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.

Search

49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Program by Continuing Education Events: Monday, May 29, 2023


 

Symposium #296
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
Telehealth-Based Instructional Strategies for Promoting Learning for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Vincent E. Campbell (Utah State University)
Discussant: Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Vincent E. Campbell, M.S.
Abstract: In this symposium, multiple studies examining telehealth-based teaching strategies for skill acquisition with children on the autism spectrum will be presented. The first study discusses and compares the results and implications of discrete trial training procedures implemented face to face and via telehealth to teach tacting with preschoolers with autism. The second study discusses the results and implications of using matrix training to teach color-shape tacting via telehealth on generalization with preschoolers on the autism spectrum.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): DTT, generalization, matrix training, telehealth
Target Audience: clinicians, autism, practitioners, BCBAs, graduate students in behavior analysis
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify and describe implications of using face to face and telehealth procedures to teach skills to preschoolers with autism, 2) Identify and describe uses of matrix training to promote generative learning with preschoolers on the autism spectrum, and 3) Identify and describe how to implement DTT and matrix training via telehealth modality.
 
Comparing the Effectiveness of Discrete Trial Training Delivered via Telehealth and Face-to-Face on Skill Acquisition
NICK ALEXANDER LINDGREN (Utah State University), Jessica Anna Osos (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Vincent E. Campbell (Utah State University), Beverly Nichols (Utah State University)
Abstract: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of EIBI services. As a result, many EIBI service providers have shifted to either temporarily or permanently providing some or all of their services via telehealth. The majority of published research on behavior analytic approaches to telehealth has focused on training others to implement behavior analytic interventions in a face-to-face setting. In contrast, a relatively small number of researchers have evaluated direct EIBI service delivery via telehealth (i.e., professionals directly providing behavior analytic interventions to clients/learners using technology). Little is known about the effectiveness of behavior analytic interventions delivered directly to learners via telehealth compared to standard face-to-face intervention delivery. the purpose of the present study is to compare the effectiveness of DTT delivered via telehealth and face-to-face on the acquisition of tacts targets for children diagnosed with ASD in an EIBI program. The results and implications about the effectiveness of the different teaching modalities as well as observed generalization and maintenance will be discussed.
 
The Use of Matrix Training to Teach Color-Shape Tacts Through Telehealth
JESSICA ANNA OSOS (Utah State University), Nick Alexander Lindgren (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Vincent E. Campbell (Utah State University)
Abstract: One teaching strategy to produce generative responding across various skill domains is matrix training (Curiel et al., 2020). Matrix training involves systematically arranging and selecting multi-component instructional targets (such as noun-verb and adjective-noun combinations). Instructional targets are arranged by organizing components in isolation on a minimum of two axes. Within matrix training, only a select few of the two-component combinations are directly taught; then, following mastery of the selected targets, a check is completed to test for the emergence of the rest of the combinations within the matrix. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to limited face to face instruction for children with ASD and increased the utilization of telehealth service delivery by clinicians and researchers. The present investigation examined the following: 1) What effect does matrix training, delivered via telehealth, have on acquisition of color-shape labeling skills? and 2) To what extent does matrix training with limited training targets lead to acquisition of untrained targets in the training matrix and generalization matricies? Following matrix training implementation via telehealth for color-shape tacting, all three participants acquired the training targets and generalized responding to all untrained targets.
 
 
Symposium #297
CE Offered: BACB
Considerations in Medical Necessity Determinations: Past, Present, and Future
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3C
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jesse Logue (LittleStar ABA Therapy)
Discussant: Allyson Moore (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
CE Instructor: Allyson Moore, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Many experts consider Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to be the gold-standard treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Treatment intensity (sometimes referred to as dosage) typically comprises both the number of hours of direct ABA treatment per week and the total duration of treatment. Recommendations regarding the specific intensity of treatment should be based on the?medical necessity?of the treatment for each individual patient (BACB 2019), and it is the professional behavior analyst that determines the treatment intensity or dosage that is medically necessary. However, there is currently no standard method for making medical necessity determinations for ABA services and there is no data available on how behavior analysts individualize dosage for children who present with varied skills, needs, ages, and family contexts (Pellecchia et al., 2019). Indeed, researchers can only speculate as to the reasoning that each clinician uses in making treatment intensity recommendations, given that there is a high degree of variability reported in the number of treatment hours patients receive in clinical practice—an important limitation in large-scale outcomes research (Linstead et al., 2017). Medical necessity determinations are part of the careful construction and individualization of behavior analytic treatment and are an essential element of ABA practice that is not well understood. In this symposium, we will discuss considerations for determining medical necessity and calibrating recommendations based on the best available information, and the potential for greater standardization.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Clinical judgement, Dosage, Medical necessity, Treatment intensity
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts within their first 5 years of practice, practitioners, supervisors, and senior leaders.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) provide a working definition of medical necessity as it relates to ABA treatment; (2) identify at least 5 factors that BCBAs may consider when calibrating treatment intensity recommendations; (3) describe the most common modalities of training on medical necessity determinations currently in the field.
 

Variation in Factors That Impact Behavior Analysts’ Treatment Intensity Recommendations

KRISTIN M. HUSTYI (LittleStar ABA), Marissa Ellen Yingling (University of Louisville)
Abstract:

Most published outcome research on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment seems to suggest that high intensity yields the best outcomes for patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet little is known about what impacts the medical necessity determinations made by behavior analysts to inform treatment intensity recommendations. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of behavior analysts with experience developing and overseeing behavior analytic programming for individuals with ASD (N = 559). We asked participants to report how 36 patient, familial, and logistical factors impact their recommendations using a 7-point Likert Scale (Significantly Decrease, Moderately Decrease, Somewhat Decrease, No Impact, Somewhat Increase, Moderately Increase, Significantly Increase). Results indicated variation in the factors that impact recommendations as well as the direction of impact. A majority agreed on the direction of impact among 9 of 10 factors related to patient diagnosis and skills (e.g., Level 3 DSM-5 Classification), 4 of 10 factors related to patient medical history (e.g., presence of seizure disorder), 3 of 5 additional patient-specific factors (e.g., age at treatment onset), and 3 of 11 familial and logistical factors (e.g., limited family availability). Implications will be discussed specifically as they relate to clinical practice when working with managed care organizations.

 
Development and Preliminary Validation of a Tool for Determining Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment Dosage
LAURYN TOBY (LittleStar ABA Therap), Kristin M. Hustyi (LittleStar ABA), Breanne K. Hartley (LittleStar ABA Therapy )
Abstract: Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are responsible for determining the medically necessary treatment dosage (i.e., the number of hours of therapy a patient should receive per week to optimize progress) during Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. However, because there is currently no standard method for making these determinations, BCBAs often rely on their own clinical judgement. Given that clinical judgement is a subjective variable that may be underdeveloped in some BCBAs, particularly those who are newly certified, more formal strategies are needed to better guide decision-making as it relates to medically necessary treatment. In this paper we describe the development of a standardized decision-making tool for determining the medically necessary dosage of ABA treatment hours per week and appropriate treatment setting for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We present preliminary reliability data as well as construct validity data indicating statistically significant correlations between the tool and several norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments often used to estimate skill level within the ASD population to inform the ABA treatment model and goals.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #297A
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Toward a Science of Applied Animal Behavior Analysis: Experimental, Ethological, and Ethical Considerations
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathaniel Hall (Texas Tech University)
CE Instructor: Lindsay Renee Mehrkam, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: LINDSAY RENEE MEHRKAM (Monmouth University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has a rich history of using animals to study learning and environment-behavior relations. Applying this knowledge to improve the welfare of animals used in teaching and research, however, is a relatively recent and exciting area of exploration for behavior analysts. This talk will review the history of how behavior analytic approaches have been successfully extended to applied animal settings and describe the framework for current and future directions for the field of applied animal behavior analysis. Using the concepts and principles experimental analysis in behavior as a starting point, we will move beyond the operant chamber to see how ethology can give insight as to how to maximize the generality of applied behavior analysis procedures across species, settings, and stimuli. This will include highlighting successful examples of single-subject designs for evaluating enrichment practices in zoo animals, evaluating preferences and reinforcer efficacy for food, toys, and social stimuli for a wide range of species, and the creation and evaluation of shaping plans and behavior contracts for cooperative care programs to help prepare for veterinary exams through our university-based animal behavior research clinic for community dogs and cats. We will even see how teaching goldfish to play soccer can be a humane way to use live animals to teach learning principles to students while also benefiting student learning and well-being outcomes as well. Finally, we will discuss ways in which adopting a behavior analytic approach can help animal researchers meet important animal welfare requirements, aid professionals in improving the integrity of their training and enrichment programs, and emphasize the ethical considerations to be aware of when delivering behavioral services to animals and their caregivers to promote positive human-animal interactions.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Academics, practitioners, animal trainers, dog owners, zookeepers, animal researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe how single-subject designs can be applied to simultaneously teach classical and operant learning principles and promote animal welfare (2) Apply the seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis to animal settings (3) Recognize and address ethical considerations and situations when working in applied animal behavior settings in research and in practice.
 
LINDSAY RENEE MEHRKAM (Monmouth University)
Lindsay R. Mehrkam, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology and Principal Investigator of the Human & Animal Wellness Collaboratory (HAWC) at Monmouth University. As an animal welfare scientist and doctoral-level board-certified behavior analyst, her research focuses on the benefits of human-animal interaction with the aim of improving the welfare of both animals and people in society. Specifically, Dr. Mehrkam’s research examines how environmental factors influence play, aggression, and stereotypic behavior in companion and exotic animals, how to promote behavioral choices and welfare of captive animals, and how to best conduct formal evaluations of training and enrichment practices in a variety of animal settings and species (from goldfish to Galapagos tortoises). In her role as Chair of MU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, she uses behavior analytic approaches to and promote the humane use of animals in teaching and research and conducts evaluations of animal-assisted teaching interventions. Dr. Mehrkam is currently a faculty fellow with the Monmouth University Polling Institute, which focuses on developing nationwide assessments on pet owners’ behavioral services and data visualization in collaboration with the Applied Animal Behavior Research Clinic, a community-based clinic for pet dogs, cats, and their owners. Her teaching and research programs in applied animal behavior have led to publications, national and international conference presentations, seminars, and workshops as well as internships and service learning opportunities in animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and animal sanctuaries. She has been recognized through popular media outlets, grants, and scholarly and industry awards, including the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, Maddie’s Fund, and the Animal Behavior Society. Finally, Dr. Mehrkam serves as the president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s Applied Animal Behavior Special Interest Group for the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), which promotes applied animal behavior analytic research, set high standards in methods and techniques of animal training and enrichment, and promote the well-being of animals in society.
 
 
Symposium #298
CE Offered: BACB
Modifications and Adaptions to Functional Analysis Procedures: Evaluation of Safety, Validity, and Procedural Fidelity
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Amanda Zangrillo, Psy.D.
Abstract:

The development of the functional analysis represents a landmark event in the history of our field with the method developed by Iwata and colleagues being the most widely used, researched, and cited form of functional analysis to date. While there is an abundant literature concerning the utility of the functional analysis, many procedural modifications are documented in the literature to address barriers, concerns, and criticisms. In this symposium authors provide examples of modifications to the multi-element functional analysis to address patient-specific concerns related to safety risk and feasibility of implementation. DeBrine and colleagues evaluated the degree to which the number of collected observation in trial-based precursor analysis impacted accuracy of precursor response identification and validity of functional analysis results. Morris et al., explored opening the contingency class to include appropriate behavior, such as mands, within the functional analysis. The author will discuss relevant impact on validity and safety of this modification during implementation. Last, Ramos et al. assessed the implementation of functional analysis with caregiver implementers. Specifically, they conducted behavioral skills training and an in-depth error analysis to evaluate feasibility and practicality for the use of caregivers as implementors in the use synthesized functional analysis in assessment.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): fidelity, functional analysis, safety, validity
Target Audience:

Practitioners interested in or participating in treating severer destructive behavior.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) construct and review strategies for efficiently identifying precursor behaviors for inclusion in functional analysis; (2) weigh the need and impact of including condition relevant mands into the functional analysis evaluation; (3)strategies for implementing BST with caregivers, assessing caregiver fidelity, and optimizing validity and safety in caregiver-implemented functional analysis.
 
Further Evaluation of Trial-Based Precursor Identification Methods
JORDAN DEBRINE (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Seth Walker (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: The precursor functional analysis is used to decrease the occurrence of severe challenging behavior throughout functional assessment. Several researchers have developed empirically based strategies to identify precursors responses. Although empirically based precursor identification strategies are considered more valid than those derived from indirect interviews, little is known about the validity of these methods. Additionally, these methods require behavior analysts to observe several instances of the challenging behavior prior to selecting reliable precursor responses. In this study we evaluated the degree to which the trial-based precursor analysis could be shortened and still accurately identify precursor responses. We then evaluated response class membership of precursor and challenging behavior. We found trial-based precursor analysis could have been shortened for both participants. Last, we found the trial-based precursor assessment identified two false positive precursor responses for one participant. We discuss the implications of these findings and possible future directions of precursor functional analysis research.
 
Reinforcing Condition-Specific Mands and Challenging Behavior Simultaneously During a Functional Analysis
AMANDA MAE MORRIS (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brinea Charles (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Functional analyses are one of the most effective ways to assess challenging behavior. However, clinicians may avoid their use due to the risk of evoking high levels of challenging behavior. Recent research has suggested that programming reinforcement in an open contingency class (i.e., both mild and severe challenging behavior) is one way to mitigate safety risks. One strategy for further mitigation of safety risk may be opening the contingency class to include appropriate behavior, such as mands. Past research on reinforcing mands in an FA have shown mixed outcomes, and this strategy has not been generally endorsed. However, past research has conducted the assessment of mands using closed contingency classes (reinforcing only mands or only challenging behavior), which may have been to the detriment of clear functional outcomes. In the current evaluation, we reinforced condition-specific mands and challenging behavior simultaneously in an FA. Results will be discussed relevant to the validity and safety of opening contingency classes to include mands. Based on our preliminary outcomes, we will also discuss strategies to improve the clarity of analyses with open contingency classes.
 
Assessing Parent Accuracy and Procedural Errors on Implementing a Synthesized Functional Analysis
YENI RAMOS (Southern Illinois University of Carbondale), Lesley A. Shawler (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Parental involvement is significant to the success of developing socially relevant assessments and treatments. In some cases, parents are actually trained to implement the procedures with their children. Thus, parents must participate in a well-established training procedure to reduce the number of errors committed, shape high levels of procedural fidelity, and minimize safety risk to the child and patient. Procedures should be implemented with the highest procedural fidelity possible to ensure the best results (Leon et al. 2018). Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is one method to teach caregivers, who have little to no behavioral experience, how to produce desired results with high procedural fidelity (Miles et al., 2009). The purpose of this study was to teach three parents whose children exhibited challenging behaviors, ranging from tantrums to self-injurious behavior, how to implement the different components of a synthesized functional analysis using BST. Results showed that two parents learned to implement the FA in a few visits and maintained high procedural fidelity when implementing the procedures with their children. One parent needed booster training due to poor procedural fidelity following BST. For all caregivers, we analyzed the specific errors that caregivers most likely made, with implications for treatment development.
 
 
Symposium #299
CE Offered: BACB
Parent Training: Improving Treatment Adherence
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1E/F
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ryan C. Speelman (Pittsburg State University)
CE Instructor: Ryan C. Speelman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

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

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

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

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

Assessing Parents' Attitudes Toward Behavioral Terminology

SETH W. WHITING (Louisiana State University Shreveport)
Abstract:

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

 
 
Symposium #300
CE Offered: BACB
Considerations for Administering and Analyzing the Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Denys Brand (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium includes two talks that provide considerations and guidance for administering the performance diagnostic checklist – human services (PDC-HS; Carr et al., 2013), interpreting the data, and selecting indicated interventions. The PDC-HS is a performance analysis tool designed to assess the environmental variables impacting employee performance problems in human service settings. Numerous researchers have used the results of the PDC-HS to successfully address a variety of performance problems, including problems related to implementing behavior analytic procedures, and adhering to safety measures, as well as workplace cleaning expectations (e.g., Bowe & Sellers, 2018; Ditzian et al., 2015; Wilder et al., 2018; Hess et al., 2019). Although the assessment is valid, limitations related to the objectivity and clarity of its administration, data interpretation, and intervention selection guidelines have been raised (Wilder et al., 2019; 2020). In response, Jimenez will discuss considerations and recommendations for administering the PDC-HS assessment, and Vance will share refinements developed for data interpretation and intervention selection that researchers and practitioners may consider adopting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): PDC-HS, performance analysis, performance management, staff training
Target Audience:

Intermediate

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the typical administering process of the PDC-HS (2) identify how practitioner experience level might impact the accuracy of administering the PDC-HS, and (3) identify at least two refinements that can be applied when analyzing PDC-HS results.
 
Evaluating the Validity and Reliability of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist - Human Services 1.1
SEBASTIAN JIMENEZ (ABA Technologies)
Abstract: The PDC-HS is an informant-based tool used by practitioners in human service settings. A modified PDC-HS 1.1 was used in the present study. The validity and reliability of the PDC-HS 1.1 were measured by analyzing scores obtained while watching simulated interviews between a consultant and supervisor. Three video vignettes were created, each describing a performance concern in one or more areas of the tool. Twenty-one participants watched all vignettes and filled out the tool based on the videos. Validity was measured as the percentage of participants who correctly identified the problematic area(s) in the PDC-HS 1.1. To assess test-retest reliability, participants repeated the assessment about two weeks later. Interrater reliability was measured by pairing participants randomly and comparing scores. Additionally, an intervention-selection component was included to assess whether a corresponding intervention was selected for the indicated domain. Results show about 90% of participants correctly identified the indicated area and 79% selected a relevant intervention. Reliability scores were above 85%, demonstrating that the tool is generally reliable. The results provide support for the use of informant-based assessments in human services settings and suggest that participants with relatively little experience in behavior analysis can conduct assessment interviews accurately and reliably.
 
A Preliminary Investigation of Procedural Refinements to the Performance Diagnostic Checklist - Human Services
HANNA E. VANCE (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The Performance Diagnostic Checklist – Human Services (PDC-HS) is a functional assessment tool used in the field of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) to assess the causes of employee performance problems and to inform intervention development. There are two aspects of the intervention-selection process that could inhibit the objectivity and utility of the tool, particularly for practitioners with limited experience conducting the assessment. Proposed refinements to address these drawbacks include (a) identifying a cutoff threshold to objectively identify the categories requiring intervention based on the PDC-HS outcome, and (b) developing decision-making models to identify a single category that should be the focus of intervention. A between-groups design was used to evaluate the degree to which access to components of these proposed refinements resulted in appropriate intervention selections when practitioners in the field were presented with scenarios derived from published case studies. Secondary analyses investigated the impact of certification and experience variables within this process. Our findings suggested that future applications of the PDC-HS, particularly as it relates to the intervention-selection process, may benefit from the supplemented refinements.
 
 
Invited Tutorial #301
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Culture, Compliance, and Consent
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Amoy K Hugh-Pennie, Ph.D.
Chair: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University)
Presenting Authors: : AMOY K HUGH-PENNIE ( Infinity Behavior LLC, KNHK, BABA Inc.)
Abstract:

As the field of applied behavior analysis has grown exponentially in the last decade there have been greater accusations of past and present abuse and trauma caused by the interventions, strategies, and practitioners of ABA. How best can we address these concerns with a sense of curiosity rather than a defensive posture? Are these just the acts of some inexperienced newbies or evil eugenic founders of science? In this presentation, you will learn some of the histories of abuse and maltreatment of underrepresented groups (specifically BIPOC and disabled individuals). You will gain an understanding of how these learning histories of groups with a shared cultural identity or multiple shared identities lead to mistrust, non-compliance, and lack of consent to evidence-based strategies. Additionally, you will learn how cultural humility, awareness, and culturally relevant practices can improve the acceptance, consent, assent, and ultimately social significance of instructional objectives and outcomes for clients.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA, BCaBA, Teachers, Psychologists, School Administrators or Consultants

Learning Objectives: • Participants will gain a historical context for abuse and maltreatment in the medical, behavioral, and psychological sciences • Participants will learn to recognize signs of consent and assent in verbal and non-verbal clients • Participants will learn how culture affects, compliance, and consent to engage in different strategies and interventions • Participants will learn how to engage in culturally humble practices that can improve interpersonal and collaborative relationships leading to increased social significance and client success • Participants will learn to identify culturally significant instruction to improve programming
 
AMOY K HUGH-PENNIE ( Infinity Behavior LLC, KNHK, BABA Inc.)
Dr. Hugh-Pennie determined her purpose in life was to change the world through the science of behavior and education. In dedicating herself to this purpose, she has spent the last 25+ years disseminating ABA and incorporating evidence-based ABA practices in special education from early intervention to university settings across a diverse range of learners in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong (SAR), China. Her experience in clinical training, organizational systems management, evidence-based data decision analysis, and program evaluation has led to verifiable positive results for clients and improved parent satisfaction in non-profit, private clinical practice, and school programs for whom she has been in key leadership positions. Amoy is currently an Instructor for the QABA/ QBS program for Knowledge Express Hong Kong (KNHK). She is a past President of the Hong Kong Association for Behavior Analysis, a former ABAI Program Board Member, and the current Clinical Director of Infinity Behavior LLC in Central Florida. She earned her Ph.D. in 2007 from Columbia University where she completed her research under the tutelage of Dr. R. Douglas Greer on the “Effects of Auditory Consequences on Non-Contextual Verbal Behavior: Palilalia." She holds an M.Ed. in Instructional Practice and Curricular Design and BS in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. She has held the rank of Assistant Professor in the Departments of Education and Educational Psychology: Inclusive Special Education at Mercy College, Brock University, and the University of Western Ontario. She is a certified Special Education Teacher (K-12) in the US, Canada, and Hong Kong. She founded the Verbal Behavior Student Research Competition of the VB-SIG (est. 2002) dedicated to increasing student research in verbal behavior. She has served as an invited reviewer and/or held positions on the editorial review boards of several peer-reviewed journals including The Journal for Early Intensive Behavior Intervention, Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Global Education Review. Dr. Hugh-Pennie is currently on the Advisory Board of the Black Applied Behavior Analysts, Inc. working towards increasing Black students,mentors and professionals in the field of ABA. Her recent publications include topics of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and ABA , Women's Experiences in Academia, Reading Instruction, and Consulting with Schools.
 
 
Invited Paper Session #302
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Research Synthesis in Applied Behavior Analysis: Best Practices for Conducting Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 2/3
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Mikhail Koffarnus (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Michael Amlung, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MICHAEL AMLUNG (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Advancing research and clinical practice in applied behavior analysis requires critical evaluation and integration of the scientific literature. Synthesizing research across published and unpublished studies enables behavior analysts to make evidence-based decisions in clinical practice, evaluate potential sources of bias in the literature, and identify critical gaps in our understanding of behavioral science. Two common research synthesis approaches include systematic reviews and quantitative meta-analyses. These types of studies are distinct from other literature reviews due to their adherence to strict guidelines for conducting comprehensive literature searches, article screening, data extraction, data analysis, and reporting of results. This presentation will discuss the strengths and limitations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in behavior analysis, with an emphasis on methodological recommendations and practical tools. Specific topics will include choosing a research question and defining the scope of the review, pre-registration, and adhering to international guidelines for conducting literature searches, study selection, data extraction, evaluating study quality and publication bias. An overview of common quantitative analyses used in meta-analyses and effective ways to present results will also be discussed. Finally, the presenter will share his experiences with software and database management tools for increasing efficiency and transparency at each phase of the review. Examples from published systematic-reviews and meta-analyses from the presenter’s research on behavioral economics of substance use and psychiatric disorders team will be discussed to illustrate the promise and pitfalls of these studies. The overall goal of this presentation is to provide attendees with methodological techniques for conducting reviews which can be translated to their respective specialty areas in applied behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and basic researchers with at basic, intermediate, and advanced experience levels. No prior experience with systematic reviews or quantitative analyses is required, but familiarity will be helpful for some of the advanced topics.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Discuss the strengths and limitations of conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses to advance research and clinical practice in applied behavior analysis; (2) Evaluate the importance of transparency and scientific rigor by discussing international guidelines for conducting systematic reviews and the role of pre-registration; (3) Determine best practices for conducting a review from start-to-finish, including defining a research question, conducting literature searches, study screening, data extraction and analysis, evaluating bias, and presenting results; (4) Acquire basic familiarity with available software and database tools for conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
 
MICHAEL AMLUNG (University of Kansas)
Dr. Michael Amlung is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas (KU). He also is the Associate Director for Training of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at KU. He received a M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology with a concentration in behavioral and brain sciences from the University of Georgia, followed by a NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri. Prior to joining the faculty at KU, Dr. Amlung was a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University (Ontario, Canada). Dr. Amlung's research program examines the behavioral and neurobiological basis of addictive disorders and related mental health disorders, with an emphasis on behavioral economics and motivation for addictive substances. His research uses a variety of techniques including cue-exposure and self-administration studies in simulated bar and vaping cue laboratories, functional and structural brain imaging, and conducting research syntheses via systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
 
 
Symposium #303
CE Offered: BACB
Moving the Agenda Forward: Facilitating Autonomy and Self-Management in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Behavioral Challenges
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4C/D
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Erik Jacobson (Upstate Caring Partners)
Discussant: Troy A Fry (Essential For Living)
CE Instructor: Erik Jacobson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will cover the need for advocacy and policy change related to adults with autism spectrum disorders. The talks will focus on specific interventions that target high risk aggressive behavior and the manner in which these issues can be addressed through the use of a comprehensive treatment package that is steeped in applied behavior analysis. The indications for organizations and the population of adults will be evaluated within its broader context. The symposium will also discuss the application of a specific curriculum for use with the adult population with ASD and other intellectual disabilities. The Assessment of Adult Core Competencies Curriculum for Clients with Severe Aggression (ACCEA), as well as The Skills Based Treatment model (SBT) will be detailed as they are employed in active treatment settings to enhance autonomy for those that serve adult populations.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Adult Curriculum, Adults/Autism, Community Inclusion, Problem Behavior
Target Audience:

Participants will be able to identify proactive approaches to problem behavior. Participants will be able to select effective Organizational Behavior Management techniques. Participants will be familiar with the Skills Based Training (SBT) approach.

Learning Objectives: • Participants will label objectives and goals of Universal Protocol • Participants will identify steps to implement Universal Protocol in congregate care settings • Participants will be presented outcomes related to implementation of Universal Protocol in settings where adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are served.
 

The Assessment of Adult Core Competencies (ACCEA): Building Autonomy and Community Inclusion for Adults With Autism and Behavioral Challenges

JOHN M. GUERCIO (Benchmark Human Services)
Abstract:

This presentation will cover the need for advocacy and organizational change related to adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and problem behavior. The talk will focus on specific interventions that target high risk aggressive behavior and the manner in which these issues can be addressed through the use of a comprehensive treatment package that targets some of the crucial outcome areas that are important for adults with autism or other Intellectual Disabilities. Specific clinical applications of the Assessment of Adult Core Competencies Curriculum (ACCEA) will be detailed along with the socially valid outcomes that were observed for each case. The indications for organizations and the population of adults with ASD will be evaluated within a broader context. The application of the ACCEA curriculum will also be detailed as it applies to specific outcome areas that are crucial for community inclusion for adults with ASD that display problem behavior.

 

The Universal Protocol: Building a Culture That Fosters Agency and Autonomy for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

JON HORN (Upstate Caring Partners)
Abstract:

Building autonomy or safely addressing behavioral challenges in congregate care requires continuity between clinical interventions and the day-to-day behaviors of direct support professionals. The Universal Protocol can fill this gap, teaching interactions that are safe, dignifying, and relationship-based. This talk will describe the Universal Protocol and the role it plays as both a cultural foundation for an organization and the first step to an integrated skill-based teaching model for adults with (and without) behavioral challenges. Additionally, the talk will highlight the introduction of Universal Protocol to Upstate Cerebral Palsy over the past few years and its impact on various outcome measures such as restraint reduction and staff satisfaction.

 

Understanding Synthesized Reinforcement and Using an Omnibus Mand to Teach Self-Advocacy to Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Behavioral Challenges

MARA VANDERZELL (Upstate Caring Partners)
Abstract:

This talk will discuss the conceptualization of synthesized reinforcement contexts for adults with limited sense of agency and expressing choice who also display significant aggressive behavior. Further, this talk will underscore the importance of teaching an omnibus mand through Skills-based Treatment (SBT) to those with limited communication repertoires in order to promote autonomy and self-advocacy in congregate care and educational settings.

 
Using the Assessment of Adult Core Competencies (ACCEA) to Promote Independence: Success Stories and Implications for the Field
VALERIA PASCALE (ABA for Disability)
Abstract: Starting from adolescence, parents' expectations increase and the concerns about their future are based on many factors directly related to their independence, autonomy, and integration into the community. In the presence of a diagnosis of autism and severe problem behaviors these results seem to be unattainable. This talk will be covering the role that ACCEA curriculum plays in define the goals for adolescents and adults’ intervention to be effective in improving the quality life of the individual and his caregivers.
 
 
Symposium #304
CE Offered: BACB
Condiments to Keep On Hand: Considerations and Enhancements for Escape Extinction With Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 5-7
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Meara X. H. McMahon (Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz & Stanford University School of Medicine )
CE Instructor: Meeta R. Patel, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Escape extinction is widely used in intensive multidisciplinary feeding programs to treat various topographies of food refusal, presumed to be reinforced by escape or avoidance of the mealtime context (Saini et al., 2019; Sharp et al., 2010). In this symposium, presenters will discuss a range of additives to escape extinction for treating problematic behavior exhibited by children diagnosed with pediatric feeding disorder. Presenters will begin with an overview of the existing literature on the effects of treatment with and without escape extinction on inappropriate mealtime behavior and present on a clinical dataset in which response covariation was an observed side effect. Presenters will transition to discussing how noncontingent reinforcement may mitigate negative side effects associated with escape extinction and the use of a modified bolus placement to assist with reducing expels and packing.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): escape extinction, feeding disorder, response covariation
Target Audience:

Researchers and clinicians interested in learning more about considerations for the use of escape extinction in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Understand the existing research on the efficacy of treating pediatric feeding disorders with and without escape extinction; (2) Identify behavioral side effects that may arise with escape extinction; (3) State methods on improving outcomes for the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders.
 

On the Efficacy of Treating Escape-Maintained Inappropriate Mealtime Behavior

VICTORIA SCOTT (Brock University), Valdeep Saini (Brock University), Micaela Totino (Brock University)
Abstract:

Inappropriate mealtime behavior (IMB) is a type of feeding challenge within the broader class of food refusal behavior. Although there have been some single-case studies examining the extent to which behavioural interventions can aide in reducing IMB, the relative efficacy and generality of these studies is unclear. The purpose of this systematic review was to critically analyze the efficacy of interventions for the treatment of IMB through a meta-analysis of single-subject experimental designs. We identified 38 studies involving 307 cases in which IMB was treated with a behavioral intervention. Results indicated that combined escape extinction and non-escape extinction interventions had greater effect sizes than escape extinction alone or non-escape extinction alone. Escape extinction alone had greater effects sizes compared to non-escape extinction alone. However, escape extinction alone resulted in a higher percentage of negative side effects compared to non-escape extinction alone and combined interventions. We discuss the implications of these findings and provide recommendations for future research.

 

Desirable and Undesirable Response Covariation During Early Stages of Treatment

CHRISTOPHER W ENGLER (Children's Specialized Hosptial), Brittany Jean Martino (Childrens Specialized Hospital), Karly Barreto (Children's Specialized Hospital), Jaime Crowley-Zalaket (Children's Specialized Hospital), Kathryn M. Peterson (Rutgers University and Children's Specialized Hospital)
Abstract:

Escape extinction is a well-established treatment for increasing acceptance and decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior of children with feeding disorders. Sevin et al. (2002) found that when extinction was in place, both desired (acceptance) and undesired (expel, packing) behavior increased during the initial three sessions. In the current study, we assessed response covariation of both desired and undesired behavior during extinction-based treatment of inappropriate mealtime behavior. We analyzed the data of 60 children with food refusal, liquid refusal, or both, resulting in 90 data sets. We observed an extinction burst in 7% of data sets. During these initial sessions, we also observed an increase in or emergence of other undesired behavior (expel, packing; 81%, 47%, respectively), as well as an increase in desired behavior (acceptance, consumption; 44%, 70%, respectively). We analyzed the efficiency and stability of treatment effects and will discuss these findings to provide an all-encompassing review of child behavior during extinction.

 

A Review and Evaluation of the Use of Noncontingent Reinforcement in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders

ANGIE VAN ARSDALE (University of Florida), Nicole Perrino (Florida Autism Center, University of Florida), Faith Kirkland (Florida Autism Center, a division of BlueSprig Pediatrics, University of South Florida), Ronald J. Clark (University of Florida), Vivian F Ibanez (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Adding noncontingent reinforcement to escape extinction might result in lower levels of inappropriate mealtime behavior, negative vocalizations, or both for children with feeding disorders. Unfortunately, making firm conclusions about the role of noncontingent reinforcement is difficult because of the minimal number of systematic evaluations and the procedural variations across studies. We also do not know whether the removal of noncontingent reinforcement results in undesirable side effects and how children with feeding disorders respond to treatment components that may be necessary, like schedule thinning. Therefore, we first conducted a concise review of the feeding literature and found that only five studies directly evaluated noncontingent reinforcement with and without escape extinction. However, 8 out of 10 randomly selected studies from 2017-2022 incorporated some type of noncontingent reinforcement arrangement (e.g., attention, tangibles). Finally, we compared escape extinction alone and escape extinction with noncontingent reinforcement on the acceptance, inappropriate mealtime behavior, and negative vocalizations across two sets of foods with a 3-year-old male enrolled in a day-treatment feeding program. So far, results indicate that both treatments produced clinically meaningful outcomes, but we observed fewer bouts of negative vocalizations during escape extinction plus noncontingent reinforcement. Additional findings and implications will be discussed.

 

Flipped E-Z Spoon® as a Utensil for Modified Bolus Placement in Feeding Treatment

AMY K. DRAYTON (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute )
Abstract:

Placement of bites on the tongue has been evaluated as an initial treatment for pediatric feeding disorder (Ibañez, 2021; Wilkins et al., 2014), specifically for decreasing packing and expulsion. When evaluating modified bolus placement, previous studies have typically compared flipped and upright baby or maroon spoons and Nuk presentation. However, Bloomfield et al. (2021) included a comparison between a Nuk and flipped E-Z spoon for both initial bolus placement and redistribution of packed food for one of their participants with severe oral-motor skills deficits, which introduced a potential new tool to the field. The purpose of the current study is to extend Ibañez et al. (2021) and Bloomfield et al. (2021) by evaluating the effectiveness of the E-Z spoon as a tool for modified bolus placement in the initial treatment of children with pediatric feeding disorder.

 
 
Symposium #306
CE Offered: BACB
Advances in Establishing and Arranging Conditioned Reinforcers for Individuals with IDD: Bridging the Research to Practice Gap
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1A/B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Yanerys Leon (University of Miami)
Discussant: Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)
CE Instructor: Yanerys Leon, Ph.D.
Abstract: Conditioned reinforcers are among the mostly commonly used reinforcers in practice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Graff & Karsten, 2012). Despite their widespread use there are few empirical guidelines for how best to establish and arrange these reinforcers for individuals with limited language. The presentations in this symposium will broadly describe new research spanning establishing and arranging conditioned reinforcers including a) a systematic review of methods to establish conditioned reinforcers, b) effects of novel and interested-based tokens on skill acquisition, c) effects of token production delays on skill acquisition, and d) preference for fixed versus varied exchange production schedules.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): conditioned reinforcers, pairing, tokens
Target Audience: Practicing BCBAs who design programs that include conditioned reinforcers. Applied behavior analysis researchers.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the most commonly reported pairing procedures used to establishing conditioned reinforcers. 2. Describe the influence of token type (i.e., novel or interested based) on skill acquisition and handling time. 3. Describe the impact of token production delays on skill acquisition. 4. Describe how token economies can be used to study other behavioral phenomena (e.g., preference for fixed versus variable outcomes).
 

A Systematic Review of Pairing Procedures for Establishing Conditioned Reinforcers for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

TRACY ARGUETA (Marcus Autism Center, Emory School of Medicine), Brian Reichow (UConn Health), Paige Talhelm (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Establishing conditioned reinforcers is often a critical step in service delivery for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Therefore, identifying effective procedures for establishing conditioned reinforcers is critical. In this review, we systematically searched the literature for published and unpublished single-case design studies that evaluated stimulus-stimulus (S-S) pairing, response-stimulus (R-S) pairing, and/or operant discrimination training (ODT) for establishing conditioned reinforcers for individuals with ASD and/or IDDs. We searched two electronic databases for studies that included pre- and post-pairing measurements of responding that resulted in access to the stimulus targeted for conditioning. Thirty-one studies, including twelve theses and dissertations, met inclusion criteria. Eight studies evaluated S-S pairing, 20 evaluated R-S pairing, and nine evaluated ODT. Combined, S-S pairing, R-S pairing and ODT were effective at establishing conditioned reinforcers only about half the time. However, analyses of the effectiveness of each procedure indicate that R-S pairing is the most effective of the three procedures.

 

The Effects of Novel and Interest-Based Tokens on Skill Acquisition and Handling Time

Nathalie Fernandez (Kenndey Krieger), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Garret Hack (University of Florida), ZHIBO RONG (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

We recently surveyed certified clinicians about their commonly used practices when training and implementing token economies with individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Overwhelmingly, clinicians reported selecting stimuli to be used as tokens based on the learner’s existing interests (e.g., characters, animals, etc.). Additionally, clinicians reported that learners are allowed to manipulate tokens during both token production and exchange. Tokens based on a learner’s interest (i.e., interest-based tokens) have been demonstrated to produce greater increases in the levels of on-task behavior compared to novel tokens (Carnett et al., 2014) Interest-based tokens have also been shown to increase correct responding, relative to pre-existing tokens, within the context of skill acquisition (Charlop-Christy & Haymes, 1998). However, several limitations in both Carnett et al. (2014) and Charlop-Christy and Haymes (1998) limit the conclusions that can be drawn to inform clinical practice. The present study evaluated that how novel and interest-based tokens affect skill acquisition with three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Results suggest that the type of stimuli used as a token does not have a significant effect on skill acquisition but can produce longer handling times which can result in fewer learning opportunities across time. Suggestions for clinical practice and future research will be discussed.

 

Effects of Token Production Delays on Skill Acquisition During Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI)

ELISA ALONSO DUQUE (University of Miami), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Yamna Zaman (University of Miami), Miranda Aryn Sadlow (University of Miami)
Abstract:

We examined the effects of token production delays on the rate of skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction (DTI) for three children with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). We used a multielement design to compare the rate of skill acquisition in a DTI with accumulated reinforcers context across three conditions: a) immediate reinforcement; B) 5-s token-production delay; and c) 10-s s token-production delay. All participants acquired the skills more quickly in the immediate reinforcement condition. Delays of both 5 s and 10 s decreased the efficiency and efficacy of skill acquisition for all participants.

 

Further Evaluation of Fixed Versus Variable Exchange Production Schedules

FRANCHESCA IZQUIERDO (Florida Institute of Technology), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Miranda Aryn Sadlow (University of Miami)
Abstract:

Basic research has shown that nonhuman animals generally display a preference for variable ratio (VR) rather than fixed ratio (FR) schedules of reinforcement, particularly when low individual ratios are included (Field et al., 1996). Minimal applied research has investigated preference for these schedules among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) despite a clinical phenotype that suggests a general preference for sameness (which may theoretically extend to a preference for fixed schedules). In a preliminary investigation of second-order schedule effects within a token economy, Argueta et al., (2019) found a similar preference for VR rather than FR schedules for their participant with ASD. This study extends Argueta et al. by evaluating preference for FR and VR exchange schedules across an escalating range of exchange ratios within a token economy. We used a concurrent chains assessment to evaluate preference for FR or VR exchange-production schedules of reinforcement at equal ratios of 5 and 10. Preliminary results did not indicate a strong preference for either schedule at a ratio of 5, however an increase to a ratio of 10 resulted in an emergence of preference.

 
 
Symposium #307
CE Offered: BACB
Technology and Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom B
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Makenzie Heatherly (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: Zachary Harrison Morford (Texas Association for Behavior Analysis)
CE Instructor: Makenzie Heatherly, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will feature four presentations on the use of technology in behavior analytic research and practice. The first two presentations will focus on the use of virtual reality, specifically as it relates to learning and teacher acceptability and interventions for delay discounting. The final two presentations will focus on video game play, specifically as it relates to assessments of audience effects and reactions and stimulus control of response variability. A discussion of these presentations will follow.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): audience reaction, delay discounting, response variability, virtual reality
Target Audience:

The current symposium is an intermediate level discussion of the use of technology in applied behavior analysis. Participants should have familiarity with behavior analysis, common research designs in behavior-analytic research and practice, have a passing familiarity with gamification in research, and be interested in how technology can be added to evaluations of behavioral processes.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how pre-service educator's view the acceptability and social validly of training in virtual environments, (2) identify current research related to virtual reality and episodic future thinking; (3) identify how audience reactions impact gaming performance; and (4) identify at least one variable that can impact stimulus control of variability in a video game
 
Evaluating Pre-Service Educator Acceptability for Learning in Virtual Settings
HAYLEE HELLER (University of Utah), Aaron J. Fischer (University of Utah)
Abstract: There is a dramatic shortage of special education teachers across grade levels, and attrition is extraordinarily high due to Stress and teacher burnout. This phenomenon emerges due to disruptive behavior in the classroom—many times behaviors educators are not trained or prepared to manage. To address training for educators around appropriate behavior management virtual training environments (VTEs) are well-suited to augment behavioral skills training that typically requires intensive human interaction. Before using VTEs to train teachers on how to manage disruptive behavior, educators could simulate high-stakes, stressful, potentially dangerous scenarios in a safe, highly controlled environment. VTEs thus afford socially valid rehearsal, and highly-precise personalized feedback. This study evaluated 50 educators acceptability for training in a VTE prior to, and after exposure to a virtual environment. Results from the Technology Acceptance Model Fast Form showed a significant increase in acceptability of training in VTEs, after exposure to the virtual environment. Considerations for simulation development are discussed
 

Episodic Future Thinking and Its Relationship to Immersion in Virtual Reality Environments

EMMA PRESTON (Dartmouth College), Sylvia Xueni Pan (Goldsmiths University of London), P. Raymond Joslyn (Utah State University), Milad Najafichaghabouri (Utah State University ), Sara Peck (USU; NECC; WNE)
Abstract:

Episodic future thinking (EFT) has been shown to be an effective way to reduce delay discounting, which is correlated to a number of maladaptive behaviors related to impulsive choice. EFT uses a narrative interview method that maps well onto factors related to immersion in virtual reality. Virtual reality has been used in psychological and neurocognitive interventions due to those immersive properties, however has yet to be used as a method of EFT delivery. Therefore, we ask if virtual reality will be an effective method of delivery of EFT, and if this reduction will have a relationship with individual levels of immersion in virtual reality reported. Using a pre-post measure of discounting, preliminary research suggests that individuals who experience EFT in a virtual reality setting see a reduction in delay discounting, however more research must be done to further understand the relationship between changes in discounting and reported levels of immersion.

 
Evaluation of Audience Presence and Reactions on Performance in a Virtual Gaming Environment
NATHAN WEBER (University of Alaska Anchorage), Makenzie Heatherly (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: Audience effects are described as any change in performance that results from the presence of one or more spectators, and these effects have been demonstrated many times in the sports literature. Although these data suggest the presence of an audience affects performance, audiences are generally not silent and the reactions from an audience might also impact performance. Few researchers have attempted to isolate the effects of audience reactions on performance. In response, this pilot project compared the effects of audience presence (presence v. absence) and audience reactions (cheers v. jeers v. silence) on gaming performance. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three virtual games created in Minecraft, and performance accuracy (Archery and Free Throw) and duration to successful completion (Walk-the-Line) were monitored. During baseline, participants completed the assigned game alone and there were no programmed consequences for accurate performance or successful completion. Next, participants completed the assigned game with a virtual audience present three times. Following accurate performance, the audience either did nothing (Silent) or provided positive (Cheer) or negative (Jeer) statements. Our findings indicate that previous results isolating audience reactions might be the product of practice effects across conditions rather than the differential effects of audience reaction types.
 

Discriminative Control of Variability in Video Game Play

JOSEPH D. DRACOBLY (University of North Texas), Gabriela Arias (University of North Texas), Madison Majeski-Gerken (University of North Texas), Scott Charles Robinson (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Creativity can be a useful skill in today’s classrooms and workplaces. Behavioral variability, something different from the norm, may be an aspect of creativity. Much behavior analytic research on behavioral variability involves response sequences, a response form that could limit applicability of findings to the everyday environment. To address this, we replicated Page and Neuringer (1985, Experiment 6) by investigating stimulus control of variability in a video game. Participants played a 2D online video game made in Bloxels. Patterns of alternating colors served as the discriminative stimuli for the vary and repeat components. Three parameters of variability were measured (e.g., left jumps, right jumps, and double jumps). The results of the study indicate that participants were able to learn the discrimination of when to repeat and vary their responses depending on which colored platform they encountered. We will discuss practical implications of rapid stimulus control of non-sequence variability.

 
 
Symposium #309
CE Offered: BACB
Applications and Extensions of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Discussant: Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
CE Instructor: Kent Johnson, Ph.D.
Abstract: The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction (MMGI) delineates evidence-based teaching, practice, measurement and assessment procedures, and sound instructional design practices to produce superior learner performance. This symposium will focus on several aspects of the model. First, Guy Bruce will describe an organizational performance engineering system to evaluate and alter instruction based upon frequent measurement of learner performance. The system changes how providers work together so that every student makes efficient progress. Second, Andrew Kieta will describe recent extensions of Morningside’s procedures and to make it more likely that learners will apply what they have been taught in novel, real-world circumstances. These extensions also justify new generalization concepts. Third, Adam Hockman will illustrate how he uses Morningside’s assessment, measurement, and instructional design procedures to sharpen and extend advanced concert musicians’ performances. Finally, Kelsia King will describe a video conferencing process for implementing Morningside procedures to teach math in elementary schools in South Africa.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Professionals interested in behavioral education, direct instruction, Precision teaching/frequency building, special education, general education, and decision making. Audience should have a basic understanding of applied behavior analysis as applied to academic learning behavior.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. List and describe the four EARS repertoires for pragmatic decision making, 2. Define simple generative responding and describe procedures for teaching students how to engage in simple generative responding, and 3. Describe how to use the Standard Celeration Chart as a measurement and decision making tool for music performances.
 
Evaluate Student Progress: A Pragmatic Approach
(Theory)
GUY S. BRUCE (Appealing Solutions, LLC)
Abstract: A pragmatic school uses it EARS to Evaluate student progress using frequent, accurate, sensitive measures, and when a student is not making efficient progress towards mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful life, Analyzes teacher performance problems, using direct measures to identify the causes of can-do, know-how, and want-problems, Recommends changes in teacher resources, training, and management, and Solves teacher performance problems by designing and implementing recommended solutions. EARS is an organizational performance engineering process that changes how providers work together so that every student makes efficient progress. A school that does not evaluate each student’s progress using frequent, accurate sensitive measures of student behavior change and make changes in teacher resources, training, and management when a student is not making efficient progress, will be unable to ensure that every student makes efficient progress. This talk will address the following questions: Why are frequent, accurate, sensitive measures of student progress necessary to ensure that every student makes efficient progress? How do these measures differ from the usual measures that schools collect to evaluate student progress? Why does a pragmatic school need to evaluate the efficiency of student progress?
 
Promoting Real-World Application After Instruction: Structured Forms, Cognitive Strategy Instruction, Think-Alouds, and Delayed Prompting
(Theory)
ANDREW ROBERT KIETA (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Effective people engage in behaviors they were previously taught under a vastly wider variety of contexts than those presented in classrooms. We call applying the same behavior we were taught in a new context simple generative responding. To promote simple generative responding, most teachers provide suggestions or wisdom to students about applying the behaviors elsewhere. Some learners need only a few models to successfully apply the skills that they have been taught. However, a fully functional analysis must include more than hope for application. Even if they performed well during instruction, many learners require explicit instruction in knowing how, when, and why to apply their instructed skills. At Morningside Academy we have developed a Generative Instruction model for teaching learners to engage in application as well as novel behavior. Success in simple generative responding begins with designing progressions of “structured forms” that gradually approximate real-life events, and implementing two procedures to facilitate application: Cognitive Strategy Instruction with teacher think alouds to broaden the context in which a skill is initially taught, and delayed prompting to guide application of the skill in new contexts.
 
Generative Practice Strategies for Advanced Concert Musicians
(Service Delivery)
ADAM HOCKMAN (MGH Institute of Health Professions & ABA Technologies)
Abstract: Experienced musicians often have limited practice skill and strategy repertoires. Many rely on trial and error and advice from teachers. When those methods don’t work, it’s easy for students to get stuck and frustrated. This session presents the work from a practice and performance analytics course taught at the Heifetz International Music Institute. The course combined elements of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction (MMGI) to close skill gaps, boost confidence, and achieve generative outcomes with aspiring concert musicians ages 8–30. By using component-composite analysis, explicit instruction, frequency building, and application exercises, musicians learned to identify and analyze performance problems, select and implement interventions, and measure the outcomes of their efforts. Performance data and work samples demonstrate the efficacy of teaching students to master their own practice and performance journeys.
 

Adding to a Maths Program: Charles Duna Primary School, Gqeberha, South Africa and Partnerships for Educational Excellence and Research (PEER) International

(Service Delivery)
KELSIA LAUREN KING (Jumpstart Autism Center), Nombuelo Sume (Charles Duna Primary School), Jarren Gangiah (Charles Duna Primary School), Joanne K. Robbins (Morningside Academy & PEER International), Leah Herzog (Morningside Academy / PEER International)
Abstract:

In collaboration with educators in the Eastern Cape townships of South Africa since 2004, PEER International (Partnerships for Educational Excellence and Research) has shared the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. Professional development and coaching sessions were held in Gqebehra (formerly Port Elizabeth) utilizing a train-the-trainer model. Shifting from a focus on literacy to numeracy, video conferencing was employed during the pandemic with educators at Charles Duna Primary School and educators in the U.S. The effort blended the South African curricula from Maths Rainbow, Singapore Math and Spring Math, and analyzed objectives from a component - composite approach. The initial 2022 inquiry from the faculty of Charles Duna was to find a maths related resource similar to Headsprout, the reading program provided to PEER schools who had computers and internet access. Math Playground was made available, however, it is not a programmed sequence and more explicit instruction was needed. Diagnostic assessments, administered in isiXhosa, had to be translated to inform the video conferencing sessions. Unlike the United States, standardized testing and curriculum-based assessments are not readily available. The pilot program presented here will be implemented in the 2023 school year in maths instruction from Grade R (Reception) through Grade 7.

 
 
Symposium #310
CE Offered: BACB
Exploring the Versatility of Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 29, 2023
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: TBA/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sarah Kern (University of Missouri St. Louis )
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, M.S.
Abstract:

Behavior analysis is often primarily associated with behavior interventions for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. However, behavior analysis is a field with great potential to positively impact many other fields and populations. This symposium will focus on the implementation of behavior analysis in a variety of settings. In the first presentation, Dr. Nicole Pfaller-Sadovsky will present on the use of behavior-analytic principles to intervene in undesired behavior exhibited by companion dogs and explore aspects of those interventions that promote feasible implementation and effectiveness. In the second talk, Dr. Andresa De