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

Previous Page


Symposium #476
CE Offered: BACB
Scaling Up Intervention Through Training and Automation of Language and Cognitive Assessment and Training
Monday, May 31, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Brian Grace (Arizona State University)
Discussant: Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University)
CE Instructor: Caleb Stanley, Ph.D.

The development of assessment and intervention protocols such as the PEAK Relational Training System may improve the ability for agencies or groups of agencies to implement structured interventions across multiple clients and multiple contexts. Structured interventions may also allow for behavior analysts to adjust programming to new formats, such as remote training, when contextual situations such as COVID-19 necessitate rapid adaptation of services. The first presentation will explore how behavioral skills training can be used to improve staff implementation fidelity of PEAK programming when delivered through a remote interface with clients. Adapting programming in this way can produce a multitude of barriers that necessitate accurate and consistent delivery of structured programming. The second presentation will evaluate two strategies that can improve the efficiency of PEAK program selection and development. By automating several processes at a systems level, program selection and material development may occur more rapidly, and programs can be developed in such a way so as to allow for remote delivery as described in the first presentation. Taken together, these talks speak to the role that new technologies can have in automating decision making and allowing for remote delivery.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Automation, BST, PEAK, Technology
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: (1) Describe behavioral skills training to teach remote delivery; (2) Discuss the automation of PEAK program selection; (3) Describe behavioral skills training in the development of novel programming
The Use of Virtual Behavioral Skills Training for Staff Implementing PEAK-Equivalence Modules to Increase Treatment Fidelity
TIFFANY SEPPALA (Arizona State University), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Our world is rapidly changing since COVID-19, and the need to work in a virtual capacity has become increasingly relevant. To that end, new ways to train staff on protocols such as Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK; Dixon, 2014a, 2014b, 2015, 2016) needs to be investigated. Thus, we investigated the extent to which behavioral skills training of a virtual modality improved five staff’s treatment fidelity in implementing PEAK-Equivalence programs across four relations. Additionally, we chose participants with different education levels and skills to determine if any population can interpret PEAK. Each participant had high levels of fidelity implementing PEAK-Direct Training but had no experience with the equivalence module. In PEAK-Equivalence, four relations are trained, reflexivity, symmetry, transitivity, and equivalence. Each relation had its virtual training that consisted of a written description with voiceover instructions, video models, knowledge check questions, and feedback dependent on their responses. Correct responses were rewarded with praise of a written modality and sound that elicited cheers. Incorrect answers issued written feedback and returned to the original slide with the information. During baseline, participants received a score of 50% or higher fidelity during the train blocks but received 0% fidelity for the test blocks.
Training and Automating Discrete Trial Programming to Improve Performance and Efficiency
BRITTANY A SELLERS (Missouri State University), Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Missouri State University), Jessica M Venegoni (Missouri State University ), Elana Keissa Sickman (Missouri State University), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University)
Abstract: The expansion of language and cognitive training for children with autism has coincided with the development of manualized training systems guided by assessments such as the VB-MAPP, ABLLS-R, and the PEAK Relational Training System. These strategies allow for a standardized and consistent approach to intervention; however, marked differences are present in the time required to select appropriate programming and to develop materials needed for instruction. Automating components of this process may allow behavior analysts to select and develop programs more rapidly with time and financial benefits at scale for agencies providing services for multiple clients. In a first study, we developed an automated program selection tool using Microsoft Excel that is compatible with the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment and indirect assessments that can accelerate program selection. Comparison of this tool to traditional manualized selection suggest that identical programming was identified in most cases in considerably less time for the analyst. In the second study, we evaluated an online behavioral skills training program to promote efficient program material development using Microsoft PowerPoint across four novice PEAK implementers. Results suggest that this strategy, combined with independent practice, can lead to rapid development of automated PEAK programs that can be delivered in person or online with clients and generalization of this skill to novel programs. These results have several implications for improving efficiency of program selection and development at a systems level.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh