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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #316
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Safety Skills to Children: What’s New?
Monday, May 29, 2023
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rasha Baruni (University of South Florida )
CE Instructor: Rasha Baruni, M.S.
Abstract: This symposium aims to disseminate some current research related to safety skills training. It brings together three studies that focus on important considerations for teaching children safety skills. Two presentations focus on interventions to teach children a number of safety skills and one presentation describes a survey related to clinical practices used by behavior analysts. The first presentation will review a survey administered to practicing behavior analysts soliciting opinions and perceptions of training safety skills to their clients with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities. The next presentation describes a remote behavioral skills training procedure to teach children online gaming safety skills. The final presentation will discuss the content validation for development of an immersive virtual reality technology to teach children bullying prevention skills. As a whole, these presentations will highlight recent advances in safety skills research, and considerations for practice when teaching safety skills.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, in-situ assessment, prevention, safety skills
Target Audience: Junior BCBAs Behavior analysts within their first 5 years of practice, including practitioners, supervisors, etc. Currently enrolled in or recently completed graduate-level work
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the current practices of behavior analysts related to safety skills training. (2) Describe the remote BST procedure evaluated in this study. (3) Describe one type of validation process for a bullying prevention program.
A Survey of Safety Skills Training Used by Behavior Analysts in Practice
RASHA BARUNI (University of South Florida ), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Children encounter a variety of safety threats in their immediate environments which may result in injuries or death. Teaching safety skills to children may make it more likely that they will engage in the safety responses when they encounter a safety threat (Gatheridge et al., 2004). Children with developmental disabilities (DD) may be at greater risk for harm, in part, due to behavioral deficits and excesses that are characteristic of DD (Dixon et al., 2010). Considering the potential for serious injury or death and the lack of safety skills exhibited by individuals with DD, interventions that target safety skills should be made priority. Although research shows that parents and teachers can be taught to train safety skills to children (Carroll-Rowan & Miltenberger, 1994; Novotny et al., 2021), no research has been conducted yet teaching behavior analysts and technicians to teach safety skills to their clients with DD (Baruni & Miltenberger, 2022). It is unclear what behavior analysts and technicians’ current practices are related to safety skills training. This survey obtained information on perceptions and current practices within service delivery settings from 695 respondents. The results of the survey will be discussed along with future research evaluating strategies for teaching behavior analysts to conduct safety skills training.
Evaluating Behavioral Skills Training to Train Online Gaming Safety Skills
HENRY CHOVET SANTA CRUZ (USF, NeuroRestorative), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Despite the growing concern of caregivers as their children spend an increasing amount of time online interacting with strangers, there is a limited body of research that focuses on online safety skills training. Behavioral skills training has been used by researchers to teach children firearm safety skills, poison safety skills, and abduction prevention skills. Given that skills taught in abduction-prevention training are also relevant to online safety, the researcher assessed the use of behavioral skills training for teaching online safety skills to two children, a 9-year-old, Clark, and a 7-year-old, Alex. In-situ assessments took place while playing the popular online game, Among Us, and consisted of confederates presenting lures to the child participants. Before training, Clark and Alex scored 1’s and 0’s, indicating a lack of online gaming safety skills. Clark and Alex scored at mastery criterion (i.e., three scores of 3 in a row) following training. Clark scored a 1 during his two-week-follow-up because he did not leave the game following the presentation of a lure; Clark’s mother immediately implemented in situ training. Clark scored at mastery criterion during the next follow-up assessment, indicating the effectiveness of the caregiver-implemented in situ training. Alex scored a 3 during his 2-week-follow-up.

Development of an Immersive Virtual Reality-Based Bullying Safety Skills Intervention for Children With Disabilities

TREVOR MAXFIELD (University of South Florida), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)

The immersive virtual reality (IVR) technologies have been utilized for enriching learning experiences to children with disabilities in a way that traditional teaching methods cannot. Despite this, research on using the IVR to improve safety skills in children with disabilities has been scarce. This study aimed to develop an IVR-based intervention designed to teach children with disabilities what to do when they encounter a verbal bullying situation. The first phase focused on developing and validating the intervention content that will be used to develop the IVR simulation training. Storyboards were developed to visually represent what the simulation will look like. Two expert groups, a bullying expert group and applied behavior analysis (ABA) expert group, evaluated storyboards that included dialogue and behavior analytic procedures to be incorporated into IVR. The feedback provided by the expert groups was used to refine the content of the IVR-based bullying safety skills intervention.




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