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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Poster Session #98
Saturday, May 23, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Hall D
Chair: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
165.

Lag Schedules to Increase Play and Decrease Stereotypy in Children With Autism on a Playground

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CECILIA MARTINEZ (Texas State University), Reem Muharib (Texas State University), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract:

Play is critical for a healthy cognitive, social and emotional development of children (Lifter, Foster-Sanda, Arzmarski, Briesch, & McClure, 2011). Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often do not engage in appropriate play and tend to display stereotypic behaviors (Cunningham & Schreibman, 2008; Lang et al., 2009). In this study, we examined the effects of lag schedules of reinforcement on play and stereotypy of three children with ASD (ages 9 to 12 years old) on a playground during recess in a summer camp. During intervention, children were reminded to engage in a variety of play behaviors and received praise that emphasized change in play behavior. All children remained in a Lag 1 schedule throughout intervention. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, the results indicated an increase of the frequency and variability of appropriate play using the playground equipment and a concurrent decrease of stereotypy of all three children. However, no increases of opportunities for social interaction between the participants and their peers were observed which warrants further research. We will discuss the results and provide recommendations for future research and practice.

 
166. Further Evaluations of a Multiple Schedule of Reinforcement Following Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARIAH GONZALES (Texas State University ), Reem Muharib (Texas State University-San Marcos), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often display problem behavior (Dominick et al., 2007) that may result from a lack of communication skills (Park, Yelland, Taffe, & Gray, 2012). Functional communication training (FCT) is an evidence-based practice (Wong et al., 2013) commonly used to treat problem behavior maintained by socially mediated consequences (Tiger & Hanley, 2008). However, FCT may be impractical to implement in natural settings because it requires reinforcing the child’s communicative responses on a dense fixed-ratio schedule. We evaluated the effects of a multiple schedule of reinforcement for two children diagnosed with ASD in a school setting. After functional analyses indicated both children’s problem behaviors were maintained by access to preferred items, traditional functional communication training was implemented. Next, we introduced a fixed-sequence multiple schedule of reinforcement with one S-Delta, followed by a resurgence test. Data indicated the treatment was effective for one child while the other child required an alternative activity procedure. Resurgence of problem behavior was observed in the child who did not receive an alternative activity procedure. Further, data showed some generalized responding across teachers and settings. We will discuss our findings and offer future directions for research in the area of schedule thinning.
 
167.

Teaching Identification of Complex Emotions to Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KHIELA ACHURRA (Easterseals of Southern California), Nicole Dileva (Easterseals of Southern California), Randi Xu (Easterseals of Southern California), Jacob Roach (Easterseals of Southern California), Joyce Tu (Easterseals of Southern California)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract:

In this study, we examine the effects of video modeling to teach complex emotions across seven children diagnosed with autism. Each participant was shown five short video clips and identified characteristics such as, body language, facial expression, voice, and volume. The results suggest that video modeling can quickly promote skill acquisition in identifying complex emotions across all participants.

 
168.

Treatment of Motor Stereotypies through Antecedent Excercise in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
FRANCESCA SICILIANO (Aliter - Cooperativa Sociale), Nicola Cefalo (Aliter Cooperativa Sociale), Michael Nicolosi (Queen's University Belfast; Voce nel Silenzio Onlus)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often show motor stereotypies that could represent barriers to learn functional behaviours. Some studies showed that antecedent exercise (AE), a procedure based on physical activity, can effectively decrease the rate of motor stereotypies. One study in particular applied AE through an indoor elliptical bike in a home setting. The aim of the present study is to replicate this finding on AE in a center-based intervention. One 6 years old child with ASD, male, participated in the study. The procedures involved fading of the prompt for the correct jogging position and movements, shaping of the jogging sessions duration and positive reinforcement available at the end of a correct jogging session. The jogging sessions were performed as an AE in order to reduce motor stereotypies. Collected data indicate that AE is successful in decreasing the target behaviours in a center-based intervention. The findings could have important implications for the treatment of motor stereotypies in people with ASD.

 
169. Stimulus Fading as a Treatment for Severe Aversion to Specific Words in a School Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN DOUGLAS ZANGERLE (The Y.A.L.E. School), Allison Parker (The Y.A.L.E. School), Kayla Centone (The Y.A.L.E. School)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: Words and gestures acquiring aversive qualities can negatively impact the ability for individuals to succeed in an academic setting, or even inhibit the creation of a therapeutic environment. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of stimulus fading as a treatment for severe avoidance of specific words in a school setting. The participant is an eight year old girl with autism spectrum disorder attending a self-contained special education school. The participant emitted an avoidance response under the control of a specific verbal and gestural stimulus. A stimulus fading intervention was introduced. The participant displayed a tolerance response during initial phases of the intervention, and it is hypothesized that this tolerance response will continue as stimuli are presented in increasing magnitudes. We also hypothesize that programming for generalization will result in a decrease in avoidance responding within the classroom. We predict that the results of this study will demonstrate that stimulus fading can unmatch stimuli with aversive qualities, reduce avoidance responding, and that the effects of intervention can be generalized to and maintained in an academic setting.
 
170.

Conversations and Social Initiations in Young Adults With Autism and Intellectual Disability

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA C. CHEZAN (Old Dominion University), Erik Drasgow (University of South Carolina), Elise Grybos (Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and co-occurring moderate intellectual disability (ID) have deficits in conversations because of challenges in interpreting vocal and nonvocal responses and in identifying appropriate moments to initiate, maintain, or terminate conversations. Our purpose in this study was to increase conversations in three young adults with ASD and co-occurring moderate ID. First, we used an intervention package consisting of Behavior Skills Training (BST) and Covert Audio Coaching (CAC) to promote acquisition and maintenance of conversations with coworkers. Second, we implemented CAC during naturally-occurring opportunities at an internship site. Third, we examined if initiations with coworkers increased during and after participants learned to initiate, maintain, and terminate conversations. We used a concurrent multiple-baseline design across participants with continuous acquisition probes to evaluate the effects of the intervention in producing acquisition and maintenance of conversations and increasing the frequency of initiations. Results demonstrate that the intervention was effective in producing acquisition and maintenance of the target skills in all three young adults. Data also indicate that participants initiated more interactions with coworkers as conversational competence increased.

 
171. Establishing Teacher's Instructional Control during Whole Group Instruction in a Special Education Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN LAYMAN (University of Southern Mississippi; Spectrum Academy and Clinical Services at New Summit School), Meleah Ackley (University of Southern Mississippi; Spectrum Academy and Clinical Services at New Summit School), Andrew Joseph Rozsa (University of Southern Mississippi; Spectrum Academy and Clinical Services at New Summit School), Marshall Lundy (University of Southern Mississippi; Spectrum Academy and Clinical Services at New Summit School), Kelli Harrison (Spectrum Academy and Clinical Services at New Summit School)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: The ultimate goal for students at a specialized school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays is to transition to a general education setting. Each classroom in the specialized school is comprised of three staff members (e.g., teachers and Registered Behavior Technicians) and six to seven students, resulting is about a 2:1 ratio of students to staff. Baseline results found that the frequency of verbal prompts by the support staff were high, while lead teachers had low counts of behavior specific praise. Support staff also consequently provided higher levels of praise compared to lead teachers. To successfully transition to the general education setting, students should be prepared for decreased frequency of prompting from support staff. A multiple probe design was utilized to facilitate training across five classrooms. Behavior targets included delivery of behavior specific praise by the teacher and support staff following a non-verbal prompting hierarchy (i.e., model/gestural prompts, partial physical prompt, full physical prompt). Results show that training was effective in increasing the teachers’ behavior specific praise and decreasing support staffs’ verbal praise and prompts for all classrooms. Additionally, student problem behavior decreased in four out of the five classrooms.
 
172. Supporting Family to Support Each other
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
FAN YU LIN (ALSOLIFE)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: There is a great impact when a family receive a diagnosis of autism on their child. In addition to emotional support to cope with the reality, the family need to access service systems and obtain continued empowerment from professionals. However, as of Oct 2019, the total number of BCBA-D, BCBA, and BCaBA in China is merely 138, only 46 of whom are located in mainland China. On top of the shortage of professionals, more than 80% of autism support centers are clustered around the mega-cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Schengen. As a result, the need for services for families with children with ASD living in distant areas of China is imminent. Online family support group offers potentials to extend family centered ASD services through the use of technology. This study proposes a model of an online family support group that intends to provide a platform for families to share experiences, build emotional bonding, ask questions and participate in discussion, and receive information about ASD and treatment from professionals. Such online groups are shown to further embed the use of behavior principles in group management, aiming to enhance group participation and positive process.
 
173.

The Impact of Peer-Mediated Video Modeling on Social Interactions of Adolescent Males Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEVEN G. LITTLE (Walden University), Cheryl Botting-Hammack (Access Behavioral Health Services), Angeleque Akin-Little (Walden University)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract:

Deficits in social communication and social interaction are key elements of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Video modeling (VM) has been successful in teaching new skills, particularly social communication skills, through short, targeted videos. However, prior research in VM has heavily focused on academic settings with elementary school age children. There is a gap in the literature on teaching social skills in natural settings to adolescents with ASD. This research used a single- subject, multiple-baseline design to examine the impact of VM on the social behaviors of adolescent males (n=3), diagnosed with ASD, in natural social settings. The dependent variable was scored for responses based on scripted verbalizations included in the video treatment, scripted social actions, and spontaneous reciprocal verbal interactions chains. Visual analysis, percentage of nonoverlapping data points, and effect size were used to evaluate data. In addition, social validity data on acceptability and satisfaction of the intervention were collected. Results indicated large effects for the adolescent participants when interacting socially in community settings and the treatment was found to be socially acceptable by adolescents and by habilitative intervention professionals.

 
174. Qswim: A Behavioral Curriculum to Teach Lifesaving Swim Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
VINCENT LAMARCA (Applied Behavior Center for Autism), Justin Reedy (Applied Behavior Center for Autism), Sherry Quinn (Applied Behavior Center for Autism)
Discussant: Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Abstract: A recent study on leisure activities found that individuals with autism enjoy swimming significantly more than typically developing peers (Eversole et al., 2016). At the same time, individuals with autism are three times more likely to die from drowning than typically developing peers (Shavelle, Strauss, & Pickett, 2001). While some individuals may learn to swim in typical swim programs, many need significant support and additional help. There are few swim trainings that focus on individuals with disabilities in general. There is currently no official swim instructor training to help teach children with autism. This poster highlights the collaborative efforts of behavior analysts and swim instructors to create a swim curriculum to meet those needs. Operational definitions, shaping of lifesaving swim skill behaviors, and behavioral strategies used in the curriculum will be highlighted. The poster hopes to serve as a discussion for all those interested in the application of behavior analysis to swim lessons.
 
175.

Sportsmanship Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Literature Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY GLUGATCH (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon), Kayleen Knutson (University of Oregon )
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

This systematic review summarizes and analyze the literature on sportsmanship interventions for individuals with autism. Sportsmanship skills are necessary for children to engage in game play with peers, cooperate in team sports, and participate in community leisure activities. Twenty-eight studies were included in this study that used experimental designs (single-case design and group design) that targeted sportsmanship behaviors. The results were summarized across participants, targeted behaviors, settings, interventions, and methodological rigor of the included studies. Different types of outcomes, such as play skills, social skills, and specific sportsmanship skills were targeted in the studies. Various types of behavioral interventions and strategies including group instruction, BST, video modeling, and token economies were implemented to improve sportsmanship behaviors for individuals with autism. Although most studies reported positive outcomes on the targeted social-communication behaviors, methodological limitations should be considered when interpreting the results as 64% of the studies included were of weak methodological rigor. Limitations of this review and implications for future research are discussed.

 
176.

Teaching Writing Skills to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ANA CAROLINA CAROLINA SELLA (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil), Williany Silva (Universidade Federal de Alagoas), Isvania dos Santos (Universidade Federal de Alagoas)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Writing skills are necessary in several circumstances: in school, writing is an indication of content learning; upon graduation people are expected to write in several contexts, from formal office tasks to text messaging on Instagram or Facebook. Besides the difficulties that are reported when teaching writing to any children (e.g., picture-spoken word - written word relations; letter shape discrimination), characteristics linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) seem to increase the likelihood of learning issues, such as use of language structure, initiation and termination of discourse, and perseverative comments. There is a scarcity of procedures for teaching writing to children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to systematically review intervention studies, published in peer review journals, that versed on teaching writing to children with ASD. We analyzed previous reviews on the topic and reviewed empirical studies from 2008 through 2018, according to several criteria. Five articles met all criteria, in all four phases, among 393 found. Three writing behaviors, subdivided into several dependent variables, have been targeted for intervention, which always included more than one procedure. Research is still needed to establish best practices for teaching writing to children with ASD.

 
177. Comparing Fixed and Incrementing Reinforcement Durations during Demand Fading Procedures
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KENDALL MAE KASTNER (Marquette University ), Margaret Rachel Gifford (Marquette University), Carissa Basile (Marquette University ), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Marquette University)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of compliance (DRC) is a common treatment for escape-maintained problem behavior. DRC is typically initiated with continuous reinforcement schedule (FR-1) for compliance; the schedule is then progressively increased to support more sustained work periods. The current study compared the efficacy of demand fading when (a) the duration of reinforcement was held constant across fading steps relative to (b) the duration of reinforcement increased as the work requirements increased. One individual with autism spectrum disorder referred for aggression and self-injurious behavior maintained by escape participated in this study. After initial exposure to FR-1 schedules for compliance resulting in a 30-s break period, sessions in which reinforcement durations were held constant at 30-s alternated in a multielement design with sessions in which reinforcement durations increased by 5 s for each increase in the FR schedule. Demand fading evoked substantively less problem behavior when reinforcement durations increased commensurate with work requirements.
 
178.

Animal-Assisted Interventions as an Adjunct to ABA Services: A Survey Study

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA GHAI (Boston University )
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) have become increasingly popular, especially within the field of autism (ASD). Unfortunately, there exists little empirical data on intervention prevalence or its effectiveness. To date, there exists no empirical data examining the use of AAI as an adjunct to ABA services. This study explored animal incorporation practices, perceived intervention desirability/feasibility, level of AAI knowledge and awareness, and perceptions/attitudes concerning AAI among active BACB certificants (RBT, BCaBA, BCBA, and BCBA-D certificants) working within the United States (including Puerto Rico). Participants, recruited via the BACB mass email service, were asked to complete a comprehensive, cross-sectional web-based survey developed with the input of 25 expert reviewers. This poster presents data from the Animal Incorporation Practices portion of the survey. A total of 544 BACB certificants participated in this survey study, of which roughly 20% (n=107) reported physically incorporating animal(s) into ABA services with their clients. Analysis of incorporation practices (e.g., intervention format, purpose of animal incorporation, and data collection procedures), individual animal characteristics (e.g., animal species and level of training), and perceived effectiveness of their practices was conducted. Discussion of these findings and how they relate to the Professional & Ethical Compliance Code and animal welfare considerations were presented.

 
179.

A Brief Assessment of Conversational Social Cue Deficits Among Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CATHERINE KISHEL (The University of Florida), Faris Rashad Kronfli (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Melanie Elaine Parks (University of Florida), Garret Hack (University of Florida)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Social skill deficits are common in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); such deficits include failure to make appropriate eye contact, discussion of conversation topics limited to personal interests, and the inability to determine whether a conversational partner is interested in continuing the conversation (Hood, Luczynski & Mitteer, 2017; Kisamore et al., 2018; Peters & Thompson, 2015). Social skill deficits may reduce opportunities for reinforcement obtained from social interaction, limit employment opportunities, and even result in social environments becoming conditioned punishers (Hendricks, 2010; Kross, Berman, Mischel, Smith, & Wager, 2011; Stussi, Pourtois, & Sander, 2018). The purpose of the current study was to develop a brief assessment to determine participant sensitivity to various social cues indicating uninterest in continuing a conversation. Results demonstrate that the assessment was successful in identifying specific social cue deficits related to conversation termination and that individuals demonstrated greater sensitivity to those cues following behavior skills training (BST). Furthermore, the assessment fit within an appointment-style meeting appropriate for high functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

 
180.

Evaluating Effectiveness of Antecedent-Based Interventions for Treatment of Challenging Behaviours in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Jingyi Chan (Nanyang Technological University - National Institute of Education), ANURADHA DUTT (Nanyang Technological University), Eunice Loe (Nanyang Technological University - National Institute of Education), Mo Chen (Nanyang Technological University - National Institute of Education)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviours among children with developmental disorders have been commonly reported. In addressing challenging behaviours, the use of Structural Analysis (SA) to investigate the influence of antecedent variables to develop antecedent-based interventions had garnered promising outcomes in recent decades. In this study, a single-subject multi-element experimental design was employed to evaluate effectiveness of using antecedent-based interventions to reduce challenging behaviours (vocalisations, self-injurious behaviours and hand-flapping behaviours) of three Singaporean young children between ages five and seven with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Three phases were conducted. In the first two phases, assessments in the form of Antecedent Analysis (baseline) and SA respectively. In phase three, parents implemented the intervention and data on treatment fidelity and social validity were collected. Results found a reduction in challenging behaviours across all participants during intervention compared to baseline. High social validity was reported based on parents’ rating on the Treatment Acceptability Rating Form.

 
181.

Further Analysis of Motor Versus Vocal Response Interruption and Redirection When Treating Automatically Maintained Vocal Stereotypy

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHERI MORSE (Behavioral concepts), Candice Colon-Kwedor (Behavioral Concepts ), Meagan Cannon (Sturbridge Public Schools )
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Past research has shown that response interruption and redirection (RIRD) decreases automatically maintained behaviors such as vocal stereotypy (VS) and in some cases increases appropriate vocalizations. For example, Ahearn et al. (2007) used RIRD to effectively treat vocal stereotypy by presenting vocal demands contingent upon VS. In addition, Ahrens et al. (2011) found that motor demands contingent upon VS were also effective in decreasing VS. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of motor RIRD versus vocal RIRD in relation to VS, appropriate vocalizations, compliance with each procedure and social validity measures with children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participant 1 had a limited vocal repertoire consisting of sounds and short word utterances. Participant 2 and 3 had established mand and tact repertoires. A reversal design was used to compare the effects of motor and vocal RIRD. During motor RIRD, VS was redirected to motor compliances (e.g. touch your nose, clap your hands). During vocal RIRD, VS was redirected to vocal compliances (e.g., tacting or vocal imitation). IOA was calculate din 33% of all sessions across all participants and averaged 95% overall. Results indicated that both motor RIRD and vocal RIRD produced lower levels of VS for all participants and increased appropriate vocalizations for one participant that had a vocal verbal repertoire. Although the vocal RIRD procedure increased appropriate vocals, the motor RIRD procedure demonstrates the utility of RIRD with individuals who have limited vocal verbal repertoires. In addition, compliance was higher during the motor RIRD condition for all participants. Clinical considerations regarding the effectiveness, preference, and social validity of the two procedures are also discussed.

 
182. A Sorting-to-Matching Strategy for Teaching Identity Matching of Complex Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GEGUEL FEDERICO LANDESTOY (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Robert Chiaccio (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Three adolescent boys with autism who attended a behaviorally based school participated in this study designed to remediate overselectivity in a tabletop compound identity matching task. A sorting-to-matching procedure was used to teach participants to match a two-stimulus sample to an identical comparison. We presented probe sessions following each step of the teaching procedure to determine whether some participants would reach criterion without completing all programmed steps. Performance on initial probes was consistent with stimulus overselectivity. Following training, performance on probes was at mastery level for all participants. Two participants met mastery criteria before the completion of all training steps. For one participant, we implemented a prompted scanning procedure due to position bias. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity for all participants was 100%. This study illustrates one way to expand attending to multiple features of a complex stimulus, and the results show that some learners may accomplish this outcome in fewer training steps than others.
 
183. Effectiveness Of Using ABA Strategies During Speech Therapy For Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEDIDAH WANJIRU BROOKE (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies), Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities such as autism tend to have challenges in communication. Communication training, such as speech and language therapy is important for children with Autism to gain independence and express their desires. There are 2 participants in this study: an 8 year old boy, MW, and an 8 year old girl, LM, both diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The interventions conducted occurred at Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies in Nairobi, Kenya. In the initial phase, the students were receiving speech and language intervention without any ABA principles applied. In phase 2, after a merger between the organizations of a BCBA and an SLP, more ABA strategies including manding, reinforcement, natural environment training and prompt fading were applied during sessions. Over time, the intervals of reinforcement were increased and prompts were faded. A significant increase in vocal output was realized by adding in ABA strategies and the mean length of utterances was also seen to have increased. MW increased his echoic score in the VB-MAPP from 57 to 89 with a steady increase, and LM developed echoics from initially having no echoics. In conclusion, applying ABA strategies helped the efficacy of speech therapy sessions and better outcomes were realized. Data is still in progress for more students and we hope to see the results replicated over multiple students while increasing the strategies implemented. Once the ABA intervention was included in his speech therapy, Murunga was able to improve his communication to longer sentences and settle down during therapy and has improved his Echoics
 
184.

Use of Carbone Joint Attention to Teach Children With Autism to Follow Three Step Instructions

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
POOJA PANESAR (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies), Yahya Najib (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies)
Discussant: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Following multiple instructions is an essential skill for every individual. Our target goal for teaching autistic children is to see them integrated to the mainstream and community at large, which involves following instructions. There has been limited research in this area especially with non-verbal students; the current one done by Vincent J. Carbon et al. If successfully done, this can do away with shadow teachers for students on the spectrum since their presence has often led to prompt dependency, a cultural obstacle Kenyans face. The Carbone et al (2004) study was replicated with a four-year-old child with autism spectrum disorder at Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental therapies. A Discrete Trial Training program Plan was designed with 4 steps: Listener Response (identifying one single object from an array of 5 items); Listener Response (identify two objects in order of the SD). The student was required to echo the two items in that order three times; Listener Response (identifying three objects in order of the SD). The student was required to echo the three items in that order three items; Listener Response (multiple instructions for different directions). The echo was then faded out. The student was able to follow multiple instructions in different directions independently. Future research should be done to assess the efficacy with non-verbal students on the spectrum. Research could also be done where students can read procedures themselves and follow them, for example following a recipe.

 
185.

Application of Behaviour Analysis in Virtual Reality: XR-AI Based Assistive Technology Learning Platform for Autism Spectrum Disorder andSpecial Education

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SATHYANARAYANAN A R (CEO, Embright Infotech, Technopark)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience impairments across a wide range of skill domains, including self-care skills. The ratio of 1:59 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) all around the world, according to the Centre of Autism Disease Control and Prevention Survey. This makes it a demanding problem to be addressed. Nearly 28 percent of 8-year-olds with ASD have self-injurious behaviors. The childcare and diagnosis available today are very few and generalized that makes the life of an autistic child very difficult. Auticare is an Assistive Technology that gives standard ABA therapy and treatment for high functioning autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities. The therapy platform in Virtual Reality includes different training scenarios solely based on applied behavior analysis that encourage to develop cognitive, social, self-care skills. Not only does this platform provides therapy but it also helps doctors to diagnose the present condition and judge the progress of autistic children through progressive data stored in the cloud. The product is launched and currently being used for therapy in government hospitals and special education centers. The objectives of the current study were to determine the efficacy of the product Auticare among high functioning autism in improving cognitive, social and self-care skills in centers that have already installed the product. The findings of the product revealed that immersive VR training may be a safe and viable method of teaching basic self-care skills using behaviour analysis. Using a forum for virtual reality provides an effective treatment alternative to enhance commonly found cognitive and social impairments in Autism Spectrum Disorder by providing children more immersive, efficient, safe and engaging experience based on applied behaviour analysis technique.

 
186.

Functional Behavior Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Children 5 to 7 Years Later

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANA KALIL (Brock University), Courtney Denise Bishop (Brock University ), Heather Jaksic (Brock University; University of Manitoba), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Nicole M. Neil (University of Western Ontario), Jan Frijters (Brock University), Maurice Feldman (Brock University)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Children with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often engage in repetitive behaviors topographically similar to those seen in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A Randomized Controlled Trial (Vause et al., 2018) used a manualized Functional Behavior-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (Fb-CBT) with 37 children (n = 19 in experimental and n = 18 in Treatment As Usual), and demonstrated significant differences in Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours (OCBs) between groups from pre to post-test, with large effect sizes. Considering the importance of behavioral maintenance, the present study evaluated the long-term treatment outcomes of 13 children, 5 to 7 years following Fb-CBT. The Repetitive Behavior Scale–Revised (Compulsive, Ritualistic, and Sameness subscales; Bodfish et al., 1999) and parent report questionnaires evaluated OCBs from post-treatment to 5-7 year follow-up. Across participants, there were no significant changes in OCBs between post-test and 5 to 7 year follow-up. However, there was some variability in maintenance of treatment gains. A matched-comparison qualitative case study identified factors that may have contributed to the variance across outcomes. Five semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 parent and 4 child participants whose quantitative results reflected this variance. Thematic analysis identified common themes across and within cases (Braun and Clarke, 2006). Results from the qualitative analysis support the current ABA and CBT literature—that is—parents whose children were more successful in maintaining treatment gains stressed the importance of parent training and support received during Fb-CBT, and continued work on generalization and practice of coping strategies during exposures post-treatment.

 
187.

Self-Advocacy in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review and Call for Research

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID SCHENA (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Cierra Hemp (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Self-advocacy is an important life skill. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have difficulty self-advocating due to socio-communicative deficits. Other factors related to ASD, such as social anxiety and a dependent lifestyle, may further restrict familiarity with self-advocacy and the ability to self-advocate. Therefore, instruction is often necessary to establish self-advocacy skills to individuals with ASD. Unfortunately, several different definitions of “self-advocacy” exist within self-advocacy literature. Studies have also used different methods to teach self-advocacy and have focused on different target behaviors. Our project aims to propose a comprehensive definition for “self-advocacy” based on commonalities in definitions proposed by previous research and to describe empirically supported methods for teaching self-advocacy to adults with ASD. We collected literature using a set of criteria based on self-advocacy and related terms. Sources were sorted based on whether they defined self-advocacy or sought to teach it, with membership in both groups possible. Ongoing analysis suggests that definitions including self-knowledge, problem recognition, ability to articulate need, and taking initiative are most common, and that behavioral instruction is consistently associated with successful learning of self-advocacy. Areas for future research by applied behavior analysts working with this population are discussed.

 
188. Assessing Impact of Social Skills Group Curriculum on Self-Reported Caregiver Stress Levels
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PAIGE MARIE RITARI (CAL ABA ), Stephanie Hwang (Child Communication And Behavior Specialists )
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Studies have found caregiver stress levels for families with children diagnosed with Autism are consistently higher than that of caregivers of typically developing children. Research has shown reduction in caregiver stress through child participation in behavior analytic services. The current study looks to determine if child and caregiver participation in social skill group curriculum has a positive impact on self-reported caregiver stress levels. Participants were assigned to each condition based off age, adaptive level, and geographic location. Participants received either the Social Thinkers curriculum. Participants completed the curriculum within a group format with peers. Caregiver trainings occurred within a group format as well and provided caregivers with access to similar peers. Caregiver and child application of the curriculum outside of session was measured through caregiver data collection. The current study will compare self-reported caregiver stress levels using the Parental Stress Scale. Baseline levels will be compared to scores at the end of the 6 month curriculum. The current study hopes to identify potential resources for caregiver stress reduction and extend on previous research by adding additional participants.
 
189. A Conceptual Analysis of the High-P Sequencing Procedure and Behavioral Momentum
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
STACY JANTZI (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Robyn M. Catagnus (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Amanda Mahoney (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Behavioral momentum is resistance to change in one’s present environmental conditions. Under these conditions of difficulty, undesired behavior may persist. Research in both clinical and applied settings, has identified that the greater the reinforcement, the greater the momentum, wherein you will find compliance and lower rates of non-compliance. Research has found that enhancing reinforcement for compliance may reduce frequency of some behaviors in the event that a latter response demonstrated that it was continually reinforced. Competing studies have further identified that occasionally increasing reinforcement demonstrated a significantly higher resistance to modification than that of the responding to less frequent forms of reinforcement. The following is a review of literature pertaining to behavioral momentum, compliance, non-compliance, and problem behavior in an educational setting supporting evidence of a middle ground (mid-p) in behavior momentum based on the response effort wherein the modification of task related metrics include rate of tasks delivered or rate of instructions, duration of the instructional periods, and the effort which provides the foundation for the middle difficulty. The difficulty faded in to increase the relationship between to produce the desired therapeutic behavior change in the educational setting.
 
190.

Assessment of Problem Behaviour and Treatment of Functional Communication Training With Teenager Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HOI TING DARYL CHEUNG (Affiliation 1: Florida Institute of Technology Affiliation 2: The Children’s Institute of Hong Kong )
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

As one of the diagnostic criteria from DSM-IV, individuals on the Autism Disorder Spectrum (ASD) may exhibit repetitive, restricted and stereotypical behaviours. These individuals may spend a large portion of their day fixated on straightening, organizing or arranging different objects. Severe problem behaviours might emerge when individual's ritualistic behaviours get disrupted by caregivers and teachers. This research attempted on assessing the function of the problem behaviours caused by interruption of ritualistic behaviour of a teenager with autism. A teenager engaged in hand flapping behaviour when playing the game of UNO with his teacher. A latency functional analysis was used to determine if the function of hand flapping was maintained by the interruption of ritualistic behaviour. Results from the functional analysis suggested the function of hand flapping has been maintained by the function of access to tangible, not by the interruption of ritualistic behaviours. As a result, the treatment of Functional Communication Training (FCT) was implemented to teach appropriate request for the UNO cards. The treatment of FCT was evident to successfully reduce the rate of problem behaviour.

 
191. Early Intensive Behavior Intervention for Autism: An Outcome Study of Children in Kuwait
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
YASMEEN HAYAT (Applied Behavior Center Kuwait), Stavros Hadjisolomou (American University of Kuwait)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Given the growing rate of Autism, the importance of effective intervention can not be underrated. Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is one of the most scientifically supported interventions to date, and although it is practiced all around the world, studies on its efficacy are restricted to mainly the US, UK and Australia. The present study aims to determine if EIBI holds its efficacy in the Arabic speaking Middle Eastern country of Kuwait. We argue that, in Kuwaiti children, younger initiation age significantly improves treatment outcomes. A total of 74 subjects were included in the study and grouped based on age (young=2 to 4 years old; old = 4 to 12 years old). A two-way ANOVA revealed children who start ABA therapy between the ages of 2 to 4, were overall significantly more successful in mastering programs (M = 66.97, SD = 13.27) than children who started at ages 4 and above (M = 55.57, SD = 18.21). Moreover, a MANOVA showed that the younger group was significantly more successful than their older counterparts in mastering academic, social and communication programs. Implications of results for this study should go towards promoting early intervention in Kuwait, and ultimately lobbying for the implementation of health policies that allow Kuwaiti children access to effective intervention.
 
192. The Effects of the Copy, Cover, and Compare Strategy of Word Spelling for English as a Second Language Students
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOMCHART SAKULKOO (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: This study examined the effectiveness of the Copy, Cover, and Compare (CCC) strategy for English as second language students. This study used the CCC method (Skinner et al., 1997) to increase the percentage of words spelled correctly for two students—a student with autism and a typically developed student. Moreover, the study extended Carter et al. (2013) study by adding maintenance probe and generalization probe. The results of this study are inconclusive between the participants. The data from one participant showed that the CCC alone was not able to increase correct word spelling, maintain, and generalize. On the other hand, the data from another participant revealed the opposite results. Limitations included: no preference assessment conducted, did not collect the percentage of correct letter within words, and did not evaluate the effectiveness of prompt used. Implications and recommendations were discussed in the study.
 
Diversity submission 193.

Racial and Gender Reporting in Single Subject Experimental Design Research on Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
LINDSAY FLEECE RENTSCHLER (UNC Chapel Hill), Jessica R. Steinbrenner (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center ), Kara Hume (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center ), Samuel L. Odom (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center )
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

B.F. Skinner posited in 1981 that culture is one of the three types of selection impacting human behavior, yet Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has often overlooked it. As the reach of ABA grows and the recipients of behavior-analytic services become more diverse, it is imperative that the participants in research studies reflect that diversity. Evidence-based practices for autism intervention are being identified by The National Clearinghouse on Autism & Evidence Practice (NCAEP) in their systematic review of the intervention literature published from 2012-2017. The data presented in this poster intends to answer an important follow-up question: For whom are these interventions evidence-based? The single subject design research articles (n=597) identified by NCAEP were reviewed for descriptions of participant race and gender in accordance with the procedure and reliability protocol described by West et al. (2016). The findings indicate that 24.28% (n=145) of the studies report on race. The majority representation was white participants at 55%. Black participants were represented at 16% and Hispanic/Latino participants comprised 12%. The gender composition was 83% male and 17% female with no reports of gender non-binary participants. This indicates that the field needs more reporting on participant demographics and greater diversity in participant ascertainment.

 
194. Teaching Safety Skills Using Virtual Reality: A Preliminary Experimental Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AUDREY TAYLOR BOATMAN (Childs Path, Help Begins at Home), Brianda Jazmin Martin del Campo (Child's Path), Andrea Carolina Villegas (University of Florida)
Discussant: Claudia Campos (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: After testing for usability and feasibility, we collected preliminary experimental data on the effects of virtual reality training on safety skill acquisition with children on the Autism spectrum that held a variety of skill sets and experience levels. Target skills include: the timely exit from a school building during a fire drill and the safe crossing of a street across multiple settings. Generalization probes for both simulations were conducted regularly. This was part of an ongoing beta-test program where the software was continuously updated based on feedback from clients, clinicians and parents. The main goals of this study were to identify appropriate teaching methods, identify data collection measures, and to obtain preliminary measures of effectiveness and social validity. More specifically, we examined pre-requisite skills for the VR headset, data collection methods, prompting within and outside of the virtual environment, mastery criteria for each training level, and methods for testing generalization.
 
195. An Evaluation of Using the PEAK Assessment and Curriculum on Client Outcomes and Learning Speed
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHELBIE NYMAN (BTI Group), Gerald Everette (BTI Group), Kaitlin Eisenhauer (BTI Group)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: The PEAK (Promoting Emergence of Advanced Knowledge) assessment and curriculum is a teaching program that focuses on using discrete trial teaching to teach overarching concepts instead of specific targets. This study evaluated the effectiveness of using the PEAK Direct Assessment and Generalization Assessment along with the curriculum in the center setting to increase skill development. Participants included 3 4 - year - old children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants received a range of 8 to 20 hours of direct Applied Behavior Analysis services from Registered Behavior Technicians. The implementation of the PEAK curriculum was effective in increasing 2 out of 3 participants direct teaching skills to meet those of their same aged peers. All 3 participants demonstrated growth in direct teaching skills and generalization skills with 6 months as determined by the PEAK Direct and Generalization assessments. At least one participant demonstrated an increase in their rate of skill acquisition as determined by trials to criterion data. In the center setting, the PEAK assessment and curriculum was effective in increasing skill development across participants.
 
196. The Effects of Instructive Feedback on the Emergence of Untrained Verbal Operants
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ARIADNA MARTINEZ (University of Miami), Laura Camafreita (University of Miami), Laura Dezayas (University of Miami), Elaine Espanola (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Instructive feedback is a teaching strategy that promotes the acquisition of additional responses by embedding nontarget stimuli in the consequence portion of learning trials. Research demonstrates that this is an effective training strategy for teaching skills in the absence of direct instruction. However, there is limited evidence on the impact of instructive feedback on the development of new responses across verbal operants and the possible behavioral mechanisms responsible for learning during instructive feedback trials. We evaluated the effects of instructive feedback with two children who had been diagnosed with autism. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare participant responses across conditions with and without instructive feedback. Primary targets consisted of teaching listener responding and tacts. Instructive feedback stimuli were presented in the consequence portion of primary target training trials. Probes were used to evaluate the emergence of untrained verbal operants across one listener responding and two intraverbal response topographies. The results indicated that there was emergence of untrained verbal operants with both participants.
 
197.

Want to Play a Game? The Use of Video Modeling to Encourage Social Interaction Between Children With Autism and Their Siblings During Electronic Time

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY LOFTIS (Tennessee Tech University), Krystal Kennedy (Tennessee Technological University), Janelle Robbins (Tennessee Tech University)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract:

This poster presents a service delivery model for using video modeling to teach typically developing siblings social interaction opportunities with their sibling with autism using iPads. Siblings of children with autism often serve as peer models in instances such as teaching play and social interaction skills (e.g. Özen, 2015). Furthermore, siblings are often eager to participate in the assistance of learning new skills within their brother’s or sister’s therapeutic sessions. Video modeling consisting of the sibling observing another child engaging in the desired behaviors is a method that can be used to assist with training siblings to become peer models while also incorporating siblings into training sessions. This session will guide the audience through procedures used to teach siblings of children with autism the proper use of prompting and reinforcement for play and social interaction through video modeling with an iPad. Specific procedures include siblings reviewing modeled videos prior to play opportunities then demonstrating observed skills with their siblings. Video modeling sessions are eventually faded out. Preliminary results indicate video modeling is an effective way to train siblings as peer models while increasing social interaction durations between siblings. Data will be shared if available by conference date.

 
198.

Interventions on Improving Social-Communication Skills for Adolescents and Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SANIKAN WATTANAWONGWAN (Texas A&M University), J.B. GANZ (Texas A&M University), Ee Rea Hong (University of Tsukuba), Lauren Pierson (Texas A&M University), Valeria Yllades (Texas A&M University), Claudia M Dunn (PhD Student at Texas A&M University )
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract:

With the increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence, the number of adolescents and adults with ASD is also rapidly increasing, which increases the number of adults with disabilities seeking services. As individuals with ASD grow up, their social-communication issues seem to increase and required in more complex skills. There are critical needs for evaluating the efficacy of communication interventions on more complex language use for this adolescents and adults age ranges to address the most effective and suitable interventions for this population across implementers variables, communicative function variables, and setting variables.The purpose of this meta-analysis is to determine effectiveness of social and communication intervention for adolescents and adults with ASD, primarily discriminated by these variables: interventionists, communicative functions, and setting. We will investigate the social-communication outcomes on each intervention category. The author will include single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) in this meta-analysis.

 
199.

Feasibility of Home-Based Caregiver Training Via Telehealth: Preliminary Findings

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Ryan J. Martin (May Institute), Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute), JAIME CROWLEY (May Institute)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract:

Reviews of the literature indicate that interventions based in applied behavior analysis (ABA) are highly effective approaches to treat the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although under-utilization of services remains a significant problem. Potential barriers to utilizing services for families include an insufficient number of trained providers, distance to access services, and the time commitment required for comprehensive services. There is thus a need to provide evidence-based services without these barriers. Parent training, such as the Research Unit on Behavioral Interventions (RUBI) Autism Network’s parent training program, has proven efficacious in empowering caregivers and improving the behavior of children with ASD (Scahill et al., 2016), but is typically provided in clinical settings. A telehealth version of RUBI could eliminate impediments to utilization of ABA services. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the feasibility of adapting RUBI parent training to be delivered to caregivers via telehealth, directly in their homes. We will report the current results of this intervention using the RE-AIM framework (i.e., reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) and discuss implications for future research and clinical practice.

 
200. Using Transfer Trials to Teach Tacting to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEX DELLARINGA (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Jessica Foster Juanico (Trumpet Behavioral Health; University of Kansas), Kelley L. Harrison (Trumpet Behavioral Health; The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Transfer trials are a modification to discrete trial training (DTT) that may expedite the transfer of stimulus control from prompts to instructions. They follow prompted trials and re-present the instruction in order to provide an opportunity for learners to answer independently. Transfer trials are used by practitioners and researchers (Carbone et al. 2006; Valentino et al., 2015) and recommended as best practice by applied behavior analysis (ABA) organizations (“A beginning guide,” 2009; Carbone, 2016; Hozella & Ampuero, 2014). However, there is a lack of research to support the effectiveness of transfer trials. The current study used a multielement design to investigate whether transfer trials increased the rate of skill acquisition compared to traditional DTT. Results indicated that compared to the control condition, both procedures were effective for teaching two-component tacting to three children with autism. However, the transfer trial procedure yielded a faster rate of acquisition for one of three children.
 
201. Factors Influencing Quality of Behavior Intervention Plans for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE C. CUKAR-CAPIZZI (University of Hartford), Anne Pidano (University of Hartford), John D. Molteni (University of Saint Joseph), Laura B. Turner (University of Saint Joseph)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: The study evaluated the quality of Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) developed for children with ASD and determined factors associated with high-quality BIPs. 60 BIPs written for children with ASD evaluated at an autism clinic were randomly selected from low, medium, and high SES groups in Connecticut. The Behavior Support Plan Quality Evaluation Guide-II was used to assess BIP quality. 31% of BIP scores fell into categories of superior or good while 69% were classified as underdeveloped or weak. An FBA was conducted prior to BIP development in 70% of the sample. BIPs written by a BCBA had significantly higher quality ratings than those written by another professional. BIPs based on an FBA had significantly higher quality ratings than those written without first conducting an FBA. There was no difference in scores across the three SES groups. Findings suggest that many BIPs written for children and adolescents with ASD may be weak or underdeveloped and fail to consider FBA input. School district SES does not appear to be associated with BIP quality, suggesting the need for further training in BIP development is a requirement regardless of the potential resources available to the school district.
 
202.

Pivotal Response Treatmentfor Chinese Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHONGYING WANG (Nankai University )
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is a comprehensive service delivery model that uses both a developmental approach and ABA procedures that aim to provide opportunities for learning within the context of the child’s natural environments (Koegel, Koegel, Harrower & Carter, 1999; Koegel, Koegel, Shoshan & McNerney, 1999). Many recent RCT studies have reported its efficacy in improving children’s social communications (Gengoux, et al., 2019). OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate a pivotal response treatment package (PRT-P) on the communication skills of children with autism spectrum disorder. METHODS: Twenty children with autism spectrum disorder and significant language delay between 2 and 5 years old were randomly assigned to PRT-P (n = 20) or the delayed treatment group (n = 20) for 12 weeks. Autism Diagnosis Observation Scale (ADOS), Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) were used evaluate social communication skills before and after 12 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: Analysis of child utterances during the structured laboratory observation revealed that, compared with the delayed treatment group, children in PRT-P demonstrated greater improvement in frequency of functional utterances. The PRT-P group had significant reductions in the total score and the scores on social communication in ADOS after 12 weeks of treatment (P<0.05) as well as a significant reduction in the total score of the SCQ and CARS (P<0.05). The PRT-P group had a significantly greater reduction in the score on social interaction subscale than the delayed group (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This is a 12-week randomized controlled trial in which community treatment is delivered. PRT-P was effective for improving child social communication skills. Additional research will be needed to understand the best combination of treatment settings, intensity, and duration.

 
203. Treatment of Combining Vitamin D3 and ABA for Chinese children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHONGYING WANG (Nankai University )
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, repetitive and stereotypic behaviors, and restricted interest. It has been regarded due to genetic and environmental risk factors. Vitamin D deficiency has recently been proposed as a possible environmental risk factor for ASD. ABA has been reported in improving social interactions of children with ASD for the last decades. Objective: To study the clinical effect of vitamin D3 (VitD3) combined with ABA in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: A total of 90 ASD children with VitD3 deficient, aged 7 to 12 years, were recruited and divided into three groups: ABA group (n=30), VitD3 group (n=30), and ABA+VitD3 group (n=30). Autism Diagnosis Observation Scale (ADOS), Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) were used to evaluate social communication skills before and after 12 weeks of treatment. Results: The ABA group had significant reductions in the total score and the scores on social communication in ADOS after 12 weeks of treatment (P<0.05) as well as a significant reduction in the total score of the SCQ and CARS (P<0.05). After 12 weeks of treatment, the ABA+VitD3 group had a significant increase in the level of 25(OH)D and significant reductions in the total score and the scores on social communication subscales of ADOS (P<0.05), as well as a significant reduction in the total score of the SCQ and CARS (P<0.05). The ABA+VitD3 group had a significantly greater reduction in the score on social interaction subscale than the other two groups (P<0.05). Conclusions: ABA can effectively improve the clinical symptoms of toddlers with ASD, with a significantly better clinical effect in improving social interaction. ABA combined with VitD3 has a significantly better clinical effect in improving social communication skills and may be one of the best strategies for improving the clinical symptoms of toddlers with ASD.
 
204. A Review of Self-Monitoring Interventions for Increasing Physical Activity in Individuals with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
HOLLY WIGGINS (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Daniel E Conine (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Interventions with self-monitoring have been used to increase independence for individuals with autism. Self-monitoring typically includes presenting materials that individuals can use to record one’s own behavior, such as on-task behavior or correct responding. Self-monitoring has been used for decreasing problem behavior (Fritz et al., 2012; Koegel & Koegel, 1990) and for increasing appropriate behavior (Newman & Ten Eyck, 2005). It may be a particularly appealing intervention in that reliance on caregivers is minimized. Further, self-monitoring has been demonstrated to be useful in increasing physical activity (Donaldson & Normand, 2009; Normand, 2008; Valbuena, Miltenberger, Solley, 2015; VanWormer, 2004). However, self-monitoring is often evaluated in combination with other intervention components such as differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (Christian & Poling, 1997; Newman et al., 2005) or differential reinforcement of other behavior (Shabani, Wilder, & Flood, 2001). Little research has been conducted to identify relevant components for producing behavior change. Additionally, research related to increasing physical activity has been limited to typically developing adults. This poster will summarize the current literature on self-monitoring for increasing physical activity, noting clinical application and extensions for future research.
 
205.

Results From Infant/Toddler Pre-Emptive Intervention on Reduction of Interfering Behavior and Increased Communication

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Katherine Cantrell (Autism Treatment Center; University of Texas at San Antonio), LESLIE NEELY (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington), Sierra Stegemann (University of Texas at San Antonio), Priscilla Zuniga (University of Texas at San Antonio), Erin Santos (University of Texas at San Antonio), Kelsi Heath (University of Texas at San Antonio), Alexis Valdez (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

The researchers conducted the current project within the scope of a larger project (Project PLAAY) investigating pre-emptive interventions to mitigate the symptomology of autism for at-risk infants and toddlers. The presented project aimed to teach communication to infants and toddlers who were engaging in emerging dangerous behavior (e.g., head banging) or interfering behavior (e.g., screaming). A total of 37 at-risk infants and toddlers (aged 9-36 months) have participated in the project to date. A sample of six were randomized to a non-concurrent multiple baseline. Researchers initiated five of the six participants. Researchers randomized baseline sessions for the participants to three, four, or five baseline sessions (participant one only had two baseline sessions). Researchers first conducted a functional analysis. Researchers also conducted communication modality assessments for all participants. Researchers then implemented functional communication training with the participant and their caregiver. Visual analysis of the intervention results indicated immediate and large improvements from baseline to intervention phase for functional communication. The graphs also indicated a large and immediate decrease in dangerous behaviors. Resulting Tau-U effect sizes ranged from 0.85 to 1.0 suggesting large effects across all dependent variables. Preliminary results support the use of the PLAAY intervention to teach functional communication.

 
206. Middle East Behavior Based Interventions: Providing School-Based Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder without a Formal Diagnosis
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARIFFAH AZZAAM (Qatar Foundation)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: There are an estimated 300,000 students attending schools in Qatar. A regional study in Qatar placed the number of people with ASD at 1 in 87. Due to Qatar’s requirement that all schools be inclusive, many of these students attend independent or private schools. Educators often find it difficult to support students who display behaviors similar to students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Learning Center has developed a comprehensive student service model that provides support for students regardless of a formal diagnosis. Students are referred by teachers based behaviors displayed and response to intervention. Multidisciplinary teams of professionals that may include Educators, Behavior Analysts, Autism Specialists, School Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and or Language specialists meet to determine the appropriate level of support. The team provides the intervention until the student displays progress in the regular education setting. The team uses research based assessment tools to guide the intervention not to diagnose. We are able to provide services efficiently, saving valuable instruction time. In this paper, I will review the methods used by The Learning Center to develop a comprehensive intervention package based on observed behaviors and not diagnosis
 
207. Increasing Flexible Application of Rules to Decrease Problem Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JILLIAN SCHNEIDER (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Rule governed behavior can inhibit flexible responding and lead to increased problem behaviors when something challenges those rules. The current study aimed to decrease the creation of contextually irrelevant rules and increase the flexible application of rules in a 6-year-old girl with autism. Baseline, conducted over a 4-month period, began by taking data when rules were created (totaling 84). Intervention began by asking the participant to answer four questions when given a known self-generated, not contextually relevant rule: 1) identify if the rule applied based on the current context, 2) why the rule does/does not apply, 3) what would happen if she didn’t adhere to the rule, and 4) when might the rule apply/not apply. Results indicated that the client was able to respond to questions about her rules accurately in at least 80% of opportunities since an edible reinforcer was added to the intervention strategies. Generalization data indicated that the client independently and flexibly applied the rules based on context outside of intervention in 40-80% of opportunities. Additionally, since the onset of intervention, only 6 new rules have been created potentially indicating a stabilization of creation of contextually irrelevant rules.
 
208. Decreasing Physical Stereotypy in Two 9-year old Boys with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MADISON THEIS (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Jillian Schneider (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Stereotypy can impede the ability to gain access to learning opportunities in the natural environment and engage in social interactions. Participants in this study required intensive interventions (edible reinforcers, primes, verbal and visual prompts) on a 2-minute interval schedule in order to remain in their current environment (school, play with peers). The focus of this study was to identify a more parsimonious intervention to decrease engagement in stereotypy during socially inappropriate situations, increase discrimination of time and place to engage in stereotypy, and include the participants in the process for utilizing replacement behaviors. The first phase of the current intervention targeted teaching the clients to identify preferred replacement behaviors as well as discriminate which behaviors are appropriate within and across environments. Phase two of the intervention targeted a) the identification and b) initiation of contextually appropriate identified replacement behaviors to engage in. Weekly probes were conducted for 20 minutes at home and school as a collateral measure of success. Results indicate that both participants mastered identifying and discriminating contextually appropriate replacement behaviors, using those replacement behaviors, and generalization of these skills. Additionally, results suggest that this is an effective and parsimonious approach to reducing stereotypy.
 
209. The Teaching DANCE: Purpose Driven Training and Measurement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
APRIL LINDEN (University of North Texas), MARLENE Lucy TAVERA (Easter Seals North Texas), Shahla Susan Ala'i (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Evan Schleifer-Katz (University of North Texas), Rachael E. White (University of North Texas), Crystal Fernandez (University of North Texas), Isabel L. Cunningham (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Easter Seals North Texas Autism Treatment Program is a non-profit program that strives to provide services that are responsive, caring, and effective in a collaborative and culturally responsive way to all families regardless of income. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a value and outcome-based staff training program; DANCE. Adapted from the Sunny Starts parent training program, DANCE training includes intentional cultural, strategic, and tactical design. Staff participated in an orientation that included our mission and an overview of strategies and tactics for instruction. This was followed by in-situ training centered on valued outcomes (responsive teaching interactions, child progress, and harmonious interactions; the triad of teaching). Both staff and children increased desired triadic measures. The results are discussed in the context of purpose driven measurement.
 
210.

Using the Behavior Flexibility Rating Scale-Revisedto Inform Functional Analysis and Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Katherine Sorensen (May Institute), ALI SCHROEDER (May Institute), Clare Liddon (May Institute)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

One of the core features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is restrictive and repetitive behavior. It is also common for individuals with ASD to engage in problem behavior. The Behavioral Flexibility Rating Scale - Revised (BFRS-R), is structured rating scale that may be used to identify the severity of problem behavior that occurs when restrictive and repetitive behavior is somehow disrupted (i.e., demonstrating a lack of flexibility). Previous research suggests the BFRS-R may be used to inform the functional behavioral assessment process (Liddon et al., 2016). The present series of clinical data evaluates the use of the BFRS-R to inform a trial-based functional analysis and systematic treatment evaluation for severe aggression in a young man with ASD. Preliminary results demonstrate that that BFRS-R can be used to identify specific functional analysis conditions, yielding conclusive results (i.e., problem behavior occurrence during near 0% of control segments and 80-100% of test segments) and subsequent, function-based treatment evaluation conditions. That is, the BFRS-R may be informative in the assessment and treatment process of severe aggression with idiosyncratic functions of problem behavior related to behavioral inflexibility.

 
211. Impact of Cybercycling Breaks for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Health and Classroom Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARA S. KUPZYK (University of Nebraska Omaha), Jessica Cox (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC), Heidi Reelfs (Munroe-Meyer Institute, UNMC), Kevin Kupzyk (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Children with autism are at higher risk for obesity and may present with stereotypy and disruptive behaviors in the classroom that limit their academic engagement. Effective school-based interventions are needed to decrease stereotypy and behavior problems while increasing on-task behavior and physical activity. There is initial positive evidence for the use of cybercycling, in which children ride a stationary exergaming bicycle to control a video game. Through a collaboration between psychology, physical therapy, and local school staff, we evaluated the effects of cybercycle breaks for 13 students (ages 9-14) with autism spectrum disorder. The students were given the opportunity to ride the cybercycle three times per week for 15 minutes each session. No significant differences between ride and non-ride days for academic engagement or stereotypy; however, mean differences were in the expected direction. Students rode for an average of 14:33 min and met their target heart rate. Six of 11 students increased the laps run on the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run from pre to post. Cybercycling for breaks in place of sedentary activities can be considered as it is generally enjoyed by students and provides opportunity for physical activity. Longer intervention periods may lead to greater health outcomes.
 
212. Decontextualized and embedded intervention within EIBI: practices in community settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANNIE PAQUET (Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres), Carmen Dionne (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Suzie McKinnon (CISSS et CIUSSS Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Bas St-Laurent, Côte-Nord)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: To date, early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) has been the subject of numerous systematic reviews and meta-analysis, making it one of most documented intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Some EIBI program have been implemented in large-scale community settings (e.g., Perry, Koudys, Prichard, & Ho, 2017) and in inclusive educational settings (e.g., Eikeseth, Klintwall, Jahr & Karlsson, 2012). In this context, there are various models of EIBI. They can differ on many components. Notably, intervention procedures can be implemented in a variety of different formats and setting, ranging from one-to-one teaching to group instruction within natural settings. Planning and individualization of procedures is necessary to offers quality interventions (Barton, Lawrence, & Deurloo, 2012; Leaf & McEachin, 2016). Intervention planning should include decision about intervention context (Schwartz, AShmun, McGride, Scott & Sandall, 2017). Considering lack of information about best ways to best individualize EIBI, clinical teams have few evidence-based benchmarks for making these choices (Stahmer et al., 2011). As mentioned by Stahmer et al. (2011), research regarding individualization of interventions for young children with ASD should consider documenting method used by professionals in community settings. The aims of this study are to: 1) describe the intervention context favored within EIBI large-scale community service and 2) describe the variables considered by professionals when choosing intervention procedures. Participants: - Practitioners (n = 12) from three centers gave access to intervention plans with the parents’ authorization, for 15 intervention plans for children with autism (1 girl, 14 boys, aged from 34 to 57 months (M = 45.8; SD = 6.65) and 67 intervention goals. - Supervisors from three centers (N = 10) completed a questionnaire and participated to a semi-structured interview. Results: Intervention plans show that, for a majority of children, interventions start with decontextualized intervention with a rapid transition to embedded interventions.The process of planning intervention strategies is complex and based on clinical judgments considering a large number of factors including (child's, families, childcare settings and staff's characteristics, as well as organizations choices).
 
213. An Evaluation of Testing Conditions on Emergent Responding
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TODD M. OWEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Krisha Regmi (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: When assessing emergent relations, experimenters typically conduct pre- and post-tests under extinction to rule out increased responding due to the direct effects of differential reinforcement. However, extinction can result in unwanted effects such as low or variable responding or problem behavior. LeBlanc, Miguel, Cummings, Goldsmith, and Carr (2003) compared extinction, reinforcement for interspersed mastered tasks (interspersed), and reinforcement for every response regardless of accuracy (FR 1) and found minimal differences between the conditions. However, responding was high across all conditions suggesting that maintaining motivation during extinction tests was not problematic for their participants. We systematically replicated LeBlanc et al. with one child with autism with a history of poor performance during tests of emergent responding under extinction conditions. Results suggested that, for some participants, extinction or interspersed may artificially deflate performance during emergent tests. Responding during the FR 1 condition varied across sets. Further research is needed to identify optimal conditions under which to test for emergence.
 
214. Shaping Complex Functional Communication Responses and Teaching Toleration Skills to Delays in Reinforcement to Reduce Problem Behavior Maintained by a Synthesized Contingency
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ABEER AL ZOUABI (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education, The New England Center for Children), Shannon Ward (FTF Behavioral Consulting), Marilin Colon (Florida Institute of Technology), Kyle Slavik (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is an effective treatment for reducing problem behavior. It uses a more socially acceptable replacement than the problem behavior but produces the same reinforcer. Teaching an omnibus mand in functional communication training has been shown to be effective at reducing problem behavior controlled by a synthesized reinforcement contingency. This study aimed to evaluate if teaching omnibus mand preclude the acquisition of complex mand and to replicate and extend the FCR shaping procedure in Ghaemmaghami et al. (2018). First an Interview Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA) (Hanley et al., 2014) was conducted, then an omnibus mand was taught and this resulted in a reduction of problem behavior. The omnibus mand was then shaped into a more complex, culturally relevant response replicating procedures described by Ghaemmaghami et al. (2018) while maintaining near- zero rates of problem behavior and a skill-based treatment was used to teach the student to tolerate delays to reinforcement and compliance with teacher instructions. The treatment was effective at reducing the problem behavior and the FCR was shaped to include full sentence, eye contact and obtaining listener response while maintaining low levels of problem behavior. Compliance with teacher instructions and tolerance response was acquired after conducting delay and tolerance training.
 
215. Increasing Conversational Exchanges through Telehealth Intervention for an Adult with Autism in China
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HELEN MCCABE (University of Maine at Farmington), E Amanda DiGangi (Arizona State University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: This poster will present results from a study that used a multi-component intervention (DRA and visual cues, plus extinction) to increase conversational exchanges and decrease perseverative comments for a 35-year old woman with autism. The study was implemented using a telehealth model, with the therapist in the United States and the participant in China. Following a modified virtual FA procedure, the study used an ABAB design followed by component analysis, to examine the effects of the package intervention on the length of conversational exchanges. The overall intervention was effective, demonstrating a clear increase in socially appropriate conversational exchanges, as well as decrease in perseverative comments. Component analysis demonstrated the effectiveness of each component, both DRA (with extinction) as well as visual cue (with extinction), and the participant showed a preference for continued use of the visual cue, a small animal held up by each person to demonstrate whose turn it was to lead the conversation.
 
216. Using Prompt Fading and Pairing to Increase Eye Contact in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ADRIANA ANDERSON (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Multiple longitudinal studies have found that an infant’s lack of responding to their name with eye contact by 12 months is a high predictor of the child later being diagnosed with autism or other developmental delays (Nadig et al., 2019). As the delay in the development of eye contact is considered a core social impairment in autism, implementation of procedures to increase this skill is typically a focus once intervention begins. The present study outlines the effectiveness of a prompt fading and pairing procedure, adapted from Krstovska-Guerro &Jones (2015). In Krstovska-Guerro & Jones (2015) procedure, staff waited for each individual to demonstrate preference for an item by reaching for it, with the interventionist then slowly moving the item to his/her own eyes as a guide for a full prompt. Once eye contact was given, the reinforcement was provided through immediate access to the item. Prompt fading to a partial prompt, phase 2, was initiated when the individual demonstrated 80% correct responding over two days, and further faded to a two second time delay for phase 3. Here, the clinical team followed the same prompt fading procedures, however adapted this by stating the individual’s name once eye contact was given in order to pair responding to name with reinforcement. In this study, three toddlers with autism are being taught to respond to their name by making eye contact in the framework of responding to a request. Intervention is in week 11 for two participants, with the third participant in the first week of treatment. It should be noted that for participant 1 and 2, baseline data includes the least to most prompting strategy, as the reported procedure was introduced to address the variability within the data. Preliminary results reveal that participant one is making the most progress currently with being on phrase 3, while participant 2 continues to require support with phase 2.
 
217.

Evaluation of Intervention Components to Decrease Toe Walking

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMMA KATHERINE KING (Auburn University), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University), Stephanie Brand (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at the Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole Adriaenssens (Florida Institute of Technology), Jaime Rus Alba (Florida Institute of Technology ), Carolyn Syzonenko (Auburn University), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

According to existing literature, the incidence of persistent toe walking is greater in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis than in children without a diagnosis. Approximately 20% of children with an ASD diagnosis engage in this motor behavior, often associated with tight heel cords, which can lead to the need for more intrusive medical or even surgical intervention if left untreated. Current literature suggests the use of auditory feedback devices (e.g., GaitSpot™) attached to participants’ feet and differential reinforcement are effective treatments for toe walking; however, additional research should replicate these findings and control for the presence of the auditory feedback devices. In the current study, researchers evaluated multiple components of a toe walking treatment package across two participants with ASD. Components included auditory feedback devices, differential reinforcement for appropriate steps, and a mild physical prompt to place heels on the ground, as needed for each participant. Researchers faded and thinned procedure schedules according to each participants’ performance in order to assess maintenance and improve social validity.

 
218. Improving Latency to Respond Across Verbal Operants Using Fluency Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CARLY FRANCISCO (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: We examined the effects of fluency training across two verbal operants and the collateral effects across untrained verbal operants. The participant was a 6-year old with autism who frequently engaged in long response latencies during instruction. Fluency training was applied to echoics and then to intraverbals within an alternating treatments design. Results showed decreases in the latency to respond (s) in the verbal operants that were exposed to fluency training. Additionally, we observed decreases in the latency to respond in the verbal operants that were not exposed to the training, indicating generalization of the effects across untrained verbal operants. Mean response latencies were at or below 2.3 s across all verbal operants in the final phase. We will discuss the potential benefits of fluency training.
 
219. The Effects of Neutral and Enthusiastic Praise on the Acquisition of Intraverbals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE SCHUIERER (Alpine Learning Group), Jackie Meseck (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: We used an adapted alternating treatments design to evaluate the effects of neutral praise, enthusiastic praise, and no praise on the acquisition of intraverbals in an adolescent with autism. Additionally, we evaluated preference for each of the praise types. Contrary to our hypothesis that enthusiastic praise would be more effective and preferred, the participant acquired the target intraverbals faster in the neutral praise condition and indicated a slight preference for neutral praise. Results have informed changes to skill acquisition protocols for this learner and thus demonstrate that brief experimental evaluations can provide useful evidence for behavior change programs in applied settings.
 
220. An Application of Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates, Verbal Prompts, MotivAider Timer, and Response Blocking in Reducing Rapid Drinking
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW WILLIAM SPANN (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Kathryn Atkins (University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Rapid consumption of liquids is a concerning mealtime behavior due to the risk of choking or aspiration and its inappropriateness in social settings. Consumption of liquids cannot be eliminated as it is an essential component of health and nutrition, meaning that treatment interventions for rapid drinking typically focus on increasing the frequency of sips and the time between sips through a differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) procedure. Therapists implemented a DRL procedure utilizing antecedent rules and a MotivAider timer. When this alone was not effective, a verbal prompt to wait was added that was not successful. Response blocking was added, resulting in an increase in the frequency of sips and an increase in the inter-response time (IRT) between sips. A reversal to baseline condition design was implemented, demonstrating functional control over rapid drinking. The results of this study provide evidence of an effective application for reducing the rapid consumption of liquids and solids. Future research can focus on identifying the essential components of this multi-component treatment package.
 
221.

Instructive Feedback to Promote Generative Learning and Transfer Across Operants in Matrix Training

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLYN SYZONENKO (Auburn University ), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University), Emma Katherine King (Auburn University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Matrix training is a form of generative instruction that allows the clinician to teach a limited number of targets and obtain the emergence of responding across untaught targets, resulting in faster skill acquisition. Matrix training has been used to teach a range of skills to individuals of varying abilities. Recently, work from our laboratory explored the use of matrix training to expand the verbal behavior repertoire of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the present study, the focus was to evaluate whether teaching one operant, motor imitation actions with toys, would result in emergence of untaught actions and untaught operants, tacting and listener responding. In addition, we evaluated whether instructive feedback would facilitate emergent learning. A 4-year old boy with ASD served as participant. Researchers taught motor imitation according to noun-verb combinations from two matrices, A and B, and only trials of matrix A were accompanied by instructive feedback. The diagonal targets of both matrices were readily acquired. Subsequently, researchers conducted probes for each untaught recombinative motor imitation targets and other operants. The effects of instructive feedback to promote emergent learning when using matrix training will be discussed.

 
222.

Using iPad Applications to Teach School-Based Academic Tasks to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLAIRE KLEIN (Claremont McKenna College), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College), Caitlyn Gumaer (Claremont Graduate University), Jenna Gilder (Claremont Graduate University), Alanna Dantona (Claremont Graduate University), Catherine Lugar (Claremont Graduate University)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

The present study investigated the effects of learning from an iPad upon to typical, school based academic skills (name writing, color sorting, and reading) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research has demonstrated that for some children with ASD, electronic media such as an iPad is highly motivating, highly preferred, and increasing in popularity (Chen & Bernard-Opitz, 1993; Rideout, 2017; Shane & Albert, 2008). A multiple baseline design across 7 children (6 boys and 1 girl, ages 4-12) with ASD was used to assess the efficacy of an intervention using iPad apps upon academic skills and the generalization of these learned skills. Six out of the seven participants met mastery criterion of the academic task during the iPad intervention. Four participants generalized their skills to the typical school-based probes after iPad intervention, with a fifth child generalizing after a Booster iPad Intervention session. The results are discussed in terms of the pros and cons of using iPads apps as teaching protocols for typical school academic skills (e.g. name writing) for children with ASD.

 
223.

Increasing Social Time Allocation Using Preferred Interactions With Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRANDON COLVIN (University of Florida), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Some individuals with ASD may be indifferent to, or avoidant of, social interaction. Evaluating methods of increasing social time allocation are important with this population. We assessed the extent to which three children with ASD would approach or avoid social interactions. During baseline, when subjects were on the same side of the room as a therapist the therapist delivered vocal interaction and when subjects were on the opposite side of the room no interactions were delivered. All three subjects were indifferent or avoidant of social interaction in baseline. During the intervention, the therapist began to initiate each subjects’ preferred interactions. During the intervention, all subjects allocated their time more socially and were more likely to follow the therapist to maintain access to social interaction.

 
224. An extension of the matching law to the social behavior of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LESLIE A RONSONET (University of Florida), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Peter Sturmey (The Graduate Center and Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: Assessing the function of social interaction is important for individuals with ASD. Some researchers have provided methods of assessing whether social interactions function as reinforcing, neutral, or aversive stimuli for individuals with ASD. However, these methods provide rather coarse measures of the function of social interaction (e.g., reinforcing, neutral, or aversive) and it may be useful to evaluate methods of obtaining more quantitative and precise measures of the function of social interaction. We evaluated the degree to which eight children with ASD were likely to allocate their time near or away from a therapist who delivered social interactions. Across conditions the ratio of time the therapist spent on the left versus right half of the room was manipulated and we evaluated the degree to which the subject’s behavior changed across conditions. This relationship was quantified using a modified version of the power-function matching equation.
 
225. Comparing Social Time Allocation with Novel Adults and Peers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MACKENZIE NICOLE MCSHERRY (University of Florida), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Several researchers have evaluated the function of social interactions for children with ASD using preparations in which adults deliver social interactions, whereas others have evaluated the function of social interaction using preparations in which peers deliver social interactions. It remains unclear whether or not, and how, the results of assessments with adults and peers may be related. In separate assessments, we assessed the degree to which four children with ASD were likely to approach or avoid and interact with a novel adult and three different peers. Results suggested that the amount of time spent near the other individual and relative likelihood of approach and avoidance were discrepant, but strongly correlated across assessments with adults and peers.
 
226. Teaching children with autism to tact with two-word combinations on speech-generating devices during play
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CINDY GEVARTER (university of new mexico), Adriana Medina (University of New Mexico ), Mariah Groll (University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Research involving speech-generating device (SGD) interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) needs to expand beyond teaching simple manding skills. In this study, two preschool-aged males with ASD were taught to use an SGD to create simple semantic-syntactic relational tacts (e.g., possessor+ possession, agent+ action) during structured play activities. Both participants had prior experience using SGDs to mand. For each participant, we implemented a multiple-probes across targets design. We used matrix training to introduce different combinations of two-word target responses. Strategies such as time delay, modeling (aided and vocal) and direct physical prompting were embedded into play activities that included preferred items. Both participants rapidly acquired possessor+ possession tacts. Results for agent + action targets were mixed. One participant showed gradual improvement with these targets, and the other showed variable performance even with a modification. Factors such as motivation to comment and prior symbol knowledge may have played a role. The study provides important implications for determining appropriate targets and intervention methods to increase the use of more complex verbal operants among SGD users with ASD.
 
227. Evaluating the Impact of the Television Show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXIS J FAVELA (Texas Tech University), Wesley H. Dotson (Texas Tech University)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have deficits in social communication and display patterns of restrictive and repetitive behaviors, causing impairment in social functioning. Previous studies have suggested that the children’s television show, Daniel Tiger, may help children with autism learn social skills by video modeling interventions. This study will explore the impact of the show in children with autism (ages 2-7) and if they engage in different patterns of behavior in comparison to their neuro-typical peers when watching Daniel Tiger and other children’s programming (e.g. Paw Patrol). By comparing these behaviors across both shows using 15s partial interval scoring, we can observe whether there are systematic differences children with autism consume television. Results demonstrated that children with autism displayed higher levels of engagement and orientation and lower levels of off-task and challenging behaviors when watching Daniel Tiger than Paw Patrol. Their neuro-typical peers demonstrated higher levels of engagement and orientation and lower levels of off-task and challenging behaviors when watching Paw Patrol than Daniel Tiger. Ultimately, by demonstrating that children with autism when watching Daniel Tiger displayed higher levels of engagement and lower levels of off-task behavior, it can be used to teach social skills to children with autism.
 
228.

Generalized Effects of Functional Communication Training to an Inclusive Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN CARPENTER (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Ya-yu Lo (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract:

Functional Communication Training (FCT) is an evidence-based intervention for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). FCT is used to teach students with ASD a functionally equivalent communicative response (FCR) to replace challenging behavior. While there is extensive research on FCT and some even measures generalization of the skills across settings, to date, there are no studies evaluating the effects of FCT implemented in a special education setting and generalization to the general education setting. This is critical, as most students with ASD spend part of their days in a special education setting. In the current poster, presenters will provide data related to FCT implemented in a special education setting and the effects on the generalization of the FCR and challenging behavior to the generalization setting with elementary students with ASD. The presenters will discuss implications for research and practice.

 
229. The Effects of a Technology-Based Instruction Package on Sentence Construction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN CARPENTER (University of North Carolina- Charlotte), Robert C. Pennington (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Written expression is critical to in- and post-school success. However, students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and complex communication needs (CCN) often have difficulty with written expression due to difficulties with handwriting, spelling, and the structure of writing. The development of a strong writing repertoire for these students with ASD and CCN may result in improved communicative interactions and thus, better quality of life outcomes. Despite this need, there is limited research on how to teach written expression to students with ASD and CCN. In the current study, researchers investigated the effects of a technology-based instructional package on accurate sentence construction of three middle school students with ASD and complex communication needs. The autonomous package used constant time delay to teach students to select words to construct sentence frames. Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the package using a single case multiple probe research design. In the current poster, presenters will provide data related to this study and discuss implications for research and practice.
 
230. The Effects of a Caregiver Implemented Toilet Training Package
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE P. CROTEAU (ABA Northern Services & Training Inc.), Colleen Cumiskey Moore (Teachers College, Columbia University), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Toileting skills are a developmental milestone achieved by typically developing children as they start school. However, children diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities experience challenges in the acquisition of this behavioral cusp with caregivers often delaying the teaching of these skills. This study taught four caregivers a 24-step toilet training program aimed at teaching their child daytime dryness. Results of this study showed that the four caregivers learned and maintained the performance of the 24-step procedure at 96% for one and 92% for the other three caregivers, when it was transferred to the home environment with their child. The multi-component toilet training package was effective in teaching three or the four children to learn daytime dryness, and social validity affirms the success of the program also training for bowel movement success, for three of the four participants.
 
231. The effects of limited hold schedule and negative punishment to decrease genital self-stimulation in an adolescent with autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENATA MICHEL (Grupo Conduzir), Larissa Aguirre (Grupo Conduzir), Marina Antonio (Grupo Conduzir)
Discussant: Stephanie Chan (PlaySmart Child Development Society, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Research suggests that combine different types of schedules of reinforcement and punishment can be used to decreases problem behavior that is maintained by automatic reinforcement (Verriden & Roscoe, 2019; DeRosa; Roane; Roane; Bishop; Silkowski, 2016). The present study investigated the effects of combining limited hold schedule and negative punishment to decrease the genital self-stimulation of a 13-year-old male, diagnosed with autism and fragile-X. Results suggested the procedure was efficient to decrease the frequency of self-stimulation behavior and to increase the duration of task completion.
 
232.

A Comparison of an Analog and Brief Functional Analysis of Aggressive Behavior in an Adolescent With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENATA MICHEL (Grupo Conduzir), Tassia Pina (Grupo Conduzir), Estela Manfrin (Grupo Conduzir)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract:

Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982/1994) proposed an approach to behavioral assessment based on the experimental model that has been largely used in applied settings. In order to conduct a functional analysis of aggressive behavior of severely handicapped clients in an outpatient setting during a 90-min period Northup et al., (1991) proposed a brief functional assessment approach. In this article we compare the outcomes of both functional analysis methodologies to an autistic adolescent with severe aggressive behavior. Results suggested that Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982/1994) approach was essential to design idiosyncratic conditions that were later confirmed in the brief functional assessment approach.

 
233.

The Effectiveness of the IISCA and Skill-Based Treatment for Students Transitioning into Adult Living

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY BRIGHT (May Institute), Emily Sullivan (May Institute; Western New England University)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract:

In the school setting, students have a finite amount of time to access services that are available to them (e.g., educational, home-based, etc.). In Massachusetts, students who turn 22 years old age out of the school system which often results in reduced state and insurance funding and therefore fewer available services. As students approach the transition into adulthood, caregivers, teachers, and other stakeholders need to prepare them with the skills needed to be successful. However, finding adult services and programs for students who engage in severe problem behavior may be a challenge. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to quickly implement a safe and effective assessment and treatment process to address the severe problem behavior of two 21-year-old participants. First, a single-session interview-informed contingency analysis (IISCA) was administered to determine if the participants’ problem behavior was sensitive to a synthesis of social reinforcers (Jessel, Hanley, Ghaemmaghami, & Metras, 2019). Then, a skill-based treatment process (SBT) was implemented to teach each participant to tolerate delays to access synthesized reinforcers and engage in contextually appropriate behavior during delays. The assessment and treatment process was effective in teaching contextually appropriate behavior while maintaining low rates of dangerous problem behavior for both participants.

 
234. Effectively Training Behavioral Technicians to Implement Discrete-Trial Teaching Efficiently: A Sequential Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
OLIVIA HARVEY (Eastern Michigan University), Adam M. Briggs (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training (BST) is an evidence-based training protocol that is most commonly comprised of (a) instructions, (b) modeling, (c) rehearsal, and (d) feedback. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the influence of each BST component in a sequential manner to determine the most effective and efficient method for training behavioral technicians to implement discrete-trial teaching. Preliminary results suggest the feedback component was necessary for all participants to reach the mastery criterion (100% correct across three consecutive sessions). We discuss implications of these results and directions for future research.
 
236. Examining the Effects of Behavioral Skills Training on Social Praise Delivery in Malaysian Classrooms
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
IRENE LOOI (The New England Center for Children, Western New England University), Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University; Simmons University)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: Malaysia launched the Inclusive Education Program (IEP) in 1997 to integrate students with special needs into mainstream classrooms. A survey conducted in 2014 among local teachers reported a lack of training and skills in addressing the needs of IEP students in their classrooms. The purposes of this research were to (1) introduce the use of social praise via behavioral skills training (BST) to IEP teachers, (2) increase the use of social praise by IEP teachers via written feedback provided by the experimenter after each post-BST classroom session; and (3) increase the likelihood of individually selected target behavior in IEP students. A multiple-baseline across 4 IEP teacher-student dyads was conducted. Interobserver agreement, collected in 34.9% of sessions, averaged 96.3% for the frequency of social praise and 90.7% for the occurrence of student behavior. Results indicated that BST and written feedback were effective in increasing the frequency (converted to responses per minute) of social praise issued by all 4 teachers and that collateral effects were seen by an increase in target behaviors for 2 out of 4 student participants. A posttreatment social validity survey completed by teacher participants indicated that the BST goals, and procedures, and outcomes were practical and important.
 
237. Training Behavioral Technicians to Implement Discrete-Trial Teaching: Recent Advancements and Future Directions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA JO ZOHR (Eastern Michigan University), Adam M. Briggs (Eastern Michigan University), Olivia Harvey (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention is an empirically-supported treatment that has the potential to mitigate core and associated features of autism. Although we have a powerful intervention for treating children diagnosed with autism, less is known about effectively training behavioral technicians to implement discrete-trial teaching (DTT). Research indicates behavioral skills training (BST) is an effective method for training behavioral technicians. Over the past decade, researchers have replicated and extended research in this area in an attempt to make it more effective while requiring fewer resources. This review summarizes recent advancements in the BST literature for training technicians to implement DTT.
 
238. An imitation-to-matching procedure for establishing auditory discrimination in children with autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOANNA LIEW (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: Two students diagnosed with autism participated in this study of an instructional strategy for establishing auditory discrimination. Prior to instruction, neither participant responded differentially to auditory stimuli in the context of matching to sample. In the first phase, imitation of actions with objects was established with items that produced auditory stimuli (musical instruments). Participants were then taught to respond to the sounds produced by these stimuli when the stimuli were out of view. Both participants reached mastery criteria of at least 8/9 trials correct for two consecutive sessions. One participant required 89 sessions of auditory discrimination training and the other required 6. Interobserver agreement was calculated for an initial sample of 18 sessions for one participant and ranged from 89% to 100%. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity measures were collected for the other participant and were at 100%. The use of imitation of actions with objects that produce sound may aid in transfer of stimulus control from visual to auditory stimuli with some children with autism.
 
239.

Evaluating Escape Extinction for Food Selectivity in a School Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE COE (May Institute), Meghan Silva (May Institute), Michaela Rice (May Institute), Amy Ivanoski (May Institute)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract:

Roughly 80% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with feeding challenges, including food refusal and food selectivity (Schreck, Williams, & Smith, 2004). Food refusal is defined as failure to meet caloric requirements as a result of refusal to consume all or most foods whereas food selectivity involves an individual restricting the foods they will consume to a limited selection (Ledforda, Whitesideb, & Severinia, 2018). Feeding challenges can present a risk of medical complications including chronic vitamin and mineral deficiencies, poor bone growth, and obesity (Sharp, Burrell, & Jaquess, 2014). Escape extinction is effective in treating feeding challenges with the ASD population but is not well documented in school settings (Volkert & Piazza, 2012). One specific escape extinction procedure is non-removal of the spoon, in which positive reinforcement is delivered contingent upon consumption of food presented on a spoon held by an adult (Ahearn et al., 1996; Kitfield & Masalsky, 2000). In the current study, non-removal of the spoon was utilized in a school setting for two participants diagnosed with ASD who presented with food selectivity. Results suggest non-removal of the spoon is effective in introducing novel foods to individuals with ASD and food selectivity in a school setting.

 
240. Teaching Children with Language Delays to Initiate Conversation through Tact Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Tamara L. Pawich (Cocoa Beach Child Psychology ), Michael E. Kelley (The University of Scranton ), Stephanie Brand (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment ), Justine Henry (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment ), Ma Krishna Rosales (Florida Institute of Technology), Tanja Ramirez-Schwarz (Behavior Basics, Incorporated ), MARISSA E. KAMLOWSKY (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment ), Basak Topcuoglu (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment )
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: A tact is a verbal operant often taught to children with language delays as a prerequisite to expressing interest and other conversational skills. Typical teaching strategies involve setting up the environment to occasion tact behavior. A common issue associated with tact training is a lack of generalization in which the child demonstrates tact behavior under teaching conditions but does not demonstrate the behavior in naturalistic conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an intervention for increasing spontaneous tacts in children who emit impure tacts in the presence of discriminative stimuli (e.g., “What is it?”), but do not emit pure tacts in less contrived situations; additionally, this study aimed to identify whether the intervention increases nonverbal, spontaneous social behaviors. Participants included children ages 2-12 years. Procedures consisted of differential reinforcement, systematic prompting, and prompt fading conducted under conditions more similar to those in which pure tacts would be expected to occur. Following intervention, an increase in pure tacts of trained stimuli was observed across all participants, and an increase in pure tacts of untrained stimuli was observed for two participants. Procedures used in this study may lead to improvements in language acquisition interventions by increasing generalization of communication skills.
 
241. Side Effects of Time-Out
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLARISSA MARTIN (Marcus Autism Center), Madison Miller (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: In order to decrease maladaptive behaviors among children with Autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, clinicians may exhaust all reinforcement-based strategies and may rely on punishment-based strategies to observe clinically-significant levels (Regalado et al., 2004; Riley et al., 2004). Additionally, punishment-based strategies, such as time-out, are often recommended by pediatricians to caregivers to decrease maladaptive behaviors (Scholer et al., 2006). While many studies have examined the utility of time-out, the data analysis often involves the exclusion of the time-out time period (e.g., Donaldson & Vollmer, 2011). Research is needed on the prevalence of problem behavior during time-out, as well as the possible side effects of the procedure, to understand the overall feasibility of time-out as an intervention for maladaptive behavior.
 
242. The Assessment and Treatment of Multiple Stereotypies Using the Augmented Competing Stimulus Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY WEBBER (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: Competing stimulus assessments (CSA) are effective at identifying stimuli that compete with automatically maintained behavior and promoting leisure item engagement. The current study extends research by Jennett, Jann, and Hagopian (2011) by evaluating additional treatment components designed to facilitate competing item identification. In the current study, a CSA was conducted in which each item was presented singly; during these trials, the targeted stereotypic responses and item engagement were recorded. No consequences were implemented for item engagement or stereotypy. The initial CSA was then repeated with three remediation procedures: re-presentation, re-presentation and reprimands, and re-presentation with a differential reinforcement (DR) procedure. Findings were then evaluated in a treatment analysis to identify whether ongoing use of the remediation strategies was necessary to maintain low levels of stereotypy and high levels of item engagement. Interobserver agreement was assessed across 48.9% of sessions, and average coefficients were as follows: straw twirling was 98.9%, motor stereotypy was 92.6%, and item engagement was 90.8%. This study extends previous literature by demonstrating that additional treatment components (e.g., DR) can be useful during CSAs. Results also show that DR may be initially necessary but over time, the item engagement may maintain in the absence of social contingencies.
 
243. Assessment and Treatment of Challenging Behavior Maintained by a Non-Vocal Mands Function
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SARA JEGLUM (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; University of Wisconsin-Madison), Morgan Marie Hallgren (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer Vetter (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Zhana Loubeau (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: Standard functional analysis procedures occasionally require modifications to assess idiosyncratic variables, including adult compliance with mands (Bowman et al., 1997). In the literature, the mands function is largely represented by individuals who vocally communicate idiosyncratic requests, and schedule thinning has rarely been conducted (Schmidt et al., 2017). Mike was a 12-year-old male who displayed severe problem behavior and communicated using picture cards, gestures, signs, and one-syllable vocalizations. Observations indicated that adult noncompliance with idiosyncratic mands evoked problem behavior. Using a reversal design, a mands assessment was completed with a test condition where adults complied with mands for 30s contingent on problem behavior, and a control condition where adults complied with mands irrespective of problem behavior. Results showed differentiated rates of problem behavior in the test condition compared to control. Treatment consisted of differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors and other behaviors (with a resetting component) via a multiple schedule with signaled availability, and the use of discriminative stimuli. Schedule thinning occurred and low rates of problem behavior were maintained. Relevance to clinical care and future directions will be discussed.
 
244. Training Parents to Implement Social Skills Curriculum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TORICA EXUME (My Florida Therapy)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if utilizing the sequence of in-vivo training with an instructor then independently completing a self-guided manual was feasible for the parent to complete and to evaluate the effects of providing teaching steps to train parents of children with autism to be social skills trainers on two social skill targets. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is a commonly used and effective method of teaching individuals’ new skills, which consists of four components: instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback.
 
245. The Unionization of Behavior Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOSHUA GARNER (Behavioral Education Research Initiative)
Discussant: Jane Paul (Excella Developmental Services)
Abstract: The growing business takeover of behavior analysis has had many consequences. On one hand, more individuals are gaining access to services compared to previous decades; however, it is still not perfect. On the other hand, workers (i.e., RBTs, BCBAs) are exploited and disenfranchised with respect to their labor, paid time off, non-billable time, mental health days off, among many other issues. These issues are negatively affecting the growing number of certified individuals contributing to the poor attrition rates in the field. Therefore, a new fundamental direction is needed—the unionization of certified individuals in behavior analysis. A better fundamental work-environment will foster a better you, freeing you to provide better care for your clients, instead of worrying about whether your workplace will punish staying at home with a sick child, for example. The goal of this poster is to shed light on the common concerns RBTs and BCBAs experience in the workplace, define a union and a worker cooperative, discuss why unionizing is important, and to provide a potential path towards unionization.
 
 

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