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 #542
Monday, May 25, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Hall D
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
139.

The Effects of Speech Fluency on the Social Interactions of Children With Social Skills Deficits

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TANNER MADISON PICKETT (Berry College), Thom Ratkos (Berry College)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the speech fluency training on the social interactions of children. The children in this study were between the ages of 5 -10 and were identified by their school’s administration and speech-language pathologist as students that had social skills deficits that had been observed within the school setting. Participants were observed interacting with peers during recess and data were taken on when participants initiated conversation with a peer. Once baseline data were collected, participants entered the treatment phase where they were trained to say the names of their classmates in the presence of the classmate’s picture. Participants were given a tact training procedure, using picture cards of their classmates were presented in 20-second timings across several days. These data were collected and graphed on a standard celeration chart. A multiple baseline across participants design was used in order to demonstrate changes between baseline and treatment phases. The data collected so far are inconclusive on whether or not this treatment is effective in increasing the interactions of children with social skills deficits.

 
140. Using Relational Frame Theory to Teach Perspective Taking Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRITTANY DOLAN (St. Cloud State University; Centre for Behavioural Studies, St. Lawrence College), Meaghen Shaver (Centre for Behavioural Studies, St. Lawrence College), Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Perspective taking is a common skillset of interest when considering individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Emerging trends suggest a relational frame theory (RFT) lens can be effective in establishing deictic responding as a generalized operant of behaviour, which is arguably synonymous with improving perspective taking skills, and thought to underlie diverse social skills. The current project seeks to explore the extent to which relational training can improve deictic relational responding, as well as the effect of such training on performance on common Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks. This case study examines the learning trajectory of an 8-year-old boy with ASD via PEAK Equivalence and PEAK Transformation modules. Results suggest an RFT approach is effective for the participant, yielding program mastery and demonstrating relational responding. Despite evidence suggesting relational training may not transfer to performance on common ToM tasks in individuals with ASD, the results discussed in this paper may indicate otherwise. Implications and next steps are discussed.
 
141.

A Consultation Model for Improving the Implementation of the "Accept, Identify, Move" Curriculum in Applied Behavior Analysis Programs for Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH M. DUNKEL-JACKSON (Centria Autism Services), Jennifer Reid (Centria Healthcare), Kayleah Crosby-Rowley (Centria Healthcare), Laura Belz (Centria Healthcare)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Abstract Accept. Identify. Move. (AIM) (Dixon & Paliliunas, 2018) is a curriculum that incorporates contemporary behavior analytic approaches to enhancing social-emotional development of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Using case studies and a multiple baseline across participants, the current study will explore the benefits of a group consultation model to help clinicians implement this new curriculum with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have behavior treatment goals of decreasing challenging behavior and increasing social-emotional regulation skills. Results will include changes in observed challenging behavior rates and psychological flexibility as reported by parents and clients as well as participation in Accept, Identify, Move (AIM) sessions and use of Accept, Identify, Move (AIM) skills. Participants include 3-10 individuals over the age of 6 years who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants may also be diagnosed with additional medical conditions (e.g., Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Epilepsy). Collaboration with additional service providers (e.g., psychiatrist, social worker) will occur as needed for children with additional diagnoses. Each participant will be receiving applied behavior analytic services from a large healthcare agency that provides in-home and center-based applied behavior analytic services. Participants will have challenging behavior reduction and social-emotional regulation goals in their behavior treatment plan.

 
142.

Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
NICOLE HIGGINS (Florida Institute of Technology), Vida Tyc (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

While there has been an extensive amount of research on tobacco use in children and adolescents, very little has been conducted in children with developmental delays, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders. Similarly, research examining newer methods of nicotine use, such as electronic nicotine delivery systems has not yet been conducted in this population. It has previously been assumed that characteristics commonly observed in youngsters with autism serve as protective factors for the initiation of tobacco and ENDS use; however, no studies have identified the variables that contribute to a youngster’s intention to smoke/use e-cigarettes in this vulnerable population. This study aimed to determine rates of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes use, smoking and vaping rates in family homes and vehicles, and identify the factors associated with future intentions to use tobacco/e-cigarettes among youngsters with autism. A total of 70 children (ages 10-17 yrs) and their parents/guardians were enrolled on this study and completed an online questionnaire about their smoking and vaping habits. Half of children (50%) endorsed a history of cigarette use, 45.7% endorsed a history of ENDS use (n = 32), and 86.5% of children used tobacco also used ENDS products (n = 32).

 
143.

The Long-Term Usage Patterns of App-Based Intervention Programs for Youths With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Real World

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YOUNKYOUNG LEE (Yonsei University), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

The advancement in information & communication technology (ICT) expanded development and distribution of technology-based interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, limited information is available regarding the effectiveness and long-term usage of those programs, which are critical factors for interventions. This study investigated the usage patterns of two evidence-based mobile apps named Yface and Ycog developed for improving social cognition and cognitive functions in individuals with ASD. Both apps were developed based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and have been open for public for two years after the treatment outcome research was completed. The number of new users and active users were recorded with their usage patterns through the administrator website. The results showed that 931 users newly registered for the apps (Yface n=392, Ycog n=539), yet 57.91% for Yface and 41% for Ycog did not use the app after they joined. The percentage of completing the whole program of the app was 3.83% (n=15) and 7.76% (n=43), respectively. Findings suggest the need to adopt effective strategies (e.g., gamification) to promote long-term use of developed apps.

 
144.

Increasing Child-Initiated Communication in Young Children With Autism Using Pivotal Response Treatment

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEVON WHITE (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Jane Shkel (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Morgan Steele (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Antonio Hardan (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA), Grace Werner Gengoux (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism struggle to acquire fluent verbal communication skills in spite of early behavioral intervention targeting increasingly complex speech. Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) employs maintenance tasks and reinforcement of child attempts to motivate children to initiate communication, and may have promise for rapidly increasing length of independent utterances. This pilot study presents preliminary data regarding the short-term benefits of clinician-delivered PRT on the length of independent utterances. Study participants received 12 hours per week of PRT in an early intervention classroom setting. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design is being used to measure the effect on average length of independent utterances. Available data from 10-minute video samples for the first two participants (one female aged 2.9 years and one male aged 2.7) indicate rapid increase in number of words used during session probes over the course of treatment. Interobserver agreement was assessed for 30% of the videos and coders met an 80% reliability standard. Extended baseline data are currently being collected from additional participants scheduled to enter the program. Implications of the findings, as well as limitations, will be discussed with emphasis on the potential utility of PRT for motivating children with ASD to speak more independently.

 
145.

A Systematic Review and Extension of Parent-Mediated Communication Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JODIE WAITS (Louisiana State University), Cassie Feck (Louisiana State University), Shawn Patrick Gilroy (Louisiana State University), Daphne Hartzheim (Louisiana State University), Jane Morton (Emerge Center)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Including caregivers as therapists in early intervention has been shown to provide a number of benefits such as supporting pre-academic skills (Smith et al., 2000), social communication (Aldred et al., 2004), alternatives to problem behavior (Bearss et al., 2015), and caregiver stress (Ingersoll & Wainer, 2013). Despite this, there is relatively little research on how to best train and prepare caregivers to contribute to behavioral interventions. This review extends the literature review of parent-mediated communication treatments conducted by Lang et al. (2009). The systematic search revealed 22 studies that met inclusion criteria. Communication interventions included Improving Parents as Communication Teachers (ImPACT), Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), and Behavioral Skills Training (BST), among others. Procedures used to train parents most often included verbal instructions, written instructions/instruction manuals, modeling by trainer, and feedback. Parent fidelity of treatment implementation was measured using checklists and rating scales. Both parent fidelity of implantation and child communication improved in all studies.

 
146.

Promoting the Use of Web-Based VB-MAPP in China: Some Preliminary Findings

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Xuegang Wang (INGCare), ZIWEI XU (Institute for Accessibility Development Tsinghua University; INGCare), Zhen Wang (INGCare), Jiarui Yan (INGCare; Interactive Media Institute of Arts & Design Academy Tsinghua University), Youruo Ma (INGCare)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Typically, ABA-based treatment for individuals with ASD is supervised by master’s or doctoral-level certified clinicians (e.g., Board Certified Behavior Analysts) who are responsible for assessing skill deficits, developing treatment programs, tracking client progress, and adjusting treatment programs as needed (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2014). Unfortunately, that is not the case in China. Due to the lack of government support (McCabe & Deng, 2017) and shortage of credentialed practitioners (data retrievable from Behavior Analyst Certification Board), practitioners with high school or bachelor’s-level educations are stepping up to fill gaps in service delivery and play the dual role of behavior supervisors and technicians (e.g., conducting the assessment, writing treatment plans, and implementing the plans). The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is one of the most widely used assessment for the treatment of autism and it contains a functional analysis of language (Esch, LaLonde, & Esch, 2010; Gould, Dixon, Najdowski, Smith, & Tarbox, 2011; Sundberg, 2014). The launch and expansion of the web-based VB-MAPP in Chinese translation has brought dramatic changes to how Chinese practitioners assess skill deficits and design treatment plans for individuals with ASD. Given the increasing number of practitioners using the VB-MAPP, there is a need to further investigate the demographics of the practitioners, the healthcare organizations they are affiliated to, the clients they have implemented the assessment with, and the caregivers of the clients. The findings shed light on the breadth of current and future needs for early screening and diagnosis of ASD, parent education and training on ASD treatment, staff training on B.F. Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and non-governmental organizations that provide ABA-based direct services for children with ASD in China.

 
147. Reduction of Automatically Maintained Skin Picking in an Adult Informed by a Competing Stimulus Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ELIZABETH CLARE NUDELMAN ((Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) ), Sara Jeglum (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; University of Wisconsin-Madison), Mathew C Luehring (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: The competing stimulus assessment (CSA) have been used to identify stimuli that are associated with high levels of engagement and low levels of challenging behavior (Piazza et al., 1998). However, few studies have used the CSA for adults with challenging behavior to inform treatment. This study expands on previous literature by targeting an adult’s stereotypical skin-picking and incorporating caregivers into treatment and generalization. Abriana was a 27-year-old female diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability referred to an intensive outpatient clinic. Functional analysis results indicated that skin-picking was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A CSA was conducted with both small and large stimuli to inform treatment. A treatment package including non-contingent access to competing stimuli, response disruption, and response promotion was systematically evaluated using a reversal design. Results indicated that the combination of non-contingent access to competing stimuli (large and small) and response promotion significantly reduced Abriana’s skin-picking to near zero rates, while response blocking was associated with high rates of challenging behavior and low levels of engagement. The treatment was generalized across caregivers. Limitations are discussed, as well as future considerations of behavior reduction procedures with adults.
 
148.

The Effects of Escape Extinction and Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors on Acceptance of Regular Texture Non-Preferred Foods by a Child With Food Selectivity and Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DENA KELLY (Devereux Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center), Brittany Ann Doan (Devereux Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center), Jennifer E. Dawson (Devereux Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism also exhibit food selectivity. Food selectivity can lead to malnutrition and social stigma. One strategy used to increase acceptance of non-preferred foods is a texture gradient scale. With this, bites are presented gradually from puree to solid. This method is effective but often time consuming and inefficient. This study utilizes a treatment package consisting of escape extinction and differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA) to decrease the number of steps in the gradient scale required to achieve acceptance of regular texture bites of a novel, non-preferred food in a child with autism. The subject, a three-year-old male with typically developing oral motor skills and significant food refusal, is enrolled in an outpatient feeding program. The participant is presented with pureed bites and increases to regular texture bites in one step through the use of this treatment package. The study also compares the time between successive new food presentations to determine if the required presentations of purees decreases with each new food. If positive results are achieved, it will offer an efficient way to increase food acceptance in children with autism and lessen social stigma. The implications for future research will be provided.

 
149.

Increasing Novel Food Consumption by a Young Adult With Autism Through Differential Negative Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN CARTER (Melmark New England), Silva Orchanian (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorders often demonstrate food refusal or selectivity (Ahearn, Castine, Nault, & Green, 2001). This can lead to poor nutrition and maladaptive behaviors (Schreck, et al., 2004, Budd et al., 1992). Effective strategies within this area are not readily available or researched for older children and young adults. Data within this study represents a young adult diagnosed with autism, aged 20, who attends a residential education program. This participant presented with a very limited food repertoire that was persistent over his lifetime. Previous strategies such as shaping and reinforcement were ineffective and unsuccessful for this participant. Due to this, a differential negative reinforcement of alternative behavior was implemented to increase novel food consumption. This strategy was successful in increasing the participant’s novel food consumption systematically by introducing novel foods as success was achieved using a multiple baseline design across settings. Inter-observer agreement was collected with 100% agreement.

 
150.

A Re-examination of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Interventions for Minimally Verbal Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ANGELA T MACDONALD (McGill University; Centre for Research on Brain, Language, and Music), Aparna Nadig (McGill University; Centre for Research on Brain, Language, and Music)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Approximately 30% of people with autism will not develop the ability to communicate verbally. During childhood, many attempts are made to increase spoken language in these minimally verbal children with autism (MV), often without success. They are eventually taught to communicate using non-spoken methods using signs, pictures, or tablets (i.e., augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] systems).To date, research has shown that AAC interventions do not negatively impact the development of spoken communication for MV children, with some studies even reporting gains in spoken communication. When examined more closely, the AAC intervention studies that report gains often include additional strategies that serve to promote spoken communication (integrated AAC interventions). These will be distinguished from interventions that solely teach the use of the AAC system (AAC teaching interventions). This poster will review prior research to determine whether integrated AAC versus AAC teaching interventions promote the development of spoken communication to a greater degree. Of the 30 single-subject (see tables 1 and 2) and five group studies reviewed, 1) AAC teaching interventions do not hinder nor do they help the development of spoken communication 2) Integrated AAC interventions show promise in helping develop spoken communication. This poster will contribute to the evidence base on interventions for MV children, a currently under-researched group.

 
151.

ABAcadabra: An App to Teach Conditional Discrimination to Individuals With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LUIZA GUIMARÃES (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), João S. Carmo (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that has deficits in social communication skills, and high frequency of stereotypy and restricted behavior. Behavior Analysis is an important intervention that helps to decrease ASD symptoms. The ASD behavioral intervention involves, often, language development, since part of this population is no vocal. Spoken by others is an important repertoire that involves learning relationships between stimuli. There are many studies that investigate computer-based technologies to teach people with autism. In this context, Tablets devices are a possible tool for teaching fundamental skills to ASD individuals, and it can help them to have a better quality of life. A lot of skill can be teaching by the Tablet device, one of them is the conditional discrimination that can be trained in MTS tasks. The present study proposed to evaluate three types of training: with ABAcadabra tablet application alone, with paper alone, and combined form (ABAcadabra and paper). In Experiments 1, the experimental stimuli were separated into three groups, each one related to the type of training (with ABAcadabra, paper and combined). One participant (ASD and non-vocal) had to identify items such as fruits and tools, and another (ASD and vocal) had to identify syllables. With both participants, combined training proved to be more efficient because facilitated the rapid acquisition of responses, as well as the emergence of untrained responses.

 
152.

The Effect of Response Interruption and Redirection as Treatment for Stereotypy in an Adult With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HEIDI GARCIA (The Faison Center, Inc.)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) was used to systematically reduce the frequency of stereotypy during meals in a 22-year-old adult male with autism. The stereotypy is defined as the individual hitting the table, himself, or the chair while eating lunch. This behavior is socially significant because the hits are loud and disruptive when eating in the community or with peers and family members. During the intervention, staff were trained to interrupt and redirect stereotypy to a socially appropriate task (holding the plate) while the individual was eating their lunch. The intervention was gradually added and the number of prompts increased overtime to one prompt per minute. Rates of stereotypy decreased from an average of 13 hits per minute to 3 hits per minute. Once rates were low and stable, staff were instructed to begin to fade prompts but the rates of stereotypy increased as well. Staff were informed to continue to provide prompts every minute and probes are currently being collected. In the coming months staff will be instructed to systematically fade prompts again in order to determine effectiveness of treatment.

 
153.

Let’s Work Together! A Family-Centered Services System in Mainland China

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TANGCHEN LI (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Family plays a vital role in the behavioral and educational intervention for children with ASD (Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015). Family is the constant in the child’s life instead of the professional. The family is also in the best position to determine the needs and well-being of the child. When professionals also help the family, the child can get the best help, which may also extend to an understanding of the family’s community and to providing information that the family needs (Dempsey & Keen, 2008). This poster will present the readers with a family-centered approach for professionals and families to follow. In this family-centered approach, child with ASD, parents and other caregivers, and siblings will be considered as important roles in the services system. A model of how to provide service and how to incorporate the needs of all members in the family will be presented. Key components of this family-centered services system include: helping family members to understand their lives, goals, strengths, and challenges and establishing a cooperation relationship between family and professionals; working with family to set goals for their child with ASD and their whole family as a intervention team; providing individualized, culturally responsive and evidence-based intervention for each family; providing feedback on their progress. This family-centered system has been implemented in mainland China with more than 20 families. This poster will present the audience with a system on how to engage families with a Chinese cultural background actively and optimize the family outcome for families with a child with ASD in mainland China.

 
154.

An Analysis of Exposure Procedures for Sound Aversion in an Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CARISSA CAREY (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck ), Aine Murphy (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck), David R. Gallaway (The Institute of Professional Practice, Inc), Diane Dean (Institute of Professional Practice, Learning Academy, Naugatuck)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Carissa Carey, Aine Murphy, David Gallaway, and Diane Dean describe a process of innovative assessments and treatment using a matrix to identify salient sound variables for a 13-year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in which sensitivity to the aversive sounds of peers was the identified antecedent. Procedures outlined include three phases of assessment and treatment. Phase 1 consisted of an initial sound exposure protocol to target the sensitivity. Phase 2 included a procedure for shaping a competing response. Phase 3 was an assessment of relevant variables of the antecedent sound using a matrix, which informed an update to the sound exposure protocol utilizing the identified salient stimuli of the aversive sound tied to the most severe challenging target behaviors. The matrix for assessment tested classes of sound, volume, location, and the severity of challenging behavior based on specific sound variables. Outcomes display a decreasing trend during treatment. Due to the limited research in the area of treatment for sound aversion, it is important to continue to assess alternative variations of exposure and like treatments.

 
155.

Virtual Reality: What is Currently Known About aPromising Tool to Teach Social Skills to Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
ARGNUE CHITIYO (Ball State University), Chaidamoyo Goodson Dzenga (Tennessee Technological University)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Approximately 1 in 68 children in USA have autism. Children with autism exhibit deficits in social communication and interaction skills. Social skills are directly related to quality of life since they entail building relationships with other people and accessing opportunities where social skills are an essential pre-requisite. Virtual reality technological strategies have recently gained prominence as a potentially effective tool for training social skills to people with autism. Virtual reality creates simulations of the real-world social situations that can be personalized to meet the personal preferences of children with autism and used to train target social or professional skills to the individuals. Despite the promising rise of virtual reality in the fields of human skills training, there is not yet enough evidence base for its efficacy on children and adolescents with autism. This review evaluates literature on virtual reality on children and adolescents with autism. Variations of tools used, social skills outcomes investigated, and generality of the taught skills are examined. Furthermore, the study computes effect sizes to assess the magnitude of effect of the interventions. Recommendations for future research are suggested.

 
156.

Using Functionally Matched Interventions to Reduce Transition-Related Challenging Behavior for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA ROJESKI (The University of Texas at Austin), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin), Cindy Gevarter (University of New Mexico)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

Transitioning between activities is a common challenge for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While a body of research has examined effective interventions targeting transitions for individuals with ASD, very few studies have assessed the function of behavior relative to the transition. Determining functionally matched interventions is a critical component to successful outcomes, thus, the present study examined the effectiveness of a functionally matched, embedded preference intervention for three young children with ASD, aged 2 - 7. Using an ABAB reversal with an embedded multi-element design, the function of transition-related challenging behavior was first assessed through a transition functional analysis. The transition functional analysis included two conditions for each traditional functional analysis condition, meaning there was an activity initiation (transitioning to), and activity termination (transitioning away from) component to each function. Transitions with elevated levels of challenging behavior were subsequently targeted for individualized intervention based on participant preferences and behavioral function. Intervention components varied for each participant but included strategies such as themed materials, "place savers" when interrupting routines, and modified instructional materials. Results for all three participants showed clear functions maintaining transition-related challenging behavior, and included 2-3 targeted transitions for each participant. Results indicated the functionally matched interventions were effective for all three participant, with behavior decreasing to zero or near-zero levels during intervention across all conditions. Interventions appeared to be equally effective across functions of behavior. Results generalized to new skills or people for all participants. Behavior maintained at the 1-month follow-up across all interventions for two participants. One participant had less consistent maintenance data. However, behavior did reduce to near zero levels again after a second maintenance check with an added component for one condition. This study indicated important implications for both home and school settings. Results demonstrated the importance of assessing function and using functionally matched interventions during transitions for individuals with ASD, and added to the body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of individualized intervention.

 
157.

The Role of Choice, Stimulus Fading, and Negative Reinforcement in the Treatment of Food Selectivity

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HALLIE FETTERMAN (Nationwide Children's Hospital; University of Cincinnati), Sarah C Connolly (May Institute), Anya Froelich (Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders; The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract:

There is a robust body of literature supporting behavioral analytic feeding interventions to treat food selectivity in children with autism spectrum disorder (Sharp, Jaquess, Morton, & Miles, 2011). Common treatment components of these behaviorally-based feeding interventions often include the use of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, escape extinction (e.g., non-removal of the spoon), and stimulus fading. However, traditional use of these procedures may not always be appropriate given the level of cognitive/developmental functioning, individual preferences, and age of the client This poster will present the methods and outcomes of a low-intensity intervention to address food selectivity in a child with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD). By emphasizing client preference and choice, and establishing a negative reinforcement contingency, the researchers were able to utilize traditional stimulus fading to rapidly increase bite acceptance and reduce negative behavior. As a result, the client increased the variety of foods and food groups consumed; the client then generalized this behavior to the home environment.

 
158. A Component Analysis of Self-Monitoring for Increasing Task Engagement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAM SHEETS (Western New England University New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children Western New England University)
Discussant: Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos)
Abstract: Self-monitoring has been suggested to be an effective treatment procedure by previous research. Although self-monitoring has been found to be an effective approach for increasing a variety of skills such as increasing time on-task, vocational engagement, and productivity, it is often conducted with additional treatment components such as prompting and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). Therefore, the potential benefit of self-monitoring alone remains unclear. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a component analysis of a self-monitoring intervention for increasing task engagement and productivity in a 20-year old male with autism spectrum disorder. During the treatment analysis, four treatment components were sequentially evaluated: self-monitoring alone (baseline) before and after training, self-monitoring plus DRA (accuracy), self-monitoring plus DRA (accuracy & engagement), and DRA (engagement). Dependent variables measured were task engagement, productivity, and stereotypy (Reliability was assessed in 25.5% of sessions; M = 98.1%). Self-monitoring alone was ineffective both after training and DRA (accuracy & engagement). By contrast, DRA (accuracy) was effective following exposure to DRA (accuracy & engagement). Therefore, self-monitoring can be effective when combined with only DRA (accuracy) under certain circumstances. The implications of these findings for using effectively using self-monitoring will be discussed.
 
159.

Less Preferred Dimensions But More Preferred Parameters of Reinforcement Reduce Problem Behavior in Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior Without Extinction

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXA CECELIA MORLEY KALMBACH (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Maryland, Baltimore County), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Previous research has shown that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) without extinction can be effective when dimensions of reinforcement (e.g., quality, duration) favor appropriate behavior over problem behavior. However, these studies did not examine individual preference for reinforcement dimensions. Procedures by Athens and Vollmer (2010) were replicated, but preceded by an assessment of preference for reinforcement dimensions. Results of the dimension analysis showed that reinforcer quality was the higher preferred dimension and reinforcer duration the lesser preferred dimension, for all participants. When DRA without extinction involving either the more preferred or relatively less preferred dimension was introduced, problem behavior was suppressed, and appropriate behavior was maintained. For one participant the more preferred dimension of reinforcement resulted in a more immediate and stable reduction of problem behavior, whereas, both dimensions suppressed problem behavior for the second participant.

 
160. Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior Without Extinction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELICA J SEDANO (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University ), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Zoe Newman (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for escape-maintained problem behavior. Although DRA typically includes an extinction component, escape extinction may not always be feasible or safe to implement. For this reason, researchers have evaluated DRA without extinction. DRA without extinction is a concurrent-schedules arrangement in that multiple schedules of reinforcement are operating, one for problem behavior and the other for appropriate behavior. When both problem behavior and appropriate behavior result in escape, it is important to consider reinforcement parameters, such as quality or magnitude, that may shift response allocation from problem behavior to compliance. The purpose of this literature review is to examine previous research using DRA without extinction to treat escape-maintained problem behavior. We conducted a literature search using the following keywords alone or in combination: DRA, contingent reinforcement, escape maintained problem behavior, reinforcer quality in four major journals (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Behavior Modification, and Behavioral Interventions). All studies that included treatment analyses without extinction for escape-maintained problem behavior were selected for review. Important findings regarding efficacious stimuli to include in the DRA contingency and areas for future research will be discussed.
 
161.

A Replication of the Cool Versus Not Cool Procedure Using Video and In-Vivo Demonstration With Preschoolers With Autism to Increase Vocal and Non-Vocal Social Interactions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners In Learning, Inc.), Melanie Erwinski (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Erin O'Brien (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract:

Increasing social behaviors for individuals with autism remains a critical focus for intervention. Social deficits for those with autism can impact both vocal and non vocal displays of socially appropriate interactions. Research has demonstrated effective social skill remediation using both in vivo and video model demonstration combined with role play opportunities. The “Cool versus Not Cool” procedure is a “social discrimination program used to increase children's ability to display appropriate social behaviors... using in-vivo role plays (and) discrimination training” (Leaf et al., 2012). Cool versus Not Cool has been used effectively as a social skills protocol with many children and teens with autism and related disorders (Taubman et al., 2011). This study replicated protocols of the “Cool versus Not Cool” procedure with three preschoolers with autism with their typically developing peers within a natural setting at their childcare center. In addition to in vivo demonstration, video models were utilized in discrimination training teaching sessions, as well role plays. Social behavior targets included both vocal and non vocal responses and initiations deemed typical of this age group.

 
162. A Review of Targeted Response Complexity during Functional Communication Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHARLENE NICOLE AGNEW (The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Queens College), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a well-established treatment for problem behavior. Clinical recommendations regarding the topography of alternative responses suggest functional communication responses (FCRs) should be initially less effortful and then gradually shaped to be more complex following reductions in problem behavior. However, the extent to which these recommendations are followed has not yet been systematically evaluated. We searched PsychInfo, PubMed, and Google Scholar to identify applications of FCT, then scored FCR topography in relation to baseline language ability for each individual. We also recorded variations of FCR topographies taught throughout the course of treatment and if teaching multiple FCRs of increasing complexity improved treatment outcomes. We found that FCT is expected to decrease problem behavior, regardless of whether single or multiple FCRs are taught. However, when multiple FCRs are taught, reductions in problem behavior are greater than when a single FCR is taught. Increases in social and developmental appropriateness may increase the likelihood of FCRs recruiting reinforcement in typical environments. Clinicians may also wish to be aware of the client’s communication ability before implementing FCT in order to determine initial FCRs that are less complex than the individual’s baseline ability in order to better compete with problem behavior.
 
163. An Individualized Treatment Package to Increase Urinary Continence
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERICA JONES (Florida Autism Center), Brandon C. Perez (University of Florida), Janelle Kirstie Bacotti (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Greer, Neidert, and Dozier (2016) evaluated the effectiveness of three components presented within a toilet-training package for typically-developing children: a 30-min sit schedule, placing subjects in underwear, and differential reinforcement for remaining dry and eliminating in the toilet. These components were evaluated both in isolation and together in a treatment package with 19 typically-developing children and 1 child diagnosed with ASD. Perez, Bacotti, Peters, and Vollmer (accepted) recently replicated the treatment-package condition with 13 children with ASD. To date, we now have 3 subjects for whom this treatment package was ineffective. The current study will present these 3 data sets and discuss the modifications that were made to increase appropriate urinations (for 2 of the 3 subjects). Importantly these modifications only consisted of reinforcement-based procedures (i.e., aversive consequences, such as reprimands or overcorrection, were never delivered contingent on accidents).
 
164. Competing Stimulus Assessment and its Application in Treating Automatically Maintained Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
OLIVIA COPPES CULBERTSON (The Faison Center, Inc.), Kathryn Herndon (The Faison Center, Inc.), Kathryn Littlejohn (The Faison Center, Inc.), Jennifer Graboyes Camblin (The Faison Center, Inc.)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities often engage in behaviors that are at times dangerous or disruptive to learning. Though some are maintained by socially mediated functions, others are automatically reinforced and may be more resistant to treatment. Extensive research in the area of competing stimulus assessments (CSA) has shown that they can be used to identify stimuli associated with reduced rates of those behaviors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of stimuli identified during assessment, for three students with autism in a private day school setting serving individuals who were often placed due to severe problem behavior or educational underachievement. Problem behaviors identified for these students included dangerous mouthing of items and disruptive stereotypy. For each participant, a functional analysis was conducted first, followed by a CSA, in which conditions were specifically designed to match the function and topography of the target behavior for each student. One student required a modification to the traditional CSA to decrease repetitive requests for unavailable items and repeated attempts to leave the session room. Stimuli associated with at least an 80% reduction in the rate of challenging behavior were then used to address each student’s target behavior.
 
165. Assessing the Criterion Validity of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Courtney Maher (Michigan State University ), BRITTANY HUNTER (Michigan State University), Shelby Rosalik (Michigan State University ), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services are supported by empirical research showing positive gains on standardized assessments, such as the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL; Mullen, 1997) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-3; Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Saulnier, 2016). Clinical practices however, often rely on commercially available skill assessments like the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008). There is little research evaluating the validity of the VB-MAPP and specifically, no research that we know of examining the criterion validity between the VB-MAPP and standardized assessments used in research. The current study examined the criterion and predictive validity of the VB-MAPP to determine whether gain scores on the VB-MAPP at intake, 6-months, and 12-month timepoints during EIBI treatment can predict outcomes on the MSEL and the VABS-3. Participants of the current study were children aged 2-5 that were enrolled in a university-based Midwestern EIBI center for 30 hours per week. Results will be discussed as they apply to concurrent and predictive validity of the VB-MAPP. Secondary analyses will address treatment planning based on outcomes from commercially available skill assessments.
 
166. Aesthetic Theming of Token Economies and its Affect on Target Response Rates
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY GHORM (Vista Autism Services), Nora Healy (Vista Autism Services), Bernadette Damiano (Vista Autism Services), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Despite common use, the appearance of a token economy’s board and tokens depends on style, preferences, and treatment institutions’ norms. This study evaluates target response rates when using aesthetically themed token economies and plain token economies. Two students attending a school for autism spectrum disorder were each introduced to a plain token economy and one themed towards the students’ interests based on interviews with treatment teams and a series of multiple stimulus preference assessments without replacement (MSWO). During baseline, target responses were recorded. In the unconditioned phase, participants’ target responses when using no token board, the plain token board, and the themed token board were recorded without use of backup reinforcers. One participant displayed a steady increase in response rates when using the themed token economy, contrasting a decrease over time in the other 2 conditions. Inter-observer agreement, treatment fidelity checklists, and role-play training contribute to confidence in this data, while the small sample size detracts. In an applied setting, a student shows increasing target response rates when using an unconditioned themed token economy, as opposed to decreasing response rates while using a plain token economy. This may have implications on the use of token economies without backup reinforcers.
 
167. An Evaluation of the Effects of Blocking on Self-Injurious Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHERINE LUKE (Melmark New England), Silva Orchanian (Melmark New England), Lauren Carter (Melmark New England), Jessica Buckley (Melmark New England), Kristina Harty (Melmark New England), Miah Dunbar (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Function-based interventions are often difficult to implement for maladaptive behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. In the case of self-injurious behavior (SIB), physical intervention may be necessary to maintain safety. The purpose of this assessment was to evaluate the effects of two different topographies of physical blocking on the SIB of a 19-year-old male with a diagnosis of Autism. An initial functional analysis indicated that this behavior was automatically reinforced. The effects of blocking SIB by matching resistance and blocking by covering the target area were assessed in comparison to a no blocking, baseline condition, using a multi-element design. Types of blocking were assessed with both familiar and novel therapists. Although the baseline condition resulted in the lowest rates of SIB, blocking was deemed necessary to minimize ongoing tissue damage. Results of the blocking comparison demonstrated that (1) therapist history effected rates of SIB, and (2) with a novel therapist, blocking by covering the target area resulted in lower rates of SIB than matching resistance of the participant. This assessment extends research of automatically maintained behavior and provides potential environmental variables that can be manipulated to decrease such maladaptive behavior.
 
168. Temporal Distributions of Eliminations Based on Scatter Plot Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TÉAH DANIELA SEGURA (University of Florida), Brandon C. Perez (University of Florida), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Janelle Kirstie Bacotti (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Greer, Neidert, and Dozier (2016) evaluated the effectiveness of three components presented within a toilet-training package for typically-developing children: a 30-min sit schedule, placing subjects in underwear, and differential reinforcement for remaining dry and eliminating in the toilet. These components were evaluated both in isolation and together in a treatment package with 19 typically-developing children and 1 child diagnosed with ASD. Perez, Bacotti, Peters, and Vollmer (accepted) recently replicated the treatment-package condition with 13 children with ASD. Currently, we are reanalyzing the data from Perez et al. (accepted) and evaluating within session patterns and secondary dependent variables. The purpose of the current study was to identify temporal patterns of urinations and bowel movements across time through the use of scatter plots as in Kahng et al. (1998).
 
169. Evaluating the Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement and Response Blocking in Reducing Automatically-Maintained Saliva Play
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Corey Walsh (May Institute), Vanessa Monti (May Institute), SARAH C CONNOLLY (May Institute)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: It is often challenging for practitioners to conduct thorough behavioral assessments and treatment evaluations of problematic behavior within a school setting. The current study aimed to replicate the findings of Saini et al. (2016) to reduce automatically reinforced problem behavior in an individual with autism spectrum disorder within a school setting. A trial-based functional analysis was conducted and determined the individual’s inappropriate saliva play behavior to be maintained by automatic reinforcement. The researchers then evaluated the individual and combined effects of noncontingent reinforcement and response blocking in the treatment of automatically-maintained saliva play. Results of this evaluation determined that, although treatment effects were observed for both treatments when implemented in isolation, a more robust treatment effect occurred when the treatments were combined. Specifically, the combined use of noncontingent reinforcement and response blocking was most efficacious in reducing the individual’s automatically-maintained saliva play. Factors influencing generalization will be discussed, in addition to considerations for practitioners who aim to target automatically maintained problem behavior within a school setting.
 
170.

A Descriptive Analysis of Ear Plugging in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE ANN ALVAREZ (University of Florida ), Samuel L. Morris (University of Florida), Brandon C. Perez (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Ear plugging is a behavior that may be especially prevalent in the population of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) due to their characteristic sensitivity to some visual and auditory stimuli as well as the prevalence of rigid and repetitive behavior. Ear plugging or covering can make communicating, teaching, and otherwise interacting with the individual much more difficult. Furthermore, ear plugging may influence compliance with instructions, especially with regard to personal safety. Tang, Kennedy, Koppekin and Caruso (2002) conducted a descriptive assessment of one subject’s ear plugging to identify if any antecedent or consequences reliably preceded or followed ear plugging, respectively. They identified that this subject’s ear plugging most often occurred when another child was screaming. Additionally, in a subsequent functional analysis, they determined this subject’s ear plugging was maintained by automatic negative reinforcement or escape/attenuation of aversive noises. The current study will extend the procedures of Tang et al. (2002) by conducting a descriptive assessment to identify the common antecedent events that usually surround ear plugging and determining the relative probability of ear plugging occurring following these events through the use of risk ratios.

 
171. Distance-Based Collaborations for Assessing and Treating Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL METRAS (Western New England University; FTF Behavioral Consulting), Matthew Carbone (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University; FTF Behavioral Consulting)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: An interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) and related skill-based treatment process can result in socially valid outcomes for clients exhibiting severe problem behavior when implemented by professionals and then transferred to teachers and parents (Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014; Santiago, Hanley, Moore, & Jin, 2016; Taylor, Phillips, & Gertzog, 2018). However, many families do not have access to professionals trained to implement functional analyses or function-based treatments (Deochand & Fuqua, 2016). In similar situations, parents have achieved differentiated functional analyses and have taught their children functional communication responses with telehealth support from behavior analysts (Suess et al., 2016). In the present study, three parents of children exhibiting severe problem behavior were trained to implement the IISCA and skill-based treatment process through distance-based collaborative consulting without local professional support. Following the implementation of a behavior skills training package, all parents achieved differentiated functional analyses and at least a 90% reduction in problem behavior relative to baseline. The extent to which general and socially validated outcomes are possible when parents implement these processes with support provided at a distance will be addressed in this study.
 
172.

Using Pairing to Teach Response to Name to Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMBER R. PADEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Response to name (RTN) is often a deficit of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and is a common treatment goal for children receiving early intervention services. Previous research has evaluated different prompting strategies to increase RTN without using physical guidance, which can be overly intrusive (Connie et al., 2019). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the use of pairing to teach RTN to preschool-aged children diagnosed with ASD. During pairing sessions, the child engaged with moderately preferred items and the experimenter said the child’s name three times while placing a preferred edible item in the child’s mouth. Following the completion of ten trials, the experimenter began a post-pairing session. During post-pairing, the experimenter stated the child’s name five times. A correct RTN (i.e., looking at experimenter’s eye region for any duration within 5 s) resulted in a brief social interaction (e.g., greeting, comment). Following every three post-pairing sessions, we conducted generalization and control sessions. During control sessions, the experiment stated a name other than the child’s five times. Preliminary results show pairing is effective at increasing RTN with one child with autism. We continue to implement this protocol with additional participants to provide more evidence supporting the effectiveness of this procedure.

 
173.

Behavioral Assessment and Early Intervention Protocol for Autistic Risk Babies: Increasing the Generality of Previous Results

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Paula Gioia (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo), Simone Assunção Keiner (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo), FLAVIA MORAIS (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

This research has been carried out for several years to identify ASD risk in siblings of children diagnosed with ASD and its design is a longitudinal prospective one. We pretend to identify early risk signs in siblings aged 7 to 36 months old. Thirteen tasks were developed to evaluate siblings target behaviors by therapists or parents: turning the body to sounds, following instructions, pointing, making eye contact, babbling or speaking, social smiling, imitating, understanding signs, looking to an object pointed by others, pretend play. Evaluations of every infant are taken monthly and, each new year, new infants are included . This study was developed in 2019 and its aim was to verify if new results obtained by application of the protocol on five infants aged 8 to 36 months old would increase the generality of previous results. Four infants had speech language impairment and referral for speech therapist assessment. Only one of the siblings showed severe impairment in different areas of development and has been referred to ASD specialists that agreed with our evaluation, showing protocol´s generality with new participants. Additional results were related to protocol improvement.

 
174.

Assessment and Treatment of Peer Aggression Evoked Under Play Contexts

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MALLORY NICHELSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Grace Spath (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kassondra Andereck (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

We conducted an assessment and treatment of a 9-year-old boy diagnosed with autism’s aggression toward peers. Caregiver reports suggested that Buzz’s aggression was most likely to occur under play contexts when a peer approached him and his toy. A trial-based functional analysis conducted under simulated conditions with adult confederates suggested that Buzz’s aggression was maintained by tangibles and social avoidance (i.e., escape from peers). Treatment involved a series of graduated steps designed to (a) increase tolerance of peer proximity and interaction and (b) teach appropriate alternatives that may naturally decrease the likelihood of peers’ attempts or successes at taking Buzz’s toys (e.g., offering the peer an alternative toy, turning away from the peer). We also taught Buzz to (a) tolerate adult confederates’ attempts to take his toy and (b) to say “no” and report the event to an adult in hopes of drawing an adult’s attention to such scenarios so that they can intervene before problem behavior occurs. Buzz successfully progressed through each of these steps and caregiver reports tentatively suggest that he uses these skills at home and school. Results are discussed in terms of the risks and challenges associated with the assessment and treatment of peer-directed problem behavior.

 
175.

School Staff-Implemented High Probability Request Sequence to Enhance Compliance and Social Skills for Preschoolers With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Richard Cowan (Kent State University), LINDSAY CANDEL (Kent State University)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

This study investigated the impact of school staff-implemented antecedent strategy (high probability request sequence; HPRS) on percentage compliance with low-probability social requests for preschoolers with autism. Percentage of intervals engaged in social interactions with peers in the naturalistic classroom setting was also measured. The use of HPRS to enhance social-communicative skills development for children with disabilities has received preliminary support in the literature. This study extends on previous research by incorporating HPRS with children with autism within the context of a naturalistic setting with teachers and paraprofessionals as the intervention agents. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized. School staff were trained to implement the intervention via the behavioral consultation model. Treatment integrity was monitored via self-report on an intervention checklist. Social significance was measured via school-staff self-report. Generalization and maintenance of skills were also measured. Results indicate that the HPRS intervention was effective at improving compliance with low-p requests even when the intervention was removed. Limited improvement with overall social interactions was observed.

 
176. Presumed Anxiety in Autism: Utilizing a MotivAider to Reduce Staff Reassurance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELA POWTER (PAAL), Jessica Zawacki (PAAL), Gloria Satriale (PAAL)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are a core tennet of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. These same behaviors have also been shown to serve anxiety-reducing functions in typically developing individuals diagnosed with anxiety-based disorders. Research indicates that there is a higher rate of comorbidity in anxiety-related disorders in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, which further complicates accurate detection and assessment of these behaviors. This study seeks to identify the presence of anxiety utilizing biomarker data, and to investigate the effects of a reassurance protocol in reducing RRBs. The participant in this case study is a 19-year old individual who presents with RRBs which prevent him from completing behavioral chains without staff prompts or reassurance. The existence of an anxiety component will be confirmed utilizing biometric feedback tools and differentiated from self-stimulatory RRBs by measuring heart rate variability. A reassurance protocol will be introduced to reduce the individual’s prompt dependence. Data will be collected on the frequency of presumed anxious behaviors, and the reassurance program will be systematically faded in magnitude and frequency of reassurance. Data collected indicate a correlation between heart rate variability and presumed anxious behaviors. Preliminary data also indicated a mild reductive effect of staff reassurance on presumed anxious behavior.
 
177.

Mand Training Techniques for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
REMINGTON SWENSSON (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

We conducted a systematic review of the literature on behavior analytic interventions targeting manding in children with autism spectrum disorder. We were primarily interested in research addressing manding which met the definition outlined by Skinner (1957) that a mand is a verbal operant under the control of relevant states of deprivation, satiation or aversive stimulation, thus we excluded studies that did not specifically include the term mand. We identified the studies which met our preliminary inclusion criteria of having been published in a peer reviewed journal and contained participants under the age of eighteen diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These articles are being further coded to obtain both descriptive and quality information. We are using the standards provided by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC; 2017) to assess the designs of each experiment as well as using visual analysis to determine the evidence provided. Results will be further analyzed and discussed.

 
178.

Reducing Severe Problem Behavior Without Extinction: Application to Children With Limited Language Ability

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Alexandra Beckwith (The Ivymount School), Allyson Crowley (The Ivymount School), KATHRYN QUINN (The Ivymount School), Elizabeth Jane Schoolmaster (The Ivymount School)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

We are conducting this study to investigate socially valid outcomes of reducing severe problem behavior without the use of extinction to children with limited language ability. The effects of the interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis and skill-based treatment as described by Hanley, et al. (2014) are being replicated with three students (ages 9, 12, and 14) diagnosed with autism in a non-public school setting however, treatment is modified to not include extinction. Following the analysis, a mand for escape from non-preferred tasks and access to preferred items and activities, a tolerance response to denial of the mand and cooperation with contextually appropriate behaviors were systematically introduced to each student during small, structured practice sessions. If precursor behavior occurs at any time during these sessions, the student is given access to a secondary location free from adult-directed instruction and access to preferred items and activities. Upon indication from the student that they are ready to return to treatment (e.g., walks back to session room), treatment resumes. At this early point in treatment, reductions in problem behavior during practice sessions have been observed for all three students.

 
179.

A Single Case Study of Using a Visual Schedule Via Watch Interface to Promote Autonomy in Self-Care of a Moderately Delayed Child With Autism and a Neurotypical Peer

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHERYL TSE (ABC Group Hawai'i), Stephanie Ngo (ABC Group Hawai'i), Janell Kaneshiro (ABC Group Hawai'i)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

This study investigates the effects of using a visual schedule presented on a watch interface to increase autonomy of a moderately delayed 10-year-old girl diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a neuro-typical 9-year-old boy. Both subjects can independently complete several daily routines related to safety and health without assistance (e.g., toothbrushing, showering, brushing hair, etc.) However, both children rarely initiated daily routines related to health and safety without prompts from their parents during baseline. The teaching procedure that will be used is chaining and shaping. Two researchers, two children and their parents participated. The purpose of the present study are as follows: a.) combine elements of traditional picture activity schedules using a digital wearable schedule interface (e.g., Octopus Watch); b.) to assess the effectiveness of using the intervention to increase autonomy of a moderately delayed child with autism and a neuro-typical child in the absence of a caregiver; c.) to assess the generalization of the intervention across behaviors and settings; and d.) to assess maintenance of behavior change.

 
180.

Replacement Skills Training to Address Inappropriate Throwing and Aggression in a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN SCULLY (The Center for Discovery), Rena Marr (The Center for Discovery), Johanna F Lantz (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors in classroom settings can disrupt learning. “Roger” was an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder who would throw objects so that they became stuck in difficult to access places (e.g., rooftops, high shelves) or to rattle or break other objects. Objects included those belonging to other students such as iPads used for communication. Attempts to block throwing resulted in severe aggression to the point that during baseline, staff did not attempt to block the behavior. During Phase 1, staff worked with Roger in a treatment space stripped of objects with the exception of non-contingent access (NCA) to an appropriate safe item to throw (ball). Other objects were gradually introduced. Throwing inappropriate objects was put on extinction using response blocking. In Phase 2, functional communication training (FCT + Ext) was used to teach Roger to request to throw the ball. In Phase 3 (Generalization), Roger completed tasks around the campus, but not with peers in his classroom and the intervention continued. Eventually, Roger was fully reintegrated into his classroom with continued access to his safe throwing item as well as all other objects typically found in this setting. This intervention was successful at reducing inappropriate throwing and aggression and increasing functional communication responses.

 
181. Effects of a Chained Schedule Procedure to Treat Challenging Behavior Maintained by Escape
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA DETRICK (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract: We evaluated a procedure consisting of a chained schedule of reinforcement to treat escape-maintained challenging behavior exhibited by a 22-year-old Caucasian female diagnosed with IDD and ASD. This study is an extension of Falcomata, White, Muething, and Fragale (2012). First, we conducted a baseline condition in which compliance to complete requests was not reinforced. Next, we implemented a chained schedule of reinforcement procedure in which during the initial link, compliance with a demand was reinforced on a FR1 schedule of reinforcement. The participant’s compliance with the demand signaled the second link of the chained schedule that consisted of providing a schedule of reinforcement for a minimum of 2-min. Reinforcement included a “boss hat” in which the participant was able to provide demands to anyone in the space that was within reason and did not cause harm. After baseline, the “boss hat” was used in all conditions of the chained reinforcement schedule. Last, we modified the chained schedule procedure to increase the amount and complexity of demands. The results showed that the treatment was successful in the treatment of challenging behavior maintained by escape.
 
182.

When Picture Communication Fails: Teaching Communication With Objects

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARGARET WRIGHT (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anlara McKenzie (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

Previous research has found multiple risk factors that can contribute to problem behavior. In a study done with a group of individuals reported to engage in problem behavior the majority of individuals were male, adolescent or young adult, required greater levels of assistance in eating, dressing, and toileting, and had restricted expressive and receptive communication skills (Emerson et al., 2001). The current study examined the utility of using physical objects to teach communication, after attempts with pictures failed, with a 17-year-old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who presented with severe aggressive, self-injurious, and disruptive behaviors , no expressive language, and limited receptive language. First, communication was taught using a GoTalk20+, however, correspondence checks demonstrated that he was unable to discriminate between the pictures. Instead, physical objects were introduced, and communication was taught successfully through this method. Problem behavior decreased when communication with physical objects was part of the treatment package as compared to the treatment package including the GoTalk. Communication maintained over time, and new objects were successfully taught.

 
183. A Practitioner’s Approach to Decrease Severe Behavior Problems and Increase Skills Across Critical Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
WOAN TIAN CHOW (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Monica Topete (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. ), Nichole Shumake (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster is to present a practitioner’s approach to address severe behavior problems demonstrated by a 5-year-old child diagnosed with autism, including aggression, property destruction, disrobing, intentional voiding of urine, and elopement. The functional assessment conducted identified access to items and attention as the functions of the behaviors. Initial attempts to address the behavior problems solely through function-based alternative behavior and functional communication training were unsuccessful. The team then completed a thorough analysis within his treatment, home and community settings, which included interview, direct observation, and probing of the behavior problems. Motivating operations, skill deficits, and barriers contributing to the behavior problems were identified across environments, which impeded socially significant behaviors and critical functioning skills. Treatment included restructuring ABA programming to focus on systematic shaping to address skill deficits and barriers. Concurrently, the team worked closely with parents on parent training and ongoing analysis to ensure generalization and maintenance across the home and community. Immediately upon implementation a significant decrease in problem behaviors was observed. Subsequently, the child demonstrated consistent progress toward skill acquisition while maintaining absence of severe behavior problems. Parents also reported significant improvement of behavior problems across home and community settings.
 
184. A Treatment Analysis for Increasing Physical Activity in a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNAH MARIE KRUEGER (The New England Center for Children), Chelsea Hedquist (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children receive a minimum 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. Many children, particularly those with intellectual disabilities, do not meet these guidelines. Therefore, it is important to evaluate strategies for increasing physical activity among this population. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a treatment analysis of various intervention components within the context of a single activity duration-based preference assessment for an individual with autism spectrum disorder. The goal of this analysis was to identify the most effective treatment component and physical activity combination. Intervention components included prompting alone, prompting plus noncontingent reinforcement (NCR), and prompting plus differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), and a combination of prompting plus NCR and DRA. Dependent variables were appropriate activity engagement and heart rate. Following the treatment analysis, a modified paired-stimulus preference assessment was conducted to assess the effects of intervention on response allocation to a physical activity relative to a sedentary activity. A generality analysis was subsequently conducted with the two most effective exercise activity and treatment combinations with the goal of increasing physical activity duration and intensity in accordance with CDC guidelines.
 
185.

Assessing Preference of Two Communication Modalities

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DAPHNE SNYDER (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University ), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

Augmentative and alternative communication methods are commonly utilized to support individuals with developmental disabilities. Therefore, it is necessary to consider which augmentative and alternative communication method best serves the individual’s specific communication needs. Along with the individual’s efficiency, the individual’s preference for the specific augmentative and alternative communication method should be considered and evaluated when selecting the specific modality to be taught. This study describes the methodology and results of assessing the accuracy and preference for two augmentative and alternative communication methods utilized by one 17-year-old male with autism. Specifically, the use of the Core Word Board and a picture icon system were assessed. The results from this study showed a greater accuracy of mands when the picture icon system was utilized as compared to the Core Word Board. Additionally, the participant showed a strong preference for the picture icon system. The results from this study were utilized to advocate for the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative communication modalities for the individual across settings.

 
186.

Differences in Pretend Play Between Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Children

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
GENEVIEVE KREBS (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

Pretend play is a diagnostic indicator and treatment area for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, minimal research is available on the actual occurrence of pretend play in children with ASD who do not have cognitive delays (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This study compared pretend play of children with ASD to typically-developing (TD) children, dividing the ASD sample into lower-functioning (i.e., LF ASD) and higher-functioning (HF ASD) groups. Children 8 to 64 months were evaluated with the Developmental Play Assessment- Research Edition (Lifter, 2000); 289 children were included the TD sample and 38 children in the ASD sample. Hierarchical multiple regression was run to determine if differences were apparent between groups after accounting for age. Significant differences in pretend play were found between groups. Subsequent analysis determined that significant differences were only present between the LF ASD group and the other groups and no significant differences were found between the HF ASD group and TD group. Notably, visual analysis of trends suggests there may be differences that are not statistically significant in this study due to sample size. This finding suggests that children with HF ASD may not show the delays in pretend play that are expected.

 
187.

Performance of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Original and Adapted Versions of the Basic Literacy Repertory Assessment Instrument

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CÁSSIA LEAL DA HORA (Paradigma - Center of Science and Behavioral Technology), Najra Lima (Paradigma - Center of Science and Behavioral Technology)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

It is essential that teachers assess skills and develop pedagogical programs tailored to the specific learning characteristics of individual with ASD. The IAR (Basic Literacy Repertory Assessment Instrument) is a simple, low-cost and language-accessible tool for Brazilian educators. However, this material is for students without developmental disabilities. Therefore, it’s necessary that instruments also consider the behavior patterns commonly exhibited by individuals with ASD. This study aims to investigate if material adaptations (e.g., decreased verbal instructions, visual support, etc.) would favor assessment of literacy repertoire of students with ASD. Three Brazilian boys diagnosed with ASD, aged 8 to 9 years and literate, were submitted to assessments using both instruments: original and adapted IAR. All participants performed better on the adapted version of IAR. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the application time from the original IAR to the version adapted for all participants. Finally, the data show a significant decrease in the total amount of errors issued, reduction in the presentation of disruptive behaviors and increased engagement for all participants. The improvement on participants performance, reduced disruptive behaviors and increased task engagement indicate that adaptations made in the IAR favored the performance of participants with ASD.

 
188.

Effects of Language on Functional Analysis Outcomes: A Systematic Replication

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA MARIE FINLAY (Melmark; Temple), Matthew Tincani (Temple University)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Carolina Sella (Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effects of type of language on rates of challenging behavior during a functional analysis with individuals who come from families where Spanish is the primary language. This study replicated and expanded on Rispoli, O’Reilly, Lang, Sigafoos, Mulloy, Aguilar, & Singer 2011, study to see how language impacts challenging behavior during an FA and whether language is relevant in function-based treatment. Three individuals with autism spectrum disorder in a residential treatment facility participated in a multi-element (i.e., demand, attention, play- verbal, and play-nonverbal) functional analysis (FA) within this study. The FA was conducted in an ABAB experimental design with the A conditions conducted in Spanish and the B conditions conducted in English. Language did not have an effect on rates of challenging behavior during the FA. One participant displayed no responding across conditions and the other two participants responded similarly during the demand conditions regardless of the language in which the conditions were conducted. Functional communication training (FCT) was conducted for one participant in both languages. The results indicated for this individual that there was no difference according to language in rates of challenging behavior as well as acquisition and maintenance of a functionally communicative response.

 
189.

Use of Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to Decrease Maladaptive Behavior and Increase Skill Acquisition in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Few Case Studies

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SADAF KHAWAR (Montclair State University/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc), Chana Tilson (Chicago School of Professional Psychology/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc.)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and improving cognitive and language skills (Vietze and Lax, 2018). Prior research has identified early diagnosis and early intervention as key factors to maximize therapeutic outcomes for children with ASD (Vietze and Lax, 2018). The case studies included in this presentation, highlight the progress of four children diagnosed with Autism between the ages of 2 and 3 enrolled in a center-based early intervention program in Manhattan, New York. Ben’s tantrum behaviors were reduced by functional communication training (FCT), social stories, and a sensory diet. Max’s expressive language increased from basic animal sounds to more complex intraverbal language by play-based learning and social skills training. Jane’s aggression was decreased by implementing Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors (DRO) and FCT. Michael’s severe tantrum behaviors were reduced by environmental manipulations, FCT, and escape extinction. For the cases presented, antecedent and consequence-based manipulations will be discussed, along with specific interventions used for each student, including behavior and skill acquisition graphs.

 
190. The Efficacy of Behavioral Skills Training on the Administration of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program by Clinical Staff
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SADAF KHAWAR (Montclair State University/Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc), Chana Tilson (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Helping Hands Therapeutic Services, Inc)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: This study is important because it expands the current research on using behavioral skills training (BST) on the administration of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) by clinical staff in an Early Intervention Program in Manhattan, New York. It was hypothesized that BST will increase the reliability of the administration of the VB-MAPP by staff members in center-based and home-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs with children under 3 years of age diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The VB-MAPP is an assessment tool that is used to determine skills that a child has in their repertoire, as well as, deficits and barriers that are interfering with skill acquisition. The BST consisted of instructions via PowerPoint presentation, modeling, skill rehearsal and performance specific feedback. Generalization probes were conducted following the BST portion. Pre-BST and Post-BST data were collected to assess the reliability of VB-MAPP administration across six participants. All participants demonstrated an increase in the earned points following the training. These results confirm that BST improves accuracy and reliability of VB-MAPP administration. Details of the BST procedure and results will be discussed.
 
191.

Examining the Effects of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Children With Autism How to Use and Create Activity Schedules

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN MARTONE (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Angelica A. Aguirre (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Despite the large body of research examining the ability of activity schedules to increase on-task behavior in children with autism, few studies have attempted to teach children with autism how to make their own activity schedules. Furthermore, activity schedules are primarily integrated into school settings in comparison to home settings (Akers, Higbee, Gerencser, & Pellegrino, 2018; Bryan & Gast, 2000; Torres, DeBar, Reeve, Meyer, & Covington, 2018). The purpose of this study is to a multiple-baseline design with three children with autism how to follow and make activity schedules in order to increase their on-task behavior with independent living tasks in their home setting. During pretests generalization probes, participants were instructed by their parents to engage in independent living tasks in their home to examine if they created and followed an activity schedule. During instruction, a behavior skills training protocol will be used to teach participants how to follow and how to make their own activity schedules followed by posttest generalization probes. Results and future implications will be discussed.

 
192.

Increasing Adaptive Behaviour Using the "Accept, Identify, Move"Curriculum

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Danielle Esselink (Instructor Therapist), TARA WEIR (Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism), Shiri Bartman (Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of the Accept. Identify. Move. (AIM) curriculum on increasing adaptive coping skills and reducing emotional dysregulation in a nine-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using self-monitoring, reinforcement, and specific Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) processes as outlined by the AIM curriculum, students can be taught to accept aversive situations and experience them, while remaining focused and value-driven (Dixon & Paliliunas, 2018). The goal was to teach the participant the skills necessary to deal with unpleasant situations and consequently improve quality of life (i.e., friendships, family participation). Results through the first phase demonstrate AIM to effectively assist with teaching functional replacement skills for this participant. Specifically, by day eight of treatment in step one the participant displayed zero rates of tantrum behaviours and 20 or more instances of ACT consistent behaviours. As this research is being conducted in a centre-based privately funded environment, limitations to resources exist which limit opportunities for interobserver agreement (IOA) and treatment fidelity checks. Future research should plan for these limitations to support social and internal validity.

 
193.

Trial Based Functional Analysis in Classrooms: Evaluating Effectiveness and Exploring Sustainability Through Mixed Methods Research

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE BADGETT (University of Virginia), Ilene S. Schwartz (University of Washington)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Despite decades of research supporting the use of functional assessment and functionally relevant interventions to address challenging behavior, there remains a research to practice gap related to working with such behaviors in classroom settings. Trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) is an experimental functional assessment method that is particularly well suited for use in classroom settings that can be implemented with fidelity by school personnel with varying backgrounds and expertise. The purpose of this mixed-methods research was to evaluate the effectiveness of the TBFA in public school classrooms, while exploring the effect of participation in implementation on educators’ perspectives on working with challenging behavior. The TBFA was effective in identifying the function of challenging behavior for three elementary age student with autism, as demonstrated by positive results of a subsequent functional communication based treatment package. Qualitative findings suggest that educators’ perspectives and beliefs related to challenging behavior shifted as they participated in the implementation of the TBFA and subsequent functionally relevant intervention, which may hold implications for sustainability of these practices in applied settings.

 
194. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Self-Injury Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRODY CAVANAUGH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anlara McKenzie (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: During the functional analysis (FA), when behavior persists in the absence of programmed social consequences, this outcome suggests maintenance by automatic reinforcement. Hagopian, Rooker, and Zarcone (2015) further classified self-injury (SIB) maintained by automatic reinforcement into subtypes based on the degree of differentiation of the level of SIB in the FA conditions. Individuals with Subtype 1 showed the highest level of SIB in the alone / ignore condition and the lowest level of behavior in the toy play condition; individuals with Subtype 2 showed undifferentiated levels of SIB across conditions. In some cases, although engagement with toys may be high during the toy play condition, the toys may not compete with SIB, and therefore SIB may continue to occur. This outcome would suggest Subtype 2; however, consumption of other sorts of reinforcers might compete with SIB (and thereby suggest Subtype 1). The purpose of the current study is to examine the level of SIB and toy engagement in two different toy play conditions conducted with an individual with SIB maintained by automatic reinforcement. In one condition, highly preferred toys were available, and the therapist delivered vocal attention approximately every 30 s. In the second condition, the same toys were available, but the therapist delivered continuous physical attention. Levels of SIB in the ignore condition and the “standard” toy play condition were undifferentiated, but the physical toy play condition produced lower levels of SIB.
 
195. The Assessment and Treatment of Automatically Maintained Property Destruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LESLEY A. SHAWLER (Kennedy Krieger Institute Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Joy Clayborne (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities may engage in problem behavior that is destructive to their environment. These behaviors may occur in the absence of social consequences and be maintained by the reinforcing consequences of the behavior itself (i.e., automatic reinforcement). Previous research has identified the use of competing stimuli as an effective method to reduce automatically maintained behaviors (e.g., Shore, Iwata, DeLeon, Kahng, and Smith, 1997). This assessment method can identify items that produce low rates of problem behavior and high engagement. The purpose of this case study was to assess the property destruction of a 15-year old boy with autism. Specifically, property destruction occurred in the form of ripping or tearing up items. Results from the functional analysis suggested an automatically maintained function which lead to a competing stimulus assessment to identify possible competitive stimuli. Subsequently, stimuli were identified and then incorporated into a function-based treatment package to reduce property destruction.
 
196.

Comparison of High- and Low-Preference Items to Teach Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Mand for Information Using "Where" and "Who"

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MORENA MILJKOVIC (University of Manitoba ), C.T. Yu (University of Manitoba)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

In general, a mand can be described as a request. While basic mands are often those that occur first in language development, mands for information are more advanced and often lacking in children with autism. While it remains unclear why children with autism have trouble acquiring mands for information, some researchers have speculated that the establishing operations controlling these mands may not be strong enough to evoke them; therefore, the use of highly preferred items is often critical during mand training. While some research has been conducted to compare high versus low preference items when teaching mands, several methodological limitations were discussed. The current study sought to address these limitations using a multi-element design with six participants. High preference and low preference items were identified through stimulus preference assessments, conducted at the start of each session. Preference was alternated across sessions and was counterbalanced across participants. Results thus far suggest no clear difference in the rate of skill acquisition between high preference and low preference items. Instead, the findings demonstrate that skill acquisition was related to the order in which mands were taught, regardless of preference of the items. However, data collection is still underway and more participants need to be recruited.

 
197. Treatment Integrity in Applied Behavior Analysis: Are We Measuring the Right Thing?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JACQUELINE LUGO (California State University, Los Angeles), Luisana Medina (California State University, Los Angeles), Valerie Perez (California State University, Los Angeles), Ya-Chih Chang (California State University, Los Angeles), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have been interested in the topic of treatment integrity for many years. Indeed, it is well-known that a failure to collect treatment integrity data can lead to researchers and clinicians drawing inaccurate conclusions about the results of a study and/or intervention plan. Moreover, researchers are beginning to understand the extent to which integrity errors (and even varying amounts of errors) impact client behavior. The present project will focus on how treatment integrity is commonly measured in behavior analysis, and in particular consider the extent to which task analyses are the primary means of assessing treatment integrity. Alternative means of assessing treatment integrity will also be explored, particularly those that draw attention to the quality of implementation beyond traditional checklists that are commonly used in research and practice. Specific examples of such fidelity measures, drawn from outside of traditional ABA research, will be reviewed. The strengths and weaknesses associated with different measurement systems will be considered, and implications for research and practice will be discussed.
 
198.

Increasing Appropriate Responding to Non-Preferred Topics for a Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHONDA SMITH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jennifer Quigley (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this project was to design and implement an intervention in order to increase appropriate responding to questions asked about non-preferred topics to a 10-year-old boy with autism. To teach this skill, open ended questions were asked, and a visual prompt was shown with the correct response. A progressive time delay was used in order to fade the use of the prompt. Appropriate responding for non-preferred topics did increase and mastery criteria was achieved.

 
199.

Reducing Challenging Behavior Following Denied Access

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEE PEREZ (Bancroft), Timothy Nipe (Bancroft), Brooke Ambert (Bancroft)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Challenging behaviors maintained by access to tangible items can be more difficult to treat if the individual already has a variety of functionally appropriate responses. Instead, the individual's inability to “accept no” or wait for items to become available often leads to high rates of challenging behavior. Unfortunately, there is little empirical research in the treatment of challenging under these conditions. Mace (2011) describes two effective alternative methods for reducing challenging behavior following denied requests. These effective methods are providing alternatives, or arranging contingencies to be completed prior to delivery of the preferred items. The purpose of this study was to present these evidence-based treatments in a variable order to maximize results and generalizability. Generalization of treatment effects were further assessed by including a “No” condition, in which the individual was not prompted to choose an alternative but they were available upon appropriate request.

 
200. An Evaluation of Visual Schedules to Treat Vocal Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLA EMMER (Rowan University), Phoebe Leach (Rowan University), Giovanna Salvatore (Rowan University), Sherah Somervell (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy is often maintained by automatic reinforcement and treated with response interruption and redirection, competing stimuli, or differential reinforcement. The current study compared the effectiveness of an in-home electronic versus paper visual schedule in treating vocal stereotypy related to time for a 9-year-old with autism. An extended ignore and alone functional analysis (FA) identified vocal stereotypy as an overt versus covert behavior. A multielement FA measured rates of stereotypy in ignore, attention (i.e., contingent discussion of time), and control (i.e., continuous discussion of time) conditions. Results suggest that vocal stereotypy was likely maintained by access to information regarding time, persisting with extinction. Baseline rates of vocal stereotypy were extremely high (M = 191.39 per hour) and accompanied by negative vocalizations and aggression when not reinforced. An electronic (iPad) and standard paper visual schedule with attention extinction (i.e., not responding to statements about time) were introduced using a reversal design. Rates of vocal stereotypy were higher with the electronic (11.94 per hour) versus paper schedule (7.5 per hour). A preference assessment indicated the participant’s preference for the electronic schedule (5 of 6 selections), with the final electronic schedule phase yielding a 94.65% reduction from baseline (M = 10.24 per hour).
 
201. The Effects of Functional Communication Training as Identified from a Comparison of Descriptive Assessments and a Trial Based Functional Analysis on Interfering Behavior in the Home
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GEORGE MCCLURE (Beacon ABA Services ), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract: Previous studies have identified a trial based functional analysis as an effective method to assess behavior function in school settings (Bloom et al., 2011) however, the use of descriptive assessments is often used in the home setting to identify behavior function. A comparison of a descriptive assessment and trial based functional analysis was conducted to determine effective methodology to identify behavior functions in the home setting of a child diagnosed with autism exhibiting protesting. Based on each assessment results, an intervention was implemented to increase functional communication and to decrease the rate of protests. The method used to implement intervention consisted of discrete trial instruction with a visual aid to initially prompt the participant. The rate of functional communication responses for desired activities began to increase, as instances of protesting began to decrease. Rate of reinforcement of the functional communication response was then systematically faded and rate demands increased. The results suggest the trial based functional analysis was more effective in identifying behavior function to implement a functional communication response than descriptive assessments in the home setting.
 
202.

The Comparison of a Descriptive Assessment and a Trial Based Functional Analyses on Interfering Behavior as the Basis of Treatment in the Home Setting With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
THOMAS MARSH (Beacon ABA Services ), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

In functional behavior assessment research, there is a deficit of research conducted in the home setting that compares the descriptive methods of behavioral assessments and experimental functional analyses. The effects of the intervention implemented based on results of the Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) narrative recording method were compared to the effects of the intervention implemented based on results of the trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) in a multiple baseline across subjects design. Three children, ages 2-4, with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder that displayed a high rate of interfering behaviors (protesting or aggression) that reduced the participants’ abilities to engage in sessions participated in the study. Sessions were conducted in the participants’ home where home therapy typically occurred. The ABC narrative data collection consisted of three 30-minute observations which were varied to include start, middle, and end of sessions which was implemented followed by the TBFA. Baseline conditions and treatment conditions were implemented for each assessment’s results. Results showed that the treatments implemented did reduce target behaviors across assessment types but the TBFA results showed greater reductions in target behaviors and faster acquisition of communication response. This suggests the TBFA accurately identified the function of the target behaviors more effectively than the ABC data collection method.

 
203.

The Use of Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia in Program Development and Service Delivery for Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KAORI G. NEPO (NeurAbilities), Kathleen Bailey Stengel (NeurAbilities)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Program development based on on-going assessment is critical for service delivery for individuals with ASD. The Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE) is a comprehensive educational package for ABA program. The Core Skill Assessment in ACE covers 52 foundational skills and helps clinicians to identify target skills. Additionally, ACE lesson programs guide clinicians to develop targeted programs for children with ASD. This poster presentation will share preliminary data supporting the use of curriculum-based assessment in program development. The Core Skill Assessment was administered for two children with ASD, and their skill acquisition programs were developed with the results of the assessment and curriculum recommended by ACE. Data indicate that both children with ASD have made significant gains after the implementation of assessment-based programs. The poster will also include the most recent core skill assessment results to demonstrate the effective use of the assessment and assessment-based curriculum.

 
204.

Evaluating the Relationships Between Derived Relational Responding, Intelligence, and the Function of Challenging Behavior in Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHANTAL RAINFORD (Autism Care West), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Hannah Wallace (Missouri State University), Kaitlin Beason (Missouri State University), Celeste Unnerstall (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Several studies have evaluated the relationship between derived relational responding and intelligence (Belisle, Dixon, & Stanley, 2018) and how both relate to the functions of challenging behavior (Belisle, Stanley, & Dixon, 2017). In these studies, scores were obtained using the Equivalence and Transformation Pre-Assessments contained within the PEAK Relational Training System (Dixon, 2015, 2016). We developed a measure (Relational Acquisition Scale - Children) that may be more sensitive to detecting early acquisition of derived relational responding from basic experimental research with infants. In the present study, we administered the RASC along the PEAK Equivalence and Transformation Pre-Assessments across participants to provide an overall estimate of derived relational responding. These scores were then correlated with intelligence test scores (WPPSI-IV and WISC-V) as well as measures of the function of challenging behavior (Questions About Behavior Function, Challenging Behavior Inventory). Results examine the positive relationship between both measures of derived relational responding and intelligence. Additionally, results examined endorsement of items on measure of challenging behavior for participants who demonstrated derived relational responding on the RASC assessment.

 
205.

Decreasing Pica in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Differential of Low Rates of Reinforcement Procedure

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMY VICTORIA RICH (Beacon ABA Services), Lisa Tereshko (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Pica is a dangerous interfering behavior in which an individual ingests inedible items. This behavior can cause serious health issues such as choking, oral problems, serious illness, or death (Rettig et al., 2019). The current study examined the effects of a differential reinforcement of low rates procedure used to establish control of pica in the child’s home. During the first hour of the child’s home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) session a timer was set initially for five minutes, which was determined by the interresponse time. Upon the timer going off, the child would request for attention using his Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) book, physical play choice board, or one word vocal mands. The parent would deliver 1 minute of verbal and physical attention contingent on the child’s request. After three consecutive rings with no occurrences of pica at the current interval, the time interval would increase by 20 seconds. If the child engaged in pica during the interval, the time interval would decrease by 40 seconds. The data indicates that this procedure was effective in decreasing the number of occurrences of pica during the training sessions, but this behavior was not eliminated. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the function of pica, establishment of stimulus control, future directions, and limitations.

 
206.

Teaching Cooking Skills to Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder Via Video Modeling and Self-Monitoring

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH FONTAINE (The Chicago School/ KGH Autism Services ), Ariana Ronis Boutain Hopstock Hopstock (KGH Autism Services)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Many persons diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty completing functional daily living tasks and often rely on caregivers to assist with tasks such as dressing, cooking, cleaning, and basic hygiene. Previous research has shown that the use of video modeling can be an effective way to teach daily living skills to individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental disabilities. An area in which research is lacking, however, is whether video modeling can also be used as a tool to facilitate self-monitoring and, in turn, help maintain functional living skills and decrease the reliance on caregiver assistance in completing these tasks. This study examined the effectiveness of a video modeling protocol to teach four teens diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to complete basic cooking skills using a microwave, stove-top, and counter-top. Furthermore, this study examined the effectiveness of using the videos as a self-monitoring system to increase and maintain higher levels of independence in the kitchen. Preliminary results show that the video modeling protocol increased cooking skills for each participant, the skills maintained over time, and the video models helped increase independence in the kitchen.

 
207.

Evaluating Global Changes in Verbal Relational Performance Following Three Months of PEAK Instruction in a Special Education Setting

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA WELCH (Pender Public School), Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University), Leah E Clark (Pender Public Schools), Nicole Choate (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Current research on the PEAK Relational Training System (Dixon, 2014-2016) has largely been conducted in controlled arrangements and has lacked measures of socially valid changes in language and cognitive skills (e.g., reasoning, problem solving). We embedded PEAK relational training within the regular school day of 6 children with autism in a special education setting over the course of 3 months. All programming was individualized to meet the needs of the students and skills were introduced in a multiple probe across skills experimental design as developed by Belisle, Clark, Welch, and McDonald (under review), replicated across each of the participants. Results supported systematic mastery in target skills across all participants despite considerable differences in the programming for each. The PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (Dixon, 2019) is a standardized test of verbal relational performance that is directly implemented with participants, and all participants showed an increasing score of this assessment at the end of the intervention relative to initial performance. Social validity questionnaires were administered, and both parents and school staff identified an increase in the use of language and problem solving strategies relative to prior academic semester, suggesting performance generalized beyond the discrete trial training arrangement used in the present study.

 
208.

Exploring the Relationship Between Derived Relational Responding and Autism Symptom Severity

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KWADWO BRITWUM (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Zhihui Yi (Southern Illinois University), Anne Sheerin (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jessica Ann Korneder (Oakland University)
Abstract:

Despite the lifelong implications of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, very few empirically validated treatments currently exist to address the symptoms associated with these conditions. Currently, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) holds the most empirical evidence when it comes to ameliorating the symptoms associated with ASD. The current investigation explores the relationship between participants’ abilities to engage in derived relational responding and ASD symptom severity as indicated by the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-Third Edition (GARS-3). The GARS-3 instrument consists of 56 clearly stated items describing characteristic behavior of persons with ASD. Derived relational responding skills were assessed using the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Comprehensive Assessment (PCA), which measures the following repertoires: ability to engage in basic verbal operants, generalization of basic verbal operants across activities and items, ability to display equivalence relations, and ability to display other relational operants consistent with Relational Frame Theory (Dixon, 2019). Assessments will be conducted across 45 individuals with ASD. Preliminary results of a bivariate correlational analysis indicated a strong negative correlation between participants’ PCA Total scores and GARS-3 total raw scores (r = -.716, p < .05). These findings provide some preliminary implications for behavior analytic treatments for individuals with ASD.

 
209.

Evaluating the Efficacy of PEAK in Children With Autism and Corresponding Increases in Derived Relational Responding

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TAYLOR MARIE LAUER (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Megan Kimzey (Missouri State University), Lindsey Schneider (Missouri State University ), Celeste Unnerstall (Missouri State University )
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

A prior randomized control trial evaluation (Dixon, Paliliunas, et al., 2019) suggested that low-dosage (4-hours / week) behavioral language and cognitive training guided by all four PEAK modules leads to greater gains in derived relational responding and intelligence test scores relative to more traditional training strategies or a control condition. We attempted to replicate these findings in a single-case experimental design for tighter experimental control and allowing for greater individualization of programming across participants. The study involved 5 children with autism. Two children demonstrated symmetry but not transitivity prior to the study. We conducted Equivalence and Transformation training from PEAK in a multiple probe across skills design (Belisle, Clark, Brewer, & McDonald, under review) with intermittent probes of derived relational responding (PEAK-CA; RASC). Results evaluated improvements in symmetrical and transitive relational responding throughout intervention for both participants. Two other children demonstrated basic reflexivity but not symmetry prior to the study. We conducted training using all four PEAK modules with intermittent probes of derived relational responding. Results evaluated improvements in symmetrical relating for both participants. A final participant did not receive PEAK training during this time and scores were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study for comparison.

 
210.

Using Point of View Video Modeling to Teach Math to Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Saudi Arabia

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HAMAD HAMDI (Duquesne University), Temple S Lovelace (Duquesne University)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

It is important to encourage individuals with autism spectrum disorder to have access to appropriate grade-level and advanced mathematics instruction (Browder et al. 2012). The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a point-of-view video modeling intervention to teach academic mathematics skills (e.g. addition with regrouping) of elementary students with autism in Saudi Arabia. A multiple baseline across four male students design was used to examine the effectiveness of the intervention on students’ performance. During the intervention, students watched point-of-view video modeling, practiced adding with regrouping, and then solved addition with regrouping problems. Maintenance of solving addition with regrouping performance was measured after the conclusion of the intervention phase. Generalization of solving addition with regrouping performance into untrained addition with regrouping skills was examined. Results demonstrated the effectiveness of the intervention on improving all students’ solving addition problems performance. Effect size measures indicated a strong effect for each student between baseline and intervention. The statistical analysis resulted in a significant difference between baseline and intervention for each student. Generalization of solving addition problems performance to a second untrained setting was evident for each student and resulted in a strong effect size measure. All students maintained solving addition problems performance. Overall, evidence supported that students with autism can independently engage in solving addition with regrouping problems following the intervention. The study suggested that it is important to use single-subject design methods to implement evidence-based practices to teach students with autism in Saudi Arabia. This study was unique in that it added to the research base of implementing video modeling through research in the Middle East.

 
211.

Analogical Reasoning of Opposition-Opposition Relations Within a Matrix Reasoning Task in Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY AUDREY MARIE DENNIS (Missouri State University), Leah E Clark (Pender Public Schools), Rebecca Jepsen (Tower School), Nicole Choate (Missouri State University), Kayla Welch (Pender Public Schools), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

Analogical reasoning can be defined in Relational Frame Theory as relating of relations, and is often presented in the form: “if A is X to B, then C is X to what?” Where the correct response is controlled by not only the comparison stimulus C, but also the relational cue X that is derived from the already established relationship between A and B (Belisle, Paliliunas, et al., in press). Matrix reasoning tasks allow for a demonstration of analogical reasoning by presenting two stimuli along the top of a 2x2 grid that are related across X dimensions (e.g., coordination, opposition), a third stimulus in the bottom left, and an array of stimuli that the participant matches based on the shared relation X. In the present study, we evaluated a procedure for promoting analogical reasoning across three children with autism. In baseline, participants were unable to match stimuli in terms of coordination and opposition and did not successfully complete the matrix reasoning task. Following mixed coordination and opposition relational training, one participant completed the matrix task. For the remaining participants, we reinforced one exemplar class during the matrix task, which was effective in promoting the untrained emergence of the remaining matrix relations.

 
212. Shout it Out: The Effects of an Unconventional Treatment Package on Screaming
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ELIZABETH ROUNTREE (The Learning Consultants), Jennifer A. Bonow (The Learning Consultants)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract: It is common for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to acquire idiosyncratic, and often inappropriate, means of communication. Caleb, a four-year-old boy with ASD, regularly communicates through a series of shrieks, screams, and admonishing babbles frequently accompanied by finger-wagging or “super-hero” posturing. While these bids for interaction can be endearing, they are only variably effective at bringing Caleb into contact with reinforcement. They are difficult to understand and undifferentiated across the stimuli for which he mands. Further, they are very disruptive to across his environments and is a major barrier to meeting the goals in his treatment plan. And, while he is learning new words through traditional echoic and mand training, there has been little impact on the frequency and intensity of shrieks and screams. This poster examines the effect of two additional procedures: contingent vocal imitation (Hart, & Risley, 1995; Killmeyer, Kaczmarek, Kostewicz, & Yelich, 2019) and non-contingent reinforcement(Ingvarsson, Kahng, & Hausman, 2008). These procedures are to be applied within Caleb’s regular treatment setting as part of his treatment plan. An alternating treatments design will be utilized to determine the efficacy of the procedures independently and in combination. Results will inform Caleb’s ongoing intervention in order to support more efficient progress toward his treatment plan goals.
 
213. The Effects of Video Modeling on Staff Training: Beyond Discrete Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELAINE ESPANOLA (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract: Remote training and supervision have increasingly become a topic of interest. Some of the general methods of remote supervision include video modeling and self-evaluation. The purpose of the present study was twofold: a) to replicate a previous study by Catania et al. (2009) which demonstrates the effectiveness of video modeling as a staff training technique; b) and to further explore whether video modeling is effective for skills that are not as discrete, such as pairing. Results will discuss differences in staff performance and generalization of skills.
 
214. Imitation Type as a Predictor of Skill Mastery During Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
ELAINE ESPANOLA (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Andre V. Maharaj (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract: In typical development, research demonstrates that imitation is essential across a variety of skill domains. However, for children with ASD, who often demonstrate deficits in imitation, there is limited information regarding the impact that choosing imitation as a target for skill acquisition may have on general skill acquisition. The present study sough to evaluate how gains in imitation skills impacts general skill acquisition and directly evaluated whether the type of imitation (e.g., oral vs. object imitation) affects the relationship between imitation and total skill mastery.
 
216.

The Intricacies of Dating on the Autism Spectrum

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDRA ARENA (California State University Los Angeles )
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

There is a general agreement that individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) struggle with social skills, but the extent to which this affects their dating lives needs further exploration. This research study sought to answer two research questions: (a) What are the perspectives of individuals with HFA as they navigate both the formation of and commitment to romantic relationships? (b) How do my experiences as a speech language pathologist (SLP) and behavior analyst working with individuals with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) influence my perception of the difficulties individuals with HFA face while navigating and forming romantic relationships? The literature review revealed that individuals with HFA are highly interested in romantic relationships but do not feel they have the skills to initiate and maintain romantic relationships. This study presents a qualitative case study that also employs autoethnographic methods via focus groups, field notes, and a journal reflection. The analysis examined what individuals with HFA believe their challenges with dating are and identified ways to incorporate client-centered practice to address these difficulties. I maintained a journal throughout the research process to identify any biases. This study is rooted in a deep understanding of the socio-political model of disability. Data analysis revealed the following themes: self-management campaigns, “I’m different than you are,” and anxiety which are explained in detail throughout the study. Through this study, it is suggested that future research and practice includes the creation of therapeutic interventions and social supports aimed at decreasing the mental health risk in the lives of those with HFA.

 
217.

An Evaluation of Two Methods of Functional Analysis to Assess Maintaining Consequences of Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior and Implications for Treatment

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BEN SARCIA (Verbal Beginnings)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

inappropriate mealtime behavior (IMB). The authors of the present study conducted a functional analysis of IMB according to Piazza et al. (2003) with a six-year-old boy with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who engaged in high rates of IMB. The protocol included a demand to take a bite of a non-preferred food within the control condition, with no consequences provided contingent upon the occurrence of IMB. Differentiation in responding throughout the conditions tested was not observed. A second functional analysis was conducted, which consisted of discontinuation of the demand to take a bite of non-preferred food within the control condition. Instead, the non-preferred food was positioned next to the child and all other procedures were consistent with the original protocol. With modifications to the control condition in the second functional analysis, responding was differentiated across conditions and access to preferred edible items was identified as a maintaining consequence of IMB. Thus, a treatment protocol, which included delivery of a preferred bite of food contingent upon acceptance and swallowing of a bite of non-preferred food, was developed from the results of the modified control functional analysis and compliance with taking bites of non-preferred foods increased.

 
218.

A Comparison of Mixed and Blocked-Trial Formats for Teaching Conditional Discriminations to an Individual With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES SHERMAN (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center), Kimberly Beckman (Evergreen Center), Kayla Christenson (Evergreen Center)
Discussant: Nidal Daou (McNeese State University)
Abstract:

Mixed-trial instruction is often used to teach auditory-visual conditional discriminations (AVCD) to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). During mixed-trial instruction, different sample stimuli are presented in a random but balanced manner across an instructional session. Blocked-trial instruction has also been used by researchers to teach AVCD to individuals struggling to learn these discriminations (Perez-Gonzalez & Williams, 2002). In blocked-trial sessions, the same sample stimulus is presented for a fixed number of consecutive trials before presenting a different sample stimulus for an equal number of consecutive trials. A recent comparison by Bentham, Walker, Pluym, and Tejeda (2019) evaluated blocked vs. mixed-trials used to teach AVCDs to three adults with IDD. Their results suggested the blocked trial format was more efficient, however the differences for the two of the participants was nominal (i.e., 1 and 2 sessions) and there were no within-subject replications. The purpose of the current study was to compare blocked vs. mixed-trials used to teach AVCDs to a teenager with autism. The preliminary results of the first comparison indicated the blocked-trial procedure was slightly more effective. The implications of different trial presentations are discussed.

 
 

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