independent variable). Treatment – 10% of intervals for pre-meal; 16% of intervals for post-meal. Return to Baseline – 43.1% of intervals. Return to Treatment – 0-5% of intervals. Generalization Sessions (at residence): Baseline – 24.4% of intervals. Treatment – 1.7% of intervals for pre-meal; 1.8% of intervals for post-meal

 
6.

An Evaluation of Key Indicators Relative to the Implementation of Positive Behavior Supports in an Adult Service Program for Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAEL DORSEY (Amego Inc.), Paul Mahoney, II (Amego), Annie K. Barlow (Amego Inc.)
Abstract:

Positive Behavioral Supports is a systematic, person-centered approach to understanding reasons for behavior and applying evidence-based practices for prevention, proactive intervention, teaching and responding to behavior with the goal of achieving meaningful social outcomes, increasing learning, and enhancing the quality of life across the lifespan. Presently, little research exists that has evaluated the effectiveness of PBS when applied to programs charged with serving adults with ASD. The present study systematically demonstrates the successful application of a PBS supervision model in a program serving over 250 individuals across multiple group homes. Generally, improvements were noted in staff behaviors including: Group Management skills, Quality of staff Interactions, and staff Engagement with clients.

 
7. Optimizing the Assessment Trajectory for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Young Children to Improve Access to Early Behavioural Interventions and the Targeting of Intervention Goals
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NADIA ABOUZEID (University of Quebec in Montreal), Claudia Guay (University of Quebec in Montreal), Mélanie Bolduc (University of Quebec in Montreal)
Abstract: Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the key to accessing early intensive behavioural interventions (EIBI) to improve the child’s development. In an effort to reduce waitlists and wait times, an innovative screening tool was recently developed, the Rapid Interactive Screening Test for Autism in Toddlers (Rita-T). Objective. The objective is to highlight the use of the RITA-T in improving the assessment process and facilitate access to EIBI. Methods. Our sample comprised 36 children (18-36 months) who had previously received a referral for an ASD assessment or developmental delay. Evaluations were completed using assessment tools (e.g., ADOS-2, M-CHAT) and the Rita-T. We performed descriptive analyses (e.g., means, standard deviations, min/max, mode) to achieve our research objective. Results. From our sample, 25 out of 36 children who received an ASD diagnosis screened positive on the RITA-T. The most prevalent failed items were linked to joint attention, reaction to parent neutrality, and self-recognition. Conclusion. These findings suggest that the Rita-T is a simple and sensitive tool that may be used to reduce the waiting time to access diagnosis assessment and, consequently, EIBI. Furthermore, it could help target intervention goals during the screening process by focusing on the failed items.
 
8.

A Qualitative Comparison of Clinician Confidence in the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN MENOUSEK (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Paige McArdle (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

This study seeks to examine the varying levels of confidence in clinicians throughout the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnostic evaluation process. Specifically, clinicians were asked their clinical impressions at varying stages of diagnostic procedures (i.e., initial diagnostic interview, analysis of rating scale results from parents and/or teachers, and completion of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition). The utility of the additive steps involved in the diagnostic procedures will be analyzed. In addition, confidence in diagnostic impressions at each stage will be measured through the use of a Likert scale in an attempt to establish whether the years completing ASD diagnostics, level of training and/or discipline trained in (e.g., Psychology, Speech, Pediatrics, etc.) has an effect on overall confidence of differential diagnosis and/or diagnosis of ASD. Preliminary data from this ongoing research project suggest that clinician experience with ASD diagnostics may be positively correlated to level of confidence after the initial diagnostic interview.

 
9.

Effects of Behavioural Approach Group Training on Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MYRIAM ROUSSEAU (Institu universitaire en DI-TSA), Suzie McKinnon (CRDITED-CIUSSS Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean), Jacinthe Bourassa (Institut universitaire en DI-TSA)
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is considered to be one of the most frequent severe developmental disorders (NAC, 2015). It affects not only the person diagnosed with ASD, but their entire family (Abouzeid & Poirier, 2014). Certain studies have shown that feeling effective in the upbringing of an autistic child (Bourke-Taylor, Pallant, Law, & Howie, 2012; Weiss et al., 2013), having a positive and optimistic view of the situation, feeling responsible and having control (Ekas, Lickenbrock, & Whitman, 2010; Siman-Tov & Kaniel, 2011) are associated with a better quality of life. In this respect, parental training has demonstrated its effectiveness (Brookman-Frazee, Vismara, Drahota, Stahmer, & Openden, 2015). This presentation aims to discuss the effects of a specific parental training offered to parents of children with ASD aged 6 to 12. Results pertaining to parent-child relationships, feelings of stress and quality of life will be presented. Data collection of this mixed methods study (qualitative and quantitative data) originates from various sources (interviews, questionnaires, group discussions) collected from 21 parents.

 
11.

Third Generation Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Individuals With Autism: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JON ARNE LØKKE (Østfold University College; Western University of Applied Sciences), Stian Orm (Østfold University College; University of Oslo)
Abstract:

Third generation cognitive behavioral therapy, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) have shown great promise in treatment of psychological distress and increasing psychological flexibility in typical and clinical populations. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have impaired psychological flexibility and repetitive and restrictive behavior, and are at increased risk for psychological distress. In this review we conducted a systematic literature search on acceptance and commitment therapy, functional psychotherapy and dialectical behavior therapy for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The data shows that there is limited research on these types of third generation cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals with ASD. However, the studies that do exists shows promise in reducing stress and psychological distress, as well as increasing psychological flexibility. It is important that treatments that works, as ACT, are an option also for people with ASD. Areas for further research will be discussed.

 
12. Misconceptions About Behavior Analysis Among Neurodiversity Proponents
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JON ARNE LØKKE (Østfold University College; Western Norway University of Applied Sciences), Stian Orm (Østfold University College; University of Oslo), Anders Dechsling (Østfold University College)
Abstract: Misconceptions about behavior analysis is prevalent among students and teachers, but to our knowledge, no earlier study has investigated misconceptions among potential receivers of applied behavior analysis. People with autism, engaged in the neurodiversity movement, are potential receivers of ABA, but misconceptions might be a barrier to seeking behavior analytic service delivery. The main purpose of this study was to identify possible misconceptions in the neurodiversity movement. We identified N=20 entities (e.g. book chapters, articles, blog and social media posts, websites etc.) and used thematic analysis to identify the misconceptions and conceptions about behavior analysis in these posts. The current study shows that neurodiversity proponents holds, and spreads, several misconceptions about behavior analysis. The themes emerging from the thematic analysis will be presented together with descriptive statistics showing the frequency of each misconception. Misconceptions about behavior analysis in the neurodiversity discourse could potentially hinder autistic people and their families from getting balanced information about intervention alternatives.
 
13.

Assessing the Social Validity of Assistance Dogs as a Way to Support Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLAUDIA GUAY (Université du Québec à Montréal), Chanelle Lefebvre (Université du Québec à Montréal), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal), Pascale Courcelles (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Abstract:

Social validity is a concept defined by the behavior analyst Wolf (1978) as the acceptability and perceived social importance of an intervention by the beneficiary. The assessment of this concept could allows professionals to tailor their interventions. The assistance dog service for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has never been assess with a social validity tool. Assessing the social validity will allow to identify the main facilitators and the possible obstacles in order to validate the relevance of the assistance dog service for this population. The objective of this study is to assess the social validity of an assistance dog service for children with ASD. The sample will include 60 parents of children aged from 3 to 9 years old with ASD who had previously received an assistance dog service for at least one month. Participants completed online a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Treatment Acceptablity Rating Form – Revised (TARF-R). The TARF-R total acceptability score ranged from 17 to 119. Descriptive analyses were performed. Preliminary results with six participants showed that mean total acceptability scores is 89.33 with a standard deviation of 18.12. This finding suggest that the parents found the assistance dog service acceptable for their children with ASD.

 
14.

Parent Evaluation of the Quality of the Service Trajectory During the Transition From Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention to School

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MÉLINA RIVARD (University of Quebec, Montreal), céline chatenoud (Université du Québec à Montréal), Heather Aldersey (Queen university), Caya Chiu (National Taiwan Normal University), Zakaria Mestari (Université du Québec à Montréal), Charlotte Magnan (University of Quebec in Montreal), Ann Turnbull (The University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Transition from Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) to school has been described by families as one of the most critical change on their service trajectory. Surprisingly, scientific evidence about this transition is sparse and inconsistent, limiting recommendations to support families (Marsh et al. 2017). This communication aims to yield innovative knowledge in this context, describing families' experiences of this transition using the Evaluation of the Autism Trajectory for Parents (ETAP) model. Eighty families completed ETAP surveys as well as four other questionnaires related to families’ and schools’ contexts at two moments: end of EIBI and after eight months in school. Preliminary analyses indicate a large negative impact of EIBI termination on four of the five quality determinants of ETAP (accessibility, p = .036; validity; p = .000; flexibility, p = .002; and empathy, p = .002). Levers of action to help school readiness for children with ASD are suggested.

 
16.

Applied Behaviour Analysis in Taiwan: Examining How Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Perceive and Select Intervention Options

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HILDA HO (York University), Hui-Ting Wang (National Taiwan Normal University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Abstract:

Background: Although ABA for autism is known to be evidence-based and is relatively available in most Western countries, there is a noticeable gap in the use and availability of ABA services in other countries, such as Taiwan. It is unclear whether this is simply a function of lack of qualified service providers, lack of knowledge about ABA's effectiveness, or is related to cultural attitudes and values. Measures and Methods: Framed within the Health Belief Model, a questionnaire was developed to examine parent knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to autism and ABA interventions. To date, 156 parents of children with autism in Taiwan have completed the survey (52 of whom use ABA now or in the past; 104 never used ABA). Results: Knowledge of autism was high in both groups. Knowledge about ABA was significantly higher in the ABA group (73.1% vs. 43.3%). See Figure for data on a sample question. Further analyses will examine how parent knowledge and attitudes relate to whether they chose or avoid ABA interventions. Implications: The findings from this study will provide a better understanding of how parents in Taiwan perceive autism and ABA treatments, which may help inform service providers in providing information to parents.

 
17.

A Treatment Package to Reduce Visual Stereotypy of a Six-Year Old Girl With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners In Learning, Inc.), Melanie Erwinski (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Abstract:

The DSM-V defines stereotypy as “restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.” According to Cunningham, 2008: “Stereotypies exhibited by children with autism are often perceived as age-inappropriate in form, focus, content, duration or intensity. The stigma attached to children who frequently engage in such behavior has obvious undesirable consequences from a parent’s point of view….The child’s involvement in the community, peer and adult interactions, or typical education settings may become severely restricted.” While typically developing children ages 2 to 4 engaged in stereotypy for 3-5% of the time they were being observed, children with autism or PDD-NOS engaged in stereotypy for 12% to 39% of the time. (MacDonald, 2007). Treatment of stereotypy should be a priority with practitioners due to the lack of developmental and social appropriateness of individuals with autism (Smith and Van Houton, 1996, Cunningham, 2008). The most common treatment of stereotypy is Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD), which has shown to decrease stereotypical behaviors, but only moderately and not completely in most cases. (Cassella, 2011, Ahearn et al, 2007, & Dickman et al’s 2012). The purpose of this study was to decrease visual stereotypy through the use of a treatment package of DRO and punishment for a 6-year old girl with autism in order to decrease social and developmental barriers, and increase opportunities to participate in an inclusive setting. A component analysis demonstrated the effectiveness of total treatment package vs. the use of punishment or DRO alone for this subject.

 
18.

Decreasing Motor Stereotypy Through Discrimination Training and Positive Punishment for a Preschooler With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners In Learning, Inc.), Adrienne Rizzo (Partners in Learning)
Abstract:

Children with autism often engage in stereotypy or stereotypical behaviors, which are repetitive behaviors not contingent on social reinforcement (Turner & Durham, 1999). Topographies can span widely and are unique to individuals. Common forms include non-functional movements like rocking, swaying, hand flapping, spinning of objects, and lining up objects (MacDonald, 2007). Like all operant behavior, stereotypical behavior should be categorized by the function rather than form in order to identify treatment options (Cunningham, 2008). Treatment of stereotypy should be a priority with practitioners due to the lack of developmental and social appropriateness of individuals with autism (Smith and Van Houton, 1996). According to Cunningham (2008), “Stereotypy may interfere not only with initial learning acquisition, but also with the extent to which children engage in the learned and more appropriate alternative behaviors during free time.” The most common treatment of stereotypy is Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD), which has shown to moderately decrease stereotypy, and not completely in most cases (Cassella, 2011), (Ahearn et al, 2007), & (Dickman et al’s 2012). The purpose of this study was to further decrease stereotypy through the addition of punishment procedures in order to decrease barriers, and increase opportunities to participate in an inclusive setting.

 
19.

Clinical Service for Children With Autism in Argentina: A 7 Year Report

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARTIN MAURO MASCOTENA COOK COOK (FLENI)
Abstract:

It is a fact that having quality services for Autism is a priority need for each community. FLENI (www.fleni.org.ar) is a non-profit organization that provides health services for adults and children with neurologic disorders in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2012 FLENI opened a service for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities, called Therapeutic Intervention Program (Programa de Intervención Terapeutica): in this program children concur with their parents for a period between a week up to a month in order to receive intensive intervention. At the intake we realize an initial interview to establish the individualized goals that will be implemented within the program. Intervention objectives can be focused on, educational goals, daily living skills or problem behavior. We use Applied Behavioral Analysis as a reference framework for intervention through the program, and especially for behavioral problems. In this poster we describe the program, the population that has been attended, and the results of a social acceptability form completed by parents at the end of each program experience, which we have collected since the service has been started.

 
20. Decreasing Stereotypy In Children With Autism: A Systematic Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Jessica Akers (Baylor University), TONYA NICHOLE DAVIS (Baylor University), Stephanie Gerow (Baylor University)
Abstract: Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive, coordinated, seemingly purposeless, rhythmic behaviors that are most often maintained by automatic reinforcement. Stereotypy can range from mild to severe depending on the topography, frequency, response to interruption, and extent to which they interfere with ongoing activities. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at an increased risk of exhibiting complex stereotypies. Due to the potential negative outcomes associated with stereotypy, it is critical to identify scientifically validated interventions to reduce stereotypy. The purpose of this literature review was to identify and summarize the literature on interventions to reduce stereotypy among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Additionally, the included studies were evaluated against What Works Clearinghouse (WWC; 2017) Single Case Research Design Standards. A total of 106 experiments met inclusion criteria. Among those, 63 met WWC standards with and without reservations. Interventions fell into three categories. Antecedent manipulations include establishing stimulus control, environmental enrichment, and manipulating motivating operations. Reinforcement-based interventions include differential reinforce of alternative behavior (DRA), differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (DRI), and differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). Punishment-based interventions include response interruption and redirection, response blocking, verbal interruption and reprimand, and response cost. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.
 
22.

Effects of an iPad-based Speech-Generating Device Infused Into Instruction With the Picture Exchange Communication System for Adolescents and Young Adults With Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
OLIVER WENDT (University of Central Florida), Ning Hsu (Purdue University), Kara Simon (Purdue University), Alyssa Diehart (Purdue University), Lauren Cain (Purdue University)
Abstract:

This study used a multiple baseline, single-subject research design to investigate the efficacy of an iPad®-based speech-generating device (SGD). The iPad was equipped with the SPEAKall!® application to function as a SGD. SGDs are a form of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) allowing a user to communicate using digitized and/or synthetic speech. The chosen SPEAKall!® application provides an interface specifically designed for sensory and behavioral characteristics of learners with autism. Instruction followed a modified version of the intervention phases from the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). This modified PECS protocol was implemented with two adolescents and one young adult between the ages of 14-23. All three participants were diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder and little to no functional speech. Dependent measures included the ability to request for edible and tangible items as the primary measure, and the ability to engage in natural speech production as an ancillary measure to determine simultaneous, additive effects on speech acquisition. Generalization probes were conducted to evaluate if participants can use the learned skills to request for untrained items. Results indicated increases in requesting behaviors for all three participants across intervention and maintenance phases (see Figure 1). Once participants mastered requesting of edible items, they were able to generalize the skill to tangible items. However, mixed results were found when targeting natural speech production (see Figure 2). Based on the current findings, the infusion of an iPad-based SGD into PECS instruction may be effective in increasing initial requesting skills; the results underscore the robustness of behavioral teaching principles within the modified PECS protocol. However, a facilitative effect on increasing speech acquisition cannot necessarily be expected for every participant. It is likely that pre-treatment individual differences related to cognition and language contributed to the range of communication and speech outcomes observed across participants.

 
23.

Augmentative Communication Screening Tool for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA L. GIBSON (BlueSprig), Elizabeth J. Preas (UNMC ), Leslie VanWinkle (UNMC), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract:

One in 59 children in the general US population has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and approximately 30% of those children are unable to function in everyday activities due to lack of appropriate verbal communication (CDC, 2019). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC; picture exchange, manual sign, or a dynamic speech-generating device) are alternatives to verbal speech, which enables children with ASD to successfully participate in their homes and community. However, no known research-based communication-screening tool is currently available to providers when selecting an AAC. In Study 1, an online communication screener for families of non-verbal children with ASD was developed to identify an effective alternative modality of communication along with a direct observation tool to verify caregivers’ report of child skills. Study 2 determined the potential efficacy and efficiency of four different augmentative communication modalities for teaching requests to four children with ASD within an adapted alternating treatments design. The results of Study 1 and 2 were compared to determine if the screener recommendations resulted in the selection of the most efficient and appropriate modality of communication for each child. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

 
24.

Parent Training via Tele-Health Technology for Families of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE GEROW (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
Abstract:

Multiple, high-quality studies have demonstrated the efficacy of many interventions to improve skill acquisition and reduce challenging behavior among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Wong et al., 2014). Many of these evidence-based practices are based in applied behavior analysis. Unfortunately, many families of children with ASD cannot access these evidence-based practices due to shortage of Board Certified Behavior Analysts. The purpose of this project was to serve parents of children with ASD by providing parent coaching delivered via telehealth technology. Specifically, we trained 30 parents of children with ASD to implement evidence-based practices in home to address parent-selected, individualized goals via telehealth. Parent-child dyads received coaching twice a week for about six weeks. The program consisted of a (a) parent interview, (b) baseline sessions, and (c) parent training and intervention sessions. Results indicate that parents were able to implement evidence-based interventions with fidelity (mean = 94% of steps implemented correctly). Moreover, results indicate that parent-implemented interventions are successful with 42% of individualized goals mastered within the six-week parent-coaching period.

 
25.

Decreasing Bed Time Sleep Refusal in Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Antecedent Based Interventions Compared to Consequence Based Interventions

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MONICA GILBERT (Albizu University), Chanel Nunez (Crystal Minds New Beginning), Lorianne Alvarez (Crystal Minds New Beginning)
Abstract:

Insomnia Disorder as classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-V) is characterized by difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep which causes significant distress or impairment in occupational, education, academic, behavioral or other important areas of functioning. Research has shown that 40-50% of individuals with insomnia also present with a comorbid mental disorder. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia in children can be due to conditioning factors (child who does not learn to fall asleep alone) or from the absence of a bedtime routine. Children with developmental disabilities such as ASD are at higher risk of experiencing sleep difficulties which have been demonstrated to have a significant negative impact in adaptive areas such as in academics, socialization with peers and an increase in aggressive behaviors towards others. Bed time sleep refusal has been shown to be one of the most problematic behaviors exhibited by children who experience sleep difficulties. Bed time sleep refusal is defined as engaging in maladaptive behaviors (e.g tantrums, negotiation, calling out, throwing objects or physical aggression) to delay or avoid sleeping in one’s bed alone. Antecedent based interventions as well as consequence-based interventions have shown to be effective in treating bed time refusal in children. However, research has shown that parents are less likely to engage in consequence based strategies (i.e. extinction) due to its emotional triggers and there has been conflicting research on variations of the effectiveness of interventions geared towards bed time sleep refusal (antecedent plus consequence-based strategies vs. antecedent strategies alone or consequence strategies alone). The present systematic literature review will evaluate and compare the effectiveness of antecedent based interventions (i.e. stimulus control procedures, creating establishing operations) and consequence-based interventions (i.e. extinction based interventions, reinforcement, shaping) on bed time sleep refusal in order to identify which one is the most effective strategy to decrease bed time sleep refusal.

 
26.

Lose the Lab Coats: An Application of a Trial-Based Functional Analysis in a Classroom Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN THOMAS GLASGOW (Western Michigan University), Avner Fraidlin (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Functional analyses (FA) have been described as the “gold standard” recommendation for understanding and treating aberrant behaviors (Poling, Peterson, Mahoney & Weeden, 2012). Limitations to analog FA, such as the presence of uncontrolled sources of reinforcement and competing contingencies controlling staff behavior, may impede its use in educational settings (Ellis & Magee, 1999;2004). A viable alternative is trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) which can be implemented in an individual’s natural environment and may address limitations of analog FAs. Bloom, Iwata, Fritz, Roscoe & Carreau (2011) implemented a classroom-based TBFA. This project used the procedures outlined by Bloom et al. (2011) to test hypotheses regarding the function of inappropriate vocalizations a 14-year-old student diagnosed with severe cognitive, physical, and visual impairments exhibited in a classroom setting. Attention, tangible, escape, and sensory conditions were tested across one-minute control trials and two-minute test trials. Results of the FA showed higher percentages of inappropriate vocalization during attention and sensory conditions. Outcomes of the project provide further support for the practical application of TBFA in classroom settings. Future directions for function-based interventions as well as limitations will be discussed.

 
27. Naturalistic Instruction to Support Inclusion of Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
SALIH RAKAP (Ondokuz Mayis University/University of North Carolina Greensboro ), Serife Yucesoy-Ozkan (Anadolu University), Emrah Gulboy (ANADOLU UNIVERSITY)
Abstract: Naturalistic instructional approaches are used to provide intentional and systematic instruction to young children with disabilities during naturally occurring activities, routines, and transitions of inclusive early childhood settings. The purpose of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate empirical literature focused on naturalistic instructional approaches for preschool children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Twelve studies that met established inclusion criteria were identified, reviewed, and coded using systematic procedures. A total of 36 children with autism and other developmental disabilities participated in the studies. Findings of the present systematic review and meta-analysis showed that naturalistic instructional approaches were effective in teaching a range of skills to young children with disabilities within the context of ongoing activities, routines, and transitions of inclusive preschool classrooms. Although a small number of studies reported generalization and maintenance data, findings showed that preschool children with autism and other developmental disabilities generalized the skills they learned during intervention and maintained them during follow-up sessions. Authors provide suggestions to advance our understanding about the naturalistic instructional approaches and the functional relationships between implementation of these approaches and child learning outcomes.
 
28.

Effect of Coaching on Pre-Service Teachers’ Implementation of Naturalistic Instruction and Child Outcomes

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SALIH RAKAP (Ondokuz Mayis University; University of North Carolina Greensboro), Serife Balikci (Dumlupinar Elementary School, Samsun, Turkey), Sinan Kalkan (Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey)
Abstract:

Purpose of this study was to investigate impacts of coaching with immediate performance feedback on special education pre-service teachers’ implementation of embedded instruction trials (EMITs) within context of naturalistic teaching and examine corollary relationships between teachers’ implementation and child learning outcomes. A multiple probe across participants design was used with three special education pre-service teachers and three children with autism. Following a baseline phase, each pre-service teacher individually participated in a training session on embedded instruction. Next, the first pre-service teacher entered into intervention phase and began receiving coaching with immediate feedback from a trained coach while others remained in baseline condition. Once the first pre-service teacher reached criterion performance, the second pre-service teacher entered into intervention phase and same procedure were applied until the last pre-service teacher reached to criterion and three sessions of maintenance data were collected from all participants. Findings showed that for all three pre-service teachers, coaching with immediate performance feedback was effective in increasing their correct implementation of EMITs; as pre-service teachers’ implementation increased, children’ unprompted correct responding also increased.

 
29.

Virtual Reality and Behavior Analytic Interventions on Social Skills for People With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
Anders Dechsling (Østfold University College), STIAN ORM (University of Oslo), Roald Øien (The Arctic University of Norway; Yale University School of Medicine), Stefan Sütterlin (Østfold University College), Anders Nordahl-Hansen (Østfold University College)
Abstract:

Virtual Reality (VR) may be a more cost-effective and tolerable way of conducting behavior analytic training for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Technological devices, e.g., Head Mounted Displays (HMD) and tablets, are used within education. Since children and adolescents with ASD require a high amount of training hours per week to develop and maintain skills, HMDs pose as a good supplement to conventional methods and might decrease treatment costs. However, the potential of such devices for educational purposes are debated amongst scientists and in the general public. Within child-rearing and educational settings, decisions about using technological devices or not are made with little evidence-based information. A systematic review giving an overview of behavior analytic interventions for people with ASD, using VR, is needed. We consulted a broad spectrum of databases within psychology, education, and computer science, using peer-reviewed search strings regarding ASD and VR. We screened systematically for papers related to ASD, VR, social skills, and behavior analysis, which resulted in three articles. This shows the need for more research on using this kind of technology and we will suggests several research questions. Several studies, not restricted to ABA, reports VR as a tolerable environment for people with ASD.

 
30.

Self-Management to Increase Social Skills in a Student With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STIAN ORM (Østfold University College), Jon Arne Løkke (Østfold University College; Western Norway University of Applied Sciences)
Abstract:

Deficits in social communication are characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and creates difficulties in the establishment of social relationships. Effective interventions to promote social skills in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders are warranted. In this study, an 18-year-old male with autism conducted a self-management project with the aim of increasing social initiatives and prosocial behavior. The independent variable consisted of a package of goal-setting, rule following and social skills training and tutoring. The dependent variable was prosocial behavior and social initiatives measured and analyzed with a single-subject design (N=1). Reliability and treatment integrity were measured. The results show that the self-management procedure increased social initiatives and prosocial behavior, and follow-up probs shows that the results were maintained four to six months after completion. Reliability and validity are challenges inherent in self-management interventions and is a challenge for researchers. In this study we used verbal reports and descriptions from the participant to the tutor and second author to established reliability and treatment integrity. The limited number of participants represents a challenge to generalization and clear-cut conclusions. The promise of self-management interventions in increasing social skills in people with autism should be investigated further through better designs.

 
31.

A Comparison of Blocked Verses Mixed-Trial Methods of Teaching Basic Verbal Operants

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KWADWO O. BRITWUM (Southern Illinois University), Anne Sheerin (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Zhihui Yi (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Behavior Analytic interventions seek to address deficits and excesses by providing opportunities for individuals to develop and practice skills useful for independent functioning (Greene, 2001). One these important types of skills is learning to display a specific response in the presence of a specific stimulus, this is known as discrimination training. The current investigation extends the work of Bentham, Walker, Pluym, and Tejeda (2018), by comparing mixed- and blocked-trial methods of teaching Skinner’s (1957) basic verbal operants to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Mixed-trial programs involved presenting three exemplars of three different verbal operants in randomized order in a single block; whereas blocked-trial programs involved presenting three exemplars of a single verbal operant in a single blocked format. Participants included two adults with ASD. Both participants were matched according to scores on the PEAK-DT assessment. Results indicated fewer trials to mastery across most programs in blocked-trial arrangements compared to mixed-trial arrangements. The current data replicates previous findings and provides implications for instructional designs with individuals with ASD.

 
32.

Toilet-Training Using Bucket-Prompting and Prompt-Fading

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HISASHI ITO (I's Support)
Abstract:

Study objective: To investigate effect of urination training using bucket prompting and prompt-fading to a boy who resist by crying and getting out of toilet when his parents guided to toilet seat. Desisn: AB design. Setting : Bathroom, corridor and toilet at home. Participant: a 5 years old boy with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disabilities. Intervention : Baseline measurement and functional assessment and ecological assessment were used to identify intervention procedures. Discriminative stimuli for participant were bathroom, standing posture and bucket used for preventing from scattering. Gradual approach using bucket-prompting and prompt-fading procedures were used to urinate standing in front of toilet bowel at home. Measure: Frequency of error and correct toileting behavior in toilet and in bucket just at home. The data were collected by the parents. Results: Correct toileting behavior increased over five days. Prompt-fading achieved well. Conclusion: The results suggest that bucket-prompting and prompt-fading were effective to facilitate the transfer of stimulus control safely.

 
33.

Implementing the Peer-Mediated Intervention Stay-Play-Talk With Preschoolers

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY E MILAM (York College of Pennsylvania), Mary Louise Hemmeter (Vanderbilt University), Erin E. Barton (Vanderbilt University )
Abstract:

Stay-play-talk (SPT) is a peer-mediated intervention in which peer buddies are taught to maintain proximity, establish mutual attention by suggesting a play activity, and talk about an ongoing activity with a target child (English, Goldstein, Shafer, & Kaczmarek, 1997). SPT has been found to be effective for increasing the social and communicative behaviors of target children with autism, as well as other disabilities. However, there are limited data on the generalization and maintenance of both peer buddy skills and target child social and behavioral outcomes in the literature (Milam, Hemmeter, & Barton, 2017). Two single case studies which used multiple probe designs across target child-peer buddy playgroups to examine fidelity, efficacy, and strategies to program for generalization and maintenance will be presented. Through large- and small-group training, implementation of the system-of least-prompts, and feedback, typically developing preschoolers identified as peer buddies were taught to implement SPT strategies with preschoolers at risk identified as target children. The effects of SPT on target child social engagement was promising in both studies. Further, the additional strategies implemented in the second study resulted in increased generalization and maintenance of peer buddy implementation of SPT strategies.

 
34.

Increasing Joint Attention in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Milagros Zavalia (Florida International University ), MARTHA PELAEZ (Florida International University)
Abstract:

Research has shown that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be taught joint attention using applied behavioral analysis treatments. Pairing social reinforcers and tangible reinforcers can be an effective intervention for increasing responding to joint attention (RJA) in young children with ASD and limited communication skills. This is a brief report on an experiment designed to compare two treatments to increase responding to joint attention (RJA) in 3 children with ASD: (a) using social reinforcers alone without tangible reinforcers and (b) using social reinforcers paired with tangible reinforcers. All participants increased responding to joint attention with both treatments. The results showed higher gains in the treatment that the child’s joint attention was followed by social reinforcement paired with a tangible reinforcer. The data obtained confirm the hypothesis that pairing social reinforcement with a tangible reinforcer can work as a more effective procedure for teaching RJA to children with ASD.

 
36.

An Evaluation of Stimulus Equivalence Methods to Teach Decimals and Percentages to Learners With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAMMARIE JOHNSON (The New England Center for Children; Simmons University; Western New England University)
Abstract:

A multiple probe design evaluated the learning outcomes when instruction based on stimulus equivalence methods was used with 3 students with autism. The curriculum consisted of 20 sequenced relations and performances, organized across 4 performance types (match-to-sample and oral naming, writing, constructing) for decimal and percentage math skills. An initial probe was used to determine which skill to teach first. After each skill was learned to criterion (e.g., matching pictorial representations to printed decimals), a probe of all previously unknown skills (e.g., writing decimal values of pictorial representations) was conducted. Additional probes were administered to assess generalization of learned skills across people and exemplars. Following probes, the next not-at-criterion skill was taught. This assess-teach-assess format continued until all skills reached criterion levels. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity were assessed in at least 30% of probes and 10% of teaching sessions, and mean values exceeded 95%. Probes across participants showed that 9-13 skills emerged after teaching 3-7 skills. Generalization was demonstrated across people and exemplars for all students and skills. These results support curriculum designed with stimulus equivalence methods.

 
37. Application of Molecular Functional Analysis in Everyday Practice
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Amego Florida), William T. Marsh (Brevard Public Schools)
Abstract: Molecular Functional Analysis is an alternate, practical approach for use in applied settings. This poster presents a study of the application of this methodology to quickly and reliably identify function and replacement behavior. The approach is applied when target behaviors are actually occurring which identifies function in real-time. Molecular Functional Analysis employs an innovative approach to identifying function that has many advantages in everyday practice. The approach provides practitioners an efficient means of identifying function or functions of problem behaviors and replacement behaviors and allows for proceeding quickly to intervention. This methodology involves application of randomly alternating potential reinforcers for each of the four main function conditions using single trials. The trials are separated by brief time periods. Data are easily and readily plotted to analyze data patterns. The data path showing the lowest frequency of occurrence of the behavior is deemed the function. The rationale is that on a given trial, when reinforcement is provided contingently, the behavior will quickly cease at that moment. This approach is quite unique relative to all other functional analysis methods in the existing behavior analytic literature
 
38.

Promoting Generality of Foundational Skills in Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chata Dickson (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), CAMMARIE JOHNSON (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Abstract:

Nine students with autism served as participants in this investigation of a systematic approach to programming multiple exemplar training to promote stimulus generalization of foundational skills. Stimulus variations and instructional settings were arranged in a 3x3 matrix. Following unreinforced baseline probes, the skill was taught using 3 combinations of stimuli. For example, responding to a greeting was taught using three unique combinations of greetings and locations in the school: “Hi” in the classroom, “Hello” at the student’s desk, and “Hey There” in the gym. Following mastery in the training contexts, generalization was evaluated in the remaining, untrained combinations. The foundational skills included waiting, responding to greetings, and responding to a teacher’s request to stop walking. For all 9 students, training using multiple exemplars with relevant stimulus variations led to generalization across a range of untrained stimulus combinations. Programming for generalization will be discussed, as well as the consideration of planning and implementation variables.

 
39.

Daycare Educator's Perceptions of the Pyramid Model Training and Their Implementation of its Practices

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALEXANDRA ROTHSTEIN (University of Quebec, Montreal (UQAM)), Mélina Rivard (University of Quebec, Montreal)
Abstract:

There has been growing evidence on the effectiveness of the Pyramid Model (PM) for promoting young children’s social-emotional competence and reducing challenging behaviors. In the province of Quebec, many children with special needs and challenging behaviors are integrated into daycare settings where educators do not have sufficient training in managing their behaviors. As such, the objective of the current project is to evaluate the effects on the educators attitudes following a 2-day training in PM practices in thirty-three educators working in inclusive daycares in the province of Quebec. The educator’s attitudes towards inclusion were evaluated using a quasi- experimental design with a waiting list. The measurements were taken at baseline (T0), at the beginning of the training following a waiting period (T1), and at the end of the training, two days later (T2). The results indicate that the educator attitudes towards inclusion increased slightly following the 2-day training.

 
40.

A Statewide Professional Development Model on Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plan Strategies for Classroom Teachers of Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTINA VARGO (Sam Houston State University), Mandana Abedi Koupaei (Sam Houston State University), Jennifer McKinney (Sam Houston State University), Keith Pasaoa (Sam Houston State University), Vickie Mitchell (Sam Houston State University), William J. Calderhead (Sam Houston State University)
Abstract:

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has recently increased to 1 in 59, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this increase in the number of individuals impacted by ASD, there is an increased demand for professionals who can provide data-supported services in educational settings. One area of concern for parents, administrators, and teachers within the educational setting that could benefit from increased behavior analytic training is challenging behavior (e.g., disruption, aggressions, elopement). For teachers with little to no behavior analytic background, identifying why students engage in these behaviors (i.e., the function) may be unclear, and can lead to blanket treatments that are not prescriptive to the individual student’s behavioral function(s). This study evaluated the efficacy of a training package to train teachers of children with ASD to write and implement a behavior intervention plan (BIP) derived from results of a functional behavior assessment (FBA). The training package included a two-day training workshop and follow-up BCBA support. In addition, we assessed the utility of a “Trainer of Trainers” (TOT) model with Educational Service Center representatives across the state to continue to train educators in their regional districts.

 
41.

Supporting Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Class With a Social Emotional Learning Program

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON R. GAINFORTH (Stepping Stones Fundy Region Inc)
Abstract:

This pilot study pioneers the amalgamation of research regarding school Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs and research that identifies teaching strategies that are integral for the learning success of students with ASD. Even though difficulties with social communication and social interactions are key diagnostic indicators for ASD, SEL program development and research are predominantly aligned with neurotypical students. Research studies demonstrate remarkable student and adult outcomes for students who participate in an SEL program compared with students that did not participate in an SEL program. The positive results, however, do not extend to students with ASD. This study investigates SEL outcomes for both, students with ASD and their neurotypical peers. The content from a SEL class program is transformed to include evidence-based strategies that support learning for students with ASD. Eighty-seven neurotypical students and ten students with ASD and other disabilities participated in a 10-week, 16 half-hour sessions, SEL school program. The Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment-Youth Version (SEI-YV), which was administered prior to and following the SEL program, revealed promising quantitative results. An important finding was that qualitative results for both, the neurotypical students and students with ASD and other disabilities. Although the sample size of this pilot study was small, the results warrant further investigation. It is recommended that a follow-up study include a control group and a larger sample size.

 
42. Teachers’ Acceptability of a Telepresence Robot to Support Professional Development in Autism Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLY MARTELL (Ball State University), Shannon Marie Dieringer (Hoosier Association for Behavior Analysis), Margaret T. Floress (Monroe-Meyer Institute/University of Nebraska Medical Center), Maria Sciuchetti (Ball State University), Jamie Gaither (Ball State University), Andy Markelz (Ball State University), Laila Sayyah (Ball State University)
Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pose unique challenges for teachers. Teachers seldom report training to address the needs of students with ASD. In-person consultation can be resource intensive. Teleconsultation may be a viable alternative to traditional in-person consultation, but is seldom used in schools. Many available technologies to support teleconsultation do not provide an adequate view of the teaching environment. A telepresence robot (TR) has the potential to overcome these limitations. A TR is capable of immediate videoconferencing with mobility from a remote location. Through the use of a TR, consultants are able to train teachers in the naturalistic setting under relevant stimulus conditions. Before utilizing TR in the schools, it is important to assess teachers’ acceptability of this technology. Therefore, this study aimed to qualitatively measure teachers’ perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes of using a TR as a training mechanism for working with students with ASD. Six teachers participated in a 2-hour focus group. Teachers also completed the Technology Acceptance Measure and the Distance Communication Comfort Scale. Findings suggested that teachers struggle to meet the needs of students with ASD and would be willing to receive consultation via a TR, despite being somewhat hesitant to use a new technology.
 
45.

All Aboard: A Disability and Behavior Intervention Awareness Training for School Bus Drivers

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KRYSTAL KENNEDY (Tennessee Technological University), Chaidamoyo Dzenga (Tennessee Technological University), Emily Loftis (Tennessee Technological University )
Abstract:

More than half of students in grades K-12 use school buses for transportation to school (Cook & Shinkle, 2012). Although school buses have historically lacked systematic approaches to behavior management, drivers have repeatedly reported an interest in reducing the distractions resulting from inappropriate student behaviors (Newcomer et al., 2009). Additionally, school bus drivers receive little to no training in high-incidence disabilities such as autism. Consequently, appropriate antecedent interventions and consequences for problematic behavior displayed by students with special needs may be unintentionally lacking on the school bus. As a framework of behavioral intervention designed to address the needs of all students, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) has resulted in positive outcomes for students with a variety of behavioral needs. Studies concerning the use of PBIS have almost exclusively focused on teacher-implemented interventions within classrooms. Fully realizing the potential benefits of PBIS requires training a variety of personnel, such as bus drivers, to use behavior management practices across a range of settings. This presentation describes a training blueprint including procedures used with school bus drivers that identifies appropriate behavior management strategies while also taking a closer look at high-incidence disabilities and IDEA regulations in relation to the school bus environment.

 
46.

The Use of an iPad to Monitor the Physical Activity of Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON MARIE DIERINGER (Ball State University), Kimberly Martell (Ball State University), Laura Bassette (Ball State University), Shawnna Sundberg (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Typically, children develop gross motor skills through peer interaction and play; however, this may be more difficult for children with ASD because they lack the social and communication skills to participate in physical play with others. This means that children with ASD have fewer opportunities to practice these critical skills. These motor skills deficits may carry over into adolescence and as a result, individuals with ASD are more likely to engage in a sedentary lifestyle (e.g., watching T.V.), which can increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By helping adolescents with ASD develop good physical activity skills, we can minimize their risk for lifelong health problems. Therefore, it is important to evaluate strategies to increase physical activity in individuals with ASD. The purpose of this study is to identify the physical activity behaviors and fitness needs of adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder in order to establish a better understanding of how to improve physical stamina and overall well being. This will be done by exploring the use of implementing video-modeling as an efficient tool to increase physical activity levels in adolescents with ASD. In order to advance the literature in this area, the following questions were asked: Are individuals with ASD are able to attend to and complete a physical activity circuit? And, are there any benefits when completing a physical activity circuit through a video-based modeling while measured via a physical activity monitor? Preliminary results demonstrate that participants were able to complete a physical activity circuit.

 
47.

What Do You See? Identifying Bias in Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JASMYN LEDFORD (Howard University)
Abstract:

This study evaluates the late diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in minority populations. Research has shown that minority children are less likely to be diagnosed with ASD at an early age, which reduces the likelihood of them receiving any early intervention services. This delay in receiving supports at an early age places these children at a disadvantage in relation to their typically developing peers, specifically regarding their adaptive functioning, atypicality, and social skills development. The CDC recently reported the prevalence of ASD among Black and African-American children continues to be lower than the ASD prevalence among White children, although the gap has narrowed compared to previous years (Baio et al., 2018). White children display a likelihood of Autism diagnosis 30% more than Black children, and 50% more than Hispanic children (Center for Disease Control, 2014). Black and White parents raise developmental concerns with their healthcare providers when their children are at similar ages (Jang, Matson, Cervantes & Konst, 2014). Yet, compared to White children, Black children are diagnosed at later ages, are more likely misdiagnosed, and are less likely to receive a developmental evaluation before age three (Mandell et al., 2009).

 
48. Implementation of a Challenging Behavior Reduction Program in a Real-life Setting: Two Case Studies
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ZAKARIA MESTARI (University of Québec in Montreal), Mélina Rivard (University of Québec in Montreal), Diane Morin (University of Québec in Montreal), Jacques Forget (University of Québec in Montreal), Amélie Terroux (University of Québec in Montreal)
Abstract: Since 2003, the province of Québec (Canada) offers Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) to young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, in recent studies, public services’ therapists claim they are not provided with proper tools to address challenging behaviors (CB), which hinder the positive effects with EIBI. Many studies demonstrate the positive effects of the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model (PTR) on decreasing children’s CB and increasing social behaviors in many settings (classroom, kindergarten, home). However, these studies were all implemented directly by a research-team member with extensive knowledge in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and PTR. To assess the PTR in a real-life setting, 40 public services therapists working with children with ASD and CB were trained and supervised. In turn, these therapists implemented the PTR with the parents of these children in order to go through the process in 12 weeks. This poster presents the steps of the PTR model through two case studies (direct behavioral observation, functional behavior analysis, behavioral and coaching strategies). For each case, data before and after the intervention will be presented for children (CB, adaptive behavior), parents (parental stress, family functioning, satisfaction towards intervention), and therapists (emotional and cognitive reaction towards CB, burnout symptoms, satisfaction).
 
49.

Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Abduction-Prevention Skills to Girls With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VANESA HUNTER-WATTS (Centro Educativo Terapeutico San Martin de Porres)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) on abduction-prevention skills of six girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Across phases, evaluators presented four types of abduction lures commonly used by kidnappers: (a) simple requests, (b) appeals to authority, (c) assistance requests, and (d) incentives. During baseline, the girls left with the stranger. During intervention, BST targeted a three-step response (refuse, run, and tell) and the abduction-prevention skills of all participants improved. There is currently limited research on programs exclusive for girls with ASD. Abduction is one of the most important concerns caregivers have. It has been proved BST can be used to teach abduction-prevention skills to individuals with ASD, nevertheless, this is the first female based study.

 
50. Perceptions of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Services and Recommendations for the Trajectory of Future Families
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MÉLINA BOULÉ (Université du Québec à Montréal), Mélina Rivard (University of Quebec, Montreal), Marie Millau (Université du Québec à Montréal), Catherine Mello (Penn States Berks), Catalina Mejia-Cardenas (Université du Québec à Montréal), Celine Clement (University de Strasbourg), Charlotte Magnan (University of Quebec in Montreal)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programs are the primary service delivered to families with a child who has autism in Quebec (Canada). Despite the essential role they play in the child’s development and prognosis, their effects on parents have received less attention. Most studies on this topic have focused on the experiences of Anglophile, White, and Western families, which may not be representative of all families of children with autism. This study documented the experience of 28 immigrant fathers and mothers who received EIBI services provided by the province of Quebec, Canada. Semi-structured interviews queried their perception of EIBI, their priorities for intervention, the family-provider partnership, and the obstacles and facilitators they encountered when they participated in EIBI. Families reported feeling unheard, being offered interventions inconsistent with their values, and facing a lack of flexibility and adaptability in the staff’s approach. However, families valued being involved and consulted, positive communication and collaboration with staff, and the professional and socioemotional competence of staff. These observations form the basis for important recommendations for the service trajectory of these families.
 
51. Transition From Early Intensive Behavior Intervention to School: Links between EIBI Variables and Family Needs
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHARLOTTE MAGNAN (University of Quebec in Montreal), Céline chatenoud (University of Quebec in Montreal), Mélina Rivard (University of Quebec in Montreal), Heather Aldersey (Queen's Univesity, Kingston), Caya Chiu (National Taiwan University), Ann Turnbull (University of Kansas), Zakaria Mestari (University of Quebec in Montreal)
Abstract: Parents having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience greater personal, social and family-related difficulties and have more parental stress and psychological distress than any other families. During transitional periods, such as starting school, this reality is particularly prominent as parents have to adapt to the discontinuities of the provided service, educational programs and collaborative arrangements. Despite the demonstrated effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), there is a lack of empirical evidence for monitoring the effects of these programs at school as well as for the transition from EIBI to school. This is particularly the case from the perspective of family needs and in terms of the service parameters they receive (e.g. discontinuity and intensity). The aim of this poster is to present data of 80 families with children having an ASD who’ve just finished EIBI services and are starting school by looking more closely at the link between 1) EIBI delivery parameters and 2) the perceived needs of those families. These results aim to shed light on how early childhood and school-based services can be improved so they better support family needs during that transition.
 
53.

Video Prompting to Teach Block-Based Coding to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN WRIGHT (Marist College), Victoria Knight (University of British Columbia), Erin E. Barton (Vanderbilt University )
Abstract:

Video-based modeling is an evidence-based practice for teaching social and communication skills, functional and daily living skills, and some academic skills to students with autism spectrum disorder. The efficacy of video-based modeling, however, has not yet been established for STEM skills related to science, technology, or engineering. Drawing on findings from a systematic review of video-based modeling to teach academic skills to students with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disability, I used a single case study design to examine the efficacy of video-based modeling for teaching robotics and coding to students with autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, I used a multiple-probe across skills single case research design replicated across three middle school participants to teach block-based coding of robots. This afforded three intraparticipant replications and three interparticipant replications. Further, to substantiate the social and ecological validity of video-based modeling interventions for public school settings, a special education teacher implemented the intervention in a special education classroom during non-core instructional time. Additionally, questionnaires were disseminated to study participants and public school special educators naïve to the study purpose and outcomes to assess the social validity (i.e., feasibility and effectiveness) of the intervention.

 
54.

The Power of Prevention: A Review of Current Research on Antecedent-Based Interventions for Students With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
NICOLE WEAVER (Slippery Rock University of Pa), Eric Joseph Bieniek (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania), Toni Mild (Slippery Rock University of Pa), Jessica Hall-Wirth (Slippery Rock University of Pa), Vaughn Bicehouse (Slippery Rock University of Pa)
Abstract:

Antecedent-based interventions (ABI) are effective strategies for address challenging behaviors associated with autism. The proposed poster will provide a review of the current literature on effective ABIs available for educators use: proximity control, providing structured environment, modifying instruction, encouraging self-monitoring, providing prompts, offering choices, pre-session attention, and high-probability command sequencing. ABI provide strategies to redirect and refocus behavior challenges associated with autism, specifically. Proximity control involves positioning the teacher near students to correct the inappropriate behavior. Providing a high-structured environment minimizes the opportunity for students to act out in a negative way. Established rules and procedures provide pre-direction informing students of acceptable behavior, thus, decreasing incidence of students acting out and disrupting others in the class. Allowing students choices as to who to work with or what goal to reach will assist in identifying motivational factors to achieve desire student behaviors. Encouraging students self-monitor of their progress will promote student engagement in meeting their goals. High-probability command sequence provides a set of commands to guide students as they progress to accomplishing more difficult tasks. Teacher's use of these types of preventative methods has consistently been associated with a reduction in a range of common undesirable behaviors which are often associated with autism spectrum disorder. This poster is intended to serve as a resource for educators working with students having ASD and summarizes the most recent findings on this topic in the applied behavior analytic literature.

 
55.

Increasing Academic Compliance Through Progressive Ratio Reinforcement and Escape Extinction With a Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARY AULTMAN HURLEY (Mississippi State University), Aaron Christopher White (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

Progressive Ratio Reinforcement (PR) has been recognized as an effective method in increasing targeted behaviors through systematic, scheduled reinforcement based on set criteria which gradually increase over time. There is limited research examining PR paired with Escape Extinction procedures. Additionally, there is limited research focusing on the use of PR and Escape Extinction with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to increase academic compliance through the implementation of PR and an escape extinction procedure through a changing criterion design. First, to further decrease the occurrence of noncompliance throughout sessions, an escape extinction procedure was implemented using verbal and physical prompting to remain seated. Second, the clinician implemented a PR procedure requiring the child to verbally identify letter sounds when presented with letter cards. Within the PR procedure, academic demands began with a 1:1 ratio in order to receive reinforcement (access to preferred tangible) and increased to 3:1 ratio, 5:1 ratio, 10:1 ratio, and back to 5:1 ratio. Criteria was considered mastered if compliance was exhibited 80% of the time for three consecutive trials. The use of PR paired with Escape Extinction was successful for all academic demand criteria, excluding 10:1 ratio.

 
56. Increasing Correct Responses in Mathematic Skills Comparing the Use of Cover, Copy, Compare and Modified Cover, Copy, Compare for Elementary-Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARY AULTMAN HURLEY (Mississippi State University), Laura Quintero (Mississippi State University), Lyndsay Ann Fairchild (Mississippi State University), Aaron Christopher White (Mississippi State University), Matthew Ferrigno (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Cover, Copy, Compare (CCC), and its modified version, Copy Cover Compare (MCCC) are two widely recognized and effective methods for increasing mathematical skills (Morton & Gadke, 2018). However, there is limited research directly comparing CCC to MCCC, and even fewer studies focusing on the use of these two procedures with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), particularly elementary aged students (Morton & Gadke, 2018). Given the importance of identifying evidence-based math interventions for children with ASD, the purpose of this study was to directly compare CCC and MCCC to identify the most effective intervention. Two elementary-aged students with ASD who were found to be behind grade-level in mathematic skills participated in the study. Using an alternating treatment design, CCC, MCCC were compared along with a control condition. For one student, CCC was the most effective for increasing correct responses, however, for the second participant, the MCCC intervention was more effective in increasing correct responses. Limitations and directions for future research will be discussed.
 
57. The Importance of Parent Training on Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis to Increase Implementation of an Individualized Behavior Support Plan
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER DORN DEASY (Pacific Northwest Autism Boston ABA ), Jailyn VanSickle (Pacific Northwest Autism ), Jane Nicholson (Pacific Northwest Autism ), Jana Bosscher (Pacific Northwest Autism )
Abstract: Of the current studies available on parent training for stakeholders of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there has been little research focused on teaching parents the fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The strongest argument against parent training is that parents fail to remain consistent throughout the course of their child’s therapy. Behavior therapists often teach the parents to implement the Behavior Support Plan (BSP), but they fail to teach the parents the core principles of ABA. The purpose of this study is to strengthen fidelity, generalization, and maintenance of Behavior Support Plans for learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by means of parent training in the area of ABA concepts. In this study, five families individually attended a weekly one-hour parent training over the course of six weeks. Each week a primary topic was presented to the family. The topics included reinforcement, the functions of behavior, goal objectives, the parent’s role in therapy, among other topics. Results demonstrated that four out of the five families had an increased understanding of basic ABA principles after completing the six-week course. These researchers plan to extend the study in the future in order to include revising the baseline measurement to increase its accuracy, as well as to modify the curriculum to incorporate non-technical language to assist parent understanding. Considerations for future participants include a multiple-baseline approach to examine longitudinal outcomes for families, in addition to analyzing barriers that prevent families from participating in the training.
 
59.

Establishing Derived Emotional Metaphor Expression in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Via Stimulus Equivalence Training

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KEZHENG QU (Beijing Normal University)
Abstract:

Academic performance has long been an indispensable yet neglected topic in education of autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of the study was to examine a stimulus equivalence procedure to generate derived emotional metaphor expression by four children with mild to moderate autism. A multiple probe design across behaviors was used. In the study, emotional metaphor understanding and expression were taught by introducing two set of relations (emotion-shared feature, vehicle-shared feature) instead of teaching the straight metaphor relation of emotion-vehicle. Teaching materials includes pictures of five emotions with different gestures or facial expressions and pictures of corresponding emotional metaphor vehicles, each of them with multiple exemplars. The results show that stimulus equivalence training is effective in promoting the emergence of emotional metaphor expression as well as the understanding of the emotional metaphor for all four participants, although two of the four participants needs a second-round-teaching for 1-2 emotions (using different examples). The emergence of emotional expressions and other metaphor language in natural settings is also reported by parents.

 
60. Do Free Giveaway Items at Conference Exhibit Booths Influence the Number of Attendees who Approach the Booth and Get Recruited?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMIN DUFF LOTFIZADEH (Easterseals Southern California)
Abstract: Over recent years there has been an increased demand for BCBAs who provide interventions to individuals diagnosed with autism. However, many behavioral clinics, particularly those in rural areas, face challenges meeting those demands, which makes recruitment efforts vital for their sustainability. One tool that clinics use to attract and recruit potential clinicians is through exhibit booth displays at conferences and career fairs. Often times giveaway items are provided to attract prospective employees at exhibits but there is not any empirical evidence that we are aware of that suggests that this is an effective recruitment method. In the present study we evaluated whether free giveaway items at conferences and at a university career fair influenced approach towards the exhibit booth and ultimately increased recruitment.
 
61. Analysis of the Effects of Catalyst Electronic Data System on ABA Teachers' Data Entry Duration
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TARA OLIVIA LOUGHREY (The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities), Jessica Naomi Cadette Dunn (The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities), Maria Soto (The Victory Center for Autism ans Related Disabilities), Tiffany Morhaim (The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities), Diana Lozano (The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities)
Abstract: Catalyst is an electronic data collection and management platform that allows users to collect real-time data through the use of an app on a portable electronic tablet. It also allows users to create and manage skill acquisition and behavior reduction programs through their online (desktop) portal. With Catalyst, users can collect the same range of data that have traditionally been collected using pencil and paper (e.g., frequency, duration, interval) but removes the redundancy of entering paper data into an online graphing program (e.g., Microsoft Excel). Catalyst automatically analyzes and graphs the data making it readily accessible via the app or online portal. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a data collection platform, Catalyst, in decreasing the duration of data entry for ABA teachers at a small school for children with autism and related disabilities. Five teachers collected baseline data on the duration of daily skill acquisition and behavior reduction data entry, including transferring data from clipboards and binders into their existing data collection platform (Microsoft Excel) and updating graphs. A multiple baseline across participants (teachers) was used. Duration data will be collected after the implementation of Catalyst to determine its effects on data entry duration.
 
62. Increasing Accuracy of Clinical Skills of Autism Service Providers Using Clickers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGHAN HERRON (Easterseals Southern California), Amin Duff Lotfizadeh (Easterseals Southern California), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Staff training for autism service providers often utilizes verbal feedback that is delivered to staff members during client sessions. This form of feedback can often be distracting to clients. Additionally, the time taken to deliver verbal feedback to staff can reduce the time dedicated to directly targeting client goals. A conditioned auditory reinforcer (clicker) can be delivered contingently to reinforce staff behaviors, may be less distracting to staff and clients, and can increase direct intervention time with clients by limiting time taken during sessions to address staff performance. Clickers have been shown to be effective change mechanisms to improve accuracy of complex motor responses such as a golf swing, but have not yet been applied to clinical skills.
 
64.

Program Evaluation of Behavioral Staff Training for Teachers and Staff in Alabama

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Heather Jones (The Learning Tree Inc.), DORIS HILL (Auburn University College of Education)
Abstract:

Training education professionals to implement interventions for students with autism and developmental disabilities is a common practice designed to develop capacity in schools. Understanding evidence-based strategies and methodologies to conduct these trainings can make them more effective and can result in developing professionals who can train others within their classrooms and schools. The authors examined five years of training evaluation data to determine trends in training and to examine the social validity of the trainings conducted. Results indicated that the trainings were well received (relevant to the teachers who attended) resulting in an increase in requests and an increase in the quality of trainings conducted based on feedback utilized by the organization conducting the training.

 
65.

Establishing Listener Discrimination in Children Diagnosed With Autism: A Replication

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Aarti Thakore (Central Texas Autism Center), MORGAN CHAPPLE (Central Texas Autism Center), Kelle Wood Rich (Central Texas Autism Center), Ben Seifert (Central Texas Autism Center)
Abstract:

Teaching children diagnosed with Autism to identify common objects is one of the imperative listener discrimination skill. Listener 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 listener discrimination and weak stimulus control. Thus, the current study is an attempt to replicate the transfer of stimulus control procedure (object imitation to Listener Responding), and evaluate the effect of teaching listener discrimination across the potential reinforcers on the acquisition of discriminative stimulus control across common objects. Last year, teaching listener discrimination across reinforcers was useful in establishing discriminative stimulus control in one boy diagnosed with autism. As a result, the purpose of replicating the similar procedure with emphasis on transfer of stimulus control from object imitation to listener discrimination will be evaluated with another learner diagnosed of autism and significant language delays.

 
66.

The Impact of Intraverbal Webbing Procedure in the Emergence of Advanced Intraverbal Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NOUF ALZRAYER (King Saud University )
Abstract:

The current study investigated the effects of intraverbal webbing procedure on the development of divergent and convergent intraverbal responses in three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 3 and 10-years old. We used multiple-probe design across participants to demonstrate the effects of the procedure on the emergence of divergent and convergent intraverbal skills. The results demonstrated that the intraverbal webbing procedure was effective in the acquisition of trained verbal responses to fill-in-the blank statements regarding the function, feature, and class of several items. In addition, emergence was observed across untrained set of verbal stimuli.

 
67.

Teaching Divergent Intraverbal Responses Across Stimulus Classes to Children Diagnosed With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JENNIFER MARTZ (Central Texas Autism Center), Aarti Haresh Thakore (Central Texas Autism Center), Andrea Kelly (Central Texas Autism Center), Morgan Chapple (Central Texas Autism Center)
Abstract:

According to Aquirre et al (2016) in the past 15 years, the empirical studies on verbal behavior have increased significantly. However, the research on intraverbal skills weren’t as high as the other verbal operants (e.g., mands). Only 14 empirical studies on intraverbal, and most of the studies were reported to publish from 1989 to 2004. Most of these studies focused mainly on intraverbal fill-in responses. Since it is difficult to teach each and every intraverbal response separately, it is imerative to establish divergent intraverbal control in children diagnosed with autism. This may also promote response generalization across various intraverbal responses based on item-function, item-feature, and item-class relations. Thus, the purpose of this study was to extend Goldsmith, LeBlanc, & Sautter (2007), to evaluate the effectiveness of tact-to-intraverbal transfer procedure on acquisition of divergent intraverbal classes. The result of the study was demonstrated using multiple baseline design across classes. Results suggested that tact to intraverbal transfer procedure was effective in increasing divergent intraverbal responses across classes, in two participants diagnosed with autism. However, both the participants required echoic prompts when the tact responses were not fluent.

 
68.

Question-Answering Training About Past Activities for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Part 1: Answering Behaviors Using What-Type Questions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MASAHIKO INOUE (Tottori Universisty), Naho Inoue (Tottori University)
Abstract:

We examined the effects of training children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in question-answering behaviors about past self-activity. Two boys with ASD participated. The subjects were required to play with play items in a room and then approach a questioner outside the room and answer certain types of questions (what- and yes-/no-type questions). For the what-type questions, the effectiveness of conditional discrimination training (CDT) and delayed prompt training (DPT) using activity items and activity photo cards was assessed for S1. For S2, by introducing delayed conditional discrimination training (DCDT) using activity photo cards, appropriate answering behavior about past self-activity questions became possible. Two subjects acquired appropriate answering during the probe sessions without the activity photo cards.

 
69. Effects of Blocking Echoic Responses on Tact Emergence Following Contiguous Stimulus Presentation
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
JULIANA SEQUEIRA CESAR DE OLIVEIRA (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University), Alexandra Miller (Texas Christian University), Reagan Elaine Cox (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: Covert echoic responses have been hypothesized to play a role in emergent speaker behavior, but experimental evidence is weak. This study examined the effects of blocking echoic responses to the verbal stimulus during name-object pairing on the emergence of vocal tacts. Typically developing preschool-age children were exposed to repeated presentations of national flags and associated country names. In the echoic condition, the participants were instructed to echo the country name presented in each trial. In the blocking condition, they were instructed to name the background color on which the flag was presented in each trial. In a no-response-requirement (NRR) control condition, participants were not instructed to make any responses. Tacts were probed under extinction after each session. Tact control emerged in some or all conditions for 3 of the 5 participants and was not reliably affected by blocking. The results fail to support practices such as requiring echoic responses during receptive instruction in hopes of affecting receptive-to-expressive transfer; however, replication with clinical populations is needed.
 
70.

Procedures Involved in Training Instructional Control in Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAYRON PEREIRA PICOLO RIBEIRO (McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States; Unit of Health in Clinical Psychology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Karina Casaçola Cinel (Grupo Contingência - Ensino Personalizado e Desenvolvimento Humano, Brazil), Marcos Roberto Garcia (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR), Brazil), Lara Gil Ribeiro Lenza (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCPR), Brazil)
Abstract:

Study 1 evaluate the effect of the Matching-to-Sample (MTS) Equivalence-based Instruction (EBI) on the emergence of untrained relationships and on instructional control learning regarding the relationships between say-do in children with ASD. In the training and testing phases, three sets of stimuli were used: A) Clinical contexts; B) “.gif” of: taking off shoes, sitting on bench, and sitting on chair; C) Consequences. The AB and AC relationships were taught to three children through instructional MTS training (verbal instruction and physical help). In the test, untrained transitivity relationships (BC and CB) were evaluated. Finally, the participants were taken to the trained physical sites and were asked “What do you do here?” to verify the formation of a rule and the participant's overt behavior. The results showed that EBI was efficient for the formation of untrained stimulus equivalence classes. However, regarding the formation of a rule and its follow-up in the physical contexts, the data were not consistent among participants. Therefore, Study 2 aimed to analyze two procedures involved in the formation of instructional control and the correspondence between verbal and nonverbal behavior for new behaviors: the same as Study 1 (MTS and EBI), and intraverbal with tact prompt. The sets of stimuli were the same as those used in Study 1 in both cases. Four children diagnosed with ASD, different from those of study 1, participated in the research, all of whom performed both procedures, but alternately and with tests between procedures. Two participants went through MTS training first and then Intraverbal training, and the other two went through the opposite sequence. Three of the four participants have already completed the experiment, except for P1; and none of the participants followed up until the submission of this document. Preliminary data show that Intraverbal training has greater influence on the formation of a vocal rule and the correspondence of nonverbal behavior (following the taught rule).

 
71.

Question-Answering Training About Past Activities for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Part 2: Training Answering Behaviors Using What-Type and Yes-/No-Type Questions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NAHO INOUE (Tottori University), MASAHIKO INOUE (Tottori Universisty)
Abstract:

We examined the effects of training children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in question-answering behaviors about past self-activity. Three students with ASD participated in the study. The subjects were required to play with play items in a room and then approach a questioner outside the room and answer certain questions (what- and yes-/no-type questions). In Study (2), in addition to what-type questions, we analyzed the establishment of answering behavior while including yes-/no-type questions. For S2 and S3, in the acquisition of yes-/no-type questions, the correct response rate increased due to delayed conditional discrimination training (DCDT) using response cards. However, for S1, conditional discrimination trainings (CDT) 2 and 3 in a desk setting was necessary to establish the answering behavior for the yes-/no-type questions. In this study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of conditional discrimination training in the formation of the response behavior of students with ASD to questions about past self-activites.

 
72.

Decreasing Challenging Behaviors Utilizing a Shaping Procedure in Two Young Males With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KELSEY JEAN SCHIMMEL (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Holland Thompson (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Maggie Wade (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Christine Gomez (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Cristina Fauste (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Rachel Anderson (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Responding to demands can be notably difficult for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The presentation of these novel demands often elicit problem behaviors that lead to social isolation and a lack of learning opportunities (Williams, 2015). Treatment packages designed to increase success when responding to demands often include pairing them with additional stimuli to reduce the presence of problem behaviors, such as utilizing 2-D picture cards in this intervention. The purpose of this on-going study is to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching a child to utilize a low-response effort behavior to escape demands in two minimally verbal young children with autism. A shaping procedure was used to increase the complexity and appropriateness of the response behaviors. The participants are two two-year-old males with ASD, that were taught to communicate a refusal by first tapping a badge held by the therapist, then removing a 2-D visual “no” card from the badge, removing a 2-D visual “no” card from a bracelet and lastly responding with a vocal “no.” Results from this suggest that combining known visual stimuli paired with vocal cues, can be an effective approach in shaping a maladaptive response into a functional and appropriate response, while decreasing overall irritability.

 
73.

Fostering Negotiation Skills in Preschool-Aged Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HOLLAND THOMPSON (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center ), Kelsey Jean Schimmel (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Brent Seymour (Southwest Autism Research), Rachel Anderson (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
Abstract:

Self-advocacy skills including negotiations and initiations are vital communicative behaviors for navigating social interactions. The presentation of unwanted items, transitions and demands typically elicit challenging behaviors in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and often lead to an inability to complete daily routines or demonstrate flexibility in novel situations. Additionally, a lack of negotiating skills can also lead to social isolation, over-compliance and are a threat to personal safety. Research has been conducted on teaching negotiating skills to teenagers or adults with ASD, however there is little evidence on teaching pre-school aged children these skills (Roberts, 2010). The purpose of this on-going study is to teach young children with limited communication repertoires to self-advocate by negotiating, as an alternative to challenging behaviors that often follow unwanted demands. The participants are two, two-year-old males with ASD that were taught to negotiate when presented with a variety of demands. The intervention includes a visual choice booklet used to prompt the learner through various strategies to negotiate. Results from this study suggest that combining visual stimuli and consistent key phrases for negotiating might be an effective approach to teach appropriate ways to advocate, increase functional communication, and decrease challenging behaviors.

 
78.

Systematically Teaching Young Adults With Severe Autism to Initiate in Reciprocal Interactions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA CARNAHAN (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract:

Despite increasing availability of systematic, evidence based practices for teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder during the school years, outcomes after graduation remain poor (Gerhardt & Lanier, 2011), especially for the approximately 30% of individuals who experience significant challenges in social communication and are considered to be minimally verbal into adulthood (DiStefano, Shih, Kalser, Landa, & Kasari, 2016; Finke et al., 2017; Tager Flusberg & Kasari, 2013). Using a multiple baseline design, we investigated the effects of an intervention package to teach young adults with ASD to use an iPad with TouchChat to a) initiate a reciprocal greeting, b) continue the exchange, and c) use a closing in community settings. The intervention package included systematic instruction, prompting, and modeling, and was implemented in a one on one setting by near peer mentors, or individuals similar in age without disabilities. Participants included three young adults with ASD between the ages of 22 and 30 who had limited verbal communication (approximately five words or less), and took place on the campus of a large, urban university in the Midwest. Results indicated young adults with ASD can increase their social communication skills in community settings when given systematic instruction.

 
79. Staff Preference: Another Dimension of Assessment and its Relation to On-Task and Compliance Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Gloria Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life)
Abstract: This study seeks to investigate the effects of staff preference (highly preferred staff versus less preferred staff) on the affect, compliance, and on-task behavior of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during demand activities that require prompting for on task engagement and task completion. Individual participants who indicate (through a preference assessment) a clear preference for certain staff members when compared to others, will be included in the study. Each participant will engage in the same demand activity conditions while direct-care staff members will be randomly alternated (highly preferred and less-preferred). Data will be evaluated through an alternating treatments design. Post hoc analysis will be conducted in order to identify the specific characteristics of the highly preferred staff (e.g., physical contact, facial expression, praise). Implications for the study include the value of providing choice and assessing preference of staff members and the potential impact for changing traditional staff training models to emphasize training for staff to position themselves as conditioned reinforcers to the individuals they serve.
 
80.

A Further Evaluation of Scripts and Systematic Fading to Increase Play-Based Comments in Children With Autism WhenPlaying With Peers

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA AKERS (Baylor University), Madison Busby (Baylor University), Kristin O'Guinn (Baylor University)
Abstract:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display deficits in the area of social communication. These deficits can greatly impact the lives of these individuals, impeding their ability to appropriately interact with peers. Script-fading is an intervention that has been used to increase independent communication in children with ASD. Past research has demonstrated that script-fading is an effective intervention when siblings serve as the conversation partner (Akers, Higbee, Pollard, & Reinert, 2018) and when peers serves as the conversation partner (Whichnick-Gillis, Vener, & Poulson, 2019). As indicated by the title of the intervention, an important aspect of the intervention is the systematic fading of the scripted phrases. Following the fading of the scripts, individuals generally continue to emit the scripted phrases and also emit novel, untaught phrases. The majority of studies report completely fading scripts; however, to date no study has directly evaluated whether children with ASD will continue to emit more comments during play when the presence of the researcher has been completely faded. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend previous research by demonstrating that introducing a script-fading procedure would lead to an increase in comments made by children with ASD while playing with peers and evaluating whether these results will maintain when the researcher’s presence is completely faded. We currently have one completed data set which supports the use of script-fading to increase play-based comments. In addition, we found that the participant continued emitting more comments following the fading of the researcher.

 
81.

A Preliminary Examination of the Influence of Medical Marijuana Products on Aberrant Behavior of Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAITLIN ROSS (MECA), Gloria Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Recently, there has been increasing use of medical marijuana. Coinciding with this trend is the belief that marijuana products can be used to treat symptoms of autism. There are no controlled studies evaluating the effects of marijuana on autism. Advocacy groups have formed to promote use of marijuana to reduce behavioral episodes and increase social behaviors. No scientific evidence exists that this drug is causally related to any improvements in developmental, behavioral or social areas. In contrast, most national organizations related to substance abuse strongly argue that marijuana is potentially dangerous.The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between changes in problem behaviors and the use of the marijuana products. Participants included adolescents diagnosed with autism. Target behaviors for which a marijuana product was prescribed were operationally defined. Staff gathered daily data on the occurrence of these targeted behaviors, and the dates of administration of the marijuana products. Results showed no direct correlation between the use of the marijuana product and positive changes in problem behavior, casting doubt on the efficacy of this intervention. This suggests the need for the involvement of behavior analysis when manipulating medication in order to empirically evaluate the impact of such interventions.

 
83. An Ethical Responsibility of Cultural Competency: Models of Disability, Macroaggressions, and Professional Considerations in ABA
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ROCCO G CATRONE (SIU-Carbondale), Amrinder Babbra (SIU), Natalia Baires (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Manish K. Goyal (Southern Illinois University), Ryan Reed (SIU), Sebastian Garcia-Zambrano (Southern Illinois University), Shane Koch (SIU)
Abstract: As behavior analysts, our code of ethics demands a certain level of competency when ethically changing the behaviors of others. With the footholds of globalization creeping onward, and a nation’s populace that is growing increasingly diverse (Fong & Tanaka, 2013), being culturally aware of the clients and their families in which this caring profession serves is paramount. This presentation reviews important models adapted from other fields of study in hopes to promote a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the cultural competencies when working with families with autistic children. Disability Theory Models will be applied to the way ABA may lead to unintentional ableism. Examples of microaggressions towards those with disabilities will be depicted and what behavior analysts can do to minimize these. Finally, the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS; Bennet, 1986) will be illustrated and applied to ABA as a way to not minimize differences between professionals and clients, but to have a model to increase sensitivity to work with those who may have different backgrounds from the clinician. Each section references back to the current BACB ethical guidelines, creating relevance of models and interventions to the behavior-analytic tradition.
 
84.

Latency-Based Functional Analysis and Treatment for a Young Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY MURPHY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Aila K. Dommestrup (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Latency-Based Functional Analysis (LBFA) is used to identify function of problem behaviors, particularly when it may be difficult or unsafe to measure repeatability of severe problem behavior. In the present study, a LBFA was employed to identify the function(s) of head banging exhibited by a 3 year-old male with autism spectrum disorder. Functions identified via LBFA as maintaining head banging included escape from demands and access to preferred tangibles; these data were then used to inform treatment in both demands and restricted tangible contexts. Treatments consisting of differential reinforcement were evaluated using changing criterion designs. Results indicated decreases in problem behavior across both contexts; problem behavior occurred in only two sessions of the tangible condition. Additional findings included successful acquisition of functional communication skills, as well as generalization to caregivers. Often, treatments derived from LBFA results focus on tolerance training, rather than skill acquisition. This case study highlights the effectiveness of LBFA, and furthers treatment utility not only in tolerance for demands, but one which includes skill acquisition, specifically functional communication training, in the context of restricted access to preferred tangible items.

 
85.

Perceptions on Services Provided to Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Focus Group

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER PRICKETT (PhD student at Texas A&M University), Claudia M Dunn (PhD Student at Texas A&M University ), Julie L. Thompson (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

Research on exploring the needs on services provided to parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has demonstrated great promise; however, few studies use focus groups to explore the needs and experiences of families with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on the services received to support their children. Our research is trying to close that gap in the literature by doing focus groups to explore parent’s experiences and investigate in ways to help those parents. Specifically, this research sought to describe the (a) service needs and experience of parents and caretakers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and (b) how this was accomplished with a focus group. Our participant panel included a wide range of socioeconomic status, education levels, ethnicities, and ASD symptom severity levels. Responses regarding needs, successes, and recommendations for improvement resulted in the following themes: family support, advocacy, collaboration, need for consistency, access to services, and quality of programs. The current focus group, hopes to improve service delivery to meet children and families’ needs in the most efficient and effective way. Implications for practitioners and service providers will be discussed. In addition, suggestions for future research will be provided.

 
86.

Individualized Assessment and Behavioral Intervention to Treat Sleep Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE KOUDYS (Brock University), Catherine McConnell (Kalyana Support Systems), Angeline Savard (The Gregory School for Exceptional Learning), Krysten Spottiswood (Pyramid Educational Consultants of Canada), Kaitlyn Harrison (Kalyana Support Systems), Paige O'Neill (Brock University), Alyssa Treszl (Brock University)
Abstract:

High prevalence rates of sleep problems, such as behaviors that interfere with sleep onset and difficulties staying asleep, have been reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research suggests that sleep problems negatively affect children with ASD and their families, including correlations between diminished sleep and challenging behavior (Cohen et al., 2014). Recent reviews of treatments for pediatric sleep problems encourage behavioral strategies, including functional analysis and a comprehensive approach to sleep intervention (e.g., Mindell, Kuhn, Lewin, Meltzer, & Sadeh, 2006). Although these reviews are promising, more research is required to determine the effectiveness of parent-led behavioral sleep interventions, implemented by community-based clinicians. The current study, which uses a non-concurrent multiple-baseline across participants design, evaluates the results of a parent-implemented, behavior-analytic sleep intervention. To-date, three children with ASD have been recruited. Individualized behavior-analytic sleep interventions (e.g., faded bedtime, eliminating sleep dependencies) have been implemented with two participants in conjunction with community-clinical services. Nightly sleep log and video data indicate that sleep onset delay and sleep interfering behaviors have decreased, and duration of time asleep alone has increased. Interobserver agreement (collected on 30% of data) is above 80%. Practical considerations for implementing community-based, parent-led behavioral sleep interventions will be discussed.

 
87.

Using a Digital Activity Schedule Application to Teach a Boy With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Get Ready for School

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOANNA SPARTINOS (St. Paul’s Autism Research & Training Academy), Michael Lafasakis (St. Paul’s Autism Research & Training Academy, Kidz Choice Services, Inc.), Benjamin R. Thomas (St. Paul’s Autism Research & Training Academy)
Abstract:

Activity schedules are a well-established treatment option for promoting independent behavior in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; MacDuff, Krantz, & McClannahan, 1993). This study used an A-B-A-B reversal design to evaluate the effects of using a tablet-based, digital activity schedule application to teach a boy with ASD to get ready for school in the morning. The digital activity schedule application consisted of a choice board, a visual schedule of tasks (written/photographic), as well as a token reinforcement component for task completion. Training for task and schedule following involved graduated guidance. Results show that during baseline the participant did not perform any steps independently. After introduction of the digital activity schedule with graduated guidance the boy acquired a significant percentage of the skills necessary to get ready for school independently. Additionally, the participant returned to baseline levels of responding during the reversal, and then resumed task completion upon restoring treatment, indicating dependence on the digital activity schedule for on-task behavior. The implications of teaching daily living skills by embedding activity schedules within digital applications will be discussed. The ease of implementation for practitioners and the general preference for technology in children make the transition to a digital application noteworthy.

 
88.

The Impact of Relational Training on Stimulus Discrimination Within a Behavior Chain

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZHIHUI YI (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Kwadwo O. Britwum (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Behavioral goals or objectives in applied setting often include tasks that are composed of behavior chains consisting of a sequence of complex stimulus-response chains. Many teaching strategies available, however, do not always reliably foster effective skill acquisition of those steps that are particularly challenging in these behavior chains. The current investigation evaluated the effects of relational training, using an analog behavior chain, in which individuals with ASD were required to complete a six-step stimulus discrimination task. Teenagers diagnosed with ASD were first asked to complete 20 trials of the discrimination task. Six steps were included in this task, four of which included numbers and the other two incorporated Chinese characters. Participants were then exposed to a series of relational training tasks with half of the Chinese characters used in the first task. Participants then completed 20 additional trials of the original discrimination task. Preliminary data indicates a significant difference in correct responding between the trained and untrained Chinese characters, with a higher number of correct responding on trained characters. Participants’ performance on untrained characters remained unchanged despite repeated practice. Results suggest that relational training could be an effective way to improve performance on difficult steps in establishing behavior chains.

 
89.

An Evaluation of the Accuracy of Caregiver Identification of Demands for Children With Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY FORD (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Reema Sethi (Rowan University)
Abstract:

This study evaluated caregiver accuracy at identifying demands most likely to evoke escape-maintained problem behavior for 4 children with autism or developmental disabilities using the Demand Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities (DAISD). After a demand aversiveness hierarchy was established with the DAISD, a corresponding demand latency assessment (DLA) was conducted with each child. A functional analysis (FA) was conducted using demands identified by both the DAISD and DLA as most and least likely to evoke problem behavior. Correlations between caregiver-ranked demands and DLA rankings were variable. FA results indicated that DAISD rankings were not a reliable measure to determine highly aversive demands and practitioners should not rely on caregiver report alone. Although all caregivers identified at least 8 demands and created an aversiveness hierarchy, caregiver demand hierarchies did not correspond with demands most and least likely to yield an escape function. For 50% of participants, the caregiver-nominated demand resulted in a false-negative outcome, whereas the least-aversive DLA demand resulted in an escape-function for all participants. Rates of problem behavior and percent compliance between demand conditions further confirmed that aversiveness was inaccurately determined. Practitioners should use caregiver report to identify aversive demands and follow up with direct child demand assessments.

 
90. Parent Perspectives on the Importance of Quality of Life and its Potential Impact on Programing Decisions Including Staff Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GLORIA SATRIALE (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life)
Abstract: Agencies serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder typically focus on teaching academics, social skills, adaptive behavior, and workplace competencies with little attention devoted to what components of programming are necessary to result in an overall quality of life. An emerging area is the importance of happiness and achieving a quality of life (QoL) as the ultimate outcome of support services. This study examined parental perspectives on the importance and priority of individual indices of QoL. Data were gathered through an online survey. Parents reported happiness to be an important component to an overall positive QoL (PQoL). Further, parents placed responsibility for identifying and attaining PQoL on educational and service systems, but believed that educational and service providers are not currently performing services in a manner that addresses QoL concerns. Results from this study established what indices of happiness are important to parents and demonstrated that parental priorities are incongruent with much of the literature discussing and prioritizing indices of happiness necessary for an overall PQoL. The results of this study provide educational professionals and service providers with a deeper understanding of parent perceptions and priorities regarding QoL potentially impacting current service provision models.
 
91.

Evaluating Thematic Design of Token Boards in Behavioral Interventions for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
FRED CARRILES (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg; Vista Autism Services), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg ), Nora Healy (Vista Autism Services), Bernadette Damiano (Vista Autism Services), Kimberly Ghorm (Vista Autism Services)
Abstract:

Token economies are often implemented in educational settings via design of student token boards. In particular, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are frequently provided individualized token boards as supplement to additional behavioral programming. Despite their prevalence in both practice and research, token systems have received limited evaluation at the functional-mechanical level. Consequently, certain practices in the design of a token economy lack empirical basis. One such practice includes the theming of visual stimuli included on a token board. Token boards designed for students with ASD are routinely constructed so as to emphasize visual themes and iconography-- a procedural element presumably thought to increase the reinforcing value of the token board. The current work is a pilot study evaluating this relation between token board aesthetic/theming and student responding. Ongoing trials evaluate student responding under alternating arrangements of ‘themed’ and ‘plain’ token boards. Additionally, the current experiment assesses reinforcing potency of themed and plain boards through implementation of a progressive-ratio schedule of reinforcement. Implications for followup research are discussed, as well as a discussion on how findings may steer design of token economies for use by students with ASD.

 
92.

Toileting Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
FRED CARRILES (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg; Vista Autism Services), Nora Healy (Vista Autism Services), G. David Smith (Vista Autism Services)
Abstract:

This project is a comprehensive review of the behavior analytic literature on toileting interventions for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our review included any peer-reviewed work available through the PsycInfo database. We use findings from our analysis of the literature to provide recommendations for areas of critical need in future research on toileting interventions in ASD populations. Additionally, our review more generally identifies how toileting has historically been discussed and measured by researchers in the behavioral-psychological disciplines. Limitations and areas for expansion of this work are discussed.

 
93. Latency-Based Functional Analysis for Reading Task Non-Compliance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEREDITH HUFF (Mississippi State University), Megan Anderson (Mississippi State University), Lyndsay Ann Fairchild (Mississippi State University), Aaron Christopher White (Mississippi State University), Matthew Ferrigno (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Parent report and clinician observation indicated academic non-compliance during reading time for the participant, a 6-year-old male diagnosed with autism. To further analyze non-compliant behavior, researchers conducted a latency-based functional analysis (FA) to identify which topographies of reading tasks were most and least likely to elicit non-compliance. Whole passages, half passages, sentence strips, and one-word flashcards were used in the FA, and results showed the shortest latency to non-compliant behaviors under the whole passage demand and the longest latency under the one-word flashcard demand. Results from the FA provided a starting point for intervention as researchers used this data to determine which topography appeared to be most preferred by the participant (e.g., longest latency to non-compliant behaviors). Using properties of behavioral momentum, the goal of intervention was to then increase compliance by starting with the most preferred task (e.g., flashcard) and gradually fading in demands that build up to the least preferred task (e.g., whole passage). Results indicated intervention effectiveness via an immediate decrease in (a) duration of inappropriate behaviors and (b) time it took the participant to appropriately respond to reading demands. These findings suggest the effectiveness of using results from a latency-based FA in successfully developing an intervention to establish compliance in reading tasks.
 
94.

Using Scripted Instruction to Increase Communicative Acts of Elementary Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEREDITH HUFF (Mississippi State University), Melanie R Elsenbroek (Mississippi State University), Matthew Ferrigno (Mississippi State University), Laurie Beth O'Daniel (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract:

The following study used a multiple baseline design to examine the effects of a social skills group intervention using scripted instructions, visual text cues, and contingent reinforcement. A token economy was also used to help increase communicative acts across participants. Three participants were included in the current study, two African American males and one Caucasian female between the ages of 8 and 9, all with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to intervention, baseline was collected. For each skill, the intervention was randomly introduced while the other skills remained in baseline. During the intervention, direct-instruction using a script was used to review each skill. The skill was then practiced one-on-one with a clinician and then practiced with a peer. Data on the skill was then collected during free-play. Prompts to use visual text cues were given when needed. Results showed that the intervention was effective in increasing communicative acts for three elementary-aged students. The current study supports past research in using scripted instructions, visual text cues, and contingent reinforcement using a token economy to increase an individual’s communication skills with their same-aged peers.

 
95. Scientific Merit of Parent Training for Problem Behaviour Reduction Studies
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE O'NEILL (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown parent training effectively teaches parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to use applied behaviour analytic (ABA) interventions, including interventions designed to reduce problem behaviour. In fact, several systematic reviews have explored the literature in this area. However, none provide a comprehensive review of research quality, the nature of ABA interventions parents are trained to implement, or outcomes related to parent implementation fidelity, generalization, and maintenance. The current study follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to analyze the quality of single-case experimental design research for parent training in ABA interventions to reduce problem behaviour in children with ASD. A systematic search of eight databases has retrieved over 7,000 articles which are being screened for inclusion by two independent reviewers. Quality ratings of relevant articles will be conducted using the Scientific Merit Rating Scale (National Autism Centre, 2009). Quality of research design, measurement of the dependent and independent variables, participant ascertainment, and generalization will be presented. Interobserver agreement will be conducted for 30% of included articles. Future directions will involve risk of bias analyses, a comprehensive review of the nature of parent training, and a meta-analysis of reported treatment outcomes.
 
96.

Validity of a Caregiver and Child Attention Preference Assessment Using a Concurrent Operants Arrangement

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHERAH SOMERVELL (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Kimberly Ford (Rowan University)
Abstract:

A structured caregiver attention preference assessment interview was developed to assess and rank attention across 9 categories. Twenty caregivers of children with autism (range, 3-11 years) identified a mean of 7.67 forms of preferred attention across 5.77 categories. A paired-stimulus preference assessment was conducted with child participants using images of attention types. The mean rank order correlation between caregiver and child preference assessments was 0.55 (moderate correlation). A reinforcer efficacy assessment using a concurrent operants arrangement was conducted with each child. The floor was marked with 3 squares (1.524m x 1.524m) with attention picture icons in two squares and the third square serving as a control. In-square behavior resulted in delivery of the designated attention type. Caregiver and child-high, moderate, and low attention types were analyzed. Preliminary results indicated that caregiver-high and moderate attention types resulted in greater in-square behavior than the low, with no consistent distinction between high and moderate types. Results from the child attention types demonstrated that reinforcer efficacy for high, moderate, and low matched the preference assessment. The child-high served as a more potent reinforcer than the caregiver-high. Results demonstrate the validity of a child attention preference assessment using the types of attention identified by caregivers.

 
97. Neurological Correlates of Derived Relational Responding and Autism: A Synthetic Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
TAYLOR MARIE LAUER (Missouri State), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Research evaluating technologies emergent from stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory models of human language learning is increasing in application with individuals with autism (Belisle, Paliliunas, Lauer, et al., under review). This research has the potential to target more global patterns of behavior that are consistent with executive functioning processes. We sought to synthesize these two seemingly distinct areas of research by evaluating the neurological mechanisms that participate in derived relational responding as well as executive functioning deficits in individuals with autism. FMRI research on stimulus equivalence suggests that the frontal and parietal lobes show increased activity during tests for symmetrical and transitive relations, but not for directly reinforced behaviors. Comparisons of individuals with autism to age-IQ matched neurotypical controls during task-based FMRIs also indicate lower overall activation in the frontal and parietal lobe during a variety of cognitive tasks. Taken together, our results suggest that interventions that promote the emergence of symmetrical and equivalence relations may also strengthen neural pathways that participate in autism symptomology, highlighting a much needed area for applied behavior analytic research.
 
98. Relationship Between the PEAK-CA and the Relational Volumetric-Density Coefficient
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
ANNALISE GIAMANCO (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Taylor Marie Lauer (Missouri State University), Hannah Wallace (Missouri State University), Meredith Matthews (Missouri State University)
Abstract: The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PEAK-CA) is a standardized criterion referenced test of verbal operant and relational operant development. Results on the PEAK-CA are used to guide the development of PEAK curricular programming, the latter of which focus on stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory models of human language learning. Study 1 seeks to provide a backward translational model of a decrease in the strength of derived relations as a function of nodal distance, termed the relational volumetric-density coefficient within Relational Density Theory. Results suggest that, with typically developing adult participants, derived relations weaken as nodal distance is increased. Neurological research evaluating executive functioning processing differences in children with ASD suggest that reduced fluency may be observed given an increase in task complexity. Therefore, we may expect large volumetric-density coefficients with this population. Study 2 seeks to evaluate the relationship between performance on the PEAK-CA and the volumetric-density coefficient across children with ASD, using errors and fluency as a measure of relational strength. Preliminary results support this relationship, concurrently providing convergent validity for the PEAK-CA and calculation of the volumetric-density coefficient.
 
99. Applied Behavior Analysis-Informed Occupational Therapy Social Skills Programming
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PATRICK ALLEN LEYTHAM (Touro University of Nevada; Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities), Robyn Otty (Touro University of Nevada)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis and Occupational Therapy are two distinct disciplines who often function in parallel to provide services to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Most recently, a call to utilize the strengths of both disciplines to improve treatment outcomes was made (Welch & Polatajko, 2016). Using the combined approach of both disciplines, the researcher sought to determine whether adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder would respond differently to an Occupational Therapy implementation of a social skills program using behavior analytic strategies. Two groups were formed: Control Group (Occupational Therapy-Only); and Experimental Group (Applied Behavior Analysis-Informed). A total of seven participants were divided between the two groups, and functional behavior assessments, stimulus preference assessments, and social validity questionnaires were conducted to identify a target behavior for each participant. A variation of the multiple treatment reversal single-subject design was implemented for those in the Experimental Group, and probe data were collected for those in the Control Group. Data suggest the target behaviors for participants in the Experimental Group significantly improved when compared to those in the Control Group.
 
100. Treatment of Severe Maladaptive Behaviors: Case Study of the Revised Temporary Current Procedural Technology Codes
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MEGHAN HELMAN (Project Hope Foundation), Scott Braud (Project Hope Foundation), Kayla Lilly (Project Hope Foundation), Katie Pyhala (Project Hope Foundation), Marley Olejnik (Project Hope Foundation)
Abstract: Following the emergence of high severity problem behavior in two clients with autism during adaptive behavior treatment services, funding for the assessment and treatment of severe maladaptive behavior in a specialized setting was requested and approved. After approval, two registered behavior technicians (RBT) and one board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) initially conducted functional analyses of severe maladaptive behavior to identify the functions of aggression (e.g., forceful contact from a minimum of 12 inches with audible noise) and elopement (e.g., leaving the immediate space without permission). Following the functional analysis, individualized treatments consisting of functional communication training, delay and denial tolerance, and demand fading were implemented with the same staff ratio. Reductions in maladaptive behavior and increases in functional communication, delay and denial tolerance, and demand fading were observed. Finally, generalization of the treatment package to adaptive behavior treatment in the original therapeutic location was planned. Baseline and treatment evaluation data are presented in a multiple baseline design. Results of this case study provide preliminary evidence of the efficacy of behavior analysts providing adaptive behavior treatment services to treat severe maladaptive behaviors in specialized settings for clients with autism.
 
101.

Brief Intensive Treatment of Specific Phobia in a Child With Minimally Verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY MUSKETT (Virginia Tech), Sarah Ryan-Radtke (Virginia Tech), Thomas H. Ollendick (Virginia Tech)
Abstract:

This case study illustrates a brief, intensive, Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) intervention for a young male client with a specific phobia of dogs and comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety in children with ASD, however, this work has not often been extended to children with language impairment. This case study presents modifications to One-Session Treatment (OST) for Specific Phobia to make it accessible to a child with Minimally-Verbal ASD. The intervention included four 3-hour sessions conducted over the course of four days. Assessment sessions were conducted before treatment, and 1 week and 3 months following treatment. The client’s phobia symptoms decreased following the intervention at both the post-treatment and follow-up sessions. The Reliable Change Index (RCI) was calculated to evaluate changes from pre-treatment to post-treatment and follow-up and demonstrated a clinically significant decrease in phobia symptomology following intervention. The results suggest the potential efficacy for a brief, intensive CBT treatment for a child with Minimally-Verbal ASD and a severe phobia.

 
102.

Integrating Therapy Dog Into Social Skills Therapy for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE DOTSON (Texas Tech University), Wesley H. Dotson (Texas Tech University), Alexandra Protopopova (Texas Tech University)
Abstract:

Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) can increase social behavior in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although the mechanism by which this occurs remains elusive. The central goal of this project is to identify the mechanisms involved in the social-enhancing effect of dogs on adolescents with ASD. We will incorporate therapy dogs into an established evidence-based, social skills program for adolescents with ASD, using a controlled experimental design with between- and within- subject comparisons and physiological and behavioral outcome measures. We predict therapy dogs to have a specific and measurable effect on adolescents’ social behavior and that this effect is gained through identifiable mechanisms. We enrolled 18 students with ASD into 3 different social skills classes taught by 6 therapists. Each child will experienced a 10-week, 6-student class in which either (a) the first 5 weeks will involve a therapy dog, (b) the last 5 weeks will involve the therapy dog, or (c) the class will not involve a therapy dog. We will repeat the measures with new students in the fall and spring. The therapists will teach the courses repeatedly across the three cycles of the program with different adolescents, rotating through each condition. Social behavior, stress behavior, heart rate, electrodermal activity, and salivary cortisol concentrations of adolescents and therapists will be assessed and compared across conditions as well as skill acquisition. Skill acquisition is measure through Behavioral Skills Training (BST). During the first class, therapists probed each skills the students would be learning and repeated the probe during the last class. We compared the average percent improvement from baseline to the end of intervention across the three conditions. The outcomes of this research will lead to significant enhancements in current interventions for individuals with ASD.

 
104.

Incorporating Cultural Values When Teaching ABA Principles Within a Parent Training Program

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JUNIE LAZO-PEARSON (Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.), Berenice Aceves (Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.), Alexia Barnes (Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.)
Abstract:

Culture plays an important role in a parent training. As part of our ethical responsibility, we are expected to seek training, experience, consultation, and/or the necessary supervision when differences (e.g., age, race, culture, ethnicity, etc) affect the competence of our services (BACB 2015). Behavior analysts should implement culturally informed interventions (Fong et al., 2014). This study aimed to identify the cultural values of Latino, Asian, African American, and Caucasian families and compare the alignment of those values to the principles of applied behavior analysis with the number of goals met during a 3, 6, or 9 month reporting period. Data collected revealed incongruencies between the principles of behavior analysis and cultural values among the families surveyed. Caucasian families met 100% of their goals within three months of the initiation of services. Asian families met their parent education goals within 6-9 months, while Latino and African American families met their goals after 9 months of the initiation of services. Cultural values may impact a parent’s rate of acquisition of new skills and mastery of goals; those values should be accounted for when designing an effective parent training program.

 
105. Evaluating the Effects of Open and Closed Economies on the Rate of Skill Acquisition
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANA MARIA MORENO PABON (University of Miami), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Jessica Gomez (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated the effect of reinforcer quality on the rate of skill acquisition. Another factor that may influence the reinforcing efficacy of stimuli with roughly equal quality is the broader context in which those reinforcers are available. In behavioral economics, these differences are described as open economy and closed economy. In a closed economy, reinforcer access is only available through the individual’s interaction with the experimental arrangement. In an open economy, consumption of reinforcers is not entirely dependent on within-session performance. In this study we evaluated the extent to which economy type influences the rate of skill acquisition during discrete trial training (DTT). The participants were Adam, a 6-year-old in a self-contained public school classroom, and Brody, a 3-year-old in a private clinic program. The preliminary results indicate that Adam acquired the target stimuli faster in the closed economy condition, and the Brody acquired the target stimuli faster in the open economy condition; indicating that the broader context of reinforcer economy can have influence over the rate of skill acquisition when utilizing roughly equal quality reinforcers.
 
106.

The Separate and Combined Effects of Non-Contingent Reinforcement of Alternative Stimulatory Behavior and Punishment on the Frequency of Masturbation of a Child Diagnosed With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA MEDLYN (Great Leaps Learning Center), Andrea R Herrington (Great Leaps Learning Center), Beth Long (Great Leaps Learning Center), David Bicard (Great Leaps Learning Center)
Abstract:

A three-year-old diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder engaged in high-frequency masturbation in clinical and home settings. A functional assessment suggested the masturbation was a function of sensory stimulation. Multiple research-based procedures showed little effect in decreasing the behavior. We used procedures similar to Luiselli, Helfen, Pemberton, and Reisman (1977), that included non-contingent access to a vibrating pillow to hug and brief contingent exercise on the occurrence of masturbation. The masturbation was systematically reduced in clinic, after-school, and home settings. During follow-up, a brief experimental design showed that treatment effects were best accounted for by contingent exercise.

 
108.

County-Level Geographic Variation in Spatial Accessibility of BCBAs Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARISSA ELLEN YINGLING (University of Louisville), Matthew Ruther (University of Louisville), Erick M. Dubuque (University of Louisville), David Mandell (University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract:

This study examined variation in geographic access to BCBAs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Between March 2019 and May 2019, we integrated publicly available data from the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s certificant registry, and US Census. We included US counties in 49 states (N=3,043). Using GIS software, we assigned BCBAs to counties based on their residence, allocated children via school districts to counties, and generated per-capita ASD/BCBA ratios. Using a modified Jenks Natural Breaks Classification method, we assigned counties to five categories of per-capita ratios. To illustrate distribution, we developed several national maps. Results demonstrate very uneven county-level BCBA distribution across the US. Approximately half of all counties had no BCBA. Counties in the highest accessibility category included <=5 children per BCBA while counties in the lowest accessibility category included >=100 children per BCBA. Eighty-two of the 3,043 counties with highest ASD prevalence had no BCBA; 13 of the 3,043 counties with highest ASD prevalence had no BCBA in the county or in neighboring counties. To improve access to behavior analytic services, we must identify factors driving unequal distribution that can inform provider recruitment and retention efforts in underserved areas.

 
109.

Personalized Feature Learning for Detection of Stereotypical Motor Movements in Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MASOUMEH HEIDARI KAPOURCHALI (University of Memphis), Bonny Banerjee (University of Memphis)
Abstract:

Stereotyped Motor Movements (SMMs), such as hand flapping or body rocking, are among the most common behaviors in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Automatic monitoring and detection of SMMs would enable timely intervention to cope with potentially problematic behaviors. In this study, a personalized feature learning method is used to learn the patterns of SMMs from 3-axis accelerometers worn by six individuals with ASD in a classroom environment. This open-access dataset (Goodwin et al. 2014) includes accelerometer data from two studies conducted three years apart. The features are first evaluated with respect to their discriminative significance and classification accuracy. Then, an online and unsupervised algorithm for SMM monitoring is proposed that uses the same feature learning method. It learns various SMM patterns from each subject which captures inter-individual differences and also changes in the same person's movements over time. The proposed algorithm does not require annotated data. The learned patterns provide insights for better understanding the nature of SMMs.

 
111. Project ALPHA: Infusing Behavior Science Within Applied Settings for Individuals With Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LINDSEY DENNIS (Missouri State University), Nicole Choate (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Annalise Giamanco (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Project ALPHA is a project underway at Missouri State University that attempts to infuse advances in relational frame theory into applied settings that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We provide an overview of this collaboration and resulting research from four applied locations (3 special education, 1 adult residential) across two Midwestern American states. Research includes pre-post analysis of global increases in language and cognition following 3-months of language training guided by the PEAK relational training system; analyses of internal validity of the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment; correlations between the PEAK Comprehensive assessment and intelligence with children and adults; and a pilot investigation of an ACTraining telehealth model conducted with two children with approximately normal IQ. The presenter will discuss how direct collaboration between researchers and implementers is foundational to maintaining the scientist-practitioner model that is the bedrock of applied behavior analysis.
 
 

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