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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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details


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Symposium #280
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating the Effectiveness and Acceptability of Telehealth and Distance Learning for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Online
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Solutions)
Discussant: Linda K. Haymes (Touro University California)
CE Instructor: Alissa Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered all aspects of our lives in unprecedented ways. Many ABA agencies and schools across the nation had to rapidly transition from a primarily in-person service delivery model to telehealth or distance learning. And yet the research on telehealth and distance learning with individuals with autism is limited to say the least. All four presentations in this symposium contribute to a much-needed literature base on this topic. The first two studies investigate the use of telehealth for the delivery of direct behavior analytic services. Study one uses an adapted alternating treatment design to compare the effectiveness of telehealth versus in-person services when teaching intraverbals. Study two uses semi-structured interviews to gather social validity information directly from the consumers of ABA delivered via telehealth. The next two studies investigate the use of distance learning for students with severe developmental disabilities. Study three compares the data on students’ IEP goals from before and after the transition to distance learning. Study four uses surveys to gather social validity information from parents and educators on the use of distance learning with this population. Results highlight both the potential applications and barriers of online service delivery models of behavior analytic services.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): distance learning, social validity, telehealth
Target Audience:

Service providers in educational or ABA agency settings.

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe research on telehealth and ABA services. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the effectiveness and acceptability of telehealth services for a subpopulation of recipients receiving ABA services. 2. Describe research on distance learning for individuals with severe developmental disabilities. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the potential utility and barriers of distance learning for individuals with severe developmental disabilities.
 

Parents’ and Educators’ Perceptions of Distance Learning for Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities and High Behavioral Needs

(Service Delivery)
MELAURA ERICKSON TOMAINO (Port View Preparatory), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Solutions), Sarah Kagawa-Purohit (Port View Preparatory), Sagui Doering (Port View Preparatory), Edward Steven Miguel (Port View Preparatory)
Abstract:

Schools across the country and nation closed their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures impacted all students, as schools, educators, and families grappled with the realities of transitioning to distance learning platforms. The research on distance learning is still in its early phases. However, almost no research exists on educating students with severe disabilities and high behavioral needs using this technology. The present study collected survey data from students’ families and their educators on the feasibility and effectiveness of distance learning programs when working with students with severe developmental disabilities and high behavioral needs. Survey responses were collected from 40 parents, 11 teachers, and 59 paraprofessionals from a nonpublic school located in Southern California. Results indicated that parents and educators had generally neutral attitudes towards distance learning, although educators agreed that their students were obtaining educational benefits during distance learning. These findings contribute to a much needed literature base on distance learning and individuals with significant developmental delays and severe behavioral needs.

 

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Distance Learning for Students With Severe Developmental Disabilities and High Behavioral Needs

(Service Delivery)
SARAH KAGAWA-PUROHIT (Port View Preparatory), Melaura Erickson Tomaino (Port View Preparatory), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Services), Sagui Doering (Port View Preparatory), Edward Steven Miguel (Port View Preparatory)
Abstract:

With the international COVID-19 pandemic, our nation's educational system was significantly impacted. Students in all educational settings were thrown into distance learning and taken out of their brick and mortar classrooms. While some research has been done on distance learning models, little has been done on distance learning with individuals with significant developmental delays and severe behavioral needs. Therefore, this population was left in uncharted waters as educators worked to develop curriculum to meet this population’s needs. The present study examined the effects of this transition on a significantly impacted special education population. Data was gathered by looking at students’ IEP goal progress prior to and after the transition to distance learning. A total of 419 goals across 84 students were categorized as “No Change”, “Regression”, or “Progress”. Analyses revealed that students maintained about half of the skills addressed in their IEPs and made progress on an additional quarter of their IEP goals. Students demonstrated decreased performance on the remaining quarter of their IEP goals. Findings contribute to a much needed literature base on the impact that distance learning has on students with special needs. Future work is needed to determine best practices for distance learning with this population.

 

Comparison of Direct Behavior Analytic Services Delivered In-Person and via Telehealth

(Applied Research)
ZEENAT KAUSAR (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Alyssa Dunlop (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Jessica Herrlin (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services; Focused Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

Telehealth services within Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have broadly increased in use. The current literature on telehealth shows the effectiveness of parent and staff training conducted through telehealth, yet there is no research evaluating direct services provided to children with Autism via telehealth. Given telehealth’s recent expansion, it is important to evaluate whether services provided via telehealth are as effective as the typically used in-person model. In this study, an adapted alternating treatment design is used to compare the effectiveness of direct behavior analytic services delivered through telehealth to direct behavior analytic services delivered in-person when teaching responding to intraverbal questions. Participants with a diagnosis of Autism that currently receive in-home ABA services and met criteria to receive direct instruction via telehealth were recruited for this study. Preliminary results show that telehealth is equally effective as in-person services. This is significant as it supports the ongoing use of telehealth for behavior analytic services, which expands access to those individuals living in more rural communities with limited access to services.

 

A Social Validity Interview for Telehealth ABA Services With Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

(Service Delivery)
TYLER GODSY (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services), Alissa Greenberg (Juvo - Autism and Behavioral Health Services), Elisabeth Evans (Juvo - Autism & Behavioral Health Services)
Abstract:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services has shifted dramatically. Telehealth services are being provided at a much higher rate than at any point in the past. While there is an extensive body of social validity research for direct ABA services, there is currently a paucity of research with regard to the social validity of telehealth services, particularly with respect to social validity data collected directly from the recipients of telehealth ABA services. This study collected social validity data in the form of a semi-structured interview directly from individuals receiving ABA services via telehealth. Participants are expected to include approximately 20 children, aged 8-18 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Preliminary results indicate that a subset of clients prefer telehealth to in-person services, telehealth is easy to access, the switch to telehealth has generally not affected progress on goals, and that there may be a preference for a combination of telehealth and in-person services if that should become available in the future. The data from this study inform the delivery of ABA services via telehealth and shed light on the acceptability of this service delivery model for a subset of ABA recipients.

 

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