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; Online; 2020

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Poster Session #228
AUT Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 24, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Virtual
116. What Should We Do? A Problem Solving Approach to Identify Skill-Acquisition Procedures to Resolve Persistent Errors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VALERIA LADDAGA GAVIDIA ( University of North Texas), Samantha Bergmann (University of North Texas )
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Many procedures based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) increase skills for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite empirical support, issues can arise during ABA intervention, which can be difficult to resolve. Decisions about modifications to intervention may be based on the individual learner’s history or repertoire, the behavior analyst’s repertoire, and resources in the literature. In the current project, a problem solving approach was used to identify potential modifications after constant-prompt delay with represent-until-independent error correction and non-differential reinforcement did not increase correct responses for a six-year-old boy with ASD. We conducted a detailed error analysis, a brief literature review, and multiple brief assessments using strategies identified in the literature. The error analysis suggested prompt dependence and potential sources of faulty stimulus control. Based on the extant literature, we evaluated differential observing responses, prompt fading, blocked trials, and differential reinforcement. Several procedures required multiple teaching steps that were inefficacious or slow to produce change. Ultimately, differential reinforcement with enthusiastic praise increased independent responding. A description of our problem solving approach coupled with supporting data will be presented. Recommendations for the adoption of a similar approach to identify individualized interventions for persistent errors and prompt dependence will be discussed.

 
117. An Evaluation of Stimulus Preference Using a Progressive Response Effort Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AVISHA PATEL (Rider University), Robert W. Isenhower (Rider University ), Frances A. Perrin (Rider University), Cynthia Bott-Tomarchio (Eden Autism Services), Rachel Tait (Eden Autism Services ), Kelly Dunn (Eden Autism Services )
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract: Formal stimulus preference assessments are widely used to help determine which stimuli are likely to function as reinforcers during intervention. In the current study, a procedural variation of the multiple stimulus with replacement (Windsor, Piché, & Locke, 1994) preference assessment was conducted where the distance to the most preferred item was manipulated parametrically in order to assess the relationship between stimulus preference and response effort. Three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated. Five stimuli identified as preferred using a paired choice preference assessment (Fisher et al., 1992) were presented on a line about 4 inches in front of the learner and about 3 inches apart from each other. During the first minute all stimuli remained on the 4-inch line. Each stimulus was immediately replaced when selected, and the stimulus with the most selections became the target. Target distances were 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, and 25 inches. In the ascending sequence the target stimulus was moved to the next line further from the learner each subsequent minute. In the descending sequence the target was moved to the furthest line after the initial minute and was then moved one line closer each subsequent minute. Data were collected on the number of selections to each stimulus at each target distance. Results suggest that participants engaged in more response effort to select target stimuli. Implications for preference and reinforcer assessments will be discussed.
 
118. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Diurnal Bruxism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Savannah Tate (University of Florida), KYLE HAMILTON (University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders), Rachel LeeAnn Schmidli (University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders), Casey J. Clay (University of Missouri)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Diurnal bruxism is the grinding of upper and lower teeth indicated by an audible sound. The diurnal distinction is due to the individual engaging in bruxism while awake. Previous literature evaluated the use of a prompting procedure that consists of a vocal and physical prompt called a combined cue (Barnoy et al., 2009 & Armstrong et al., 2014). Armstrong and colleagues (2014) also conducted a functional analysis to identify the function of bruxism in one participant. In the current study, we extended the literature in two ways. First, we conducted an extended ignore condition (Querim et al., 2013) to ensure the behavior was not socially mediated. Next, we evaluated the use of a bite band with the combined cue prompting procedure using an ABAB reversal design. We measured the frequency of bruxism and independent mouthing and converted the measures to response per minute. We also measured the duration of independent mouthing following the first iteration of baseline and treatment. Results for a five-year old child with autism indicate that the combined cue and presentation of the bite band decreased rates of bruxism while increasing rates of independent mouthing. However, more participants are needed to determine the effectiveness of this treatment.

 
119. Implementation of a Social Emotional Learning Program: Modified and Adapted to Meet the Learning Needs of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHARON R. GAINFORTH (Stepping Stones Centre)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Robust research links positive educational and well-being outcomes with students’ participation in SEL programs. Outcomes for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), however are not as favourable. The purpose of this study was to identify the outcomes of students with ASD and their NT peers following their participation in a SEL program that was modified to meet the needs of students with ASD. Ninety-seven students participated in this mixed method action research design study. Quantitative data were gained from the pre-post administration of the Social Emotional Intelligence–Youth Version (SEI-YV). Qualitative data were obtained through teacher and student questionnaires. NT students significantly increased their scores of the Apply Consequential Thinking competency. The effect size for three other competencies exceeded Cohen’s (1988) convention for a small effect. The students with ASD achieved a medium effect size for two competencies, and a small effect size for one competency. Qualitative data corroborated the results, showing a reduction in challenging behaviours, generalization of learned targets, and an increase in empathy. When an SEL program is taught in a manner that meets the learning needs of students with ASD, students with ASD and their NT peers can obtain improved outcomes.

 
120. Teaching Children With Autism to Make Empathetic Statements in Presence of Non-Verbal Affective Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GUIDO DANGELO (DALLA LUNA - BARI, ITALY), Claudio Radogna (DALLA LUNA - BARI, ITALY), Maria Graziano (DALLA LUNA - BARI, ITALY)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Empathy is the ability to identify verbal and non-verbal stimuli associated with different affective states and to respond to them appropriately. The deficit in showing empathy, commonly found in people with autism, can significantly compromise the ability to establish, maintain and develop social relationships. The purpose of this study is to increase the ability of people with autism to identify nonverbal affective stimuli and respond to them with empathic responses. The present research included two participants, aged 7 to 9 years, with autism spectrum disorder. Across multiple exemplars training, nonverbal affective stimuli were presented, commonly associated with various private events, such as physical pain, sadness and fatigue. The therapist (a) provided a rule, (b) presented the non-verbal stimulus, (c) suggested leading questions in order to lead participants to identify non-verbal stimuli associated with other people's private events and to respond with empathic statements. The results indicated that both participants acquired the ability to respond with empathic statements and generalized the ability to novel situations, on which training had never been conducted before. These data show that children with autism can learn to detect non-verbal affective stimuli and provide empathic responses as a result of behavioral interventions.

 
122. Task Analysis of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN BUDDE (California State University, Los Angeles), Anna Lopez (California State University, Los Angeles), Phillip Romero (California State University, Los Angeles), Amanda Small (California State University, Los Angeles), Ya-Chih Chang (California State University, Los Angeles), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract: A number of disciplines and professions provide support to individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Consistent with this, many intervention packages have been developed and researched to support individuals with ASD specifically. Often times these intervention packages have unique names, which may result in confusion for both practitioners and researchers in the field. The present poster aims to consider a number of interventions that fall under the umbrella term of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions, with the aim of clarifying their specific components and mechanisms to behavior analytic practitioners. Examples of interventions to be considered include Pivotal Response Training, Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement Regulation, Early Start Denver Model, and Reciprocal Imitation Training (among others). Commonalities among these various packages will be highlighted, and opportunities for integration and collaboration will be reviewed. This will be accomplished by developing task analyses of each of the interventions we explored. The strengths and weaknesses of the various intervention packages will be laid out for conference participants to consider.
 
125. Mirror Protocol to Increase Observing and Imitation Skills in Adolescents With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLAUDIA PUCHETTI (VitaLab Educational Centre), Gianluca Amato (VitaLab Educational Centre), Elena Vaccari (VitaLab Educational Centre), Chiara Leuci (Errepiù ), Fabiola Casarini (Errepiù )
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

Generalized Motor Imitation is a fundamental evolutionary cusp, we could say that autistic children often have difficulties acquiring it. We collected the results of the "Mirror Protocol" (Greer & Ross, 2008) on 5 teenagers aged 11 to 18 without the verbal repertoire of generalized imitation, all with autism and multiple disabilities. The dependent variables were the number of imitative responses issued and the duration of their observational responses to the instructor's poses during a Yoga class before and after the intervention. The independent variables were implemented using the Learn Units with an individual intensive gross-motor imitation training at the mirror. The experimental design for this study is Multiple Probe Across Subiect. Post-survey data showed a significant increase in attention skills in all participants, while generalized imitation improved for a single subject. The probes were conducted during yoga classes due to the social meaning of inclusion. Furthermore, we should continue to use the imitation skills protocol implementation and improve the efficiency of the intervention. The limitations of this study are due to the short duration of the protocol implementation. The study shows positive results in inducing basic verbal skills and improving participation in group activities in this age group.

 
126. Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment Process for an 8-Year Old Student With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIEL JOHN SHERIDAN (The New England Center for Children ), Shannon Ward (FTF Behavioral Consulting), Katherine Rousseau (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Abstract:

An omnibus mand is sometimes taught when a functional analysis suggests that problem behavior is maintained by a synthesized contingency. However, specifying mands may be a desired outcome. Ward, Hanley, Warner, and Gage (under review) recently differentiated an omnibus mand into specific mands for three learners, but treatment stopped after functional communication training. The present study replicated the methods described by Ward et al. and extended the study to include a skill-based treatment that taught a tolerance response, compliance with academic work, and extension to a second caregiver (e.g., Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014). First, a functional analysis was conducted and suggested the client’s problem behavior was sensitive to escape from demands to tangibles and attention. An omnibus mand was initially taught and then differentiated into specific FCRs (“I want a break”). Next, the learner was taught a tolerance response (“okay”) when reinforcers were denied. Academic tasks were then progressively introduced until the client completed a maximum of 18 demands. Last, treatment was extended to a second caregiver; problem behavior remained low, and communication and completion of academic tasks remained at optimal and desirable levels. A social validity questionnaire indicated that classroom teachers were satisfied with the outcomes of treatment.

 
127. A Match-to-Sample Teaching Procedure to Facilitate Independent Page Navigation and Stimulus Class Formation for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Users
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CATHY J. BOOTH (Simmons University Autism Bridges)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine whether it was possible to teach Speech Generating Device (SGD) page navigation in response to wh-questions using a fading match to sample procedure and would this procedure lead to emergence of stimulus classes? Specifically, would this teaching method facilitate transfer of stimulus control from vocal and symbol to vocal only for: (1) Initial acquisition, (2) Generalization to new stimuli, (3) Interspersed wh-questions with known stimuli, and (4) Interspersed wh-questions with novel stimuli. This study used an errorless, match-to-sample response prompt faded by distance, and then time to teach navigation to the expected stimulus class page (i.e., wh-question) on the SGD. The two participants demonstrated successful acquisition of navigation on their SGD to respond to wh-questions as well as generalization to novel stimuli and mixed wh-question presentation, following the implementation of an errorless match-to-sample teaching procedure. Results support previous studies demonstrating: (1) Stimulus class formation using multiple exemplar and match to sample procedures (Fields, et al,. 2002) and (2) Multiple exemplar training to teach wh-question responding (Doggett, et al., 2013; Jahr, 2001). One participant demonstrated improvements in a sorting task designed to test for emergence of stimulus class formation (Fields, et al., 2014).
 
128. The Effects of Material Choice on On-Task Behavior During Art Activities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BRENNA R GRIFFEN (University of Arkansas), Jessica Miller (University of Arkansas), Elizabeth R. Lorah (University of Arkansas)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: An emerging database of research suggests that making choices between or within tasks can increase task engagement and decrease challenging behaviors in children with disabilities. Providing choices within tasks may be more acceptable and feasible to teachers in school settings or for children with limited task repertoires. The current study examined the effects of material choice on on-task behavior during arts and crafts activities for three preschool children with autism. This study included a yoked choice phase designed to differentiate between the effects of choice and preference. This intervention was moderately effective for one participant, who showed the highest level of on-task behavior during the choice condition and similar lower levels during baseline and yoked conditions. This result is consistent with previous research, which suggests that choice and not preference alone can increase task engagement. One participant showed consistently low levels of on-task behavior throughout all phases of the study. The last participant showed highly variable rates within all phases. Possible interpretations of these results, limitations and suggestions for future research are examined.
 
130. Augmentative Communication Screening Tool for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA L. GIBSON (BlueSprig Pediatrics), Elizabeth J. Preas (UNMC ), Leslie VanWinkle (UNMC), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

One in 59 children in the general US population has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and approximately 30% of those children are unable to function in everyday activities due to lack of appropriate verbal communication (CDC, 2019). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC; picture exchange, manual sign, or a dynamic speech-generating device) are alternatives to verbal speech, which enables children with ASD to successfully participate in their homes and community. However, no known research-based communication-screening tool is currently available to providers when selecting an AAC. In Study 1, an online communication screener for families of non-verbal children with ASD was developed to identify an effective alternative modality of communication along with a direct observation tool to verify caregivers’ report of child skills. Study 2 determined the potential efficacy and efficiency of four different augmentative communication modalities for teaching requests to four children with ASD within an adapted alternating treatments design. The results of Study 1 and 2 were compared to determine if the screener recommendations resulted in the selection of the most efficient and appropriate modality of communication for each child. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

 
131. Reducing Stereotypy Using a Differential Reinforcement Procedure With an Adult With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY BUTLER (Rutgers University), Ashley Kobylarz (Rutgers University), Christeen Scarpa (Rutgers University), Doug Stacquadanio (Caldwell-West Caldwell School District), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

Motor and vocal stereotypy are topographies of behavior common among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Such maladaptive behavior may impede and interfere in learning new skills and decrease work performance in a vocational setting. Previous research has evaluated different intervention strategies to decrease these topographies of behavior. Most commonly, there is a focus on interventions, which have been conducted with children, and less common, with adults, in controlled settings. We evaluated the practicality of implementing a simple differential reinforcement procedure with an adult with ASD in multiple, dynamic environments. A differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) was used to reduce vocal and motor stereotypy in which positive reinforcement was delivered in the absence of the target behavior for a systematic period of time. Results indicate rapid decreases in motor and vocal stereotypy upon implementation of the intervention and maintenance of low levels of behavior.

 
132. Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment With Non-Verbal Adolescents With Severe Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARA VANDERZELL (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Allison Kim (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Erika Rose DiNatale (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Jessica Lynn Hanson (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

Many researchers have replicated Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-based Treatment procedures with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder; however, this has typically involved younger children, often who are language able (e.g., Hanley, et al., (2014); Strand et al., (2016); Herman et al. (2018)). Currently, there is a gap in the literature involving adolescents with severe disabilities attending a residential school. This study aimed to conduct a Practical Functional Assessment and implement Skill-based Treatment with two non-verbal adolescents with severe problem behavior and no functional communication. In addition to conducting this treatment with this profile of student, unique synthesized reinforcers were identified and treatment design deviated from what is outlined in the existing literature. The results showed that a novel, omnibus mand and waiting (toleration) response were acquired without evoking problem behavior. In addition, several chains of contextually appropriate behavior were successfully developed for each adolescent.

 
133. Assessing the Effectiveness of Three Treatment Packages to Treat Echolalia in a Boy With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Guido Dangelo (DALLA LUNA - BARI), Stefania Natale (DALLA LUNA - BARI, ITALY), Consiglia Trentadue (DALLA LUNA - BARI , ITALY), MARIANGELA ACQUAVIVA (Dalla Luna )
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

Echolalia is a stereotypical behavior usually maintained by its sensory consequences. Previous research has shown how difficult it is to reduce problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement. For this reason, it is necessary to identify the specific treatment options for each student. The present study investigates the application of 3 different treatment packages to reduce echolalia in a boy with autism, using a multi-element design: (a) response interruption and redirection (RIRD), (b) listening to music, (c) DRO and contingency contract. The participant showed a reduction in echolalia when a DRO and contingency contract were used. After the identification of the most effective treatment, the duration of the treatment sessions was gradually increased and the reinforcement schedule was thinned. In fact, in the initial assessment in the contingency contract and DRO condition, reinforcement was provided each 30 seconds, for the absence of problem behavior. During treatment, the duration of the treatment sessions was systematically increased, amounting at 5, 7 and 10 minutes and reinforcement was provided every 60 seconds. Echolalia continued to decrease in these conditions as well. The present research contributes to identify effective and individualized treatment packages for behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement.

 
134. Systematic Identification of Video Preferences and Reinforcing Effects
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Hugo Curiel (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), EMILY CURIEL (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract: Video preferences and their reinforcing effects were identified for four children diagnosed with autism. Staff and parents identified and rank-ordered the videos that were used in the assessments. Multiple-stimulus-without-replacement preference assessments were conducted using multiple computerized tablets. Concurrent-operants reinforcer assessments were subsequently conducted with the participants’ high-preferred, low-preferred, and control videos. Access to high-preferred videos was shown to sustain higher levels of target responses, as compared to alternatives, on sorting and puzzle completion tasks. Nominated stimuli and presumed ranks, video preferences, and the predictive validity of the preference assessment are discussed.
 
135. Tolerating Denials to Purchase Preferred Items in aCommunity Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY E ARNOLD (The Faison Center)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to teach an adult male with Autism to tolerate occasional denied access to purchasing a preferred item at a retail location. Shaping was utilized to increase (a) the length of time in a retail location, (b) the length of time the client waited to receive his preferred item, and (c) the number of peers accompanying the client in the retail location. In addition, the client was provided with noncontingent access to an alternate preferred item. Through this intervention, the client's rates of problem behavior and repeated mands decreased to levels manageable enough to transition him from being a 1:1 client to joining a 3:1 group.

 
137. An Approach to Increase Eye Contact in Children With Autism Using an Elicited Orienting Response
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BASAK TOPCUOGLU (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment and Research), Nicole Adriaenssens (Florida Institute of Technology), Stephanie Brand (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology), Ada Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology), Cheyenne Dong (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment and Research), Tiara Putri (Florida Institute of Technology), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
Discussant: Leslie Ann Bross (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract:

One of the earliest and most noticeable characteristics of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is impaired eye contact. Currently published research on increasing responding to name with eye contact has primarily involved separate and combined procedures such as physical prompting, visual prompting, differential reinforcement, and overcorrection. The current study evaluated the effects of an auditory orienting response using a variety of short, non-social sounds to elicit eye contact. When eye contact occurred following presentation of the non-social auditory stimulus, the experimenter used conditioning procedures to pair the presentation of the participant’s name with a highly preferred stimulus. This procedure was used as a supplement to differential reinforcement to increase eye contact in four young children with ASD. Results suggest the current procedure may be an effective way to teach young children with ASD to make eye contact in response to a name call.

 
138. Treatment Outcomes for a Sibling Identified as Symptomatic for Autism at Eight Weeks Old
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA WEISSER (New England Center for Children), Kathryn Couger (New England Center for Children), Rebecca P. F. MacDonald (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Infant siblings of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have an 18% recurrence risk at 3 years old (Osnoff et al., 2011). Graupner and Sallows (2017) reported symptoms in children under 3 months of age. The purpose of the current investigation was to document early emergence of symptomatology in a sibling and the outcomes of early treatment. Early markers were first noted at eight weeks and included: flat affect, no response to sound out of sight, no response to name/voice, eye contact avoidance, and inconsistent tracking of visual stimuli. At three months, parent-implemented treatment was initiated with little change in symptoms. At six months, 15 hours of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) began with greater gains in skills. However, the participant continued to perform below age level by 12 months of age. At 12 months, 30 hours of ABA began and at 22 months, the participant no longer met the requirements for an ASD diagnosis. Interobserver agreement was assessed with an average of 82.9% across sessions. The attached graph shows the participant’s age equivalent scores on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning Assessment over time.
 
139. A Within-Subjects Comparison of Functional Analyses With Brief and Extended Session Durations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT BENJAMIN CORNAGLIA (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Lee Griffith (Western New England University)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

According to recent surveys, clinicians rarely conduct a functional analysis (FA) prior to intervention due to time constraints. A solution that has been evaluated and found to be promising is to conduct a 5-min session FA. However, the relative utility of independent 5-min and 10-min session FAs has not yet been evaluated. The purpose of the current study was to compare two independently conducted FAs of 5- and 10-min sessions, for the problem behavior of six individuals with autism spectrum disorder. For each participant, the same function of problem behavior (escape) was identified across 5- and 10-min session FA. In addition, the 5-min session FA averaged 67 min (range, 45-100 min), whereas the 10-min session FA averaged 125 min (90-150 min), showing that the 5-min session FA resulted in an average time savings of 45%. A subsequent treatment analysis that included differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) was conducted to assess FA outcome validity. DRA was effective in decreasing problem behavior and increasing appropriate communication for all participants. The 5-min session FA and DRA treatment analysis combined averaged 122 min (range, 100-155 min), suggesting that an effective function-based treatment could be identified in under 3 hours, without compromising validity.

 
140. Decreasing Challenging Behavior for an Individual With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Using a Collaborative Interdisciplinary Approach
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIN LEFEVRE (Melmark), Erin Way (Melmark), Sharon Lausch Onda (Melmark), Kelly Mieczkowski (Melmark)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may also be diagnosed with other disorders which may impact effective treatment. Current research finds between 30%-50% of individuals diagnosed with ASD also present with characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet prior to the DSM-V, this dual diagnosis was not possible, as an ASD diagnosis was an exclusionary criterion for ADHD (Leitner, 2014). With the change in the DSM-V criteria for diagnoses, a dual diagnosis of ASD and ADHD became possible, and research regarding comorbidity of ASD and ADHD became more prevalent. Leitner (2014) suggests that when comparing individuals with both diagnoses versus individuals with a single diagnosis, individuals with co-occurring symptoms experience greater symptomology, are more difficult to treat, and may be less responsive to standard treatments for either disorder. A collaborative interdisciplinary team may be one solution in effectively treating individuals dually diagnosed with ASD and ADHD. The present data are the result of collaboration between a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MHNP) to reduce aggression and darting, and increase on task behavior for a 14-year old female diagnosed with ASD and ADHD. Here, the behavior Analyst was able to provide frequency data and temporal relations for multiple behaviors, which were analyzed by the BCBA and MHNP together. From there, medication changes in the form of introducing a stimulant were prescribed, and data were collected pre and post treatment change for analysis by the BCBA and MHNP. The addition of the medication resulted in a significant decrease in aggression and darting, and an increase in on task behavior.

 
141. Interventions to Increase Compliance With Medication Administration: A Literature Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
FINLEY CRUGER (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Failure to adhere to medical regimens is associated with negative health outcomes and increased mortality rate (CDC, 2017). However, individuals may struggle with swallowing pills, resulting in noncompliance and disruption during medication administration. As a result, medication administration techniques such as crushing medication or allowing pills to be chewed may be used. However, crushing or chewing some medications can cause patients to overdose or can render the drug ineffective. Past research has investigated the use of behavioral interventions such as differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) and stimulus fading as well as other interventions including modeling and visual aids to increase compliance with pill swallowing. The purpose of this literature review is to outline the efficacy and behavioral basis of interventions used to increase compliance with pill swallowing and discuss directions for future research. The keywords pill swallowing and compliance were used to identify relevant research.

 
142. A Comparison of Methods for Presenting Tasks to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Systematic Replication
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NATSUMI FUJIMOTO (university of Tsukuba), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba), Soichiro Matsuda (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Previous research has demonstrated that the method of presenting a variety of tasks(varied task condition) is more efficient than the method of presenting a single task(constant task condition) to children with autism spectrum disorders (Dunlap & Koegel, 1980). The current study systematically replicated the earlier study by comparing the two approach with 2 boys with ASD. Specifically, we used mastered tasks and an adapted alternating treatments design was implemented to compare the correct responses, response latencies, and affects. The results showed that varied task condition was similar to constant task condition for correct responses and response latencies. Observers judged the Child 1 to be more enthusiastic, interested, happier, and better behaved during the varied task condition. The results suggest that the method of variety of tasks produced superior to the method of presenting a single task for the affect of Child1, the relative effectiveness of the varied task versus constant task conditions during correct responses and response latencies is less clear. The results were discussed for the differences between mastered tasks and target tasks.

 
144. Modality-Based Fluency Instruction of Pivotal Responsesand Advanced Skills Emergence on Non-Verbal Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MADOKA OCHI (NOVA LUNA Education & Consulting Center, LLC), Ayuko Kondo (Elche Co., Ltd.), Ginga Sasaki (University of Tsukuba)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

This study purports to provide procedural extension to Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI: Schreibman, et al. 2015) by addressing over-selectivity of certain stimulus modality often documented (e.g., Liss, Saulnier, Fein, & Kinsbourne, 2006) in children on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The goals of the intervention were to establish practical procedures for a child who functions on his/her interests to become more receptive to other people’s interests, and to demonstrate how ensuring core skills such as toy play, engagement, or joint attention would lead to instruction of more advanced skills. Based on a hypothesis that unique pattern of stimulus processing over-selectivity is preventing a child from registering common social cues, we assessed the pattern of stimulus over-selectivity during a naturally occurring play on 3 preschool children with ASD and implemented a three-tier intervention on a condensed schedule (1.5 to 6 hours/week), examining the effects of increased and natural exposure to selected interactions that utilized the specific modality identified as less proficient. Results indicated an increase in the frequency per minute use of all modalities along with generalized quantitative and qualitative improvements in the functional use of untaught skills across setting and people, providing another set of data supporting generative learning (Johnson & Layng, 1994) in preschool children with ASD.

 
145. Using a Self-Guided Training Package to Teach Implementation of Functional Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ELIN THORVALDSDOTTIR (Western New England University; New England Center for Children), Allen J. Karsina (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: We used a self-guided study package to train 4 direct-care staff at a school for children with autism to implement functional analysis conditions. The performances of 2 teachers who participated in a live training provided by the school were also assessed. Accuracy on implementing the functional analysis conditions was evaluated during baseline sessions and post-training sessions with the experimenter playing the role of the student. The self-guided study package consisted of a PowerPoint® package with 4 brief functional analysis video examples, embedded pop quizzes and slides with voice over. A non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used. To reach mastery criteria, participants must have performed in the competency role plays at 90% average accuracy or greater across all 3 conditions. Three out of 4 participants who went through the self-guided study package reached mastery criteria. One participant needed feedback to meet mastery criteria. One participant from the live training group met mastery criteria after the training, the other participant needed feedback to meet the criteria. Interobserver reliability was calculated in 30% of sessions with a mean of 98.5% and a range of 86 - 100%.
 
146. Efficiently Teaching Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Virtual Reality Environment to Safely Navigate Pedestrian Street Crossing
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTEEN SCARPA (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), Cecilia Feeley (Rutgers University), Whitney Pubylski-Yanofchick (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), Dillon Reitmeyer (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

One of the most important and influential activities of daily living for assimilating into the community is the ability to safely navigate unfamiliar settings. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) typically have difficulty with this (Goldsmith, 2009), and in particular street safety is a major concern and may have severe consequences such as injury and possible death. Pedestrian street crossing training is recognized as an integral life skill and is a fundamental step in the development of independence, increasing safety awareness, mobility, and safely integrating into society. The current evaluation utilizes a virtual reality (VR) procedure to facilitate training in a safe, controlled environment to acquire the necessary skills to independently cross the street. Along with VR, behavior skills training was used to examine whether skills would generalize in a natural setting. Results showed four of five participants mastered VR conditions and generalized skills in a natural setting. This study provides a model for efficiently and safely teaching pedestrian street crossing to adults with ASD.

 
147. A Review of Research on Physical Activity
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
CHELSEA HEDQUIST (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) recommends 60 min of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; jogging, brisk walking, swimming laps, etc.). Regular exercise has many health benefits including weight control, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and muscle strengthening. However, few individuals meet this recommendation, particularly those with intellectual disabilities or autism. This poster summarizes current literature on physical activity, fitness, and exercise, with a focus on areas that could benefit from additional research (e.g., appropriate forms of measurement, treatment components for increasing physical activity in individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism, procedures for facilitating maintenance, and assessing social validity). In the current review, 30 articles that included data on physical activity or discussed it as the primary focus of a literature review were included. The experimenter reviewed each study to identify participant diagnoses and communication skills, physical activity tasks that were included, and the dependent variables and forms of measurement used to quantify physical activity engagement. Implications and future research directions will be discussed, including a need for increased focus on individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism, refined measurement systems, and interventions aimed at increasing and measuring exercise intensity to meet the CDC recommendations.
 
148. Treating Pica Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement using Competing Stimulus Items
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW HARRINGTON (University of Maryland Baltimore County, Kennedy Krieger Institute), Christopher M Dillon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Javron Keene (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Marissa Lewis (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Maryland Baltimore County), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Pica is a dangerous behavior and can lead to frequent hospitalizations and death. In the current study, a 10-year-old male with autism was admitted to an inpatient unit for the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, including pica. A functional analysis for pica determined the behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcement. An augmented competing stimulus assessment (A-CSA) was conducted where a variety of stimuli combinations were assessed to determine which combination was associated with increases in item engagement and substantial decreases in the frequency of pica. The A-CSA identified a combination of four effective competing stimuli (defined by an 80% decrease in the rate of pica and an 80% increase of engagement) to use in treatment. A treatment consisting of noncontingent access to the effective competing stimuli was initiated to evaluate whether access to the competing items resulted in reduction in pica in a room baited with edible items that resembled non-edible items. Initially a moderate decrease in the rate of pica during treatment was observed as compared to baseline. Prompted engagement, redirection, and blocking were added as additional components to obtain a clinically significant reduction in the rate of pica. The reduction in pica maintained in novel settings.
 
149. A Systematic Review of Single Case Experimental Design Studies in Parent Training for Problem Behaviour
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE O'NEILL (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University), Meghan Dunnet (Kalyana Support Systems), Claire Shingleton-Smith (Brock University), Alyssa Treszl (Brock University)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that parent training can effectively teach parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to use applied behaviour analytic (ABA) interventions, including interventions designed to reduce problem behaviour. Several systematic reviews have explored the literature in this area; however, none provide a comprehensive review of research quality, the nature of ABA interventions parents are trained to implement, or approaches to ensure parent implementation fidelity, generalization, and maintenance. The current study follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to review single-case experimental design research for parent training in ABA interventions to reduce problem behaviour in children with ASD. Quality ratings and risk of bias assessments of included articles are being completed using the Scientific Merit Rating Scale (National Autism Centre, 2009) and the Risk of Bias Tool (Reichow, Barton, & Maggin, 2018), respectively. A descriptive analysis is also in progress to outline the current state of the literature, and to examine participant demographics, the nature of parent training and parent-implemented interventions, the nature of child problem behaviour targeted by interventions, and approaches to maintenance, generalization, and social validity assessment. In the future, a quantitative analysis of study outcomes will be conducted.
 
150. A Review of Variations in Social Preference Assessments
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KALEY KNAPP (Western New England University; New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Researchers often utilize preference assessments to identify preferred edible and leisure items for individuals with developmental disabilities. However, some concerns with edibles are satiation and dietary restrictions, and some limitations of leisure items are restricted interest patterns (exclusively engaging with only one item for extended durations). In addition, both edibles and leisure items may not be appropriate for consumption in certain settings. Therefore, it may be helpful to evaluate other classes of potential reinforcers, such as preferred topographies of attention. Use of attention as a reinforcer is advantageous because it is cost-effective, readily available, and a typical consequence provided in many settings, which may facilitate maintenance of targeted skills. The purpose of this poster was to provide a summary of the literature on social preference assessments. Nine articles were identified that included a preference assessment of only social stimuli and a subsequent reinforcer assessment. Several variations across studies were found, including the type of preference assessment format conducted, the pre-assessments used to identify the stimulus array, the stimulus representations included, and how outcome validity was assessed. The clinical implication of the findings and future research directions will be discussed.
 
151. Pyramidal Behavioral Skills Training for Staff Providing Applied Behavior Analytic Services to Adults With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
IAN PHILIP BOBER (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services: Rutgers University), James Maraventano (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services; Rutgers University), Whitney Pubylski-Yanofchick (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services; Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

The training of human services staff in behavior change methods is often a labor-intensive function of the supervising behavior analyst. The pyramidal application of behavioral skills training (BST) has been demonstrated an effective means for promoting the acquisition of skills related to behavior analytic treatment, while increasing the efficiency of the individual behavior analyst’s training efforts. As BST has potential for broad application, we extended a pyramidal BST approach toward job skills training for service recipients enrolled in a program providing support for adults with autism in the community setting. During pre-training assessments, 10 staff members were instructed to role-play BST using given task analyses. Following BST-based instruction in the application of BST (a pyramidal paradigm), participants demonstrated improved performance of BST component skills in the role-play setting, with regard to baseline levels. High performance levels were also observed during subsequent on-the-job assessments of staff conducting BST with service recipients in the generalization setting.

 
152. Disseminating Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention to Low Income Families
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALLISON GERMANN (Michigan State University), Sarah M Avendano (Michigan State University), Brittany Hunter (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) is the most empirically supported treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the dissemination of EIBI to low income families has been limited in the extant literature. The present investigation evaluated EIBI outcomes for 19 low income children following one year of treatment. Children were enrolled in an EIBI center, affiliated with a University. Each center was housed within a local early childhood education center for typically developing children. All participants received 30 hr per week of EIBI services for the year. Measures included the Mullen Scales of Early Learning, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Protocol. Outcomes for this sample were compared to a sample of 9 children who were not considered low income, based on the United States Housing and Urban Development standards for the geographic area. Results will be discussed within the context of delivering EIBI to economically diverse children and families. In addition, we’ll describe systems level procedures for disseminating EIBI to this subgroup.
 
153. Functional Analysis and Treatment for a Child With Social Avoidance Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA SENN (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Destiny Davis (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kelly Rothrock (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Few studies have examined evaluation and treatment of social avoidance as a function of behavior in children with autism despite this characteristic being commonly associated with the disorder. A standard functional analysis of aggressive, self-injurious, and disruptive behavior was completed with a boy diagnosed with autism. A potential social avoidance function was indicated by elevated behavior in the toy play condition and low rates of behavior in the ignore condition. It was suspected that avoidance may be specifically sensitive to verbal attention. A modified functional analysis was conducted comparing responses during sessions with no verbal attention, continuous verbal attention, and a control of no interaction. Rates of behavior were elevated in both test conditions. After functional analysis, a modified 3-step prompting procedure consisting of a textual, gestural, and physical prompt hierarchy was utilized to teach the functional communication response (FCR) of asking for “time by myself” using an iPad application. Treatment was implemented in which only the FCR produced reinforcement and all problem behavior was placed on extinction. Signaled availability was also introduced to indicate when the FCR would result in reinforcement. This case demonstrates a method for successfully identifying a social avoidance function, leading to a successful function-based treatment.

 
154. Recombinative Generalization of Tacting Noun Verb Combinations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA MARIE LARSON (Verbal Beginnings), Dylan Rutter (Verbal Beginnings )
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) produce less complex language than their peers (Eigsti et al., 2007). For example, only 5% of 30-month-old children with ASD combine words (Ellis Weismer et al., 2011). Procedures that minimize the need for direct teaching and increase generalization to other targets are paramount to address these deficits (Striefel et al., 1976). The combination of multiple known components into a previously untaught response has been described as recombinative generalization (Goldstein & Mousetis 1989). Recombinative generalization has been successfully used to teach a variety of different skills including tacting noun-verb combinations (Frampton et al., 2016). By replicating the methods of Frampton et al. (2016), the present taught responses with overlapping components with one 3-year-old boy with ASD. Mastered nouns were combined with mastered verbs and one example of both noun and verb were taught in combination. After teaching the first three targets the related six targets were mastered with no further teaching. Experimental control was established when the number baseline tact noun-verb combinations increased after each set was mastered. These findings support the use of recombinative generalization to teach tact noun-verb combinations and increase complex language in children with ASD. References Eigsti, I., Bennetto, L., & Dadlani, M. (2007). Beyond pragmatics: Morphosyntactic development in autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(6), 1007-1023. Ellis Weismer, S., Gernsbacher, M., Stronach, S., Karasinski, C., Eernisse, E., Venker, C., & Sindberg, H. (2011). Lexical and grammatical skills in toddlers on the autism spectrum compared to late talking toddlers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(8), 1065-75. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1134-4 Frampton, S., Wymer, S., Hansen, B., & Shillingsburg, M. (2016). The use of matrix training to promote generative language with children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 49(4), 869-883. doi:10.1002/jaba.340 Goldstein, H., & Mousetis, L. (1989). Generalized language learning by children with severe mental retardation: Effects of peers' expressive modeling. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 22(3), 245-259. doi:10.1901/jaba.1989.22-245 Striefel, S., Wetherby, B., & Karlan, G. (1976). Establishing generalized verb-noun instruction-following skills in retarded children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 22(2), 247-260. doi:10.1016/0022-0965(76)90005-9
 
155. A Treatment Comparison of the Effects of Reinforcement-Based Interventions on the Suppression of Pica
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH SLOCUM (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), Lindsay Lloveras (University of Florida ), Jacquelyn Caffera (Florida Autism Center)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Pica, the ingestion of nutritive substances, is a type of self-injury that is commonly observed in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Pica can pose serious health risks for persons affected with this disorder including hospitalization, surgery, and even death. Previous researchers have concluded that pica can be maintained by social attention and automatic reinforcement. The most effective treatment for automatically reinforced pica to date has been non-contingent access to preferred foods plus blocking. In the present study, the participants included two children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The researchers used an alternating treatment design to determine the effects of reprimands, differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, and non-contingent reinforcement on rates of pica that were hypothesized to be maintained by automatic reinforcement. All sessions were conducted in a naturalistic environment. In the baseline sessions, the rate of pica per minute was displayed at high levels. Once treatment sessions were implemented, the rate of pica per minute significantly decreased to near zero levels, however, no differentiation between the treatment conditions was observed. The researchers will return to baseline conditions and attempt to demonstrate differentiation between the various treatment options to determine the most effective treatment for decreasing pica for future participants.
 
156. Language Environments in Home and an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREESHMA SANCHULA (Michigan State University), Sarah M Avendano (Michigan State University), Shelby Rosalik (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The favorable effects of exposing young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to language on the child’s adaptive, social communicative, language, and cognitive development are well established. Understanding how much language a child is exposed in their home and clinical environments has important clinical implications for clinical programming and parent training. The purpose of the present investigation was to preliminarily analyze the language experienced by seven children diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 2 and 5 years old in their home and early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) environments using observational research methods. A Language ENvironmental Analysis™ (LENA) device was used to automatically capture and analyze the number of adult words spoken in the presence of the child. Other measures including child vocalization count and conversation turn counts between the focal child and other adults and children will also be measured and analyzed in the child’s home and EIBI environments over the course of a day. Results and implications for clinicians and parents will be discussed.
 
157. Assessing and Increasing Physical Activity for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN RAE (Affiliation One: Western New England University; Affiliation Two: The New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract:

Children should engage in at least 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily, per the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, many children do not meet this requirement, and children with intellectual disabilities are less likely to do so. Therefore, it is important to evaluate strategies for increasing physical activity in this population. The purpose of this study was to conduct a treatment analysis in the context of a single activity duration-based preference assessment. Physical activities were identified via an indirect assessment and included treadmill, elliptical, stepping on a bosu ball, and a stationary bike. Intervention components included prompting alone, prompting plus noncontingent reinforcement (NCR), and prompting plus differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA). Dependent variables were appropriate activity engagement and heart rate. The two activities associated with the highest levels of physical activity were the treadmill (with prompting and NCR intervention components) and elliptical (with prompting and DRA intervention components). Once an effective treatment was identified for each form of physical activity, a modified paired-stimulus preference assessment was conducted both with and without intervention components to assess the effects of intervention on response allocation to each physical activity over a sedentary activity.

 
158. Common Mistakes of Parent-Collected ABC Data
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRISTOPHER TUNG (Marcus Autism Center), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Parent-collected Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) Data is a tool that can be utilized by therapists to determine potential functions of their clients’ problem behaviors and caregiver-delivered consequences that need to be altered. ABC data can also inform the therapist as to which conditions should be included in a more standardized assessment (e.g., Functional Analysis). However, mistakes are commonly made which may conflict with caregiver report, mislead therapists to assess for functions that are not present, or omit assessments for functions that are present. In the present review, ABC data from clients admitted to an outpatient program for the treatment of problem behavior were reviewed. The purpose was to identify common mistakes that caregivers make when collecting ABC data to inform therapists of how to prevent or correct future mistakes. Results indicate that ABC data mistakes fall within five categories: 1) not recording all instances of problem behavior, 2) collecting data on non-targeted behaviors, 3) not writing indicative antecedents, 4) not being able to recall data back to the therapist, 5) recording data at a later time. For one client, all mistakes were related to not writing indicative antecedents. At least 3 clients’ data will be presented.
 
159. An Evaluation of Group-Level Interventions to Increase Vegetable Consumption: A School-Wide Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY SEIDEN (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Lauren Davison (Hogan Learning Academy), Ben Bacon (Hogan Learning Academy), Brittney Miller (Hogan Learning Academy), Megan Gring (Hogan Learning Academy), Fred E. Carriles (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg), Keith E. Williams (Penn State Hershey Medical Center), Jonathan W. Ivy (The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg )
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Studies have identified the estimated prevalence of selective feeding disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as approximately 70%. In addition, studies have shown children with special needs do not consume the recommended daily amount of vegetables leading to nutritional deficits. This study used a multiple treatment reversal design to examine and compare the effects of two interventions on the consumption of target vegetables in a private school setting. Participants included 39 children all diagnosed with ASD. During baseline, the participants were given five bites of two different vegetables along with their packed lunch with no programmed consequences for mealtime behavior. During the first intervention condition, pre-meal presentation, the participants were given access to the vegetables prior to the start of lunch with no programmed consequences for mealtime behavior. During the second intervention condition, modeling and prompt, the participants observed a researcher model the consumption of the food and the researcher provided a prompt to the student to try the food, with no programmed consequences for mealtime behavior. Preliminary analysis of the results shows that the intervention pre-meal presentation had not produced higher participant consumption of food items than that of the baseline condition.
 
160. Classroom Staff as an Establishing Operation for Aggressive Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
COREY OLVERA (The Center for Discovery), Johanna F Lantz (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Functional analyses (FA) that do not evoke challenging behaviors, despite them being observed in the natural environment, suggest the presence of an EO that is not represented. This study investigated how classroom staff influenced operant responding during functional analysis conditions for an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder and aggressive behavior. No aggressive behaviors were observed during initial FA conditions. The FA was then conducted with staff member “Cindy” with whom the behavior was typically observed within the naturalistic environment. It was established that Cindy served as the EO for challenging behavior, with the highest rates of aggression occurring during demand and divided attention conditions, suggesting that the value of escape and access to attention was increased in her presence. Functional communication training (FCT) was initiated where the student requested “play” in the context of demands with Cindy. Thus, FCT resulted in both an escape from demands and access to a preferred play activity with Cindy. Preliminary results support the effectiveness of the FCT intervention. A reversal phase is planned to further test the intervention followed by denial tolerance. This study illustrates the benefits of manipulating additional antecedent variables when standard FA procedures are not informative.
 
161. A Practioner's Guide to Teach for Generalization in ABA Treatment for Autism and Other Disabilities Using the R.E.AL. Model
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRENDA J. TERZICH-GARLAND GARLAND (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. (ABC)), Mari R. Ueda-Tao (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. (ABC))
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract:

This poster shows how practioners can plan and effectively train for generalized behavior change in the applied setting utilizing The R.E.AL. Model (Recreating Environments to Accelerate Learning). It teaches for generalization using a unique five step process, which systematically changes environmental antecedents and consequences in order to effectively increase skill acquisition within any existing ABA program. The structure of each level allows for observable, measurable accountability as to how a concept, verbal operant, skill, or repertoire was acquired based on the environmental conditions present. Each level provides the practitioner with a behavior analytic structure by which treatment plans are evaluated and targets to teach for generalization are identified. The R.E.AL. Model begins the behavioral process to teach for generalization during stimulus discrimination training of concepts and the teaching of skill acquisition taught in a highly structured environment. The process continues when systematically introducing stimuli and contingencies within the natural environment. Special emphasis in bridging concepts and skills in order to teach complex repertoires follows, establishing multiple-control, and generalized social behavior to the verbal community. Data indicate skill acquisition across all ABA program areas. The R.E.AL. Model systematically trains for generalization so practitioners can increase skill acquisition across all applied settings.

 
162. The Treatment of Food Selectivity in anAdult With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY PUBYLSKI-YANOFCHICK (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Center, Rutgers University), Christopher Manente (Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services, Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract:

Up to 89% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have some type of feeding difficulties (Ledford & Gast, 2006). Food selectivity, while common in young children typically resolves in the neurotypical population. However, it may persist into adulthood in individuals with ASD if left untreated (Birch, 1999). Kuschner et. al. (2015) found, using self-report, that young adults with ASD were more likely to report food selectivity than in the neurotypical comparison group. While effective treatments for food selectivity have been identified for young children and the school-aged population, little research has been conducted on treatments with the adult population. This is important because adults have a longer history of food selectivity, which may make it more resistant to treatment. In this study, we used a combined changing criterion and alternating treatment design to compare positive and negative reinforcement contingencies to increase consumption of a variety of novel foods by an 26-year-old adult with ASD. We found that both contingencies increased consumption of novel foods. Additionally, he preferred the positive reinforcement contingency. Finally, treatment effects generalized to non-treated foods. The current protocol represents a novel strategy for addressing food selectivity in adults with ASD.

 
164. Pretest/Post-Test Evaluation of Language Measures After a Year of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHELBY ROSALIK (Michigan State University), Sarah M Avendano (Michigan State University), Greeshma Sanchula (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract:

Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) has been shown to have positive effects on the language outcomes of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Child language outcomes are often measured using standardized assessments. Some biases that are can be associated with standardized assessments that threaten their internal validity can be associated with the assessor’s presence, the assessor’s ability to implement the assessment, the and the contrived nature of many assessments. Many of these biases can be addressed when automated data collection procedures are implemented to capture and asses a child’s language ability. The purpose of the present investigation was to capture the language outcomes of children with ASD one year after beginning EIBI. A pre-test post-test design will be used to analyze the changes observed in the child’s language. The children’s language was measured using Language ENvironmental Analysis (LENA) software and affiliated devices to collect and analyze data on the child’s language throughout one full treatment day. The primary language measure of interest is the child’s vocalization count per hour. Clinical results and implications will be discussed.

 
165. Establishing Tangible Conditioned Reinforcers for Children With Autism using a Discrimination Training Procedure
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL YOSICK (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine )
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract:

A core deficit in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is restricted interests, which for children with ASD often manifests as few items with which they engage with in a leisure context. When children have few leisure items that function as reinforcers during intervention, progress can be limited. This study used a discrimination training procedure to condition non-preferred leisure items as reinforcers for two children with ASD. Neutral tangible items were established as discriminative stimuli by reinforcing a specific engagement response in the presence of the item. Free-operant preference assessment probes of item engagement were conducted prior to conditioning, during conditioning, and post-conditioning. Following an observed treatment effect during free-operant probes, the conditioned item was then tested for reinforcing efficacy while teaching a new skill. Results indicated the discrimination training procedure led to greater levels of engagement during free-operant probes with each item that was conditioned for both participants. During the test for reinforcing efficacy, the conditioned item demonstrated some reinforcing properties, though not as strong as the participants’ primary reinforcers.

 
166. Evaluation of the Latency-Based, Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMINA NOOR WONG (Queens College, CUNY), Theresa Fiani (City University of New York - The Graduate Center), Joshua Jessel (Queens College, City University of New York)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Functional analysis is a general process that identifies potential antecedents and consequences influencing problem behavior, which in turn informs effective intervention. The interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) is a recently developed functional analysis format that evaluates an individualized, synthesized contingency in a single test condition compared to a matched control. Problem behavior is typically measured as a rate during the IISCA; however, the safety of the analysis period could be improved by reducing sessions to a single response using latency as a measure of response strength. We conducted this study in two parts with 10 participants diagnosed with autism who exhibited problem behavior. First, the data from five rate-based IISCAs were reanalyzed to determine if the outcomes of a latency based measure would correspond to that of rate. Second, five latency-based IISCAs were conducted to validate the results of the reanalysis. Overall, differentiated outcomes implicating socially mediated functions were obtained using latency as a measure of response strength while reducing (a) the participants’ exposure to problem behavior and (b) time required to conduct the analysis.
 
167. Defining the Functions of Sarcasm and its Practical Implications for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOSHUA GARNER (Hopebridge Pediatrics; Behavioral Education Research Initiative), Tom Wierzbinski (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Adam Peal (Behavioral Education Research Initiative)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
Abstract:

Within this poster, we behavior-analytically defined the functions of sarcasm and provided practical implications for individuals with autism. By understanding the contextual cues contributing to a sarcastic statement individuals with developmental disabilities can contact more reinforcement by interacting with another person or group of people. Additionally, a study was conducted in which individuals with autism were taught to detect the literal meaning of sarcastic comments and their contextual cues. The results of this study supported the assertion of Persicke, Tarbox, Ranick, and St. Clair (2013) that non-literal language deficits can be reconciled using teaching procedures such as the delivery of rules, clear immediate feedback, and multiple exemplar training.

 
168. 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 Maria Mascarenhas veras Morais (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo)
Discussant: Preetinder Narang (University of Toronto)
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 parent: turning the body to sounds, following instructions, pointing, making eye contacting, babbling, 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 referral to ASD specialists indicated agreement with our evaluation. External specialist evaluations agreed with our assessment showing with new participants protocol´s generality. Additional results were related to protocol improvement.

 
 

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