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.


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 #196
Behavior Analytic Teaching Procedures Using Visual Supports and Behavioral Skills Training
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Beverly Nichols (Utah State University)

Finding effective methods for teaching individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as teaching staff and caregiver how to implement those treatments is important. Behavior skills training (BST) has shown to be effective at teaching caregivers and staff to implement treatments. First, a review of BST teaching adults to implement treatments with individuals with ASD will be presented discussing the use of the different BST components. When teaching individuals with ASD skills, video prompts, video-enhanced schedules, and activity schedules are methods that have been shown to be effective. The results from a study comparing the effects of including highly preferred music or no music with a video-enhanced schedule will be discussed. Next, a study comparing two different teaching methods, video prompting and activity schedules, will be presented. Finally, the effects of a linked activity schedule on student vocalizations during cooperative activities will be discussed. These studies discovered a variety of different teaching methods that are effective for individuals with ASD.

Instruction Level: Intermediate

Behavioral Skills Training With Adult Interventionists: A Systematic Review

Sandra Smith (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), JULIANA AGUILAR (Utah State University), Nicole Pyle (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)

Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is a performance and competency-based training intervention. Authors reviewed and synthesized thirty studies that used BST to train adult interventionists to implement behavior analytic interventions with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Previous reviews have demonstrated that BST is an effective training intervention to teach interventionists to implement behavior analytic interventions. However, a survey of individuals entering the field of behavior analysis reported receiving training primarily through instruction, and limited exposure to rehearsal situations and practice with clients. Researchers have suggested that reliance on poorly-supported training methods may be due to the increased upfront costs and time of more intensive training packages such as BST. This review explored the common practices within the BST literature for behavior analytic training. Results indicate that trainers consistently implemented the four BST components, yet varied the method of component implementation. External validity measures such as generalization measures and outcome measures for children receiving the behavior analytic intervention were often reported. Authors also examined the length of BST training across intervention type and discussed efficiency measures studied within the corpus.


The Effects of Video-Enhanced Fitness Schedules on Exercise Behavior by Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ANGELA MAGNUSSON (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Linda Sue Meyer (Linda S. Meyer Consulting, LLC), Douglas Kupferman (Caldwell University)

Interventions that increase exercise engagement are needed, especially for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are at an increased risk for living sedentary lifestyles and being overweight. Video-enhanced fitness schedules have successfully increased exercise and on-task behavior of adolescents with ASD. Research has shown that highly preferred music has also increased on-task behavior of individuals with ASD. The effects of music on a video-enhanced fitness schedule remain unknown. We evaluated the comparative effects of highly preferred music and during a control (no-music) on exercise behavior by children with ASD across video-enhanced fitness schedules using an adapted-alternating treatments design. We found that video-enhanced fitness schedules with highly preferred music were more effective and efficient in the acquisition of independent schedule-following compared to the control condition. Additionally, participants generalized the fitness schedules with highly preferred music to primary caregivers and maintained the skills at 3-weeks post mastery. Caregivers and practitioners reported the procedures and outcomes as socially valid.

Evaluating the Comparative Effects of Picture Activity Schedules and Video Prompting
ANA C. ALBAN (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University), Insitute for Educational Achievement (Institute for Educational Achievement)
Abstract: Instructional strategies, such as video prompting and picture activity schedules, have shown to be effective in teaching an array of skills including vocational skills to individuals with developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, additional research on the comparative effectiveness of picture activity schedules and video prompting on teaching vocational skills is needed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of a picture activity schedule and video prompting when teaching vocational skills to adolescents and young adults diagnosed with ASD. Results indicated that both interventions were effective and slightly more efficient, in terms of the number of sessions to mastery and number of prompts provided, for three participants, while a picture activity schedule was more effective and efficient than video prompting for one participant. Generalization to an untrained task was observed for two participants. Results were maintained three weeks post-mastery Lastly, practitioners viewed the procedures, goals, and outcomes as socially valid.
Effects of Linked Activity Schedules on Contextually Appropriate Vocalizations During Cooperative Completion of Academic Learning Centers
STEPHANIE MATTSON (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
Abstract: Teachers and instructors often use cooperative learning activities such as learning centers to promote joint completion of academic tasks. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) consistently demonstrate communication deficits and may not engage in the spontaneous verbal behavior necessary to successfully participate in these activities. Given the social demands in common instructional settings, it is crucial for children with ASD to engage in contextually appropriate social communication during cooperative activities. Previous research has demonstrated that activity schedule interventions can increase contextually appropriate language for children with ASD. This study examined the effects of a linked activity schedule intervention package on contextually appropriate initiation and response pairs for preschool students with ASD. A multiple baseline across participant dyads design with an embedded reversal was used to assess the effects of the intervention. Following the introduction of the activity schedule intervention, contextually appropriate initiation and response pairs increased for both participant dyads. Results of this study add to the existing literature demonstrating that joint activity schedules can be an effective intervention for increasing contextually appropriate language in children with ASD and extend the use of activity schedules to cooperative learning activities.



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