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).

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Poster Session #262
AUT Sunday Poster Session
Sunday, May 30, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Online
90.

Evaluation of the Effects of the Stimulus Pairing Observation Procedure and Matching-to-Sample on the Emergence of Listener Responses in Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NOUF ALZRAYER (King Saud University )
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Many listener training programs target the development of appropriate nonverbal responses to the verbal behavior emitted by the speaker. This type of training is commonly used in the early intensive behavior intervention programs (EIBIs) provided for individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Instructional procedures play a critical role in the acquisition of listener responses. Practitioners frequently face difficulties in teaching arbitrary auditory-visual conditional discriminations with individuals with limited experience with such tasks. Therefore, this study was to investigate the effects of the stimulus pairing observation (SPOP) procedure in conjunction with match-to-sample (MTS) training to establish untrained listener responses in three children with ASD and limited vocal repertoire. The participants were 4 and 5 years old, and the study used a multiple probe across participants design. Each participant was received MTS and SPOP training until the acquisition criterion was reached. Then, post-test probes were conducted across five stimuli set for each participant after exposure to MTS and SPOP. The results indicate that the intervention is effective in the emergence of untrained listener responses. Also, the participants were able to maintain their untrained listener responses.

 
91.

Parent-Training Procedures and Their Effects: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Mônica da Costa Heluany Dias (Clínica Conecta Intervenção Comportamental), ANA CAROLINA CAROLINA SELLA (Private practice)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Parents influence all aspects of their children’s development. Parent training may help in mental health service provision and increase the chances of treatment generalization to new people and settings. Parent training usually teaches positive parent practices, such as attending, describing, and praising behaviors considered adequate. Behavior skills training (BST) is one format that can be effective for parent training. This study aimed at analyzing which procedures have been used to train parents and their effectiveness. Additionally, it looked at the frequency with which BST and its components have been used in parent training. A systematic review was conducted in 3 phases. At the end of these phases, 28 articles remained. Regarding procedure effects, in 24 out of the selected 28 articles we found an effect of the independent variable on parent behavior. On procedures used for parent training: only 4 studies used the term “behavior skills training” to describe procedures. Instructions, modeling, role play, and feedback were the main procedures implemented in the 28 selected studies. Frequent systematic and narrative reviews are recommended to systematize the literature to those professionals and researchers that might need synthetic, updated, and organized information to make decisions.

 
92.

Practical Functional Assessment and Differentiating the Omnibus Mand to Specific Mands to Treat Problem Behavior in a Child With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALINE ATALLAH (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children.), Daniel John Sheridan (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children.), Franco Esterhuyse (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children.), Shannon Ward (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children. )
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

When problem behavior is maintained by multiple reinforcers or a combination of reinforcers, functional communication training (FCT; Carr & Durrand, 1991) may begin with an omnibus mand (Hanley et al., 2014; Ghaemmaghami et al., 2018). However, specific and complex communicative responses may a desirable outcome of treatment (Tiger et al., 2008). The present study replicated the methods described by Ward et al. (2020) to differentiate an omnibus mand (“my way please”) into specific mands (“Break, please”, “I want iPad”). First, an interview informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA; Hanley et al., 2014) was conducted and suggested that the problem behavior of a young child to be sensitive to escape from demands to access tangibles, edibles, and attention. An omnibus mand was taught to replace problem behavior and then the omnibus mand was differentiated into specific mands using the systematic shaping process described by Ghaemmaghami et al., (2018) to increase the complexity of functional communication. Problem behavior remained low while specific FCRs were acquired. Terminal probes suggested that the systematic shaping process was necessary to teach complex communicative responses while maintaining low rates of problem behavior. A social validity questionnaire indicated that classroom teachers were satisfied with the outcomes.

 
93.

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

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
RYAN J. MARTIN (May Institute), Jaime Crowley (May Institute), Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

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

 
94.

A Comparison of Procedures to Establish Tokens as Conditioned Reinforcers

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TRACY ARGUETA (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Nathalie Fernandez (University of Florida)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Tokens are among the most common consequences delivered by behavior analysts who work with individuals with developmental disabilities (Graff & Karsten, 2012). However, recommendations for establishing tokens as conditioned reinforcers vary and many questions remain about best practices. In this study, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities completed preference and reinforcer assessments, from which we identified two to three backup reinforcers. We then evaluated four procedures for establishing tokens as conditioned reinforcers, usually followed by extinction tests to determine if the token had assumed any independent value. We began with stimulus-stimulus (SS) pairing of tokens with the backup reinforcers. If SS pairing did not establish tokens as conditioned reinforcers, we evaluated response-stimulus (RS) pairing and/or noncontingent token-exchange training, in which participants exchanged noncontingently delivered tokens for backup reinforcers. If neither of these procedures established tokens as conditioned reinforcers, we assessed response-contingent token-exchange training. Results suggest that (1) exchange plays a critical role in supporting reinforcer effectiveness, and (2) the conditions under which we evaluate the effects of token training might influence our results and conclusions.

 
Diversity submission 95.

Three-Step Prompting: Teaching Young Children With Autism to Follow Instructions

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA BARTON (University of South Dakota, Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education Program & Southwest West Central Service Cooperative), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Within recent years, advances in screening and diagnosis allows children with autism and developmental disabilities to receive intervention earlier. Earlier diagnoses of autism and developmental disabilities highlights the need for strong, evidence-based early interventions. Additionally, research demonstrates that earlier intervention is associated with better social skills, language acquisition, communication, and reductions in challenging behavior. Earlier intervention can potentially circumvent some of the risk factors associated with autism and potentially increase the amount of time spent with typical peers in general education. One important preventative life skill derived from the research and school readiness literature was related to following directions. The three-step prompting procedure appears necessary for participants who initially do not respond to other intervention techniques aimed at demonstrating increased levels of compliance. The three-step prompting procedure provided teachers and parents with a tool to promote compliance with children and for increasing overall independence in following directions. The relative ease in training and implementation with a three-step prompting procedure makes it ideal for use in a wide variety of settings as a tool for teaching instruction following; unfortunately, to date, most of the literature available on the uses of this procedure to address noncompliance in highly structured settings. The current study aims to expand the literature base on the use of the three-step prompting procedure as a teaching tool in a group setting. This study provides an extension of the previous research into the three-step prompting procedure as it relates to young children with autism and developmental disabilities in a group setting. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of teaching instruction following using a three-step prompting procedure versus no explicit instruction and the concurrent effects on on-task and problem behavior of young children with autism and/or developmental disabilities in a group setting.

 
96.

Telehealth Intervention of Verbal Behavior in School Context for a Student With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MIHO HIGASHI (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

After acquiring basic verbal behavior, the children extend its functional use of verbal behavior to more naturalistic, contextual situations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of online teaching method on establishing functional verbal behavior in school lives. An elementary school student with autism spectrum disorder participated in the study. The target verbal behaviors were consisted of four sets(20 stimuli): talking naturally (5 stimuli), reacting on unexpected situations(5 stimuli), talking in the contexts(5 stimuli), teaching to peers(5 stimuli). We implemented the multiple baseline design across tasks. The experimenter conducted the probe trials once a week. An experimental stimulus consisted of sentences expressing context and peer’s talk in computer display. The student was required to made four different verbal behaviors fitting in the school situations. The parent was required to teach verbal behavior by iPad including stimuli of teaching program. At baseline, the appropriate verbal responses were low place. After home-based teaching, the appropriate verbal responses drastically increased. The result suggested that telehealth program was effective for increasing functional verbal behavior.

 
97. Caregiver-Mediated Play-Based Intervention for Toddlers At-Risk for Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE CANTRELL (The University of Texas at San Antonio ), Leslie Neely (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Sierra Stegemann (The University of Texas at San Antonio )
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract: Caregiver-mediated, play-based intervention programs have demonstrated positive effects for young children diagnosed with and at-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Sunny Starts DANCE program (Decide, Arrange, Now, Contemplate, Enjoy) incorporates the principles of operant conditioning in an age-appropriate way to support closeness, mutual enjoyment, attending, and social responding. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a caregiver training program on the fidelity of caregiver implementation of the first phases of the DANCE. A total of nine caregiver-child dyads participated in two cohorts. Two multiple-baseline across participants designs were used to evaluate the effects of the training program. Distal data was also collected to measure the child’s indices of happiness, social engagement and vocalizations, as well as caregiver indices of happiness. Results indicate that the caregiver training program was effective in teaching caregivers of to implement play and pairing procedures with their child. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, data collection was interrupted for the 3 of the participants.
 
98.

Differential Reinforcement and Extinction to Increase Eye-Face Gaze With Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RODRIGO ESTEBAN MENDOZA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Eye contact is an important ability observed early in human development. We investigated eye-face gaze to gain greater understanding regarding the specific variables controlling the natural acquisition of this behavioral class. We used extinction of high probability responses, keeping motivating operations in place to evoke mands with eye-face gaze as a function of differential reinforcement. We wanted to answer the question: Can children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) learn social pragmatic skills (e.g., eye-face gaze) while manding? We use a non-concurrent multiple probe baseline design across participants, and we analyzed the data visually. We demonstrated that these procedures increased eye-face gaze while manding for three children with ASD. The procedures controlled the behavioral class of two and had some control over the behavioral class of the other. It is an important finding because these participants had manding in their repertoire and through extinction and differential reinforcement of a more complex behavior, an improvement in their performance was possible. It could pave the way for more efficient tactics to assist this population access social interactions.

 
99.

Interventions Targeting Interactive Play in Individuals With Autism: A Systematic Review

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE OGUINN (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University), Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center/Emory University )
Discussant: Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Butterfly Effects)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may fail to acquire interactive play and leisure skills due to deficits associated with the diagnosis. Through interactive play, individuals gain more opportunities to develop proficiency in areas such as problem solving, communication, and emotional development. In an effort to inform practice and research, this systematic literature review analyzes behavioral interventions used to teach interactive play and social leisure skills to individuals diagnosed with ASD. The predetermined inclusion criteria resulted in 23 studies to be analyzed. The findings of this review indicate that there are interventions that successfully increased interactive play and leisure skills with children, but there is a gap in the research regarding teaching these skills to adolescents and adults. Additional needs for future research are discussed.

 
Sustainability submission 100.

Medical Clinic for Autism and Neurodiversity: Good Practices for Services and Families in the Public Health Service in Modena

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
GIULIA FERRAZZI (AARBA), chiara Melotti (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Studies in literature (Evans et al., 2005; MacNeil et al., 2009) shows that patients diagnosed with neurodiversity disease rich higher levels of anxiety and phobias. These awkwardness come true even in medical visits, with direct consequences on the patient's health, on family members and on the costs of the National Health Service (Cisini et al., 2019; Raffin, 2018) The purpouse is to create and evaluate a training procedure available for the operators in Modena Health Services. The aim is to ensure an easier execution of instrumental clinical examinations, for users with Autism Spectrum Disorder in developmental age. The start point was create raw materials: task analysis and support in Augmentantive and Alternative Communication (photos, videos and PCS). Secondly, we gather from the literature techniques with proven efficacy for the reduction of phobias during clinical exams. Gradual exposure and differential reinforcement, from the Applied Behavior Analysis, were detect as the most efficient (McMurtry et al., 2016; Shabani and Fisher, 2006). Thanks to studies researchers can create procedures for anxiety and fear reduction relating to the execution of clinical examinations. The procedures involved were: Electrocardiogram, Echocardiogram and blood pressure measurement. The goal is to create a model of “good practice”, ethical sustainable and plain, that can be share with service operators. Furthermore, the project providing for the use of effective techniques to users with no link to a diagnosis with neurodiversity.

 
101. The Use of a Paired-Stimulus Preference Assessment to Predict Appetitive Functional Communication Topographies
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MATHEW C LUEHRING (Children's Hospital Colorado), Sara Jeglum (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is an effective intervention for decreasing problem behaviors and increasing communicative repertoires for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Kurtz et al., 2011). However, little is known about the influence of preference on communication topographies within FCT (Ringdahl et al., 2018). The present study sought to extend previous research on determining communication preferences through the use of a paired-stimulus preference assessment (Fisher et al., 1992) and included use of a BigMac© button press, picture card touch, and sign-language. The participant was a 16-year-old female with autism spectrum disorder and severe intellectual disability. Functional analysis results indicated problem behaviors (self-injury, aggression) were maintained by access to preferred food items. Three communication responses for food were presented in a paired-choice arrangement to identify participant preference. A picture card was identified as the preferred communication modality and was included within a larger FCT treatment evaluation. Once FCT/picture card plus extinction was demonstrated to be effective, all communication modalities were presented concurrently in a mand topography analysis. Consistent with previous research, communication preferences changed when all modalities were concurrently available. Limitations of and future directions for assessing communication preference during FCT are discussed.
 
102.

A Parent-Training Program to Increase Academic Compliance in a Child With Autism During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CRISTINA CITEREI (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Alessandro Dibari (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Romilda Napolitano (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Daniele Rizzi (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

The health emergency caused by Covid-19, with the consequent measures of social distancing, produced operational problems with the implementation of services to people with disabilities and their families. In the present study, we conducted a parent training program almost completely via telehealth to teach a parent some strategies to increase the compliance of their son. The boy was a 5-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who engaged in challenging behavior when asked to comply with academic tasks, and which was maintained by negative reinforcement. The intervention consisted of a package which included behavioral skills training (BST) with written instructions, video modeling, rehearsal and feedback, to implement demand fading procedures and concurrent schedules arrangements. The intervention reduced challenging behavior to zero, allowing the parents to increase the number of academic tasks presented to the child.

 
103. Evaluating Protective Procedures for Assessment, Treatment, and Research on Automatically Maintained Self-Injurious Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JASMEEN KAUR (Kennedy Krieger institute ), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), ALEXANDER Rodolfo AREVALO (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Christopher M Dillon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Ashley N. Carver (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Automatically maintained self-injurious behavior (ASIB) has been shown to be associated with more severe injuries relative to socially maintained self-injury. Assessing, treating, and conducting research on severe ASIB poses many practical and ethical challenges. Among them is the necessity to minimize risks of SIB, while allowing the occurrence of SIB to the extent that it can be assessed and treatment efficacy can be evaluated. As such, protective procedures are sometimes used during the assessment and treatment process. Protective procedures can include mechanical devices that limit the occurrence of the behavior, protective equipment that protect areas of the body from injury, response blocking to prevent the completion of the response, and abbreviated session durations to limit exposure to situations in which the behavior is occurring. We describe two cases with treatment resistant subtypes of ASIB for whom protective procedures were evaluated. Findings demonstrate that assessments can be designed in a manner that allows some self-injurious behavior to occur while minimizing the potential risk of injury. Although these procedures were highly individualized for each case, some guiding principles were identified that could be extended to others.
 
104.

Teaching Independent Nighttime Routines Through Prompt Fading and Transfer-of-Stimulus-Control Procedures: A Case Study

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANGELA CARDASCIA (Associazione Bambini Autistici ), Alessandro Dibari (Alba ONLUS)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Achieving independence in functional living skills is an important aspect for people safety and dignity. The purpose of this study has been teaching to independently initiate and complete nighttime routines to an adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A chain composed of brushing his teeth, using the bidet, wearing the pajamas, managing independently his clothes, checking them and putting the dirty ones in the laundry basket was taught using task analysis, most to least prompt fading and positive conditioned reinforcer. The chain was initially evoked with a Whatsapp video message asking to “get ready for the night”, in combination with gestural and verbal prompt and its completion was reinforced with a previously chosen conditioned reinforcer. An intervention has been implemented to transfer the control of the chain to a telephone reminder, set one hour before the bedtime. Data showed rapid acquisition of the nighttime routines, generalization when the participant was alone with his parents and maintenance after 2-months follow up.

 
105.

Midsession Reversal Learning to Examine Behavioral Flexibility With Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
CAROLYN RITCHEY (Auburn University), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Restricted and repetitive behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are associated with neurocognitive deficits in flexible choice behavior. Probabilistic reversal learning tasks can be used to evaluate behavioral flexibility by examining individual differences in anticipatory, perseverative, and regressive errors. The present series of experiments conducted via crowdsourcing examined performance in a midsession reversal-learning task to assess error patterns. In two experiments with typically developing participants, we found that responding on the first ‘correct’ pattern rapidly approached the arranged probability of reinforcement. In a separate experiment with individuals with and without ASD, we found that the number of regressive errors was positively correlated with scores on The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), which measures the degree of traits associated with ASD. We also found that individuals with ASD made more perseverative errors initially, but there was little difference between groups in the total number of perseverative errors. The current set of procedures could be used to assess behavioral (in)flexibility and adaptability in learning in individuals with ASD.

 
106. A Systematic Review of Severe Behavior Admissions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
HEATHER ANDERSON (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jessie Weber (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Andrew Sodawasser (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Intensive applied behavior analytic services can reduce severe destructive behavior. However, relatively little information regarding the characteristics (e.g., the typical length of intensive services) of these services is available. We reviewed 271 admissions to a university-based severe behavior program over a ten year period to consider length of admissions and other characteristics that may relate to admission length. The median length of admission for intensive services was 13.6 weeks, and the distribution was skewed to the left (M = 17.2 weeks). We discuss the findings with regards to variables that may contribute to admission length (i.e., referral topography, behavioral function(s), and caregiver involvement), and consider how this information may be useful for clinicians working in intensive settings focusing on the assessment and treatment of severe destructive behavior.
 
107.

The Comparative Effects of Modified Communication Programs on Requesting for a Child With Autism and Visual Impairments

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MALLORIE CARADINE (University of Memphis), James Nicholson Meindl (The University of Memphis), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis), Diana M. Delgado (University of Memphis), Susan Elswick (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

The present study used a multiple probe across behaviors design, with an embedded alternating treatments design to compare the acquisition rates and efficacy of two modified communication programs, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and a speech generating device (SGD), to teach requesting to a child with multiple disabilities, including autism and visual impairments (VI). Instruction in each intervention phase were adapted from the first three phases in the PECS Manual (Frost & Bondy, 2002) and modified to accommodate the participant’s VI by adding textures and providing a verbal prompt in all three phases. During baseline conditions, the participant demonstrated little to no communicative responding. With intervention, the participant’s communicative responding increased in all three phases (simple request, distance and persistence, and discrimination) to proficient levels for both communication options, however, the PECS program yielded noticeably faster results in the distance and persistence phase. Participant preference and treatment acceptability for each option were also assessed. The participant showed preference for the PECS option. Parents found both procedures to be acceptable, however, the PECS option was also the parents’ preference. The importance of participant and parent preference for using one communication option over another is discussed.

 
108.

Systematic Review of Video Activity Schedules to Teach Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
REMINGTON SWENSSON (Baylor University), Marie Kirkpatrick (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Nicole OGuinn (Baylor University), Suzannah Avery (Baylor University )
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Activity schedules have been used to teach individuals with ASD a variety of skills. Video activity schedules are an evolution of traditional activity schedules in that video models replace the static pictures within the schedule and is delivered on a device rather than a binder. While research has demonstrated that traditional activity schedules are effective at teaching new skills to individuals with ASD, less is known about video activity schedules. The systematic search and predetermined inclusion criteria identified 72 articles, which was a total of 306 unique applications of video activity schedules, for this review. Most of the participants were adolescent and adult aged males. Nearly 50% of the participants had daily living or adaptive skills targeted. Nearly all of the individual cases completed a single task rather than multiple tasks using the video activity schedule. Seventy-one percent of studies were conducted in the school with most of those studies being conducted in special education classrooms. The identified gaps in the literature included a lack of studies conducted in general education classrooms, use with younger participants, and use to teach academic or play skills. Assessment of the quality and outcomes of the included studies will also be discussed.

 
109.

A Telehealth-Delivered Duration-Shaping Procedure to Teach Children With Autism to Wear Cloth Face Masks

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Sandra Gomes (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Priya P Patil (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), JESSICA LAMB (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Renata Ribeiro (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Amber Trinidad (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Caroline Grace Reilly (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Learners with autism may experience more challenges tolerating certain tactile sensations than learners who do not have autism. Per CDC, NJDOE, and NJDOH guidelines, it was necessary to ensure students with autism could tolerate wearing cloth face coverings for as long as possible in anticipation of returning to in-person instruction (i.e., a 6-hour school day). This was especially critical for students whose instruction necessitated that instructors spent extended periods of time less than six feet away from them. We found that two such students with autism initially tolerated wearing cloth face coverings for very limited durations (i.e., less than 60 seconds), and another did so inconsistently during 5-minute observations. This was complicated by a state-mandated school closures, meaning that needed teaching could not be delivered in person. Instruction was initially delivered via live videoconferencing with instructors providing coaching to parents regarding reinforcement and error-correction procedures. Mask-wearing durations were shaped using a changing-criterion design in which durations changed both within sessions (for one learner) and target durations (or ranges changed across conditions (for all three leaners). Ultimately, all three learners were able to wear cloth face masks for the entire school day upon return to in-person instruction.

 
110.

An Analysis of the Effect of the Demand Component in Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy in an Adult With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW CHEN (St. Cloud State University), Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Research has indicated that RIRD often results in the reduction in level of vocal stereotypy in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, only one previous study has evaluated the efficacy of RIRD on vocal stereotypy for participants older than 18 years old. Furthermore, though some studies point to punishment as the mechanism by which RIRD produces its effects (Ahearn et al., 2007; Aherns et al., 2011), it is still described as a redirection procedure with unclear contingencies (Cassella et al., 2011). This study used the uninterrupted data collection procedures described by Carroll and Kodak (2014) and Wunderlich and Vollmer (2015) which have been shown to provide a more accurate analysis compared to the interrupted technique. Additionally, this study replicated and expanded upon Wunderlich and Vollmer (2015) by introducing a component analysis of the effects of RIRD on an adult participant. The results showed that motor RIRD was effective in reducing the vocal stereotypy, that random talking may be an establishing operation for vocal stereotypy, and that levels of appropriate vocalizations, while initially suppressed for 12 sessions, did not change meaningfully throughout the study.

 
111.

Using Size Fading to Teach Pill-Swallowing to Adolescents With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Kevin Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), SAMANTHA SANTOMO (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Gayathiri Ramadoss (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Paul Shreiber (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Sandra R. Gomes (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Jessica Lamb (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Prior to intervention, neither Audrey nor Paulina, both 14-year-old girls with autism, consumed medications in pill form. Though many medications available in tablet/capsule form are also available in liquid, chewable, dissolvable, or sprinkle- capsule forms, one learner only accepted one of these, some medications are available in none of these forms, and in some emergency settings a non-pill form may not be available. Along with parents’ wishes, this prompted us to implement an intervention package to teach both learners to swallow pills. This consisted of individualized positive reinforcement systems and stimulus shaping sequences. For Audrey, initial efforts to shape swallowing edible placebo items identical in size to desired medications or vitamins using a pill-swallowing cup were unsuccessful. Success was ultimately achieved using a 12-step size-fading procedure incorporating a variety of dried pulses (e.g., split peas, lentils) and several sizes of sugar-filled gelatin capsules, delivered in a spoonful of yogurt. For Paulina, similar gains were accomplished in 5 size-fading steps; reinforcement thinning is ongoing, and an additional size-fading step may be implemented. Audrey now consumes placebo items of the desired size in the absence of tangible reinforcement. Additional generalization data will be added for Paulina at the time of presentation.

 
Diversity submission 112.

A Preliminary Evaluation of a Telehealth Approach to Acceptance and Commitment Training for Enhancing Behavioral Parent Training for Chinese Parents

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZHEN LIN (University of Southern California), Qiongqiong Lin (University of Southern California), Xiyan Xu (University of Southern California), Yuehan Jin (University of Southern California), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Previous research has shown that behavioral parent training (BPT) is one of the most effective methods to improve parenting skills and promote meaningful parent-child interactions. A few attempts of preliminary research demonstrate the enhancement effect of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). However, most of the BPT studies and one previous preliminary study of BPT with a subsequent ACT intervention occur through face to face instruction. The purpose of the present research is to a) extend BPT training through telehealth, b) use ACT to enhance the effectiveness of BPT for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and 3) extend research on BPT and ACT for parents in China. The effects of the training are being evaluated by direct observation of parent-child interaction via telehealth. The study is still underway but preliminary results have shown that all of the participants show improvements in implementing behavioral procedures in their parent-child interactions.

 
113.

Increasing Compliance With a Blood Draw Procedure for Two Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Annalisa Galeone (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), DANIELE RIZZI (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Cristina Pavone (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Mathilde Bourdil (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Laura D'Amico (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Romina Tarquinio (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Mirko Massa (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara), Maria Rosa Marsico (Associazione ALBA Onlus - Pescara)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Noncompliance with medical procedures may represent a serious issue for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In this study we applied graduated exposure, shaping and stimulus distraction to teach two adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to tolerate a blood draw. Both participants showed low level of compliance and high level of signs of anxiety and distress during baseline, consisting in a simulated blood draw. During the intervention phase participants were gradually exposed to a blood draw procedure while approximations to the target behavior were reinforced. Results, shown in a non concurrent multiple baseline design, demonstrated that the treatment was effective in obtaining blood samples during an actual blood draw, with significantly lower levels for both participants of signs of anxiety and distress respect to baseline.

 
114. An Evaluation of Video Modeling to Teach Chaining Procedures to Parents
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Kaylee Engelder (Easter Seals), Maria Lynn Kessler (Oregon Institute of Technology), DAWN ALLISON BAILEY (Oregon Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract: We evaluated the efficacy of a video training package- and when needed, “bug-in-ear” (BIE) prompting and feedback- to teach parents backward chaining. Two parent-child dyads participated, and sessions took place via telehealth. Parents demonstrated backward chaining while teaching their children shoe tying. Child participants had an autism diagnosis and received applied behavior analysis (ABA) services. Data were collected on percentage of steps correct from the parents and percentage of independent shoe tying steps from the children. Results indicated the video training was effective for one parent participant to reach mastery criteria. The other parent participant met mastery criteria during the BIE prompting plus feedback condition. Percentage of independent steps increased for both children. Factors that may have contributed to participant performance and considerations for future research are discussed.
 
115. Identifying Idiosyncratic Variables Maintaining Problem Behavior Through a Modified Functional Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEAGAN GRASLEY (Utah Valley University), Sydney Jensen (Utah Valley University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that identifying specific idiosyncratic variables can significantly impact the results of functional analyses (FA). Although numerous research articles have been published supporting this, a recent review suggests that further research is needed regarding the use of modified FAs to address behaviors maintained by idiosyncratic variables. The current study aims to extend on the previous literature by demonstrating the utility of a standard FA along with a modified FA to determine the function of a multiply-controlled hair pulling behavior in a client with autism. The modified FA was implemented similar to that of a traditional FA, however, the conditions were modified to include conditions for idiosyncratic automatic reinforcement in the form of an audible sound. The traditional FA showed the behavior was partially controlled by escape, however, the modified FA showed an equal number of behaviors occurring in the escape from a sound condition and the access to a new sound condition. Further analyses confirmed that access to a new sound was the maintaining function of the problem behavior. The data add to a growing body of literature supporting the use of modified FAs as a method for identifying the function of idiosyncratic variables controlling problem behavior.
 
116.

Using a Differential Observation Response to Teach Auditory-Visual Conditional Discrimination to Children With Autism

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
GABRIELLE STONES (University of Missouri Saint Louis), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis), Catherine Veatch (PENDING)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Auditory-visual discrimination can be difficult to establish in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and minimal verbal and pre-academic repertoire. It is common for children who have not mastered tasks involving conditional discrimination, to demonstrate restricted stimulus control during these types of tasks. One strategy to overcome errors related to restricted stimulus control is by using a differential observing response (DOR). DORs are responses that when presented before or with the antecedent stimulus, facilitate the child’s sensory contact with the relevant aspect of the stimulus. The purpose of the current study was to replicated Fisher et al. (2019)’s by incorporating a DOR during an auditory-visual conditional discrimination task with children with ASD. A multiple-baseline design across target sets was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention on the levels of correct selection responses. We also conducted probe of tact responses before the implementation of the intervention and after mastery of target sets. Results were similar of Fisher et al. study in that participants demonstrated the acquisition of target sets and emergence of novel, untrained tacts.

 
117.

Investigation on COVID-19-Related Health Skills Among Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZHIHUI YI (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jessica M Hinman (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with autism are at a higher risk for COVID due to developmental delays and deficits in health-related life skills. However, the extent to which these deficits exist is unclear, as existed assessments for life skills are not specific enough to capture various skills needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as keeping the mask on for extended periods of time, following social distancing rules, maintaining social interaction with peers remotely, etc. The current study examines the COVID-related health skills among children diagnosed with ASD. A caregiver assessment was developed, and a total of 36 skills were identified following recommendations from the CDC to promote children’s physical and mental health. Six skills were identified in each category: Personal Protection Equipment, Symptom Identification, Social Distancing, Hygiene, Daily Routine, and Health and Well-being. Forty caregivers completed the indirect assessment, and results show that children diagnosed with autism often demonstrate deficits in COVID-related health skills. The distribution of skills did not show a clear pattern across different age-groups, suggesting that the developmental approach failed to account for these life skills. Preliminary psychometric properties of the assessment were reported, and implications and recommendations for practitioners were discussed.

 
118.

Telehealth for Facilitating Conversation in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YUKI NISHIYAMA (Keio University), Miho Higashi (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a visual cue (arrow) for specifying a “speaker” in conversation for students with autism spectrum disorder using online telehealth situation. Two elementary school students with autism spectrum disorder participated in the present study. They could talk about their favorite things such as trains, however had weakness in conversation with other people. At first, the therapist set the topic of conversation and evaluated the spontaneous talking and numbers of turn-taking. Telehealth method was used with Zoom. In Student-Student Condition, two students sat facing each other in computer display and made online conversation. In Student-Therapist Condition, each student sat facing with adult therapist and was provided with “arrow” on computer display to specify the speaker implying “your turn for talking”. For both students, numbers of turn-taking were very few in Student-Student Condition. In Student-Therapist condition, Student A showed drastic increase in numbers of turn-taking. The result suggests that the “arrow” functioned as visual indicator for specifying “speaker” in naturalistic conversation.

 
119. A Review of Autism Treatment via Virtual Reality Technology and Suggestions for Future Research and Development
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAIWEN ZHU (Research Associate at Beijing INGCare), Ziwei Xu (Academic Director at Institute for Accessibility Development at Tsinghua University, Beijing INGCare), Weizhi Liang (Director for Research and Development at Beijing INGCare)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract: Autism therapists and researchers have started to use Virtual-Reality (VR) since 1990s. The technology was often deployed to create virtual environments to help individuals with autism prepare for certain encounters or situations that could be stressful. In this poster, we will review recent empirical studies that evaluated the effectiveness of VR in autism treatment. Specifically, we will focus on the skill domains that were targeted (e.g., social emotional skills or daily-life skills), participants (e.g., pre-requisite skills for VR technology), dependent measures (e.g., the study deployed direct or indirect measurement for target behavior), and results (e.g., the extent to which the effects generalize to real-life situations). Lastly, we will discuss implications for future research and technology development (e.g., real-time data display to enable decision makings), as well as the huge role the VR industry will be playing in shifting how to use technology to help support those with autism to connect, communicate, and navigate.
 
120. Evaluating a Sequential Model for Assessment and Treatment of Automatically Reinforced Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PIERCE TAYLOR (Rollins College), Kara L. Wunderlich (Rollins College), Ronni Hemstreet (Rollins College), Lauren Best (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Lee L Mason (Cook Children's Health Care System)
Abstract: Behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement can be notably difficult to reduce. There are a number of function-based and non-function-based interventions with demonstrated efficacy in reducing automatically reinforced behavior; however, practitioners are often unsure of which intervention is most likely to be effective with each specific client. Further, BACB ethical guidelines require that least-restrictive and reinforcement-based procedures be implemented and evaluated before relying on punishment-based procedures to reduce problem behavior. The current study replicated the assessment and treatment model evaluated by Berg et al. (2016) with automatically reinforced self-injury by applying the sequential process to new topographies of automatically reinforced behavior: motor or vocal stereotypy. The results indicated potential success in using noncontingent reinforcement for stereotypy classified as Pattern 1; however, Pattern 2 or Pattern 3 responding (as determined by the results of a functional analysis and subsequent concurrent operants assessment) did not successfully respond to treatment indicated by the model.
 
121. Using Acceptance and Commitment Training to Increase Parental Adherence in an Online Caregiver Training Program
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Zhihui Yi (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago), RENE J NIESSNER (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: The field of behavior analysis has seen a rapid adaptation in telehealth models, and practitioners conducting parent training online may face unique challenges. The current study examines the effect of using Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) to increase parental adherence in an online caregiver training program. Thirteen families enrolled in an online caregiver training program were randomly assigned to the control group or the ACT group. Participants in the ACT group received the same caregiver training curriculum, with the addition of a 30min brief ACT session during the intake. They also received weekly ACT messages via text. Results show that participants in the ACT group progressed faster during the program (t = 2.36, p = .038) and were less likely to withdraw (χ2 = 6.96, p = .008). Implications for practitioners will be discussed.
 
122. Evaluation of a New Assessment and Treatment Model for Automatically Reinforced Stereotypy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RONNI HEMSTREET (Rollins College), Kara L. Wunderlich (Rollins College), Ashley Matter (Interventions Unlimited)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Wunderlich et al. (in prep) replicated the assessment and treatment model evaluated in Berg et al. (2016) with automatically reinforced stereotypy. The results of that study indicated that the Berg flowchart can be useful if there is clear differentiation in a functional analysis. However, if there is not clear differentiation in functional analysis data, previously proposed treatment models are less successful in predicting effective interventions. Further, ethical behavior analytic practice requires an emphasis on reinforcement-based procedures prior to the introduction of punishment (e.g., response blocking). In order to better represent the various treatment goals of individuals who exhibit problematic stereotypy and provide a more ethical approach to the systematic selection of intervention, we proposed and empirically evaluated a new assessment and intervention model. Results indicate that this sequential assessment and treatment model is effective and efficient in reducing problematic automatically reinforced stereotypy.
 
123. Treating Ritualistic Behavior Using Functional Communication Training and Schedule Thinning
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHARLES BRAMBLE (Bancroft), Kelly Trucksess (Bancroft), Gabriel Lopergolo (Bancroft)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Insistence on sameness, or ritualized patterns are part of the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These behaviors can interfere with multiple aspects of daily living. In addition, other more dangerous challenging behavior, such as aggression, may be maintained through access to these rituals. Multiple studies have demonstrated that functional communication training (FCT) has effectively treated both ritualistic behavior and co-occurring challenging behavior. The participant within the present study is an 18 year-old male diagnosed with ASD and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) living in a residential treatment facility. A functional analysis was conducted which included an idiosyncratic condition designed to identify the role of ritualistic behavior in maintaining aggressive behavior. The functional communication response (FCR) to gain access to ritualistic behavior was acquired on a continuous schedule of reinforcement. A multiple schedule was then used to thin this schedule, however was unsuccessful when utilizing a visual signal. Instead, the therapist’s vocal response was utilized to signal what component schedule would be contacted. This study replicates the findings of Kuhn et al. (2009) in which the therapist’s verbal response was used to signal the availability of reinforcement within a multiple schedule.
 
124. High-Probability Instructional Sequence: A Review on Current Procedural Variations
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
AMALIX FLORES (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: To summarize current literature on procedural variations of the High-Probability Instructional Sequence (HPIS), a systematic review of the published literature between 2010 to 2019 was completed and yielded a total of 17 articles. Each of these articles was reviewed and data were extracted on: (a) participant characteristics (i.e., sex, age, diagnosis, and target behavior), (b) procedural variations related to the HPIS implementation (i.e., high-probability to low-probability instructions ratios, inter-instruction intervals, and programed consequences for compliance and noncompliance to the instructions), and (c) results (i.e., percentage of data sets for which HPIS was effective). Thirty-four individuals were included in these studies, some of whom were exposed to multiple iterations of HPIS, resulting in 114 data sets. Across studies HPIS was effective at increasing target behavior (e.g., compliance to instructions, task completion, vocal imitation, and food acceptance and/or consumption) in 50.88% of data sets. Furthermore, the type of consequences delivered for compliance to high-probability and low-probability instructions (e.g., combined social and edible stimuli), and noncompliance to the High-P instructions (e.g., terminate instruction, provide a break, and present next instruction in the sequence) appears to impact the efficacy of HPIS. Conceptual and clinical implications, and areas for future research are discussed.
 
125.

More Time? Sometimes: Successful Schedule Thinning of a More Time Functionally Equivalent, Communication Response

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Adrianna Whitman (Bancroft ), ANTONELLA PILARAS (Bancroft)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

Challenging behavior maintained by multiple sources of environmental control presents unique challenges during treatment. Often, reduction of these behaviors involves interventions that target each source of reinforcement individually. Following acquisition of multiple functional communicative responses (FCR’s) and reduction of the target challenging behavior, the dense schedule of reinforcement used during functional communication training (FCT) still needs to be thinned for the FCR to generalize successfully across settings and time. Multiple schedules have been used successfully following FCT teaching FCR’s for single functions. The current study, involving two residents of a residential treatment facility, investigates the thinning of a “More Time” request utilizing a multiple schedule. Following successful acquisition of the FCR, schedule thinning consisted of signaling availability of reinforcement of the response with a visual stimulus. Throughout schedule thinning, the work requirement was systematically increased following emission of the FCR until the terminal schedule was reached. Both individuals demonstrated high levels of independence with the FCR and low rates of challenging behavior throughout schedule thinning.

 
126. Is This Poster Trash? Utilizing Discrimination Training and Differential Reinforcement to Reduce Hoarding
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAILEE PEREZ (Bancroft), Antonella Pilaras (Bancroft)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Some individuals with developmental disabilities engage in OCD-like behaviors such as hoarding, keeping a surplus of items regardless of their value or displaying an inability to willingly discard items. These behaviors can lead to unhygienic and unsanitary living conditions for these individuals and their families. Historically, most treatments to reduce these behaviors have utilized cognitive-based therapies or medication aimed to reduce behaviors associated with OCD. However, a function-based treatment approach to the reduction of these behaviors may be more appropriate in cases, like those involving individuals with developmental disabilities, when accurate self-report of internal states is difficult or even impossible. Seen functionally, continued access to tangible items is the maintaining contingency for hoarding. In these cases, the schedule of reinforcement for acquiring and maintaining these items may need to be greatly reduced to achieve reductions in challenging behaviors associated with hoarding. This study utilized a behavioral intervention for two individuals who engage in aggressive behaviors maintained by access to hoarding items. These behavioral interventions utilized discrimination training and differential reinforcement of incompatable behaviors, and were effective in decreasing both aggressive and hoarding behaviors.
 
127. Replacement Skills Training to Address Inappropriate Climbing Behavior During Transitions
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN CHRISTOPHER SCULLY (The Center for Discovery, Harris, NY)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: “Billy” is an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder that may climb on various pieces of furniture throughout the day such as classroom chairs, couches, and cabinets. These behaviors most frequently occur during transitions from sitting to standing, but may also occur if he were left alone. This is an automatically reinforcing behavior which would be difficult to reduce the frequency without providing an appropriate alternative. An intervention that uses non-contingent access to an appropriate climbing (step-ups platform) and functional communication training to teach the student to request “to climb” using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was initiated to reduce instances of inappropriate climbing and introduce an appropriate alternative behavior of climbing. In the non-contingent access phase, a social story and prompt fading procedures were utilized to encourage the student to independently use the appropriate alternative during transitions. In the functional communication training phase, prompt fading procedures were utilized to encourage the student to independently request to climb during transitions. The student had increased requests to climb on the appropriate alternative to 100% in three consecutive sessions prior to the school building shutting down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
 
128. Hurry Up and Wait! Utilizing a Terminal Delay to Increase the Efficiency of Schedule Thinning
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID ANDREW SULLIVAN (Bancroft), Nicole Schwartz (Bancroft), Kaitlyn Connaughton (Bancroft)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a specific form of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) in which the alternative behavior, a functional communication response (FCR) is functionally equivalent to the challenging behavior. It is the most widely reported successful intervention for decreasing challenging behavior (Drifke et al., 2020). Acquisition of the FCR typically occurs on a continuous schedule of reinforcement, however delays are commonly progressively increased to better reflect schedules of reinforcement typical of non-teaching environments. When these delays to reinforcement become too large or increase too quickly, they can lead to resurgence of problem behavior and increase the need for extensive session time. Tiger et. al., (2015) found that providing functionally-inequivalent stimuli during a terminal delay period was more efficient in decreasing challenging behavior than utilizing a progressive delay schedule. In the present study, challenging behavior of a 14-year old individual with multiply-maintained challenging behavior was decreased to near zero levels during a terminal delay of ten minutes in under 25 sessions utilizing this method.
 
129. A Comparison of Virtual and In-Person Learning on the Observation of Puzzle Manipulation Among Neurotypical and Neurodiverse Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATRINA VERHAGEN (Southern Illinois University), Natalia Baires (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Virtual learning has been used long before the COVID-19 pandemic for mental health care or acute conditions but was rarely used as a replacement for in-person visits. Additionally, virtual learning was primarily used for those earning graduate and undergraduate degrees. Virtual learning for individuals younger than eighteen is not typically researched, as it has not been a subject of importance or seen as a replacement for in-person learning. The current study will look to work with individuals under the age of eighteen, both neurotypical and neurodiverse populations. Participants will be paired into dyads to assess learning done both virtually and in-person when presented with a brainteaser puzzle using a multiple baseline across participants design. All participants will take part in both treatment conditions and assessment of on task behavior as well as percentage of correctly completed steps of the brainteaser puzzle will be assessed. Implications regarding results of using virtual and in-person learning with neurotypical and neurodiverse populations will be further discussed.
 
130. Treatment of Aggression Related to Staff Preference: Effects on Behavior and Electrodermal Activity
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
COREY OLVERA (The Center for Discovery), Tania Villavicencio (The Center for Discovery), Johanna F Lantz (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Seattle Children's Hospital)
Abstract: When comparing treatments, the differences in responses indicates the respective efficacy of each treatment condition. Changes in electrodermal activity (EDA), an index of physiological arousal often operationalized as stress or anxiety, can offer a measure of treatment efficacy. This study investigated the differential effects of two treatments on functional communication responses (FCR), problem behavior and EDA for an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder and aggression often provoked by staff changes. Functional communication training (FCT) to request a preferred staff as well as noncontingent access to the preferred staff (FCT+NCR) were compared with FCT intervention without NCR (FCT Only). Rates of aggression were lower and FCR higher compared to baseline in both conditions. The FCT + NCR condition yielded lower rates of aggression and higher rates of FCR compared to FCT Only; however, this condition was associated with increased EDA. This could suggest increased stress or anxiety associated with the NCR procedure, possibly due to uncertainty of when the staff may return. A decrease in the FCR was noted over the course of treatment. Prior to intervention, the participant worked exclusively with his preferred staff. It appears that he grew more comfortable working with other classroom staff following increased exposure.
 
 

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