|Effective Treatments Without Extinction
|Sunday, May 24, 2020
|3:00 PM–4:50 PM
|Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 202B
|Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Jessica Slaton (Nashoba Learning Group)
|Discussant: Mahshid Ghaemmaghami (University of the Pacific)
|CE Instructor: Jessica Slaton, Ph.D.
Extinction is a common component in treatment plans, and there is evidence indicating that interventions with extinction produce more robust effects than those without extinction. However, extinction may also produce undesirable side effects such as a burst in responding or the occurrence of emotional responding, which can make extinction difficult to implement in some settings. It is therefore important to investigate and develop effective interventions that do not rely on extinction. This symposium presents several interventions across different types of behavior change problems: teaching academic skills, treating food selectivity, and reducing problem behavior. The first study in this symposium used a multielement design to compare differential reinforcement contingencies without extinction to teach academic skills to three children with autism. The second study used a multielement design to compare two types of food presentation arrangements without extinction to increase consumption of nonpreferred foods for two children with autism. The third study includes data sets in which problem behavior was reduced and functional communication was acquired for two children with autism without the use of extinction. The fourth study presents data on the use of task choice as an antecedent intervention to decrease escape-maintained problem behavior without the use of extinction.
|Instruction Level: Intermediate
|Keyword(s): differential reinforcement, extinction, food selectivity, functional communication
The appropriate target audience for this presentation includes BCBAs who provide services to clients with autism and who are responsible for designing programs to address problem behavior, acquisition of early academic skills, or food selectivity. It is also applicable to BCBAs who wish to learn about alternatives to using extinction for addressing behavior change problems outside of these specific categories.
|Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe an alternative to extinction for prompted responses during skill acquisition programs. 2. Participants will describe the methods for simultaneous versus sequential presentation of food to increase consumption, including an alternative to escape extinction. 3. Participants will describe one alternative to extinction during functional communication training to address severe problem behavior.
|Evaluating the Efficacy of and Preference for Reinforcer Variation and Choice to Teach Academic Skills
|LAURA A HANRATTY (Elms College), Miranda Fogg (Elms College), Alyssa Jean Clark (Elms College), Christopher Tamburrino (Elms College)
|Abstract: This study evaluated the efficacy of reinforcer variation and choice in teaching academic skills, without the use of extinction. Participants included three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Participants were exposed to four differential reinforcement conditions, all without extinction. In the Varied condition, correct responses resulted in the delivery of one of three high-preference reinforcers, while prompted responses resulted in the delivery of the same high-preference reinforcer. In the Choice A condition, correct responses resulted in the participant choice from three high-preference reinforcers, while prompted responses resulted in the delivery of one of the three high-preference reinforcers. In the Choice B condition, correct responses resulted in the participant choice from three high-preference reinforcers, while prompted responses resulted in the delivery of one high-preference reinforcer. In the Constant condition, correct or prompted responses resulted in the delivery of one high-preference reinforcer. The results showed that two participants reached mastery in fewer sessions in the Choice B condition, while the other reached mastery in fewer sessions with the Constant condition. Following the efficacy evaluation preference for differential reinforcement condition as assessed in a concurrent-chains arrangement. All participants demonstrated a preference for the Choice B condition.
|Simultaneous and Sequential Presentation of Preferred and Nonpreferred Foods to Increase Consumption
|MORGAN DAVIS (Nashoba Learning Group), Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College), Jessica Slaton (Nashoba Learning Group)
|Abstract: A comparison of two methods of food presentation (simultaneous vs. sequential) without extinction was conducted to increase consumption of nonpreferred foods for two children with autism and a history of food selectivity. In the simultaneous condition, food was presented at the same time (e.g., a carrot was presented behind a cracker). The nonpreferred food was always hidden within or behind a preferred food item, so the participant was not aware of what they were consuming. In the sequential condition, acceptance of a nonpreferred bite of food was reinforced with a bite of preferred food. The preferred food item remained within eye sight during the presentation of nonpreferred food. In both conditions, the target bite was removed if it was not consumed after 30 seconds (i.e., extinction in the form of non-removal of the spoon was not used). Conditions were compared in a multielement design. Consumption of nonpreferred foods increased for both participants in the sequential condition. Upon mastery of target foods in the sequential condition, the target foods from the simultaneous condition were transferred to the sequential condition and consumption immediately increased. Results are discussed in relation to foods used, decreasing aversiveness, and avoidance of the spoon.
Functional Communication Training Without Extinction in a School Setting
|JESSICA SLATON (Nashoba Learning Group), Kate Raftery (Nashoba Learning Group), Christina Caruso (Nashoba Learning Group), David DePetris (Nashoba Learning Group)
Functional communication training (FCT) is recognized as the treatment of choice for problem behavior and is more likely to be effective when a pre-treatment FA is conducted. There is also some indication that FCT is more likely to be effective when combined with extinction (e.g., Hagopian et al., 1998). However, extinction as a component of FCT may not always be possible or practical in some settings, and in some cases the severity of the problem behavior may preclude extinction as a treatment option. The current project presents data collected in a school setting for four children with autism and severe problem behavior who experienced FCT without the use of extinction. A pre-treatment FA was used to identify reinforcers maintaining the problem behavior. During treatment sessions, all of these reinforcers were provided for appropriate communication, and some of these reinforcers were provided following problem behavior. A reversal design was used to evaluate treatment effects. Communication responses were acquired for all children and problem behavior was reduced by over 90% from baseline, including during reinforcement thinning phases. Each student also experienced a significant reduction in the use of emergency physical restraint required at school.
Effects of Choice Making on Escape Maintained Behavior of Children With Autism
|JACQUELYN M. MACDONALD (Regis College), Julia Volchok (Regis College)
The purpose of this study was to extend a previous study conducted by Romaniuk et al. (2002) that evaluated the effects of choice making on problem behavior maintained by escape. Three young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder participated. A functional analysis was conducted to confirm that problem behavior for all three children was maintained by escape from demands. Following the identification of the problem behavior’s maintaining variable, we used a reversal to design to compare compliance with demands during a condition in which choice of task was provided and during a condition in which no choice of task was provided. Extinction for problem behavior was not used in either condition. Compliance with demands was higher during choice conditions for both participants, indicating the efficacy of offering task choice as an antecedent intervention for addressing escape-maintained problem behavior without the use of extinction. These results were replicated further in generalization settings for each participant.