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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #49
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of Behavioral Skills Training Models With Caregivers
Friday, September 2, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 1: Liffey B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
CE Instructor: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse, Ph.D.

Behavior Skills Training (BST) is an efficacious training methodology that has been used to teach a variety of skills from safety skills (e.g., Johnson et al., 2013) to interviewing skills (e.g., Stocco et al., 2017) to animal training (e.g., Lewon et al., 2019). The current symposium shares applications of BST to teach meaningful skills to caregivers and professionals across several settings and contexts. The first presentation (Wahdain et al.) will detail a study that evaluated the effects using of BST via telehealth to teach six caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to implement discrete trial training. The second presentation (Sweetman et al.) will describe an application of BST to teach safety intervention skills, found to contribute to staff-related injuries, to twelve staff members working at a school for children with ASD. Finally, the third presentation (Cervantes et al.) will describe an application of BST to train four staff members working in a residential facility for individuals with high behavioral support needs; staff members were taught how to correctly select and implement behavioral interventions. The current symposium provides further evidence of the effectiveness and generality of BST.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, caregiver training, parent training, staff training
Target Audience:

Intermediate – Given that this symposium will cover effective methods for training caregivers to implement skills and procedures, attendees should have mastered the skills and procedures themselves prior to training others.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1) identify at least two skills that can be taught using BST; 2) describe how BST can be implemented via telehealth platforms; 3) explain how BST can be applied across a variety of professionals and settings.
Using Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Caregivers to Implement Discrete Trial Training
ADEL ANES WAHDAIN (MRC-NECC, ECAE), Huda Al Hammadi (Emirates College for Advanced Education; Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children), Abdallah Bamari (Emirates College for Advanced Education; Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children), Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
Abstract: When non-professional caregivers are responsible for teaching individuals who have substantial skill deficits or behavior management needs, such as during emergency distance learning necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that the caregivers are properly trained is critical (World Health Organization, 2021). The current project evaluated the effects of utilizing behavioral skills training (BST; Miltenberger, 2015), delivered via telehealth, to teach caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to implement discrete trial training (DTT; Smith, 2001) with their children. Six caregivers of children diagnosed with ASD participated in this study. The caregivers included mothers, fathers, and nannies from the United Arab Emirates. The effects of BST on caregivers' correct implementation of DTT was evaluated using a multiple baseline design. Sessions were conducted in the participants’ preferred language – either Arabic or English. The data showed a clear effect of BST on caregivers’ correct implementation of DTT. Each of the participants demonstrated a low level of accuracy implementing DTT prior to training. After BST was conducted, each participant implemented DTT with a high degree of accuracy.
Evaluation of an Enhanced Behavior Skills Training Package to Teach Staff Members Safety Intervention Skills
GEMMA HELEN SWEETMAN (University of Ulster, NECC-MRC), Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University), Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University), Shannon Ward (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by the New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often engage in dangerous problem behavior (Oliver et al., 2012) which sometimes poses safety risks for staff members. In these cases, staff may need to use evasion and physical intervention skills. Behavior Skills Training (BST) has been used to teach caregivers safety intervention skills for managing dangerous problem behavior safely (Metoyer et al., 2020; Ryan & Peterson, 2012). In this study, an enhanced BST package was used to teach 12 staff members three safety intervention skills that were found to contribute to staff injuries at a center for children with ASD. Each safety skill was broken down into observable and measurable behavior and compiled into a scoring sheet. Enhanced BST sessions consisted of 1:1 instruction, modeling, role play, and feedback (Lerman et al., 2015) and participants were required to perform the skill a minimum of three times with 100% accuracy. During baseline, performance was low. Following training, all participants accurately implemented skills to criterion, and skills maintained during 2, 4, and 6-week probes. Interobserver agreement averaged 96% (range, 89%–100%). Results offer evidence that the enhanced- BST training sessions were successful at teaching, maintaining, and generalizing safety intervention skills.

Effects of Staff Training on Intervention Skills With Direct Support Professionals at a Residential Facility

Caritina Cervantes (Little City Foundation), SARAH C. MEAD JASPERSE (Emirates College for Advanced Education), Heather Hancock (Little City Foundation), Maria Vander Pluym (Little City Foundation), Arlette Ramos (Little City Foundation)

To maximize the efficacy of behavioral interventions for consumers of clinical behavior analytic services, the interventions must be implemented with a decent degree of procedural fidelity (Fryling et al., 2012). Numerous studies have demonstrated that behavioral skills training (BST) is an effective method for training staff and caregivers to implement such interventions (Maffei-Almodovar & Sturmey, 2018). However, what is less certain is whether trained caregivers can also select the correct intervention to implement under the correct circumstances (e.g., Van Camp et al., 2008). For example, should attention be delivered or withheld after the occurrence of a specific behavior? The present study was conducted at a residential facility for individuals with high behavioral support needs. The procedures evaluated the effects of BST on four direct support professionals' correct selection and implementation of indicated interventions via a multiple baseline design. Skills were assessed using varied role-play scenarios. BST effectively increased correct selection and implementation to a mastery level for three participants and increased correct responding above baseline levels for a fourth participant.




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