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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #462
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Skills Training: Evaluations and Applications of Training Procedures Across Consumers
Monday, May 25, 2020
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence D
Area: TBA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth J. Preas (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute )
CE Instructor: Elizabeth J. Preas, Ph.D.

Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) to train staff and caregivers to implement various behavioral interventions and to teach young children socially significant skills. Efficacious and efficient training and teaching procedures remain an essential focus of research for scientists and practitioners; especially, for special populations and complex skills. The purpose of this symposium is to discuss evaluations and applications of BST procedures across consumers of behavior analytic services. In the first presentation, Arthur assessed the effects of BST to teach safety skills to children with Williams Syndrome. The second presentation by Plattner, Van Boxel, and Proctor examined a BST protocol to train staff to implement pairing procedures with children with autism. The third paper by Preas and Mathews evaluated and compared the effects of BST versus feedback alone to train caregivers to implement activities of daily living skills teaching procedures with their child with autism. The presenters will include a discussion of future directions for research and applications of BST.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, caregiver training, staff training
Target Audience:

BCBA-D, BCBA, BCaBA, RBT, LP, LBA (researchers, clinicians, and practitioners)

Learning Objectives: Participants will identify the components of behavioral skills training. Describe training strategies to teach staff and caregivers to implement behavioral interventions, as well as, strategies to teach children safety skills. Evaluate the implications for traditional, modified, or additional training components to BST packages to teach skills across consumers effectively.

Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Children With Williams Syndrome Safe Responding to Strangers

SHANNON ARTHUR (Endicott College)

Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder affecting 1in 7500 to 1 in 20,000 people. A trademark characteristic of Williams syndrome is hypersociability; being overly friendly and socially disinhibited which puts this population at risk for social vulnerability, exploitation, and abuse. This is a significant concern for parents of children with WS and warrants intervention. The current study used a multiple baseline probe design across participants to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) to teach safe responding to strangers in children with WS. The study consisted of three phases: 1) baseline in situ assessments in community settings, 2) BST in the home setting, and 3) in situ assessments in the community following mastery of BST. One participant responded with all four components taught during BST and post-BST in situ assessments by the second probe. The second participant scored low during initial post-BST in situ assessments and required a booster BST session. Following the booster session, the second participant responded appropriately to lures of strangers during in situ assessments. The results suggest that BST can be an effective procedure for teaching responding to strangers with this population.

Use of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Staff Effective Pairing Strategies
CALANDRA E. PLATTNER (Endicott College), Kelsey Leigh Van Boxel (Access Family Services), Kaitlyn Proctor (Access Family Services)
Abstract: A critical component of effective applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment includes training staff to adequately build rapport (i.e., pairing) with clients before implementing program goals. Parsons, Rollyson, and Reid (2012) identified an evidence-based behavioral skills training (BST) protocol for training human service staff that focuses on an effective, efficient, and acceptable approach to training staff. The purpose of the current study was to use a BST protocol including video models, role-play, and on-the-job training to train staff to effectively pair with clients. Participants included five behavior technicians at a behavioral health agency providing ABA services to children with autism. Data from baseline and post-training assessments were collected from participant’s interactions with two mock clients, in addition to generalization probes, which we assessed by observing each technician pair with one of their current clients. This study identified five key components for pairing with clients, which included responding to the child’s vocalizations, describing/narrating play, providing praise, and refraining from asking questions or placing demands. Data demonstrated that the use of BST successfully trained staff to implement each key component skill of pairing with generalized and lasting effects.
Evaluation of Caregiver Training Procedures to Teach Activities of Daily Living Skills
ELIZABETH J. PREAS (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Therese L. Mathews (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Caregivers of children with an autism spectrum disorder are often responsible for assisting their child to complete activities of daily living skills. Effective and efficient caregiver training methods are needed to train caregivers. The present study used two concurrent multiple-baseline across participants design to evaluate the effects of real-time feedback and behavioral skills training to train 8 caregivers to implement teaching procedures for activities of daily living skills with their child. We assessed caregivers’ accuracy and correct implementation of the 6-component teaching procedure after receiving either real-time feedback or behavioral skills training. Caregivers from both groups mastered and maintained correct implementation of the teaching procedures with their child. The overall results suggest that real-time feedback and behavioral skills training are efficacious to train caregivers to implement activity of daily living skills procedures with their child, and that real-time feedback may be an efficient alternative method to train caregivers.



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