Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Program by Continuing Education Events: Sunday, May 29, 2016


 

Special Event #15
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Opening Event and Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards Ceremony
Sunday, May 29, 2016
8:00 AM–9:20 AM
Grand Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Opening Event, SABA Awards
Chair: Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Linda J. Parrott Hayes, Ph.D.
 

SABA Award for Distinguished Service: Behavior Analysis: A Consilient Future

Abstract:

Modern behavior analysis must be consilient to prosper as a discipline. E. O. Wilson wrote, "The love of complexity without reductionism makes art; the love of complexity with reductionism makes science." Necessarily our science will profit from integrating reductionistic and artistic elements in the service of answering significant questions about behavior and addressing behavioral and other psychological challenges facing humanity. Over his career Dr. Thompson has been fortunate to use such strategies for basic theoretical matters concerning the integration of behavior, as well as applied problems in pharmacology, architecture, development of children with autism, and making the lives of people with disabilities better.

 
TRAVIS THOMPSON (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Travis Thompson received his doctoral training in psychology at the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland with Joseph V. Brady and at Cambridge University (UK) with Robert Hinde. His earliest work dealt with the relations among concepts from behavior analysis, ethology, and pharmacology. He was director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Smith Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Minnesota in 2003. Dr. Thompson co-authored, with Charles R. Schuster, the first textbook in behavioral pharmacology and has done basic and applied interdisciplinary research in developmental disabilities, including genetics, pharmacology, and neuroscience. He was involved in developing one of the first large-scale behavioral intervention programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and for the past several years has directed home-based early intervention services for young children with autism in Minnesota. Dr. Thompson's publications include 225 articles and chapters and 29 books. A total of 48 doctoral students have completed their training under his mentorship. He has received numerous awards, including the APA Division 1 (Society for General Psychology) Ernest Hilgard Award, Division 25's Don Hake Award, and the Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Edgar Doll Award. He is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
 

SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavioral Analysis: A Behavior-Analytic World View

Abstract:

What started in the late 1920s at Harvard University as a small research project of a young graduate student involving several rats, some Rube Goldberg-like apparatus, and a handful of home-made food pellets is quite different today. Behavior analysis has grown in numbers, knowledge, and impact, and we have changed in composition. We have become, and continue to become even more of an international movement. This presentation comprises a brief historical analysis of some of the variables that have contributed to this internationalization of behavior analysis. They include seminal individuals crossing the oceans in all directions to bring and take behavior analysis to the four corners of the earth; scientific, conceptual, and application developments within the discipline; broader cultural events and technological developments; and personal contacts and exchanges of ideas among behavior analysts from different countries. The breeching of obstacles such as economic and resource limitations, perceived cultural incompatibilities with a behavior-analytic world view, language barriers, entrenched competing world views, and physical distance has required persistence, dedication, commitment, and ingenuity, but our internationalization has great momentum. Indeed this internationalization is essential to our future well-being.

 
KENNON ANDY LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Andy is Centennial Professor of Psychology at West Virginia University, where he has taught and conducted research for the last 44 years, although his colleagues have suggested that it is really more like 5 years, he is out of the country so frequently! His sojourns include two sabbatical years at the University of Lille, France (including one as a Fulbright Research Fellow); appointments as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, a Global Professor at Keio University in Tokyo, a Visiting Professor at the Jordan University of Science and Technology; and as a Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Brasilia and São Paulo in Brazil, the National Autonomous University and the University of Guadalajara in Mexico; and University College London. When he has been in Morgantown he has hosted and mentored sabbatical visitors and students from universities in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Japan, and Mexico, and has been the doctoral advisor of several international students at WVU. One outcome of these collaborations has been some 30 co-authored research publications with international scholars. Another is service on the editorial boards of three international journals, including three terms as the English Language Editor of the Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis. Through his many and diverse activities in the world arena, Andy has served as a behavior-analytic ambassador carrying in his portfolio outstanding teaching, scientific acumen, and good will in promoting the international development of our discipline.
 

SABA Award for Scientific Translation: Forty Years of Research: Doing a Lot, Learning a Little

Abstract:

Dr. Poling’s first publication appeared in 1976 and since that time he has conducted basic, translational, and applied research in several areas, resulting in publications in more than 50 different journals. This presentation will overview what he has learned regarding how to succeed as a researcher. Topics to be considered include selecting topics to study, being steadfastly pragmatic, persisting in the face of apparent failure, working successfully with other people, securing funds to support projects, writing well, publishing articles, and evaluating one’s own work.

 
ALAN D. POLING (Western Michigan University)
Dr. Alan Poling is Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He received his BA from Alderson-Broaddus College, his MA from West Virginia University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. A Fellow of Divisions 3, 25, and 28 of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Poling has published 12 books and roughly 350 articles and book chapters and served as the research advisor of 35 Ph.D. recipients. They, and he, have conducted research and done conceptual work in several areas, including behavioral pharmacology, clinical psychopharmacology (with special emphasis on the effects of psychotropic drugs in people with developmental disabilities), applied behavior analysis, gender issues, animal welfare, quantitative analysis, learning processes, and research methods. Dr. Poling was recognized as a Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Western Michigan University in 1996 and as a Distinguished Alumnus of West Virginia University in 1999. In 2003, he received the Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award. In 2016, he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Association of Behavior Analysis, a Translational Research Award from the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and an International Humanitarian Award from the American Psychological Association.
 

SABA Award: Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: University of California, Santa Barbara, Koegel Autism Center

Abstract:

We begin with a video example of children with autism in the 1960s, chained to their beds, receiving electric shocks, etc.; and then move on to a video example from modern times showing a child receiving a motivational pivotal response treatment. The emphasis here is on the power of programmatic research, with successive scientific findings building on each other to accomplish extremely dramatic results for improving the symptoms of autism. We will also discuss areas that still are in desperate need of research and intervention, such as parent stress, co-morbid disabilities, sex education, and employment.

 
LYNN KERN KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara), ROBERT L. KOEGEL (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., is the Clinical Director of the Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, development of grammatical structures, and pragmatics. Dr. Koegel is co-author and co-editor of major textbooks on autism and positive behavioral support and is co-author of the bestselling book Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Life (Penguin, 2004). In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published procedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts throughout the United States and have been translated in most major languages used throughout the world. Dr. Lynn Koegel is actively involved in providing support and intervention services in school districts, both locally in California and throughout the United States. Dr. Koegel, and her husband Robert, were awarded the first annual recipient of the Sesame Street Children’s Television Workshop Award for brightening the lives of children. She has also been featured in news reports on television stations throughout the United States and has appeared on episodes of the internationally broadcast ABC television series Supernanny
 

SABA Award: Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: University of California, Santa Barbara, Koegel Autism Center

Abstract:

We begin with a video example of children with autism in the 1960s, chained to their beds, receiving electric shocks, etc.; and then move on to a video example from modern times showing a child receiving a motivational pivotal response treatment. The emphasis here is on the power of programmatic research, with successive scientific findings building on each other to accomplish extremely dramatic results for improving the symptoms of autism. We will also discuss areas that still are in desperate need of research and intervention, such as parent stress, co-morbid disabilities, sex education, and employment.

Robert Koegel, Ph.D., has focused his career on autism, specializing in language intervention, family support, and school integration. He has published more than 200 articles and papers relating to the treatment of autism. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Models of his procedures have been used in public schools and in parent education programs throughout California, across the United States, and in other countries. He has trained health care and special education leaders in the United States and abroad. Dr. Koegel and his wife, Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment, which focuses on motivation. They were the recipients of the first annual Children’s Television Workshop Sesame Street Award for Brightening the Lives of Children and the first annual Autism Speaks Award for Science and Research. The University of California, Santa Barbara, received a $2.35 million gift to expand the physical space of its autism center, which was renamed the Koegel Autism Center in recognition of the Koegels’ work on behalf of children with autism, and a large gift from the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation to start the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Asperger Center, which is now part of the Koegel Autism Center.
 

SABA Award for Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media: Why Doesn't the World Appreciate ABA?

Abstract:

Almost every major challenge in the world today can be seen as a failure to appropriately shape behavior, including chronic disease, economic inequality, violence and climate change. Why, then, isn't the proven science and practice of benignly shaping behavior widely embraced by the public and all our institutions? The problem is that the public clings to emotional appeal, and ABA bristles with data, evidence and rationalism. Therein lies a communications challenge on which rest not only the prospects for the field, but those for the human race.

 
DAVID H. FREEDMAN (Journalist)
David H. Freedman is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, a contributor to Scientific American, and a consulting editor for Harvard's Brigham & Women's Hospital, and has at various times written regularly for The New York Times, Science, Newsweek, Discover, Forbes and Inc. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is WRONG, about the problems with the published findings of medical scientists and other experts. Much of his current work is related to the roles of policy, industry and journalism in addressing health-related behavior change, as well as to the improvement of healthcare systems globally. He has served as a consulting journalist to several major academic medical centers, including Johns Hopkins, NYU and McGill University, and is the founding editor of a forthcoming global healthcare information resource. He received a Bachelor's degree in physics from Oberlin College. 
 
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, BCBAs, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: Pending.
 
Keyword(s): Opening Event, SABA Awards
 
 
Symposium #18
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism: A Latin America Case
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Mapy Chavez Cueto (Alcanzando)
Discussant: Mapy Chavez Cueto (Alcanzando)
CE Instructor: Mapy Chavez Cueto Cueto, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Alcanzando is a not for profit organization that provides educational services based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to children with autism around the Spanish speaking world. This Symposium is meant to share the data from their services over the last 7 years.

Keyword(s): autism, early intervention, latin america, spanish
 

Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Services in Latin America

ANTUANETE CHAVEZ (Alcanzando), Mapy Chavez Cueto (Alcanzando), Sandra Granados (Alcanzando)
Abstract:

This presentation will discuss the Ethical and Cultural considerations that should be in place when providing early intervention behavioral services to children with autism in various Spanish speaking countries.

 

Strategies to Promote Appropriate Play Skills in Children Within the Autism Spectrum

SILVIA ESCOBAR (Alcanzando), Patricia Rojas (Alcanzando), Belen Rodriguez (Alcanzando), Elizabeth Rojas (Alcanzando), Jarume Angulo (Alcanzando)
Abstract:

Play and Social Skills are key necessary components to lead successful adult lives. This presentation will provide information regarding strategies that were found to be successful in teaching these skills to young children diagnosed in the Autism Spectrum in Peru.

 
 
Symposium #19
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Applications in Clinical Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Grayson Butcher (University of Louisiana, Lafayette)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
CE Instructor: Timothy M. Weil, Ph.D.
Abstract: The development of behavior analytic approaches in clinical areas other than intellectual and developmental disabilities began flourishing in the early 1970's and then dissipated in favor of alternative approaches that focused moreso on explanatory fictions and entity postulation to account for the behavior of individuals. Thankfully, the last decade has seen a resurgence in clinical behavior analysis with research and practice that focus' on these more mainstream areas typically dominated by clinical psychology but with efforts to remain behavior analytic at its roots. A primary approach to those suffering from behavioral and mental health issues is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which brings behavior analytic principles and procedures into the mainstream and challenges the status quo. Generally, this approach posits that much suffering occurs due to relational responding and subsequent transformation of stimulus function which may bring aversive stimulation present wherever we may roam. In response to this, we are likely to engage in avoidant responding that restricts our contact with- and range of-reinforcers. This symposium will present on difficulties inherent in both building a coherent theoretical/scientific system to approach mainstream issues as well as practical difficulties in implementation of protocols while remaining within ethical and professional boundaries of applied behavior analysis. Data will be presented on applications within each talk.
Keyword(s): ACT, Clinical BA, Values, Verbal Behavior
 
Applying Behavior Analysis to Clinical Populations: A Case Study in Phobia
TIMOTHY M. WEIL (Tandem Behavioral Health & Wellness)
Abstract: Applications of behavior analysis in the area of phobias has a long history of success. Today, research is still conducted in the area of phobias that rely on therapies developed 40 years ago in behavior analysis. Added to these is an understanding of derived avoidance via relational framing and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a clinical approach to experiential avoidance of the verbal sort. This case study sought to remediate cynophobia, or rather, fear of dogs, in a 9-year-old boy. Avoidant behavior was reported to have emerged and persisted 7 years, with no known aversive experience prior to onset. Previous exposure interventions were unsuccessful in reducing the child’s fearful behaviors. This study sought to decrease the avoidant behavior of the child through graduated exposure, distraction, and a rule-based verbal behavior component. Results of the intervention utilizing a multiple-baseline across dogs design show decreasing proximity to both sized dogs and increasing duration of exposure through increasing task demands. Implications of the verbal intervention are discussed in the context of expanding interest, understanding, and application by behavior analysts.
 
Effectiveness of a Brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intervention to Increase Physical Therapy Adherence
ANN ROST (Missouri State University), Jennifer Ashley Battles (Missouri State)
Abstract: Compliance with physical therapy is one of the most salient difficulties physical therapists face with patients (Pisters, et. al., 2010). Methods to improve physical therapy adherence have only been mildly successful, and many modalities fail to address psychological components that effect compliance (Freidrich, et. al., 1998). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a third wave behavior analytic therapy that emphasizes mindfulness, values, and psychological flexibility and has recently been utilized to influence health behavior change (Hayes, 2014; Butryn, et. al., 2011). The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief ACT intervention on physical therapy adherence including compliance with prescribed home exercises and attendance at sessions. Participants were recruited from a campus physical therapy clinic and had a variety of physical injuries. Utilizing a single-subjects design, participants complete four individual ACT therapy sessions after measuring physical therapy adherence for a baseline period. Data was collected for the entire duration each participant was in physical therapy, ranging from six to eight weeks. Additional questionnaires were administered prior to and following the ACT intervention that assessed values connectedness, mindfulness, psychological flexibility, distress tolerance, and pain acceptance. Implications for future research will be discussed.
 
 
Symposium #21
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
The Ethics of Social Media: Regulations, Research, and Recommendations
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Vevey 1 & 2, Swissotel
Area: CSE/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth C. Nulty, M.S.
Abstract:

In the age of the internet, organizations and business rely on a web presence for advertising. Companies post information on their websites including the type of services provided, the credentials of their owner and employees, and their contact information. Behavior analytic organizations are no different than any other business utilizing websites and social media websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs), in an effort to boost referrals. There is no harm in behavior analytic organizations and business in maintaining websites for advertising purposes unless the rights of consumers are violated with regards to confidentiality, disclosures, and a misrepresentation of practice. The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), the American Psychological Association (APA), and HIPPA all have codes of conduct and/or regulations for professional behavior; however, many behavior analytic websites are in violation of these codes. Crucial changes in social media content are required in order for the consumers of behavior analysis to be protected. This symposium reviews the regulation from the BACB, APA, & HIPPA related to confidentiality and social media. A review of behavior analytic websites is discussed with regards to ethical violations based on the BACBs Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis, followed by recommendations for avoiding future violations on behavior analytic websites.

Keyword(s): ethics, public policy, regulations, social media
 

A Review of the BACB, APA, and HIPPA Regulations Related to Social Media

SOLANDY FORTE (Endicott College/CCSN)
Abstract:

It is essential for behavior analyst to understand the regulations that guide our profession and ethical practices with regards to social media including organizational and business websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blogs. Many businesses and organizations use social media as a means to increase advertising for client referrals through the use of testimonials. A major concern with the use of testimonials is the lack of confidentiality related to testimonials. The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), the American Psychological Association (APA), and HIPPA all have codes of conduct and/or regulations for professional behavior. While many of the regulations are comparable, subtle variations across each exist. This presentation compares and contrasts the regulations of BACB, APA, and HIPPA regarding professional behavior and the use of social media, as well as examines our obligation to follow such codes of conduct. A review of confidentiality standards is included, particularly around the use of written and video testimonials on websites.

 
A Review of Behavior Analysis Websites: A Research Project
ELIZABETH C. NULTY (Endicott College/CCSN)
Abstract: The Behavior Analysis Certification Board’s (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis goes into effect on January 1, 2016. The BACB’s new code includes several regulations that are applicable to social media sites including professional websites for behavior analysis organizations and their corresponding Facebook account, Twitter account, and blogs. The 15 specific BACB compliance codes that may apply to social media accounts are reviewed. This presentation includes an analysis of over 50 behavior analytic websites for organizations from across the country. Each website was reviewed for ethical violations on the 15 compliance codes (i.e., boundaries of competence, integrity and reputation of the profession, patient/therapist relationship or professional boundaries, multiple relationships and conflict of interest exploitative relationships, confidentiality, disclosures, behavior analytic assessment, affirming principles, avoiding false or deceptive statements, intellectual property, statements by others, media presentation, testimonials and advertising, confidentiality and BABC intellectual property, discouraging misrepresentation). The results of this study revealed that over half of the websites reviewed were found to have at least one ethical violation.
 
Recommendations for Prevention of Ethical Violations on Social Media Sites
KARI ANNE DUNLOP (Endicott College/HMEA )
Abstract: Although behavior analysts are responsible for understanding their ethical obligations from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), many behavior analyst violate codes of professional conduct. A concern is the rate of ethical violation related to confidentiality and disclosures on the websites of behavior analytic organizations. With an increased use of web based advertising on social media (i.e., websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blogs), behavior analysts must understand the how do develop social media sites without violating ethical standards. In a review of over 50 behavior analytic websites, over half were found to have at least one ethical violation according to the BACB’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis. This presentation includes recommendations for those behavior analysts responsible for social media content on websites (i.e., organization and business websites, Facebook and Twitter Accounts, and blogs). Suggestions are also included for the BACB’s consideration: the development of social media guidelines that include specific continuing education on the subject of social media content in an effort to provide better guidance to behavior analytic community.
 
 
Symposium #22
CE Offered: BACB
Current Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Military and Veteran Community
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
CE Instructor: Kent A. Corso, Psy.D.
Abstract: The current applications of applied behavior analysis (ABA) discussed in this symposium call attention to many of the social issues inherent in the practice of ABA with members of the military and veteran population. All presenters address the social significance of each problem they discuss, while explaining the potential benefits that ABA poses in understanding these problems and deriving potential behavioral solutions. The proposed solutions and future directions are intended to improve human social functioning within the military and veteran community, while also improving how those outside the community understand this population. Each author discusses issues ranging from the assessment and intervention of traumatic brain injury to the functional analysis of gambling within this population. Finally, there is a discussion about the greater civilian community’s perceptions of the military and law enforcement community and how this is influenced by recent controversial media reports of lethal use of force among police officers.
Keyword(s): gambling, law enforcement, military/veteran, TBI
 

Investigating Relationships Among Veterans' Service Experiences, Functions of Behavior, and Problem Gambling

SETH W. WHITING (Yale University), Marc Potenza (Yale University), Sherry McKee (Yale University), Carolyn Mazure (Yale University), Rani Hoff (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Abstract:

Gambling disorder is more common in military veterans than in the general population, but little is known about how military experiences affect gambling behavior. The present study investigated relationships among military service factors, problem gambling, and functions of gambling behavior in veterans. Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (n=738) completed the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory which measured environmental factors and experiences pre-, peri-, and post-deployment, and other clinical assessments. A subset (N=156) completed the Gambling Functional Assessment (GFA). Approximately 4.2% of veterans indicated at-risk or probable pathological gambling (ARPG) and showed greater probabilities of escape-related conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, panic disorder, and depression. For service experiences, those with ARPG reported higher general harassment during deployment, and lower social support and more stressful life events post-deployment. The GFA most frequently identified attention and tangible functions for gambling, and the rate of escape-maintained gambling mirrored the rate of ARPG. The study suggests problem gambling is a significant concern among veterans is related to several aspects of veteran experiences. How behavior analysis can contribute to treatment in this population via functional analyses and function-based interventions will be discussed.

 

Further Development of a Verbal Behavior-Based Assessment Instrument for Military and Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury

THEODORE A. HOCH (George Mason University), Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
Abstract:

To date there have been 327,299 diagnoses of traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the wars began in 2001 (Congressional Research Report, 2015). Current methods of assessing TBI include neuropsychological assessment batteries which adequately reveal areas of deficit in language functioning. Yet these methods are not closely tied to the therapies used during rehabilitation, which include: speech and language pathology services; rest, relaxation, and avoidance of stress and substances. By contrast, verbal behavior assessments have been used to measure the functioning of operant learning channels in other populations and yield more specific information about possible interventions for rehabilitation. Given the absence of verbal behavior assessment and intervention tools for typically developing individuals, the authors present data on the first phase of development of the Verbal Operant Channel Assessment of Learning for Military and Veterans (VOCAL-MilVet). The authors connect current neuropsychological diagnostic terms with verbal behavior terminology. Next, the authors explain the results of administering the pilot instrument to a sample of veterans with and without TBI, while presenting specific items which characterize the various channels assessed by the instrument. Finally, implications for future instrument development and intervention for TBI are discussed.

 

Law Enforcement and Media Reports: Discrepancies and Social Implications

Amy D. Wiech (ABC Group, Inc. Hawaii), JAMES MEADOR (Grand Canyon University), Kent A. Corso (NCR Behavioral Health, LLC)
Abstract:

Police force occurs in less than 1.5% of police-citizen contacts (Miller, 2015). Yet, high profile deadly force incidents such as the Michael Brown and Freddie Gray shootings have sparked national debates and public outcry. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) includes the human behaviors of media consumption and opinion formation, which bear social relevance on other behaviors such as voting, political activism, and other social behavior (Cooper, Heron and Heward, 2007). This study examines the recent trends in media coverage of lethal use of force and the known patterns of police lethal use of force using the standard celeration chart. The authors contend that media reports of lethal conflict between law enforcement and suspects are discrepant from the raw data of these trends. These same relationships are observed on celeration charts as many media reports erroneously portray these lethal encounters as unlawful. The authors discuss the negative impact that these media reports bear on the social exchanges and overall perception between the police and the public (Bolgiano, Banks, and Patterson, 2015). The authors suggest several behavior analytic solutions to improve perceptions, encourage objective assessment of media coverage, and improve relations between police and the community at large.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #23
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Reducing Impulsivity: Current Knowledge & Future Directions
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Gregory J. Madden, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Presenting Author: GREGORY J. MADDEN (Utah State University), JILLIAN RUNG (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Steeply discounting the value of delayed outcomes is robustly correlated with addictions and poor health decision-making. Longitudinal studies suggest that this form of impulsivity precedes and predicts acquisition of substance use, and animal studies reveal a similar pattern. Despite the evidence that delay discounting is a trait, this tutorial will review studies that have discovered methods for decreasing impulsive choice. We will discuss procedures that produce acute, context-dependent effects (e.g., framing effects), and when these may prove useful in positively influencing human decision making. We will also discuss learning-based procedures that have proven effective in humans (e.g., delay fading and working memory training) and nonhumans (e.g., interval-timing or delay-exposure training) in reducing impulsive choice. Finally, we will discuss practicality issues that will need to be addressed if learning-based approaches are going to impact human behavior. We will not discuss effects of drugs or neurological manipulations on impulsive choice.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to: (1) define delay discounting and discuss why it is of relevance to health decision-making; (2) discuss the direction in which it is therapeutic to change delay discounting; (3) discuss the methods that have proven successful in changing delay discounting among humans and among non-humans.
 
GREGORY J. MADDEN (Utah State University), JILLIAN RUNG (Utah State University)
Dr. Madden received his training from the University of North Texas, West Virginia University, and the University of Vermont. Dr. Madden's research is largely focused on the behavioral economics of addiction and health decision-making. His early research documented extreme impulsivity in individuals addicted to illicit drugs and cigarettes. Later research revealed that impulsive decision-making predicted cocaine self-administration in rats. His current work explores methods that may be used to therapeutically reduce impulsivity. Dr. Madden's second, line of research explores game-based behavioral-economic approaches to influencing children's health decision-making. These research endeavors have been supported with more than $4 million in grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Madden frequently serves on NIH grant-review panels, he has published more than 70 papers in 25 different journals, and his peer-reviewed publications have been cited more than 4,500 times. From 2011 until 2015, he served as the Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has edited two books including the two-volume APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis. He is currently co-writing an introductory behavior analysis textbook.
Jillian Rung completed her BA at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is completing her third year of graduate training at Utah State University. Her previous work involved decision-making in dynamic environments, and her current research involves the environmental determinants of impulsivity and how processes, such as reward valuation, affect impulsive decision-making. Jillian has served as ad-hoc reviewer for the APA Graduate Student Association’s Basic Psychological Science Grant, and has also guest reviewed for several journals such as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Cognition. When she finishes her Ph.D., she plans to continue her research on impulsive-decision making, with the goal of developing preventative behavioral training and treatment programs for addictions and related behavioral maladies.
Keyword(s): Delay disounting, Impulsivity
 
 
Panel #24
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
An Inquisition of Facilitated Communication
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Jason Travers, Ph.D.
Chair: Jason Travers (University of Kansas)
JAMES T. TODD (Eastern Michigan University)
GINA GREEN (Association of Professional Behavior Analysts)
CHRISTOPHER HURLEY (Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.)
Abstract: Facilitated communication, also known as "supported typing" and "rapid prompting method”, are becoming increasingly popular. To date, no evidence exists for the validity of either of these methods and facilitated communication remains clearly refuted. Despite proclamations to the contrary, no person has become an independent author of thoughts via these methods. Nonetheless, both methods have been endorsed by various professionals, parents, advocacy groups, government agencies, and university faculty. A growing anti-ABA sentiment stems largely from allegations made by users of these methods and have been disseminated by academic journals, professional and research conferences, and online media. Given facilitated communication is classified as potentially harmful, simply listing it (and others) as a method for professionals to avoid appears only a partially effective prophylactic. Professional behavior analysts may better adhere to their ethical obligation to abstain from unproven practices if prepared to recognize and respond to arguments from proponents of pseudoscientific and disproven interventions. Accordingly, an inquisition of panelists will be conducted to reveal common tactics used by proponents of facilitated communication. Panelists will respond to unrehearsed lines of questioning to demonstrate ways to respond to arguments for this and other disproven or controversial interventions.
Keyword(s): Autism, Communication, Developmental Disabilities, Ethics
 
 
Symposium #25
CE Offered: BACB
Extensions of Research on Common Classroom Behavior Management Procedures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Claudia L. Dozier, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Previous research has suggested the efficacy of various classroom behavior management procedures for decreasing disruptive behavior and increasing appropriate behavior in classroom environments. In this symposium, three research studies will be presented that extend research on some of these common classroom procedures including the Good Behavior Game, descriptive praise, and token economies. Christopher Rubow will present research on procedural variations of the Good Behavior Game to increase intervention efficacy, treatment integrity, student engagement, and acceptability of the intervention. Bertilde Kamana will present research comparing the efficacy of and preference for descriptive and general praise for teaching new skills to young children. Erica Jowett Hirst will present research evaluating the influence of net token opportunity within the context of differential reinforcement versus response cost token economy procedures.

Keyword(s): classroom management, descriptive praise, GBG, token economy
 

Using ClassDojo and Merits to Improve Implementation and Outcomes of the Good Behavior Game

CHRISTOPHER RUBOW (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

The Good Behavior Game is an effective classroom behavior management procedure, and procedural variations may make it more feasible and effective. In five second- to sixth-grade classrooms in an alternative school for students with emotional/behavioral disorders, we investigated the effects of the standard Good Behavior Game (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969) and the Good Behavior Game with procedural variations that involved training staff to implement the Game using a free online/mobile classroom behavior management platform, ClassDojo. Additionally, we added a merits component to the Game to increase student engagement. Results indicated the Good Behavior Game reduced disruption, increased teacher praise, and reduced teacher reprimands, but had little impact on student engagement; however, engagement increased when we added merits to the Game. For teachers using the standard Good Behavior Game, implementing the Game via ClassDojo significantly improved treatment integrity and outcomes. Treatment effects maintained throughout the entire school year for both classrooms that participated from September through May. Social validity measures from both teachers and students indicated strong preferences for ClassDojo and merits over the standard Good Behavior Game. Data from all classrooms strongly suggested the Good Behavior Game plus merits, implemented via ClassDojo, was the most effective and preferred intervention.

 

A Comparison of the Effects of Descriptive Praise and General Praise for Acquisition in Preschool-Age Children

BERTILDE U KAMANA (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (The University of Kansas), Elizabeth Foley (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Delivering praise for correct responding is common practice in behavioral instructional programs (e.g., Gable & Shores, 1980; Goetz & Bear, 1973). Descriptive praise refers to praise in which the individuals behavior is explicitly identified (Polick, Carr, & Hanney, 2012), whereas general praise refers to the mere affirmation of correctness in an individuals responding (Brophy, 1981). Descriptive praise is often recommended over general praise with teaching both typically developing children (National Association for Education of Young Children [NEAYC], 2009) and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD; Sandall, Hemmeter, Smith, & McLean, 2005). Therefore, we extended research by isolating the type of praise delivered in the context of acquisition of novel tacts in preschool-age children and comparing the effects of these different types of praise. Results showed that descriptive praise was somewhat more effective for several participants; however, for the majority of participants, similar rates of acquisition occurred across the two types of praise. In these latter cases, results suggest that mere exposure to the correct response may have influenced acquisition. Finally, we assessed child preference for the different types of praise; preliminary results suggest no different preference for the two types of praise.

 

Evaluation of the Influence of Net Token Opportunity on the Efficacy of and Preference for Reinforcement and Response Cost in Token Economies

ERICA JOWETT HIRST (Southern Illinois University), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Jessica Foster Juanico (The University of Kansas), Bertilde U Kamana (University of Kansas), Amy M. Harper (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Abstract:

Results regarding the efficacy of and preference for differential reinforcement (DR) and response cost (RC) within token economies have been inconsistent (e.g., Brent & Routh, 1978; Donaldson et al., 2014; Tanol et al., 2010). Therefore, it is possible that certain variables may influence the efficacy of and preference for the two procedures. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether varying the opportunity for net tokens influences the effectiveness of or preference for these procedures. Results showed that when the opportunity for net tokens was equal, DRA and RC were similarly effective for increasing on-task behavior for the majority of preschool-age participants, and preference was idiosyncratic. When the opportunity for net tokens was unequal, all participants engaged in similar increases in on-task behavior. However, when DRA resulted in more opportunity for net tokens, all participants preferred DRA; whereas, when RC resulted in the opportunity for net tokens, preferences were idiosyncratic.

 
 
Symposium #26
CE Offered: BACB
Refinement of Reinforcement Techniques in Organizational Behavior Management
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Vevey 3 & 4, Swissotel
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Byron J. Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Byron J. Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Byron J. Wine, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium presents two studies that examine aspects of reinforcement in Organizational Behavior Management. The first study investigates the effects of different payout percentages in lottery systems. The second study examines the effects of delayed reinforcer delivery on responding. Issues related to applied reinforcement systems for employees will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Lotteries, OBM, Reward Delay
 

Further Effects of Lottery Odds on Responding: Experimental and Practical Applications

ANITA LI (Western Michigan University), Byron J. Wine (Florida Institute of Technology), Leigh Edgerton (Florida Institute of Tech), Emily Inzana (Florida Institute of Technology), Eli T. Newcomb (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract:

Lotteries are a commonly used intervention in Organizational Behavior Management. Although common, there are many permutations of lotteries used in the literature and they are often combined with other interventions. One key variable that may influence the effectiveness of lotteries are the odds that the lottery will pay out to those who earn entry. Experiment 1 in the current investigation extended literature concerning how thin the odds of winning could become while maintaining responding. Experiment 2 used the results from the analog setting of experiment 1 and applied the lowest effective percent chance of winning to an applied problem faced by a human service organization.

 
Effects of Reward Delay on Staff Performance
ADRIANA FOX (Florida Institute of Technology/Connecticut Center for Child Development), Byron J. Wine (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: In the Organizational Behavior Management literature rewards are not always delivered immediately when they are earned. This study examined the effects of four common delays (no delay, 4 days, 7 days, 1 month) on employee responding. The implications of various delays will be discussed.
 
 
Panel #27
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Gateway Back Into the Community: Using ABA to Transition Institutionalized Individuals to Community-Based Care
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Rishi Chelminski, M.S.
Chair: Rishi Chelminski (Services for the UnderServed)
VIVIAN A. ATTANASIO (Service for the UnderServed)
JOSEPH O'KEEFE (Services for the UnderServed)
JAYRESA SASS (Services for the UnderServed)
Abstract:

Starting with the Olmstead decision of 1999, and accelerated by the nationwide transition to Managed Care, mental health institutions across the country are shuttering. States are under increasing pressure to move individuals out of such institutions and into community-based settings. If an individual engages in severe challenging behavior, executing this transition can be prohibitively difficult and dangerous. In 2014, one New York City agency was awarded a federal grant to integrate advanced care coordination and ABA-based practices into adult residential services. The agency applied this grant to assist the state of New York in the closure of a large mental health institution. Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavioral Technicians were tapped to support the work of a newly-assigned interdisciplinary clinical team. In many cases, results were immediate; Challenging behaviors that had persisted for decades under the mental institution's previous auspices were drastically reduced in both frequency and intensity. Over the course of the next 15 months, the individuals in this facility were gradually moved to community-based housing. The discussants will reflect on the strengths and pitfalls of this approach to transition, as well as the overall potential for generalizing these results to other treatment settings.

Keyword(s): Adult Services, Care Coordination, Developmental Disabilities, Implementation
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #29
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

A Functional-Cognitive Framework for Cooperation Between Functional and Cognitive Researchers and Practitioners

Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Barbara E. Esch, Ph.D.
Chair: Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC)
JAN DE HOUWER (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Sean Hughes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
After receiving his PhD from the University of Leuven (Belgium) in 1997, Jan De Houwer was a Lecturer at the University of Southampton (UK) from 1998 to 2001. Since 2001, he works at Ghent University (Belgium) where he heads the Learning and Implicit Processes Laboratory. His research is related to the manner in which spontaneous (automatic) preferences are learned and can be measured. Regarding the learning of preferences, he focuses on the role of stimulus pairings (associative learning). With regard to the measurement of preferences, he developed new reaction time measures and examined the processes underlying various measures. Jan De Houwer (co-)authored more than 250 publications in international journals including Psychological Bulletin and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He was co-editor of the journal Cognition and Emotion and is a member of the editorial board of several journals including Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Bulletin, and Personality and Social Psychology Review.
Abstract:

Functional (e.g., Skinnerian) and cognitive approaches in psychology are often seen as competing and mutually exclusive. We argue that although both types of approaches have fundamentally different aims, they are situated at different levels of explanation and can therefore be mutually supportive. More specifically, whereas functional research on the environmental determinants of behavior can help constrain cognitive theories about the mental processes that mediate environment-behavior relations, cognitive research can highlight new empirical phenomena that could help functional researchers to refine behavioral principles and their conceptual or theoretical analyses. We then highlight two implications of our framework for psychotherapy and research on human cognition. First, the framework clarifies the relation between behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Second, it sheds new light on the study of rule-governed behavior.

Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) understand cognitive and functional psychology as fundamentally different but not mutually exclusive approaches in psychology; (2) understand the functional-cognitive framework for psychological research as a framework for interactions between cognitive and functional psychology; (3) identify potential benefits of a possible cooperation between cognitive and functional psychology.
 
 
Symposium #30
CE Offered: BACB
An Evaluation of Prompting and Error Correction Procedures
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Sandra L. Harris (Rutgers University)
Discussant: John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
CE Instructor: Joseph H. Cihon, M.S.
Abstract: Prompting and error correction are two essential components of teaching which can result in rapid behavior change. Despite the effectiveness of these procedures, there are numerous questions which remain to be addressed by researchers. These questions include what variables make error correction the most effective, how effective are various prompt types, and what is the most effective prompting systems. This symposium includes four different papers which examine several variables affecting the effectiveness of prompting and/or error correction. The first presentation explores parameters of error correction as it relates to learning. The second presentation discusses the comparison of two different prompting procedures to teach expressive labels to individuals diagnosed with ASD. The third presentation evaluated the effectiveness of positional prompts on increasing receptive labeling. The final presentation includes data from a randomized control trial comparing three different prompt systems for teaching expressive labels. Practical implications and future research will be discussed. The discussant will provide further considerations on how this research can be used in clinical settings and what is needed in future research.
Keyword(s): error correction, multiple prompts, positional prompt
 
Using an Abbreviated Assessment to Compare the Effectiveness of Different Error-Correction Procedures on Skill Acquisition
JENNIFER OWSIANY (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University), Jessica Cheatham (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Previous research supports the use of a variety of error-correction procedures to facilitate skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction. At present there is no quick and easy way for caregivers to determine which error-correction procedure is most effective for an individual learner. In the current study we used an abbreviated assessment to rapidly compare the effects of error-correction procedures on skill acquisition for three children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. First, we conducted an abbreviated assessment exposing participants to 36 to 60 trials of each error correction procedure. Next, we conducted validation assessments and compared the effectiveness of the different error-correction procedures. Finally, we assessed participants’ preference for the different error-correction procedures using a concurrent-chains assessment. Overall these findings suggest that an abbreviated assessment consisting of 36 to 60 trials may be a useful tool for identifying the most effective error-correction procedure for individual learners diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
 
Evaluation of Multiple Alternative Prompts During Tact Training
ADITT ALCALAY (Autism Partnership), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Prompting is an essential component of discrete trial teaching and can be used to help promote language development. Today, there are multiple prompt types teachers can use to promote language and can include full vocal prompts, partial vocal prompts, and written prompts. This study compared two methods of fading prompts while teaching expressive labels to three children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first method involved use of an echoic prompt and prompt fading procedure. The second method involved providing multiple alternative answers and fading by increasing the difficulty of the discrimination. The results of an adapted alternating-treatments design indicated that both procedures were effective relative to a no-intervention control condition. The use of multiple alternatives did not increase error rates or teaching time compared to using an echoic prompt. Furthermore, all of the children responded more accurately during maintenance probes for labels taught using the multiple-alternative prompt. Both clinical implications and areas for future research will be discussed during the presentation.
 
An Evaluation of Various Prompting Systems: A Randomized Control Trial
JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Prompting is an essential component of discrete trial teaching. Researchers have developed prompting systems which essentially act as rules for when a teacher should provide and/or fade a prompt. To date, there are multiple prompting systems which have been evaluated in empirical research and implemented within clinical practice. These prompting systems include: no-no prompting, simultaneous prompting, least to most prompting, most to least prompting, constant time delay, and flexible prompt fading. This study we compared the use of three prompting systems (i.e., most-to-least prompting, constant time delay, and flexible prompt fading) to teach expressive labels of cartoon characters for 30 individuals diagnosed with ASD. The researchers utilized a randomized control group design to evaluate the effectiveness and the efficiency of the three prompting procedures. The data will be discussed in terms of statistical significance of effectiveness and efficiency between the three prompting strategies. Additionally, single-subject data will also be presented to provide an analysis of individual performance. Both clinical implications and areas for future research will be discussed during the presentation.
 

The Effectiveness of Positional Prompts for Teaching Receptive Labels to Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

KEVIN MILLER (Autism Partnership Foundation ), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

There are multiple prompting methods with which a teacher can use to teach children diagnosed with autism to correctly label pictures. These can include, but are not limited to, full physical, partial physical, gestural, and reduction of the field prompts. Teachers can also utilize positional prompts to promote correct responding by placing the correct target closer to the learner. Positional prompts have been described by professionals in curriculum books and explored within various clinical studies. Despite the widespread use of positional prompts several professionals have recommended against their use citing the possibility of establishing faulty stimulus control. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of positional prompts to teach six children diagnosed with autism receptive labels (i.e., nine cartoon or comic book characters). The results of a multiple baseline across behaviors indicated that positional prompts were effective for some participants and ineffective for others. The potential variables responsible for the outcomes will be discussed when analyzing the data collected for each participant. Both practical implications and future areas of research will be described.

 
 
Symposium #31
CE Offered: BACB
Treatment of Problem Behavior Without Extinction
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall KL, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Discussant: SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Sloman, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium includes four papers on the assesssment and treatment of problem behavior in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder without the use of extinction. The first presentation by Clelia Deltour describes the assessment and treatment of problem behavior during activity transitions using differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior without extinction. The second presentation by Zoe Newman will describe a comparison of positive and negative reinforcement of approrpiate requests in the treatment of problem behavior maintained by escape from social situations, without extinction. The third presentation by Rebecca Schulman will describe an evaluation of the effects of within activity choices on escape-maintained problem behavior, without the use of extinction. The fourth paper by Chelsea Fleck will describe the treatment of meal refusal by manipulation of meal preference and modified protective equipment. Dr. SungWoo Kahng will serve as discussant.

Keyword(s): Escape, Functional Analysis, Problem Behavior, Without Extinction
 

Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Occurring During Activity Transitions

CLELIA GARANCE DELTOUR (New England Center for Children), Stacy Cohen (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Children with autism often present with difficulties during transitions (Davis, 1987). It is therefore important to develop procedures for assessing and treating problem behavior during transitions. The purpose of the present study was to replicate McCord, Thomson, and Iwata (2001) by developing and conducting an assessment and intervention for the transition-related problem behavior of two participants with disabilities. Following some pre-assessment analyses, we conducted a functional analysis of problem behavior during transitions between activities. The results suggested that problem behavior occurred in transitions involving a worsening in activity preference, for example terminating a preferred or neutral activity and initiating a non-preferred activity. Finally, we examined the effectiveness of an intervention consisting of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior without extinction on the problem behavior occurring during the transitions identified as problematic. The results suggested that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior without extinction effectively decreased problem behavior in all targeted activity transitions. Future directions will be discussed. Interobserver Agreement (IOA) was collected for at least 30% of all trials and averaged over 90% for all scored responses.

 

Comparison of Positive and Negative Reinforcement in the Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Escape From Social Interactions

ZOE NEWMAN (University of Florida), Allen J. Karsina (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Some individuals diagnosed with autism and related disabilities engage in dangerous behavior when presented with social demands. We compared the efficacy and social validity of differential positive and negative reinforcement in the treatment of problem behavior maintained by escape from social interactions. We conducted latency functional analyses of aggression in a 16-year-old male individual diagnosed with autism and Landau-Kleffner syndrome. The results of the initial analogue analysis were inconclusive, therefore we conducted a modified analysis that included a control and test for verbal attention and physical proximity. After determining aggression was maintained by social avoidance in the form of physical proximity, we compared the use of positive reinforcement (requests for food) and negative reinforcement (requests to be alone) using a reversal design. Results indicate both procedures were equally effective in reducing rates of problem behavior to zero without the use of extinction. Social validity was assessed through surveys of caregivers and the participant's preference, and caregivers were satisfied with the procedures and the results. Generalization of treatment effects was assessed by extending the procedures to caregivers using a multiple-baseline design, and effectiveness of treatment was replicated across all caregivers. Overall, subject was able to engage in appropriate social interactions in order to access functional and arbitrary reinforcers as an alternative to aggression.

 
Effects of Within Activity Choice Interventions on Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
REBECCA SCHULMAN (Rutgers University), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Historically, individuals with developmental disabilities have been given few opportunities to make choices in their daily lives across various contexts. However, research has shown that not only are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) capable of making choices, but that choice-making interventions can be effective in reducing problem behavior and increasing appropriate behavior. To date, studies have evaluated the effects of across-activity choices (e.g., order of demands) on problem behavior and task engagement. Within activity choices (e.g., choice of materials, work location) has not been evaluated in isolation. The current study assessed the effects of providing within-activity choice for individuals who exhibited escape maintained problem behavior, with and without extinction. Results showed idiosyncratic effects of the within-activity choice across two participants in terms of rates of problem behavior, task engagement, and preference for the choice-making intervention.
 
Treating Meal Refusal Related to Competing Protective Equipment
CHELSEA R. FLECK (Western New England University), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autism and related disabilities often engage in self-injurious behavior that can create tissue damage. Protective equipment is sometimes used to decrease the severity of tissue damage when self-injury occurs. However, wearing protective equipment may be incompatible with some forms of adaptive behavior, such as meal consumption. The purpose of this analysis was to identify a treatment for meal refusal in a child diagnosed with autism who wore protective gloves to prevent tissue damage from face pinching. A second participant, also diagnosed with autism, wore protective gloves and arm splints. Two treatments were evaluated: one involved manipulation of the reinforcing efficacy of the meal (HP Meal), and the other allowed continued access to protective equipment during meal presentation (Modified Equipment). Both treatments produced increases in meal consumption for the first participant, and an additional differential reinforcement manipulation (HP Meal + DRA) was necessary to produce increases in eating in the second participant. Interobserver agreement was collected for 37.7% of sessions with 100% agreement.
 
 
Symposium #32
CE Offered: BACB
Non-Vocal to Verbal: Improving Verbal Behavior in Children With Autism
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Joyce C. Tu (Center for Behavioral Sciences, Inc.)
Discussant: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Vincent Joseph Carbone, Ph.D.
Abstract:

A typically developing 2 year old would be saying sentences with 2 to 4 words. A 4 year old would have a vocabulary of over 1000 words and be able to put together sentences of 4 or 5 words (Mannheim, 2015) . Significant proportions of children with autism do not acquire functional speech and remain non vocal even until age 9 or later. The studies in this symposium demosntrate effectiveness of specific behavioral technologies, namely sign mand training with prompts with and without delays and intraverbal training in inducing first instances of speech and in increasing vocal responding in children with autism. An additional study assessed tact-mand transfer in 7 early learners with autism, established this abstract relation in participants for whom it was initially absent, and concluded that functional independence (absence of tact-mand transfer) may often be a temporary aspect of an early learner's repertoire.

Keyword(s): Inducing vocalization, Prompt Delay, sign-mand, Tact-mand transfer
 

Inducing Vocalization in Non-Vocal Children With Autism

SMITA AWASTHI (Queen's University Belfast), Sridhar Aravamudhan (Behavior Momentum India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

The current study spanning 5 years examines the effectiveness of sign mand training with vocal prompts and intraverbal training in inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal children on the autism spectrum. These technologies leverage the power of motivating operations. A total of 91 non-vocal children between the ages of 1.5 to 13 years participated in the study that uses several multiple baseline design sub-studies across subjects. The interventions were carried out in 6 centers across 4 cities in India. 81.6% of children below the age of 6 years became vocal and the success rate was 87% in children between 6-13 years. Vocals emerged as mands, echoics and intraverbals in 23%, 24% and 21% respectively of the 75 who acquired vocals. 64% of the children acquired their first vocal within 180 days. Both the technologies were effective in inducing first instances of speech in 82.4% of the participants. The time to vocalization and the stimulus conditions under which they emerged are explored.

 

Increasing the Vocal Responding of Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

VINCENT JOSEPH CARBONE (Carbone Clinic)
Abstract:

Some reports estimate that approximately one-third to one-half of individuals with autism do not use speech functionally (National Research Council, 2001). The high incidence of non-vocal persons with autism has lead parents, educators, and clinicians to search for procedures that may facilitate the development of vocal responding and potentially lead to effective vocal verbal behavior repertoires. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of manual sign mand training combined with time delay and vocal prompting procedures on the production of vocal responses in non-vocal children with developmental disabilities. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to verify the effectiveness of this intervention. All participants showed increases in vocal production following the implementation of the independent variables.

 

Assessing and Establishing an Abstract Relation Between Tacts and Mands in Early Learners With Autism

GENAE HALL (Behavior Analysis and Intervention Services), Jennifer Elia (Behavior Analysis Center for Autism), Mark L. Sundberg (Sundberg and Associates)
Abstract:

The present study replicated and extended Hall & Sundberg (1987) by first assessing tact-mand transfer in 7 early learners with autism (4 vocal, 3 signing plus vocal), ranging from 3.6-5.8 years of age. All participants met VB MAPP entry criteria of tacting at least 4 items and manding at least 4 visible, but 0 missing items via the interrupted chain procedure. For each participant, the study targeted 3 tact-mand response forms for each of 3 chains of behavior (9 total) and probed mands after all tacts were trained to criterion. If 0/9 untrained mands emerged, a participant was considered nave with respect to tact-mand transfer and received mand training on targets previously trained as tacts--a version of multiple exemplar instruction. After each mand was trained, remaining untrained mands were probed to assess the point of transfer. Results showed that untrained mands emerged after direct mand training on 4-5 targets with 2 participants, 1 target with 3 participants and 0 targets with 2 participants. Findings from participants requiring multiple exemplar instruction replicate those of Hall & Sundberg, and suggest that functional independence (absence of tact-mand transfer) is a temporary aspect of the learners repertoire rather than a static entity.

 

Role of Intraverbal Training in Inducing First Instances of Speech in Non-Vocal Children With Autism

SRIDHAR ARAVAMUDHAN (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Association for Behavior Analysis of India), Karola Dillenburger (Queen's University Belfast)
Abstract:

A variety of technologies such as Echoic training, Shaping, Antecedent Rapid Motor Imitation sequence, Stimulus Stimulus Pairing (SSP) procedures and Mand training with and without time delay continue to be studied for their effectiveness in increasing vocalizations in children with autism. Intraverbal fill-in training with rhymes, fun and contextual fill-ins builds anticipation and excitement creating opportunities for vocals to be emitted under the control of specific verbal stimuli. In the current study spanning 5 years involving simultaneous administration of sign mand training with vocal prompts and intraverbal fill in training to children with no vocal-verbal repertoire, the latter was found valuable in inducing first instances of speech in non-vocal children with autism. Of the 91 children, each serving as a single subject, first instances of speech were induced successfully in 75 and of these, 51 had at least one vocal emerge during intraverbal training. 16 participants had vocals emerge predominantly under intraverbal fill- in training. Inter observer agreement was taken for every specific vocal acquired for every participant and was at 100% throughout the study. The role of motivating operations in intraverbal fill-in training and comparisons with vocals emerging as echoics and mands during implementation of intervention package are explored

 
 
Symposium #33
CE Offered: BACB
Translational Investigations With Individuals With Autism: Token Economies, Resurgence, and Response Variability
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Megan A. Boyle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Megan A. Boyle, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will present investigations that incorporated findings from basic research to design evaluations of clinical interventions with individuals with autism. Findings from basic research have recently begun to be recognized as valuable sources of information to researchers interested in applied problems. Procedures and results from basic research are interpreted in ways that further the conceptual understanding of behavior change. Using procedures from basic research may allow translational and applied researchers to determine how to increase the effectiveness of clinical interventions. The first investigation incorporates basic-research findings on token and tandem schedules of reinforcement to compare methods of increasing compliance and decreasing escape-maintained problem behavior. Two investigations in this symposium incorporate basic-research findings on resurgence to investigate methods to decrease the likelihood that problem behavior will recur following successful implementation of FCT. The fourth study incorporates basic research on lag schedules of reinforcement to increase the variability in vocal mands. The importance of translational research will be highlighted throughout.

Keyword(s): FCT, Resurgence, Token Economies, Translational Research
 
Comparison of Token and Tandem Reinforcement Schedules in the Treatment of Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
MEGAN A. BOYLE (Missouri State University), Mary Elizabeth Daniels (Missouri State University), Stephanie L. Aholt (Missouri State University), Alexandra Beckman (Missouri State University), Ginny Keenan (Missouri State University)
Abstract: Token economies are widely used, research-based interventions for the treatment of problem behavior (e.g., in increasing compliance). However, few studies have compared the effectiveness of token economies to other reinforcement-based procedures. Results from basic and translational investigations suggest that second-order schedules of reinforcement that deliver stimulus changes for the completion of each response requirement in the schedule (e.g., token delivery in token schedules) produce longer pre-ratio pauses and slower rates of responding in the initial schedule requirements or links than in corresponding second-order schedules that do NOT involve stimulus changes for the completion of each response requirement (e.g., tandem reinforcement schedules). It could therefore be the case that token economies are relatively less effective than single-schedule (i.e., "back-up" reinforcement only, without token delivery) reinforcement procedures. The purpose of this study was to compare token and tandem reinforcement schedules (identical with the exception of token delivery) in the treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior with two children with autism. A functional analysis was conducted that confirmed that both subjects emitted escape-maintained problem behavior. A multiple schedule was implemented to compare token and tandem schedules with respect to compliance, pre-ratio pausing, and problem behavior. Results thus far suggest that tokens are not superior in any measure.
 
Increasing Communication Under Conditions in Which the Resurgence of Problem Behavior is Probable: Applications of Serial FCT
SARAH SHAW (Vanderbilt), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Kate Chazin (Vanderbilt), Lillian Stiff (Vanderbilt University), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Behavior Analysis Consulting Services), Danielle Bartlemay (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: During the maintenance stages of functional communication training (FCT), failure to reinforce mands could result in a resurgence of problem behavior. Recent translational work on arbitrary human responses suggests that incorporating multiple-mand instruction into a serial-training format may increase the probability of a recency effect, and a reversion of response resurgence (both desirable outcomes when mands are the most recently reinforced responses prior to extinction). However, when procedures were replicated with socially significant human behavior (i.e., problem behavior and mands), primacy was consistently observed and no manding resurged for one participant. In the current investigation, we modified the serial-FCT program and evaluated the probability of mand resurgence and response variability when functional reinforcement was temporarily unavailable.
 
Further Evaluation of the Resurgence of Problem Behavior
OLIVIA GRATZ (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously reinforced, extinguished response. To date, little is known regarding the extent to which three members of a response class will resurge. The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which members of a response class will resurge under periods of extinction. Four school-aged children (M = 9, SD = 3.37) diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities (including Autism), and extensive histories of problem behavior, participated in the study. Researchers utilized a linear strip design to evaluate the level of resurgence after systematically providing and withdrawing reinforcement for engagement in problem behavior or precursors to problem behavior and two topographically different, functionally equivalent responses (e.g., hand raising, signing, and/or handing a picture of the preferred item to the researcher). Resurgence of problem behavior and precursors to problem behavior were observed in all children during all extinction sessions. However, functionally equivalent communicative responses did not resurge during extinction. Results suggest that resurgence may occur for one (but not all) of the responses within the same response-class.
 

Effects of a Lag Schedule of Reinforcement With Progressive Time Delay on Variability in Vocal Mand Topographies Emitted by Children With Autism

BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (The University of Texas at Austin, Special Education Department), Raechal Ferguson (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract:

Reinforcement of operant variability may have clinical utility in the treatment of repetitive and stereotyped behavior (RSB). For example, studies have shown lag schedules of reinforcement can replace RSB with variability in the verbal and play behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The need for additional work in this area is highlighted by recent advances in the behavior analytic conceptualization of RSB as a problem with invariance and calls from researchers in behavioral neuroscience for more translational studies of operant variability. This study is a translational extension of lag schedules to vocal mand training. A multiple baseline across behaviors with embedded reversal design was utilized to evaluate the effects of a procedure consisting of a combined lag schedule of reinforcement and progressive time delay on operant variability of otherwise repetitive vocal mand topographies of children with autism. Two participants have completed the study. The procedure replaced topographically repetitive patterns of vocal manding with topographically variant vocal manding. Some limitations of the current study and implications for future research will be discussed.

 
 
Symposium #34
CE Offered: BACB
Applications and Refinements of Functional Communication Training and Related Procedures in the Treatment of Problem Behaviors
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall GH, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
CE Instructor: Amanda Zangrillo, Psy.D.
Abstract: Differential reinforcement procedures (e.g., functional communication training; FCT) and other related procedures (e.g., noncontingent reinforcement; NCR) are commonly used approaches in the treatment of problem behaviors. In this symposium, we will present a series of empirical investigations examining extensions and refinements of the effects of FCT and other related procedures in the treatment of problem behavior. The paper by Owen and colleagues extends the findings of DeRosa et al. by comparing limited versus extended EO exposures during FCT across one response topography (i.e., a card touch). The paper by Mead and colleagues evaluates the relative contributions of teaching a variety of appropriate requests on the development of problem behavior when shifting from a continuous to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement. Slocum et al., evaluate a signaled, reinforcer-thinning procedure during NCR to reduce severe problem behavior maintained by social-positive reinforcement. Finally, The paper by Kopleman et al., evaluates the effectiveness of parent-implemented FCT within a randomized clinical trial. The overall theme and implications of these for empirical studies will be discussed and summarized by Dr. Henry Roane.
Keyword(s): Functional Communication, Noncontingent Reinforcement
 

The Effects of Limited Versus Extended Establishing-Operation Exposure During Functional Communication Training

TODD M. OWEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Daniel R. Mitteer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado), Andresa A. De Souza (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Treatments for problem behavior often include teaching an alternative response to access a functional reinforcer (i.e., functional communication training; FCT), while simultaneously withholding reinforcement for problem behavior (i.e., extinction; Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). Initially, the individual is immediately prompted to engage in the alternative response, thus limiting their exposure to the relevant establishing operation (EO) for problem behavior. DeRosa, Fisher, and Steege (2015) compared rates of problem behavior and the rate of acquisition of the functional communication response (FCR) when participants used either a vocal or card-based (e.g., exchange, touch) FCR. Use of the card-based FCR resulted in quicker acquisition of the response, less bursting in rates of problem behavior, as well as larger and more rapid reductions in problem behavior. DeRosa et al. proposed that these differences were likely the result of limited (card-based FCR) and extended (vocal FCR) exposure to the relevant EO for problem behavior. In the current study, we extended the findings of Derosa et al. by comparing limited versus extended EO exposure during FCT across one response topography (i.e., a card touch). Results suggest that limiting EO exposure can result in a larger and more rapid reductions in problem behavior during FCT.

 
Effects of Appropriate Request Repertoire Size on the Development of Problem Behavior
SARAH C. MEAD (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida), Leah Julia Koehler (University of Florida)
Abstract: Decades of research have shown that one effective approach to the treatment of problem behavior consists of teaching a socially-appropriate request as a replacement behavior. However, the preventive effects of acquiring a repertoire of appropriate alternative responses have not been established. That is, would teaching a variety of appropriate requests for a reinforcer actually prevent the onset of problem behavior that otherwise might develop? We conducted a translational investigation to determine if teaching a larger repertoire of appropriate requests (mands) prior to shifting from a continuous to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement would prevent the development of problem behavior. Six preschool-aged children, all of whom were diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability or developmental delay, participated in the project. Results provide preliminary evidence that teaching a large variety of appropriate requests may serve as a preventive factor against the onset of problem behavior. Clinical implications of the findings will be discussed.
 

Evaluating a Reinforcer-Thinning Procedure to Reduce Severe Problem Behavior Maintained by Social-Positive Reinforcement

SARAH K. SLOCUM (Rollins College), Emma Grauerholz-Fisher (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is a function-based treatment often used to reduce problem behavior. We evaluated a specific application of an NCR procedure which involved providing three subjects with continuous access to the functional reinforcer initially and slowly increasing the amount of time subjects experienced the unavailability of the reinforcer (i.e., extinction). Periods of extinction were signaled with a colored card, and a rule about the card was presented at the beginning of each session. This procedure relates to FCT because the signaled extinction period is analogous to those used in multiple-schedule FCT research. Results show immediate and substantial reductions in aggression for all three subjects.

 
A Randomized Clinical Trial of Functional Communication Training
Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), DAVID P. WACKER (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a widely used approach in the treatment of problem behavior. The purpose of this federally funded project was to evaluate the effectiveness of FCT within a randomized clinical trial (RCT). 38 young children with autism who engaged in problem behavior participated. The children’s parents conducted the sessions within their homes with coaching provided by behavior analysts via telehealth. Following completion of a functional analysis, function-based FCT programs were implemented for all participants. Participants were assigned to one of two groups following the functional analysis. Participants assigned to the immediate group started FCT immediately following the baseline extinction sessions. Participants assigned to the delayed group (control group) were delayed from starting FCT for three months and completed baseline extinction sessions once per month during the wait period. Results showed that participants in both groups engaged in high levels of problem behavior before FCT (Time 1). Problem behavior was reduced substantially only after FCT had been implemented with participants in the immediate (Time 2) and delayed (Time 3) groups. Treatment results maintained for both groups during a 6-month follow-up visit (Time 4). This federally funded project provided the first RCT of FCT, and the results support the use of FCT to treat problem behavior.
 
 
Symposium #35
CE Offered: BACB
Current Status and Future Directions of Headsprout Early Reading and Headsprout Reading Comprehension for Individuals With Autism and Intellectual Disabilities
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall IJ, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Julie L. Thompson (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Janet S. Twyman (University of Massachusetts Medical School; Center on Innovations in Learning)
CE Instructor: Julie L. Thompson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities often require an explicit, systematic approach to reading in order to acquire literacy skills. Recently, a handful of studies have explored Headsprout@ Early Reading and Headsprout Reading comprehension to teach literacy skills to individuals with autism, developmental, and intellectual disabilities with promising results. The Headsprout programs are online behavior analytic programs that provide explicit, systematic reading instruction. The proposed session includes reports on four recent studies: (a) an investigation of Headsprout Reading Comprehension on answering comprehension questions by children with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities; (b) a study examining the effects of Headsprout Early Reading on early literacy skills of adult offenders with intellectual disability, (c) an investigation of contingent reinforcement and match-to-sample training on the fluency and independence of children with ASD using Headsprout Early Reading, and (d) a study exploring the use of contingent reinforcement plus physical prompting and prompt fading on progression through Headsprout Early Reading by children with ASD who were minimally vocal. Taken together, results of these four studies indicate that Headsprout Early Reading and Headsprout Reading Comprehension demonstrate promise as an approach to teaching early literacy and comprehension to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Keyword(s): Autism, computer-assisted instruction, Headsprout, Intellectual Disability
 

Evaluating the Use of Headsprout Reading Comprehension With Children With Mild to Moderate Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

CORINNA F. GRINDLE (University of Wales Bangor), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University), Olivia Kurzeja (Step by Step Academy), Richard P. Hastings (University of Warwick), Rina Cianfaglione (Positive Behaviour Solutions UK)
Abstract:

Headsprout Reading Comprehension (HRC) is an online program that teaches learners to answer reading comprehension questions in four categories: literal comprehension, inferential comprehension, main idea (summative) comprehension, and derived meaning (vocabulary) comprehension. These skills are notoriously difficult for many children who present with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). The present study evaluated and investigated the use of HRC with six children with IDD. The research used a single subject pre/post test design. A number of standardised tests were taken prior to and following HRC to assess the effects on the participants key reading repertoires, including reading comprehension and to assess possible links between improved reading comprehension and auditory comprehension. Results are discussed with reference to improved reading and auditory comprehension in this population and the practical strategies required to support children with IDD in order that they may benefit from the HRC program.

 

Evaluating the Use of Headsprout Early Reading With Adult Offenders With Mild Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

DAVID O'SULLIVAN (n/a), Corinna F. Grindle (University of Wales Bangor), J. Carl Hughes (Bangor University)
Abstract:

Headsprout Early Reading (HER) is an online program, developed for children, that teaches learners basic reading skills. Several studies have found HER to be effective with typically developing children and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The program has not yet been evaluated with an adult population. The present study evaluated the feasibility of using HER with two adult offenders with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in a secure hospital. The research used a single subject pre/post test design with two standardised literacy tests completed at baseline prior to HER, one during, and one following HER to assess the effects on the participants reading skills. A measure of reading self-concept was also completed. An additional component to this research design was the inclusion of two treatment as usual control participants who were assessed at the same points but did not complete the program. Results are positive in terms of the feasibility of running the program and improved reading skills and self-concept scores for both treatment participants. Results are discussed in the context of the limitations with the current research design and challenges relating to the fidelity of implementation.

 

Mediating Access to Headsprout Early Reading for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

JOSHUA PLAVNICK (Michigan State University), Julie L. Thompson (Michigan State University), M. Y. Savana Bak (Michigan State University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism spectrum disorder require instructional programs that simultaneously address academic content, interfering behavior, and potential gaps in prerequisite skills for a given curriculum. This study examined the impact of an intervention package consisting of contingent reinforcement and match-to-sample training on the independent progression of 3 children with autism spectrum disorder through Headsprout Early Reading, a behavior analytic online reading program. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to examine the effects of the intervention package on participants' correct interactions per minute and total episodes completed. Transfer of training to oral reading of companion print books was also assessed. All participants demonstrated an increase in correct interactions per minute. Two participants learned to independently complete a Headsprout Early Reading episode each day and could orally read companion print books. The results suggest individualized behavior analytic programs can support the use of Headsprout Early Reading as a computer-based reading program for some children with autism spectrum disorders.

 

Supporting Progression Through Headsprout Early Reading using Systematic Prompt Fading

JULIE L. THOMPSON (Michigan State University), M. Y. Savana Bak (Michigan State University), Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)
Abstract:

Recent research has indicated that children with autism spectrum disorder who are minimally vocal can independently access Headsprout Early Reading when provided with a token economy system for behavioral support. This study examined the effects of contingent reinforcement plus most-to-least physical prompting and prompt fading on progression through Headsprout by four elementary-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to examine the effects of the intervention package on the cumulative number of segments completed. Performance on Woodcock Johnson early reading tests were also assessed as pre- and post-test measures. All participants demonstrated an increase in number of segments completed per session. One participate was able to progress through Headsprout with contingent reinforcement only. Three participants required prompting for correct answers and two of these three were able to correctly respond with minimal-to-no support by the end of the study. All participants demonstrated an increased performance on the Woodcock Johnson assessments. The results suggest that some children with ASD may benefit from physical prompting for correct answers during Headsprout Early Reading. The range of responses across all participants suggests that a multi-tiered approach to support progression through Headsprout may be needed.

 
 
Symposium #36
CE Offered: BACB
Further Exploration of Trial-Based Functional Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD South, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University)
Discussant: Jennifer L. Austin (University of South Wales)
CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Trial-based functional analysis has been shown to be a viable method of identifying operant function. The TBFA is particularly useful when time is limited or the intensity of the response precludes conducting a more traditional functional analysis. In this symposium we explore several research questions surrounding use of TBFA. Two papers extend TBFA to home settings for the first time. Both Gerow et al. and Standish et al. trained parents to implement the TBFA. Gerow et al. used behavioral skills training to teach parents to implement the TBFA and matched interventions to results of the TBFA. All parents implemented the assessment with fidelity and documented a functional relation between intervention implementation and child outcomes. More specifically, FCT-based interventions were used resulting in reductions in problem behavior and increases in alternative responses. Standish et al. also trained parents to implement the TBFA using behavioral skills training. Standish et al. explored effects of different variations of TBFA seen in the literature including (a) segment duration, (b) use of control segments, and (c) number of trials conducted. Some variability was found however, in general, results support briefer (60 s) segments, use of a post-control only, and using stability criterion to determine when the TBFA is complete. Next, Sellars et al. explored methods for training residential care providers in implementation of TBFA with a particular focus on maintenance over time. They successfully trained direct are staff to implement the TBFA and, for five of six participants, skills were maintained after training however only one participant went on to use the TBFA. XXX Finally, Dr. Jennifer Austin will serve as discussant for this study, exploring ramifications of each study separately and directions for TBFA--and functional analysis more generally--in the future. .

Keyword(s): functional anlaysis, parent training, problem behavior, Trial-based
 

Effects of A Performance Management Package on Sustained Implementation of Trial-Based Functional Analyses in Adult Residential and Day Programs Following Training

SHAWNEE D. COLLINS (Chrysalis), Tyra P. Sellers (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Clinicians working with individuals with developmental disabilities frequently conduct functional analyses (FA) to determine the function of problem behavior and to facilitate the development of an intervention plan to reduce problem behavior. One version of FA methodology, the trial based functional analysis (TBFA), is a viable alternative to a traditional FA when resources are limited. Researchers have demonstrated that teachers and residential staff can be trained to effectively implement TBFAs. However, to date, no studies have looked at the maintenance of implementation following training, or if additional supports (e.g., added coaching/performance feedback, incentive systems) are needed to ensure sustained use of the skill. This study examined the effects of a post-workshop training performance management intervention package of goal setting with data reporting, coaching, and incentives on the implementation of trial-based functional analyses (TBFA) by behavior clinicians in adult residential and day settings. Five of the six participants demonstrated increased implementation of TBFAs only after the performance management intervention was introduced. One participant implemented TBFAs following the workshop training.

 
Evaluation of Methodological Variables Affecting Outcomes of the Trial-Based Functional Analysis
CASSANDRA STANDISH (Appalachian State University), Cecilia Smith (Appalachian State University), Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: Prior studies suggest that trial-based functional analyses (TBFA) can be used to identify the function of problem behaviors for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To date, there have been 16 published studies concerning TBFAs, however, across these studies there have been several variations in the procedures that appear to have been decided upon somewhat arbitrarily. For example, of the 16 studies, eight used a control segment after the test segment; five used a control segment prior to the test segment; one randomized the order of the test and control segments; and two studies used a control both before and after the test segment. Additionally, the number of trials conducted per test condition has varied between 3 and 20 trials. Despite the variation in the number of trials conducted, it appears as if researcher decided upon the number of trials to conduct prior to the TBFA, rather than using a stability criterion. The purpose of this study is to (a) examine patterns of responding in pre and post-control segments to determine if either or both are necessary and (b) evaluate response patterns within and across test conditions to determine if using stability criterion might be more appropriate to use when determining the number of trials to conduct. This study is also distinguished from prior studies in that primary caregivers will implement the TBFA in the homes of the children. Three children with developmental and intellectual disabilities participated in this study. At least one function was identified for two of the three participants. Of the two TBFAs in which a function was identified, both showed problem behavior occurring multiple times in the test and post-control segments; there was only one instance of problem behavior in the pre-control segments across all three participants.This suggests that there may have been carry-over effects occurring. For the two TBFAs in which a function was identified, a stable pattern of responding emerged prior to the termination of the TBFA, suggesting that a stability criterion could be a viable measure to use to decide when to terminate the TBFA. Finally, for both of the TBFAs in which a function was identified, a similar pattern of responding was found to occur when each segment was evaluated at 120-s and 60-s, suggesting that the segment could be conducted for only 60-s and capture the function of the problem behavior.
 

Functional Analysis of Elopement in Naturalistic and Contrived Settings

Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University), STEPHANIE L. KINCAID (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University), Mirari Elcoro (Armstrong State University), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University)
Abstract:

Elopement is a high-risk behavior, as individuals who run away may encounter life-threatening situations (e.g., getting hit by a car). Prior functional analyses of elopement reported in the literature have been conducted in a variety of settings ranging from highly-controlled settings to naturalistic settings such as the classroom or playground. However, assessments conducted in these settings have not been compared within the same individual to determine if similar results are acquired across settings. We conducted trial-based functional analyses (FA) of the elopement of 2 children diagnosed with autism in both naturalistic (i.e., a classroom, playroom, and general unit of a day treatment clinic) and contrived (i.e., 2 adjoining session rooms) using a latency measure. Results were compared across settings. Additionally, results of the trial-based FA were compared with a subsequent FA that used a rate measure similar to Piazza and colleagues (1997). Correspondence among assessment methods, limitations of each assessment, and implications of the assessment results for treatment will be discussed.

 

Parent-Implemented Trial-Based Functional Analysis Matched to Treatment With Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

STEPHANIE GEROW (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), Lisa Rodriguez Sanchez (Texas A&M University), Emily Gregori` (Texas A&M University)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a parent-implemented trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) in accurately identifying the function of challenging behavior in the home setting. Three young boys with autism and their mothers participated in the study. The mothers implemented a TBFA with coaching from a behavior consultant. TBFA procedures were adapted from Bloom, Iwata, Fritz, Roscoe, and Carreau (2011) to increase contextual fit and to capture typical parent-child interactions within home settings. With coaching, all parents were able to implement the TBFA with high fidelity. TBFA results were matched to a functional communication training (FCT) intervention and evaluated using a multiple baseline design across parent-child dyads. Following parent training, parents accurately implemented FCT, child challenging behavior decreased, and childrens use of the alternative communication response increased. These results speak to the promise of parent-implemented TBFA in identifying social functions of challenging behavior. Implications for research and practice will be presented.

 
 
Symposium #37
CE Offered: BACB
Incorporating Client Preference Into Intervention Design: Using the Results of Preference Assessments to Inform Practice
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Hannah Geiger (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee)
Discussant: Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
CE Instructor: Joel Eric Ringdahl, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Preference assessments were initially designed to identify potential reinforcers for use in behavioral programming. However, as these procedures have become more refined, researchers have begun asking questions of more subtle aspects of interventions that can affect the efficacy and social validity of interventions with the consumers who experience them. The current symposium provides four examples that investigate the role of client preference for reinforcer gain vs. loss, reinforcer distribution vs. accumulation, and the relative ratio of work to reinforcement (i.e., unit price). These studies combine translational and applied research approaches to inform practice applications.

Keyword(s): preference assessment
 
Some Effects of Loss Aversion in Token Systems
BARBARA J. DAVIS (University of Maryland, Baltimore County & Little Leaves Behavioral Services), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Amber E. Mendres-Smith (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Jessica Becraft (UMBC), Megan Lampson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Few studies have directly compared the differential effects of reinforcer gain and reinforcer loss in a token system. In general, results are mixed. The behavioral economic principle, loss aversion, may be a variable that contributes to the differential effectiveness of a token system. In the first of two experiments, we evaluated whether six preschool children exhibit loss aversion using a human operant preparation. In this arrangement, children made successive selections between two options that resulted in identical payout. In the second experiment, we examined the effects of token gain and loss systems on the task completion of five preschool children from Experiment 1 using symmetrical contingencies of gain and loss. To date, five of six preschoolers exhibited loss aversion in the initial experiment. For three of the five participants, the token loss contingencies produced higher levels of task completion and/or less variability relative to token gain contingencies. In addition, when given the choice between the token gain, token loss, and baseline contingencies, three of four participants preferred the token loss system. These initial results provide support for arranging token loss systems and are consistent with the behavioral economic principle of loss aversion.
 

Student Preference for Positive or Negative Punishment During the Good Behavior Game

KARA SAMAJ (Monongalia County Schools), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

We compared student preference for versions of the Good Behavior Game (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969), in which students either earned points following infractions (positive punishment) or lost points following infractions (negative punishment) in an alternative education setting with four students during academic instruction. In the Point-Earning condition, students were required to have two or fewer points to win the game. In the Point-Loss condition, the students were required to keep at least four of six available points to win the game. We defined an infraction as the student leaving his designated space during the course of the game. We started with a phase of brief forced exposures to each condition. After each student had experienced each condition at least once, the teacher asked each student which version of the game he preferred to play at the start of each instructional period, and then implemented the selected game for the remainder of the instructional period. The teacher recorded out of area and inappropriate language. Only one student showed a strong preference for a reinforcer arrangement. There was an increase in game wins for three out of the four students when the teacher provided students with choices.

 

Assessing the Efficacy of and Child Preference for Massed and Distributed Work Conditions With a Child With Escape Maintained Problem Behavior

HANNAH GEIGER (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Melissa Krabbe (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract:

Differential reinforcement of compliance is a common treatment for children present with escape-maintained problem behavior. This treatment involves providing positive reinforcement following compliance with simple instructions. Although effective, practically this intervention is challenging in home and school settings when it is preferable for children to complete chains of responses (e.g., putting away all of their toys prior to consuming reinforcement rather than following each toy). However, engaging in multiple responses (which we will term massed work periods) results in increasing establishing operations for escape and greater delays to reinforcement relative to conditions that require a single response (which we term distributed work conditions), and thus could potentially result in greater problem behavior. In the current study, we exposed a child with escape-maintained aggression to both massed and distributed work conditions to assess the efficacy of both arrangements. We then assessed this childs preference for both arrangements using a concurrent-chains procedure. Massed and distributed work conditions both resulted in near zero levels of aggression, but the child demonstrated a robust preference for distributed work conditions.

 

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Self-Control: The Influence of Unit Price on Self-Control and Impulsive Choice Responding

WILLIAM SULLIVAN (Upstate Medical University), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
Abstract:

Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the influence of unit price on self-control and impulsive choice responding exhibited by individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. In Experiment 1, unit price was altered via manipulations of reinforcement magnitude associated with the delayed option. In one condition, unit price favored the immediate option and in the second condition, unit price favored the delayed option. In Experiment 2, unit price was also altered via manipulations of reinforcement magnitude associated with the delayed option. In one condition, unit price favored the immediate option and in the second condition, unit price was equal for both options. In Experiment 3, reinforcement magnitude always favored one option, while unit price was manipulated via delay. In one condition, delay was held constant and in the second condition, the delayed option was associated with the larger reinforcement magnitude. Results of each Experiment demonstrated that self-control and impulsive choice responding was biased toward the more economical option. These results show that the application of behavioral economic principles in the form of unit price may provide a framework for the study and conceptualization of impulsivity and self-control choice responding.

 
 
Symposium #38
CE Offered: BACB
Examining the Effects of Medication on Behavioral Assessment and Treatment
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom CD North, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/BPN; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Griffin Rooker, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at a greater risk for having psychiatric conditions than their typically developing peers (Emerson, 2003). Furthermore, individuals with IDD who engage in severe problem behaviors (aggression, self-injury, etc.) are three times more likely be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition and provided medication as one aspect of clinical care than those who do not engage in severe problem behavior (Rojohn, Matson, Naglieric, and Mayville, 2004). The four studies presented here examined the effects and side effects of medication during the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Hardesty et al. and Valdovinos et al. both examined the effects and side effects of medication on severe problem behavior during assessment in two different populations and using two different methods (collected case series and prospective analogues). Similarly, Maley and Bourret and Retzlaff et al. both examined the effects of medication during treatment for different target behavior and using two different methods (collected case series and applied treatment). Results of these studies suggest several interesting findings that are directly applicable to clinical care and new prospects for future research. In addition, Dr. Chris Newland will lend his expertise in behavioral pharmacology by serving as discussant.

Keyword(s): Assessment, Medication, Problem Behavior, Treatment
 

The Impact of Medication on Functional Analyses Outcomes: Findings From 12 Inpatient Cases

SAMANTHA HARDESTY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Numerous studies have demonstrated drug specific (i.e., risperidone) effects on FA outcomes (i.e., Crosland et al 2003; Zarcone et al 2004); however, no descriptive studies examined how medication modifications may impact the clarity (i.e., differentiation) or results (i.e., masked functions) of subsequent FAs. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which psychotropic medication changes altered FA outcomes on an inpatient unit. A review of electronic medical charts was conducted between the years 1995-2014. In total, 12 FA cases (out of 81total) had sufficient evidence (i.e., multiple FAs, detailed medication changes) for further review. Participants were aged 7 to 21 years and were diagnosed with IDD. In each case, 2-4 FAs were conducted. Attending psychiatrists directed medication changes with the guidance of the interdisciplinary team, and those who collected data for FAs remained blind to changes. To determine differentiation, criteria were established similarly to Hagopian et al. (1997), and a quotient score was generated. In half of the cases, alterations to medication (dosage and/or type) led to different conclusions, while the other half did not. In 10 of the 12 cases quotient scores were improved following medication changes. Implications for practicing clinicians will be offered.

 

Using Functional Analysis to Evaluate the Adverse Side Effects of Psychotropic Medication on Challenging Behavior

Maria G. Valdovinos (Drake University), ELIZABETH SCHIEBER (University of Florida), Lisa Beard (Drake University), Meara McMahon (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract:

Psychotropic medications are often prescribed and used in conjunction with behavioral interventions to reduce challenging behavior in individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). Functional analyses (FAs) are conducted to determine the conditions under which challenging behaviors are likely to occur and subsequent impact that psychotropic medications may have on challenging behavior function. Under-assessed, however, is the impact psychotropic medication side effects have on challenging behavior. The presence of adverse side effects (ASEs) are difficult to identify given the communication impairments those with ID may often possess. The present study used FA methodology to assess the impact of psychotropic medication adverse side effects on challenging behavior of five individuals diagnosed with IDD. Conditions were selected for assessment based on individual’s initial medication regimen. FAs were conducted when a participant began the study and two weeks after a change in psychotropic medication regimen. Results indicated different rates of challenging behavior during ASE conditions across medication changes for all participants, higher rates implying a more severe experience of specific side effects. These data demonstrate that this method of evaluation may provide feedback for informative decisions about psychotropic medication regimens that could improve quality of life for individuals with ID.

 

Telehealth Treatment of Sleep-Related Trichotillomania and Trichophagia Using Improved Sleep Hygiene and Melatonin

BILLIE RETZLAFF (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Katie Lichtblau (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Allie Bragdon (Childhood Autism Services, Inc.)
Abstract:

We used a telehealth model to treat one young girls sleep-related trichotillomania and trichophagia using a night-vision webcam placed in the girls bedroom. Data collectors recorded intervals with trichotillomania and trichophagia remotely from a university-based program using video footage of preceding nights, and the girls mother carried out all of the procedures in their home. We implemented a biobehavioral treatment package consisting of sleep-hygiene recommendations (e.g., a structured bedtime and wake time) in combination with the titrated use of melatonin, which decreased the girls trichotillomania and trichophagia and improved her sleep pattern, as depicted by both nightly and hourly analyses, and results maintained at a onemonth follow up. We discuss the use of behavior-analytic research strategies and tactics to evaluate treatments not commonly implemented by behavior analysts.

 

The Effect of Psychotropic Medication on Severe Problem Behavior in Individuals With Autism

AVA MALEY (The New England Center for Children ), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Psychotropic medications are often prescribed to individuals diagnosed with various mental illnesses. Physicians also prescribe psychotropic medication such as anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and psychostimulants to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to treat behavior problems. In this study, we sampled archival data on problem behavior for individuals previously or currently prescribed one or more psychotropic medications. Data were analyzed in terms of the probability of psychotropic medications of various categories producing decreases in problem behavior and the amount of change observed. In addition, dose response curves were plotted to examine dose-dependent effects. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for behavior analysts working with individuals who may be prescribed various forms of psychotropic medication.

 
 
Symposium #39
CE Offered: BACB
Infants and Children at Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Procedures for Establishing Early Social Skills
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: DEV/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
Discussant: Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)
CE Instructor: Katerina Monlux, Ph.D.
Abstract:

We have initiated a programmatic line of research to apply and adapt the existing procedures to treating very young children who are at risk for developing autism or other developmental problems. Infant engagement responses such as vocalizations, eye contact, joint attention, and social referencing are critical developmental milestones that serve as prerequisites for early communication and social skills (Pelaez, 2009). The purpose of this symposium is to identify the early behavioral indicators of at-risk infants and to report operant-learning procedures shown to be successful in establishing early social-learning repertoires. The first presentation analyzes previous research on behavioral procedures used to establish infant eye contact using a synchronized reinforcement procedure. The second presentation reviews existing research on procedures using adult vocal imitation and motherese speech for improving early infant vocalizations in young children. The third presentation examines the establishment of joint-attention and social referencing via the operant-learning paradigm in infants and toddlers with developmental deficits. The fourth presentation will apply the behavioral systems approach (Novak & Pelaez, 2004) to the development of autism. Early behavioral interactional deficits in the development of autism will be identified. In sum, ongoing programs of research will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Behavioral Systems, Eye Contact, Joint Attention, Social Referencing
 

Using Synchronized Reinforcement Procedure to Increase Eye Contact in Infants at Risk of Developmental Disorders

JACQUELINE MERY (California State University, Northridge), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University), Jonathan J. Tarbox (FirstSteps for Kids), Hayley Neimy (Shabani Institute - Center for Behavior Analysis & Language Development), Katerina Monlux (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract:

Parents can successfully increase infant engagement behaviors such as eye contact and positive affect with young children at risk of developmental disorders. This reviews and discusses a synchronized reinforcement procedure, described by Pelaez and colleagues (1996), to strengthen infant eye contact. The procedure includes brief parental training where mothers are taught to contingently provide behaviors such as smiling, verbal praise, and rhythmic touch to reinforce infant eye contact in the natural environment. Establishing eye contact in young children may aid in the development of foundational skills required to build nonverbal and social communicative behaviors. The presentation stresses the importance of contingent mother and child interactions.

 
Promoting Vocalizations in Infants and Toddlers Using Vocal Imitation and Motherese Speech
HAYLEY NEIMY (Shabani Institute - Center for Behavior Analysis & Language Development), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University), Jonathan J. Tarbox (FirstSteps for Kids), Katerina Monlux (California State University, Northridge), Jacqueline Mery (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Emission of vocalizations during infancy serves as the preverbal foundation towards the development of subsequent functional language skills in childhood (Novak & Pelaez, 2004). To help facilitate the acquisition of these engagement skills, research has found that contingent maternal vocal imitation and motherese speech can be used to increase the rate of infant vocalizations (Pelaez et al., 2011). This presentation reviews and analyzes previous literature on the use of both contingent and noncontingent vocal imitation and motherese speech on increasing the rate of infant vocalizations among at risk infants through a parent-training model. The procedure includes parent-training where caregivers are taught to vocally imitate the sounds of their infants or provide motherese speech in both a contingent and noncontingent reinforcement paradigm. Promoting pre-verbal vocalizations may help facilitate the development of subsequent verbal vocalizations among at risk infants, and potentially prevent the onset of language delays and disorders throughout later development.
 
Establishing Joint Attention and Social Referencing via Operant Learning Paradigm
KATERINA MONLUX (California State University, Northridge), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University), Jonathan J. Tarbox (FirstSteps for Kids), Jacqueline Mery (California State University, Northridge), Hayley Neimy (Shabani Institute - Center for Behavior Analysis & Language Development), Nadya Ariano (Florida International University)
Abstract: Lack of social engagement skills is one of the defining features and foundational deficits among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Common social skills deficits include joint attention and social referencing and these deficits may be rectified through specific behavioral techniques and brief parent-infant engagement training models. This presentation reviews and critiques previously published procedures for training of joint attention and social referencing modeled after Pelaez and colleagues’ (2012) paradigm. Further, a model for expanding on their findings by evaluating the development of social referencing using maternal expressions in the natural environment is proposed. Targeting specific social skills in the natural environment could potentially prevent the development of later onset behavior and language disorders commonly associated with ASD.
 

CANCELED: A Behavioral Systems Approach Applied to Understanding Early Symptoms of Autism

MONIKA M. SUCHOWIERSKA-STEPHANY (University of Social Sciences and Humanities)
Abstract:

For behavior analysts, it is obvious that autism should not be treated as an internal disorder that causes a child to behave in a certain way. Rather, we look at it as a label describing the childs many behaviors. Taking into consideration a behavioral systems approach autism is perceived as organized patterns of characteristic behaviors that are shaped by multiple environmental factors in reciprocal interaction. The concept of equifinality, coalescent organization of biological and learned characteristics as well as behavioral cusps will be discussed with regards to autism. Due to a very important place of early intervention for children with autism, the presentation will focus on early mother-infant non-vocal and vocal communication that forms the basis for such core skills as joint attention, social referencing and relational responding.

 
 
Symposium #40
CE Offered: BACB
Resurgence and Relapse: From Bench to Bedside
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Claire C. St. Peter, Ph.D.
Abstract: Resurgence refers to the recovery of responding during a disruptor to a previously effective differential reinforcement procedure. Although resurgence is known to be a relatively robust phenomenon, we do not yet know the factors that exacerbate or mitigate resurgence effects. In this symposium, the presenters will use data-based evaluations from laboratory studies with nonhuman subjects to clinical interventions for severe challenging behavior to explore the conditions under which resurgence occurs and variables that could be manipulated to affect resurgence. These variables include features of the response (like the effort necessary to emit the response) and of the reinforcement-schedule arrangement (alternation of contingencies, reinforcer magnitude, or response-independent reinforcement in place of traditional extinction). In all cases, resurgence occurs during the transition from differential reinforcement to extinction. However, the magnitude of the resurgence changes as a function of variables in the organism’s histories. Further understanding these variables may illuminate behavioral process and allow clinicians to design interventions that are more resistant to treatment disruptors.
Keyword(s): behavioral momentum, extinction, relapse, resurgence
 

Alternative-Reinforcer Magnitude Effects on Response Suppression and Resurgence

KAITLYN BROWNING (Utah State University), Andrew R. Craig (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) based treatments are commonly used approaches to suppressing problem behaviors. However, removal of alternative reinforcement following treatment often results in resurgence of problem behavior. The quantitative model of resurgence based on behavioral momentum theory proposed by Shahan and Sweeney (2011) predicts that larger magnitude alternative reinforcement should produce faster suppression of the target behavior but also greater resurgence following removal of treatment. To date, these novel predictions have not been directly tested. Thus, the present study assessed the effects of alternative reinforcer magnitude on response suppression and resurgence. Following baseline, rats responded for either a high- (5 pellets) or low- (1 pellet) magnitude alternative reinforcer during extinction of the target response. Resurgence was then assessed following removal of alternative reinforcers. High-magnitude alternative reinforcement was more effective in suppressing target responding compared to low-magnitude alternative reinforcement. Further, there was a greater increase in target responding following removal of high-magnitude alternative reinforcement but target responding did not increase following removal of low-magnitude alternative reinforcement. Thus, high-magnitude alternative reinforcement might produce more desirable effects than low-magnitude reinforcement during DRA-based treatment, but it may also produce behavior that is more susceptible to resurgence following treatment.

 
Resurgence During Local Extinction Periods Following VI to FI Schedule Transitions
TYLER NIGHBOR (West Virginia University), Christian Yensen (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Resurgence of a previously reinforced response occurs reliably following the introduction of conventional extinction of an alternatively reinforced response. Resurgence also may occur following local periods of extinction, such as those present within fixed-interval schedules. Four pigeons were trained to key peck under a VI 60-s schedule in the initial phase. Then an alternative reinforcement phase was implemented wherein responding was extinguished on the initial key and alternatively reinforced on an alternative key according to a VI 90-s schedule. During the resurgence phase, rather than conventional extinction, the VI 90-s condition was changed to an FI 90-s schedule. A resurgence effect occurredfor one subject. The FI value then was increased to 180 s, and resurgence occurred with three of the four subjects. Following these across-session resurgence assessments, a within-session resurgence procedure was used, wherein all three phases of the resurgence procedure occurred within individual sessions. The resurgence effect occurred with all subjects when the FI value was either 90 s or 180 s. The analysis of responding within each FI interreinforcer interval revealed that resurgence occurred during the post-reinforcement pause.
 

Translational Research: Examining the Effects of Response Effort on Resurgence

KIMBERLY M. WALTER (New England Center for Children), Chata A. Dickson (New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Little is known about effects of response effort on behavioral resurgence. In this translational study we evaluated rate of responding following reinforcement and extinction of two different responses. Six typically developing adults received points on a VI 3 s schedule for touching moving targets (R1 and R2) on a computer screen. To create disparity in response effort we manipulated the speed and size of the targets. Each session consisted of three phases: Establishment of R1, Differential Reinforcement of an Alternative Response (DRA), and a test for Resurgence (EXT for R1 and R2). Rate of responding in the Resurgence test was compared across three conditions: (a) R1 and R2 were the same size and speed (equal difficulty), (b) R1 was a larger, slower-moving target (easy response) and R2 was a smaller, faster-moving target (difficult response), and (c) R1 was the difficult response and R2 was the easy response. The order of conditions b and c was balanced across participants. In 9 of 12 cases, there was greater resurgence when the easy response was established first than when the difficult response was established first.

 

Reducing Resurgence Using Fixed-Time Reinforcement Schedules

LUCIE ROMANO (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), Gabrielle Mesches (West Virginia University), Apral Foreman (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

We evaluated the extent to which using clinically acceptable fixed-time schedules of reinforcement would prevent resurgence of protesting displayed by four elementary-aged children. Two of the four participants experienced thinning of a fixed-ratio schedule during the alternative phase, and two of the four participants experienced a variable-ratio 3-s schedule. Reinforcement rates during the fixed-time phase were yoked to reinforcement rates experienced by each individual participant during the last three sessions of the preceding alternative phase. Levels of resurgence during the fixed-time phase were evaluated in comparison to levels of resurgence during an extinction probe. Resurgence occurred to a lesser extent during the fixed-time phase than during the extinction probe for all four participants.

 
 
Symposium #41
CE Offered: BACB
Novel Applications of Demand Curve Analyses to Evaluate Reinforcer Efficacy in Laboratory and Applied Contexts
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich FG, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Matthew Novak (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Derek D. Reed (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Derek D. Reed, Ph.D.
Abstract: Progressive ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement are commonly used in basic research to assess reinforcer efficacy and are often evaluated within a behavioral economic context using demand curve analyses. Recent research has also demonstrated the value of using PR schedules in applied contexts, such as when evaluating preference with individuals with disabilities or identifying reinforcers for use in an organizational incentive system. This symposium includes both basic and applied researchers to explore novel applications of demand curve analyses with progressive reinforcement contingencies. The first paper (Jarmolowicz, Sofis, & Hale) evaluated the relative valuation of food rewards for nonhuman animal models of obesity in a laboratory setting. The second paper (Henley & DiGennaro Reed) compared the effects of different incentive magnitudes on work performance and assessed the predictive validity of a hypothetical work task in an online work environment. The remaining papers took place in clinical settings and included an evaluation of (1) the generality of preference assessment outcomes as response requirements increase (Castile & Bourret), and (2) shifts in reinforcer preference and efficacy following differential reinforcement of appropriate toy play (Wiggins et al.).
Keyword(s): Behavioral Economics, Demand, Reinforcer Efficacy
 
On the Valuation of Food in Animal Models of Obesity: Progressive and/or Increasing Schedule Analysis
DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (University of Kansas), Michael Sofis (University of Kansas), Luanne Hale (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Approximately two thirds of all US citizens are either obese of overweight. Because of the widespread comorbidity between overweight/ obesity and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, these high rates of obesity/overweight are a pressing societal concern. Although considerable progress has been made on elucidating various aspects of this condition, the precise gene by behavioral interactions that cause obesity remain unclear. The Obese Zucker rat is an animal model of obesity which resulted from a spontaneous mutation in the genes that encode for the processing of leptin. With the Obese Zucker rat being one of the earliest obesity models, considerable information is available regarding their physiological profile. Less, however, is known about these models’ behavioral profile. For example, although Obese Zucker rats discount delayed rewards at higher rates than controls, and have higher response rates than controls at some schedule values, a comprehensive profile of these models relative valuation of food rewards across a range of schedule parameters remains underdeveloped. The present study examined Obese Zucker and Lean Zucker rats responding across a range of progressive and/or increasing schedule arrangements.
 
Effects of Incentive Magnitude on Work Performance and Predictive Validity of a Hypothetical Work Task
AMY J. HENLEY (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Behavioral economics is an approach to understanding decision-making and behavior by integrating principles from behavioral science and microeconomics (Hursh, 1980). Recently, researchers have effectively applied behavioral economic demand curve analyses to employee behavior. This study sought to employ demand curve analyses to evaluate the effects of three incentive magnitudes on quantity and accuracy of work completion and the correspondence between observed performance and participant self-reports of projected work performance. Participants included 289 Amazon Mechanical Turk Workers who completed a work task assessed with a progressive ratio schedule. Participants were assigned to one of three incentive magnitudes ($0.05, $0.10, and $0.20) available in exchange for the completion of each ratio requirement. The work task required participants to slide a visual analog scale to match a target number. The results indicate demand was highest for the $0.05 incentive and lowest for the $0.20 incentive for actual and self-reported performance. Within each incentive magnitude, aggregate demand did not differ between actual and self-reported work performance. Accuracy on the work task was significantly higher in the $0.05 condition. Predictive validity of self-reported performance improved as the incentive magnitude increased. These results may inform the development of novel methods for identifying functional reinforcers in organizations.
 
Using Demand Curves to Determine the Generality of Preference Assessment Outcomes
ALLISON JOSEPHINE CASTILE (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Choice behavior on a concurrent schedule is not only sensitive to the other available items, but the price, or the amount of work required to gain access to the item, matters. Research in the field of behavior economics has supported this assertion, demonstrating that work requirements on different fixed-ratio (FR) schedules may yield differences in reinforcing efficacy of the items assessed. As practitioners, this point may be of interest when thinking about what reinforcers to deliver during skill acquisition or behavior reduction programs. Since preference assessments are conducted at a low schedule value (i.e., FR1), there may be reason to believe that preference shifts may occur if an individual was offered the same choice between stimuli after completing an increasing amount of work. The purpose of the current study is to extend the results of the current literature assessing the generality of preference assessment outcomes and test to see if the results fit traditional demand curve analyses, by assessing preference for all stimuli from initial preference assessments at higher FR values. Interobserver agreement was collected for all five participants, for at least 33% of sessions, agreement ranged from 93-100% agreement.
 
Evaluating Shifts in Preference and Reinforcer Efficacy of Leisure Items Following Differential Reinforcement of Appropriate Toy Play
MEGAN WIGGINS (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Kerri C. Suiter (Marcus Autism Center), Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center), Summer Gholston (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The identification of items that serve as reinforcers is essential to the success of any reinforcement-based intervention program. Thus, it is important to expand preferences to provide effective services for individuals with limited interest in activities. Several studies have shown respondent and operant conditioning procedures can be used to establish previously neutral or low preferred stimuli as conditioned reinforcers (Eason et al., 1982; Delgado et al., 2009; Greer et al., 1985; Hanley et al., 1999; Hanley et al., 2003; Miguel et al., 2002; Nuzzolo-Gomez et al., 2002; Smith et al., 1996; Sundberg et al., 1996; Tsai & Greer, 2006; Yoon & Bennett, 2000). However, less attention has been dedicated to evaluating the degree to which conditioned low preference leisure items/activities will serve as reinforcers, and the degree to which preference may be altered following conditioning procedures. The focus of this project was to evaluate if preference and/or reinforcing efficacy could be increased through conditioning procedures for individuals with limited interest in activities. Preference did not increase for 3/3 participants, and the results regarding reinforcer efficacy were mixed. Potential factors in producing these results are discussed.
 
 
Symposium #42
CE Offered: BACB
Cross-Species Analysis of Social Reinforcement: Evaluation and Quantification of Social Reinforcers in Rats, Dogs, and Humans
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
CE Instructor: Timothy D. Hackenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Social reinforcement is a topic of enormous conceptual and applied significance. The basic mechanisms of social reinforcement are not well understood, however. The goal of this session is to bring together several lines of research designed to assess the efficacy of social reinforcement across a range of species and different reinforcer types. Feuerbacher & Wynne will discuss research aimed at measuring the reinforcing efficacy of human social interaction for dogs, including analyses of reinforcer duration. Pinkston and colleagues will describe research on social/sexual reinforcement with rats, as a baseline against which to measure the response weakening effects of antidepressant drugs. Call and colleagues will present data comparing the relative efficacy of social and non-social reinforcers in autistic and non-autistic children, putting a sharper quantitative point on general methods for assessing social deficits in autism. Hackenberg and colleagues will discuss research exploring the effects of social familiarity on preference for social reinforcement in rats. Together, the work illustrates some promising methods for assessing and quantifying the efficacy of social reinforcement across species, settings, and reinforcers a first step in a comparative analysis of social reinforcement.

 

Longer Human Social Interaction Can Function as a Reinforcer for Some Dogs

ERICA N. FEUERBACHER (Carroll College), Clive Wynne (Arizona State University)
Abstract:

Whether human social interaction can function as a reinforcer for domestic dog behavior remains unclear, but is an important question for owners hoping to maintain desirable behavior in their dogs through social interaction. Previously, we demonstrated that brief human interaction did not function as an effective reinforcer for dog behavior. However, others suggested longer interaction might, although confounding contingencies prevented clear conclusions. Thus, we examined whether 30 s of social interaction would function as a reinforcer for dog behavior. We saw little effect and no difference compared to dogs that received 4 s of interaction. To investigate a transient response spike in some subjects, we provided some dogs 4 min of presession noncontingent interaction. This did not affect responding. Finally, we implemented a multielement design in which dogs alternated within and across days between abolishing operation (presession attention) and establishing operation (presession ignore) conditions. Half of the dogs showed a reinforcement effect of 30 s social interaction, although with little distinction between abolishing operation and establishing operation conditions. The other half showed no reinforcement effect. Our results suggest that for some dogs, longer social interaction can function as reinforcer for their behavior, but session spacing might be a critical variable.

 
An Operant Paradigm for the Study of Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction in Females
JONATHAN W. PINKSTON (University of North Texas), Lynda Uphouse (Texas Woman's University ), Duane Baade (Texas Woman's University )
Abstract: One of the most common side-effects of antidepressants is reduced motivation for and satisfaction from sexual activity, and this is especially true among women. The search for effective screens and treatments for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunctions in the laboratory has been slow because current approaches have not reproduced the clinical findings; this likely stems from the fact current models have focused on sexual performance, not motivation to obtain sex. We report on a novel operant procedure for studying sexual motivation in rodents to assess dysfunction in sexual motivation. Ovariectomized Fischer 344 rats nose poked to raise a guillotine door, which allowed the female access to a compartment housing a sexually active male rat. Motivation to open the door and enter the male’s compartment was examined following hormone primes with 10 ug estradiol benzoate with or without 500 ug progesterone. Fluoxetine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, was tested at 5, 10, and 15 mg/kg following hormone priming. Fluoxetine reliably reduced the number of nose pokes, delayed opening the door to the male’s compartment, and increased the latency to cross into the male’s compartment. The findings suggest the operant approach may provide a sensitive measure for screening antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunctions in females.
 

Measuring the Reinforcer Efficacy of Social Interactions in Children With Autism and Related Disorders

NATHAN CALL (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University School of Medicine), Sarah Wymer (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

There is growing support for the theory that disruptions in the degree to which social interactions are reinforcing may constitute a root cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This paper will present studies that have attempted to develop methods for quantifying the degree to which social interactions function as reinforcers for children with ASD. This will include the results of a study that used PR schedules to compare the relative reinforcing efficacy of social attention and leisure items in children with ASD (n=8), Williams Syndrome (WS; n=4), and typically developing peers (n=9). Participants in the ASD group exhibited higher breakpoints and Omax for leisure items than for attention, whereas children in the typically developing and WS groups exhibited the opposite pattern. Results will be discussed in terms of how these methods compare to other approaches to quantifying the reinforcing efficacy of social interactions in children with ASD.

 

The Role of Familiarity in Preference for Social Reinforcement in Rats

TIMOTHY D. HACKENBERG (Reed College), Lauren Vanderhooft (Reed College), L. B. Miller (Reed College), Emma Schweitzer (Reed College ), Shirin Porkar-Aghdam (Reed College), Lavinia C. M. Tan (Reed College)
Abstract:

In a concurrent schedule procedure, female rats made repeated choices between two options, each of which opened into side compartments in a three-compartment apparatus. Responses on levers in the middle chamber opened guillotine doors separating the middle from the side compartments, permitting 45-s access to the side compartment adjacent to target lever. In baseline conditions, one side compartment contained a familiar female rat (the focal rats cagemate, with which it was housed outside the experiment), whereas the other side compartment was empty. In a second condition, the empty chamber was replaced with a new female rat, unfamiliar to the focal rat, thereby permitting a choice between a familiar and unfamiliar rat. This was followed by a return to baseline conditions, with choice between a familiar rat and an empty chamber. The focal rats showed a clear and consistent preference for the familiar rat over the empty chamber in baseline conditions, but reversed their preference in favor of the unfamiliar rat when pitted against a familiar rat. The methods show promise as an experimental paradigm for evaluating and quantifying preference between qualitatively different social reinforcers.

 
 
Symposium #44
CE Offered: BACB
Basic Research on Verbal Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Michigan ABC, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Bailey Devine (Texas Christian University)
Discussant: David C. Palmer (Smith College)
CE Instructor: Bailey Devine, M.S.
Abstract:

Skinner (1938) wrote of his own work that It is a serious mistake to allow questions of ultimate application to influence the development of a systematic of a systematic science at an early stage (p.441). His analysis of verbal behavior (Skinner, 1957) has generated much applied research, but relatively little basic research. This symposium reminds us of the value of asking and answering questions which may not have immediate applied relevance, because they provide information about uniformities in verbal behavior which lead to practical benefit. Topics include studies on the parity hypothesis, grammar and production of novel prepositional sentences, the effects of blocking verbal behavior on joint-controlled sequencing and a direct replication of Skinners verbal summator experiment.

Keyword(s): grammar, verbal-mediation
 

Examining the Parity Hypothesis With English-Speaking Undergraduate Students

SAMANTHA BERGMANN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Brittany LeBlanc (University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract:

Skinner (1957) hypothesized that ones vocal pattern is automatically reinforced if it is similar to the vocal patterns of preferred individuals which results in borrowing verbal behavior from the community (p. 164). Palmer (1996) describes this process as parity which occurs when a speaker, who is a competent listener, differentially reinforces his/her own vocal verbal behavior to conform to that of the verbal community. The current study replicates and extends stvik, Eikeseth, and Klintwall (2012) by examining if English-speaking undergraduate students would alter their vocal verbal behavior to conform to an experimenters model of tacts in the passive voice in the absence of socially-mediated reinforcement. Undergraduate students were assigned to either the control group, which was never exposed to modeling; the waiting quietly group, which replicated previous procedures; or the vocal imitation group, which extended previous procedures by including echoic tasks during the wait interval. Participants in the control group had consistent grammatical forms of tacts across phases and rarely engaged in vocal verbal behavior with passive voice, whereas the majority of participants assigned to the waiting quietly or vocal imitation groups showed increased use of passive voice following modeling. However, the degree of change differed across participants. Verbal behavior theoretical implications and future directions will be discussed.

 
The Production of Novel Prepositional Sentences Following Instruction on Autoclitic Frames
JAMES R. MELLOR (Texas Christian University), Kiley Hiett (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University), Ruth Anne Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of multiple exemplar instruction on the production of novel prepositional sentences. A multiple-baseline design was used to assess the effects of instruction on the productivity of novel sentence structures for typically developing 5 year old children. The instruction consisted of showing the participants a variety of cartoon pictures of commonly known animals, arranged so that each animal corresponded to a specific spatial relation with another animal (i.e., below). The participant was then taught to describe the pictures within a particular autoclitic frame (e.g., the X is next to the Y above the Z). There were three autoclitic frames targeted for instruction, with each frame containing prepositional phrases corresponding to the spatial relations of the cartoon animals. Preliminary data indicate that instruction for two of the target frames was sufficient to establish novel production of all three sentences. Implications for the instruction of generative sentence production are discussed.
 

A Systematic Replication of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Summator

SPENCER GAUERT (University of the Pacific), Stephen Pangburn (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific)
Abstract:

The verbal summator was a device created by B. F. Skinner to assess verbal behavior. Skinner's original 1936 verbal summator study was an early attempt to study echoic (originally termed imitative) and intraverbal (originally termed summative) behavior. Extensions of the original study focused on the use of the summator as a diagnostic or assessment tool rather than using it to study the function of verbal behavior. No previous studies have directly replicated Skinner's original experiment. For the current study, researches recorded new samples resembling Skinner's original audio recordings using modern digital recording technology. These samples, like the originals used by Skinner, were arrangements of preverbal sounds that were played slightly distorted at a low volume. During the experimental sessions, we presented random selections of these audio recordings to 30 subjects and asked to report what they heard. The audio samples were repeatedly presented until the subject provided a word or phrase describing what they heard. The resulting data analysis was conducted as described by Skinner (1936). Implications of these results and directions for future research will be identified. Data will be presented on the number of samples, organized by the number of syllables. In addition, data will be presented on the similarity of the collected responses to real speech, as described in Skinner (1936), through the use of Zipf's law analysis. Finally, responses were collected and ranked according to their frequency of occurrence.

 
The Effects of Blocking Verbal Behavior on Joint-Controlled Sequencing
CAREEN SUZANNE MEYER (California State University, Sacramento), Curtis Clough (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: The current study evaluated the effects of vocal and motor blocking tasks on sequencing visual stimuli for 12 participants. In Experiment 1, we presented a vocal blocking task while asking participants to sequence pictures that they had learned to vocally tact. In Experiment 2, we presented vocal and motor blocking tasks while asking (vocally or via signs) participants to sequence pictures they had learned to tact vocally or through signs. In Experiment 3, we presented vocal blocking tasks while asking participants to sequence stimuli they learned to tact or that they could match without the need of any verbal behavior. All participants sequenced pictures after learning to tact them vocally or with signs. One of four participants required joint control training for stimuli taught via hand signs. Vocal blocking prevented accurate sequencing on both vocal and hand signed sequences, but not sequences established via matching. Combined results suggest vocal blocking procedures may serve to prevent verbal behavior that could be mediating non-verbal sequencing, and that joint control training may not be necessary for adults to perform the sequencing task.
 
 
Symposium #46
CE Offered: BACB
Preparing Individuals With Autism for Learning in Group Environments: Assessing Readiness for Staff Fading
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Samantha Smith (Melmark)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Croner, M.S.Ed.
Abstract:

Research suggests that individual instructional arrangements are highly effective with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who display challenging behavior, however the resources necessary to provide intensive staffing to all students are rare (Kamps & Walker, 1990). Not only is intensive staffing often unrealistic, some research indicates that individual instructional formats hinder generalization of skills, eliminate the potential for observational learning, and require far more instructional time than do group formats (Favell, Favell, & McGimsey, 1978; Keel & Gast, 1992; Koegel, Egel, & Dunlap, 1980). The ability to follow instructions delivered to a group is essential to successful integration in school, vocational, and community settings. This symposium will explore ways to assess the ability to acquire novel skills and maintain existing skill repertoires in individual instruction, dyad instruction, and small group instruction. Additional information about instructional efficiency and the rates of challenging behaviors in these instructional formats will be discussed.

Keyword(s): Group Instruction
 

Getting to Group Instruction: Evaluating the Ability of Learners With Autism to Work in Small Groups

HELENA L. MAGUIRE (Melmark New England), Catherine Judkins (Melmark New England), Katrina Grandelski (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

Fading intensive staffing is essential to the promotion of independence and successful transitioning to less restrictive settings. However, concerns about behavioral regression and slower rate of acquisition coupled with limited guidelines on the assessment of instruction arrangements often result in long term provision of individual instruction. Therefore, an instructional protocol was designed to assess a learners academic and clinical performance in individual and group instruction. Variables assessed included the ability to learn new material, levels of engagement in independent activities, rates of challenging behavior, and maintenance of mastered targets in individualized and group instructional arrangements. Initial data collected using this protocol demonstrate that a learner continued to learn novel skills while maintaining previously mastered skills in small group instruction. Data also demonstrate that the learner engaged in low level problem behavior while engaging in adaptive skills such as functional communication, leisure and waiting skills. Follow-up data will be shared with a focus on the expansion of this protocol for larger periods of the instructional day.

 

Group Instructional Strategies With Clients With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jill E. McGrale Maher (Autism Intervention Specialists), KRISTI LOMBARDO (Autism Intervention Specialists), Britany Melton (Britany Melton), Ian Melton (Endicott College)
Abstract:

A series of studies exploring the impact of instructional ratio on learning will be described. The presentation will begin by reviewing various levels of staffing support provided to individuals with autism. The first study evaluated criteria to guide clinicians in moving students to group instructional formats. Targeted behaviors included stereotypy, engagement, active responding, and the presence of other challenging behaviors, and three different instructional content areas were evaluated. Criteria were set to guide clinicians in decisions to reduce the intensity of staffing along the various levels of support. Study two looked at skill acquisition in individual and dyad instruction, with an additional focus on observational learning opportunities. The final study looked at individual, dyad and triad instruction across learners, and evaluated how the size of the group affected rates of learning. The discussion will highlight individual differences in appropriateness for transitioning to group instruction, and will hypothesize about predictive variables.

 
Differential Performance in Individual and Dyad Instructional Arrangements
JENNIFER CRONER (Melmark), Samantha Smith (Melmark), Jessica Woods (Melmark), Mary Jane Weiss (Melmark), Helena L. Maguire (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The ability of individuals with autism to learn in a group instructional format will promote independence and facilitate transition into settings with less intensive staffing. The purpose of this study was to compare acquisition and maintenance of verbal behavior targets in individual and dyad arrangements. The participants of this study were two young males diagnosed with autism, who attend an approved private school and reside at home with their parents/guardians. An alternating treatments design was used to evaluate the differences between individual and dyad instruction across several dependent variables. The dependent variables measured were cumulative targets mastered, out-of-seat behavior, and amount of time spent in instruction, on break, and waiting. Individual and group instruction were compared across three different verbal behavior operants: match to sample, motor imitation, and listener responding. Sessions were randomized across type of instruction and operant. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity were collected for at least 25% of sessions across treatments. Preliminary data suggest that performance is based on individual differences. Therefore, future directions for evaluating performance should focus on measures related to characteristics of the individual.
 
 
Symposium #47
CE Offered: BACB
Having a Gay Day: Distress and Psychological Flexibility Among LGBTQ Communities
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Benjamin Ramos (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Thomas G. Szabo (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Thomas G. Szabo, Ph.D.
Abstract: The legalization of gay marriage throughout the United States combined with an increased degree of support for gay rights has made this an historic decade for the gender and sexual minority (GSM) community. However, GSM stigma and discrimination remain a significant problem across many different domains of living. How individuals respond to ongoing GSM discrimination and to efforts to decrease that discrimination may be, in part, attributable to certain psychological skills for experiencing unwanted cognitions and emotions. This symposium will explore the role of psychological flexibility in GSM stigma and discrimination. The first paper will explore the role of psychological flexibility in predicting LGBTQ stigma. The second paper will explore the role of psychological flexibility in predicting GSM individuals’ reactions to perceived LGBTQ stigma. The implications of both studies for promoting continued societal change will be discussed.
Keyword(s): gender identity, psychological flexibility, sexual orientation, stigma
 
Examining Psychological Flexibility and Willingness to Engage in Behaviors That Benefit Members of the LGBTQ Campus Community
MAUREEN FLYNN (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
Abstract: Although acceptance of gender and sexual minorities is increasing in the United States, individuals in the LGBTQ community continue to experience negative responses from society. LGBTQ individuals can internalize such negative responses, which can lead to psychological difficulties (e.g., Szymanski, Kashubeck-West, & Meyer, 2008; Meyer & Dean, 1998). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions, which are designed to increase psychological flexibility, have been shown to decrease stigmatizing attitudes towards substance abusers (Hayes et al., 2004) and people with mental illness (Masuda et al., 2007). Psychological flexibility is also related to attitudes towards other ethnicities (Levin, Luoma, Lillis, Hayes, & Vilardaga, 2014). To date, there aren’t any published studies examining psychological flexibility with LGBTQ-related stigmatizing thoughts. The aims of this study were to examine 1) the relationship between psychological flexibility and homophobia and transphobia and 2) whether psychological flexibility moderates the relationship between negative attitudes towards LGBTQ individuals and willingness to engage in behaviors that help the LGBT community among Hispanic college students.
 

Stigma in Context: Perceived Discrimination, Psychological Distress, and Coping of Gender and Sexual Minorities

ALYSON GIESEMANN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Lauren Griffin (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract:

Gender and sexual minorities experience stigma and discrimination in a number of domains, leaving them at an increased risk of psychological distress, mental health symptomatology, and risk-taking behaviors. Some GSM individuals are resilient, however, thriving even in the face of clear discrimination and subsequent distress. It may be that the impact of discrimination and distress depends on the psychological skills one applies. For example, both self-compassion and psychological flexibility have been shown to mitigate the impact of psychological stressors on well-being. The current study aimed to consider 1) the extent to which daily experiences of perceived discrimination lead to psychological distress and disruption of well-being in GSM individuals and 2) how psychological flexibility, self-compassion and other coping mechanisms might mitigate the impact of perceived discrimination on distress and well-being. Participants tracked their daily experiences of discrimination, their private reactions to those experiences, and functions of those reactions. Implications for interventions targeting discrimination-relevant distress and dysfunction will be discussed.

 
 
Panel #48
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
ABA: Addressing the Needs in Neurorehabilitation
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Michael P. Mozzoni, Ph.D.
Chair: Michael P. Mozzoni (Mozzoni Associates LLC)
DIXIE D. EASTRIDGE (Learning Services)
ANNEKA HOFSCHNEIDER (Centre for Neuro Skills)
MICHAEL P. MOZZONI (Mozzoni Associates LLC)
Abstract:

The Brain Injury Association of America has reported CDC estimates of 2.4 million Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) each year. Of those injuries 3-5% will result in chronic impairments of mood, function and cognition. ABA offers a significant addition to neurorehabilitation in terms of accountability, quantification and effectiveness. This panel will cover some of the more frequently encountered challenges and demonstrate the effectiveness of the behavioral approach within a multidisciplinary team. This panel will review effective treatment procedures and strategies that increase an individual's quality of life and reduce the burden for caregivers. The panelists will cover topics including: bowel and bladder training using an auditory cue vs. scheduled toileting, anger management utilizing massed practice of relaxation using cue card training, and timely intervention for adjustment problems including depression and anxiety that lead to improved participation and engagement in rehabilitation, which allow individuals to better accept their "new normal."

Keyword(s): Anger-Management, Continence training, Neurorehabilitation, TBI
 
 
Invited Tutorial #51
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Philosophy of Science and the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Lewis A. Bizo, Ph.D.
Chair: Lewis A. Bizo (University of New England)
Presenting Author: RANDOLPH C. GRACE (University of Canterbury), Brian Haig (University of Canterbury)
Abstract:

Single-subject methodology and Skinner's caution against inferential statistics based on group averages have been very influential with researchers in behavior analysis. Here we review recent developments in the philosophy of science and methodology, including the "new statistics," and consider their implications for the quantitative analysis of behavior. We describe an account of scientific methodology—the Abductive Theory of Method (ATOM; Haig, 2005)—which details how empirical phenomena are detected and contribute to theory construction via inference to the best explanation, and show how it is relevant for behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe and contrast important themes in the philosophy of science, including realism and empiricism, and how these relate to radical behaviorism; (2) describe the Abductive Theory of Method (ATOM) and how it relates to research and applied practice in the experimental analysis of behavior; (3) contrast current and historical conceptions of validity.
 
RANDOLPH C. GRACE (University of Canterbury), Brian Haig (University of Canterbury)
Randolph C. Grace is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand).  He received his PhD from the University of New Hampshire in 1995 and has published over 120 articles and book chapters in a variety of basic and applied research areas including choice behavior and decision making, behavioural economics, methodology, comparative cognition, conditioning and learning, clinical/forensic psychology, tobacco control and neuropsychology.  He is past President of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. 
Keyword(s): Science
 
 
Invited Paper Session #52
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

The Relation Between Academic Performance and Challenging Behavior

Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Ph.D.
Chair: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
JENNIFER J. MCCOMAS (University of Minnesota)
Jennifer McComas is Professor of Special Education at the University of Minnesota. Dr. McComas was a special education teacher for students, grades 7-12, with high-incidence disabilities in rural Iowa before completing her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. She went on to complete her post-doctoral training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania and taught in the Psychology Department at Queens College/the City University of New York before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1999. Professor McComas holds the Rodney S. Wallace Professorship for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and is head of the teacher licensure program in Emotional Behavior Disorders at the University of Minnesota. In addition, she co-directs the Urban Indian Education Partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Public Schools, a partnership aimed at improving outcomes for American Indian Youth. Dr. McComas teaches undergraduate, masters, and doctorate-level courses in emotional/behavior disorders, principles of behavior, and functional analysis of challenging behavior in academic and community-based settings. Her recently launched telepresence lab is a means by which to reach families of individuals with intellectual and development disorders and severe behavior problems across a wide geographic area and to conduct related research. Dr. McComas conducts translational research pertaining to the influence of principles of behavior on challenging behavior and using those principles to affect meaningful changes in behavior. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She is currently the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Behavioral Education, was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and continues to serve on the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Psychological Record.
Abstract:

Academic and behavior problems are highly co-morbid, yet little more is known about the relation between the two. Does one lead to the other? It is easy to imagine that as behavior problems persist and instructional time is lost to disciplinary procedures such as time-out and suspension, the lost instructional opportunities result in poor academic performance. However, it is also easy to imagine that as a young student's academic difficulties persist, school becomes increasingly aversive and socially reinforced behavior problems emerge. Effective interventions exist for both learning and behavior problems separately, but is it possible to implement intervention for one and achieve concomitant improvement in the other? If so, under what conditions is it possible to implement treatment that results in improvement in both academic performance and behavior? This presentation will begin with the question of the relation between learning and behavior problems and include data from several investigations of the influence of motivating operations, stimulus control, and reinforcement on academic performance and behavior.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) discuss influence of reinforcement on challenging behavior during academic tasks; (2) discuss the influence of motivating operations on challenging behavior during academic tasks; (3) consider a variety of approaches to the assessment and treatment for students who display poor academic performance and challenging behavior in school.
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #53
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Ethics

Designing Sustainable Behavior Change

Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Douglas A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
MICHAEL KIM (Habit Design)
Michael Kim is Founder and CEO of Habit Design, the leading platform for crowdsourcing sustainable behavior change. Over 500 companies and 100,000 people have used Habit Design's behavior-change training to create successful daily habits that last beyond 100 days. Clinically tested by licensed, published clinical psychologists, Habit Design transforms training into automatic, habitual routines. Built on evidence-based research from over 100 behavioral scientists, the simple, easy, and effective training includes three main components: coaching, practice teams, and rewards.
Abstract:

Programs prioritizing ?motivating Behavior Change? frequently fail to generate sustained engagement: over 80% of employees who attempt to create new, healthy behaviors still fail at continuing their training after just the first 30 days, and corporate lifestyle management programs return only $0.50 for every $1 invested (RAND, 2015). The CDC attributes 80% of chronic conditions to this inability to form successful wellbeing habits, resulting in almost $1 Trillion in lost productivity alone (CDC, 2009). The problem is not that people resist change, but they resist being changed. While health promotion can motivate employees to make episodic, temporary changes, when it comes to creating lasting results, learning the skill of creating new habits is what is vital for long-term Behavior Change. The reason: While motivation may get you started, habit keeps you going. Developed by licensed, clinical psychologists from Yale and the University of Washington, this session covers best practices in the design of sustainable Behavior Change systems that have led to the successful training of unconscious, daily habits, derived from more than eight years of clinical testing of evidence-based research from over 100 behavioral researchers. Habit Design has trained more than 500 companies and 100,000 employees - from UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Medical School, Boeing, Google, The White House, and many others.

Target Audience: Practitioners in the field.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) identify four key ingredients that must be present for creating successful behavior change; (2) differentiate and diagnose behavior change into fifteen distinct classes; (3) define three key strategies that successfully harness motivation for sustainable behavior change; (4) translate design principles and tactics to create winning recipes for training new habits, or "habit designs."
 
 
Symposium #54
CE Offered: BACB
Modifications and Refinements of Functional Analyses Targeting Challenging Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center)
CE Instructor: Joanna Lomas Mevers, Ph.D.
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) technology developed by Iwata et al., 1982/1994 is considered the gold standard for identifying the function of problem behavior. Despite the success of this methodology it is important to continue to refine and develop this technology. This symposium will present recent research comparing single topography FAs to multiple topography FAs, correspondence between brief and extended FAs, and new methods to evaluate self-injurious behavior (SIB) maintained by both social and automatic functions. Findings will show that FAs that include multiple topographies are as effective when problem behavior is maintained by negative reinforcement and less effective when problem behavior is maintained by access to tangible items. Correspondence between brief FAs and extended FAs is lower than what has been previously reported in the literature. In addition SIB maintained by both social and automatic reinforcement can be successfully identified using sensory extension and typical FA contingencies. Taken together these results provide support for refinements and modifications of FA procedures to more effectively identify the function of problem behavior.
Keyword(s): Automatic Reinforcement, Functional Anlaysis, Problem Behavior
 

Further Analysis of the Correspondence Between the Results of Functional Analyses and Brief Functional Analyses

COLIN S. MUETHING (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Amanda Zangrillo (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea R. Reavis (Marcus Autism Center), Natalie A. Parks (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation)
Abstract:

Past research comparing brief and lengthier functional analyses has generally shown high rates of correspondence. In 1995, Vollmer, Marcus, Ringdahl, and Roane, proposed an assessment model that progressed from brief functional analyses to lengthier functional analyses following undifferentiated results. This study sought to examine the proposed model by comparing the results of brief functional analyses and lengthier functional analyses conducted according to procedures from Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982/1994) with participants from a day treatment program for severe problem behavior. Results showed low correspondence between the brief and lengthy functional analyses across 22 comparisons indicating possible false positive or false negative results. Low correspondence may be due to the various differences between assessments or the particulars of the participants and behaviors included in the study. Past research has shown both assessments have demonstrated successful treatment development. Therefore, future research is necessary to evaluate correspondence between assessments in other settings and with other types of participants.

 
A Comparison of the Utility of Multiple and Single Topography Functional Analysis Procedures
JONATHAN DEAN SCHMIDT (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kevin J. Schlichenmeyer (Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Heather Jennett (Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: When a functional analysis (FA) is conducted on multiple topographies of behavior simultaneously, the function of certain behaviors may be confounded due to response class hierarchies or a lack of discrimination if the participant does not contact the programmed contingencies. For this study, we concurrently conducted multiple (consequences for all target behaviors) and single (consequences for a specific target behavior, one at a time, in a sequential fashion) topography FAs for 12 individuals with developmental disabilities and examined each method’s ability to identify behavioral function. Two observers simultaneously but independently scored behaviors during 50% of all FA sessions; IOA for target behaviors ranged from 71% to 100%. Both multiple and single topography FAs were equally effective for identifying escape maintained problem behaviors. However, single topography FAs were more likely to identify a function when results of a multiple topography FA were undifferentiated, and to identify a tangible function. Additionally, although only occurring in a small number of cases, multiple topography FAs were more likely to produce false positives regarding the functions of behaviors when these results were considered in aggregate. Attendees will gain guidance regarding factors to consider and when to utilize a multiple or single topography FA.
 
Using a Test for Multiply Maintained Self-Injury to Guide Treatment Decisions
MINDY CHRISTINE SCHEITHAUER (Marcus Autism Center), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center), Alex Shrewsbury (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: In interpreting results of a functional analysis, an automatic function may be determined either because problem behavior is elevated in the alone/ignore condition comparative to other conditions or because problem behavior is elevated and undifferentiated across multiple conditions. In the latter, it is difficult to determine if problem behavior is maintained by automatic reinforcement alone or is multiply maintained. The current projects replicates and expands upon past research that evaluated social reinforcement conditions in a functional analysis after controlling for automatic reinforcement through sensory extinction. Specifically, we evaluate multiple social reinforcement conditions within each participant while the participant wore protective equipment to eliminate automatic reinforcement. Results suggest that self-injury was maintained by automatic reinforcement alone for one participant and both automatic reinforcement and physical attention for another participant. Outcomes are discussed in the context of implications and importance for treatment.
 
 
Symposium #55
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Improving Social Functioning for Children With Autism
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom D, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeremy H. Greenberg (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
CE Instructor: Jeremy H. Greenberg, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium contains three presentations regarding improving social functioning for children with autism by teaching them important skills. The first paper involves teaching basic skills of understanding perspective taking. The second presentation is teaching the identification of false-belief tasks, which are commonly used by developmental/cognitive psychologist to test the ability of "theory of mind." The third presentation uses an evaluation form along with video modeling to train parents how to teach their children with autism.

 

Basic Skills for Learning Perspective Taking in Children With Autism

WENCHU SUN (National Changhua University of Education), Gabrielle T. Lee (Michigan State University), Hua Feng (National ChangHua University of Education)
Abstract:

Previous research has reported that the inability of children with autism to discriminate between the reality and non-reality of events may contribute to their difficulties in understanding others perspectives. The purpose of this study is to use behavior analytic approach to teach children with autism to tact mental vs. physical state of verb. A seven year-old child with autism, who had advanced speaker and listener repertoires, participated in this study. A multiple probe across three behaviors design was used. Three target behaviors included (a) discrimination of physical and mental states of events (e.g., Tony takes a train in his hands. Kevin is thinking about the train. Who has the train?) (b) discrimination of reality and imagination (e.g., Mary locked the door. Tim wanted to lock the door. Who indeed lock the door?), and (c) discrimination of reality with and without evidence (e.g., John saw the candy on the table. Helen heard that the candy is on the table and believes the candy is on the table. Who can get the candy for sure?) Multiple exemplar teaching strategy with picture stimuli along with verbal instructions were used during training. Data showed that the rate of correct responses was increased after training. The skills were also generalized to novel scenarios.

 

Teaching "Theory of Mind" Tasks to Children With Autism

Yuen Tsai (National Changhua University of Education), Wenchu Sun (National Changhua University of Education), HUA FENG (National ChangHua University of Education)
Abstract:

Children with autism often have difficulty taking others' perspective--a developmental capacity commonly observed in typically developing children, termed the theory-of-mind (ToM). Teaching the children to tact other's belief is the fundamental skill in ToM. The purpose of this study is to use behavior analytic approach to teach children with autism to identify false-belief tasks. Two children, age 6-7 diagnosed with autism, who had advanced speaker repertoires, participated in this study. A combination of multiple probes across subjects and behaviors was used. Ten scenarios with pictures illustrating the stories were created as instruction materials. The teaching procedure included showing the scenario with drawn pictures, and asking questions regarding the belief of each person. Two target behaviors included:(a) tacting other's belief, (e.g., John is looking for his pencil box. Pencil box may be on the shelf or dining table. John thinks that it should be on the shelf. Where is John going to find his pencil box? Why?) (b) tacting other's false belief (e.g., John is looking for his pencil box that he left on the dinning table. Mary has put John's pencil box on the shelf. Where is John going to find his pencil box? Why?) Both children showed positive results for the acquisition and generalization of the tasks.

 

Effects of Video Self-Monitoring Using Teacher Performance Rate Accuracy Scale on Accuracy and Fluency of Parent-Delivered Discrete Trial Training

HYE-SUK LEE PARK (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Ok Kim (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Da Yun Kim (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), Hyo Min Ahn (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital), DongSoo Suh (Seoul Metropolitan Children's Hospital)
Abstract:

The study was conducted in an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) program of a public children's hospital in the Seoul city. Three mothers whose children were receiving the EIBI service participated in the study. A multiple baseline across participants design was used in the study. During the baseline, a behavioral skill training package was implemented in which lecture, written instruction, modeling, coaching, role-playing, and feedback were provided to the parent during DTT sessions. During the intervention phase, parents were required to watch their performance video scoring their own performance with TPRA forms. Percent of trials which were delivered without errors and rate of delivery of correct trials were measured using TPRA, and overall performance during DTT were evaluated using "Performance Checklist" throughout the study. The results showed that video self-monitoring using TPRA forms were effective in improving parents' performance during DTT with their children with ASD. The improved performance of parents during DTT was maintained during follow-up sessions.

 
 
Panel #56
CE Offered: BACB
The Value of Values: Looking at Values Through a Behavioral Analytic Lens
Sunday, May 29, 2016
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Zurich E, Swissotel
Area: TPC/CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Joshua K. Pritchard, Ph.D.
Chair: Sam Leigland (Gonzaga University)
EMMIE HEBERT (University of Mississippi)
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
JOSHUA K. PRITCHARD (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract:

Emerging research supports the psychological benefits of engaging in values-consistent patterns of behavior (e.g. Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008). In psychology, multiple definitions of values have been proposed. However, most of these definitions include terms that are not useful for scientific analysis and application. It is important to remember that behavior analysis "does not insist upon truth by agreement and can therefore consider events taking place in the private world within the skin" (Skinner, 1945). Given the occurrence of "values" in popular culture and in our scientific discussions, it seems appropriate to delineate a behavioral definition and discuss the potential benefits of examining interactions between the environment and values-consistent behavior(s). The aim of this panel is to discuss behavioral analytic definitions of values and the roles that values can play in behavior analysis in practice. Panelists will discuss the function of values in behavior analysis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relational Frame Theory (RFT).

Keyword(s): ACT, behavioral terms, RFT, values
 
 
Symposium #66
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding Opportunities for Social Involvement Through the Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior During Transitions
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Randolph, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: James Chok (Melmark Pennsylvania)
CE Instructor: Jennifer Quigley, M.Ed.
Abstract:

Every day, individuals with developmental disabilities are asked to complete multiple transitions across environments, from school programs to home settings, home settings to the community, and the community to vehicles. By being able to complete these transitions without challenging behavior, individuals gain access to a larger variety of areas including less restrictive placements and more frequent community access. Through systematic evaluation, clinicians can identify the functions of challenging behavior during transitions and teach functionally-equivalent behaviors. Following treatment, students may be able to transition more successfully, therefore, increasing their access to more settings including the community. When in the community, challenging behavior may bring about different risks including potential police involvement, less support staff, vehicle safety concerns, and negative interactions with bystanders. Frequently the first response is to limit the students access to the community following challenging behavior. In doing so, teaching opportunities are decreased and the individuals activities are more restricted. By evaluating effective treatments in the community, individuals regain access to a variety of settings therefore increasing the individuals overall quality of life. Evaluating and treating challenging behavior which may impact an individuals ability to transition is essential for increasing access to social opportunities via their school or community.

Keyword(s): autism, community, transitions
 

Treatment of Aggression During Transitions for an Individual With Autism and Physical Impairments

CORY WHELAN (Melmark New England)
Abstract:

One component of an intervention package for aggression maintained by avoidance of physical contact would be to remain out of arms reach of the individual engaging in aggression. However, for an individual with severe physical impairments who requires staff to be within one foot of him when walking, that type of environmental manipulation is impossible. This research aimed at reducing the rate in which an individual engaged in aggressions while walking throughout a school building. Data showed that the rate of aggressions decreased when a gait trainer was introduced which allowed the student to walk next to someone without making physical contact. Interobserver agreement was assessed during 50% of baseline sessions and 50% of treatment sessions. Average agreement for the occurrence of aggression was 83% during baseline sessions and 90% during treatment sessions. These data provide practitioners with an antecedent-based intervention strategy to reduce aggressive behavior for an individual with physical impairments who needs support while walking. This intervention allowed the student to navigate not only throughout the school building with minimal staff assistance, but also throughout the community.

 
Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problematic Transitions
KAYLA CRUICKSHANK (Registered Behavior Technician), Miranda DePoy (Partnership for Behavior Change), Sorah Stein (Partnership for Behavior Change)
Abstract: Transitions comprise a significant amount of the average child’s school day. Thus, being able to make successful transitions is necessary for academic success. (McCord, Thompson, & Iwata 2001; Wilder, Chen, Atwell, Pritchard, & Weinstein, 2006). McCord, Thompson, & Iwata (2001) conducted a structural analysis and operationally defined transitions as “the termination or initiation of an activity, with or without a change in location” (p. 206). In the current study, an eight-year-old boy, diagnosed with autism, engaged in various topographies of disruptive and self-injurious behavior when presented with transitions. Researchers assessed behavior in response to termination of an activity, movement to a new location, and initiation of a new activity (McCord, Thompson, & Iwata, 2001) and determined the most significant trigger to be movement from outside to indoors, i.e., the most likely function was avoidance of going indoors. Thus, treatment was initiated with focus on stimulus fading from outside to indoors, with a modified environment to reduce extraneous stimulation. Initial data indicate success with this function-based intervention with decreasing rates of most topographies.
 

Evaluating Reinforcement Systems in the Community Through Alternating Treatment Designs

JENNIFER QUIGLEY (Melmark), Lauren M. Palmieri (Temple University)
Abstract:

An alternating treatment design was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of two reinforcement systems in the community as a treatment for non-compliance across multiple individuals. All participants had a history of challenging behavior in the community including non-compliance, stealing, aggression, and elopement which had impacted their ability to access the community. All participants were admitted to a Residential Treatment Facility at the time of treatment. General locations in the community were identified for each participant prior to treatment to establish a schedule of systematic access. The reinforcement systems evaluated were individualized for each student based on the students interests, related components of their current treatment plans, and functions of challenging behavior. The more effective reinforcement system was then utilized during generalization training and adapted into the students treatment plan. Effective reinforcement systems were identified for all participants with a decrease in challenging behavior and increase in compliance while in the community. These examples show multiple ways in which to systematically reintroduce individuals into the community and increase their ability to access less restrictive settings.

 
 
Panel #67
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Medicine SIG Presents: A Discussion Regarding Methodology Utilized in Health Psychology Research: Advantages and Limitations of Within-Subjects and Between-Groups Experimental Designs
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Gretchen A. Dittrich, Ph.D.
Chair: Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons College)
RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Boston)
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (University of South Florida)
MICHAEL PERONE (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

Health promotion research often includes randomized control trials (between-groups design); however, in practice, clinicians may utilize single-subject designs (within-subjects design) to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention. Within-subject experimental designs may provide additional information that cannot be gleaned from group designs (i.e., individual trends in responding); however, group designs control for many of the variations that cannot be controlled in a single-subject design (e.g., demographic variations). There are advantages and disadvantages in utilizing each type of experimental design. The purpose of the panel discussion is to review differences in within-subjects and between-groups experimental designs, discuss the strengths and limitations of each design, and make recommendations for conducting research using either methodology.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Medicine, Between-groups analyses, Experimental methodology, With-subject analyses
 
 
Symposium #71
CE Offered: BACB
From the Lab to Practice: Variations on Resurgence Procedures and Their Implications
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Tyler Nighbor (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Kathryn M. Kestner, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Resurgence is the reoccurrence of a previously reinforced response, typically following (conventional) extinction of an alternatively reinforced response. Resurgence is both of research interest and applied relevance. Presenters in this symposium will discuss variations on resurgence procedures in both laboratory and applied contexts. In the first presentation, presenters will describe an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using rats, and theoretical and applied implications of results will be discussed. In the second presentation, a human operant arrangement will be presented that investigated the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. Basic and applied implications will be discussed. In the third presentation, researchers will present an evaluation the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon in a clinically relevant context. Results will be discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.

Keyword(s): Noncontingent Reinforcement, Punishment, Relapse, Resurgence
 
Resurgence of Punishment-Suppressed Behavior
RUSTY NALL (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Relapse (resurgence) often occurs following removal of alternative reinforcement used in differential reinforcement of alternative behavior treatments. Animal models are useful for examining resurgence, but traditionally use extinction to suppress target behavior. Sometimes negative consequences (i.e. punishment) serve along with alternative reinforcers to suppress problem behavior as either programmed consequences (e.g. Functional communication training + punishment) or inherent aspects of the problem behavior (e.g. substance abuse). Further, in treatment contexts, it may be difficult to withhold or remove reinforcers for problem behavior. Foot shock punishment has been used to model some relapse phenomena following response suppression by punishment with rats, but not resurgence. In the present study, we developed an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using two groups of rats lever pressing for sucrose. Later, shock accompanied reinforcement obtained from lever pressing for both groups. One group also received concurrent sucrose for nose poking. Finally, consequences for both responses were removed, and lever pressing increased (resurged) only for rats that received alternative reinforcement. These results indicate that resurgence follows alternative reinforcer removal even when target response suppression is obtained through punishment. Theoretical and applied implications will be discussed.
 
The Effects of Phase 2 Manipulations on Resurgence in a Human Operant Arrangement
KATHRYN M. KESTNER (West Virginia University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts in applied practice commonly use differential reinforcement of alternative behavior to reduce undesired behavior. Resurgence of problem behavior has been demonstrated following changes to reinforcement schedules due to errors in treatment integrity or intentional fading. Identifying methods for reducing the potential for treatment relapse would contribute to the utility of these interventions. Previous research suggests that the arrangement of reinforcement for alternative behavior affects the degree of resurgence obtained during an extinction test. Data will be presented from a human operant arrangement on the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. The implications of the results will be discussed from both a basic and applied perspective.
 

Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement as a Disruptor on Resurgence of Severe Problem Behavior Following Functional Communication Training

ANNA ING (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract:

Treatment relapse refers to the return of an unwanted condition that has previously been successfully treated. One such treatment relapse phenomenon is called resurgence. Resurgence occurs when a previously extinguished response returns following extinction of an alternative response that has been reinforced. It is commonly produced by a three-phase procedure: 1) a target behavior is reinforced until responding is steady, 2) the target behavior is placed on extinction and an alternative behavior is reinforced until responding is steady for both, and 3) both behaviors are placed on extinction. If the initial target behavior re-emerges in the final phase, it is called resurgence. Most applied and basic studies have used "traditional" extinction during the disruptor phase; that is, the behaviors are not met with reinforcement. However, more recent studies have been evaluating the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon. In this study, two participants with a history of communicative difficulties and socially maintained problem behavior experienced the three-phase procedure in which participants were exposed to NCR during the final disruptor phase. One participant demonstrated mild resurgence of problem behavior, whereas resurgence of problem behavior did not occur for the second participant. Results are discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.

 
 
Invited Tutorial #72
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
SQAB Tutorial: Characterization of Delay Discounting Using Multiple Models and Effective Delay 50
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Amy Odum, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Presenting Author: CHRISTOPHER FRANCK (Virginia Tech)
Abstract:

The study of delay discounting, or valuation of future rewards as a function of delay, has contributed to understanding the behavioral economics of addiction. Accurate characterization of discounting can be furthered by statistical model selection given that many functions have been proposed to measure future valuation of rewards. This tutorial will present a convenient Bayesian model selection algorithm that selects the most probable discounting model among a set of candidates chosen by the researcher. The approach assigns the most probable model for each individual subject using an asymptotic approximation to model probability based on the Bayesian Information Criterion. Importantly, effective delay 50 (ED50) functions as a suitable unifying measure that is computable for and comparable between several popular functions, including both one- and two-parameter models. Software to execute the combined model selection/ED50 approach is illustrated using empirical discounting data collected from a sample of 111 undergraduate students with five discounting models proposed between 1937 and 2006. The work this tutorial is based upon was published in the January, 2015, special issue of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior studying experimental manipulations of delay discountingand related processes.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Licensed psychologists, certified behavior analysts, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to: (1) describe the devaluation of future rewards as a function of delay in terms of delay discounting; (2) recognize several proposed models of delay discounting both mathematically and graphically, and state the computational approach to fit these models to observed data; (3) explain Effective Delay 50 (ED50); (4) execute approximate Bayesian model selection to choose among candidate models given observed data using the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). Make informed decisions about the merits and caveats of choosing among candidate models on the basis of observed data.
 
CHRISTOPHER FRANCK (Virginia Tech)
Christopher Franck received his Ph.D. from the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University in 2010. Dr. Franck is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Statistics at Virginia Tech, where he also serves as the assistant director of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA). Dr. Franck collaborates with researchers from the Addiction Recovery Research Center (ARRC) in the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute studying a variety of psychological, behavioral economic, and statistical aspects of those who suffer from addiction and are successful in recovery. Dr. Franck's research interests include non-additivity in unreplicated studies with a focus on the identification of latent-groupings, predictive modeling of health outcomes, spatial modeling, and bioinformatics.
Keyword(s): Bayesian Model, Delay Discounting, Effective Delay50
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #73
CE Offered: PSY

The Surprising and Problematic Consequences of Exposure to Misinformation

Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Scott P. Ardoin, Ph.D.
Chair: Scott P. Ardoin (University of Georgia)
DAVID RAPP (Northwestern University)
David N. Rapp is Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy and the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. His research examines language and memory, focusing on the cognitive mechanisms responsible for successful learning and knowledge failures. He investigates the ways in which prior knowledge, text materials, and learning goals influence memory and comprehension of discourse experiences. His recent projects examine how memory is influenced by the plausibility and importance of everyday events, the credibility of sources, and the collaborative nature of group discussions. These projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute on Aging. He received a McKnight Land-Grant Professor award from the University of Minnesota in 2006, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text & Discourse in 2010, was named a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in 2015, and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He recently finished serving as associate editor at the Journal of Educational Psychology, and is now editor of Discourse Processes.
Abstract:

Prior knowledge has been a key construct for theories of memory, comprehension, and learning. And traditionally prior knowledge has been identified as a resilient source of information, standing strong in the face of even the most compelling refutations and evidence. In the current talk I describe experiments that call into question this characterization of prior knowledge. Work from my lab shows that well-worn expectations appear malleable (and sometimes even non-existent) when people are confronted with contradictory arguments and facts. Across a variety of demonstrations involving the presentation of text content containing potential misinformation, people subsequently rely on encoded inaccuracies leading to problematic and surprising demonstrations of ignorance. Even obvious misinformation, which individuals should know better than to fall for, can influence subsequent problem solving and decision making behaviors. This talk will identify the consequences of exposure to misinformation, as well as highlight important boundary conditions for when and how people might be encouraged to engage in more critical evaluation in the service of successful comprehension.

Target Audience:

Educational researchers, practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) describe the misinformation effect, specifically in terms of consequences for post-reading behaviors; (2) describe how experiments have used reading time and decision-based methodologies in attempts to evaluate reader comprehension; (3) identify potential instructional strategies and text features that can encourage more critical readings of text content.
 
 
Panel #75
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Issues in Rural Behavior Analysis: Ethical Practice, Tele-Practice, and Remote Supervision
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall CD, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Translational
CE Instructor: Cheryl A. Young-Pelton, Ed.D.
Chair: Robert C. Pennington (University of Louisville)
CHERYL A. YOUNG-PELTON (Montana State University in Billings)
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC)
CECILIA KNIGHT (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract:

Rural behavior analysts face many issues. This panel will bring together three practitioner-researchers who are working within the scope of these issues. Panelists will present issues pertinent to ethical practice in small communities, reviewing telehealth and telepractice constraints, and issues related to remote supervision of behavior analysts, assistants, students, and RBTs.

Keyword(s): remote supervision, rural ethics, tele-practice
 
 
Symposium #76
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Ethics for the Rest of Us: Impact of Cultural Differences in the Practice of Ethics
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Karen Chung (Special Learning, Inc. )
Discussant: Jon S. Bailey (Florida State University)
CE Instructor: Jon S. Bailey, Ph.D.
Abstract: How do cultural differences affect the practice of ethics? How do Board Certified Behavior Analysts who practice outside the U.S. define ethics? Are there country-specific challenges that arise and how can we handle these challenges? What about cultural and religious differences? In an era where access to someone living across the world is literally only a click away, subtle and not-so-subtle boundaries exist, particularly as it pertains to what is considered culturally acceptable. Even among countries that may seem homogenous (i.e. America and Canada), significant differences do exist that can and should affect how behavior analysts practice and make decisions in the field. The most common challenge faced by behavior analysts across borders, in both developed and developing countries, are related to misrepresentation and unethical practices. In some cases, the “right” answer appears straightforward, however, the cultural norms of different regions make doing the “right” things more challenging for behavior analysts practicing outside the U.S. The group will begin our discussion by talking about the implications of cultural differences in the practice of ethics by sharing their own experiences. The group will also engage in a group discussion to begin to construct a high level framework that behavior analysts can use as a tool to help them make practical, ethically correct decisions independently.
 
Talking About Ethics, eh? A Canadian Perspective on Multicultural Issues
ROSEMARY A. CONDILLAC (Brock University)
Abstract: There are different ethical challenges that arise in different parts of Canada, including our work with individuals from first nations communities, remote locations where direct supervision becomes a significant challenge, etc. Canada self-defines itself as multi-cultural, and as such, encourages New Canadians to stay true to their culture of origin and bring their traditions with them with the caveat that they not contravene Federal, Provincial, or Municipal Law or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There is an expectation of cultural acceptance, and typically training is provided to practitioners to increase their cultural sensitivity. Some aspects of the Ethical Code for Behaviour Analysts are inconsistent with cultural norms, and in some cases tediously so. As an example, small token gifts of appreciation are inherent in many cultures and professions, but completely forbidden in ABA practice. Language barriers often require the use of interpreters in the delivery of services; unfortunately, some interpreters bring cultural biases and put a cultural spin on the discussion that can impact service delivery. Further, the lack of professional designation for Behaviour Analysts in regulatory bodies makes them subject to institutional rules and policies that may conflict with our Code of Conduct. During this session, content will be covered through discussion of ethical dilemmas and how to deal with “tricky” situations in a manner that is consistent with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts yet is practical in application.
 
Ethics in Third World Countries
MOLLY OLA PINNEY (Global Autism Project)
Abstract: It is common knowledge that there is an acute shortage of qualified behavior analysts in the world. According to the most recent numbers from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), there are approximately 20,000 Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in the world; of those, only 8% live outside the U.S. With an estimated 70 million people around the world with Autism, this means that there are only 1/3 of 1% qualified experts available to meet this growing need. As more and more organizations spring up that attempt to overcome this issue by putting in place systemic methods that can be self-sustaining, we must acknowledge that important culture and language differences significantly hamper the way behavior analysts are able to do their jobs in a manner that is consistent with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. As an example, when dealing with developing countries where commonly held belief is that a child with autism is “possessed,” questions arise regarding how must time a behavior analyst can and should spend educating parents and educators on non-technical skills when their primary “job” is to use their skills to change the lives of as many children with autism as possible and “every moment is priceless.” Other growing dilemma is to determine what happens after the fact. Within a very compressed period of time, there is only so much training one can impart to people who will be actually doing the work. In the U.S. we are beginning to see standards and qualifications put in place for people who implement ABA. However, given the relative “prevalence” of qualified behavior therapists capable of supervising cases, ongoing training and case supervision is a means that we can use to maintain quality control. Outside the U.S., even developed countries do not have sufficient number of behavior analysts to make this model feasible. How do we solve this global dilemma in a manner that can generate immediate results while we look for a long-terms solution? During this session, we will bring to light not only ethical situations facing the profession of behavior analytics but also begin a dialogue to create a paradigm shift that can affect global, long-term, sustainable change.
 
 
Symposium #77
CE Offered: BACB
Walden Two and Beyond: Expanding the Scope of Applied Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
St. Gallen, Swissotel
Area: TPC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Neal Miller (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Amanda N. Kelly (BEHAVIORBABE (Hawaii))
CE Instructor: Neal Miller, Ph.D.
Abstract: These papers will examine issues related to the growth of applied behavior analysis. As the field attempts to move beyond traditional areas of practice to address large-scale social problems, it raises both opportunities and challenges. The first paper will examine the relevance of Walden Two (Skinner, 1948) to the applied field, examining both similarities and differences in their scope and methods. It will suggest specific lessons that we might learn from re-examining the proposals within this utopian novel. The second paper will examine ways that behavior analysts might expand their impact by engaging social issues that have not been traditionally addressed by practitioners. Finally, our discussant will provide her own perspectives on these topics.
Keyword(s): ABA, practice, Skinner, Walden Two
 
Applied Behavior Analysis and Walden Two: Revisiting Skinner’s Utopia
NEAL MILLER (University of Memphis), Mallory Garrett (The University of Memphis)
Abstract: In Walden Two (1948) B. F. Skinner described a utopian community in which the science of behavior analysis had been harnessed to improve peoples’ lives. Though this was a bold and ambitious work, at the time it was a purely speculative account. However, the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is closely aligned to the purpose of this novel, and has contributed a significant body of research over the past 50 years. A comparison between the areas of application outlined in Walden Two and those currently being addressed by the field of ABA reveals both similarities and differences. We will examine a wide range of topics (from education and child-rearing to religion and government), and identify some that were addressed in depth in Walden Two, but have been largely neglected by our applied field. Finally, recommendations will be made for how the lessons of Walden Two might assist behavior analysts in meeting the challenges we face in our society.
 
Applied Behavior Analysis Beyond Autism: Finding Solutions to Important Societal Problems
MOLLY BENSON (Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: B. F. Skinner’s vision of how behavior analysis could be applied to tackle issues of major social significance represents the foundation of our profession. However, as a professional discipline, the practice of behavior analysis tends to be fairly restricted in terms of its scope and the type of populations it serves. One of the challenges facing behavior analysts is to apply the principles of our science to impact society’s problems. Given that there are so many areas of social significance that need to be addressed (e.g., economic disparity, social injustice, the threat of nuclear war, public health, and climate change), it would seem that the field of applied behavior analysis has significant potential for growth and change. In this presentation, we will examine some of the challenges that exists for behavior analysts in working on these societal problems, explore potential opportunities for growth in our field, and assess what kind of interventions may be required to impact change on a larger scale.
 
 
Symposium #78
CE Offered: BACB
Advancing Social, Self-Advocacy, and Vocational Skills in Adolescents and Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
CE Instructor: April N. Kisamore, Ph.D.
Abstract:

There is little behavior analytic research on teaching social, self-advocacy, and job-related skills to adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current symposium includes four papers directed toward filling this gap in the literature. In the first paper, the authors piloted an assessment for evaluating job-related socials skills that are important for individuals with ASD to succeed in work environments. In the second paper, the authors evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training to increase the social play skills of adults with ASD who were teaching social play skills to children with ASD. In the third paper, the researchers evaluated the effects of a text prompt with a time delay on the self-advocacy of an adult with ASD. In the fourth paper, the authors examined the effects of teaching a problem-solving strategy to adolescents with ASD on solving common job-related problems.

Keyword(s): Adolescents/Adults, Job-related Skills, Self-advocacy, Social Skills
 
A Pilot Clinic-Based Assessment for Evaluating Job-Related Social Skills
BRIDGETTE WHITE (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Courtney Laudont (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Carolyn Grob (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulties obtaining and maintaining employment, yet little research has been conducted on methods for evaluating and improving critical vocational skills. In this study, we developed and test-piloted a standardized assessment of job-related social skills for individuals with ASD by arranging conditions that simulated on-the-job experiences in a clinic setting. The experimenter contrived situations to assess a variety of work skills, including asking for help, asking for more materials, asking questions, notifying the supervisor when completed with a task, following written and vocal instructions, and responding to corrective feedback. A total of seven individuals, aged 16 to 27 years, have participated thus far. Results suggested that the assessment was useful for identifying specific social skills that could be targeted for intervention to increase success in the work environment. These findings add to the current literature by demonstrating an objective method for assessing a variety of job-related social skills under naturalistic conditions.
 

Teaching Social Play Skills to Adults and Children With Autism as an Approach to Building Rapport

MOLLY SHIREMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Conrad Hillman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract:

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have deficits in social skills that may impede their success on the job. As part of a vocational training program, three adults, aged 21 to 27 years, with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and no intellectual disabilities were taught to increase the social play skills of children with autism. Behavioral skills training (BST) was effective in increasing social play skills of the adult. Additionally, social engagement of the children increased. Probes conducted throughout the study evaluated whether the play skills training impacted a measure of rapport between the adult and child. These rapport probes showed that play skills training increased levels of proximity, our measure of rapport, between the adults and children. These findings extend previous work on using BST to teach adults with ASD to implement behavioral procedures with children with autism and suggest that this type of training is potentially valuable for the future employment of individuals with ASD who desire a vocation as a behavioral technician.

 

Teaching an Adult With Autism Self-Advocacy Statements Using Time Delay

Danielle Schatz (Alpine Learning Group), Erin Richard White (Alpine Learning Group), JAIME DEQUINZIO (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract:

Little research has explored procedures for teaching adults with autism to make self-advocacy statements. The present study used a multiple probe design across stimulus categories to evaluate the effects of using a text prompt and time delay procedure on the acquisition and generalization of self-advocacy responses. A twenty-five year old adult with autism participated in the study. The participant was presented with situations that required a self-advocacy response (e.g., he asks for a soda and the instructor gives him water instead). During baseline, if the participant responded correctly, the instructor corrected the situation, and if the participant errored, the instructor did not correct the situation. During intervention, a text prompt was used to prompt a self-advocacy response for each situation, and upon a correct response, the instructor corrected the situation and provided reinforcement on the participants motivational system. Results extend the literature by showing an effective procedure for teaching an adult with autism self-advocacy responses. The percentage of independent self-advocacy responses increased for the participant when the text prompt and time delay procedures were introduced across the three baselines. Results also showed generalized responding to novel examples and materials for each situation presented. Future research should investigate these procedures with additional participants as well as explore teaching more advanced self-advocacy responses to adults with autism.

 

Effects of a Problem-Solving Strategy on the Independent Completion of Vocational Tasks by Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

CINDY LORA (Caldwell University), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Dawn B. Townsend (Institute for Educational Achievement)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of teaching a problem-solving strategy on the independent completion of vocational tasks by four adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The strategy was presented as a textual activity schedule in a binder and it was evaluated across three types of problem situations (missing items, broken items, mismatched items) and non-problem situations. Use of the problem-solving strategy in these situations was assessed with a multiple-probe-across-participants design. None of the participants were able to complete the vocational tasks when a problem (e.g., stapler missing when stapling packets) arose during baseline. Following introduction of the problem-solving strategy all four participants completed the tasks during problem scenarios and use of the problem-solving strategy generalized in the presence of vocational tasks not associated with teaching.

 
 
Symposium #80
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Applied and Translational Research on Response Persistence
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Ballroom EF, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Duncan Pritchard (Aran Hall School)
CE Instructor: Brian D. Greer, Ph.D.
Abstract:

The continuation of responding in the face of disruption (i.e., response persistence) is a desired outcome in many situations. For example, one goal of early intervention is to ensure that skills acquired in the clinic or home setting generalize and maintain when the student transitions to school. Conversely, persistent responding may be problematic if destructive behavior maintains when treatment is introduced. The presentations in this symposium focus on the factors that contribute to or mitigate against behavioral persistence in applied contexts. Dr. Joel Ringdahl will present on one way to increase the persistence of social skills exhibited by adults with developmental disabilities. Stephen Ryan will discuss reinstatement of appropriate communication responses following periods of extinction. Valdeep Saini will present on the effects of discriminability on persistence of responding during and following the use of time-based reinforcement schedules. Katherine Lichtblau will discuss differential levels of resurgence of destructive behavior following two forms of differential reinforcement.

Keyword(s): Reinstatement, Response persistence, Resurgence
 

The Effect of Magnitude of Reinforcement on the Persistence of Social Skills Exhibited by Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Erik Otte (Southern Illinois University), JOEL ERIC RINGDAHL (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

Several studies in the basic, translational, and applied literatures have demonstrated that the frequency with which reinforcers are delivered (i.e., reinforcement rate) can impact responses persistence. Additional reinforcer parameters, including magnitude of reinforcement, have also been demonstrated to impact response persistence. However, studies relevant to this topic have been conducted in basic laboratories using nonhuman (e.g., Nevin, 1974) and human (e.g., McComas, Hartman, and Jimenez, 2008) participants. Thus, the applied impact is unknown. In the current study, the effect of magnitude of reinforcement on the persistence of socially significant behavior exhibited by adults with mild disabilities was evaluated. Initially, a BST package that included a reinforcement component was used to teach conversation and job interview skills to young adults with developmental disabilities. Performance was scored in terms of percent of steps correct, according to task analyses. The BST packages were paired with either high magnitude of reinforcement or low magnitude of reinforcement, depending on baseline performance (i.e., high magnitude of reinforcement for the skill performed with relatively worse skill during baseline). Following acquisition of the skills, the BST package was discontinued, resulting in termination of the reinforcement contingency. Results indicated that the skill taught using the high-magnitude reinforcer persisted at relatively higher levels during the maintenance period (4 weeks of follow-up) for each participant, though performance remained above criterion regardless of reinforcer magnitude.

 
An Evaluation of Reinstatement of Appropriate Communication Following Extinction
STEPHEN E. RYAN (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Anna Ing (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Behavioral momentum theory provides a conceptual framework for the study of the recovery of previously extinguished operant behavior. Commonly referred to as treatment relapse, this is the failure to maintain treatment gains (i.e., reduction in problem behavior) when there is a change in conditions under which these gains were achieved. One treatment relapse paradigm previously examined in basic and applied research is reinstatement. Reinstatement of problem behavior has been shown to occur when functional reinforcers are delivered on a fixed-time schedule following extinction. Despite the utility of examining the reinstatement of problem behavior, demonstrations of reinstatement of other behavioral topographies (e.g., appropriate behavior) are rare. During the current study, an evaluation of reinstatement was conducted within an overall study of factors influencing the persistence of communication (Ringdahl, Berg, & Wacker, 2012; Grant R01 5R01HD069377-2). A 3-year-old male with a history of problem behavior maintained by positive reinforcement and communication difficulties was exposed to functional communication training (FCT) using two mands. FCT was followed by extinction of communication and fixed-time delivery of a functional reinforcer. Problem behavior was on extinction in all phases. Reinstatement of communication occurred and problem behavior decreased from the levels observed during the preceding extinction sessions.
 

Evaluating the Effects of Discriminability on Behavioral Persistence During and Following Time-Based Schedules of Reinforcement

VALDEEP SAINI (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Using a human-operant preparation and guided by Shahan and Sweeneys (2011) model of resurgence based on behavioral momentum theory (BMT), we evaluated a refinement to noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) designed to reduce persistence of problem behavior during NCR and mitigate response resurgence during extinction following NCR. The refinement involved increasing the saliency and discriminability of the change from contingent reinforcement (during baseline) to NCR, which BMT predicts should lead to faster reductions in target responding and decrease the likelihood of resurgence. We present data on four subjects, all of whom responded in ways predicted by BMT to varying degrees. Our results are discussed within a translational research framework and broader context of strategies used to mitigate treatment relapse for severe destructive behavior, as NCR is one of the most commonly prescribed interventions for destructive behavior displayed by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

Examining Resurgence of Problem Behavior Following Differential Reinforcement With and Without Extinction

KATIE LICHTBLAU (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Nevin and Shahans (2011) Equation 7 of behavioral momentum theory (BMT) predicts that when all other variables are held constant, the rate of alternative reinforcement (Ra) predicts the degree to which responding recurs when disrupted. In the current investigation, we used extinction as a disruptor to evaluate levels of resurgence of problem behavior following two forms of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) in which overall rates of reinforcement were equated. In one condition, reinforcement remained available for problem behavior, as well as for a communication response (i.e., DRA without extinction), whereas in the other condition, DRA was implemented with extinction, but we added noncontingent reinforcement to yoke the obtained rates of reinforcement to the DRA without extinction condition. Both DRA conditions suppressed rates of problem behavior with one individual, but we observed higher levels of resurgence following DRA without extinction. We discuss these results in light of BMT, as well as other treatments for problem behavior that do and do not involve terminating of the response-reinforcer relation.

 
 
Symposium #81
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Children Who Do Not Demonstrate Repertories Critical for Academic Success
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency, Bronze East
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Joseph T. Shane, B.A.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis has been rigorously demonstrated to be an effective approach to treating children with autism. A large number of studies have shown significant improvements in participants who received Discrete Trial Training (DTT). However, studies with many participants consistently report finding a group of students who fail to make much progress with the traditional Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) treatment package. A concern, therefore, of everyone providing early intervention should be to determine why these children do not make adequate progress. It is possible that the standard EIBI treatment package assumes that learners have prerequisite skills that some children do not demonstrate. Even the most basic skills require some level of environmental awareness and attending to relevant stimuli. For example, simple visual discrimination is a prerequisite skill for conditional visual discrimination. Simple and conditional discrimination repertoires are critical components of many skills necessary for daily functioning, including communication, academic, and daily-living skills. It is also crucial to be able to identify effective reinforcers for each learner. This presentation consists of four studies, each of which addressed one of the following areas of concern for lower functioning students with autism: increasing vocalizations, teaching auditory and visual discriminations, and teaching imitation.
Keyword(s): Discrimination Training, Echoic Training, Imitation, Matching-to-Sample
 

Increasing Vocal Behavior and Establishing Echoic Stimulus Control in Children With Autism

JOSEPH T. SHANE (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Many children with autism fail to demonstrate echoic behavior as early as their typically developing peers. Some also make very limited vocal sounds in general, remaining mostly mute aside from crying or engaging in stereotypy. Echoic skills demonstrate auditory discrimination and matching, and function as a beneficial, if not necessary, prerequisite for many other vocal-verbal skills. The purpose of this study was to develop an alternative echoic training procedure for primarily non-vocal children who did not demonstrate auditory discrimination in baseline. The intervention consisted initially of sessions in which any vocal sounds were reinforced. Then reinforcement schedules were manipulated to increase the variety of sounds each child made. This was followed by a simplified echoic protocol to establish auditory stimulus control, beginning with high-rate vocalizations. Echoic skills were tested prior to and throughout the intervention. This procedure was able to produce an echoic repertoire in two out of three participants.

 

Teaching Children With Autism Who Have Difficulty Mastering Auditory Discriminations

SARAH LICHTENBERGER (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Simple and conditional visual and auditory discrimination repertoires are critical components of many skills necessary for daily functioning, including communication, academic, and daily-living skills (Green, 2001). When auditory discrimination is not under instructional stimulus control it can result in delayed acquisition of new skills and limit academic progress. The purpose of this study was to teach auditory discrimination to children with autism who had little-to-no progress on classroom procedures that required auditory discrimination, such as selecting an object from an array when given the name of the object as the instruction. Auditory discrimination will be taught starting with teaching a particular motor response in the presence of an environmental sound, then slowly introducing other sound and response pairings. The procedure will use a variety of teaching methods based on the learner's progress. Trial-and-error, shaping, and physical prompts will be used to aid in the acquisition of discrimination skills.

 

Simple and Conditional Visual Discrimination Training for Children With Autism

BLAIRE MICHELIN (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Numerous everyday living skills rely on an individual having an extensive conditional discrimination repertoire. Some children with autism show difficulty in acquiring conditional discriminations, which can lead to delayed progress through classroom curricula. Green (2001) stated that it has been demonstrated that teaching simple visual discrimination tasks help cultivate the development of more complex visual discriminations. Even though some children with autism show difficulty in acquiring conditional discriminations, these individuals can acquire conditional discriminations after training on simple visual discriminations. The purpose of this study was to teach two individuals with autism simple and conditional visual discrimination tasks. Once the simple discrimination procedure was mastered, a conditional visual discrimination procedure was implemented. Both children had previously mastered classroom matching-to-sample procedures, but the skills failed to maintain. Simple and conditional visual discrimination were taught using trial-and-error and within-stimulus prompts.

 
Using Shaping to Establish Imitative Repertoires
JENNIFER LYNN MRLJAK (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Some children with autism are unable to acquire imitation despite receiving applied behavior analysis therapy meant to teach that and other important repertoires. Many ABA programs utilize physical prompting hierarchies either as a component of the discriminative stimulus or the correction procedure after an error. But even after lengthy exposure to these teaching techniques some children still do not acquire imitative responses. This study evaluated the use of shaping as a method to establish imitative motor responses in children who were not demonstrating any imitative behaviors under the control of the model’s behavior. The primary differences from common teaching methods included reinforcing approximations to the target behavior and increasing the response requirements incrementally over time, in addition to increasing the duration of the model’s actions and fading that over time. Three participants acquired a variety of imitative responses.
 
 
Symposium #82
CE Offered: BACB
Broad Applications of Programming for and Assessing Generalization for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Columbus Hall GH, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Lauren K. Schnell, M.Ed.
Abstract:

The symposium includes four studies on programming for and assessing generalization in individuals with developmental disabilities. The first presentation evaluated the effect of teaching tolerance responses to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) following training a functional communication request. Generalization was assessed with stimuli, settings, and caregivers not associated with treatment and the effects of treatment maintained up to 6 weeks. The second presentation examined several stimulus conditions under which vicariously reinforced responding might emerge by embedding probes within an experimental arrangement that included multiple exemplars. The third presentation evaluated behavior skills training to establish generalized safety responding in children with ASD. Multiple exemplars were taught to program for generalization to stimuli and settings not associated with training. The fourth presentation taught children with ASD to tolerate medical and dental procedures and determined the extent to which tolerance transferred to settings not associated with training. Collectively these studies provide support for the value of programming for and assessing generalization for individuals with developmental disabilities across a wide range of skill areas.

 

Improving Maintenance and Generalization While Teaching Children to Mand and Tolerate Delays to Mands

JORDAN CHUSID (Regis College), Lauren Beaulieu (Regis College)
Abstract:

We evaluated the effects of teaching tolerance responses on problem behaviors using a multiple baseline design across participants design with two young children diagnosed with autism. After identifying the function of the problem behavior by conducing a functional analysis, we taught the children simple and complex functional communication responses (FCR). Afterwards, we introduced delay and denial tolerance training. Our dependent measures were (a) problem behaviors, (b) tolerance responses, (c) simple FCR, (d) complex FCR, and (e) percentage of the delay the child was independently engaged in an alternative activity. Generalization was assessed with novel stimuli, settings and caregivers. Maintenance was assessed through a 6 week follow-up. Our results suggested that there was an inverse relationship between tolerance responses and problem behaviors. Additionally, after the children learned FCRs, they were able to accept delays or denials to reinforcement and spend the majority of the delay engaged in a less preferred alternative activity. The effects generalized to novel settings and stimuli and the results maintained at a 6 week follow-up.

 

Effects of Multiple Exemplars and Embedded Probes on Vicariously Reinforced Responding

HYPATIA BOLIVAR (University of Florida), Brian A. Iwata (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Vicarious reinforcement refers to an increase in ones behavior as a result of observing reinforcement delivered to a model, but in the absence of direct reinforcement delivered for imitation of the models response. We examined several stimulus conditions under which vicariously reinforced responding might emerge by embedding probes for vicariously reinforced responding within an experimental arrangement that included multiple training tasks (multiple exemplars) maintained by direct intermittent reinforcement. Four subjects attending a school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participated. Data for one subject showed maintenance and generalization of vicariously reinforced responding across three different probe tasks. Data for a second subject showed maintenance of vicariously reinforced responding on the first probe but no generalization to a second probe. Data for the remaining two subjects showed initial vicarious reinforcement effects but did not show maintenance on any probe. Implications for the applied use of vicarious reinforcement arrangements are described.

 

Teaching Safety Responding to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Margaret Rossi (Caldwell University ), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Amy Gross (University of Minnesota), JESSIE NORTHGRAVE (Caldwell University )
Abstract:

Children have been taught to demonstrate a safety response when they encounter a dangerous stimulus using behavioral skills training (BST). However, little research has evaluated the usefulness of BST to teach safety skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the current study, we evaluated BST to establish a generalized repertoire of safety responding in children with ASD. Three categories of dangerous stimuli were identified and multiple exemplars were taught to program for generalization to stimuli and settings not associated with training. The three participants demonstrated an appropriate safety response after BST training across trained and untrained exemplars and settings. Additionally, responding to trained exemplars maintained up to four weeks following training. High levels of social validity were also found. These results suggest BST is a viable training approach for training individuals with ASD to demonstrate safety responding and results are discussed in light of previous studies.

 

Increasing Cooperation With Medical and Dental Procedures in the Natural Environment for Children With Autism

CATHERINE K. MARTINEZ (University of Florida/Kaleidoscope Interventions), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Abstract:

Children with autism often engage in disruptive behavior (i.e., crying, refusal, aggression) at the doctor or dentist, preventing medical or dental personnel from completing routine procedures. Previous research has demonstrated that exposing clients to a hierarchy of systematic fading steps, while differentially reinforcing compliance, can effectively decrease disruptive behavior and increase cooperation with a variety of procedures, when conducted in a therapeutic setting. However, is it unclear if cooperation generalizes to the natural environment of the doctor or dentist. The purpose of this study is to teach children with autism to tolerate routine medical and dental procedures, without engaging in noncompliance or disruptive behavior, and determine the extent to which cooperation transfers to the natural environment of the childs primary care provider (i.e., doctor or dentist) via pre- and posttest.

 
 
Symposium #83
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in the Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Suzanne M. Milnes (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Cathleen C. Piazza, Ph.D.
Abstract:

When left untreated, pediatric feeding problems can result in poor weight gain, weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, cognitive impairment, compromised immune function, and dependency on tube feedings (Cohen, Piazza, & Navanthe, 2006). Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians and researchers continue to develop effective treatment procedures and disseminate their findings to a larger audience. This symposium combines 4 data-based presentations on the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding problems from 4 different programs: Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Marcus Autism Center, and University of Kansas. Following the 4 presentations, Dr. Cathleen Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute) will discuss the presentations and the implications of each presenters findings. The first presentation will focus on the use of applied behavior analysis to treat feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorder. The second presentation will compare descriptive and functional analyses in the treatment of feeding disorders. The third presenter will discuss the use of alternative bite presentation methods in the treatment of expulsion and packing. The final presenter will discuss the use of response blocking to distinguish between motivational and skill deficits in pediatric feeding disorders.

Keyword(s): feeding disorders, food refusal, food selectivity
 

Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Applied Behavior Analysis Versus Wait-List Control

VIVIAN F IBANEZ (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kathryn M. Peterson (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display feeding problems, and food selectivity, defined as consumption of a limited variety of foods (Schreck, Williams, & Smith, 2004), is the most commonly reported feeding problem. Results of studies have shown that treatments based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) are effective as treatment for feeding disorders in the general pediatric population (e.g., Piazza, Patel, Gulotta, Sevin, & Layer, 2003; Volkert & Piazza, 2012). Although ABA treatments have empirical support for feeding problems, and ABA also has empirical support for the treatment of the core symptoms of ASD, there are no ABA randomized clinical trials with a well-defined cohort of children with ASD and food selectivity. We conducted a randomized clinical trial of ABA treatment of food selectivity in children with ASD relative to a wait-list control group. We randomly assigned 3 children to ABA and 3 children to a wait-list group and compared the effects of treatment in a multiple baseline design across novel, healthy groupings of foods. Results demonstrated that ABA treatment increased acceptance of all food groupings for all six children who participated in the study.

 
Comparison of Descriptive and Functional Analyses in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
JESSICA ASHLEY KEANE (UNCW), Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Catherine Elizabeth Graham (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jessica Woolson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Hannah Edwardson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Ball (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Natalie Jones (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Previous research on the correspondence between hypotheses derived from descriptive and functional analyses has shown mixed findings (e.g., Lalli et al., 1993; Lerman & Iwata, 1993; Thompson & Iwata, 2007). Further, studies comparing the relative effects of treatments matched to each hypothesis when results of these analyses do not correspond are scarce. To our knowledge, no studies to date have conducted a systematic comparison of descriptive and functional analyses outcomes in the treatment of pediatric feeding problems. Therefore, we compared the results of a descriptive analysis and caregiver- and therapist-conducted functional analyses of the inappropriate mealtime behavior of three children with feeding disorders. Then, using a reversal design, we compared treatments matched to the results of each analysis. Results of the descriptive and functional analyses did not correspond for any of the children. Results of the subsequent treatment evaluations showed that treatments matched to the functional analysis were more effective for all children. Interobserver agreement was collected on at least 33% of sessions. Agreement was above 80% for each child. Clinical implications of these findings will be discussed.
 
An Evaluation of Alternative Bite Presentations in the Treatment of Feeding Difficulties
HAILEY ORMAND (Marcus Autism Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (The Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Interventions utilizing nonremoval procedures and reinforcement have yielded positive outcomes, including increased acceptance and decreased inappropriate mealtime behavior, in the treatment of feeding difficulties (e.g., Patel, Piazza, Martinez, Volkert, & Santana, 2002; Piazza, Patel, Gulotta, Sevin, & Layer, 2003; Reed et al., 2004). However, challenging behaviors (i.e., expels, packs) often persist even after a bite is accepted. Alternative bite presentations, such as depositing bites with a flipped spoon or Nuk, are antecedent manipulations that have been shown to reduce these behaviors for children who are unsuccessful with bites presented on an upright spoon (e.g., Sharp, Harker, & Jaquess, 2010). The current study expands on past research examining alternative bite presentations by providing a review of pediatric cases from an intensive day-treatment feeding program to determine the frequency with which these presentations are utilized clinically. We will present descriptive information about the assessment and/or treatment protocols implemented with these individuals and summarize observed outcomes by topography. Finally, the implications of alternative bite presentations in the treatment of pediatric feeding disorders will be considered.
 

Using Response Blocking to Distinguish Between Motivational and Skill Deficits in Pediatric Feeding Disorders

ALEC BERNSTEIN (University of Kansas), Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University), Courtney Moore (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (University of Kansas)
Abstract:

Children typically gain the skills to appropriately feed themselves by the age of two years (Carruth et al., 2004). Those whose skills are delayed have statistically been shown to consume less nutrients (Carruth et al., 2004) and are at risk for both developmental and growth delays (Manikam & Perman, 2000; O?Brien et al., 1991). Though previous research has assessed a multitude of treatments for feeding delays and disorders (Cooper et al., 1995; Manikam & Perman, 2000; Piazza & Carroll-Hernandez, 2004), little research has evaluated whether such delays are maintained by motivational or skill deficits. The current study describes the treatment of age-inappropriate self-feeding skills for four children with developmental disabilities. Response blocking was used to determine whether the absence of appropriate self-feeding was a motivational or skill deficit. Results of response blocking for one child suggest a motivational deficit, whereas results for the other three children suggest a skill deficit. Results will be discussed in terms of response blocking as an assessment procedure as well as backward chaining as a procedure for increasing self-feeding skills.

 
 
Symposium #85
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating New Approaches to Observational Measurement of Problem Behavior in Applied Settings
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Johanna Staubitz (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
CE Instructor: Johanna Staubitz, M.Ed.
Abstract: Advances in observational measurement techniques have the potential to improve the quality and feasibility of direct observation data as they relate to the assessment and treatment of problem behavior. This symposium includes four data-based studies on new approaches to measuring problem behavior and behavior-environment contingencies. First, Doyle et al. will present an evaluation of correspondence between systematic direct observation and a practical alternative (Direct Behavior Rating) for evaluating treatment effects on problem behavior. The next three presentations will focus on methods of estimating behavior-environment contingencies from direct observation data. Staubitz & Lloyd will share results of a study comparing the validity of six methods of sequential analysis applied to observational data with programmed response-reinforcer contingencies. Courtemanche et al. will share results of a study applying one of these sequential analysis methods to estimate contingencies for individuals with chronic self-injury in community settings. Finally, Valdovinos et al. will present results of a study investigating the role of controlling for base rates when estimating contingencies between problem behavior and environmental events in natural settings. All four presentations represent innovative observational measurement strategies that have the potential to improve the quality and/or feasibility of direct measures of problem behavior in applied settings.
Keyword(s): con