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 #299
CE Offered: BACB
Parent Training: Improving Treatment Adherence
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1E/F
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ryan C. Speelman (Pittsburg State University)
CE Instructor: Ryan C. Speelman, Ph.D.

Successful collaborative efforts in treatment among behavior analysts, parents, and others serving as behavior change agents helps to ensure ethical and effective treatment delivery. This symposium evaluates procedures to use when transferring technology to non-professional caregivers and parents. Study one used a telehealth-based, behavioral parent-training program known as the Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) to teach parents of children diagnosed with autism to correctly implement behavioral procedures: reinforcement, prompting, extinction, etc. Following training, most parents scored 80% or above on skill and knowledge-based tests. Study two utilized a behavior skills training (instructions, modeling, rehearsal with feedback) to improve treatment fidelity to a feeding procedure for parents whose child diagnosed with autism presented with severe food selectivity. Results indicate parents’ feeding treatment fidelity met 80% or above criteria and generalized to the home environment. Study three examined parents' attitudes toward scientific or behavior-analytic language relating to aspects of practice. Thirteen parents of children with autism rated items with scientific terms relating to functional analyses, translational research, and experimentation as most uncomfortable. Replacing behavior-analytic terms with layman synonyms reduced discomfort. Together these studies provide insight into conditions that contribute to treatment adherence among parents and other behavior change agents.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Food Selectivity, Parent Training
Target Audience:

Advanced - this symposium is appropriate for current BCBA's that are interested in empirically driven methods to disseminate research.

Learning Objectives: 1. Use telehealth as a training tool 2. Use behavior skills training as a training tool 3. Communicate effectively with a client’s family or guardian about behavioral services
Telehealth-Based Parent Training Program in Rural or Underserved Areas for Families Impacted by Autism
PAIGE BOYDSTON (Pittsburg State University)
Abstract: Families of children with disabilities in rural areas face challenges accessing services due to location and lack of healthcare providers. Telehealth-based intervention can mitigate challenges in accessing services. The present study sought to replicate and extend the telehealth-based, behavioral parent-training program titled the Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS), utilizing a multiple-baseline approach. Four parent-child dyads participated, with all children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. All dyads resided in rural/underserved areas. All dyads demonstrated an improvement on skill and knowledge assessments. The mean gain from baseline-to-treatment completion on skills assessments was 80.9% (range, 67.6%-95.5% points). The mean gain on knowledge assessments was 35.3% (range, 19.0%-49.0% points). Notably, parent skill gains were maintained over time. The present results provided additional empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of OASIS, a telehealth-based parent-training model. Taken as a whole, manualized parent training can increase parent skills and knowledge Telehealth-based parent training is an effective tool in integrating parents into treatment services.
Behavior Skills Training to Improve Parent Treatment Fidelity and Generalization in a Feeding Program
RYAN C. SPEELMAN (Pittsburg State University), Melissa Jo Stiffler (Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism)
Abstract: Feeding problems are five times more likely to occur in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in typically developing peers (Sharp et al., 2013). Though behavior analytic protocols have demonstrated efficacy, less research has investigated methods to transfer technology to non–professional caregivers. This study utilized a behavioral skills training (BST) procedure to increase generalization of treatment methods from the clinic to the home environment for three parent-child dyads. Meal observations were conducted prior to treatment to determine baseline rates of behavior, specifics of the child’s food refusal, oral motor deficits, and nutritional needs. Baseline observations were used to develop an individualized treatment protocol for each child and a multiple baseline design was used to demonstrate the effects of behavioral skills training on increased treatment fidelity and generalization effects of feeding strategies. Results indicate that behavioral skills training may be used to increase treatment fidelity and generalization effects for caregivers implementing behavioral feeding strategies with their children who display severe food selectivity.

Assessing Parents' Attitudes Toward Behavioral Terminology

SETH W. WHITING (Louisiana State University Shreveport)

Effective communication with a client or a client’s family or guardians about services is a key factor in creating treatment success. However, behavior-analytic terminology or jargon may be viewed as unpleasant, confusing, or intimidating to non-experts which may be a barrier to effective communication. The purpose of this study was to examine parents' attitudes toward scientific language related to behavior analysis. To examine this, we surveyed 13 parents of children with autism enrolled in applied behavior analysis services and asked them to rate their level of comfort in response to seven sets of matched statements about practice or behavior analysis procedures that contain scientific terminology (e.g., experimental functional analysis), semi-scientific terminology (e.g., functional analysis), and layman terminology (e.g., assessment about your child’s behavior). Results showed consistently lower comfort ratings for statements with science terminology or behavioral jargon, and that comfort ratings were higher when these terms were replaced with layman synonyms. Results suggest that clinician-caregiver communication needs to be more adaptive for parents who may not comprehend behavior analysis terminology to ensure the execution of effective services.




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