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 #370E
DDA Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 29, 2023
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall F
Chair: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
74. Efficacy of Comprehensive Early Intervention Services on the Behavioral Presentation of a Child With a TCF4 Gene Mutation
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Ciobha A. McKeown (University of Florida), ANNA MARIE QUINTERO-GIEGELING (University of Florida), Takahiro Soda (University of Florida)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract: Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS) is a rare genetic disorder caused by insufficient expression of the TCF4 gene found on chromosome 18p21.2 (Tan et al., 2018). Approximately 500 people have been identified with the disorder worldwide (Sweatt, 2013). PTHS was initially characterized as dysmorphic facial features, clubbed fingers, abnormal breathing, and other medical comorbidities (e.g., constipation, breathing issues; Pitt & Hopkin, 1978). Neurodevelopmentally, most cases of PTHS are characterized by severe intellectual disabilities, global developmental delay, and comorbid autism spectrum disorder. The individual typically presents with severe expressive language delays (vocal-verbal speech is often absent), motor delays (independent ambulation occurs after age five or not at all), ataxia, and motor incoordination. In this case study, we present the efficacy of comprehensive early intervention for a two-year-old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who carried the TCF4 gene mutation. The combination of intensive, high-hour applied behavior analytic, speech, occupational, and physical therapy produced dramatic increases in multiple social communication skills in just six months, evident by pre- and post-behavioral (e.g., VB-MAPP) and psychological measures (e.g., ADOS-2). We discuss considerations when programming for children with autism spectrum disorder with genetic comorbidities and how to effectively coordinate care among multiple providers.
 
75. Transfer of Schedule Thinning Effects Across Contexts During Treatment With Functional Communication Training
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JASMINE SORRELL (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John M. Huete (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Functional communication training (FCT; Carr & Durand, 1985) is a commonly used function-based intervention which leads to a reduction in problem behavior by increasing functionally equivalent communicative responses (FCR). Individuals who have been taught functional communication (FC), however, often engage in FCR at much higher rates than feasible for families (Betz et al., 2013). Thus, schedule thinning is considered clinical best practice. Recent research has further indicated combining schedule thinning with terminal probes allows for more efficient FCT (Kranak & Falligant, 2021). Therefore, using a concurrent multiple baseline design, this study analyzed the effectiveness of a terminal probe within a response class for one individual learning FC. Results indicated after schedule thinning and a terminal probe were conducted for one FCR, the terminal probe generalized to two other FCRs in which schedule thinning had and had not been implemented. Implications for clinical practice and future research will also be discussed.

 
76. Magnitude of Renewal and Obtained Magnitude of Reinforcement: A Re-Analysis of 37 Applications
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SABRINA OLIVERA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brianna Laureano (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract:

Behavioral interventions to decrease problem behavior typically utilize dense schedules of reinforcement for appropriate behavior. Following reductions in problem behavior, generalization across contexts is programmed to ensure the intervention is effective in the natural environment. However, problem behavior sometimes reemerges as a function of changes in contexts, this is called renewal. Falligant et al. (2021) found that the prevalence of renewal was lower for individuals who experienced denser schedules of reinforcement in the initial training context than those who experienced leaner schedules of reinforcement. The current study extended Falligant et al. (2021) by examining the relationship between the obtained magnitude of reinforcement (i.e., duration or frequency) during the initial training phase and magnitude of renewal during treatment evaluations for individuals admitted to an inpatient unit for severe problem behavior. We re-analyzed 37 treatment applications with context changes across 34 cases identified via a retrospective consecutively controlled case series. The clinical implications of identifying factors that are associated with renewal of problem behavior are discussed.

 
77. Smoking Cessation Interventions for U.S. Adults With Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JONATHAN A. SCHULZ (Vermont Center on Behavior and Health), Sean Regnier (University of Kentucky), Austin Nugent (University of Kentucky), Gary Atwood (University of Vermont Medical Center), Lindsey Mullis (University of Kentucky), Tyler Erath (University of Vermont), Andrea Villanti (Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies; Rutgers School of Public Health)
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

People with disabilities have a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking than people without disabilities. Moreover, there is a research gap in smoking cessation interventions between people with and without disabilities. This systematic review aimed to identify and evaluate research on tobacco smoking cessation interventions designed to improve outcomes for people with disabilities (e.g., cognitive, hearing, mobility, visual). Electronic searches were conducted in CINAHL Plus (EBSCO), Embase (Ovid), Medline (Ovid), and PsycINFO (Ovid) to identify peer-reviewed studies on tobacco cessation interventions for adults with disabilities in the United States. Two independent coders evaluated all retrieved records. A total of 972 studies were included in title and abstract screening. Forty-six studies were examined in the full text review, of which two studies met inclusion criteria. Both included studies used mindfulness-based procedures to reduce the self-reported number of cigarettes smoked per day in people with mild intellectual disabilities. Additional studies address other disabilities but were not rigorous enough to meet inclusion criteria. Given the breadth of smoking cessation treatments available to the general population, there is a paucity of empirically supported research for those with disabilities. Implications and recommendations for tailored interventions to address the unique needs of people with disabilities are discussed.

 
78. An Evaluation of the Emergence and Persistence of Non-target Mands During Functional Communication Training (FCT) and Treatment Disruption
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHLOE M. LEWIS (University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (University of Iowa), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the emergence and persistence of independent non-target mands displayed by a 4-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder during treatment (functional communication training; FCT) and treatment disruption (extinction of mands). This study was conducted in three phases. During Phase 1, FCT was conducted within a multiple schedules design across two mand modalities (i.e., picture card; microswitch). During Phase 2, a mand preference assessment (MPA) was conducted within a concurrent schedules design to determine preference for type of mand modality. During Phase 3, extinction was conducted within a multiple schedules design to evaluate the persistence of independent target manding (card touch and microswitch touch). During FCT, independent manding was similarly high for both target mand modalities. A preference for the microswitch over the picture card and higher persistence of target manding in the microswitch condition occurred during the MPA and extinction phases, respectively. During these procedures, two non-targeted mands (vocalizations and manual signing) emerged during FCT, with higher levels associated with the picture card condition. Non-target mands were also observed at relatively high levels during extinction, but without any clear differentiation across target mand modality conditions. Clinical and research implications for these results will be discussed.

 
79. Evaluation of Toy Engagement by Teaching Play Skills Using the Compete Stimulus Assessment
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ELISSA SPINKS (Behaviors Analysis Association of Mississippi), Theresa Signore (Mississippi State University/TK Martin Center)
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Play skills are critical to a child’s development and well-being. Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, however, are often unable to adequately engage with items; because of this, they are at a severe disadvantage for acquiring essential skills necessary for their success within educational and social situations. Previous research has focused on multiple procedures including peer modeling, video modeling, and arbitrary reinforcers for increasing toy engagement, however, results have demonstrated varied success. The competing stimulus assessment (CSA), typically used for individuals that engage in self-injurious behaviors, has shown to be a reliable procedure for increasing toy engagement. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of the CSA for increasing play skills for a two-year-old boy diagnosed with Down Syndrome that did not engage in self-injurious behaviors. Results from the CSA identified four items that the participant would reliably and appropriately engage with suggesting that the CSA may be a useful alternative for increasing toy engagement for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who do not engage in self-injurious behavior.

 
80. Practical Insights From Parent Data in Treatment for Children With Severe Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
KATHERINE GIBSON (Nationwide Children's Hospital), Jessica Emily Graber (Nationwide Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract:

The importance of teaching caregivers to identify functional variables surrounding problematic behaviors in daily life is widely recognized within behavior analytic caregiver training literature (e.g., Bearss et al., 2018; Lerman et al., 2013; Shayne & Miltenburger, 2013). One way to build this skill is to coach parents in collecting data on problematic behaviors when they occur outside of treatment sessions. However, barriers to reliable data collection are common challenges to caregiver training (Sanders, 2009). Presented is a case example of a simple, electronic data collection system designed for parents, which was used to guide treatment focus and demonstrate outcomes from parent training sessions. Procedures were conducted in the Complex Behavior Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The participant was a 7-year-old male diagnosed with autism who engaged in severe aggression, self-injurious behaviors, and property destruction. Initial sessions involved behavioral skills training in data collection procedures. Parent training was delivered weekly, involving data review and in vivo training of function-based procedures. Parents provided weekly data on behavioral events involving target behaviors. These data were graphed, analyzed, and used to assess progress on established treatment goals. Results demonstrate an initial 87% decrease in behavioral events per week from baseline. Low effort data collection across six questions averaging 3 minutes and 43 seconds per submission, can help guide treatment to produce clinically significant results in behavior reduction.

 
81. Data Collection and Documentation Platforms for Direct Support Professionals: A Systematic Review and Evaluation
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ABIGAIL MORETTI (Rowan University), Christina Simmons (Rowan University), Andrea Lobo (Rowan University), Patrice Tremoulet (Rowan University)
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: One of the key roles of direct support professionals (DSPs) is documenting client behavior and pertinent information. However, data collection and documentation can be time consuming, especially when many DSPs still rely on paper-and-pencil documentation that is known to reduce data accuracy and increase stress. Given the high turnover of DSPs, increasing access to data collection applications that increase documentation efficiency and accuracy may alleviate job-related stress for DSPs. Despite clear potential benefits, there is a dearth of literature examining how available data collection technology can meet the unique needs of DSPs who work with adult clients. The current study (1) systematically reviewed the capabilities of four commercially available data collection applications through demonstration and pilot testing and (2) further analyzed two applications to validate a methodology of applying a testing sequence of relevant DSP tasks to systematically compare the efficiency of data collection tools. Results indicate that the applied behavior analytic data collection applications evaluated met the majority of DSPs’ data collection needs; however, most were primarily developed for children in a session-based format. Findings can inform agencies that employ DSPs on the data collection technology applications that may best fit their professional needs and optimize DSP data collection.
 
82. Using a Social Interaction Preference Assessment to Identify Different Forms of Attention as a Reinforcer
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TAYLOR SCHULZ (Evoke Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract: According to Morris and Vollmer (2010), “Methods of identifying reinforcing stimuli have proven to be useful in working with individuals who cannot effectively communicate their own preferences”. To test this, a social interaction preference assessment was conducted with a 12-year-old boy with limited communication to identify preferred types of attention. The 5 forms of attention, including a control or ignore condition, were each paired with a corresponding shape and color. Using latency to task completion, a reinforcer assessment was then conducted to determine which forms of attention would serve as a reinforcer. It was determined that negative attention, or reprimands, was the most highly preferred and would therefore be used as an isolated reinforcer for skill acquisition targets.
 
83. Framework for the Evaluation of the Applied Behavior Analysis Compliance of Technology-Based Intervention Supports
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
Marsha Stepensky (Floreo), MONIQUE MAHONEY (Floreo), Rita Solórzano (Floreo), Sinan Turnacioglu (Floreo), Joseph McCleery (Department of Psychology & Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, Saint Joseph’s University; Center for Autism Research, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Intervention support technologies are being produced rapidly, and there is a critical need for frameworks and procedures to systematically evaluate their compliance with applied behavior analysis (ABA). Here, we present a systematic evaluation of the ability of the core components of ABA intervention to be implemented within the constraints of a particular technology, Floreo Virtual Reality. Specifically, this framework evaluates the implementation of the three-term antecedent-behavior-consequence contingency, including therapist control over activation of antecedents, determination and evaluation of specific target behavior responses of the learner, and implementation of consequences which are behaviorally contingent and immediate. We also evaluate the ability to implement standard prompting, prompt fading, and error correction procedures. Finally, we determine whether or not and how manual and automated trial-by-trial data can be collected and analyzed. Application of this evaluation framework indicates that a number of Floreo lessons are fully compliant with the core teaching procedures of ABA, and that the most common challenges to ABA compliance of Floreo lessons relate to digital data collection and error correction procedures. Therefore, this framework appears to be useful for both confirming the ABA-compliance of technology-based lessons and determining areas of need for securing ABA-compliance of said technologies for ABA practice.

 
84. Further Evaluation of Competing Stimulus Assessment Methodology
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LISA MARIE AMBROSEK (The University of Kansas), Breanna R Roberts (University of Kansas ), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract: Competing stimulus assessments (CSAs) are used to identify reinforcer competition or substitution with problem behavior. Haddock and Hagopian (2020) reviewed published CSA studies and recommended future researchers extend evaluation of specific stimulus features responsible for behavior reduction and evaluate ways to increase CSA efficiency. We used procedures developed by Brogan et al. (2018) to evaluate the use of a free operant competing stimulus assessment (FOCSA) as a screening tool to identify items with high levels of engagement and low levels of problem behavior. Following the FOCSA, an isolated CSA was conducted. Stimuli with high levels of both engagement and problem behavior (HP-HS) and stimuli with high levels of engagement and low levels of problem behavior (HP-LS) were then evaluated using a stimulus-feature rating scale developed by the authors. Four stimuli with features similar to the HP-HS item and HP-LS item were selected to be included in a multiple-set evaluation. Each item was evaluated in isolation using a CSA, and then evaluated within the specified stimulus set (e.g., HP-HS set, HP-LS set) for 5-min and 15-min sessions. The results are discussed in terms of predictive validity and screening assessment efficiency.
 
85. Teaching Appropriate Mands with an Embedded Delay
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RAMEY JOHNSON (University of South Florida; Full Spectrum Behavior Analysis), Abdullah Alshehri (Full Spectrum Behavior Analysis )
Discussant: Amarie Carnett (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract:

Behavior analytic providers prioritize socially significant behaviors to improve independence and quality of life for the vulnerable populations we serve. In most interventions, functional communication and tolerance of delayed reinforcement skills are incorporated as goals. In the current study, Functional Communication Training (FCT) was implemented with an adolescent diagnosed with multiple developmental disabilities to increase tolerance of delayed reinforcement. It was socially significant for the client to be taught communication skills to obtain her needs and wants appropriately. Maladaptive behaviors were also a significant concern to the caregiver due to the high frequency of occurrences. The intervention was effective in increasing delayed tolerance, increasing accurate mands (use of two or more vocal words), and decreasing maladaptive behaviors (aggression and property destruction). There were limitations regarding hormonal fluctuations as they affected her mood and motivation during intervention. However, the client was taught communication skills which have been maintained and increased her access to needs and wants in the environment.

 
Diversity submission 86. Neurodiversity Across Behavior Analytic Conferences
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
DAVID LEGASPI (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis), Elizabeth Ashton Benedickt (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Amanda N. Chastain (University of Illinois, Chicago), Matisse Rose Lovett (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Anne Costa Carneiro (Universidade Federal de São Carlos; Guia AC)
Abstract:

The neurodiversity movement is gaining ground as more and more advocates are speaking out in favor for inclusion. Discussions in the field of behavior analysis are steadily increasing. Organizations such as the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has deployed a task force to interact with such discussions regarding neurodiversity and other related topics. Since 2020, several papers are advocating for more representation and inclusion of the perspectives of individuals of marginalized backgrounds, including neurodiverse populations (Collins et al., 2020). The purpose of this presentation is then to highlight the prevalence of presentations whose authors focused on topics associated with the neurodiversity movement across ABAI affiliated conferences for the last few years. This will be completed with two hopes. First, we hope to spark conversation and highlight what has been done, and what potentially could be done to aid in the inclusion of the movement and the perspectives within our behavior analytic community and beyond. Second, we will describe the efforts and open invitation for others to contribute to this and other diversity related causes. Viewers will be exposed to an interactive conversation with opportunities to contribute.

 
 

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