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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #335
CE Offered: BACB
Supporting Meaningful Outcomes for Families Through Intervention on the Concept of Privacy
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258B
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Leah Hirschfeld, M.Ed.

As the goal of applied behavior analysis is socially significant outcomes, an intervention is incomplete without a consideration of social validity from the consumers themselves. When working with autistic individuals/individuals with autism and their families, it is insufficient to assume that meaningful outcomes automatically follow instruction. For minors, involvement of caregivers before the start of intervention, and throughout the process, is a critical component to ensure the intervention has a positive impact on the child and family as a whole. To provide an example of the application of family involvement at all stages of the planning and intervention processes, a study to teach the concept of privacy to three autistic children/children with autism will be shared. First, the importance of identifying caregiver priorities and setting a plan to meet those needs will be discussed, along with examples. Then, results of the study will be shared, along with explanation of the procedural modifications that were made and the involvement of caregivers in that process. Lastly, a description of social validity measures will be provided, along with examples as it relates to teaching the concept of privacy.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Caregivers, Privacy, Social Validity, Treatment Modifications
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCaBAs, and those working towards national certification

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify two ways of identifying caregiver priorities; (2) identify how to involve caregivers in identifying appropriate modifications; (3) identify three different aspects of social validity to include in assessments.
Identifying Caregiver Priorities and Planning to Meet Their Needs
(Service Delivery)
KAREN NOHELTY (Center for Autism and Related Disorders-CARD®), Jennifer Yakos (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Leah Hirschfeld (Center for Autism and Related Disorders – CARD®), Cecilia Knight (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: Studies examining caregivers’ experiences and involvement in ABA and special education programs have commonly revealed that caregivers feel ignored, that their knowledge is not valued, and that they must fight to have their voices heard (Lundeby & Tossebro, 2008). Research suggests clinicians take a humbler approach with caregivers (Lundeby & Tossebro, 2008). Specifically, studies suggest clinicians have open conversations with caregivers about timelines for expected change with their child, establish mutually agreed upon goals, and share planning and decision-making (Keen, 2007; Edwards et al., 2018). Recommendations for clinicians is to see the family as the ‘patient’ rather than just the individual with the disability as the patient (Keen, 2007). To aid the process of identifying goals, clinicians must understand the values important to caregivers. During this talk, we will first review studies that explore caregivers’ experiences and involvement. Then, we will share concrete strategies to engage caregivers, specifically in identifying their priorities and goals and how to translate that information into treatment goals. To ensure caregiver voices are heard, thoughtful planning must occur.

Using Discrete Trial Training to Teach Autistic Individuals/Individuals With Autism the Difference Between Public and Private Behaviors

(Applied Research)
CASEY BRADFORD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders-CARD®), Esther Hong (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Elizabeth Meshes (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles)

Autistic individuals/individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have difficulty discriminating which behaviors are appropriate in different contexts. Additionally, inhibiting actions in public locations that are only appropriate in a private context is a foundational and essential safety skill for children. The current study used discrete trial training (DTT) to teach discrimination of public and private locations and actions. Three participants, ages 8, 9, and 14, with a primary diagnosis of ASD were included in the study. The training targeted different skills, including discriminating whether an action or location is public or private, naming public and private actions and locations, identifying an appropriate location in which a specific public or private action may be performed, and identifying an appropriate action that may be performed in a specific public or private location. This study used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, with additional probes to assess for generalization. Modifications were made to accommodate each participant, with input from caregivers, with all participants demonstrating progress in their understanding of the concept of privacy. Results suggest that DTT is effective for teaching discrimination of public and private behaviors, with modifications, to autistic individuals/individuals with ASD.

Social Validity Measures Applied to Teaching Privacy
(Applied Research)
CHRISTOPHER MIYAKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Casey Bradford (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Karen Nohelty (Center for Autism and Related Disorders-CARD®), Esther Hong (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract: Social validity is an important component of any treatment package and refers to the significance of intervention goals and the impact upon its consumers. Social validity focuses on three primary assessments: the social importance or impact, acceptability, and the importance of the treatment effects (Wolf, 1978). For the public and private behavior study, two surveys were given to caregivers. The first was a 5-item survey to assess the acceptability, social impact, and effectiveness of the study procedures administered post-treatment. The second was a 15-item survey to assess real-life effects of the treatment which was administered both pre- and post-treatment. The potential scores could range from 15-75 with a higher score indicating more frequent display of private behaviors in public. At pre-treatment, the scores for the three participants were 34, 45, and 48 indicating the occurrence of these behaviors and the need for an intervention. As another social validity measure, experimenters also completed a 5-item survey to assess the acceptability and social impact of the study procedures which was administered post treatment. Application of both caregiver and experimenter validity measures and their effect on treatment recommendations from this study will be discussed.



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