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.

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49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

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Poster Session #47C
AUT Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 27, 2023
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall F
Chair: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
6. Comparing the Effectiveness of Group Discrete Trial Training to Individualized Discrete Trial Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLINE DUCLAUX (University of Utah), Garet S. Edwards (GulfSouth Autism Center)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to expand current literature by comparing the effectiveness of discrete trial training to individualized trial training for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The researchers taught 12 different target skills. Half of the skills were randomly assigned to individualized teaching and the other half were randomly assigned to group teaching. The dependent variable of interest includes the participants’ percent correct of skills post- teaching. The experimental design that was used for this study was a multiple baseline design. This design was selected because the treatment cannot be unlearned or withdrawn. Results from this study vary from participant to participant.
 
7. Efficacy of an Online Caregiver Education Series on Supporting Autistic Adolescents' Daily Living Skills Acquisition
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY F. RENTSCHLER (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: An estimated 50,000 young adults with autism in the United States transition out of high school each year, and more than a third of them do not engage in any form of employment or formal education in their twenties. Daily living skills are one key?predictor of?autistic adults attending post-secondary education, obtaining employment, and living independently. However, autistic people often exhibit daily living skills discrepant to their cognitive abilities and chronological age. Adolescents with autism without an intellectual disability are unlikely to receive daily living skills instruction in their general education coursework. Caregivers of autistic adolescents have indicated they are unsure of how to work with their teen on these skills. To address these concerns, we developed an eLearning instructional tool to support caregivers on teaching daily living skills at home. This online module series presents caregivers with strategies for motivating their teen, setting goals, and using evidence-based practices to teach daily living skills. The current single case design study employed a multiple probe across participant dyads to measure the impact of the caregiver training on caregiver-adolescent collaboration, caregiver fidelity to the evidence-based practices, and adolescent independence with daily living skills. The study also assessed the social validity of the intervention.
 
8. Control of Transition Time in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEKSANDRA WOOD (UiA), Carsta Simon (University of Agder, Norway)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Molar behaviourism has predominantly been explored in the laboratory with non-human subjects. It offers an alternative perspective to the Skinnerian view of understanding behaviour. We applied a molar understanding of behaviour when contrasting the effect of discriminative stimulus versus reinforcer control in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We aimed to determine whether the duration of their transitions from one reinforcer density to another is controlled by their most recent past or the likely future based on more extended past experience. In the first condition, reinforcer density (rich, moderate, or lean) was signalled. We observed that transition times to the leaner reinforcer were longer than those to the richer. The reinforcer density was unsignalled in the second condition. The differences between transition times disappeared in the second condition. The difference in durations of transitions to signalled and unsignalled reinforcer densities suggests that behaviour is primarily controlled by signals of likely future reinforcers as extrapolated from extended past experience rather than strengthened by the most recent event.
 
9. A Clinical Application of Pairing and Instructional Fading Before Intensive Instruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROLINE DUCLAUX (University of Utah), Nicole Hendrix (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Garet S. Edwards (GulfSouth Autism Center)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract:

Therapist pairing and instructional fading procedures that precede intensive behavioral treatment can facilitate rapport building and reduce the likelihood of problem behavior occurring during intervention. The current study sought to replicate findings by Shillingsburg et al. (2019) on the effectiveness of a structured pairing and instructional fading protocol in a community-based clinic. The procedures were conducted with two preschool-aged boys who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to evaluate the effect of the procedures on problem behavior as well as proximity to therapist and compliance with therapist instructional demands. Results indicated effectiveness of the procedures across participants in a community-based clinic setting. Specifically, problem behavior during sessions remained low and compliance remained high as number of instructional demands were faded in.

 
10. Preparing Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorders to Have Happy and Comfortable Holidays
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BOBBY NEWMAN (Proud Moments), BOBBI ROGERS (Proud Moments)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
 
11. A Preliminary Investigation Into Conditioning Faces as Reinforcers for Minimally Verbal Autistic Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTINA GERENCSER (Marcus Autism Center/Emory University ), Karla Zabala-Snow (Emory University/Marcus Autism Center), Kathleen Edmier (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Kristin Nicole OGuinn (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Rachel Yosick (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: A core challenge for minimally verbal children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is restricted interests, which can include reduced interest in social stimuli such as human faces. Reduced attention to faces can result in impaired social skills, inability to form meaningful social connections with others, and learning critical foundational skills. The current literature available to clinicians on how to condition social stimuli in minimally verbal children when they do not already function as reinforcers is quite sparse. As such, clinicians are left with little to no recommendations on how to reduce the impact of this barrier in skill acquisition programs. The current study is a preliminary investigation of the use of a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure to increase the reinforcing value of human faces in minimally verbal autistic children. The pairing procedure involved repeated simultaneous pairing of established reinforcers (e.g., edibles) with instances of attending to human faces. Results indicate a positive effect of the procedure on participants’ orientation to faces during naturalistic observing response probes.
 
12. Examining the Effects of Video-Modeling on Play Initiations of Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN MARCON (San Diego State University ), Yasemin Turan (San Diego State University)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a video modeling intervention on the play initiations of preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The effect of the intervention was evaluated using a multiple baseline design across three participants. The classroom teacher implemented the intervention during natural play routines in the classroom. All children's play initiations increased. The poster session includes information on the results and implications for research and practice.
 
13. Training Parents of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sleep Disturbances via Telehealth: An Evaluation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANPREET RANDHAWA (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University), Angeline Savard (Kalyana Support Systems), Catherine McConnell (Kalyana Support Systems), Meghan Dunnet (Kalyana Support Systems), Jeffrey Esteves (York University), Andrea Valencia (Kalyana Support Systems)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience sleep problems (e.g., delayed sleep onset, night wakings). Although research supports parent-implemented behaviour-analytic sleep interventions to address these problems, more research is needed to determine how accurately parents implement these interventions (i.e., treatment fidelity). The present study used a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate parents’ treatment fidelity. Child sleep-related outcomes (e.g., sleep onset delay, occurrences of sleep-interfering behaviours, and total sleep duration) were also monitored. Four parents and their children with ASD participated. Parents received behavioural skills training and nighttime coaching, via telehealth, over a 12-week period. Secure text chat software (VSee Messenger) was used to provide nighttime coaching. D-Link sound and motion detection cameras were used to collect data on parent and child behavior. Results indicate that parents’ treatment fidelity remained high throughout intervention and follow-up (i.e., >80%). For two of four child participants, sleep onset delay decreased, and total sleep duration increased. Occurrences of sleep-interfering behaviours remained variable for all child participants. Co-sleeping was eliminated for all children who engaged in this behaviour at the start of the study. Suggestions for future research and clinical practice will be discussed.
 
14. Employers' Opinion on Skills Necessary for Newly Minted Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANN JEANETTE SANTOS (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mirela Cengher (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Adithyan Rajaraman (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Danielle LaFrance (SunRise ABA)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Most behavior analysts work as clinicians with individuals who have developmental disabilities (Behavior Analyst Certification Board [BACB], 2021). The BACB has a test content outline that informs the verified course sequence adopted by most programs in the United States. The test content outline focuses on building a solid theoretical foundation of the science of behavior. However, there are other important areas of consideration for employers. The primary goal of this survey is to gauge employers’ perceived importance of theoretical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and professional skills for newly minted behavior analysts. The secondary goal is to gather information about how employers assess competence across these domains (e.g., direct questions, reference checks, work samples). A third goal is to evaluate whether employers’ perceived importance of different aspects that relate to theoretical knowledge align with the task list that informs the verified course sequence. We hope that the outcomes of this survey will help academic programs at least partially tailor their course sequence according to what employers value in newly minted behavior analysts, and according to how employers assess competence during the interview process.
 
16. Stimulus Fading to Enhance College Building Recognition
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MALLIE DONALD (Mississippi State University ), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Emerging college transition programs develop functional life skills and prepare individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for employment opportunities, thus increasing satisfaction during adulthood (Price et al., 2018). Transition programs note the importance of on-campus attendance but acquiring campus navigation skills can be difficult. Stimulus fading is an intervention that teaches skill acquisition for functional skills (Cooper et al., 2020), but has rarely been implemented in a virtual setting (Fischer et al., 2019). The current study involved one 19-year-old male with autism spectrum disorder who was accepted into a transition program in the southeastern United States. To increase the participant’s recognition of campus buildings, stimulus fading on 2-and 3-second prompt delays was used to teach building names. Further, a PowerPoint with pictures of 10 common buildings on campus was used and the name of each building was faded in to correctly pair the building with the name. The percentage of correctly identified buildings was visually observed with an increase in percentage correct that remained stable through intervention and generalization phases. The results suggest that stimulus fading is an effective method to teach building recognition for individuals with disabilities.
 
17. Utilization of Peer Yoked Contingencies to Increase a Child’s Peer Approvals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Victoria Beaman (Behavioral Innovations; Capella University)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract:

An AB demonstration experimental design was used to determine if the implementation of peer yoked contingencies would correlate in an increase in a learner’s peer approval statements, while simultaneously decreasing the learner’s disapproving statements to peers, compared to baseline measures (Morgan, et. al, 2020). Peer yoked contingencies involve yoking peers together where they practice communication to each other, cooperative interactions, and working together towards “beating” the teacher (Greer & Ross, 2008). Typically, children with ASD do not have conditioned reinforcement for peers, therefore, they do not view peers as a source of potential reinforcement (Lawson & Walsh, 2007). The three participants chosen for this study were between the ages 7-9, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and exhibited both high frequency of peer disapprovals and low frequency of peer approvals in non-instructional settings. Researchers examined peer yoked contingency boards (peer tutoring, I-Spy, and Bingo) as the independent variables for this study (Greer & Ross, 2008). The dependent variable for the study was the difference in peer approvals and disapprovals in non-instructional settings comparing pre-probe and post-probe data. Post probe data revealed a decrease in peer disapprovals for all the participants in the study and a substantial increase in peer approvals for two of the participants.

 
19. Parent-Implemented Volume Fading to Teach a Learner With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to Consume Liquid Medication
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Sandra R. Gomes (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Jessica Lamb (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), EMILY E. GALLANT (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: Volume fading was used to teach Carly, an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder, to consume an appropriate volume of liquid medication. Parents were concerned that they were unable to administer medication to Carly in any format (e.g,. liquid) or vessel (e.g., spoon, cup). Simple volume fading was used because liquid medications cannot often be diluted or mixed into other substances; flavored syrups were used to simulate liquid medication. A behavioral contract visually depicted reinforcement contingencies in effect (a motivational system with which Carly was frequently successful in acquiring other skills). Notably, intervention was delivered completely at home by Carly’s mother, with live video supervision from Carly’s instructors. Initial instruction consisted of teaching Carly to remain appropriate while a spoon with medication was touched to her lips; volume fading across a series of 24 steps resulted in Carly initially accepting 1.75 mL of simulated medication from spoon delivered by an instructor and ultimately self-administering 15 mL (an age-appropriate dose volume) of simulated liquid medication from a cup. Generalization and maintenance data indicate continued successful consumption over time of actual liquid medication, in the home setting, with parents. Future instructional goals include teaching Carly to consume medication in pill format.
 
20. Disparities and Inequities in Early Identification and Treatment for Black Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TORICA L EXUME (Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities), Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Delays in diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among Black children represent treatment disparity. Black children with ASD are disproportionately under-represented in programs for children with ASD in many counties in Florida. Black children are under-represented in ASD and face barriers in obtaining the initial diagnosis of ASD. A grant from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council allowed Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (FAU CARD) to conduct research related to factors behind the later and often less accurate identification of Black children with autism. Focus groups with Black families and professionals were conducted to examine experiences throughout the process of identifying ASD for Black children at early ages. Our findings indicated patterns of serious disproportionality and the need for national monitoring.?
 
21. The Effectiveness of a Parent Coaching Program for School-Age Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Taiwan
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHING-YI LIAO (National Taiwan Normal University), Yuet Yee Yumi Chan (National Taiwan Normal University), Yi-Zheng Du (National Taiwan Normal University)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: Parent involvement is one of the essential components of successful interventions and treatments for communication outcomes of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research has suggested that after receiving parent coaching and support from professionals, parents are able to accurately implement evidence-based intervention strategies with their children across different natural settings. In Taiwan, more research is required to systematically develop a culturally adapted parent coaching protocol for families of children with ASD. The purpose of the present research is to evaluate a distance-delivered parent coaching program about evidence-based behavioral interventions and multimodal communication intervention for parents of children with ASD. A single-case experimental design study is conducted to evaluate parent implementation of intervention strategies and children’s communication outcomes. Results and implications for practices and research will be discussed in the presentation.
 
22. Evaluating Matched Sensory Stimuli for Saliva Play: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELINA MOREL (David Gregory School), Gladys Williams (CIEL)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Manipulation of saliva either orally or with the use of hands is known as saliva play. It is unhygienic and over time could lead to potential health issues if left untreated. Additionally, saliva play may interfere with learning and become socially stigmatizing in public settings. Saliva play is a behavior often maintained by automatic reinforcement. Behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement are usually difficult to treat. The difficulty lies in finding a sufficient amount of stimuli that may match the sensory stimulation produced by the target behavior. A method used to identify such stimuli is competing stimulus assessments. The process usually involves several leisure items that are meant to serve the same function as the target behavior. By measuring engagement with leisure items, clinicians can determine which stimuli may be most successful when used in treatment. Behaviors such as saliva play may be especially difficult to treat given the limited stimuli that may compete with this behavior. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate and identify stimuli that competed with the reinforcing effect of saliva play and matched the textural properties of saliva. Findings showed that pasteurized egg whites resulted in the highest percentage of engagement and the lowest percentage of saliva play.
 
23. Preppin' Pals: Expanding Social Skills Through a Vocational Club in a Residential Program
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNELIESE HARTMAN (The Center for Discovery ), Anatalia Martins (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle to develop friendships. This is even more prevalent in a pediatric residential program for students with severe problem behavior. To increase social skills in a residential group, we established a social club, Preppin’ Pals. The main focus of the group was to participate in vocational activities while developing social skills in a natural context. Two participants, aged 13-15 years old, were diagnosed with ASD, presented with severe problem behavior, and lived at the residential program. Both demonstrated deficits in social skills and friendship development. We targeted three categories of social skills; social play, social language, and social group behavior. During baseline, participants both received scores of 0 across all categories. With the introduction of the social club, social skills systematically increased. Results indicate a clear increase in these skills while inadvertently increasing vocational skills. We discuss the findings, limitations, and future research.
 
24. Functional Communication Training and Progressive Ratio Chained Schedule to Treat Disruptive Behavior Maintained by Escape of Activity in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RENATA MICHEL (Instituto de Pesquisa Conduzir), Maria Pereira (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) is a differential reinforcement procedure that aims to teach an alternative verbal response to disruptive behavior. A limitation of FCT that is usually addressed in the literature is the requirement of reinforcing each verbal response. An alternative found was the use of chained schedule which has two components: during the S- component the verbal response is not reinforced, and a response to the activity is required to change the component; during the S+ component the verbal response is reinforced. The number of responses to the activity is increased throughout the experimental sessions. However, an alternative is using Progressive Ratio (PR) schedule in which the criterion for the activity response is increased with each trial. This study aimed to verify the effects of PR in a chained FCT. Six autistic children who presented disruptive behavior to escape of activities underwent the FCT procedure. After FCT training, they did one session on PR1 and one session on PR2 (the order of presentation was different for half of the participants). Progressive Ratio was effective in increasing responses to the activity while keeping low rates of verbal responses and disruptive behaviors for most participants. This study opens the possibility of using PR as an effective reinforcement schedule in applied settings.
 
25. Effects of Superflex Curriculum on Social Skills of Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Charli Doyle (Walden University), STEVEN G. LITTLE (Walden University), Angeleque Akin-Little (Walden University)
Discussant: Vicki Madaus Knapp (Daemen University)
Abstract: An increase in the prevalence of autism has given rise to the need for evidence-based social skills curricula. Previous research indicated many children respond well to video modeling and positive reinforcement. However, literature on social curricula for children ages 7 to 10 years in a clinical setting versus a school setting is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of Superflex, an ABA based superhero social thinking curriculum, on social skills and maladaptive behavior in children ages 7 to 10 years diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Level 1 or 2) in a clinical setting. Data were collected (N=2) from an ABA clinic in a small town in the South-Central United States. Data were evaluated using visual inspection and percentage of nonoverlapping data. Effect sizes between baseline and intervention and baseline and maintenance were calculated using Cohen’s d. Results indicated the curriculum increased conversational skills and decreased maladaptive behaviors in both participants with effect sizes ranging from 1.35 to 3.26. Results are discussed in terms of best practices for teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorder.
 
26. Evaluating the Use of Identity Matching With Class-Specific Consequences to Expand Stimulus Classes
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LE THAO VY VO (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Simmons University; Western New England University)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: The use of class-specific consequences (CSC) can lead to the inclusion of reinforcing stimuli in equivalence classes; however, there are few applied demonstrations. This study aims to teach food categories in a matching-to-sample format using CSCs and evaluates if the CSCs are related to the instructional stimuli by equivalence. A 21-year-old male with autism participated. He previously learned to match pictured food items (AB relation) from three food categories using CSCs, including the spoken name (E), pictured items (D), and an edible (C), all from the relevant food category. Tests showed emergent relations among the experimental and CSC stimuli. In the current study, we retaught AB relations using the same CSCs and replicated earlier results on emergent-relation tests. Next, the participant was exposed to an identity-matching task involving new pictured foods (Z) from the three categories; the same CSCs were used following correct responses. In subsequent tests, emergent relations and tact performances were shown, demonstrating equivalence relations among the A, B, Z and CSCs. Reliability measures taken provide confidence in the results and the fidelity of the intervention. These findings have implications for equivalence-based instruction using CSCs in classrooms and the expansion of classes with identity relations.
 
27. Performance Enhanced Schedule Thinning to Enrich Learning During Work Intervals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KORTLYN KTAWNEY (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Lauren Layman (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Riley Ruzicka (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: The current study aimed to assess the effects of a modified chained schedule treatment, Performance Enhanced Schedule Thinning (PEST). Lovino et al., 2022 introduced a new type of functional analysis called the Performance Based IISCA (Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analyses) in which they delayed introducing the test contingency until the participant had three minutes of happy, relaxed, and engaged. We sought to apply the same procedure to a function-based intervention. The participant in the current study was a 7-year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who was referred for severe problem behavior. Using a withdrawal experimental design, we compared having a fixed amount of time in reinforcement before continuing into the work interval (i.e., standard chained schedule procedures) to the PEST protocol in which the reinforcement interval was extended if the participant engaged in problem behavior. Specifically, we waited until the participant had sixty seconds without problem behavior or negative vocalizations before introducing work. With PEST, we saw decreased levels of problem behavior and increased durations of time in which the client was not engaging in problem behavior or negative vocalizations.
 
28. Analysis of Behavior Technicians' Willingness To Work With Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN PLEWES (University of North Texas), Joseph D. Dracobly (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Therapists may choose to work for a center based on a variety of factors, including the age of clients and the acceptance of clients with problem behavior. It has been shown, from a previous study done by the authors, that media does have a possible effect on someone's behavior. Therefore, we assessed the willingness of behavior technicians to work with clients based on their age and topographies of problem behavior. After viewing videos depicting problem behavior emitted by a variety of individuals across the lifespan, we re-assessed the behavior technicians willingness to work with clients who emitted problem behavior.We found that age was the primary variable that impacted participants’ willingness to work with clients with problem behavior.Additionally, we found that after viewing videos of problem behavior, participants were less willing to work with clients with problem behavior, regardless of their age. Based on our results, we will discuss several areas of future research and potential strategies to increase therapists' willingness to work with this underserved, marginalized population.
 
29. Modified Discrete Trial Teaching to Increase Functional Language for an Adult With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA D HUNTER (Munroe Meyer Institute), Lisa Neitzke (Munroe Meyer Institute), Adriano A Barboza (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Lynda B. Hayes (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Adults with autism continue to experience communication impairments which are likely to impact multiple areas of functioning. In the current project, clinicians implemented a modified discrete trial teaching (DTT) strategy to increase the functional expressive language of an adult woman with autism and intellectual disability. The participant was a 27-year-old female who lived in her own apartment with constant support. DTT expressive language targets were chosen from her natural environment (family members, support team members, work setting, community settings). The DTT procedure utilized written prompts for expressive language. Data were gathered via a card sort procedure and video taped observations in the home and work settings. Support staff implemented the DTT program in 15 minute sessions twice per day during the week. Over the course of one year, the client mastered 132 new expressive language targets. Increased spontaneous expressive language was observed in the home environment but not in the work environment. Results suggest that DTT may be an appropriate intervention strategy for increasing expressive language for adults with autism and intellectual disability.
 
30. Utilizing a Multi-Component Treatment Package to Decrease Rituals and Increase Participation for an Individual With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Catatonia
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEX MELLOR (The Center for Discovery)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Working with individuals with co-occurring diagnoses can be challenging due to traditional behavioral interventions as well as staff education. This study evaluated a treatment package including modified skills-based treatment and staff training with an individual with autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, and catatonia to decrease interfering rituals and increase participation throughout the school day. The results were promising in indicating that improving staff confidence with different diagnoses, coupled with skill-based treatment, could have a positive impact on the individuals quality of life
 
31. Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Rapport Building Skills to Staff in Home Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANDREW NUZZOLILLI (Butterfly Effects; Western New England University; Elms College), Geoff Creed (Butterfly Effects), Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Endicott College, Butterfly Effects), Victoria Karlsen (Butterfly Effects)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: The beneficial impact of rapport building on clinical outcomes, including increased engagement and reduced rates of challenging behavior, has been well documented in recent literature (Cariveau, et al., 2019; Kelly, et al., 2015; Shillingsburg, et al., 2018). Current calls to action in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for socially validated, compassionate, values-based, and trauma-informed care all emphasize rapport building as an essential part of the behavior-analytic practice (Callahan, et al., 2019; Rajaraman, et al., 2020). Lugo and colleagues (2017) demonstrated that behavior skills training and verbal performance feedback was effective in teaching rapport building to staff working with toddlers in a university clinic. Our research replicated and extended Lugo et al. (2017) by teaching two behavior technicians the elements of rapport building in the home demonstrating that key features of rapport building can be systematically taught and have beneficial outcomes for both technicians and clients.
 
32. Promoting Generalization of Hand Washing With General Case Instruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZALIKA TYRELL (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: The effects of two methods of training; single exemplar training (SET) and general case instruction (GCI), were compared to evaluate which method is more effective in promoting skill generalization of a 6-step handwashing task. The participant was an adolescent student attending a school for children with autism. In SET there was 1 training trial type which sampled only one set of stimuli when teaching the handwashing skill. In GCI a variety of stimuli were sampled from relevant environments to make up 3 unique training trial types. Baseline probes were conducted prior to training and posttest probes were conducted following training for each training phase. Handwashing was mastered at 100% of task analysis steps correct in both the SET and GCI conditions. On probe trials, successful performance was defined as 83% (5 out of 6 steps) correct for the handwashing task analysis. Generalization was more robust following GCI than SET. Only 2 out of 8 probe contexts yielded successful generalization following SET. GCI yielded successful generalization for 3 out of 5 contexts. This study provides a successful demonstration of GCI to promote skill generalization.
 
33. Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Evoked by Denial of Perseverative Mands
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VERONICA REYES (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brianna Laureano (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Emily Ann Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Rajaraman & Hanley (2021) demonstrated the rise in studies targeting the assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by gaining access to adults’ compliance with mands (e.g., requests). We extended the current literature by targeting both restrictive and repetitive behavior (e.g., perseverations) and problem behavior maintained by mand compliance. Specifically, we conducted an assessment and treatment of problem behavior evoked by denial of perseverative mands of a 12-year-old Caucasian male admitted to an inpatient hospital unit. The results of a perseveration assessment suggested that the participant’s rates of problem behavior differed across denial responses (e.g., firmly denying, uncertainly denying, or ignoring). Thus, using a combined treatment of a multiple schedule for the availability of mand compliance with firm denial when mand compliance was unavailable, problem behavior and repetitive requests decreased. These results indicate the utility in conducting a perseveration assessment for individuals who engage in problem behavior evoked by denial of their repetitive mands. The clinical applications are discussed
 
34. Effects of Remote Rehearsal and Feedback During Behavioral Skills Training on the Levels of Procedural Integrity in Therapists Delivering Home Intervention for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Caroline Espindola do Nascimento (Grupo Conduzir, Brazil), Luís Fillipe Vasques da Silva (Grupo Conduzir, Brazil), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri-St. Louis Grupo Conduzir, Brazil), JULIA SARGI (Grupo Conduzir)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an empirically supported procedure for training direct interventionists to perform various skills necessary for the delivery of services. Two components of BST that are essential for its effectiveness are rehearsal and timely feedback. In settings where trainers do not have consistent face-to-face contact with trainees, opportunities to rehearse with live feedback might be compromised. An alternative is having the trainee rehearse the skill and receive feedback remotely and asynchronously. This case study reports on the effectiveness of remote rehearsal and feedback on the levels of integrity of direct therapist implementation of discrete trial teaching (DTT) during in-home intervention with children with autism. The therapists were seven females and males between 27 and 45 years old. Therapists received remote feedback via videoconference or asynchronous audio messages and a written report describing their performance. All therapists demonstrated an increase in the level of correct steps completed during the implementation of DTT and reached the criterion of 90% integrity. Thirty days after the last round of rehearsal and feedback, 66% of the therapists maintained criterium-level performance. This report described the effectiveness of BST in establishing high levels of integrity when rehearsal and feedback were conducted remotely and asynchronously.
 
35. Teaching Students With Autism in Groups: Effects of Added Stimuli to Signal Choral Responding
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Lauren Capizzi (Alpine Learning Group), AMIRA EL-BOGHDEDY (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group ), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Research shows that choral responding is an important skill for learning in groups (Haydon et al., 2013). Choral responding is a technique where all students respond verbally at the same time to a teacher’s question or instruction. However, there is little research evaluating procedures for teaching choral responding and if added stimuli such as a visual cue (i.e., a picture) and an auditory cue (i.e., clicker) could promote the acquisition of choral responding by signaling attention to the teacher. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if choral responding would improve in a condition in which an added cue (i.e., auditory and visual stimulus) was presented along with teacher delivered verbal discriminative stimuli. Choral responding in the signaled condition was compared to choral responding in a condition in which the auditory and visual stimuli were not added (i.e, un-signaled). Data showed an overall increase in choral responding over baseline in both conditions. We concluded that reinforcement alone was likely responsible for improved choral responding and that added cues possibly interfered with choral responding in the signaled condition. Pretest and posttest intraverbal and worksheet assessments indicated that participants learned the content presented in both conditions.
 
36. Teaching an Adult With Autism When to Use Self-Advocacy Statements
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CORTNEY DEBIASE (Alpine Learning Group), Kellie Clement (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group ), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Little research has explored procedures for teaching adults with autism when to make self-advocacy statements. The present study used a multiple baseline design across stimuli to evaluate the effects of discrimination training, a text prompt, and time delay procedure on the acquisition and generalization of self-advocacy responses. A 19-year-old adult with autism participated in the study. The participant was presented with situations that required a self-advocacy response (e.g., someone else using his phone) and situations that did not require them (no one else using his phone). During intervention, self-advocacy trials were presented in which a text prompt was used to teach a self-advocacy response (“Excuse me, that’s mine). Upon a correct response, the instructor corrected the situation (i.e., gave the phone back to the participant) and provided reinforcement on the participant’s motivational system (S+ trials). Reinforcement was not provided if self-advocacy statements were emitted on S-delta trials (i.e., no self-advocacy scenario presented). Results showed an increase in responding on S+ trials and no responding on S-delta trials. Furthermore, generalized responding occurred to novel examples and materials for each situation. Future research should investigate these procedures with additional participants as well as explore teaching more advanced and varied self-advocacy responses to adults with autism.
 
37. Stimulus Control and Functional Analysis Informed Procedures for Reducing Non-Contextual Vocalizations: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ISAMAR BECERRA (Alpine Learning Group), Erika Cruz (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group ), Amira El-Boghdedy (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: For an adolescent with autism, non-contextual vocalizations (NCV) consisted of making repetitive comments and requests throughout the day (e.g., “Go to grandmas, go to grandmas”). An antecedent analysis indicated that NCV occurred at high rates during face-to-face instruction, low to moderate rates during independent tasks, and low to zero levels when alone. Non-contextual vocalizations were first brought under the control of environmental stimuli (e.g., the presence and absence of a bracelet) using discrimination training. A reversal design was then used to examine the effects of a differential reinforcement procedure with the conditioned bracelet cues on reducing NCV across the school day. If NCV occurred during baseline, teachers responded as they normally would by making one reciprocal comment and directing the participant back to work. During intervention, the participant wore the bracelet that was discriminative for “quiet” for a specified interval. If the participant completed tasks during that interval in the absence of NCV, the bracelet was removed and the participant was provided with the opportunity to engage in NCV for a short period of time and a preferred edible. A reversal design demonstrated that levels of NCV changed reliably with the introduction and removal of the DRO in baseline and intervention phases, however decreases in vocals were not socially valid. NCV decreased only slightly when auditory stimulation provided via headphones was added to the treatment package.
 
38. Evaluation of a Treatment Package to Reduce Repetitive Vocalizations in an Adolescent With Autism: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIKA CRUZ (Alpine Learning Group), Amira El-Boghdedy (Alpine Learning Group), Isamar Becerra (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group ), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: For an adolescent with autism, repetitive vocalizations (RV) consisted of narrating his own actions and the actions of others repetitively, sometimes followed by a question requesting affirmation of the statement from others (e.g., “I am tying my shoe. Yes?”). Functional assessment determined that RV were maintained by social reinforcement, and that removal of the social reinforcer alone (i.e., acknowledgement of the narrated action, “Yes you are tying your shoe) was not effective at decreasing RV. Antecedent interventions consisted of a differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) procedure in which the participant earned reinforcement (social interaction) paired with a check mark symbol for the absence of RV on a variable schedule. Additionally, the participant was taught to engage in appropriate conversations on a fixed time schedule throughout the day (DRA). Rules (i.e., remember to work quietly) were also used as an antecedent intervention prior to independent work tasks. Positive practice paired with a visual cue (i.e., a hashtag symbol) was used as a consequent intervention. If the participant engaged in RV, the hashtag was shown to the participant. If he continued to engage in RV, he was instructed to practice the last response in which RV occurred. If he did not continue to engage in RV, the hashtag was removed, he was not required to engage in positive practice and he moved on with his daily schedule. Data showed reductions from baseline with the implementation of the intervention package and that data reliably changed with the removal and reimplementation of the intervention package within a brief reversal design.
 
39. A Systematic Review of Caregiver-Mediated Interventions for Autistic Adolescents: Implications for Social Validity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY SWAFFORD (Baylor University ), Jessica Akers (Baylor University), Remington Michael Swensson (Baylor University ), Janelle Lynn Carlson (Baylor University )
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: A growing body of evidence has accumulated in support of caregiver-mediated interventions in the service of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. However, few reviews of the literature have been conducted to examine the efficacy of caregiver-mediated behavioral interventions with adolescents (ages 10-18) with ASD and no known reviews of the literature have been conducted to assess the presence and quality of social validity measures in this area of research. The present study sought to review the current existing literature to evaluate the efficacy, social validity, and overall quality of caregiver-mediated behavioral interventions with adolescents with ASD. Findings indicate a need for evaluation of reliable and valid measures of social validity as well as expanding the use of these measures include feedback from adolescent clients.
 
40. Benefits and Limitations of Using the Telehealth Platform to Provide Evidence Based Services for Families Impacted by Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SWATI NARAYAN (WECAN ProACT India ), Gita Srikanth (ABA India)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Technology has resulted in the emergence of WhatsApp™, and Zoom Video conferencing as competitive alternate training platforms to in-person training sessions. The wide reach of internet based technology has made telehealth an effective and low-cost method of training parents as interventionists using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The current study aimed at training a parent of a child with ASD to implement and deliver evidence based autism intervention.The outcomes were measured using a gold standard developmental based assessment, the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). The results indicate notable changes in scores on the assessment, acquisition of skills on the part of the child and the parent’s skills in playing the role of the interventionist, coupled with the development of a harmonious and positive relationship between mother and child. Suggestions for further research include using the telehealth model and evidence based parental training for the dissemination of quality services to a larger population
 
41. Effects of Utilizing Behavioral Skills Training in Parent Training Sessions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLI SANTA MARIA (Butterfly Effects), Whitney Marie Cromley (Butterfly Effecs)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Effects of parent training utilizing behavioral skills training (BST) to teach implementation of the behavior intervention plan to decrease maladaptive behaviors in a child with autism, skills were then able to be generalized to siblings. This was a retrospective single case design looking at the implementation of using behavioral skills training with both mother and father of an autistic male child age eight years old at the start of the study. At the start of the parent training, both parents had mixed involvement in sessions and parent training, and the child was receiving 30 hours of direct treatment service per week and minimal parent training. BCBA implemented a new Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) with parents and taught the implementation of the BIP to each parent individually, then working together. This was able to show a decrease in aggression, tantrums, and property destruction, with both parents now able to fully implement the BIP independently. The skills of the implementation of BIP by utilizing BST were then able to be generalized in parent training sessions to two siblings in the home who also both have autism and engage in maladaptive behaviors? (Schaefer & Andzik, 2021)?.
 
42. Incorporating Components of Brief Habit Reversal to Reduce Skin Picking and Vocal Tics in an Adult With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON ANGLEY (Children’s Specialized Hospital Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services), Grace P Kurywczak (Marcus Autism Center), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Brain Health Institute and Children’s Specialized Hospital–Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (CSH–RUCARES) and Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: Habit behaviors (e.g., nail biting, skin picking) can pose various types of health risks and result in social stigmatization. Habit reversal procedures have been demonstrated as an effective intervention for tic disorders, nervous habits, and stuttering across a variety of patient populations (Miltenberger et al., 1998). However, the results of some research suggest that the procedures may not be effective with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD; Long et al., 1999). These findings are not entirely surprising given many components of habit reversal require prerequisite skills or advanced verbal behavior that individuals with IDD may not possess. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of two main components of habit reversal (i.e., modified awareness training [i.e., self-monitoring] and competing-response training) in reducing the vocal tics and skin picking exhibited by a young adult with IDD. Results revealed that self-monitoring was not successful alone in reducing his habit behaviors. However, competing response training procedures resulted in significant reductions of both habit behaviors that generalized across implementers and settings and maintained over time. We discuss the implications of the findings and considerations for future research.
 
43. The Effects of a Self-Recording Procedure on Student’s On-Task Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA LEVENTHAL (James Madison University ), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract:

Strategies to reduce challenging classroom behaviors often rely on external agents to manage contingencies, putting an unsustainable burden on teachers, administrators, and others. Fortunately, studies have shown self-management procedures to be effective across differing populations. However, these studies have commonly paired self-management with external reinforcement, limiting conclusions about the utility of self-management procedures themselves. In this study, I investigate the isolated effects of self-management on student’s on-task behavior through an operant analysis. Three elementary-aged students, receiving ABA services at a special education school, will be taught to self-record their on-task behavior using a Gymboss miniMAX Interval Timer cueing them at variable intervals. Using a changing criterion design, I will demonstrate whether a functional relation between self-recording and on-task behavior exists. Following baseline, participants will be trained to self-record using Behavior Skills Training, then a series of phases will be implemented to gradually increase the interval schedule. To isolate the effects of self-management, feedback or reinforcement will not be provided. During baseline, participants demonstrated low and variable levels of on-task behavior. Upon implementation of the self-recording procedure, the rate of on-task behavior increased in a stepwise manner, suggesting that this self-management intervention is effective at improving the on-task behavior of participants.

 
44. Developing a Socially Valid and Reliable Acuity Scale for Practicing Behavior Analysts
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTICE LESLIE DEAN (Emergent Learning Clinic; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jesse Sears (Emergent Learning Clinic; Student in ABA at Drake University), Autumn N. McKeel (Emergent Learning Clinic)
Discussant: Samantha Wallbank (Brock University)
Abstract: In the field of behavior analysis and autism treatment, there are various factors and domains that should be considered by a practicing Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) when determining the level of service that a client needs. Acuity scales are commonly used in various healthcare fields such as nursing and social work as a complete and objective clinical measure of patient need and clinician resources. However, there has yet to be such a scale developed for practicing BCBAs. The BCBA Acuity Scale for Interpreting Client/Caseload Severity (BASICS) is a tool developed to assess the overall intensity of case management. The BASICS analyzes areas such as challenging behavior, communication, medical needs, and parent training needs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the social validity and reliability of the BASICS. Practicing BCBAs completed the BASICS for each of their clients and subsequently completed a social validity questionnaire. Reliability of the scale was also evaluated by analyzing the inter-observer agreement of scores. This acuity scale may be a useful resource for BCBAs to determine and maintain an ethical caseload within their available resources.
 
Diversity submission 45. Using Systematic De-sensitization to Assist in Food Acceptance
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TRACY YIP (N/A), ZEYI YANG (N/A)
Discussant: Paige O'Neill (University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder were commonly found to have eating problems such as food selectivity or restricted diet. If food selectivity is not resolved and managed, it can lead to serious health concerns and malnutrition. The current study involve a participant, a 5-years old boy who only accept a few food items in his common diet. His refusal of food was displayed by vomiting the food consumed, pushing food items away, and turning his head away from the spoon with the food item. Using systematic de-sensitization, positive reinforcement and shaping strategies, the participant was able to consume a variety of food items introduced during the training session. A follow up report indicated the training was effective in maintaining the food items selected as well as generalization of food acceptance across different food groups.
 
46. The Indirect Benefits of an Evaluation of Consequences to Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Samantha Pacewicz (University of Florida graduate), Melanie Perez (The University of Florida), CATHERINE KISHEL (The University of Florida), Savannah Tate (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Behavior analysts develop treatment plans to reduce maladaptive behaviors. Consequences to problem behavior are often included in treatment plans with the goal of reducing behavior. However, without an evaluation of the effects of programmed consequences, these responses might not always result in the desired reductive effect (e.g., Fisher, Ninness, Piazza, & Owen-DeSchryver, 1996). Some strategies intended to reduce behavior might instead reinforce or have no effect on responding. However, failure to identify an effect when evaluating a consequence does not mean that the data set does not yield useful information. The current analysis comprised of an empirical evaluation of the effects of consequences to problem behavior of two children with autism and yielded indirect benefits. A pairwise functional analysis (Iwata, Duncan, Zarcone, Lerman, & Shore, 1994) compared the effects of providing programmed consequences contingently versus on a time-based schedule. The data demonstrate that consequences delivered for certain problem behaviors can result in the child engaging in other behaviors that can be reinforced if already adaptive or further shaped. Although the specific consequences evaluated in the present study exerted null or inconclusive effects on target behavior, the assessment nonetheless yielded valuable information about child behavior that could translate across settings.
 
48. Duration-Based Assessment to Select Chores for Individuals With Severe Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHELBY LYNNE QUIGLEY (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Duration-based assessments can be used to determine an individual’s level of engagement with items (DeLeon, Iwata, Conners, & Wallace, 1999) or activities such as vocational tasks (Worsdell, Iwata, and Wallace, 2002). However, if the goal is to identify items or activities with a high level of engagement and a low level of problem behavior, a competing stimulus assessment can be used (e.g., Piazza, Fisher, Hanley, Hilker, & Derby, 1996). Three individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were hospitalized for the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior participated in a competing stimulus assessment to identify chores with high levels of engagement and low levels of problem behavior for inclusion in their daily schedule during treatment. For two of the three participants, multiple chores were identified; for the third participant, although he interacted with the materials for most of the sessions (e.g., held the broom in his hand and walked around), productive engagement in the chores was low (e.g., he did not sweep the floor). As a result, teaching sessions were initiated to increase productive engagement in chores.
 
49. Identifying Preference for Protective Equipment Used to Treat Self-Injurious Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDRA M DEMEO (May Institute), Emily Sullivan (The May Institute), Yannick Andrew Schenk (May Institute)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: The use of protective equipment (e.g. arm splints, helmet) is used to reduce engagement in or mitigate injury as result of self-injurious behavior. However, individual preference for these types of equipment have been rarely assessed, perhaps due to the emphasis on safety because of the severity of self-injurious behavior that necessitates the application of protective equipment. The present study aimed to first evaluate the one participant’s adaptive responses, engagement in self-injury, attempted removals of protective equipment, as well as an injury impact score while wearing two types of protective equipment (i.e., helmet and arm splints). Following determining that both forms of equipment resulted in a low injury impact score, a forced choice preference assessment was conducted. Results indicated that arm splints were not only selected as the preferred form of protective equipment, but also resulted in the lowest level of self-injurious behavior and attempted removals.
 
50. Modifying Functional Communication Training for an Individual With Visual Impairments and Severe Problem Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RAJEN BAJRACHARYA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brianna Laureano (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Emily Ann Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: The effectiveness of functional communication training (FCT) for decreasing severe problem behavior has been widely acknowledged within the science of applied behavior science. In a recent review, Ghaemmaghami et al. (2021) outlined a number of limitations pertaining to the feasibility of this function-based treatment when applied in the community. One such limitation involves limited research on the application of this intervention among individuals with visual impairments who engage in severe problem behavior. Within the current study, we incorporated modifications and modern technology to augment FCT procedures for an 8-year-old girl with visual impairments. Through the incorporation of tactile stimuli and a backwards chaining procedure, the participant acquired the functional communication response. The results of this study demonstrate the importance and success in modifying training procedures when teaching communication responses to individuals with visual impairments. This study further supports the necessity of individualizing common function-based interventions, such as FCT, to increase their efficiency and feasibility in the treatment of individuals with varying disabilities.
 
51. The Effects of Multiple-Context Training on Operant Renewal of Behavior Decreased by Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE TALHELM (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Translational human laboratory studies are conducted under the assumption that outcomes will be relevant to clinical conditions. Much recent attention of this sort has been devoted to relapse of previously treated problem behavior. The assumption of correspondence seems critical when evaluating factors that promote or mitigate relapse, but few studies have examined if laboratory preparations predict if similar findings with clinically relevant behaviors and fewer still have examined correspondence within the same participants. This study will expose individuals with developmental disabilities, who display problem behavior, to parallel laboratory and clinical paradigms of two forms of relapse: resurgence and context renewal. It represents a first step towards identifying the variables that promote correspondence, thus allowing future researchers to design more clinically accurate mitigation models.
 
52. Increasing Access to Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
AAKSHAN K LIDHAR (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Jessica Foster Juanico (University of Kansas), Amber Valentino (Trumpet Behavioral Health ), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2020) states that behavior analysts must maintain competence by engaging in professional development activities such as reading relevant literature (Code 1.06). There are barriers to accessing the published literature that can result in a research to practice gap such that practitioners become progressively less informed about the literature as time since graduation and certification increases (Briggs & Mitteer, 2021). In the current study, we evaluate a system in a large human service agency developed to increase practitioner access to the literature using an electronic request form and a liaison to the literature search approach. We present data on the frequency of use of the system, the certification level of users, topics of interest, and other patterns of responding. We discuss the value of this type of system, the limitations of the design, and considerations for practitioners considering the implementation of a similar system in their human service agency.
 
53. A Quality Assessment of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Speech Interventions for Minimally Verbal Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities: An Overview
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
SOPHIE LOUISE BRADBURY (University of South Wales), Richard James May (University of South Wales)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Systematic reviews (SR) and meta-analyses (MA) have been identified as the gold standard for evidence synthesis. Given their potential to inform practice and policy, it is important that SR and MA adhere to internationally agreed guidelines. We undertook a review of the methodological characteristics and reporting quality of SR and MA of interventions targeting early speech production in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (ID). The review protocol was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42021236361). Two instruments designed to evaluate SR and MA, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and, A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR-2) were used to appraise the existing literature. We identified 12 SR and/or MA that met the prespecified inclusion criteria. The assessment of the methodological quality (i.e., AMSTAR-2) found that the vast majority (k=10) of the reviews were rated as critically low. We also found relatively low adherence to the reporting guidelines outlined in PRISMA for most of the included studies. We discuss our findings in the broader context of the evidence synthesis for behaviour analytic interventions.
 
54. Using Traditional Drill and Practice to Increase Drivers Permit Knowledge for Young Adults With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAYLA BATES-BRANTLEY (Mississippi State University), Madison Billingsley (Mississippi State University), Meredith Huff Staggers (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder experience significant barriers when learning to drive. These barriers impact their licensure rates and time it takes to successfully obtain a license when compared to neurotypical peers. A majority of research examining these barriers focusses on an individual’s ability to drive in a simulation. However, little to no research has been conducted to examine effective intervention strategies for obtaining a learning permit. The current study examines the effects of a Traditional Drill and Practice (TDP) digital flashcard intervention on increasing knowledge of material on the drivers permit exam. A multiple probe design across participants was used to examine the effects of this intervention. Three young adults with ASD, who did not currently hold a valid driver’s license or permit were included as the participants. Results indicated TDP had a large effect on increasing participants’ skill acquisition of learner’s permit exam material. Limitations, implications, and future directions of this research will be discussed.
 
55. Elopement: A Case Study From Functional Analysis Through Caregiver Generalization
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA RENEE JONES (Butterfly Effects), Molly Ann McGinnis (Butterfly Effects), Claire Spieler (Butterfly Effects), Amy Rachel Bukszpan (Endicott College, Butterfly Effects)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Children affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs/DDs) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a higher prevalence of elopement which can lead to significant consequences including police involvement, abduction, drowning, etc. (Boyle & Adamson, 2017). Functional analysis determined the function of the elopement behavior in this case study to be access to the outdoor environment, or the child’s backyard. Caregiver collaboration led to intervention design of functional communication training (FCT) paired with response blocking. FCT criteria increased in complexity to vocal-verbal communication with shaping procedures. Response blocking was faded over time from barriers and locked doors to only a visual prompt remaining as a conditioned stimulus during the generalization phase along with intermittent reinforcement. The intervention led to a significant decrease in elopement successes and attempts and also improved caregiver confidence in addressing problem behaviors and safety concerns.
 
56. Producing Meaningful Clinical-Outcome Data From Restraint and Seclusion Logs
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARY KATHERINE CAREY (Glenwood, Inc)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Programs delivering applied behavior analytic (ABA) services often collect data on safety interventions such as physical restraints and seclusion procedures. These interventions are either programmed into behavior plans or are performed only in emergency situations. Regardless, there a movement in the field to decrease physical restraint and seclusion (Rajaraman et al 2021) in an effort to advance procedures that capitalize on reinforcement-based approaches. There is little guidance, however, on the best way to summarize restraint and seclusion data in a meaningful way that will produce evidence of a program’s adherence to best practices over time. In the current project, five years of restraint data from a non-profit agency were summarized and analyzed in multiple ways to determine the best way to report on an agency’s use of physical restraint and seclusion. When analyzing data across years, breaking the data down monthly rather than yearly provided a richer set of data to visually analyze. When examining data within a year, calculating the number of physical restraints and/or seclusion procedures implemented per child who is approved for such procedures rather than a total frequency count proved to be the most sensitive.
 
57. Reducing Employee Absenteeism With Performance Feedback and an Individual Contingency Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DESIREE POOLE (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brittney Workman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Christopher Dillion (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Unplanned absences are a common issue within human service settings (T. F. Ferguson et al., 2001). Organizations have employed a variety of behavioral interventions to improve staff attendance, including the use progressive discipline (Briggs, 1990), verbal feedback (Berkovitz et al., 2012), public feedback (Camden et al., 2011; Luiselli et al., 2009), and both individual- (Berkovitz & Alvero, 2019; Feinup et al., 2013) and group-based contingencies (Berkovitz et al., 2012). However, high rates of absenteeism are still observed. The purpose of this research was to evaluate an individual contingency intervention designed to reduce absenteeism among direct-care staff in a human service setting. The intervention included performance feedback and restricted access to working additional overtime shifts. Results showed that absenteeism decreased from a group mean of 34.59% of shifts missed during the baseline period to a group mean of 23.57% of shifts missed during the intervention phase. The outcome of the intervention was a 11.03% decrease in the average percentage of shifts missed. Implications surrounding these findings are discussed. Keywords: absenteeism, attendance, individual contingency, human service setting
 
58. Using a Video Activity Schedule With an Embedded Social Script to Teach Cooperative Games to Autistic Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
IVAN DUARTE (University of Texas at San Antonio), Marie Kirkpatrick (University of Texas at San Antonio), Roberta Carrillo (University of Texas at San Antonio), Geninna Noelle Arriola Ferrer (University of Texas at San Antonio), Mariela Gonzalez (University of Texas at San Antonio), Aparna Mathew (University of Texas at San Antonio), Lauren Gonzales (University of Texas at San Antonio), Katherine Cantrell (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Video activity schedules are a combination of video modeling and activity schedules that teach a singular task or a series of tasks to be completed. Instead of a sequence of pictures, videos demonstrate to the learner what is expected to be done. Research has focused heavily on using video activity schedules to teach daily living or vocational skills; however, there is a lack of research on using video activity schedules to teach play skills. Social scripts are verbal prompts that cue the learner on what to say and have proven to be effective at teaching autistic people how to engage in conversation. In this study, a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effect of a video activity schedule with an embedded social script to teach four dyads of autistic children how to play cooperative games and engage in a conversational response during a summer day camp. Results indicate that all participants learned how to play the game and engage in the conversational response, including during generalization and maintenance probes. Limitations and future research will also be noted.
 
59. Texture Advancement Expectations and Outcomes in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Severe Food Selectivity
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CATHERINE TAYLOR (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Addam J Wawrzonek (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Valerie M. Volkert (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), Rashelle Berry (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Lydia White (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Caitlin Waddle (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a feeding disorder marked by restricting food intake to the point of significant weight loss, malnutrition, or functional interference. Previous studies have demonstrated comorbid concerns with feeding in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A possible explanation for these feeding problems may be due to the core ASD symptoms, poor adaptive skills and/or sensory sensitivities. These core symptoms can affect feeding relative to tolerance of higher textures. The present study examines the outcomes from an applied behavior analysis (ABA) based, intensive multidisciplinary intervention program for ARFID, specifically looking at children with and without a comorbid diagnosis of autism and severe food selectivity. Results demonstrated that a higher percentage of children with ASD remained on puree texture throughout treatment when compared to children without ASD, despite both groups demonstrating a significant increase in number of foods accepted. This study was conducted with the aim of investigating treatment progress for children with ASD and how to better support treatment expectations and outcomes, specifically with texture advancement. Further research is needed on this subset population on how oral motor deficits affect texture advancement, and to develop strategies for feeding and chewing functions throughout treatment.
 
60. Assessing Client Preference on Social Proximity
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA WARD (Salve Regina University), Jocelyn Vanessa McCormack (Salve Regina University/Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Jesse Perrin (Pathways), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Discussant: Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Physical proximity affects both problem behavior and client engagement with academic demands (Oliver et al., 2001; Conroy et al., 2004). Assessing preference of proximity is useful, but some methodologies, such as those used in Oliver et al. (2001), might evoke problem behavior which may not be desirable or ethical in all clinical situations. The purpose of this study was to utilize a concurrent-chains assessment to target client preference of proximity without evoking problem behavior. The study was conducted with an 18-year-old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, whose history of severe problem behavior resulted in staff distancing themselves from the client by 12 feet. A concurrent-chains choice assessment was implemented to evaluate the participant’s preference on proximity as well as the effects of proximity on rates of problem behavior. The participant chose between two proximity options at varying distances from him to determine from which he preferred. The distances between the chairs and the participant were systematically manipulated by experimenters. The results of the assessment demonstrated the client’s preference for close proximity attention (within 2 feet) without evoking problem behavior. IOA was collected during 95% of trials using trial-by-trial agreement. IOA scores were 100% across sessions.
 
61. Comparing Functional Communication Training Arrangements on Reduction of Tangibly Maintained Aggression
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAITLYN FEDERICO (Salve Regina University ), Jacqueline Wilson (Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Jesse Perrin (Pathways), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Discussant: Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) has been used to treat the function of problem behavior across many functions and many behaviors. Nuanced variables, which include but are not limited to, the severity of behaviors and time constraints can make implementing FCT difficult. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effects of FCT arrangements on reduction of problem behavior. This project specifically compared a rate-based arrangement and a latency-based arrangement to implement FCT. This study was conducted with a 13-year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Treatment was evaluated in 5 minute conditions. In the rate-based condition, the functional Communication Response (FCR) was presented every 30 seconds. In the latency-based condition, the FCR was presented once at the start of the condition but not again for the remainder of the condition. The results of this study indicated that problem behavior reduced in both formats and the participant acquired the FCR in both formats. IOA was collected for 81% of sessions with 95% agreement. Procedural Fidelity was collected for 100% of sessions and fidelity was 98%.
 
164. Building Comfort With Health and Self-Care Routines for Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN RUFFO (University of Nebraska Omaha; University of Nebraska Medical Center; Munroe-Meyer Institute), Mary Halbur (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Elizabeth J. Preas (Austin College), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute), Mikayla Crawford (University of Nebraska Medical Center; Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism (ASD) often exhibit challenging behaviors during health- and self-care routines. Children may require sedation to complete necessary routines, which increases risks when participating in medical care. Caregivers may also avoid completing vital self-care routines due to the fear their child experiences. Current evidence suggests that graduated exposure treatment packages are effective at increasing tolerance during healthcare procedures. Graduated exposure consists of exposing an individual to a hierarchy of stimuli from least to most feared, which have previously caused fear-based responses (e.g., negative vocalizations, disruptions, attempts to leave). Although graduated exposure has been shown to increase tolerance, this procedure can be resource intensive. The purpose of the current study was to extend previous research by examining procedures to increase the efficiency of graduated exposure. Four children with ASD were exposed to a treatment package that included graduated exposure, distraction, and frequent terminal probes to teach a variety of health- and self-care routines. The results showed that the treatment package was effective at increasing tolerance with routines. Additionally, frequent terminal probes allowed participants to skip unnecessary steps and increased the efficiency of the treatment package. Future research and clinical implications will be discussed.

 
 

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