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 #567
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advancements in Training Procedures to Teach Safety Skills
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty N-P
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alexandra Marie Campanaro (Caldwell University )
Discussant: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: Timothy D. Ludwig, M.A.

The current symposium includes four papers broadly focused on teaching safety skills. The first paper will present on the use of interactive computerized training to teach educators how to respond during an active shooter event. They found that after the interactive computerized training, all participants met treatment fidelity criterion, which maintained after a 2-week follow up. The second paper will present comparing in-person behavior skills training, computer-based training, and video modeling to teach safety skills to sidewalkers at equine-assisted therapies. They found participants in the in-vivo BST and interactive computer training conditions completed more steps correctly in a post-training role-play than the participants in the video model condition. The third paper will present using behavior skills training to teach generalized responding of safe sleeping positions of infants to adults. They found behavior skills training significantly improved appropriate arrangement of a safe sleep environment for infants. The final paper will present using behavior skills training to teach swim skills to children with autism. They found behavior skills training showed some improvements in learning swim skills.

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


Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to describe how to implement behavior skills training to produce emergent responding. Attendees will be able to describe the use of interactive computerized training to produce emergent responding. Attendees will be able to describe how to teach safety skills to individuals with developmental disabilities to produce emergent responding.
An Interactive Computerized Training to Teach Educators How to Respond During an Active Shooter Situation
LORRAINE A BECERRA (University of Missouri), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Annie Galizio (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University ), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University ), Kassidy Reinert (Utah State University )
Abstract: Educators are in a unique position during active shooter events as they must decide to prioritize actions that will protect their students. Depending on the situation, the educator should engage in a Run, Hide, or Fight response. Issues related to a student’s disability may create barriers to these already challenging emergency situations. Interactive computerized training is a successful training method to teach educators to implement instruction to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of this study was to extend the literature on interactive computerized training by investigating its effects on teaching educators how to respond during an active shooter event. After completing the interactive computerized training, all participants met criterion of 90% fidelity within the Run and Hide checklists. Participants met criterion at a 2-week follow up. Furthermore, all participants indicated that they enjoyed the interactive computerized training materials. Potential limitations and future directions related to interactive computerized training and safety skills training are discussed.
Comparing Behavioral Skills Training, Video Modeling, and Interactive Computer Training to Teach Sidewalker Safety Skills
SARAH BRADTKE (West Virginia University ), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), Emily K. Hull (West Virginia University), Natalie Ruth Shuler (West Virginia University ), Stephanie Jones (West Virginia University), Sijin Wen (West Virginia University ), Bethany Smiley (On Eagles' Wings), Carol Petitto (On Eagles' Wings)
Abstract: Few studies have investigated effective and efficient volunteer training methods, despite the importance of volunteers in many human-service organizations. Effective training procedures are particularly critical for organizations whose volunteers are responsible for safety. For example, sidewalker volunteers at equine-assisted activities and therapies facilities help to maintain the safety of mounted riders with disabilities. It is thus imperative that sidewalkers acquire safety skills and perform them proficiently. The current practice of using in-person behavioral skills training, although effective, limits the number of sidewalkers who can be trained because of constraints on trainer time and resources. Therefore, we compared two efficient training methods, a standard video model (in which participants watched a video without responding to questions) and interactive computer training (in which participants watched the same videos in modules, with embedded active responding questions), to in-person training (behavioral skills training) in the context of training new volunteers at an equine-assisted activities and therapies facility.
Sleeping Beauties: Teaching Adults to Arrange Safe Infant Sleep Environments
JACQUELINE CARROW (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), April N. Kisamore (Hunter College)
Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there are approximately 3,607 sleep related infant deaths each year in the United States. Attempts to teach medical personnel and parents safe infant sleep practices in the infant sleep training literature have demonstrated mixed results. Thus, strategies to teach arrangements of safe infant sleep environments warrants further investigation. Behavioral skills training is an evidenced-based teaching strategy shown to successfully teach various safety skills to children and adults. Additionally, the use of behavioral skills training in training practices have also shown more robust outcomes compared to traditional educational approaches. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of behavioral skills training to teach safe infant sleep practices to adults of typical development. Specifically, differential responding was assessed across multiple environmental arrangements typical to contexts parents may be exposed to when putting an infant to sleep. Results demonstrated behavioral skills training to significantly improve appropriate arrangement of a safe sleep environment for infants for all eight participants.

Teaching Water Safety Skills to Children With Autism Using a Train-the-Trainer Model

ROSE NEVILL (University of Virginia), Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism), Amber Hardin (University of Virginia), Emily Meltzer (University of Virginia), Wendy Byun (University of Virginia ), Lauren Haskins (Virginia Institute of Autism)

Drowning is a leading cause of death in individuals with autism (Guan & Li, 2017a, Guan & Li, 2017b). In this study, swim instructors were instructed in behavioral skills training as a method for teaching water safety to children with autism. Targeted skills were a) safely exiting a body of water; b) rolling from front to back while in water; and c) floating while yelling for help. This study is an extension of Tucker & Ingvarsson (2017), in which three children with autism were taught the same skills by a swim instructor who also had background in behavior analysis. We aimed to evaluate whether swim instructors with no background in behavior analysis could be trained to effectively teach water safety to children to a larger sample. Data from our first three participants (males, ages 6, 8, 10) showed variable improvement in skills in the behavioral skills training phase for all skills. We will present the model of training, outcome data across participants, and data from generalization and maintenance probes. Conclusions regarding the utility of this training protocol, the social acceptability to parents, and recommendations for future water safety training programs will be shared.




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