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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46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #119
CE Offered: BACB
Ensuring Effective Dissemination and Advancement of Critical System Variables in Autism Intervention Programs
Saturday, May 23, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 202A
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dawn B. Townsend (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Institute for Educational Achievement)
Discussant: Gina Green (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Gina Green, Ph.D.
Abstract:

In 1993, McClannahan and Krantz published a critical paper about the importance of system variables and accountability in autism intervention programs, based on their work at the Princeton Child Development Institute. This seminal paper defined critical independent and dependent variables affecting autism intervention programs and the importance of the dissemination of this information. These system variables have been incorporated into an effective science-based intervention model that has been consistently implemented to produce meaningful outcomes by the members of the Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention (ASAI). ASAI members have expanded and elaborated on those system variables to ensure the preservation, extension, and dissemination of excellence and effective science-based intervention services for individuals with autism. The purpose of this presentation is to share information about standards of excellence with regard to clinical and administrative systems and governance for autism intervention agencies; as well as the importance of dissemination and implementation of these system variables. Data collected from multiple autism intervention programs, both in the United States and abroad, will be presented to demonstrate the fidelity of the model and the beneficial outcomes achieved for individuals with autism, and consumers of such services, as a result of the implementation of the science-based model.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism intervention, dissemination, service delivery, system variables
Target Audience:

Professionals in behavior analysis, autism program directors, education professionals, and clinicians serving individuals with autism who hold certification in behavior analysis or BA, MA, Ph.D. level degrees.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will understand the importance of system variables in the delivery of autism intervention services. 2. Participants will be able to identify meaningful outcome measures to assess program performance. 3. Participants will be able to identify independent and dependent variables related to dissemination of autism intervention programs.
 
Ensuring a Competent and Professional Staff in Autism Intervention Programs
ANNA BUDZINSKA (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Iwona Ruta-Sominka (Institute for Child Development, Poland), Susan M. Vener (New York Child Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Eric Rozenblat (Institute for Educational Achievement), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Lynn E. McClannahan (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Patricia J. Krantz (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Dawn B. Townsend (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Institute for Educational Achievement)
Abstract: The number of intervention programs for individuals with autism has grown in recent years and many of them are based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) (Dawson & Bernier, 2013; Eikeseth, 2011). This increase should be correlated with the growth in number of qualified clinicians. The Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention (ASAI) professional training and evaluation model, originally developed by Krantz and McClannahan (1994, 1997) is a supportive process for building the skills of autism interventionists. The protocol involves both hands-on training and didactic instruction designed to facilitate the delivery of high quality and consistent services (Krantz & McClannahan, 2014. The evaluation protocol enables evaluators to assess critical skills relevant to providing intervention and the oral and written feedback given to the therapist ensures goal setting and accountability. Each staff member is formally evaluated via the ASAI professional evaluation protocol and the results of the training are reviewed annually. Data collected across the last 10 years, demonstrate the effectiveness of the model and its correlation with the functioning of the institution and positive learner outcomes. When reviewing the collective data across the ASAI member programs, it is evident that the evaluation process is a crucial element for an intervention program.
 
Evaluation of Learner Outcomes in School Programs
SUSAN M. VENER (New York Child Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Eric Rozenblat (Institute for Educational Achievement), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Anna Budzinska (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Lynn E. McClannahan (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Patricia J. Krantz (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Dawn B. Townsend (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Institute for Educational Achievement)
Abstract: External evaluation of learner outcomes in school programs can help a program analyze data and provide recommendation for improving intervention. The importance of the feedback produced by the evaluation depends on the ability of the program to use the feedback to improve practice. The purpose of this presentation is (a) to describe the evaluation protocols and systems created by McClannahan and Krantz (1993) to assess learner performance in school programs, (b) to discuss the implementation of these evaluation systems across the Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention member programs, (c) to present the instructional and treatment data collected across schools, and (d) to discuss the importance of modifications made to the protocols and evaluation systems based on the evaluative data produced. In particular, this presentation will address the changes made to the protocol over the past 10 years to ensure and better measure the generality of behavior change within and across school programs. Overall, this presentation will provide insight into the implementation of the systems designed by McClannahan and Krantz to ensure the continual improvement of autism intervention and learner outcomes.
 

Extension of the ASAI Model into the Home and Community for Children With Autism

KEVIN J. BROTHERS (Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Susan M. Vener (New York Child Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Eric Rozenblat (Institute for Educational Achievement), Anna Budzinska (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Lynn E. McClannahan (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Patricia J. Krantz (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Dawn B. Townsend (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Institute for Educational Achievement)
Abstract:

Incorporating parents and other care-givers into the treatment delivery team for children with autism has long been recognized as essential (Strain, Schwartz, and Barton, 2011) to producing meaningful outcomes. In this presentation we will describe the ASAI home programming model and the process by which parents of children with autism are systematically engaged with school-based service providers (i.e, teachers, staff trainers, and behavior analysts) to develop and display relevant teaching skills with their children. This presentation will also describe how the ASAI home-programming model is designed to promote the generalization of skills on the part of the child with autism to their homes and communities. Data from the most recent 5 years on relevant independent variables (e.g., program-wide summaries of number of visits made) as well as on child outcomes and generalization data will be shared. These data will demonstrate the level of home-programming intensity representative of ASAI member organizations and will show both skill acquisition and generalization of important home and community skills.

 
Opinions Matter: The Importance of Social Validity Measures as a Prompt System for Change
ERIC ROZENBLAT (Institute for Educational Achievement), Donna De Feo (Institute for Educational Achievement), Susan M. Vener (New York Child Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Anna Budzinska (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention), Lynn E. McClannahan (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Patricia J. Krantz (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Princeton Child Development Institute), Dawn B. Townsend (Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention; Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention)
Abstract: The science of applied behavior analysis relies heavily on objective measurement to determine the effectiveness of intervention practices. However, subjective measurement, specifically social validity, is also of great importance, especially when working with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Wolf (1978) discussed the importance of social validity as it relates to the defined goals, social appropriateness of the procedures used, and the social importance of the effects of behavior change procedures. Asking consumer groups to evaluate these aspects produces accountability among groups, and this is arguably an important dimension in linking program outcomes to all program participants (McClannahan, MacDuff, & Krantz, 2002). Across each ASAI program, the same social validity measures are used to evaluate program effectiveness. As demonstrated by the data, reliability within and across each program year over year are evident. Additionally, some ASAI programs have also extended their social validity measures to employers of adult learners with autism as they enter the workforce. Social validity data from the ASAI programs across a 10-year span from the various consumer groups will be presented and discussed relative to achieving desirable outcomes. This presentation is geared toward professionals who work with individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities.
 

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