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.

39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Program by Day for Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Manage My Personal Schedule

 

Symposium #406
Teaching Essential Skills to Children With Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
208 C-D (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Janine Shapiro (The Applied Behavior Center)
Abstract:

The Applied Behavior Center for Autism (ABC) provides eight hours per day of ABA therapy to more than eighty children between the ages of 2 and 19 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Two of the most pressing concerns cited by parents of new clients include toileting and speech deficits. This symposium focuses on behavioral programs delivered by ABC to address these two areas of need. Four presentations, twenty minutes each will cover the topics. The first presentation focuses on a profiling system for determining a child's current speech skills, appropriate goals for future progress, how to allocate resources across different methods of speaking, and behavioral procedures to help clients reach speech targets. The second presentation discusses a program for using features of speech topography on the word level within sign language, to help the user self-prompt accurate and clear speech forms. The latter two talks will describe the toilet training protocol at ABC, including specific case studies, and how the protocol had to be modified for the specific clients presented.

 

A Profiling System for Assessing and Treating Speech in Children With Developmental Disabilities

JANINE SHAPIRO (The Applied Behavior Center)
Abstract:

Children with developmental disabilities, including autism, frequently present as non-verbal or with significant speech errors. This first presentation will discuss a profiling system for classifying the speech-langauge skills of children with speech-language deficits. Based on the profile determined, behavioral strategies provided to improve the child's repetition and/or the clarity of the child's speech are given. In addition, suggestions for division of limited therapy resources based on profile presentation and a target trajectory for each profile are listed. The presenter, a speech-language pathologist and board certified behavior analyst will discuss speech-language pathology literature that supports the use of non-verbal methods of communication to increase spoken language. In addition, the presenter will caution the audience about popular practices in the field of speech-language pathology that are not evidence-based.

 
ABC's Toilet Training Protocol
ALYSIA FUHRMANN (The Applied Behavior Center)
Abstract: Being toilet trained is an important step towards a better quality of life for individuals and their caregivers. This presentation will review a toilet training protocol created by the Applied Behavior Center for Autism. This protocol has been used to toilet train well over 60 individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including those whose parents had previously used different protocols or approaches with limited to no success. This protocol is broken into three phases. Phase one, pre-toilet training, includes meeting with the parents, preparing the environment, and having potential reinforcers on deprivation. Phase two is broken into two parts; During part one errorless teaching is used and during part two the child begins to learn the mand for the toilet. Phase three, adapted from a well-researched toileting protocol, involves modifying the reinforcement contingenies from urinating and defecating on the toilet to not having any accidents while off the toilet, as well as an overcorrection procedure for any accidents.
 

Lessons Learned From Toilet Training Experiences at ABC

WHITNEY SMALL (The Applied Behavior Center for Autism)
Abstract:

This presentation will discuss different contingency adjustments made to the Applied Behavior Center for Autism's toileting protocol. While this protocol has been successful for numerous individuals without requiring any major modifications, there have been a handful of cases that require a more individualized approach. Some of these cases include children whose parents had been told by other professionals, including neurologists, that their child was incapable of being toilet trained due to either the location of damage in the brain or due to their diagnosis. These modifications have included not having potential reinforcers on deprivation prior to beginning the toilet training procedure, skipping the errorless teaching component and moving to a schedule, not implementing an overcorrection procedure for toileting accidents, and even implementing different punishment procedures for toileting accidents. As unexpected barriers become evident, such as a child being extremely averse to underwear or extremely averse to urinating on the toilet, other procedures, such as systematic desensitization, have needed to be used in addition to the toilet training protocol.

 
Using Sign Language to Prompt Vocal Speech Forms
EMILY SCHOTT SEARS (The Applied Behavior Center for Autism)
Abstract: Often times, the absence of vocal verbal behavior in children with autism leave minimally vocal children without an effective form of communication. Many of these children are taught an alternative form of communication, such as sign language in order to increase language and produce a functional communication repertoire. However many times, once an alternative form of communication is chosen, it is difficult to prompt both the vocal and non-vocal speech forms. A single-subject design was completed in order to demonstrate acquisition of vocal speech in children with limited vocalizations. This was accomplished by matching specific features of sign language topographies to similar features of speech topographies in order to facilitate the child in the acquisition of vocal speech as well as to teach self-prompting of his own vocalizations.
 
 
Symposium #407
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
205 C-D (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Discussant: William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Meeta R. Patel, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Children with autism often have various feeding difficulties such as eating very minimal by mouth but a more common feeding problem in children with autism is food selectivity by type or texture. Typically these feeding problems may be treated by a behavior analyst; however, some feeding problems in children with autism may be more severe which may involve treatment by an interdisciplinary team including a gastroenterologist, speech therapist/occupational therapist, dietician, and behavior analyst. This symposium will present data from three different intensive interdisciplinary feeding programs. The purpose of this symposium is to present data on the assessment and treatment of feeding problems in children with autism. The first presentation will focus on treatment for food selectivity and rigidity along with an evaluation on medication compliance in children with autism. The second presentation will focus on comparing two different physical guidance procedures in the treatment of food refusal. The last presentation will focus on outcome measure data for children with autism who received treatment in an intensive clinic-based feeding program.

 

Decreasing Selectivity and Rigidity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

MICHELLE L. WADDELL (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz), Stephanie Miller (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Abstract:

Children with autism often display food selectivity by type (e.g., only eating starchy foods), texture (e.g., only eating crunchy foods) or presentation method (e.g., only eating white foods). In addition to these feeding problems, children with autism may also display inappropriate behaviors (e.g., screaming, crying, noncompliance) associated with medication administration. The purpose of this presentation is discuss various treatment options for children with autism who engage in these types of inappropriate behaviors associated with eating and medication administration. Two case studies will be presented in this presentation. Food selectivity for the first participant (Ray) was treated with escape extinction, choice, bite fading, skills training for chewing, and reinforcement. In baseline Ray was only consuming 9 different foods which were primarily fruits and pasta and after 2 month follow-up he was consuming 28 different foods from all four food groups. In addition, Ray would not swallow his anti-seizure medication in a timely manner. A medication evaluation using a reversal design was employed. In baseline, duration to consume the medication was over one hour. Duration to consume medication decreased to an average of 3 minutes with the use of a visual prompt, reinforcement, self-monitoring, and avoidance. Food selectivity for the second participant (Matt) was treated with a choice paradigm and a token economy. Escape extinction was not implemented in Matts treatment. In baseline, Matt was consuming only 1 food and all of his nutrition was coming from milk and after 5-month follow-up he was consuming 25 different foods.

 

A Comparison of Two Physical Guidance Procedures in the Treatment of Pediatric Food Refusal

CARRIE S.W. BORRERO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), G. Joseph Schlereth (The Auburn School), Emily K. Rubio (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tessa Christine Taylor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Research has shown that physical guidance procedures can be effective in the treatment of severe pediatric food refusal. Researchers evaluating the use of physical guidance procedures often include a procedure referred to as the jaw prompt, but other variations of physical guidance may exist in practice. An additional form of physical compliance, the finger prompt, may be used in some cases to increase food acceptance as well. We evaluated the use of escape extinction procedures (nonremoval of the spoon) and physical guidance (jaw prompt or finger prompt) in a reversal design to determine if both were effective in increasing food acceptance and decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior.

 

Producing Clinically Meaningful Outcomes for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Feeding Disorders

LING-YAN YANG (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cathleen C. Piazza (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Suzanne M. Milnes (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jennifer M. Kozisek (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Valerie M. Volkert (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cindy Van Riper (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract:

One way of analyzing outcomes of treatment for children with autism and feeding disorders is to examine the absolute improvement in specific dependent variables (e.g., pre- and post-caloric intake). Although important, what these data don't tell us is whether the changes in feeding behavior were clinically meaningful for the individual child (e.g., the child's acceptance increased, but was the child consuming more calories or overcoming a nutritional deficit?). In the current study, we evaluated pretreatment, during treatment, post treatment, and follow-up data from 8 children diagnosed with autism and a feeding disorder. We describe the outcome for each child on a wide variety of dependent variables, including acceptance, mouth clean, pack, expel, and inappropriate mealtime behavior to demonstrate that feeding behavior improved. In addition, we analyzed the data for calories and nutrients relative to the daily needs for each child to demonstrate that the changes in behavior produced clinically meaningful outcomes. We present initial treatment data to evaluate how fast clinically meaningful outcomes occurred and follow-up data to show that these outcomes maintained. These data are important because little is known about the nutritional deficits of children with autism and feeding disorders who participate in treatment.

 
 
Symposium #408
CE Offered: BACB
Examinations of the Influence of Procedural Variations During Discrete Trial Teaching on Skill Acquisition
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
205 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
CE Instructor: Regina A. Carroll, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is an instructional method that consists of five parts, (a) an instruction, (b) a prompt (e.g., physical guidance), (c) the childs response, (d) a consequence, and (e) a brief intertrial interval (Smith, 2001). Previous research has effectively applied DTT to teaching communication, social, and academic skills to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (Lovaas, 1987; Smith). The collection of studies in this symposium will describe how procedural variations in DTT can influence skills acquisition for children with an ASD. First, Regina Carroll will present on the effects of delays to reinforcement on skill acquisition during DTT. Second, Tom Cariveau will present a study evaluating the effects of intertrial intervals and trial delivery on skill acquisition and problem behavior. Third, Megan Martineau will describe the relationship between brief and progressively increasing intertrial intervals on the acquisition and generalization of social skills. Finally, Dorothea Lerman will discuss interesting components of each study, and describe future areas of research on skill acquisition.

 

The Effects of Delays to Reinforcement on Skill Acquisition During Discrete Trial Instruction: Implications for Treatment Integrity Failures in an Academic Setting

REGINA A. CARROLL (West Virginia University), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Kari J. Adolf (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract:

We evaluated the effects of delays to reinforcement on skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction (DTI) for participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We used an adapted alternating treatments design to compare skill acquisition across conditions in which a reinforcer was delivered immediately after a correct response, and when the reinforcer was delivered following a fixed interval (FI) 10-s delay with and without immediate praise for correct responses. Participants showed either delayed acquisition or did not acquire target stimuli when a reinforcer was delivered following a FI 10-s delay with and without immediate praise. In addition, one participant acquired the target stimuli in fewer sessions during the FI 10-s delay with immediate praise condition when compared to the FI 10-s delay condition without praise. These results are discussed relative to implications for treatment integrity failures during DTI in academic settings.

 

An Examination of the Effects of Intertrial Intervals and Trial Delivery on Skill Acquisition and Problem Behavior for Children Diagnosed With Autism

TOM CARIVEAU (University of Oregon), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Vincent E. Campbell (University of Oregon), Sienna Schultz (University of Oregon), Dana Okray (University of Oregon)
Abstract:

The current study replicates and extends Koegel, Dunlap, and Dyer (1980) by examining the effects of different intertial interval (ITI) on skill acquisition. We evaluated the effect of 2-s (short), 20-s (long), and 2- to 20-s (progressive) ITI on participants mastery of tacts or intraverbals within massed-trial or interspersed conditions. We also measured stereotypic and problem behavior during ITI intervals. Two students diagnosed with autism participated in this study. An adapted-alternating treatment design embedded within a multiple-probe design was used. Results indicated that the short ITI condition was associated with the most efficient acquisition of skills, due to the short duration of these sessions. In addition, participants engaged in higher levels of stereotypic and problem behavior during long and progressive ITIs in comparison to short ITIs. We will discuss these results in relation to recommendations for training as well as maintenance and generalization of skills acquired in each condition.

 

The Effects of Consistently Brief and Progressively Increasing Inter-Trial Intervals on Social Skill Acquisition and Generalization

Meghan Martineau (New England Center for Children), JACQUELINE N. POTTER (The New England Center for Children), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract:

Four preschool students were taught to say thank you when presented with an item from a teacher. All teaching occurred in the morning, and tests for generalization occurred in the afternoon with different teachers. Acquisition and generalization of a thank-you response was observed with two of four students who experienced a typical discrete-trial teaching context in which consistently brief inter-trial intervals were used (approximately 10 s transpired between a trial ending and the presentation of the next one). The 2 remaining students acquired the response with the same consistently brief inter-trial intervals, but generalization of the response was not observed. Progressive inter-trial intervals, in which trials were separated by progressively longer intervals (6 s, 12 s, 30 s, 2 min, 4 min, then 16 min), were required to achieve generalized responding for these 2 students. Post-hoc analysis suggested that these students performance was largely influenced by the model prompt of the corrective feedback rather than by the evocative event of a teacher presenting an item, and that progressive inter-trial intervals was effective for transitioning control from the model prompt to the evocative event. The results suggest that when brief inter-trial intervals, common to discrete-trial teaching, do not result in skill generalization, then progressive inter-trial intervals should be considered.

 
 
Symposium #409
CE Offered: BACB
Treating Severe Self-Injurious Behaviors Within Applied Settings
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
208 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Richard M. Foxx (Penn State University, Harrisburg)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Self-injurious behaviors are a debilitating disorder affecting approximately 10% to 14% of individuals with intellectual disabilities (Iwata & Rodgers, 1992). Individuals with self-injury are significantly impacted by this behavior including the presence of ongoing injuries, exposure to restrictive programming, social isolation, limitations to educational and vocational programming and the potential placement in restrictive settings. This symposium will highlight three papers that treated severe self-injury with child/adolescents with autism in applied settings. These individuals had demonstrated an extended history of self-injury and were at risk for debilitating injuries. Although a historical review of treatment for these individuals indicated sound programming, lasting change was not accomplished and they required specialized assessment and treatment. Assessment included applying the science of functional analysis and determining the operant functions that were maintaining the targeted behaviors The papers will highlight the importance of functional analysis and matching intervention with function. Results will demonstrate the success of decreasing the behaviors and teaching new adaptive responses which have enabled these individuals to increase their integration at school, home and in the community. Dr. Richard Foxx will serve as the Discussant and he will critically analyze these papers and provide the audience with thoughts and recommendations in regards to treating severe self-injurious behaviors.

 
The Use of Wrist Weights and Vibratory Stimulation to Treat Self-Injurious Behavior
JAMES CHOK (Melmark New England), John Demanche (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Identifying successful interventions for persistent and frequent self-injurious behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement can be very challenging. Two treatments that have shown some promise in isolation have been the use of wrist weights, and vibratory stimulation as an alternative means to achieve sensory reinforcement. The current study examined the effects of these interventions separately, and in combination, to address chronic self-injurious behavior in a child with autism and intellectual disability. Although wrist weights resulted in substantial decreases in self-injurious behavior, the combination of wrist weights and vibratory stimulation matching the hypothesized sensory consequences of self-injurious behavior resulted in further decreases. The use of vibratory stimulation that did not match the hypothesized sensory consequences of self-injurious behavior was not effective at reducing self-injurious behavior when it was presented alone or in combination with wrist weights. This paper will provide extended outcome data illustrating multiple treatment reversals.
 

Escape Extinction and Response Blocking Paired with Positive Reinforcement to Reduce Self-Injury

SHAWN E. KENYON (Crossroads School for Children, Endicott College, Northeastern University)
Abstract:

Self-injurious behavior in people diagnosed with autism and related disorders can take many forms. Concerns surrounding self-injurious behavior include the fact that it is stigmatizing; it interferes with ones opportunities for meaningful learning and participation in daily life, and if left untreated it can contribute to a decline in ones health and well-being. In order for these issues to be addressed in a clinical setting, it is important to consider that each individual has the right to an effective treatment for the occurrence of challenging behavior (Van Houten, et. al., 1988) such as self-injury. In the current study, an analogue functional analysis (Iwata, 1994) was conducted with the participant and a clear function for self-injury in the form of negative reinforcement; that is, removal of demands, was demonstrated. A treatment package that included escape extinction and response blocking paired with positive reinforcement for task completion was implemented with the participant. Results of the intervention as well as procedural obstacles exclusive to a day school setting are discussed.

 

Use of Latency to Problem Behavior in the Assessment and Treatment of Severe Self-Injurious Behavior

CHRISTOPHER J. PERRIN (Melmark), Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark), Jennifer Hanson (Melmark), Amanda Kowalski (Melmark), Amanda E. Guld (Melmark), Meghan Kane (Melmark)
Abstract:

A common index of response strength used in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior is rate of responding (e.g., Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1994). However, repeated occurrences of a problem behavior during a session may be either impractical or unsafe such as in the case of vomiting, elopement, or severe forms of self-injurious behavior. One area that has received increasing attention in applied literature is the use of response latency during assessments (e.g., Call, Pabico, & Lomas, 2009; Zarcone, Crosland, Fisher, Worsdell, & Herman, 1999). In a recent study, Thomason-Sassi, Iwata, Neidhart, & Roscoe (2011) demonstrated the utility of response latency during functional analysis of severe problem behavior. The purpose of the current study was to extend research on the use of latency measures as an index of response strength by using this index in both the functional analysis and treatment assessments of severe self-injury.

 
 
Symposium #410
CE Offered: BACB
The Seven Steps of Instructional Control: Change the Way You Look at Escape Extinction
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
211 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Megan Miller (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)
Discussant: Veneta Dimitrova (Knospe ABA)
CE Instructor: Megan Miller, M.S.
Abstract:

This symposium will focus on explaining the 7 steps of earning instructional control and how to be your child's best teacher. Utilizing the 7 steps allows behavior analysts and teachers to use reinforcers effectively to take advantage of everyday activities and turn them into learning opportunities. The 7 steps also allow for the provider to work with children and use escape extinction without using forced physical prompting, blocking, or nagging. The symposium will start with an explanation of the 7 steps and how they differ from standard escape extinction techniques. The second presentation will show how practitioners are applying the 7 steps with their clients and what results they are seeing. The last presentation will explain how to train people to use the 7 steps and provide the audience with an integrity checklist that can be used for training and monitoring implementation of the 7 steps.

Keyword(s): "Compliance", "Escape Extinction", "Instructional Control", "motivation"
 

Introduction to the Seven Steps of Instructional Control

ROBERT SCHRAMM (Knospe ABA)
Abstract:

Earning instructional control is the most important aspect of any autism intervention or learning relationship. Without it you are powerless to consistently help guide your child. Void of your guidance your child's skill acquisition is reliant on his interests. Unless you are able to help your child to overcome his own desires and participate in your learning activities you will not be able to help him in meaningful ways. Instructional control can be thought of as nothing more than a positive working relationship. Depending on your choice of interventions you might have heard instructional control described in terms such as, compliance training, developing a master/apprentice relationship, or earning your child's respect. Regardless of what type of intervention you use with your child, you are not going to be able to teach your child everything you want him to learn if you do not earn his willingness to follow your lead. Standard escape extinction techniques do not always result in a positive development of instructional control. This presentation will introduce the audience toseven steps based on behavioral research that can be combined and implemented with your learner to develop a positive instructional control relationship.

 

Improving Learner Compliance Using the Seven Steps of Instructional Control

BENNO BOCKH (Knospe ABA)
Abstract:

This presentation provides information and video examples regarding before and after scenarios of learners who experience the seven steps of instructional control. Many of our clients engage in high rates of counter control and noncompliant behavior especially when presented with situations where forced prompting, nagging, and blocking are used. By implementing the seven steps of instructional control, we have created happy, motivated, and cooperative learners. A few case studies will be shown that exemplifies the seven steps in action.

 

Ensuring Proper Implementation of the Seven Steps of Instructional Control

MEGAN MILLER (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)
Abstract:

Many behavior analysts already use most of the components described in the seven steps of instructional control. This presentation will explain a treatment integrity checklist and training protocol that can be used to train others to use the seven steps of instructional control, to develop a comprehensive protocol for your learners, and to diagnose implementation issues. The checklist can be used to assess areas of weakness within your protocol implementation, and it can be used to help troubleshoot implementation of theseven steps.

 
 
Symposium #411
Treatment Outcomes Across Type of Reinforcement and Treatment Setting for Persons With ASD and ID
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
102 D-E (Convention Center)
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa)
Discussant: Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas)
Abstract:

Three treatment outcome studies that focus primarily on persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will be presented. The first study is a metaanalysis comparing the efficacy of two types of positive reinforcement (e.g., attention and tangible) as treatment components for persons with ASD. Treatment effects (Cohen's D values) are compared across reinforcer type, participant diagnosis, and intervention goals. The second study presents treatment outcomes for people who received treatment for severe challenging behavior within an extended day treatment program. Treatment effects were evaluated for 35 participants with ASD or other developmental disabilities. The outcomes for each participant are examined across controlled and generalized settings. The effects of conducting functional communication training via a telehealth system are the focus of the third presentation. Participants for this study include 17 children with ASD who engaged in severe challenging behavior. All assessment and treatment procedures were conducted via telehealth with the parent and a parent coach conducting sessions with remote coaching from a behavior analyst. Rick Smith will serve as the discussant for this symposium.

Keyword(s): Autism, Challenging behaviors, Functional reinforcers, Treatment effects,
 

Reinforcer Efficacy of Social Reinforcement for Individuals With ASD: A Meta-analysis

ANDREW M. RODEWALD (Utah State University), Andrew Samaha (Utah State University), Megan A. Boyle (Utah State University), Audrey N. Hoffman (Utah State University), Ciceley I. Nickerson (Utah State University), Hayley Halversen (Utah State University )
Abstract:

Impaired social interactions are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorders (ASD; DSM-IV-TR, 2000). These impairments may indicate lower reinforcer efficacy for social reinforcers (e.g., praise; attention) than other forms of positive reinforcement (Kohls, et al., 2011; Munson, Benavidez, Stabinsky-Compton, Paclawskyi, & Bagilo, 1996; e.g., tangibles, edibles). To examine reinforcer efficacy of social reinforcers, a metaanalysis was conducted to examine reinforcer efficacy of social reinforcement for individuals with ASD. Mean standard differences effect sizes (e.g., Cohens d) were calculated for individual subjects to characterize treatment effects compared to baseline performance. Cohens d values were compared across different reinforcer types, different diagnoses, and different intervention goals (e.g., decreasing problem behavior; skill training). Results revealed a significant difference between social reinforcement and other positive reinforcers for individuals with ASD and a significant difference between social reinforcers being used alone and in combination with other types of positive reinforcers. These results indicate that while social reinforcers alone can be effective in behavior change for individuals with ASD, other positive reinforcers, either alone or in combination with social reinforcers, tended to be more effective.

 

Treatment Outcomes of Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Seen in a Severe Behavior Day Treatment Program

NATALIE PARKS (Marcus Autism Center), Daniel Conine (Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

Problem behaviors are one of the most significant challenges faced by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. Behaviors including aggression, self-injury, and pica can cause serious injuries to the individual or their caregivers. Similarly, other behavior such as elopement, tantrums, and property destruction can cause severe risk for abduction and injury and can result in more restrictive educational or residential placements. A review of the literature indicated that 10-15% of individuals with developmental disabilities engage in some form of problem behavior and that 5-10% engage in at least one form that presented a serious management problem for caregivers (Emerson, 2001). Most studies that have examined the effectiveness of treatments for severe problem behavior have consisted of a small number of participants. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of those treated for severe problem behavior in a day treatment program over a 3-year time span. Thirty-five children participated in the study. Outcomes for each participant in both controlled and generalized settings were examined. Percent reduction, non-overlap of all pairs, and effect size values were calculated to determine the overall effectiveness of this program. The results are displayed in Table 1. This is a data-based presentation.

 

Conducting Functional Communication Training via Teleconsultation

DAVID P. WACKER (University of Iowa), John F. Lee (University of Iowa), Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Kelly Pelzel (University of Iowa), Debra Waldron (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if functional communication training (FCT) could be conducted effectively via a teleconsultation model. The participants for this study were 17 young children who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and who engaged in problem behavior such as aggression or self-injury. A functional analysis, also completed via teleconsultation, was conducted for all participants (Wacker et al., in press). The functional analyses were conducted by parent assistants and the childs parents at a local clinic with remote coaching from a trained behavior analyst. Following the functional analysis, FCT was implemented by the childrens parents in the local clinics. At each clinic site, a parent assistant was available to assist the parent by setting up toys, etc. The parents conducted all FCT sessions with weekly 1-hr remote coaching provided by a trained behavior analyst. FCT was conducted within a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design. IOA was conducted in approximately 30% of all sessions and averaged over 90%. In the figure, six case examples are provided. The results show that the children responded positively to FCT. The results will be discussed in terms of how more behavioral treatments might be conducted via teleconsultation.

 
 
Symposium #412
Measuring, Exploring, and Manipulating Psychological Flexibility
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
102 B-C (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kevin Murray (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Ann Rost (Missouri State University)
Abstract:

Psychological flexibility has been defined as “the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being, and to change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends.” Psychological flexibility has emerged, in the last decade, as an important characteristic of behavior and of the behavioral repertoire under certain conditions. This has resulted in the generation of a broad research base which aims to clarify the components of psychological flexibility, investigate correlates and outcomes of psychological flexibility, specify contexts that create a more flexible repertoire, and develop tools for assessment and intervention. The current symposium will offer a sample of emerging work in psychological flexibility. The first paper will consider the validity and utility of a behavioral measure of psychological flexibility. The second paper will explore neural correlates of psychological flexibility through its relationship with handedness. The third paper will offer an RFT-based conceptualization of listener behavior that might influence behavior to be more psychologically flexible.

Keyword(s): Behavior, Psychological Flexibility
 

Assessing Psychological Flexibility: A RFT-Based Behavioral Measure

ASHLYNE MULLEN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Shelley Greene (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emmie Hebert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Psychological flexibility seems to play an important role in optimal daily living, making valid assessment of psychological flexibility an important goal in clinical behavior analysis. Many measures of psychological flexibility and its components have been developed, however, the vast majority involve the collection of self-report data. Because psychological flexibility refers to the function of thoughts and feelings rather than their content, the validity of self-report data is threatened. First, it is unclear what individuals might be tacting without any established skills for discriminating the functions of their private experiences. Second, it is unclear, with only self-report data if interventions on psychological flexibility are teaching psychological flexibility or the reporting of psychological flexibility. Third, psychological flexibility is posited to be a contextually-bound characteristic of the behavioral repertoire, meaning that self-reporting, if valid, is only meaningful for the context in which it was assessed. In order to accurately assess psychological flexibility in a way that is consistent with philosophical assumptions, a behavioral measure of psychological flexibility will be necessary. The current study offers a behavioral measure of psychological flexibility based on the tenets of Relational Frame Theory (RFT) along with preliminary data as to its validity and utility.

 

On the Other Hand: Psychological Flexibility and Body Image as a Function of Handedness

KEVIN MURRAY (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Psychological flexibility, or the ability to recognize and adapt to ever-changing emotional, cognitive, and situational demands with effective action towards chosen values, has been broadly related to a wide range of quality of life, activity, and mental health outcomes. However, despite the apparent relevance of psychological flexibility in understanding psychological health, the neural correlates for psychological flexibility remain largely unknown. Hand preference is a well-established, indirect measure of cerebral organization. Particularly, degree of handedness, or variations in the preference for a dominant hand across a variety of activities, appears to be predictive of differences in interhemispheric interaction, such that mixed-handed individuals tend to exhibit greater integration of left- and right-hemispheric processes than their strong-handed counterparts. By using degree of handedness as a proxy, the current study investigated the role of interhemispheric interaction in psychological flexibility, as well as in flexibility with regards to body image and eating pathology. Implications for training psychological flexibility will be discussed.

 

Relational Communication: Creating an Environment that Pulls for Flexibility

ASHLEY E. BENNETT (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract:

When individuals behave from their thoughts this not only has an impact on them, but on the people in their life as well. When we behave consistent with the things we say about the world, the people in our lives say things about our behavior. Though we might adopt a more flexible stance through therapeutic practices in such models as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we might remain in an environment where people are behaving from their thoughts toward us. In other words, though our behavior might change, the environment in which we behave might not support those changes. Taking a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) approach, this paper will provide a model for communication designed to disrupt verbal processes of the people in our verbal communities such they are able to flexibly contact our changed behavior. Potential applications of this communication model in a variety of settings will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #413
CE Offered: BACB
International Service Delivery From Both Sides
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
102 F (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Molly Ola Pinney (Global Autism Project)
Discussant: Molly Ola Pinney (Global Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Mapy Chavez Cueto, Ph.D.
Abstract: For nearly a decade the Global Autism Project has been providing training to autism centers around the world. In this symposium, featuring our international partners and our volunteers who have traveled with the organization, we will discuss what has worked well and where we have had challenges along the way. Leaders of centers in Kenya and Peru will speak about the particular challenges of working with individuals with autism in their home countries. Volunteers with the Global Autism Project will discuss the challenges of providing training in other cultures. In addition, our CEO will discuss various models of international training and how we have built collaborative and sustainable partnerships. Presenters will offer suggestions to those working cross-culturally in other countries as well as with culturally diverse clientele here in the U.S. Time will be reserved for attendees to ask questions.
 

Jambo and Bienvenidos: Working With Individuals With Autism in Kenya and Peru

MAPY CHAVEZ CUETO (Alcanzando), Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Consultants)
Abstract:

Working with individuals with autism has particular challenges in every culture. Our service partners have met these challenges as leaders of the Kaizora Center in Nairobi, Kenya and Alcanzado in Lima, Peru. They will discuss the challenges of working in their home countries, as well as dissemination and outreach.

 
The Traveling Behavior Analyst: Providing Training Internationally
SARA COSTELLO (Global Autism Project), Katie DeKraker (Global Autism Project)
Abstract: Visiting another culture can always be challenging, and even more so if you are providing training. Volunteers from the Global Autism Project's SkillCorps program will speak about these particular challenges and ways to meet them when providing training in other cultures and when working with culturally diverse clientele locally.
 
International Training Models
ANN BRIGID BEIRNE (Global Autism Project)
Abstract: The dissemination of behavior analysis is one of our obligations as behavior analysts. This presentation focuses on the models commonly used by international non-governmental organizations. The specifics of each model is explained along with advantages and disadvantages of each model. The focus is on models which have the greatest chance of providing lasting behavior change on the part of participants and that demonstrate the greatest cultural sensitivity.
 
 
Panel #414
Examining Social and Economic Contingencies of Women Across International Borders: A Behavior Analytic Perspective
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
102 A (Convention Center)
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Susan Ainsleigh (Dar Al-Hekma College)
MONA AL HADDAD (Dar Al-Hekma College)
MICHELLE P. KELLY (National University of Ireland, Galway)
SMITA AWASTHI (Founder of Behavior Momentum)
KRISTINE F. MELROE (Morningside Academy)
Abstract:

Women all over the world share many of the same behaviors or class of behaviors maintained by the same consequences regardless of their geographical location. Seldom do women from different cultures get the opportunity to engage in live cultural exchange within a scientific discipline. This event is a unique opportunity for behavior analysts from India, Saudi Arabia, and Europe to examine the role of women in dissimilar cultures and speak about the social contingencies that women face in their particular culture, religion and society. Some of the key questions addressed will include challenges women face in their societies, respective responses to these challenges, and behaviors women are engaging in to alter contingencies and outcomes. Data will include examining womens health, economic standing, and social mores. These scientists will respond to questions around this issue from a behavior analytic perspective. The panel will highlight contingencies in relation to the dissemination or practice of ABA. The panelist will be given an opportunity to interact with each other and discuss their similarities and differences. Time will be allotted for the audience to participate.

 
 
Paper Session #415
Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis: Topographies, Settings, and Assessment
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
200 F-G (Convention Center)
Area: DDA
Chair: James Pustejovsky (Northwestern University)
 

The Prevalence Odds Ratio: an Operationally Comparable Effect Size for Meta-analysis of Single-Case Studies

Domain: Theory
JAMES PUSTEJOVSKY (Northwestern University)
Abstract:

Several different procedures are widely used to record direct observations of behavior, ranging from continuous duration recording to interval recording. These various procedures differ in ease of implementation, and their merits have long been examined in terms of the reliability and validity of the resulting measurements. Less well-studied are the implications for meta-analysis of variations in recording procedures. If a collection of studies uses heterogeneous recording procedures, the results of each study must be expressed on a common scale in order for a meta-analysis of those studies to be scientifically interpretable; otherwise, averages across and contrasts between results based on different recording procedures will be confounded by differences of scale. In this paper, I will propose an effect size metric, the prevalence odds ratio (POR), and argue that it provides a comparable scale for summarizing results across continuous duration, momentary time sampling, event counting, and interval recording procedures. I will also discuss approaches to estimating the POR based on data from single-case designs, noting the difficulties presented by interval recording and event counting. The POR is closely related to the suppression index, an intuitively interpretable effect size that has been used in previous meta-analyses but that lacks a statistical development.

 

An Analysis of Self-Injurious Behavior and Current Approaches to Its Treatment

Domain: Theory
MICHAEL VOLTAIRE (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract:

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) can be problematic for some persons diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities. Self-injurious behaviors can range from life-threatening injuries to milder, less threatening cases. Numerous etiological hypotheses regarding SIB have been proposed, such as biological, biochemical, behavioral, and social factors. However, there is no consensus among researchers and practitioners on why persons with disabilities engage in self-injurious behavior. This paper will review the various theoretical frameworks that have been propounded to explain the occurrence of SIB in persons with disabilities. A special emphasis will be placed on the use of functional analyses for identifying variables that maintain self-injurious behavior. Some practical and ethical considerations regarding the use of aversive stimulation to inhibit chronic SIB will be reviewed and discussed along with a host of other interventions that are currently being implemented in the treatment of SIB.

 

Inventing the Wheel: Introducing Applied Behavior Analysis Into a Managed Care Setting

Domain: Service Delivery
RISHI E. CHELMINSKI (Services for the UnderServed), Terence G. Blackwell (Services for the UnderServed), James G. O'Brien (YAI Network)
Abstract:

Unique challenges await practitioners seeking to introduce Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) into managed care settings. Many may soon face these challenges; recent trends in legislation, funding, and public opinion suggest a slow shift towards ABA in managed care. The presenters provide a case-study of one New York City organization that is moving in this direction. This facility provides residential and day services for approximately 270 adult consumers. A January 2012 internal audit revealed that many of these consumers had a recent history of severe problem behavior, but none had operationalized behavior targets, or intervention plans based on functional behavioral assessments. A survey of five similar service providers suggests that this case is typical of managed care in the New York City area; ABA, as administered by Board Certified Behavior Analysts, currently informs very few interventions in this setting. The presenters will discuss the ongoing process of adapting their organizations procedures, standards, and culture, to meet those recommended by the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. This process includes the recruitment of experts, procedural development, staff training, and targeted pilot programs, and may be informative to other practitioners wishing to invent the wheel of ABA within their own organizations.

 
 
Symposium #416
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Innovations for Increasing the Precision and Social Validity of Functional Analysis Methodology
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
202 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Nathan Call, Ph.D.
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) methodology has made significant contributions to the treatment of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities. In keeping with the behavior analytic tradition of continual data-based refinement and extension of successful practices, this symposium will present data from four recent projects that attempted to increase the utility of FA methodology. The first study compared the results of FAs conducted in-vivo in participants homes with those conducted via telehealth. Another examined whether conducting a FA, which typically includes reinforcing problem behavior on an FR1 schedule, produces increases in problem behavior in other settings. The third study utilized a signal detection approach to empirically establish criteria for interpreting trial-based FAs. The fourth study will present a case study in which the relative influence of positive reinforcement in the form of attention and negative reinforcement in the form of termination of a conversation influenced a participant’s problem behavior in the divided attention condition of a FA. Combined, the findings from these studies extend the utility and impact of FA methodology in two important ways: 1) by increasing the precision with which they identify the function of individual’s problem behavior and, 2) by ensuring FAs can be conducted in as many settings as possible and with a minimum of side effects.
Keyword(s): Functional Analysis
 

A Comparison of In-Vivo and Telehealth-Based Functional Analysis Outcomes

TODD G. KOPELMAN (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), John F. Lee (University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (University of Iowa), Shannon Dyson (University of Iowa )
Abstract:

The current investigation compared the results of functional analyses (FA) conducted in-vivo in the home setting with FAs conducted via telehealth in both home and clinic settings. Participants were between the ages of 18 months and 6 years and 11 months, had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, and engaged in challenging behavior (e.g., self-injurious behavior, aggression, and property destruction). In the in-vivo group, FA sessions were conducted by parents in their homes during 1-hour weekly sessions with direct consultation provided by behavior therapists. In the telehealth groups, FA sessions were conducted by parents with their children in either a clinic (N = 20) or home (N = 11) setting during 1-hour weekly sessions with telehealth-based consultation provided by behavior therapists. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 30% of all sessions across all conditions and children and exceeded 90%. Results will be compared across these groups regarding the number of sessions required to complete the FA, the percentage of participants with identified social functions, the costs of completing the FA, and the challenges associated with conducting FAs in the respective settings. The data obtained to date (see Table 1) indicates that telehealth delivery of FAs has been comparable to in-vivo delivery.

 

Further Examination of the Effects of Conducting a Functional Analysis on Problem Behavior in Other Settings

ANDREA R. REAVIS (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

It has been suggested that reinforcing problem behavior during functional analyses (FAs) may result in an increase in problem behavior outside of the FA setting. Call, Findley, & Reavis (2012) assessed whether problem outside the setting in which an FA was conducted would increase when the FA was initiated. The problem behavior of 4 participants was measured outside the FA setting prior to and during the FA. Results were idiosyncratic across participants, but did demonstrate that it was possible for problem behavior in the non-FA setting to be influenced by introducing a FA. However, there were some limitations with that study. Specifically, data were not collected on whether participants were exposed to the relevant motivating operations outside of the FA setting (i.e., demands, restricted attention, restricted tangibles). The current study replicated the procedures described by Call et al. with 5 participants, however in the current investigation participants were exposed to demands, restricted attention, and restricted access to tangibles during 3 probes each day outside of the FA setting. Preliminary results were idiosyncratic across participants.

 

Evaluation of Criteria for Interpreting Trial-Based Functional Analyses: A Signal Detection Approach

SORAYA SHANUN KUNNAVATANA (Utah State University), Keri Ludeman (Utah State University), Sarah E. Bloom (Utah State University), Andrew Samaha (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Trial-based functional analyses involve the assessment of behavioral function using trials embedded into ongoing classroom activities. Trials are divided into control and test segments, and putative functions of problem behavior are identified by examining the occurrence of problem behavior across the two segments. Although formal criteria have been proposed for interpreting data from standard functional analyses (Hagopian et al.,1997), no analogous criteria have been proposed for interpreting trial-based functional analyses other than visual analysis. This study examined data from 31 trial-based functional analyses and evaluated their correspondence to standard functional analyses using a signal detection approach. The minimum difference between test and control segments for determining a behavioral function was varied systematically. We identified criteria resulting in 84-90% correspondence to outcomes of a standard functional analysis. In addition, the approach revealed differences in the rate of true positives and true negative outcomes across conditions that may have implications for practice.

 

Divided Attention Within a Functional Analysis: Social Positive or Social Negative Reinforcement?

JAMES E. KING (SEEK Education, University of Nevada, Reno), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Vicki Meechan (SEEK Education, Inc.)
Abstract:

One methodological variation to the standard functional analysis is to include a divided attention condition. It has been hypothesized that when the participant engages in problem behavior during the divided attention condition that they are motivated to obtain the attention that is being delivered to the other person within the condition. However, during the divided attention condition, the participant not only receives attention contingent on problem behavior (social positive reinforcement), but the conversation occurring between the two therapists is terminated (social negative reinforcement). We isolated these variables within a functional analysis. Results demonstrated that the participant�s problem behavior was maintained by the termination of the conversation and not the delivery of attention. Problem behavior was subsequently eliminated by implementing a noncontingent reinforcement plus extinction procedure.

 
 
Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Skills to Individuals With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Using Auditory, Picture, and Video Prompts
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
201 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Kevin M. Ayres (University of Georgia)
CE Instructor: Helen I. Cannella-Malone, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The use of auditory, picture, and video prompting has been demonstrated to be an effective method for teaching new skills to people with autism and other developmental disabilities. This symposium will present three applied studies that used auditory, picture, and/or video prompting presented on mobile technologies in innovative ways to teach adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities new skills. The studies used self-directed video promptsin which the participants were taught to use the technology independentlyor compared mobile technologies . All three studies were successful in using auditory, picture, and video prompting to teach new skills, and the results from these studies provide new insights into how best to use these methodologies for teaching students with autism and other developmental disabilities. Following the presentations, a discussant will synthesize the practical utility of these methodologies along with implications for practice and recommendations for future research.

Keyword(s): auditory prompts, mobile technology, picture prompts, self-directed video prompting
 

Comparing Mobile Technologies for Teaching Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities Vocational Skills Using Universally-Designed Prompting Systems

TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Wendy Bonneau (DeKalb High School), Adam Carreon (Northern Illinois University), Ashli Lagerhausen (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Abstract: Improving independent completion of job-related tasks in vocational settings is critical for individuals with intellectual disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. The purpose of this study was to (1) compare the effectiveness of universally-designed prompting systems presented on iPads and HP Slates to promote independent completion of vocational tasks with self-selection and self-fading of available instructional prompts (i.e., video, picture/auditory, and picture prompts); (2) compare the usability and instructional utility of two different mobile devices to support independent performance; and (3) determine if built-in decision prompts and branching could improve problem-solving behavior of participants. Four young adults with intellectual disabilities worked at a public high school and were responsible for preparing a conference room for different types of meetings. Participants were required to configure tables according to meeting type, save important items and/or discard/recycle unimportant items, and erase or save messages on the white board. Data were analyzed within the context of an alternating treatments design and results indicated that both devices resulted in immediate and substantial increases in independent responding for three of the four participants. All participants performed better with their preferred device, and all participants self-faded reliance on instructional prompts as skill acquisition increased.

 
Using Video Self-Prompting to Address Prompt Dependency in High School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
JESSE W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose this study was to determine video self-prompting presented on an iPod Touch is an effective tool for addressing prompt dependency in high school students with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, we wanted to determine if the intervention package could be effectively implemented by a classroom teacher in the context of ongoing instructional activities. Two high school students with autism spectrum disorders and a history of prompt dependency were taught to access video prompts on an iPod Touch. Video prompting was implemented sequentially across the three tasks in the context of a multiple baseline across behaviors design. Both students learned to operate the iPod independently and learned to independently prepare all three cooking tasks. The classroom teacher was able to implement all video-based instruction on the iPods while delivering simultaneous instruction to other students in the home economics class. The implications for using self-prompting to address prompt dependency and stimulus will be discussed.
 
Using Self-Directed Video Prompting to Teach Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities
HELEN I. CANNELLA-MALONE (The Ohio State University), David Brooks (The Ohio State University), Christopher A. Tullis (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of self-directed video prompts via an iPod Touch on teaching four adolescents with moderate to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities two vocational tasks. Students were taught to wash a table with a spray bottle using video prompts presented by the instructor. After reaching 80% correct for three consecutive trials, they were taught to use the iPod Touch and video prompting application independently. In the final phase, the students used the iPod Touch to teach themselves to vacuum. Results of the study indicate that video prompting was an effective teaching tool for all four students, that all four of them learned to use the iPod Touch independently, and that two of them also used the iPod Touch to teach themselves the skill of vacuuming.
 
 
Symposium #418
Human Choice and Discrimination
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
101 H (Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Adam E. Fox (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Eric A. Jacobs (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract:

Basic human operant research is designed to show experimental control of variables relevant to human behavior in a controlled laboratory setting. The present set of experiments analyzed human performance in multiple experimental paradigms. The experiments discussed will cover human risky-choice behavior, rule-governed behavior, and stimulus discrimination. The first study sought to determine whether a risk-reduction model of sharing developed by evolutionary biologists (derived from a risk-sensitive optimization model known as the energy-budget rule) can predict human cooperative behavior. The second study examined individual differences in rule-following behavior. The findings of this study imply that when a verbal rule is present the same environment may come to control behavior differently on an individual basisparticipants were classified as either rule followers or rule breakers. Finally, the third study used a translational approach to evaluate methods of discrimination training to produce shifted post-discrimination gradients of moles of varying levels of malignance based on symmetry and size. Preliminary results indicate that methods used to produce peak shift may be viable for enhancing early detection. The discussant will integrate the three experiments and discuss them in terms of a behavioral ecology framework for understanding human behavior.

Keyword(s): Human Choice, Human Discrimination, Human Operant, Translational
 
Sharing: Social Behavior in Situations of Risk
STEPHANIE STILLING (Western Michigan University), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This study experimentally investigated human sharing in laboratory tasks that simulate environmental variability and resource scarcity (shortfall risk). The project looked to determine whether a risk-reduction model of sharing developed by evolutionary biologists (derived from a risk-sensitive optimization model known as the energy-budget rule) can predict human cooperative behavior. Participants responded to earn points exchangeable for money when point gains were unpredictable. Failures to acquire sufficient points resulted in a loss of accumulated earnings (a shortfall). Participants were given the choice between working alone or working with others and sharing accumulated earnings. The difficulty of meeting the earnings requirement was manipulated across conditions to investigate the effects of economic context on sharing. This was done by changing the amount of earnings split between the participant and the partner. Sometimes sharing was the optimal strategy, and other times working alone was the optimal strategy. This experiment also investigated the effects of social variables on sharing to determine whether they constrained optimal decision making. Although sharing was advantageous in all but one condition, previous research suggests that inequity in earnings shifts participants’ preferences to work alone. The results will contribute to our understanding of how economic conditions and social stimuli influence cooperation.
 
Applying Human Operant Procedures to Behavioral Health: Using Peakshift to Development Methods for Enhancing Early Detection of Melanoma
JONATHAN R. MILLER (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas), Thomas S. Critchfield (Illinois State University)
Abstract: Melanoma is a skin cancer affecting over 68,000 Americans each year and is one of the cancers most responsive to treatment when detected early (www.cancer.gov). Thus, early detection is an important goal. Using a translational approach, the current study evaluated methods of discrimination training to produce shifted postdiscrimination gradients of moles of varying levels of malignance based on symmetry and size. Participants included both college-aged students and older adults who are at increased risk of developing melanoma. Preliminary results indicate that methods used to produce peak shift may be viable for enhancing early detection.
 
Individual Differences in Human Choice Behavior in the Presence of Rules
ADAM E. FOX (West Virginia University), Elizabeth Kyonka (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Relatively little is known about how verbal rules compete with environmental contingencies to control behavior. Specifically, in previous research it has not been clear why behavior in the presence of a rule is sometimes “insensitive” to changes in underlying contingencies. Two experiments investigated the variables that control rule-governed “insensitivity” by exposing humans to a choice task. For some participants, the rule instructing them how to respond did not match the optimal response strategy for maximizing points, and for other participants it did. Through these experiments, we identified two potential sources of behavioral control in the presence of rules: the relation between the rule and the contingencies, and socially-mediated variables between the participant and the experimenter. The relative weighting of these two sources of control differed across individuals. Based on this difference, participants were classified as either “rule breakers” or “rule followers.” The findings imply that when a verbal rule is present the same environment may come to control behavior differently on an individual basis depending on this categorization.
 
 
Symposium #419
From Token Reinforcement to Economics and Back: Toward More Economically Realistic Models of Preference and Demand
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
101 J (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Ana Carolina Trousdell Franceschini (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

The present symposium includes laboratory and applied research on token reinforcement systems, emphasizing their relevance to economic conceptualizations. Hackenberg, Andrade, & Tan will present data on token accumulation as a model of economic saving, using data from laboratory experiments with pigeons. Smith & Jacobs will present data from laboratory research with rats, showing how token-production choices are affected by relative token and exchange payoffs. Bullock, DeLeon, Chastain, & Frank-Crawford will present data with humans in a choice context, showing differential elasticity effects across different reinforcer types (food versus activity). Franceschini will discuss the research from an economic standpoint, emphasizing its relevance to monetary consumption, and identifying promising areas for future research in behavioral economics.

 

Token Accumulation as a Model of Savings: Some Experiments With Pigeons in a Closed Token Economy

TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College), Leonardo F. Andrade (University of Connecticut School of Medicine), Lavinia C.M. Tan (Reed College)
Abstract:

Pigeons made repeated choices between earning and exchanging reinforcer-specific tokens (green tokens exchangeable for food, red tokens exchangeable for water) and reinforcer-general tokens (white tokens exchangeable for either food or water) in a closed token economy. Food and food tokens could be earned on one panel; water and water tokens could be earned on a second panel; generalized tokens could be earned on either panel. Responses on one key (the token-production key) produced tokens according to a fixed-ratio schedule, whereas responses on a second key (the exchange-production key) produced exchange periods, during which all previously earned tokens could be exchanged for the appropriate commodity. Pigeons generally preferred the reinforcer-general tokens under baseline conditions when the price of all tokens was equal and low (5 responses). Across conditions, the price of both reinforcer-specific and reinforcer-general tokens was increased, first for food and then for water. Pigeons tended to reduce their production of the tokens that increased in price (own-price demand elasticity) while increasing their production of the generalized tokens that remained at a fixed price (cross-price demand elasticity). The results show that generalized-type tokens functionally substitute for specific-type tokens. Moreover, the generalized tokens were often produced on one panel and exchanged on the opposite panel, suggesting a potentially useful distinction between consumption (roughly, the value of the reinforcer) and production (the costs of obtaining it).

 

Concurrent Token-Production Schedule Performance in Rats: Manipulating the Exchange Production Schedule Type and Value

TRAVIS RAY SMITH (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Eric A. Jacobs (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract:

Manipulation of the exchange-production schedule on concurrent token-production schedule performance was assessed in four rats. Lever pressing was maintained by a concurrent token-production schedule. Token deliveries were assigned probabilistically to the right or left lever (1:6 ratio). The location of the rich lever remained constant within session, but varied randomly across daily sessions. Once assigned to a lever, token delivery was arranged by a random interval 15 s schedule. Transition to token exchange was arranged by fixed or random ratio schedules requiring earning 2 to 4 tokens per transition, depending upon condition. During token exchange, depositing a token was reinforced with access to sweetened condensed milk. Across all exchange-production conditions, the generalized matching law provided an adequate description of the session wide ratio of left to right lever presses. Sensitivity to the token ratios was best described by the current sessions reinforcement ratio. Considerable undermatching and pronounced sign tracking elicited by the tokens were observed in all conditions, however. In a second series of conditions, brief stimulus presentations replaced token deliveries during the token-production period to assess the impact of sign tracking on sensitivity to the token ratio. However, sensitivity was largely unaffected.

 

Reinforcer Demand, Reinforcer Type, and Token-Reinforcement Schedules

CHRISTOPHER E. BULLOCK (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), James Allen Chastain (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

We generated demand curves for two sets of concurrently available reinforcers as a function of price increases for one option in children with developmental disabilities. Within a set, the reinforcers were either activities or edible reinforcers. Completion of fixed-ratio (FR) schedules produced 30-s access to the reinforcers. The schedule associated with the less preferred reinforcer was held constant at FR 1, and always involved immediate delivery, while the schedule requirements for the more preferred reinforcer increased across conditions. For one curve, higher-preference reinforcers where delivered immediately following schedule completion while in the second, a token was delivered which participants could exchange for the same highly preferred reinforcer after 10 tokens were earned. With activity reinforcers, demand curves were either similar or right shifted (less elastic) under token reinforcement schedules relative to no-token curves. For one participant, when token and no-token demand curves where compared using food reinforcers, the opposite occurred; curves were left-shifted (more elastic) under the token relative to the no-token schedule. Results are discussed in terms of the properties of the particular reinforcer available in a token-reinforcement schedule and the relative value of massed vs. distributed reinforcement.

 
 
Paper Session #420
Computerizing Behavior Analysis
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
101 I (Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Angeles Perez-Padilla (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)
 

Application of Easy Java Simulations to the Experimental Analyses of Behavior

Domain: Applied Research
ANGELES PEREZ-PADILLA (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain), Francisco Esquembre (Universidad de Murcia)
Abstract:

Easy Java Simulations (EJS) is widespread software used by the international Internet community in several scientific areas (physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology) to facilitate the design and creation of interactive simulations in Java, mainly for teaching or learning purposes. EJS was created to help students, teachers, or researchers who are able to describe the models of phenomena of their respective disciplines in terms of equations or algorithms, but who would need a considerable extra effort to create a sophisticated interactive graphical user interface using standard programming environments. We would like to demonstrate how EJS can be a useful and interesting tool in the teaching, research, and understanding of mathematical models in the field of experimental analysis of behavior. This field requires the practitioner to be precise and to help predict and control behavior. Interactive simulations created with EJS may allow the comparison of different mathematical models, and the analysis of the effects of each parameter in these models, in an easy way. As a first example of this possible new friendship, we will study some mathematical models from Professor Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University), which we have implemented using EJS.

 
The MPR-Based Virtual Organism
Domain: Theory
ESTÊVÃO BITTAR (Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora)
Abstract: Killeen (1994) postulated that behavior is fueled by arousal, directed by coupling, and constrained by time. He also offered a mathematical description of how these forces interact to produce operant behavior under several schedules of reinforcement. The resulting theory, called mathematical principles of reinforcement (MPR; Killeen, 1994; Killeen & Sitomer, 2003), has successfully predicted and explained responding under a wide variety of experimental conditions. In the present study, the fundamental equations of MPR were used to construct a virtual organism that generates MPR-based artificial behavior. This virtual organism was then tested under several conditions. In different experiments, schedules of reinforcement, magnitude of reinforcers, force required to respond and organism’s capacity were varied. The behavior of the simulation was compared to the behavior of rats and pigeons under similar conditions. A remarkable resemblance between the responding of the virtual and real organisms was found at different levels of analysis (IRT distributions, within-session patterns and Herrnstein curves). Software that implements the simulation is provided for those interested in running their own experiments.
 

Affordable Automation: The Parallax Propeller Microcontroller as Device for Research, Teaching, and Application of Behavior Analysis

Domain: Basic Research
CHRIS VARNON (Oklahoma State University), Charles I. Abramson (Oklahoma State University)
Abstract:

This presentation provides an introduction to using the Parallax Propeller Microcontroller as an inexpensive yet powerful experiment controller for research, teaching and application of behavior analysis. In contrast to controllers available from companies such as Med Associates and Lafayette Instruments that cost thousands of dollars, the Propeller costs fewer than one hundred dollars, is portable, and is readily adaptable to a wide range of situations. A laboratory can literally be placed in your pocket. This affordable experiment controller gives behavior analysts full control of technologies related to research, teaching, and application, and reduces reliance on grants and expensive commercial equipment. We believe this device can lead to greater variety in research by permitting use of non-traditional subjects and paradigms as well as encouraging research outside of the laboratory in settings such as animal shelters and zoos. We also believe the device can help stimulate a new generation of students to gain experience in behavior analysis by making teaching laboratories affordable. The presentation will provide an introduction to the device and its capabilities, brief instruction on creating experimental programs and connecting the device to apparatuses, and an overview of the current uses of the device in our laboratory.

 
 
Paper Session #421
Impulsivity
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
101 G (Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Steven Boomhower (Idaho State University)
 

Translational Research During Home-Based Sessions: Implications for Progressive Delay Procedures

Domain: Applied Research
SARAH HUH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles; Intercare Therapy, Inc.)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of a progressive delay procedure on self-control and impulsive choice-making demonstrated by three children diagnosed with autism. Few previous researchers have evaluated the effects of progressive delay procedures on choice-making by individuals diagnosed with autism. Further, the majority of previous researchers have removed the impulsive choice option during the contingent delay to access the larger-later reinforcer (i.e. the self-control choice option). For the current investigation, both small and large reinforcers were simultaneously available during an initial concurrent-operant choice procedure and over the course of systematic individualized increases in delay durations for the self-control choice option. Results are evaluated under the guise of the hyperbolic delay discounting model and discussed with respect to future research and practice.

 
Local Analyses of the Impulsive Choices of Lewis and Fischer 344 Rats
Domain: Basic Research
CARLOS F. APARICIO (Savannah State University), Benigno Alonso Alvarez (University of Oviedo)
Abstract: Previous studies in delay discounting showed no significant differences between Lewis and Fischer 344 rats in several dependent variables, suggesting that similar patterns of impulsive choice emerge in choice situations. We explored this possibility with a novel procedure using concurrent chain schedules. Initial-link responses in two levers were interpreted as choices for small-sooner or large-later terminal-link food deliveries that occurred in random order within sessions according to delays of 0-0, 0-5, 0-10, 0-20, 0-40, and 0-80 s, respectively. Entries to the terminal-link were arranged dependently, controlling possible confound between frequency and delay to food delivery. Delay discounting at local and extended level was well described by a hyperbolic-decay model, suggesting that local variables (i.e., delays between LL-responses and food delivery) and extended variables (i.e., effort/food ratio) conjointly determined preference. The role of extended training in determining impulsive choices of Lewis and Fischer 344 rats will be discussed.
 

Impulsivity and Alcohol Self-Administration Following Alcohol Consumption in Adolescence and Adulthood

Domain: Basic Research
JOHN R. SMETHELLS (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract:

Adolescent alcohol consumption is a public health concern due to the negative short-term behavioral (e.g., increased impulsive, risky behavior) and health effects, (e.g., alcohol poisoning, drowning, and falls) as well as the resulting long-term increased potential for alcohol problems during adulthood (i.e., alcoholism). To predict adolescents at risk, researchers have identified several correlates of adolescent alcohol use, one of which is impulsivity. Indeed, adults with alcohol problems have been shown to behave more impulsively than normal adults. Such correlations, however, do not provide causal evidence for the direction of this alcohol-impulsivity relationship. At issue is whether consumption of alcohol during adolescence in rats increases impulsivity and alcohol consumption later in the rats life. To examine this alcohol-impulsivity relationship, three groups of twelve rats chronically consumed alcohol at different ages to determine if it produces comparable changes in: 1) impulsivity, 2) alcohol consumption and, 3) the acute effects of alcohol on impulsivity. The results showed: 1) adolescent and adult chronic alcohol consumption produced no between-group differences in impulsivity, 2) chronic alcohol consumption during adolescence, but not adulthood, doubled self-administered doses of alcohol later in adulthood, 3) acute doses of alcohol (> 1g/kg) in adulthood did not produce systematic changes in impulsivity.

 

Effects of Rimonabant and Haloperidol on Impulsive Choice in Rats Fed High-Fat and Standard-Chow Diets

Domain: Basic Research
STEVEN BOOMHOWER (Idaho State University), Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Abstract:

The endocannabinoid and dopamine neurotransmitter systems have been shown to affect food consumption and may play a role in obesity. However, few studies to date have characterized the effects of cannabinoid and dopamine antagonists on impulsive choicedefined as a pattern of choice for smaller-sooner over larger-later reinforcersin the context of obesity. In the current study, nineteen standard laboratory rats were allowed to free-feed under a high-fat diet (4.73 kcal/g; n=10) or a standard rat chow diet (3.0 kcal/g; n=9). After three months, operant sessions began in which rats chose between one food pellet delivered immediately and three pellets after a series of delays. After behavior stabilized under baseline, acute injections of rimonabant (0-10 mg/kg) and haloperidol (0-0.3 mg/kg) were administered i.p. before some choice sessions. Rimonabant dose-dependently increased impulsive choice in both groups of rats, as revealed by area under the curve (AUC) and indifference point analyses. The higher doses of haloperidol also increased impulsive choice. This suggests that the endocannabinoid and dopamine neurotransmitter systems may be relevant neuromechanisms in impulsive choice.

 
 
Symposium #422
CE Offered: BACB
Organizational Behavior Management: Methods to Improve Employee Performance
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
101 D (Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jacqueline Adams (RCS Learning Center )
Discussant: Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
CE Instructor: Christina M. Boyd-Pickard, M.S. Ed.
Abstract: While numerous empirical studies have demonstrated how techniques of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) improve employee behavior; many managers do not effectively utilize these procedures. Managers of organizations are often presented with the challenge of measuring, monitoring, and altering staff performance. The purpose of these studies was to demonstrate how OBM strategies can be used to improve employee performance within the scope of the entire organization as well as within individual job descriptions. The first study utilized the Performance Objective Matrix (POM) to define and prioritize all components of a job description for one level of employees. The results of the POM were communicated to staff through performance feedback and staff where encouraged to assist in the development of individualized performance goals. Additionally, incentives were provided to staff for continued emission of pinpointed behaviors. The second study evaluated the effects of graphic and written feedback on staff adherence to service delivery requirements within a school based setting. The third study evaluated the effectiveness of staff self-monitoring their performance in increasing the rate of presentation of discrete trials within an educational setting. These studies demonstrated the effectiveness of multiple strategies of OBM and outline procedures required to implement these techniques.
Keyword(s): Organizational Behavior Management, Performance Feedback, Performance Matrix, Self Monitoring
 
Performance Objective Matrix (POM): Effects of Feedback, Collaborative Goal Setting, and Incentives on Therapist Performance
CHRISTINA M. BOYD-PICKARD (RCS Learning Center), Allison Genovese (RCS Learning Center ), Elizabeth Kelsey (RCS Learning Center), Jacqueline Adams (RCS Learning Center ), Allison Disch (RCS Learning Center ), Kristen Murawski (RCS Learning Center)
Abstract: Few tools exist which aid managers in selecting, defining, and measuring employee performance. The Performance Objective Matrix (POM) is a performance management tool which aids managers in objectively analyzing employee performance. When utilizing the POM, all components of a job description must be identified, measured, and then weighted in order of importance. In this study, the POM was implemented across ten behavior therapists who are employed at a private school for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The intervention consisted of providing each therapist with individualized performance feedback, collaborative goal setting, and an incentive plan. Data were analyzed utilizing a Multiple Baseline Design across therapists in order to determine effectiveness. The purposes of this study were to determine the effects of utilizing the POM and to establish a set of procedures to be utilized when providing feedback from the POM. Results demonstrated that the treatment package of performance feedback, collaborative goal setting, and incentives were effective in increasing employee performance within this setting. Future research may include conducting a component analysis of the treatment package in order to determine which independent variables are contributing to the behavior change.
 

The Effect of Written and Graphic Feedback on Therapy Providers Achieving Weekly Service Delivery Requirements

ELIZABETH KELSEY (RCS Learning Center)
Abstract:

Maximum student progress is influenced by the effectiveness of the team of individuals that service each student. In a school setting this often includes therapy providers such as Speech and Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist who oversee the implementation of related student programs. It is therefore critical for therapy providers to achieve assigned service delivery requirements. Further, performance feedback has been used successfully to increase performance in a variety of settings. The current study utilized an ABAB reversal design to examine the effect of written and graphic feedback on the completion of service delivery requirements for 2 therapy providers working in a private school for students with autism. At weekly meetings, each therapy provider was given (1) a graph showing the percent of total service delivery completed and (2) a written statement regarding if service delivery was met or not and the percent increase or decrease in completion from the previous week. The current study proposes a time efficient method for providing specific feedback that has important implications on services provided to students with autism.

 
The Effects of Self-Monitoring on Increasing Rate of Discrete Trial Presentation
COLLEEN YORLETS (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting ), Christina M. Boyd-Pickard (RCS Learning Center)
Abstract: While numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of implementing training packages to increase staff performance for discrete trial teaching (DTT), few have utilized self-monitoring as the primary intervention. One of the benefits of self-monitoring as a staff training tool is that it has the potential to increase staff independence in maintaining target performance rates. Rate of discrete trial presentation is well-established as an important component of DTT which is sometimes targeted for increase as part of an overall training package to increase DTT procedural integrity. The current study evaluates the use of self-monitoring to increase the rate of discrete trial presentation demonstrated by 2 behavior therapists. Discrete trial sessions were video recorded and shown to therapists who recorded their rate of discrete trial presentation. Rates were graphed and posted each session. A multiple baseline across therapists design was used to evaluate the effects of this intervention on staff performance. Data show that implementation of a self-monitoring intervention was occasioned by an increase in rate of discrete trial presentation. This study has implications for improving and maintaining target rates of discrete trial presentation with minimal oversight.
 
 
Symposium #423
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
200 C-E (Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kenneth Shamlian (Nova Southeastern University)
Discussant: Barbara J. Davis (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
CE Instructor: Kenneth Shamlian, Psy.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will include three papers on behavioral assessment and intervention, followed by a discussion. In the first presentation, Ray Joslyn will present on a risk assessment of severe aggression in offenders with intellectual disabilities. In the second presentation, Sarah Slocum will present on a punisher assessment used to treat vocal stereotypy. In the third paper, John Borgen will present a novel stimulus control procedure to increase compliance with key instructions in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Collectively, these presentations will provide new information on behavior assessment and a newly piloted intervention procedure based on an analysis of how stimulus control is developed.

 

Risk Assessment of Severe Aggression in Adult Male Offenders With Intellectual Disabilities

P. RAYMOND JOSLYN (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Stephen F. Walker (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Functional Analysis methodology has been shown to be effective in identifying the operant function for a wide variety of behavior disorders. However, certain populations and topographies of behavior are not easily amenable these analyses. Specifically, severe aggression in adult males with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities is a particularly dangerous behavior for which to conduct a functional analysis. Episodes of severe aggression in this population can produce severe injury or death and, therefore, cannot be allowed to occur even a single time. In this study, a risk assessment was conducted with episodes of severe aggression in a population of adult male criminal offenders with intellectual disabilities. Data were collected on the time and day of week in which these episodes occurred. These data were then used to calculate risk ratios to determine when these episodes of aggression were more likely to occur. Although this analysis does not determine the function of the aggression, it is helpful to consider because it can indicate what days and times, among other factors, are the most dangerous. This information could be useful in determining staffing and supervision levels, as well as planning activities, work hours, and classes in an effort to abate the likelihood of aggressive episodes.

 
A Functional Analysis of Mild Punishers for Vocal Stereotypy
SARAH K. SLOCUM (University of Florida), Nicole Zeug (University of Florida), Catherine Baker (University of Florida), Kara Wunderlich (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: In a typical functional analysis of problem behavior both antecedent and consequent events are manipulated to identify the operant function of behavior. The general focus of this literature has been on identifying reinforcers, thus the consequences that are manipulated are putative reinforcers. However, this logic can also be applied to assess the effects of multiple possible punishers. Following a functional analysis indicating a subject’s vocal stereotypy was maintained by automatic reinforcement, we evaluated three mild punishers in the form of “shhh”, “quiet”, and “quiet” paired with a finger towards the child’s mouth against a no-interaction condition to identify which procedure resulted in the greatest reduction in vocal stereotypy. Our results indicated this methodology could be used to evaluate the overall and relative effectiveness of several different punishers. Results indicated that each of the punishers were effective at reducing the subject’s vocalizations. Given that the punishers assessed were similar to responses typically provided when a child is being loud, the subject’s father found the procedures to be acceptable for use at home and in the community.
 

Measuring Strength of the Instruction-Compliance Contingency to Determine Instruction Type to Deliver

JOHN BORGEN (Nova Southeastern University), Keith Lit (Nova Southeastern University), Tara M. Sheehan (Nova Southeastern University), Jillian Benson (Nova Southeastern University), Brenna Cavanaugh (Nova Southeastern University), Yulema Cruz (Mailman Segal Center), Heather O'Brien (Mailman Segal Center), Stephanie Trauschke (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract:

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have difficulty complying with simple instructions. Compliance with instructions is fundamental for maintaining children's safety as well as success in school environments. The study aimed to teach six children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ages 18 months through 36 months how to comply with key instructions using a compliance training method developed by the principal investigator. The procedure proposed to develop compliance in young children with ASD is designed specifically to establish stimulus control and is based on basic behavioral research demonstrating how stimulus control is established. The procedure was novel in the sense that uncontrolled pilot applications of the procedure had shown that it can establish compliance in individuals with very low levels of compliance. After compliance was established with the experimenters, parents were taught to use similar procedures to establish the generality of compliance. The effectiveness of the procedure was evaluated using single subject research methodology.

 
 
Panel #424
PDS EVENT: Life After Graduate School
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
200 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Evelyn C. Sprinkle (Florida Institute of Technology)
KATIE A. NICHOLSON (Florida Institute of Technology)
TARA OLIVIA LOUGHREY (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
ADA C. HARVEY (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Professional Development Series (PDS) Event designed to provide information to current graduate school students currently in pursuit of both Masters and Doctoral degrees. Information presented will relate to successful completion of current academic programs in terms of maximizing students marketability to doctoral and post-doctoral programs, as well as to potential future employers. Panelists will discuss their personal account of furthering their academic and/or professional growth following completion of a graduate degree. These accounts will include strategies for success and may also highlight potential pitfalls. Panelists will also share recommendations to audience members related to preparing for the successful transition from graduate school. Recommendations related to success in each topic area will be provided. Topics to be covered include but are not limited to: pursuing a doctoral degree following receipt of MS/MA, pursuing postdoctoral experience, pursuing employment post-graduation with a Masters degree, and pursuing employment after graduation with a doctoral degree.

Keyword(s): Gaining post-doctoral experience, Pursuing doctorate, Pursuing employment
 
 
Panel #425
Closing in on 50 years of Behavior Analysis at St. Cloud State University/Past and Present
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
M100 A (Convention Center)
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Gerald C. Mertens (St. Cloud State University)
KIMBERLY A. SCHULZE (St. Cloud State University)
ROBERT J. MURPHY (St. Cloud State University)
GERALD C. MERTENS (St. Cloud State University)
CHARLES J. BOLTUCK (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract:

The panel will look at close to 50 years of teaching behavior analysis at St Cloud State University. We will look at the history of the program, as well as the current existing program. A number of distinguished alum and past and present faculty from a vast number of applications of behavior analysis will talk from the floor about the program's influence on their career in behavior analysis. We also will be looking for suggestions for future improvement of the our various efforts to train behavior analysis. All four of the listed panelists have had a long period of influence on the development of behavior analysis at St. Cloud State. The panel will have it serious presentations, but stories about countless humorous incidents surrounding behavior analysis at St. Cloud are anticipated.

 
 
Paper Session #426
Creating Cooperative Interactions With People and the Past
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
M100 J (Convention Center)
Area: TBA
Chair: Thomas C. Mawhinney (University of Detroit Mercy)
 

Applied Behavior Analysis Goes to School: Training Regular Education Teachers on the Use of Evidence-Based Strategies

Domain: Applied Research
FRANCESCA CAVALLINI (University of Parma), Fabiola Casarini (Universita degli Studi di Parma), Vanessa Artoni (Universita degli Studi di Parma), Gianluca Amato (TICE Learning Centre)
Abstract:

As a result of many actions to disseminate the analysis of behavior within regular education environments in Italy, Parma University's researchers were contacted by Italian Public School representatives to conduct Applied Behavior Analysis-based courses for teachers from kindergarten to secondary school. Data collected for the first course, which included lectures and in situ supervision and was mostly based on public school courses guidelines and regular school training routines, showed no or little improvement in students' behavior and high rates of avoidance behaviors in teachers. After a data analysis, a new behavioral-based course was started, and data showed that 3 lecture sessions training verbal behavior about the science and two supervision sessions using Learn Units (Greer, 2002; Greer & Ross, 2008) could significantly improve students and teachers behavior. We then conducted a third course, based on the implementation of 4 different evidence-based tactics during everyday teaching practice. The experiment showed to have a socially significant impact, as demonstrated by the number of further request for more courses from different Public Education national districts.

 

The Current State of Graduate Training in Behavior Analysis

Domain: Theory
PAUL MALANGA (West Tennessee Resource Center)
Abstract:

In the past couple years Ive begun to notice through talking with former and current graduate students of behavior analysis programs that very few have read B.F. Skinners original works. One student commented we read a lot of journal articles but nothing by B. F. Skinner. Getting a healthy dose of Skinner is important because Skinners work forms the philosophic foundation of what behavior analysts do. Its the why not just the how. One could even argue mastering the philosophy is crucial to becoming more than just a tactician. A brief survey was sent to BACB approved graduate programs inquiring the extent to which B. F. Skinners writings were required reading. A case for the importance of incorporating Skinners works into graduate training will be made, the results will be discussed and a method for incorporating Skinners writings throughout the graduate training experience will be outlined.

 

Efficiently Demonstrating Evolution of Contingencies of Cooperation, Competition, Leadership, and the Role of Trust

Domain: Theory
THOMAS C. MAWHINNEY (University of Detroit Mercy)
Abstract:

B. F. Skinner expressed his empirical theory of behavior in the following adaptation of his behavioral equation: B = f(S,H) where B is behavior, S is a stimulus or stimuli making up prevailing environmental contingencies, and H is individuals observed history with respect to S (Skinner, 1931, 1938, 1966). These relations can apply to each member of a dyad. For dyad member D-1 S would include behavior of the other member, D-2, and H would be the history of social interactions between D-1 and D-2. Social behavior also involves interactions among two or more people in terms of histories they bring to their interactions and other elements of their shared environment, e.g., a cooperative task that must be completed in order for each person to receive some reinforcing consequence(s). Mechner (2008) has made the critical observation that while independent contingencies of social interactions can evoke and maintain interactions among dyad members, dyad members themselves can create and change their own dependent social contingencies or rules they adopt or create in response to changes in environmental contingencies. The academic and practical implications of live demonstrations of evolution of cooperation, competition, leadership and theory underpinning social interactions, and particularly the phenomenon called trust (Matthews, 1977) are discussed in this paper.

 
 
Panel #427
CE Offered: BACB
Take a Walk in Our Shoes: A Discussion on What Behavioral Psychologists Have to Say About Perspective Taking
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
102 B-C (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Timothy M. Weil, M.A.
Chair: Stephanie Caldas (University of Louisiana at Lafayette )
DAVID E. GREENWAY (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
TIMOTHY M. WEIL (University of South Florida)
JOHN O'NEILL (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

Perspective taking plays a crucial part in cognitive development, social functioning, and self-conceptualization, but has not been investigated extensively from a behavioral perspective until recently. Perspective taking has mostly been studied under the paradigm of Theory of Mind, and although Theory of Mind has outlined detailed stages of the development of perspective taking, it has been criticized for its lack of specificity in defining the learning processes underlying perspective taking and the contexts that facilitate this learning. The behavioral perspective can now offer more than criticism of Theory of Mind, in way of an alternative explanation from a functional contextual approach. Relational Frame Theory, a behavior analytic account of human language and cognition, offers a new position on perspective taking, emphasizing deictic relational responding as central to the establishment of the self, the development of perspective taking, and the facilitation of effective social behavior. This panel intends to explore perspective taking in development, psychopathology, and psychotherapy.

Keyword(s): Perspective Taking, Relational Frame Theory
 
 
Paper Session #428
Social Behavior in Children With Autism
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
205 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Andre Maharaj (Florida International University)
 

Teaching Eye Contact in the Context of Requesting and Joint Attention to Toddlers With Autism

Domain: Applied Research
IVANA KRSTOVSKA-GUERRERO (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York), Emily A. Jones (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Gaze shifting and eye contact are severely impaired in children with autism. Lack of these skills negatively impacts the development of foundational early social communication skills, such as requesting and joint attention. In previous research, children were taught requesting and joint attention skills, but not necessarily in coordination with gaze shifting and eye contact. In three studies, we explored the effectiveness of prompting and reinforcement procedures to teach eye contact with gaze shifting coordinated with requesting and joint attention across several different skills and teaching sequences. A multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to evaluate the intervention for eight young children with autism (19-33 months of age) who participated in these studies. Results showed rapid acquisition of target responses for all children with some generalization across different levels of requesting and joint attention in one study, and across different functions in two other studies. Generalization across people was observed for all children. While the generalization across responses and functions must be interpreted with caution, it is important because it may suggest the crucial role these skills play in early social communication development and, perhaps, their pivotal role in autism interventions.

 
Evaluating iPad Technology as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device and its Effects on Vocal Communication Skills
Domain: Applied Research
GINA GAVRILIS (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)
Abstract: Communicative abnormalities are common symptoms of individuals who have autism spectrum disorders. Many children with autism fail to develop functional speech. This study addressed the augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs of children who have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum and who possess deficits in communicative behaviors, as well as the potential of AAC strategies to promote vocal responding. The effects of Proloquo2Go on the Apple iPad were evaluated in relation to the requesting skills of the participants. Proloquo2Go is an AAC system that utilizes symbols, visual supports, and a voice output component. Participants were taught to utilize the system in order to mand for preferred items. Following an iPad training phase, a prompt delay procedure was implemented to promote vocal responding. The study utilized a multiple baseline design across participants with multiple phases.
 

Establishing Social Stimuli as Reinforcers

Domain: Applied Research
ANDRE MAHARAJ (Florida International University)
Abstract:

According to the DSM-IV, one of the core deficits in Autism is in the impairment of social interaction. Some have suggested that underlying these deficits is the reality that people with Autism do not find social stimuli to be as reinforcing as other types of stimuli (Dawson, Toth, Abbott, Osterling, Munson, Estes & Liaw, 2004, Dawson, 2008). If changes can be made early in development in the way social stimuli are perceived, perhaps other behaviors may then develop more typically (Dawson, 2008, Helt, Kelley, Kinsbourne, Padney, Boorstein, Herbert & Fein, 2008). The current study aimed to use operant and respondent procedures to condition social stimuli that had been empirically shown to not be reinforcing prior to conditioning to function as reinforcers. Three children between 2 and 3 years of age, diagnosed with Autism, participated. Following a thorough free-operant, concurrent choice reinforcer assessment of both social and non-social stimuli, the participants received 7 sessions of a combined, operant and respondent procedure to establish the reinforcing effects of social stimuli found to not be reinforcing. The data were analyzed using a multiple-baseline design with a reversal, to show if the effects of conditioning persist past the training. Results show an increase in responding for the social stimulus during training and follow-up for all participants.

 
 
Paper Session #429
Educating Children with Autism: Evaluating Research on Group Contingency Systems, EIBI, and Social-Communication Treatment Strategies
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
205 C-D (Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Svein Eikeseth (Akershus University College)
 

Group Contingency Systems and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Applicability and Effectiveness in the Mainstream Classroom

Domain: Service Delivery
KATRINA OSTMEYER (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Angela Scarpa (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Abstract:

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been increasing with as many as 65% considered high functioning (CDC, 2012). Combined with a trend towards full-inclusion (Simpson, de Boer-Ott, & Smith-Myles, 2003), we are seeing more children with ASD in mainstream classrooms. Considering the shortage of special education services and staff (Katsiyannis, Zhang & Conroy, 2003), these children may not be receiving a high level of individualized attention which could contribute to the discrepancies between cognitive ability and academic performance often seen in ASD (Assouline, Nicpon, & Dockery, 2012). Group-oriented contingencies are regularly used in education to help manage classroom behaviors, teach social and academic skills, and encourage academic learning in mainstream and special-education classrooms (Litow & Pumroy, 1975); however, there is a paucity of research examining how children with ASD respond to group-oriented contingencies when in a group of their typically developing peers. This presentation will review the literature on group-oriented contingency systems in education in general and ASD populations specifically. The effectiveness of, and possible barriers to, the use of group-oriented contingencies with children with ASD in the mainstream classroom will be discussed and conclusions will give recommendations to address barriers while suggesting directions for future research.

 

Comprehensive Educational Interventions for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Litterature Review

Domain: Service Delivery
SVEIN EIKESETH (Akershus University College), Lars Klintwall (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract:

Since the 1960s and until today, a number of educational intervention programs for children with ASD have been developed. Our review identified seven interventions that can be considered comprehensive, that is, addressing the core behavioral excesses and deficits exhibited by children with ASD. These were; (1) Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-handicapped Children (TEACCH), (2) Sensory Integration Therapy, (3) FloorTime, (4) Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), (5) Pivotal Response Training, (6) Relationship Development Intervention Program (RDI), and (7) The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). A literature review identified a lack of outcome research evaluating the effectiveness of these interventions. Also, for the outcome studies that have been conducted, the scientific quality varied greatly, and scientific quality needs to be taken into account when considering treatment efficacy. Results of the literature review shows that Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is by far the best researched and best documented intervention for children with ASD. Several studies have demonstrated that EIBI may produce significant increases on standard scores in both intellectual functioning and adaptive functioning, as well as reductions in autistic symptoms and aberrant behaviors. Another recent comprehensive intervention, the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), carries considerable promise. However, until now, only one outcome study evaluating ESDM has been published. Hence, to date, EIBI is the only comprehensive educational intervention that can be considered evidence based for children with ASD.

 
A Systematic Review: How is Treatment Dosage Addressed in Evidence-Based Communication Interventions for Beginning Communicators With ASD?
Domain: Applied Research
JOE REICHLE (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Warren Fey & Yoder (2007) described a system to quantify the intensity (treatment dosage) of social-communication intervention that they proposed for use in evaluating treatment effects across interventions. They concluded that, It is time to begin the creation of a systematic research base examining this critically important dimension of intervention efficacythe effects of different intervention intensities on communication and language development (pg. 71). More specifically, they described an index of cumulative intervention intensity that is derived from dimensions that included dose, dose frequency, dose form, and total intervention duration. To that end, they called for an approach that requires defining and quantifying specific teaching or intervention episodes (pg. 71). This proposed paper applied the dosage framework proposed by Warren, Fey and Yoder (2007) on the milieu teaching, pivotal response training, applied behavior analysis interventions (including Lovaas) social communication intervention strategies to explore how each of the dosage parameters (i.e., dose, dose form, dose frequency, total duration, and cumulative intervention intensity) was reported in the located studies and/or whether dosage information could be extrapolated from data presented. A systematic search was adopted to locate existing studies with children experiencing autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities that involved an intellectual delay. Data were then extracted from the located studies with regard to dosage parameters, study characteristics and participant characteristics. Reliability of codes and fidelity of search procedure implementation were scrutinized throughout the investigation. Results highlight the lack of a systematic specification of all dosage parameters and the need for more rigorous attention to dosage parameters in determining customized intervention plans for beginning communicators. Without dosage specificity it is difficult to compare the merit of different curricula that are currently available. Implecations for practice and future translational research will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #430
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Direct Instruction for Young Readers With Autism: Siegfried Engelmann's Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
208 C-D (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Kendra L. Brooks Rickard (Fit Learning)
CE Instructor: Kendra L. Brooks Rickard, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Direct Instruction was developed to address the need for an effective academic strategy that accounts for the variables that may influence student learning. It is a highly structured system for teaching academic skills pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann, author of Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. This text is consistent with the tenants of Direct Instruction and provides instructors with an intensive program to teach reading skills or remediate reading deficits. Each lesson builds cumulatively upon the skills acquired in previous lessons, and explicitly targets rhyming, phonetic reading, correct use of punctuation, reading and picture comprehension, and handwriting. Based on this text, a program was implemented to teach reading, writing, and comprehension to several young children with autism enrolled in the UNR Early Childhood Autism Program. Additionally, a data collection and mastery criterion system was developed to compliment the text, and generalization probes comprised of novel reading material were conducted after each lesson was mastered. This symposium will include a brief history of Direct Instruction, a description of the programmatic components utilized in Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and a description of its implementation with young readers with autism.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Autism, Direct Instruction, Early Intervention, Reading/Academic Behavior
Target Audience:

Professional behavior analysts interested in using direct instruction to teach reading skills to children with autism and other learning disabilities.

Learning Objectives:
  1. At the conclusion of the session, participants will:Attendees will be presented with information related to the theory and philosophy of direct instruction and the advantages of incorporating direct instruction strategies into clinical treatment.  
  2. This symposium will provide attendees with a description of each programmatic component of Sigfried Englemann's Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, as well as an explanation of how to implement this program to teach reading, writing, and comprehension skills to children with autism and other learning disabilities.
  3. Additionally, the effects of using Englemann's Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons on the generalization and maintenance of these academic skills will be discussed.  
 

Origins of Direct Reading Instruction

ERIN M. CARR (University of Nevada, Reno), Teal McAllister (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Direct instruction was developed out of a need for an effective academic strategy that accounts for all of the variables that may influence student learning. It is a highly structured system for teaching academic skills pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann. The direct instruction program is based on three assumptions: (1) all children can be taught; (2) teaching component skills and their application in complex skills should be the priority of any instructional program; and (3) remedial students need to be taught at a faster rate. Engelmann is the author of many direct instruction curricula, among them, Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. A brief history of the philosophy of direct instruction and its theoretical underpinnings will be discussed.

 

Conceptual Foundations of Direct Reading Instruction

AINSLEY B. LEWON (University of Nevada, Reno), Daylee E. Magnison (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Direct Instruction is an educational model that employs explicit and highly structured teaching practices in the acquisition of academic behavior. Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann is consistent with the tenants of Direct Instruction and provides instructors with an intensive program to teach reading skills or remediate reading deficits. Each lesson builds cumulatively upon the skills acquired in previous lessons, and explicitly targets rhyming, phonetic reading, correct use of punctuation, reading and picture comprehension, and handwriting. The advantages of utilizing Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons in the acquisition of reading skills, as well as a specific description of each programmatic component, will be discussed.

 

Case Studies in Autism and Direct Reading Instruction

MARISELA PALLARES (University of Nevada, Reno), Kimberly Sigler-Kamen (University of Nevada, Reno), Jennifer A. Bonow (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Utilizing the text Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Sigfried Engleman, a program was implemented to teach reading, writing, and comprehension to several young children with autism enrolled in the UNR Early Childhood Autism Program. A data collection and mastery criterion system was developed to compliment the text. Generalization probes using a set of Bob books, authored by Bobby Lynn Maslen and illustrated by John R. Maslen that gradually increased in difficulty were conducted after the mastery of each lesson. A positive relationship was observed between lessons mastered and generalization of reading skills, as mastery of lessons served to increase reading accuracy on novel Bob books. Further, a relationship was observed between lessons mastered and decreased trials for mastery of reading criteria in subsequent lessons. Future research and implications are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #431
CE Offered: BACB
Alternative Interventions for Reducing Stereotypy
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
211 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Justin James Daigle (Therapy Center of Acadiana)
Discussant: Gordon Bourland (Trinity Behavioral Associates)
CE Instructor: Justin James Daigle, M.A.
Abstract: Stereotypy continues to be a prevalent issue for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Stereotypical behaviors frequently interfere with the development of new skills. Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung (2007) outlined the procedure referred to as Response Interrupt and Redirection (RIRD) to target a decrease in stereotypical behaviors. Though RIRD has been established as an effective intervention for the reduction of stereotypy, it is often time consuming to implement in treatment with broader focuses. This symposium evaluates the use of various behavioral procedures targeting the reduction of stereotypical behaviors. Alternative interventions evaluated within the symposium will include a Response Cost Procedure, an Interval Differential Reinforcement of Low-Occurring Behaviors (DRL) procedure, and a Differential Reinforcement of Zero Responding (DRO) procedure alongside a Functional Communication Training (FCT) procedure. Authors will discuss the effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions in comparison to RIRD procedures. The methodology and results will be reviewed. The highlights and limitations of each procedure will be discussed.
Keyword(s): Differential Reinforcement, Functional Communication Training, Response Cost, Stereotypy
 
Using a Response Cost Procedure to Reduce Stereotypy
Justin James Daigle (Therapy Center of Acadiana), SAMANTHA CORDOVA (Therapy Center of Acadiana), Emmie Hebert (Therapy Center of Acadiana)
Abstract: Previous research has identified effect interventions for vocal and motor stereotypy. Most notably, Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung (2007) identified the effectiveness of a response interrupt and redirection (RIRD) procedure in reducing instances of vocal stereotypy. Research has shown that though RIRD is effective, it can often require a large amount of dedicated time to implement. The current study examines the efficiency and effectiveness of a response cost procedure in reducing both motor and vocal stereotypy. The participant was an 11-year old boy who had been diagnosed with autism at age 2 and who received educational and clinical services through the public school setting. He was referred for services to address the absence of language, aggressive behaviors, and engagement in frequent vocal and motor stereotypy. During the treatment sessions, the use of a response cost procedure was a part of a larger behavior plan performed in Discrete Trail Training (DTT) sessions. Treatment procedure was evaluated using a single subject reversal design. Findings and implications will be discussed.
 
Using a Differential Reinforcement of Low-Occurring Behaviors (DRL) Procedure to Reduce Stereotypy
DANIELLE DUHON (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Justin James Daigle (Therapy Center of Acadiana)
Abstract: The reduction of stereotypy continues to be a prevalent concern amongst individuals with developmental delays. While stereotypical behaviors frequently interfere with learning novel behaviors, traditional interventions, such as Response Interrupt and Redirection (RIRD; Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung, 2007), that target the decrease of stereotypical behaviors are often time consuming and continue to interfere with learning new skills. The current study examines the effectiveness and efficiency of a Differential Reinforcement of Low-Occurring Behaviors (DRL) procedure for reducing stereotypy. The participant was a non-verbal, 5-year old male diagnosed with autism. Stereotypical responses were measured before and during the use of a 10-minute interval DRL procedure within Discrete Trial Training (DTT) sessions. The high frequency of baseline responding made the use of alternative procedures impractical to implement. During the treatment sessions, the use of the DRL procedure was part of a larger intervention plan. Treatment procedures were evaluated using a single subject reversal design. Findings and implications will be discussed.
 
Using Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior and Functional Communication Training to Reduce Stereotypic Behavior in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
REBECCA JONES (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Stereotypy is a serious concern for teachers and professionals working with the autistic population because of its propensity to interfere with learning and socialization. While there are several studies that evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce stereotypy through the application of aversives, there are relatively few that focus on positive reinforcement or functional communication training as effective interventions. Thus, it is the purpose of this study to evaluate the effectiveness of a combined Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO) and Functional Communication Training (FCT) intervention to teach a seven-year old autistic male to eliminate stereotypy during learning segments and engage in stereotypy only when appropriate. The author found that implementing a combined DRO/FCT procedure significantly reduced stereotypic behavior.
 
 
Paper Session #432
Contemporary Topics in Behavioral Health and Rehabilitation
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
102 D-E (Convention Center)
Area: CBM
Chair: Michael P. Mozzoni (Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center)
 

CANCELLED: Exploring Behavioral Treatment of Over-Eating

Domain: Applied Research
James Moore (Anatomies Weight Loss Center), RACHEL RITTER MITCHELL (Anatomies Weight Loss Center), Valerie Folkes (Anatomies Weight Loss Center), Christine Breazeale (University of Southern Mississippi), Ethan Ewoldt (University of Southern Mississippi), Tayler Jordan (University of Southern Mississippi), Brittany Smith (University of Southern Mississippi), Ramandeep Singh (University of Southern Mississippi)
Abstract:

This presentation will offer information on a successful weight loss program designed to address over-eating, behaviorally. The weight loss program includes monthly sessions with a Behavioral Consultant as well as a Nutrition Specialist. Specifically the program involves implementing direct behavioral consultation with clients in which they are able to learn how to alter their behavior (i.e., over-eating) by incorporating replacement behaviors and how to combat situations in which that may be difficult. Data will be presented comparing the weight loss and treatment integrity of weight loss center members who received the behavioral consultation component and those who did not (i.e., only met with the Nutrition Specialist). The main behavioral component included in the program is client self-monitoring. Additionally, other embedded components such as acknowledgement of antecedents and consequences, abolishing operations, reinforcement, prompting, fading, task analysis, and chaining are explained and utilized with clients. The use and applicability of each of these components in relation to weight-loss and decreasing over-eating will be discussed.

 

Walk and Talk: Building Connections

Domain: Theory
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract:

A typical format for conducting psychotherapy sessions may not always be suitable for the residents of assisted living or long-term care facilities. Residents of these facilities are older adults in poor physical health and many of them suffer from chronic mental disorders and adjustment problems. They often rely on the care giving of others and they rarely engage in health behaviors, such as exercise. Although research shows that physical activity may alleviate many types of mental disorders and improve ones well-being, it is not always fully implemented in the long-term care settings. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Walk and Talk intervention, the critical aspect of which is to recognize the importance of physical activity to well-being and its feasibility in psychotherapy sessions. The development of an effective clinical behavior analytic approach to the Walk and Talk psychotherapy with aging population is discussed with the presentation of two case studies. Potential strengths and weaknesses of this psychotherapy session format are discussed.

 
Training Methods in Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL P. MOZZONI (Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center)
Abstract: Abstract: People with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) typically present with problems in the areas of: impulsivity, attention, memory, awareness and disinhibition. They tend to have difficulty learning/re-learning skills and information, which can slow progress and compromise treatment success. These deficits in many cases, result in acquired learning disabilities. Training methods developed in special education for persons with learning disabilities appear to be appropriate and effective for persons with ABI. Funding pressures have dramatically decreased time allowed for treatment, requiring therapists to use more efficient training methods. This presentation will demonstrate training methods found in the behavioral literature and effectively applied to persons with ABI. Evidence in the behavioral literature concerning methods of fluency, discounting and trial presentation will be presented with several case examples. In addition some original research will be presented concerning mild limbic system activation to retrain autobiographical memory. Issues of motivation, alignment of expectations and success in therapy sessions will be reviewed in relation to behavior management and skill acquisition.
 
 
Symposium #433
CE Offered: BACB
Ethical Issues for Behavior Analysts in Practice
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
102 F (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Melissa L. Olive (Applied Behavioral Strategies)
Discussant: Thomas J. Zwicker (Easter Seals of Coastal Fairfield County, CT)
CE Instructor: Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This 3-panel presentation covers some of the ethical issues behavior analysts may face in practice. Paper 1 will present the behavior analysts' legal responsibilities under HIPAA and the HiTech Act regarding confidentiality and safe storage/transmission of clinical files and related communication. Paper 2 will present the behavior analysts' legal and ethical responsibilities under special education law including when to complete an FBA, how and when to develop and BIP and the role of Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) within BIPs. The third presentation will focus on the ethical issues related to the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders including the role of medical professionals and allied health professionals and physical/medical harm that children may experience if treatment is implemented without appropriate assessments. The discussant will summarize key points, moderate the discussion, and facilitate questions from the audience.

Keyword(s): Ethical Issues, HIPAA and Confidentiality, SPED Law
 

HIPAA and The HiTech Act: Are Your Clinical Files and Electronic Communications Safe?

MELISSA L. OLIVE (Applied Behavioral Strategies), Jennifer Crawford (The Learning Lane), Rebecca Ryan (Sandbox ABA)
Abstract:

The focus of this presentation is the myriad of legal responsibilities under HIPAA and the HiTech Act. Behavior analysts should be well-aware of their responsibilities related to confidentiality under the BACB guidelines for responsible conduct. However, few behavior analysts know their responsibilities under HIPAA and The HiTech Act. These laws relate specifically to safe storage and transmission of clinical files and communications related to those communications (including electronic, digital, and VOIP).

 

Special Education Law: Knowing When and How to Complete FBAs, BIPs, and PBS

SHELLEY LYNN NEILSEN GATTI (University of Minnesota), Melissa L. Olive (Applied Behavioral Strategies), Rebecca Ryan (Sandbox ABA)
Abstract:

This presentation will focus on the legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). The IDEIA implicitly states on one instance when a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is required. Completing an FBA is implied in 3 more instances within the law. A BIP, including the consideration of Positive Behavior Supports is also required under the IDEIA. To further confuse matters, states may have different rules regarding definitions and requirements related to FBAs, BIPs, and PBS. Behavior analysts who practice within public schools are responsible for knowing the federal requirements, in addition to the state requirements where he/she practices.

 

Ethical Issues Related to the Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders

MELISSA L. OLIVE (Applied Behavioral Strategies), Rebecca Ryan (Sandbox ABA)
Abstract:

More and more behavior analysts are providing services for pediatric feeding disorders. This is evident by the formation of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders SIG and the numerous sessions on pediatric feeding disorders during last year's conference. The assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders presents more risks to clients and their families than ABA therapy for other skills because of the risk of choking, undiagnosed food allergies, potential GI disease, and swallowing disorders. Thus, the behavior analyst must take care to complete careful and comprehensive assessments prior to designing feeding intervention protocols. This session will focus on the necessary assessments and possible side effects of feeding therapy.

 
 
Symposium #434
The Role of Idiosyncratic Antecedent Stimuli in Addressing Non-socially Mediated Challenging Behavior
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
200 F-G (Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Breanne June Byiers (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract:

Although functional analyses often result in the identification of environmental contingencies maintaining challenging behavior, many instances of stereotyped or repetitive behaviors occur in the absence of such contingencies (e.g., Vollmer, Marcus, Ringdahl, & Roane, 1995). When the sources of reinforcement for a behavior cannot be identified or controlled, developing effective interventions can be especially difficult (Vollmer, 1994). Previous research has demonstrated that idiosyncratic antecedent stimuli can play an important role in the assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors (e.g., Van Camp et al, 2000), and may be especially relevant in cases in cases of non-socially mediated behaviors. This symposium will present data from three young children with intellectual/developmental disabilities who exihited non-socially maintained challenging behavior. In each case, at least one idiosyncratic antecedent stimulus was identified that was associated with changes in the frequency or duration of the target behavior. Strategies for identifying relevant antecedent stimuli and implications for the development of effective interventions will be discussed.

Keyword(s): antecedent stimuli, automatic reinforcement, functional analysis
 

Decreasing Self-Injurious Behavior Using Empirically Identified Environmental Stimuli

BREANNE JUNE BYIERS (University of Minnesota), Adele Dimian (University of Minnesota), Timothy R. Moore (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Functional analyses are effective in identifying the maintaining social contingencies in many cases of self-injurious behavior (SIB). However, those cases in which the maintaining consequences cannot be identified or controlled can be difficult to treat (Vollmer, 1994). Identifying antecedent stimuli related to increases or decreases in SIB is one potential avenue for treatment of automatically maintained SIB. The purpose of the current study was to identify antecedent stimuli associated with decreased rates of SIB in a young girl with Potocki-Shaffer syndrome following an undifferentiated functional analysis. Based on anecdotal reports, videos of the analog functional analysis conditions were coded for the presence and absence of music, toys, and adult attention. SIB was lower in the presence of each stimulus than in its absence. The effects of these variables were confirmed in an alternating treatment design in which each stimulus was presented alone in 3- minute conditions. Music resulted in the lowest rates of SIB, with attention resulting in minimal effects. The results are discussed in relation to strategies for identifying relevant antecedent stimuli, and implications for the treatment of SIB.

 

Television as an Idiosyncratic Antecedent Stimuli Associated With Self-Injurious Behavior

JESSICA J. SIMACEK (University of Minnesota), Breanne June Byiers (University of Minnesota), Timothy R. Moore (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

Previous research has found that idiosyncratic antecedent stimuli can play an important role in the analysis and treatment of aberrant behavior (e.g., Van Camp et al, 2000). This study describes the use of functional analysis (FA) to examine the relationship between the self-injurious behavior (SIB) of a 4-year-old male with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and global developmental delay and the television as an idiosyncratic antecedent stimulus. For this participant, SIB occurred in the form of hand biting/mouthing. The FA suggested that SIB was automatically maintained, and appeared to occur at a higher rate when the television was on. The FA conditions were repeated with the television systematically on and off. The results of the FA supported the earlier observation that SIB occurred more frequently with the television on. These data are discussed with regard to previous research on the influence of idiosyncratic variables in functional analysis.

 

Functional Analysis and Intervention of Stereotypic Behavior

LISA SPOFFORD (University of Minnesota), Meredith Peterson (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Abstract:

This analysis is of value for effective treatment recommendations for children with stereotypic behavior that is automatically reinforced. A functional behavior assessment (FBA) of stereotypy was conducted with a boy, aged 7, with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Initial interviews with the boy and his parents indicated that stereotypic behavior occurred more frequently when alone. The results of the FBA did not identify a social reinforcer for stereotypy and was consistent with interview information indicating that stereotyped behavior occurred most frequently in the alone condition. Intervention consisted of an activity list to do during unscheduled or alone periods of time. Intervention data demonstrated a decrease in stereotypic behaviors when the list was utilized during free time. In follow up, lists were also created for times that parents reported were difficult such as during tooth brushing, transitions to and from the car, lunch and recess periods at school, and traveling abroad. Results are discussed in terms of providing individuals with non-stigmatizing activities that are incompatible with stereotypic behavior that is not socially reinforced.

 
 
Symposium #435
Methodological Advancements in Discounting Research
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
101 H (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Delay and probability discounting are behavioral measures of impulsive choice that provide important insights into the behavioral processes that underlie various human problem behaviors. The methods associated with measuring delay and probability discounting have been around for more than 20 years, but researchers continually refine existing methods and develop new ones that allow substantive empirical statements regarding the impulsivity-related problem behaviors. The purpose of this symposium is to present a series of papers representing novel empirical examinations of methodological aspects of discounting research. Research in this symposium will address the development of new methods for measuring delay discounting, examine novel methods for mathematically describing discounting data that provide potential additive information regarding the processes that underlie impulsive choice, extend a growing literature concerning the use of real versus hypothetical monetary outcomes in the measurement of delay and probability discounting to non-monetary outcomes (cigarettes), and extend the study of discounting to complex outcomes that better approximate real-world contexts in which impulsive decisions take place. Taken together, the research presented here represents important methodological developments in the study of discounting phenomena, which are fundamentally important for understanding a range of human problem behaviors
Keyword(s): discounting, impulsivity, methodology
 
A Novel Task to Assess Preference Reversals
ALEXIS MATUSIEWICZ (University of Maryland, College Park), Antonio Tyson (University of Maryland, College Park), Richard Yi (University of Maryland, College Park)
Abstract: A litany of self-control problems can be attributed to preference reversals (PRs), defined as a switch from preferring a larger later reward to a smaller sooner reward. The hyperbolic temporal discounting model can specify when PRs should theoretically occur. However, we are not aware of any established procedures in human studies that can document the theorized relationship between temporal discounting and PRs. To that end, we have developed the Integrated Discounting and Preference Reversal (IDPR) procedure, an innovative measure of temporal discounting and PRs based on the established Monetary Choice Questionnaire. The IDPR consists of binary choice trials where the participant chooses between a smaller, sooner reward (SS) or a larger, later reward (LL). One hundred sixty four adult human participants completed a computerized version of the IDPR. Consistent with theory, results revealed significant correlations of temporal discount rate (k) and observed PR points for rewards of small (. 60 –.79, p <.01) and large (.33 – .80 , p <.01) magnitude. Figure 1 illustrates the association between k and observed PRs. The IDPR may be an effective tool for further exploration of the temporal-discounting / PR relationship as well as predicting an individual’s temporal vulnerability to PRs.
 
Using a Double Exponential Model to Examine Delay Discounting Curves
SUZANNE H. MITCHELL (Oregon Health & Science University), Vanessa B. Wilson (Oregon Health & Science University)
Abstract: Alternative models to the hyperbolic or quasi-hyperbolic models of delay discounting may provide additional information about the processes underlying preference for smaller, sooner over larger later rewards. Economic theorists have used double-exponential models to describe delay discounting functions. These quasi-exponential models include two components: one component associated with “impulsivity” and one component associated with executive functioning. Two studies examined this model. In Experiment 1, smokers and nonsmokers (20/group) completed a task including SmallNow versus LargeLater choices and SmallSoon versus LargeLater choices. In Experiment 2, smokers and nonsmokers (16/group) completed the same task but with hypothetical choices. Analyses using hyperbolic models replicated prior findings that smokers discount the LargeLater reward more than nonsmokers when the smaller reward is available immediately, and this difference remained when the smaller reward was slightly delayed. The impulsivity parameter did not differ between smokers and nonsmokers in either experiment, but smokers did exhibit lower executive functioning parameters. This would suggest that smokers are characterized by lower executive functioning, as it relates to decision making, than nonsmokers, and may suggest novel therapeutic approaches for smoking cessation treatment.
 
Impulsive Choice for Potentially Real versus Hypothetical Money and Cigarettes in Adult Smokers
RYAN GREEN (Idaho State University), Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Research to date indicates strong associations between drug use (e.g., alcohol, heroin, cocaine, nicotine) and impulsive decisions measured using the delay discounting procedures among drug-dependent individuals. Most discounting research uses hypothetical monetary outcomes to establish discounting patterns among subjects and research shows quite clearly that decision-making for hypothetical money is equivalent to that for real money. However, smoking-related impulsive choice involves decisions about cigarettes, not money. In this ongoing study, smokers were assigned randomly to make delay and probability discounting decisions regarding either potentially real (n = 22) or hypothetical (n = 23) monetary and cigarette outcomes. Participants in the potentially real outcomes condition received money and cigarettes based on their decisions in the task. Participants in the hypothetical outcomes condition were compensated with money and cigarettes independent of their decisions. Comparison of area under the curve estimates revealed no differences in delay or probability discounting for potentially real versus hypothetical money, which replicates previous research. There also was no difference between area under the curve estimates for participants in the potentially real versus hypothetical cigarettes conditions, suggesting that discounting decisions for hypothetical cigarettes are similar to those for potentially real cigarettes.
 
Methodological Issues in the Discounting of Complex Outcomes
JONATHAN E. FRIEDEL (Utah State University), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: To date, research on temporal discounting has focused on choices between two positive outcomes of the same type, which are simplified choices rarely found in day-to-day life. The experiments reported here were designed to assess discounting of complex outcomes (e.g., outcomes that have more than one result) and deal with some methodological issues when studying complex outcomes. The goal of the first experiment was to understand how people choose between alternatives that have simultaneous monetary gains and monetary losses. The goal of the second experiment was to understand how people choose when faced with an alternative that has outcomes of equal magnitude but opposite sign (i.e., a gain of $100 and a loss of $100). In both experiments participants arithmetically simplified the complex outcomes to a simple outcome and the subjective value was established based on the simplified outcome. For example, when asked about a gain of $100 and an almost simultaneous loss of $100 participants responded as if the total amount was $0. Discounting parameters as well as model-free area-under-the-curve estimates were obtained for all data collected and will be discussed. Future directions and theoretical predictions will also be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #436
CE Offered: BACB
Bringin' Out Your Techy Side: Use of Technology to Research Behavior Change
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
101 I (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Joseph J. Pear (University of Manitoba)
CE Instructor: Melissa Nosik, M.S.
Abstract:

This symposium will present two analogue research studies that employ computer programming to study issues pulled from the applied realm of behavior analysis. Both studies utilize inter-disciplinary collaborations between behavior analysis and computer science professionals and researchers to create programs that are user-friendly for participants and provide the data and methodology to evaluate the research aims. One study involved an iPhone application to create analogue of a work task to study creativity and problem solving. The other study utilized visual basic programming to evaluate fluency versus accuracy criteria for training. Both studies will discuss the research conducted and the software/technology used. The last talk will be from a software-programming consultant who has worked with various disciplines on programming projects. He will provide ideas about visual display, usability, data collection and cost of programming as well as advice on how to communicate with programmers to create effective programs that accomplish the research aims.

Keyword(s): Analogue, Problem Solving, Technology, Training
 
Impact of History on Behavioral Sensitivity to Changing Conditions: An Analogue of Problem Solving
MOLLI LUKE (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Behavior analysis has substantial lines of research to measure sensitivity to changing contingencies, which leads to problem solving behaviors (Hayes, Bronstein, Zettle, Rosenfarb & Korn, 1986; LeFrancios, Chase & Joyce, 1988; Joyce & Chase, 1990; Rosenfarb, Newland, Brannon & Howey, 1992; Baumann, Abreu-Rodrigues & Silvia Souza, 2009). The lines of research within behavior analysis on problem solving and varied or novel responding in the context of changing conditions, has evaluated participants engaging in a simple computerized task. There has been little translation of these findings to situations that closer approximate a real world situation. In the context of environmental and global changes, there is value in systematically replicating earlier work to understand how to increase human’s behavioral sensitivity, as well as, how to increase proactive, problem-solving behavior when conditions change. This study utilized touchscreen software programs to create an analogue of climate change situations to evaluate the sensitivity of participants to changing contingencies. Application software was programmed to provide the participants with various situations, instructions and criteria. These manipulations provide closer approximations to the complexity of situations encountered by managers of dwindling resources, especially with changing environmental conditions like those occurring with global warming.
 

A Discrete Trial Instruction Analogue to Evaluate Fluency verses Accuracy as Training Targets

MELISSA NOSIK (University of Nevada, Reno), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Fluency has been described by Johnston and Layng (1996) as a metaphor for flowing, effortless, well-practiced, and accurate performance. This is exactly what a trainer might describe as the outcome they would desire for technicians implementing behavior analytic procedures. Within the training literature the most commonly used competency criteria in staff training is a percent correct measure. Within the precision teaching literature you find multiple exemplars of fluency producing the greatest learning effects that lead to mastery of material. It seems natural that we should also apply this standard to learners across all types of teaching, including staff training of performance based skills. To reach this outcome of fluency specific to learning the complex chains with multiple conditional discriminations as occurs in most behavior analytic training procedures, we must first evaluate it in a basic preparation. Fluency has been the term we have used in the behavior analysis community to label composite and component performance that are quick and effortless. In the technical sense of the word fluency, the performance being measured must be free operant, rather than discrete trial (Ferster, 1953; Lindsley, 1964). In the current study we evaluated simple and complex chains of discriminations with varied stimulus presentations in an analogue preparation as a parallel representation of a behavior analytic training skill. All participants had either accuracy or fluency goals randomly assigned to each chain.

 

Engaging Software Professionals to Further Your Research Goals

RYAN POLK (Rally Software)
Abstract:

Custom software development can be a complex and expensive endeavor for all parties involved. Garnering a greater understanding of the complex domain of software development can benefit the researcher; although, extensive knowledge of development technology is not necessarily required to be successful. A rudimentary understanding of software requirements, simple design and an eye for simplicity can help reduce development time and lower costs overall. In this presentation we will review several custom developed research projects. Included are details on their construction, data collection and costs of development including: development time, requirements gathering, and testing efforts. In this context we will discuss methods to reduce costs and leverage cooperation both in the software open source community and by creating a shared software repository to benefit the behavior analysis field. By utilizing shared source and by implementing simple strategies to expedite software projects we can drastically expand the capabilities of the computer-based researcher.

 
 
Symposium #437
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Analyses of Common Treatments for Problem Behavior
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
101 J (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joshua Jessel (Western New England University)
Discussant: Michael E. Kelley (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Nicholas Vanselow, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Translational research is intended to highlight connections between our basic science and the application of basic science. The bidirectional nature of translational research provides any experimenter (whether basic or applied) with the ability to inform practice and ask questions of experimental origins. The three studies included analyzed common techniques for reducing problem behavior such as (a) DRA and NCR, (b) extinction, and (c) DRL and DRO with college students using arbitrary operants (e.g., filing papers or mouse clicks). The preparations described in each paper permit for an understanding of nuanced features of each common intervention. The results suggest specific ways in which our practice might be informed at minimum, or improve at best. Specifically, these findings, may guide our practice by suggesting how to (1) alter preferences, (2) increase the effectiveness of extinction on problem behavior, and (3) determine schedule choices for decreasing excessive appropriate behavior. Further implications for translational research and analyses are discussed.

Keyword(s): intellectual disabilities, Problem behavior, Translational research, Treatment analyses
 
Examining the Preference for Reinforcement Schedules
LAUREN BEAULIEU (University of Massachusetts), Anthony Palermo (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Shawn Donnelly (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: In three translational studies, we assessed the preference for contingent reinforcement (CR) and noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) with 12 undergraduates. In Study 1, we assessed the preference for CR and NCR with work materials present during all conditions. In Study 2, we assessed the preference for CR and NCR with work materials absent during NCR. In study 3, we assessed the preference for intermittent CR and NCR. Across all studies, reinforcers were yoked from CR to NCR and we included a response cost condition to assess the value of the stimuli used as reinforcers and as a control during the preference assessment. We found that 7 participants preferred CR, 4 participants demonstrated indifference, and 1 participant preferred NCR. No participant preferred response cost. We shifted the preference of 11 of the 12 participants by manipulating the reinforcement schedule. We discuss the implications of these results.
 
The Effect of Multiple Responses, Magnitude, and Alternative Reinforcement on the Persistence of Responding During Extinction
NICHOLAS VANSELOW (Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University)
Abstract: Problem behavior often recurs after Functional Communication Training (Carr & Durand, 1985) when the reinforcer contingent on appropriate communication is delayed or not delivered even though extinction is arranged for problem behavior (e.g., Volkert, Lerman, Call, & Trosclair-Lasserre, 2009). The purpose of the current study is to examine the contexts in which responding may persist during procedural extinction with college students, which may help researchers and clinicians understand the recurrence or persistence of problem behavior in typical clinical settings. Participants earned points exchangeable for money on a random-interval schedule during an experimental computer game in which various items (e.g., a flyswatter) could be dragged-and-dropped on targets (e.g., three rows of different bugs) using the mouse. We evaluated whether responding would maintain during extinction if different magnitudes of reinforcement were available for nine different responses, if the number of available responses was reduced to three, and if providing an alternative (non-monetary) source of reinforcement would result in decreased rates of responding. Responding persisted during extinction in all conditions except for the alternative reinforcement condition in which participants could play other games without earning money. Implications for teaching behavior that provides access to alternative reinforcers during periods in which the functional reinforcer is not available for appropriate responses is discussed.
 
A Laboratory Comparison of Response-Reducing Differential-Reinforcement Techniques
JOSHUA JESSEL (Western New England University), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Two variations of differential-reinforcement-of-low-rates (DRL) procedures have been noted in the basic research literature distinguished by the response dimension of interest: interresponse time (IRT) and rate. The two DRL procedures differ in that a reinforcer is produced contingent on each response if a specified interval has passed since the last response in the DRL IRT arrangement. In the DRL rate, a reinforcer is presented contingent on a response if a response rate is below a set limit within a specified interval. The DRL rate schedule has often been misinterpreted in the applied literature as a differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior (DRO rate) in that a minimum rate is not required and the reinforcer is presented at the end of an interval. We compared the DRL IRT and DRO rate procedures using a human operant preparation and analyzed within-session data to assess any similarities or differences between response patterns. All data reflected a positive contingency value during the DRL IRT condition and a negative contingency value during the DRO rate condition. Furthermore, 60% of the participants discontinued responding by the last session during the DRO rate condition. Implications for the appropriate procedural and taxonomical usage of both DRL schedules are described.
 
 
Paper Session #438
OBM Methodsand Translational Research
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
101 D (Convention Center)
Area: OBM
Chair: Amanda S. Mentzer (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
 

Exploring Functional Assessment in OBM Today

Domain: Service Delivery
JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ (Continuous Learning Group, Inc.), Bridget Russell (Continuous Learning Group, Inc.), Tracy A. Thurkow (Continuous Learning Group, Inc.)
Abstract:

Functional assessment is now considered a foundational part of the process of behavior change. With Organizational Behavior Management making a name for itself in the consulting world there are questions to be answered when assessing the use of this foundational piece of the behavior analysis methodology into practice. At the forefront of the discussion is: Why are there failures in OBM to use functional assessment consistently in research and practice? Then logically, we ask, what might we do to incorporate functional analysis into the package sold to clients? This paper explores the practical difficulties in implementation from the standpoint of the Continuous Learning Group, Inc. and suggests ways to begin to ease OBM into using functional assessment in a valuable way for our clients. We address three topics of interest as we discuss the difficulties and potential solutions at the forefront today. These are: the consumer climate and associated trends in the marketplace, selling functional assessment as part of the behavioral solution and approach and finally, creating the procedures necessary not just to use functional assessment with integrity and in a way that is consumable for our client population. The intention of this paper is simply to explore and brainstorm how to bring functional assessment to the forefront in OBM.

 

Characteristics of Performance Feedback: A Combined Review and Further Analysis

Domain: Basic Research
AMANDA S. MENTZER (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Abstract:

Performance feedback is a frequently implemented intervention component in research published in behavioral journals. Each specific characteristic of feedback must be considered when it is implemented as intervention, and these characteristics must be determined prior to implementing the intervention. The present review attempts to expand upon a feedback classification system developed by Balcazar, Hopkins, and Suarez (1985) and replicated by Alvero, Bucklin, and Austin (2001). The purposes of this comprehensive literature review are to (a) systematically replicate previous performance feedback literature reviews (i.e., Alvero et al., 2001; Balcazar et al., 1985), (b) compare the present findings with previous findings, (c) combine applied data from the present review with data from 1985 until 1998, (d) present experimental data on the effectiveness of and the most frequently used feedback characteristics, (e) compare applied data on the effectiveness of and most frequently used feedback characteristics with experimental data, and (f) discuss the implications that these findings have on the future use of feedback.

 

The Value of Conducting Translational Research in Applied Settings: Perspectives From a Service Provider

Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL FINDEL (Intercare Therapy)
Abstract:

The topic of translational research has received increased attention in recent years (see JABA and JEAB special issues in 2003 and 2010, respectively). Representatives from the basic domain have emphasized the potential utility associated with increasing this line of research so as to strengthen the on-going financial support for experimental research, whereas supporters from the applied domain place more emphasis on the need to translate basic knowledge into efficient and effective clinical practices. At the same time, several extremely pertinent non-data-based articles have emerged; in particular, Critchfields (2011) article in The Behavior Analyst entitled Interesting Times: Practice, Science, and Professional Associations in Behavior Analysis which influenced the TAVB (2012) publications entitled On Critchfield's Proposal: Student Concerns and Recommendations (12 authors). The purpose of this presentation is to extend these discussions to the service delivery setting. Results of a descriptive analysis of the social validity associated with a commonly employed OBM based assessment will also be described with respect to implications for future related basic, applied and translational research.

 

Translational Research: An OBM Application in an Autism Service Delivery Setting

Domain: Applied Research
ELLEN K. MENDOZA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles)
Abstract:

The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of providing positive reinforcement on establishing independent study habits demonstrated by employees working in a human service organization. General procedures include an reversal design with imbedded test probes to evaluate the effects of contingent reinforcement for study guide submissions on independent study habits and related pre and post-test accuracy measures. Results are discussed with respect to the potential behavioral mechanisms in operation and implications across both non-academic and academic settings.

 
 
Symposium #439
CE Offered: BACB
Parent Training: Research Review, Practice Recommendations, and Incorporating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
200 C-E (Convention Center)
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Adel C. Najdowski, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Parent training (also referred to as parent education) broadly refers to interventions or programs designed to develop parent behaviors that will promote positive developmental outcomes in their children. This symposium provides a review of parent training research as it pertains to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as practice recommendations based upon established research. It also discusses the potential impact of using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with parents who are undergoing parent training (data are from parents of typically developing children) as well as models for incorporating ACT into parent training programs delivered in ABA service provision programs for children with ASD.

Keyword(s): acceptance commitment therapy, autism, behavioral parent training, research review
 

A Review of Behavioral Parent Training Research for Children and Youth With Autism

RYAN BERGSTROM (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Evelyn R. Gould (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract:

Several decades of research support the inclusion of parents and family members as a key component of successful treatment programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Providing parents with effective training so that they know how to deal with challenging behavior as well as promote appropriate behavior is crucial to a child's progress and success. Behavioral parent training is a particularly effective and well-researched intervention for parents of children with ASD. The following paper will review this body of research.

 

Practice Recommendations for Behavioral Parent Training

ADEL C. NAJDOWSKI (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Evelyn R. Gould (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract:

Empirical evidence has shown that parents are capable of being trained (using various training procedures) to implement behavioral techniques for changing their childrens behavior, sometimes producing generalization and maintenance. However, there are many considerations for designing an effective parent training program. If trainers are aware of potential factors that might influence training outcomes, they can incorporate modifications and additional supports to boost effects (Forehand & Kotchick, 2002). This paper will outline practice recommendations for behavioral parent training based on current research.

 

Impacting the Efficacy and Maintenance of Behavioral Parent Training Through the Inclusion of ACT

Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), COREY MILES COHRS (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Behavioral Parent Training (BPT) has been found to be quite effective at teaching parents the skills necessary to affect positive change with their children and the myriad difficulties that may be experienced. Two of the weakest areas reported in the literature pertain to implementation efficacy and maintenance of skill sets across time. This paper will discuss the literature in the context of these two areas of concern and will provide a way forward in ameliorating these deficits through exposure to components of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in a protocolized form. Of particular focus will be the domains of contact with the present moment (attending to relevant variables here-now), valuing (identification of intangible verbally constructed reinforcers), defusion (breaking free of rules), and commitment (goal setting). The overall focus will be on bringing these approaches together to both increase implementation efficacy and extend the effectiveness of BPT over time. Data will be presented on initial attempts at testing this union during behavioral parent training conducted with parents of typically developing children.

 

Models for Integrating ACT into ABA-Based Services for Children With Autism

EVELYN R. GOULD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Giovanni Miselli (IESCUM AUSL Reggio Emilia), Anna Bianca Prevedini (IULM University – Milan IESCUM)
Abstract:

High levels of parental distress may significantly impact ability to effectively manage a childs behavior and the effectiveness of early intervention programs for autism spectrum disorders (Osborne, McHugh, Saunders, & Reed, 2007). Incorporating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) techniques, such as defusion and acceptance, into behavioral parent training programs, might reduce the influence of problematic private events, increasing a parents ability to acquire and apply new parenting skills (Murrell & Scherbarth, 2011; Snyder, Lamber, & Twohig, 2011). Different models for delivering ACT-based parent training within the context of comprehensive ABA programs will be described and experiences of field testing with more than 300 families in Italy discussed. Finally, a new model being field tested in California will be presented.

 
 
Symposium #440
The Utilization of Relational Frame Based Treatment Protocols: From Lab to Application
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
200 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: PRA/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kyle Rowsey (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Discussant: Kyle Rowsey (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract:

The current symposium is based on the effective treatment protocols based off of Relational Frame Theory. Since the emergence of stimulus equivalence and relational frames, there has been much laboratory based research. Relational Frame Theory research has involved either of two protocols utilized to establish relational networks and functions for stimuli in relational networks. The initial presentation examines the comparison of the two protocols to determine if there may be differentiated results in transformation of stimulus function and how they are established. Since much laboratory and translational research has been shown effective, it is appropriate to utilize such strategies in applied settings. The second presentation evaluates the implementation of a relational based treatment protocol for children with autism, while the final presentation showcases data from an entirely behavioral based school. The school utilized concepts from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy as well as basic behavioral principles. Each presentation will show data from the protocols and implications of future research of the current protocols will be discussed.

 

Transformation of Stimulus Function Through Relational Networks: The Impact of Derived Stimulus Relations on Stimulus Control of Behavior

Samantha Rose Florentino (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), ANNA GARCIA (ABA Solutions, Inc.)
Abstract:

Relational Frame Theory research involves either of two protocols utilized to establish relational networks and functions for stimuli in those relational networks. Years of research indicate that the most prevalent method involves first establishing a relational frame, giving one of the stimuli a particular function, and then providing a test to see if the function trained to one of the stimuli in the network transferred through the relational network to other stimuli. The less common method involves first training a particular function for a stimulus, entering that stimulus in a relational network with at least two other stimuli, and then subsequently providing a test to see if the function transferred. Hayes, Kohlenberg, and Hayes (1991) hypothesized that not only do both procedures work, but there is also no differentiation between the two with regards to transformation of stimulus function. Although both protocols have been used in the RFT literature, a direct comparison has never been made. The current study directly examines that comparison in a within-subject analysis to determine if there may be differentiated results in transformation of stimulus function based on the protocol used. Results indicate that transformation of stimulus function occurred within subjects at a similar level following both training protocols, and thus supporting the hypothesis put forth by Hayes and colleagues (1991).

 

The Implementation of PEAK Relational Training System for Children With Autism

AUTUMN N. MCKEEL (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

The Peak Relational Training System, developed from both basic and applied research, is a treatment protocol that starts the learner at the very earliest stages with programs that directly train a beginning repertoire including prerequisite skills and Skinner's verbal operants, yet advances the learner much further by including skills such as extended tacts, autoclitics, metaphor, theory of mind, and perspective taking. PEAK also expands beyond Skinner's approach to language by building the repertoire through stimulus equivalence and relational frames. Prior assessment and treatment protocols developed for children with autism and developmental disabilities have not yet been a comprehensive treatment protocol. PEAK, a tabletop procedure conducted through discrete-trial training to teach children with necessary skills, offers the ability to train relational responding with children who have developmental disabilities. These skills include developmental, cognitive, social, and academic skills. The data in the current presentation will show an increase in scores taken from the Vineland Adaptive Behavioral Scale, Second Edition, as well as an increase of accurate responding to academic tasks from PEAK. The technique of implementing the program produces efficient and accurate responding that was once absent while the child spent time in the classroom.

 

Journeys: The First Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) School for Children With Behavior Disorders

KEELY D. SABINI (Region III Special Education Cooperative - Journey), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract:

This presentation will showcase a year worth of data gathered in the world's first completely ACT-Based school for students grades 5-12. This school practices ACT therapy with all students every day and incorporates psychological well-being into the classroom management of positive behaviors across the school day. Students have been successful at improving their GPA, their attendance compared to the prior year in a nonACT school, and the adherence to the behavior management system. Additionally students have improved their AAQ scores from initial enrollment. Additional data from control students in typical Behavior Disorder-type schools are also used as comparisons. In summary, the Journeys School is a revolutionary alternative to traditional punitive environments for high-risk students with significant behavioral and emotional challenges. The presentation will show images and videos of ACT sessions, data-based clinical and academic improvements, and staff commentaries on the role for behavioral science in today's education system.

 
 
Symposium #441
CE Offered: BACB
Vertical Dissemination: The Science of Attracting Undergraduate Students to Behavior Analysis in University Settings
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
M100 J (Convention Center)
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jessica Sykes (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Victoria Fogel, M.A.
Abstract:

This symposium discusses several ways in which the field of Behavior Analysis attracts undergraduate students and fosters their interests in the subject matter in the context of a university-based setting. Targeting this population is essential for the maintenance and continued growth of our field. Speakers will present on different opportunities available to students interested in behavior analysis by addressing research and curriculum concerns. The first topic discussed will include the establishment and future directions of an undergraduate research lab. The second will involve the history and implementation of a systematic method for teaching undergraduate courses using the Keller PSI system. The third will consist of opportunities for research in the context of a graduate lab. Lastly, this symposium will discuss the structure of an undergraduate minor and the products of it in the context of education through an in-depth analysis of the behavior analysis minor option in Applied Behavior Analysis.

 

Guidelines for the Establishment of an Undergraduate Research Lab

VICTORIA A. HOCH (University of South Florida), Benjamin N. Witts (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno), Jeffrey Oliver (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Madden, Klatt, Jewett, and Morse (2004) argued for the creation of specialized behavior-analytic curriculum for undergraduate psychology majors. For two academic years, the University of Nevada, Reno, piloted an undergraduate lab with 5 psychology undergraduate students. The lab focused on skill refinement and maintenance through the use of dense reinforcement schedules for research-related achievements. Four of the five students applied to graduate programs in Behavior Analysis and three have been accepted with the fourth still pending. Since the original pilot, the team will has pinpointed certain limitations and future directions which will be targeted for improvement in the planning of an undergraduate lab at the University of South Florida under the direction of Dr. Timothy Weil. This lab consists of lectures on graduate school, including politics, ethics, networking, productivity, article production and consumption, and graduate-school preparedness (i.e., GREs, CVs, personal statements, letters of recommendation), in addition to active participation in research and presentations. The ultimate goal is to establish and maintain a lab aimed at fostering and producing candidates for Masters and Doctoral level programs in Behavior Analysis, also to serve as a model for other programs looking to increase undergraduate awareness and participation.

 

Reflecting on PSI: A SPIN Toward Undergraduate Training in Psychology

CAROLYN BRAYKO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Amber Marie Candido (University of Nevada, Reno), Chelsea J. Wilhite (University of Nevada, Reno), Todd A. Ward (University of Nevada, Reno), Courtney Kiley (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

The University of Nevada, Reno celebrates its fifteenth year of Self-paced Personalized Individual Network (SPIN), a PSI-based Introductory to Psychology course providing individualized learning opportunities for about 600 students every semester. SPIN transforms a large enrollment course, where around 300 students would have to sit in one lecture hall twice a week, into a small class adaptive format, where students attend lectures in groups no larger than 28 students and some students actually move through the course at a faster pace. SPIN has provided the stage for undergraduate students to actively engage with learning about psychological science both as students, proctors, and researchers. Most recently, a thesis project has developed within SPIN, investigating various methods to promote voluntary active responding by modifying the degree of mandatory student participation in class. Within this one project, over 350 undergraduate students were exposed first-hand to psychological research. Based on a strong history of academic success with SPIN, suggestions and implications for the future of undergraduate education in psychology will be discussed.

 
Making a Significant Difference: Creating a Context for the Development of Student Researchers in Psychology
EMMIE HEBERT (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Students actively pursuing a degree in psychology are not indifferent about research. For many, research brings high levels of anxiety (e.g. Wise, 1985). Often these anxious feeling and negative perceptions are associated with poor performance in research tasks (Onwuegbuzie, 2003; Pretorius & Norman, 1992), which are the very opportunities most likely to increase satisfaction and engagement with their psychology training (Lunneborg & Wilson, 1895; Strapp & Farr, 2010). The Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group (LCSRG) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette provides a space for undergraduates in psychology to relate research experiences with their identified values in psychology, while training openness toward the thoughts and feelings that emerge in its presence (e.g., providing an accepting context for anxiety and anxiety-related thoughts). In other words, the LCSRG aims to build psychological flexibility with research, through doing research on psychological flexibility. Through this functional contextual approach, students are given the opportunity to interact broadly with scientific interest and activities at all levels. Roles of undergraduate students along with other aspects of the group that makes it a beneficial part of undergraduate psychology study will be discussed.
 

Mission, Details, and Data of the New Undergraduate Minor in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of South Florida

VICTORIA FOGEL (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Undergraduate courses in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have been offered for a number of years at the University of South Florida (USF). However, the number of courses has been limited and enrollment has been low, thus ABA course content has not reached a large number of students. With the re-introduction of the ABA Masters Program at USF in 2006, increased communication between the ABA Program and the Psychology Department about coursework and job opportunities in ABA, and the strong demand for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts in Florida, student interest in ABA coursework at the undergraduate level has grown. Accordingly, the undergraduate minor in ABA at USF was established in January of 2012. This paper will discuss the formation, mission, and organization of the minor; the courses offered; the growth of undergraduate interest in ABA; and student outcomes. Data will be presented on course offerings, enrollment numbers, student acceptance into graduate programs, students working in the ABA field, and the BCaBA exam pass rate. Furthermore, possible future directions will be discussed.

 
 
Panel #442
CE Offered: BACB
Use of Technology for Data Collection and Analysis Across Four Autism Programs: Benefits and Challenges
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
11:00 AM–12:20 PM
200 H-I (Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Emily Huber Callahan, Ph.D.
Chair: Aurore M. Hutter (Virginia Institute of Autism)
NATHAN CALL (Marcus Autism Center)
EMILY HUBER CALLAHAN (Virginia Institute of Autism/Binghamton University)
RUTH M. DEBAR (Caldwell College)
CRESSE M. MORRELL (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Abstract:

Ongoing advances in technology have produced dramatic changes in intervention for children with autism. New educational programming, affordable options for augmentative communication, and opportunities for enhanced staff training have received significant attention over the past several years. A newer application that is rapidly growing is the use of technology to collect and analyze educational and behavioral data. A hallmark of behavior analytic programs for children with autism is the ongoing collection of data on skills targeted for increase and behavior targeted for decrease, paired with data-based decision-making. This has historically translated into a lot of paperwork and hours spent graphing and analyzing data. New advances in data technologies yield obvious benefits, including time efficiency, as well as flexibility and sophistication of graphic displays and analytics. However, programs may also face challenges in transitioning from more traditional techniques. This panel highlights the use of technology in data collection and analysis across four programs serving individuals with autism, each utilizing different tools. Participants will discuss benefits and challenges they have encountered, how new technology may impact outcomes for consumers with autism, and possible directions and questions for further study.

Keyword(s): data analysis, data collection, technology
 
 
Symposium #443
Taking a Closer Look: Relationships With Body Image and Psychological Flexibility
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
102 B-C (Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Shiloh Eastin (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi)
Abstract:

Body image has, for some time, been considered an important component of a person's experience of him or herself. Body image is comprised of the sensations, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings that make up the body experience. For some, this single aspect of the self can come to dominate how they experience themselves and their world, resulting in frequent body-related distress and rigid body-related avoidance. Body image flexibility involves experiencing the body fully along with the thoughts and feelings around that experience while taking action toward valued ends. Preliminary data suggests that body image flexibility may buffer the impact of aversive body experiences, making body image disturbance and associated dysfunctions less likely. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) suggests that both the inflexibility underlying body image and the flexibility that has been demonstrated tp effectively buffer against aversive experiences of the self. This symposium will explore the nature of body image flexibility, including a derived relational responding, the functions of cosmetic use, and the role of cognitive fusion.

Keyword(s): body image, flexibility
 
The Mind in the Mirror: Derived Relational Responding and Body Image
ROBYN HANNA (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Shelley Greene (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emmie Hebert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Some individuals’ experience of their body causes significant disruption in their lives, limiting their physical, social, and emotional well being. Emergent theories of body image disturbance suggest that related dysfunction is attributable to body image inflexibility, in which body image comes to function as an aversive stimulus, controlling a large avoidant repertoire. These aversive functions of body image are thought to emerge and extend through verbal learning processes. The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between arbitrarily applicable relational responding and body image disturbance. In the current studies, participants completed questionnaires on body image dissatisfaction and body image inflexibility, and then engaged in a matching-to-sample task designed to facilitate transformation of body image functions to arbitrary stimuli. Participants readily learned to relate body image stimuli with arbitrary stimuli, and to transform functions of those arbitrary stimuli. Performance diverged in relation to self-reported body image disturbance and body image flexibility.
 
Beneath the Mask: An Evaluation of Cosmetic Use Among College Females
SHILOH EASTIN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Gina Quebedeaux (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Body image can be defined as an individual's experience of her physical self. For some, the experience of the self is limited almost exclusively to the appearance of the body or face, resulting in excessive attempts to manage appearance. One way that women can increase their perceived facial attractiveness is through the use of cosmetics. Extensive research has been performed on the effects of cosmetics use on the physical attractiveness and body image of women but hardly any research has been performed on the self contextualization of the women who are actually wearing the cosmetics. Focus groups at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were conducted in order to identify the range of individual differences in the extent of cosmetic use and its functions, along with the relationship between cosmetic use and psychological flexibility. Participants answered questions about how they experience their bodies and how they use cosmetics in different situations then participated in a group discussion on how and why women use cosmetics.
 
Exploring the Role of Cognitive Fusion in Body Image Dissatisfaction
RENEE MIKORSKI (Drexel University), Lindsay Martin (Drexel University), Meghan Butryn (Drexel University)
Abstract: Body dissatisfaction is the negative subjective experience of one’s weight and shape and has been associated with maladaptive eating behaviors. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, &Wilson, 2012), a contemporary applied behavioral intervention, suggests that one factor that may influence the relationship between body dissatisfaction and disordered eating is cognitive fusion. Cognitive fusion is a form of psychological inflexibility that occurs when an individual becomes dominated by specific verbal stimuli. In the context of body image dissatisfaction, cognitive fusion is an individual’s attachment to specific body-related cognitions, such as “I am fat,” or “I must be thin.” ACT seeks to directly address fused thoughts with cognitive defusion, a technique that involves undermining the domination of verbal processes. This presentation will 1) explore the role of cognitive fusion in body image dissatisfaction and 2) discuss the nature and potential impact of a cognitive defusion intervention on negative self-referential body image cognitions.
 
 
Symposium #444
CE Offered: BACB
Spotting and Stopping Shooters
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
102 A (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/TPC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Judy G. Blumenthal (Association for Behaviour Change)
Discussant: Judy G. Blumenthal (Association for Behaviour Change)
CE Instructor: W. Joseph Wyatt, Ph.D.
Abstract:

There is, in our county, a blemish, a blip, that surfaces itself in a regular manner. It is horrifying to those involved. A person, so far always a male, who collects a variety of weapons and steps before a crowd and begins shooting at then. Following such a shooting the memory and emotional impact of the event fades away but then, after a lapse of time, the situation occurs again with a new cast and a new location. Nothing seems to deter its happening. Predicting the individual who would commit such a deed has proven to be difficult as has an attempt to understand the psychological development of such a person. Obviously something must be done. Our symposium focuses on the possible groups that might be involved in having contact with such a person. Those groups consist of parents, school personnel, neighbors, police and religious leaders. Each group will be discussed in terms its potential for interacting with and understanding the potential shooter and how we might encourage communication and cooperation among the different groups. The bottom line is to get high risk individuals into treatment as a preventive measure. Dr. Joe Wyatt will discuss the assessment of likelihood of a school shooting incident. Dr. Roger McIntire will discuss child rearing practices used by parents of shooters. Dr. Donald Pumroy will discuss the possible treatment of the shooter by the many different disciplines and groups.

Keyword(s): parenting, personality, prevention, violence
 

Assessment of Likelihood of a School Shooting Incident

W. JOSEPH WYATT (Marshall University)
Abstract:

School shooters such as those at Columbine, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi and Paducah, Kentucky share characteristics that should aid professionals in identifying other such youngsters. These include physical, family, behavioral and environmental characteristics. These will be discussed as they have been uncovered in a number of high profile school shooting incidents. These may be viewed as a checklist to be employed by professionals who suspect that the possibility of an incident may be on the horizon.

 

Parenting Behaviors and Potential Shooters

ROGER W. MCINTIRE (University of Maryland, Summit Crossroads Press)
Abstract:

Interviews with parents of shooters seem to describe an ordinary household but they also show severely damaged communication lines between parent and child. Often parents were not aware of emotional problems, nor school problems. Even particulars, such as awareness of arms and ammunition, are missing. Reduced experience in basic communication and listening skills, has often left both parent and child with little knowledge or interest in details of the activities of other family members. With so little information, parents may be at a loss as to what to do. This presentation will describe a brief family communication workshop that school staff could offer. The workshop would help parents stay informed of important aspects of their childs daily family and school circumstances. School-organized parent discussion groups are also suggested in the workshop description.

 

Understanding and Changing Shooters' Behavior

DONALD K. PUMROY (University of Maryland)
Abstract:

New shooters come out the woodwork ever six months and people say "he was such a nice boy, quiet and a regular at church." The focus of this paper is on the cause of the deviant behavior and possible ways to modify and treat it. Our orientation is that this behavior comes from the learning that has taken place in the shooter's life so the treatment needs to focus on such learning. There are many different people and groups who spot the deviant behavior but they tip toe around it and do nothing. Or they pass the word on to someone and that someone does nothing. As part of the understanding of the problem these groups need to have a felt responsibility to report suspicious behavior along this line. And there needs to be a way to insure communication among these individuals and groups. Treatment should focus on ways to facilitate action within such groups and to help the shooter understand and to modify his behavior. Shooting behavior must cease.

 
 
Paper Session #445
Market Crowd Trading Conditioning, Agreement Price, and Volume Implications
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–12:20 PM
101 I (Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Leilei Shi (Bank of China International (China) Co. Ltd--Beijing Business Branch)
 

CANCELLED: A local analysis of operant behavior

Domain: Theory
WILLIAM VAUGHAN (Casco Courseware, LLC)
Abstract:

Herrnstein (1961) reported matching of relative responses to relative obtained reinforcers on concurrent variable-interval schedules. Subsequently, Herrnstein (1970) attempted to account for behavior on concurrent variable-interval schedules and on single-operant variable-interval schedules, on the assumption that matching occurred in both cases. Baum (1981) attempted to account for behavior on concurrent schedules (both variable-interval and variable-ratio) and on single-operant schedules (also variable-interval and variable-ratio), on the assumption that either matching or optimization occurred. Here an attempt is made to account for behavior on the above schedules (among others), on the assumption that response rate is an increasing function of the change in value that follows responses. Under conditions of symmetrical changeover requirements this provides for an explanation of melioration (Herrnstein & Vaughan, 1980; Herrnstein & Prelec, 1991).

 

CANCELLED: Presentation of Reinforcer-Paired Stimuli as Motivating Operations

Domain: Basic Research
TIMOTHY EDWARDS (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Pairing a neutral stimulus with a reinforcer imbues the stimulus with certain functions. The respondent function of these reinforcer-paired stimuli is well known. In addition to the respondent function, or perhaps because of it, the presentation of these stimuli also leads to an increase in the strength of operant behavior that has been reinforced with the relevant reinforcer and to an increase in the efficacy of the relevant reinforcer. These latter two functions constitute the definition of motivating operations as currently conceptualized. The evidence supporting the conceptualization of reinforcer-paired stimulus presentation as motivating operations will be presented followed by a description of some of the implications of this perspective for applied work. A brief review of the literature relevant to both the behavior altering and value altering effects of reinforcer-paired stimuli will be supplemented by the presentation of a series of studies conducted in our laboratory examining both effects. This motivational conceptualization has clear implications for understanding drug relapse and several eating disorders. These and other implications will also be discussed.

 

Market Crowd Trading Conditioning, Agreement Price, and Volume Implications

Domain: Applied Research
LEILEI SHI (Bank of China International (China) Ltd.; Beijing Business Branch), Liyan Han (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University), Yiwen Wang (School of Economics, Fudan University), Ding Chen (VanGold Investment), Yan Piao (Bank of China International (China) Ltd.), Chengling Gou (Department of Physics, Beihang University)
Abstract:

We propose a notion of trading conditioning and measure the intensity of market crowd trading conditioning by accumulative trading volume probability in a price-volume probability wave equation in terms of operant conditioning in behavior analysis. Then, we develop three kinds of market crowd trading behavior models according to the wave equation and test them, using high frequency data in China stock market. We find that: 1) market crowd behave coherence and reach agreement on a stationary equilibrium price in interaction themselves widely; 2) market crowd adapt to stationary equilibrium price and keep coherence when it jumps from time to time; 3) while significant herd and disposition "anomalies" disappear simultaneously by learning experience in a certain circumstance, other behavioral "anomalies", for examples, greed and panic, are pronounced significantly in decision making. Specially, the behavioral annotation on the volume probability suggests key links and new directions for research in economics and finance.

 
 
Paper Session #446
International Approaches and Collaborations to Autism Service Delivery
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
205 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT
Chair: Peishi Wang (Queens College, City University of New York)
 

Study Abroad Program: Autism Internship in Beijing

Domain: Service Delivery
PEISHI WANG (Queens College, City University of New York), Menglin Sun (Beijing Wucailu Center for Children with Autism)
Abstract:

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a successful collaboration between the graduate program in special education at Queens College, City University of New York and Wucailu Center for Children with Autism in Beijing, China. During the summer of 2011, five graduate students, under the supervision of a special education faculty, completed a six-week internship in Beijing through the Study Abroad Program at Queens College. This internship is part of an ongoing exchange program between Queens College and Beijing Wucailu Center for Children with autism. The interns assisted Wucailus teachers and administrators in revising the schools curriculum, redesigning of the classroom environment, and implementing evidence-based instructional strategies. The internship was a mutually beneficial experience for all parties. In collaboration with Wucailus teachers, Queens College interns learned how to adapt research-based instructional strategies to be culturally aligned and responsive for Chinese children with autism. The interns experienced both professional and personal growth. The impact of this collaboration was profound. The administrators, teachers and families at Wucailu considered this internship a major milestone in its history. Photographs and short video clips will be used to illustrate activities took place during the internship.

 

Emergent Literacy and Autism: Croatian Example of an Early Intervention Program

Domain: Service Delivery
NATASA DOLOVIC (Association for Autism "Pogled")
Abstract:

The social and communicative impairments are unique and specific deficits that define autism phenotype. Parents usually express their concern when such symptoms occur. Unfortunately, a significant lag between the time that parents report concern about the childs development and actual diagnose of an ASD, is still widely present in Croatia. A medical model of childhood disability is still present, too. However, needs of contemporary society are compelling experts in the field of educational rehabilitation to make all the necessary changes in order to improve scientific perception. This presentation is focused on a discussion of an early intervention program designed for the amelioration of communication skills in non- verbal toddlers with autism. Throughout this didactic approach, the relationship between early language acquisition, emergent literacy in autism, partnership with parents, and last but not least, family functioning will be discussed. Key words: autism, communication, emergent literacy, early intervention, family, Croatia

 

You Get What You Pay For: One Year of Applied Behavior Analysis in Hong Kong and Its Relative Cost

Domain: Applied Research
JEREMY H. GREENBERG (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
Abstract:

There have been decades of research literature that support the effective application of behavior analysis (ABA) to schools that have students with special needs including autism. Early intervention, preschool, and primary school populations have benefited from ABA and its effectiveness as well as efficient teaching procedures. In light of the global economy and economic crises, the costs of services for children having special needs has been analyzed and scrutinized across many levels of bureaucratic systems. Through its evidence-based methods, focus on relevant outcome data, and careful measurement practices, ABA has offered many stakeholders in the field of education the best way forward for one of societies biggest mental health problems. The present study reviews one year of outcome data from a primary school for students having special needs in Hong Kong. Special instruction was provided in individual and in group formats using learn units as the basic unit of instruction. Inclusion opportunities for general education classes existed for most of the students. At the conclusion of the study, two students were transferred to regular education classes. A cost benefit analysis showed the relative dollar amounts of the learn unit, instructional sessions, and objectives met for one year.

 

Comparing the Verbal Behavior of Children With Autism Having Received Behavioral Intervention or Multidisciplinary Intervention

Domain: Applied Research
MARIE LAURE JOËLLE NUCHADEE (French ABA), Vinca Riviere (Development - Autism), Melissa Becquet (Université Lille Nord de France), Bruno Facon (Université Lille Nord de France)
Abstract:

Multidisciplinary approaches, which can be described as participation by psychoanalysts in multidisciplinary assistance, are privileged in most French community services provided to individuals with autism. There is, on one hand, a dearth of assessment data on the outcome effectiveness of the individual components of such multidisciplinary package, or from the established effectiveness of any such combination. On the other hand, early intensive behavioral intervention is the most often studied type of intervention for children with autism and has been proved effective in producing large and lasting functional improvements in such populations. The purpose of our study was to investigate the outcomes of 58 children with autism following at least 2 years of intervention on standardized tests assessing verbal skills and thereby determine what type of intervention would be more efficacious in making the children reach normative verbal skills. We obtained clear cut results indicating that young children with autism who received early intensive behavior intervention outperformed substantially and statistically comparable children who received multidiscipliary intervention services for the same period of time on every measure.

 
 
Panel #447
CE Offered: BACB
PDS EVENT: Developing Clinical Skills for Working with Families
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
205 C-D (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Richard M. Foxx, Ph.D.
Chair: Tara Rodas (Capilano University)
KIMBERLY CROSLAND (University of South Florida)
MICHAEL LAFASAKIS (Hospital Clinic Home Center at Kingbrook Jewish Medical Center and Infant & Child Learning Center at SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
PETER F. GERHARDT (The McCarton School)
RICHARD M. FOXX (Penn State University, Harrisburg)
Abstract:

The field of behavior analysis has provided the autism community with a wealth of interventions to support the growth and development of individuals with ASD. The speakers on this panel will briefly discuss their work in the field of behavior analysis, paying particular attention to the experiences they have had in providing training to parents and families, and the benefits of having families participate in behavior interventions. It is known that family involvement for both individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and typically developing children can increase developmental success tremendously. This discussion will include empirically supported interventions that can be used to train parents and families of children with ASD and other disabilities, and speakers will examine the challenges and successes in this area. Panelists will provide recommendations and advice to students and pre-service clinicians who are embarking on a career that will include working closely with consumers and their families. A significant portion of time will be reserved for audience questions for each panelist.

Keyword(s): Advice, Autism, Family Involvement, Parent Training
 
 
Symposium #448
CE Offered: BACB
Beyond Building-Blocks: Applying Behavior Analysis Across the Borders
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
211 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Sakurako Sherry Tanaka (Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
Discussant: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
CE Instructor: Sakurako Sherry Tanaka, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium facilitated by SIG Multicultural Alliance of Behaviour Analysts (muliaba) explores the adaptation and expansion of ABA across national, linguistic, and socio-cultural boundaries as well as the ethical implications, with a particular emphasis on its effectiveness as autism treatment. The first paper will review the growing evidence for the effectiveness and acceptability of the positive behavior support (PBS) approach in the development of collaborative partnerships in family contexts. Specific to this paper is the unique identity of minority grandparents, who are often the primary caregivers for their grandchildren with autism and play a critical role in their upbringing. The second paper examines how ABA-based treatment for autism has 'evolved' in support of official multiculturalism in Canada: Canada offers a unique social environment in which behavior analysis might be applied for positive social transformation as originally theorised and envisioned by B.F. Skinner. The third paper describes a preliminary video that aims to introduce autism in a compassionate manner that alleviates the blame from both sides of the family- through examining the scientific research. The diagnosis of autism is devastating news to any family, especially Asian-American families who are not culturally prepared for this modern phenomenon.

Keyword(s): autism, ethics, diversity, cultural-competence
 

Building Cross-Cultural Competence with South Asian Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

PREETINDER K. NARANG (Pacific Child and Family Associates)
Abstract:

The reported prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has risen over recent decades and currently affects an estimated 1 in 88 children in the United States. Despite increases in the prevalence of ASD and the population of visible minorities in North America, few studies have examined the efficacy of behavioral interventions with culturally and linguistically diverse children with autism. Specific to this paper is the unique identity of South Asian grandparents, who are often the primary caregivers for their grandchildren and play a critical role in their upbringing. Despite a clear need for culturally sensitive service delivery, no study to date has focused on teaching South Asian grandparents how to engage their grandchildren with ASD. This paper will review the growing evidence for the effectiveness and acceptability of the positive behavior support (PBS) approach in the development of collaborative partnerships in family contexts. The application of a cultural assessment tool to guide culturally responsive practices is discussed, as is the inherent value of the activity setting as a unit of analysis in a PBS framework. It is anticipated that the establishment of respectful and reciprocal relationships via culturally-responsive grandparent training will increase the probability that interventions are experienced as effective, acceptable and sustainable over time by South Asian families.

 

"Evolution" of ABA-Based Autism Treatment Through Canadian Multiculturalism

SAKURAKO SHERRY TANAKA (Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
Abstract:

Applied Behavior Analysis has been adapted to culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Canada as an effective treatment for autism. This paper reviews how ABA has been shown to be an effective method of community intervention and human development in the context of Canadian multiculturalism, which officially promotes multilingualism in all levels of education through its official bilingualism in French and English, as well as heritage languages. Moreover, Canada embraces "nations" within a nation-state as numerous Aboriginal communities have reclaimed political autonomy. In the province of British Columbia where immigrant populations make up the majority in its urban areas, cultural competence has become a critical asset for the behavior consultants and therapists. The "evolution" of ABA-based services in Canada can be summarised as follows: 1) bilingualism and culturally-sensitive service delivery for the client population 2) concerns for the Ethical Standard to respond to cultural diversity for the professional behavior analysts 3) human resource development from national perspective. Canada offers a unique social environment in which how behavior analysis might be applied for positive social transformation as originally theorised and envisioned by B.F. Skinner.

 

Culturally-Sensitive Introduction to Autism Treatment: A Preliminary Video Instruction for Parents

JANE YIP (Purdue University, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences)
Abstract:

The diagnosis of autism is devastating news to any family, especially Asian-American families who are not culturally prepared for this modern phenomenon. After visiting a physicians office, there is little informational support. This preliminary video aims to introduce autism in a compassionate manner that alleviates the blame from both sides of the family- through examining the scientific research. Most importantly, the video presents the fundamentals of applied behavior analysis (ABA) such as discrete trial learning, reinforcement, antecedent-behavior-consequence and others to familiarize parents with ABA for better collaboration between therapists and the family. The objectives of the video are as follows: (i) provide an update of genetic research, neurobiology and behavioral sciences so that parents can see that behavior problems and failure to perform to expectation is not due to their lack of parenting ability but to a cause beyond their control, (ii) be educated in basic terminologies of ABA to enhance communication with professionals and help bring, even lobby, for services to their child as early as possible, (iii) promote family cohesion so that families emerge stronger, (iv) if possible show videos of before and after intervention for evidence that children with autism can improve and lead successful lives.

 
 
Symposium #448a
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior Tactics to Improve Speaker and Listener Skills in a School Setting
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
208 A-B (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Katherine M. Matthews (The Faison School for Autism)
CE Instructor: Katherine M. Matthews, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Verbal behavior analysis is one of the most crucial interventional approaches to address problem behaviors, induce new cusp acquisitions, and solve learning problems. In this symposium, we present (1) the use of a contingent tact procedure to decrease vocal stereotypy, (2) the effects of two different MEI procedures to induce Naming and Naming-by-exclusion, (3) the effects of a stimulus prompt on the improvement of listener responding and reading comprehension, and (4) the effects of using a mirror to teach generalized Imitation and to induce perspective taking.

Keyword(s): Naming, Stereotypy, Tacts, Verbal Behavior
 

The Effects of Providing Contingent Tact Opportunities upon the Occurrence of Vocal Stereotypy

Jinhyeok Choi (The Faison School for Autism), Katherine M. Matthews (The Faison School for Autism), NATHAN HABEL (The Faison School for Autism), Adam J. Wright (The Faison School for Autism), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

We examined the effects of applying a contingent tact opportunity procedure upon the emission of vocal stereotypy and measured the subsequent occurrence of mands and tacts emitted in a non-instructional setting for two middle school aged participants diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A delayed multiple baseline across participants design was utilized. During baseline, no contingency was in place for the emission of vocal stereotypy whereas during treatment, we implemented tact opportunities contingent on instances of stereotypy. The results showed that the contingent tact opportunity procedure effectively decreased stereotypy for both participants, and for one participant, increased the occurrence of tacts and mands. These results provide evidence that skill-developing procedures can effectively treat stereotypy.

 

The Effects of Using a Mirror to Teach Gross Motor Imitation and to Induce Perspective Taking

Jinhyeok Choi (The Faison School for Autism), AMANDA GARNER (The Faison School for Autism), Christina Feeney (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

We tested the effects of the mirror protocol on the improvement of perspective taking while imitating bilateral and unilateral actions. Two elementary school students participated in the study. Participant A was a twelve-year-old female with ASD and functioned on the pre-speaker and listener levels of verbal behaviors. Participant B was a fifteen-year-old female diagnosed with acquired brain injury and functioned on the early speaker and listener levels of verbal behaviors. The dependent variable was the number of correct responses to bilateral and unilateral actions each participant emitted during the pre and post sessions when they were face to face with the instructor. The independent variable was the implementation of the mirror protocol in which the participants were required to imitate gross motor actions presented on the mirror. A time-delayed multiple probe across participants design was used to test the effects of the mirror protocol on the participants ability to use perspective taking while imitating actions. The results showed that the mirror protocol increased perspective taking when the participant imitated bilateral and unilateral movements.

 

The Effects of a Tandem Antecedent Delay Tactic on Responding to Multi-Step Vocal and Written Tasks

BETH NEWCOMB (The Faison School for Autism), Jinhyeok Choi (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

The effectiveness of a tandem antecedent delay tactic on responding to multi-step tasks was investigated with 4 children with autism, ages ranging from 6 to 11. In the first experiment, a multiple baseline across participants design was used to test the effects of tandem antecedent delay on retrieving items from a vocal list. Two participants were asked to retrieve 2 or 3 named items from a group of 5 items. Correct responding during baseline for both participants was low or at zero levels. Following the tandem antecedent delay tactic, correct responses immediately increased and reached criterion levels for both participants. In the second experiment, a multiple baseline across two participants design was used to test the effects of this tactic on a more complex matching picture to words task. Similar results to Experiment 1 were seen with low correct responses during baseline and increases to criterion level following the implementation of tandem antecedent delay. The tactic is discussed as an effective and efficient strategy to teach a variety of responses that require multiple components.

 

The Effects of Multiple Exemplar Instruction on the Emergence of Naming and Naming-by-Exclusion With Elementary School Students With Autism

JOHN TOLSON (The Faison School for Autism), Katherine M. Matthews (The Faison School for Autism), Eli T. Newcomb (The Faison School for Autism), Jinhyeok Choi (The Faison School for Autism), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

We conducted two experiments to test the effects of a multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) procedure on the emergence of naming and naming-by-exclusion. The first experiment has demonstrated the utility of using MEI to induce the naming capability in students with and without developmental disabilities. This study extends the research on using MEI by testing its effects when presented in a group format. Two elementary aged students diagnosed with autism without the naming capability were chosen for the study. An AB probe design across participants was used to compare the effects of using MEI on the emergence of untaught listener and speaker responses. We taught training sets of novel pictures to participants in a group format using worksheets that contained opportunities for students to respond through written responses. Responses were rotated across match, point to, tact, and intraverbal responses until criteria was met each topography. A post-probe was conducted following MEI to assess for the emergence of naming. In the second experiment, We tested the effects of a MEI procedure on the emergence of naming-by-exclusion. The participants in the study were four elementary school students diagnosed with ASD who had the evidence of naming of their repertoire as determined by a pre-experimental probe. The dependent variable was the number of the correct responses to untaught speaker responses to the probe trials testing naming-by-exclusion. The independent variable was the mastery of MEI in which learn units were randomly presented for tacts and exclusion-based pointing. The results demonstrated that naming-by-exclusion emerged after mastery of the exclusive MEI was achieved.

 
 
Symposium #450
CE Offered: BACB
Talking Data
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
102 D-E (Convention Center)
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Abigail B. Calkin (Calkin Writing & Consulting )
Discussant: Abigail B. Calkin (Calkin Consulting Center)
CE Instructor: Abigail B. Calkin, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Keenans presentation gives the basis for discussion of the practice of looking at private events. Ferris and Calkin show data of the inner behaviors of people with autism as well as the normal population. These verbal behavior analyses and data tell the story of how people can and do count inner behaviors or private events. While behavior analysis has much talk about the theories of private events and the relationship of private and public behaviors from both the radical and methodological perspective, there have been few pragmatic presentations and publications that look at private events along with related data. The data and discussions here rest on the theoretical underpinnings of radical behaviorism. The data of the presentation have been gathered through the use of the Standard Celeration Chart, a chart which Lindsley, as early as 1971, stated was one of the few sensitive techniques that we have to keep track of . . . inner thoughts, feelings, and urges. We now have the theoretical underpinnings and have gathered enough data, almost 1,000 charts from research projects alone, to show that inner behavior can be and is as statistically consistent as outer behaviors.

Keyword(s): inner behavior, private-events
 

Talking About YOUR Private Events

MICHAEL KEENAN (University of Ulster)
Abstract:

Why is it that talk of private events by behavior analysts is usually just that, talk. Surely it would make sense for talk of private events to take the form of a commentary on private events as they happen. Is this possible? In this presentation I suggest it is. Focusing on the private events of 'futuring' and 'pasting' I demonstrate a simple exercise that generates them so as to provide a platform for their discussion in a group of people. Radical behaviorism is supposed to be distinguishable from methodological behaviorism from the way it deals with private events. However, few published articles provide guidelines that show us how to teach this distinction. An interactive exercise will address core issues relating to the measurement of private behavior and the sharing of data. The goal is to show that when it is difficult to share these data with others it is still possible to 'measure' private events in a way that is meaningful to the observer of those private events and can be communicated to others.

 

ABA Intervention Gets "Touchy Feely"

KELLY J. FERRIS (Organization for Research and Learning)
Abstract:

Precision teachers are experts at measuring broadly and sensitively. In autism intervention, we have pervasive measures from daily living and play skills to pragmatic language and academics. However, our measures rarely penetrate further, infrequently addressing the thoughts and/or feelings of our clients. Tiemann & Markle and other respected instructional designers have pointed to the importance of emotion, yet program designs for people with autism still fall short of capturing the inner behaviors of these young children and adults. This presentation will share pinpoints and data from the Organization for Research and Learning in our in-home programs with children across the autism spectrum and suggest several avenues for the expansion of intervention and measurement of inner behaviors for this population. Behaviors pinpointed and charted include inner behaviors and some inner behaviors as they relate to a specific outer behavior such as Free Say positives about myself, and Think X Do Y.

 
Datum, a Gift
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center)
Abstract: As radical behaviorists, we know in theory that we can look at inner behavior in the same manner as we do our outer and public behaviors. However, to accomplish this task and go beyond theory, we need to know that our definitions are precise and solid, and that the data we gather and analyze will lead us to solid scientific conclusions. We also know we must refine definitions and methods according to the data we have collected and analyzed. Using the same principles and techniques we have used when studying pigeon pecks, student learning, laughs or tears, and other behaviors observable public behaviors, we know inner behavior has frequency, celeration, and variability comparable to the outer, public behaviors. The standard celeration chart, which functions as a “frequency microscope,” provides us with our present capability and capacity to view the inner world through the behaviors we precisely define and the data that we are able to gather on those behaviors.
 
 
Symposium #451
CE Offered: BACB
Coaching and Implementation of Behavioral Strategies in Early Childhood Environments
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
102 F (Convention Center)
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Shelley Clarke (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Michelle Duda (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
CE Instructor: Shelley Clarke, M.A.
Abstract:

As researchers have examined what it takes to provide high quality professional development that results in the implementation of evidence based practices, it has become clear that training efforts alone will not result in practice change (Sheridan, Edwards, Marvin, Knoche, 2009; Zaslow, 2009; Zaslow, et al., 2010). Coaching has been identified as a highly effective professional development strategy. This symposium will share three papers that demonstrated single subject design studies completed in an effort to evaluate the impact of coaching procedures on the implementation fidelity levels of evidence proven behavioral supports presented by natural change agents in typical early childhood settings (home, school, and community). The presenters will describe the coaching process, how family members and teachers who filled the role of intervention agent in each study were trained, describe the selection of implementation targets, share procedural fidelity data from coaching sessions, social validity, and the outcomes yielded from the reciprocal coaching model. Results from all the studies indicate that fidelity of coaching and the resulting implementation of behavioral strategies were maintained at high levels following the introduction of coaching procedures and that positive child behavior change was also documented once implementation of behavioral strategies were completed.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Interventions, Coaching Procedures , Early Childhood, Implementation Fidelity
 

An Evaluation of "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" Parenting Strategies Implemented by Young Mothers

AMYE BOCK (University of South Florida), Lise Fox (University of South Florida), Shelley Clarke (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

Young parents and their children are considered a high-risk population as they are more likely to lack social support networks, have limited access to opportunities to enhance parenting skills, and are often finically dependent (Marshall, Buckner, & Powell, 1991). Young children whose mothers have poor parenting skills are more likely to have persistent problem behavior (Levine, Pollack, & Comfort, 2001; Stier, Leventhal, Berg, Johnson, & Mezger, 1993; Webster-Stratton& Taylor, 2001). Three young mothers living in a transitional housing facility participated in this study. The purpose of this study was to determine if these mothers could implement parenting strategies that are a part of a commercially available parenting book and DVD. This study found that: (1) mothers were able to correctly implement the parenting strategies; (2) child problem behavior decreased from baseline to follow-up; and (3) the mothers perception of child problem behavior shifted positively from baseline to follow-up phases.

 

Peer Coaching for Implementation Fidelity: An Application in Head Start Classrooms

SHELLEY CLARKE (University of South Florida), Mary Sawyer (The Ohio State University), Lise Fox (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

This presentation will focus on the use of reciprocal peer coaching to improve the social emotional teaching practices of Head Start teachers (Ackland, 1991). Reciprocal peer coaching has been described in the literature, but no studies have examined its use within early childhood programs. The presenters will describe a study evaluating the use of reciprocal peer coaching and its impact on change in teacher practices related to the use of evidence based intervention strategies associated with the Pyramid Model (i.e., early childhood PBS) in Head Start Classrooms. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across three teacher dyads provides data on implementation of targeted practices that were the focus of reciprocal coaching. Participants in the study were Head Start teachers within a public school program who each had their own classrooms. Teachers were placed in pairs to support each other through the reciprocal coaching process. Results indicated that all teachers demonstrated high levels of procedural fidelity for reciprocal peer coaching procedures based on teacher data and audiotape recordings of coach meetings. Direct observation data confirmed that the number of Pyramid Model intervention strategies implemented increased from baseline to intervention phases for each of the teacher dyads.

 

Caregiver Training During Problematic Routines With Young Children

MARY SAWYER (The Ohio State University), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Amanda Rone (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation)
Abstract:

Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of a behavioral parent training program for increasing the accuracy of trained skills; however, few studies have examined the extent to which those skills generalize to the natural environment (i.e., the home) and are used with the target individual (i.e., the child). In addition, little is known about the direct effect that caregiver implementation of the skills has on child behavior. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to (a) assess caregiver accuracy with implementation of three parenting skills, and (b) assess subsequent effects of the parenting skills on child behavior. Results demonstrated that three caregiver participants successfully generalized parenting skills taught during behavioral skills training (BST) to naturally occurring routines by recognizing appropriate and inappropriate child behaviors as opportunities to implement the trained skills. In addition, the behavior of each caregivers child improved following BST, suggesting that the parenting skills were effective in addressing challenging child behavior. All caregivers rated the training and skills to be highly socially valid. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

 
 
Symposium #452
Translational Studies to Evaluate the Effects of Reinforcement Manipulations on Behavioral Persistence
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
101 J (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Wendy K. Berg (University of Iowa)
Discussant: F. Charles Mace (Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract: Three evaluations of the effects of reinforcer manipulations on immediate changes in target behavior and persistence of target behavior during extinction will be presented. Participants for the studies include children who are typically developing, children with intellectual disabilities and pigeons. Target behaviors include appropriate and inappropriate responses. The first study, Romani et al., compared the effects of pairing one of two forms of positive reinforcement (i.e., attention or tangible) with negative reinforcement (i.e., escape from demands) on the occurrence of target behavior during treatment and during extinction. The second study, Vinquist et al., evaluated the effects of preference between mand modalities on the persistence of mands during extinction. The third study, Ahearn et al., compared the effects of pairing analogue reinforcers with social reinforcers across two reinforcement schedules on immediate changes to target behavior and persistence of behavior during extinction. The study was conducted with pigeons and with children. Bud Mace will serve as the discussant for the symposium.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Persistence, Momentum, Translational Research
 

Relations Between Preference and the Persistence of Task Completion

PATRICK ROMANI (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa), Alexandra N. Kane (Univeristy of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (University of Iowa), Brooke M. Holland (University of Iowa), Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (University of Iowa), Jessica Emily Schwartz (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

We evaluated relations between reinforcer preference and behavioral persistence of task completion. We will present data from two participants with a history of engaging in problem behavior to escape from academic demands. Interobserver agreement was calculated across 30% of all sessions and averaged above 90%. After establishing the conditions under which both participants would choose to escape from demands within a concurrent schedules design, we introduced two unique stimulus conditions that signaled access to either attention or tangible items within a multiple schedules design. Task completion reinforced with yellow tokens signaled access to attention. Task completion reinforced with orange tokens signaled access to tangible items. Task completion was reinforced with attention and tangible items at approximately the same rate. A concurrent operants assessment was then implemented to identify the participants relative preference for attention or tangible items. Task completion under both orange and yellow was placed on extinction and behavioral persistence was recorded. The results showed that task completion reinforced with the preferred reinforcer was more resistant to change than task completion reinforced with the less preferred reinforcer, suggesting that preference may be an important variable to consider when studying behavioral persistence.

 

An Evaluation of the Effect of Communication Modality Preference on Response Persistence

Kelly M. Vinquist (Trinity Services, Inc.), JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (Southern Illinois University), Alyssa N. Suess (University of Iowa), Alexandra N. Kane (University of Iowa), Nicole H. Lustig (University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Research related to behavioral momentum theory (BMT) has demonstrated that several variables can affect a responses resistance to change (or, response persistence). These variables include the rate of reinforcement and magnitude of reinforcement. BMT effects have been noted across reinforcer types (e.g., functional and arbitrary) and have been demonstrated across species, including humans. There has been a recent focus on the implications of BMT related to applied contexts. Recent research has shown that BMT is a variable that may need to be taken into account as differential reinforcement procedures are developed and implemented to address severe problem behavior. In the current investigation, we evaluated the role of a stimulus-related variable (preference) on response persistence. Specifically, we evaluated whether mand rates would persist longer when exposed to extinction for mands that were identified as more preferred relative to mands that were relatively less preferred. Results suggested that mands identified as preferred persisted longer when challenged with extinction. Results are discussed with respect to BMT and implications for application.

 

Alternative Reinforcement, Extinction, and Resurgence With Analog Sensory Reinforcers

William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children), William V. Dube (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Keira M. Moore (University of Massachusetts Medical School), JOHN A. NEVIN (University of New Hampshire), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University), Mary Margaret Sweeney (Utah State University)
Abstract:

If the sensory consequences of problem behavior function as reinforcers, they may summate with social or tangible reinforcers to make that behavior more persistent. We describe two studies with 7 pigeons and 4 children with intellectual disabilities that explore the effects of analog sensory reinforcers in a three-component multiple schedule where Comp 1 was an untreated control, Comp 2 provided reinforcement for alternative behavior (DRA), and Comp 3 provided noncontingent reinforcement (NCR). With pigeons, analog sensory reinforcers were brief feeder presentations (feeder flashes). During treatment, DRA was more effective in reducing target responding than NCR. During extinction, target responding was more prone to relapse, more persistent, and more variable between subjects with than without feeder flashes. Figure 1 shows individual data. With children, analog sensory reinforcers were animated fireworks displays and image changes on a computer touch screen. The results paralleled those with pigeons; with sensory reinforcers, DRA was more effective in reducing target responding than NCR and behavior was highly resistant to extinction. As of this writing only one of the participants in the condition without sensory reinforcers has completed the DRA/NCR condition and DRA was again more effective than NCR. Figure 2 shows individual data.

 
 
Panel #453
Delay Discounting: Implications for Future Research Across Different Perspectives
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
101 H (Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Frank D. Buono (Southern Illinois University)
GREGORY J. MADDEN (Utah State University)
AMY ODUM (Utah State University)
DANIEL D. HOLT (James Madison University)
MIKHAIL KOFFARNUS (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)
Abstract:

Abstract: Delay discounting research has been prominent or the past 20 years across non-human and human research. Delay discounting refers to the decrease of an individual's subjective value as a function of time until their receipt. In other words, choosing a sooner smaller reward over a larger later reward. Literature within delay discounting has shown significant differences between targeted populations, including cigarette users, obesity, pathological gamblers, and alcohol users to that of matched controls. With the current trends demonstrated in the available research, the question that arises is the future direction of delay discounting. The goal of this panel discussion is to identify the direction of future research, the applicability of the current research, and the generalization of this research on the public.

Keyword(s): delay discounting, human research, non-human research
 
 
Panel #454
PDS EVENT: Promoting Behavior Analysis at Liberal Arts Universities
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
M100 J (Convention Center)
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jack Spear (Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
KENNETH F. REEVE (Caldwell College)
DEIRDRE LEE FITZGERALD (University of Saint Joseph)
JAMES W. DILLER (Eastern Connecticut State University)
JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University)
Abstract:

Widespread dissemination of behavior analytic principles at the undergraduate level is vital to the future of behavior analysis, as the development of future practitioners and researchers is facilitated by introducing students to behavior analysis early in their academic careers. More specifically, the promotion of behavior analysis through both effective teaching and the establishment of behavior-analytic programs at liberal arts universities is essential, as liberal arts universities are attended by many undergraduates, and many of these students continue on to graduate study. Panelists will discuss the promotion, dissemination, and teaching of behavior analysis at liberal arts universities. Discussion will include strategies for effective teaching at liberal arts universities, including effective methods of introducing students to behavior analysis; experiences in establishing behavior-analytic programs of study at liberal arts universities, and how these programs have related to previously existing Psychology programs; and strategies for obtaining academic positions in behavior analysis at liberal arts universities.

 

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