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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.

12th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2018

Program by Day for Sunday, February 4, 2018


 

Workshop #W1
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
A Primer on the Assessment and Treatment of Food Refusal: Interdisciplinary Advantages and Practical Considerations
Sunday, February 4, 2018
9:30 AM–12:20 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Carrie S. W. Borrero, Ph.D.
CARRIE S. W. BORRERO (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Dr. Borrero received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida (UF) in 2006. In 2007, she assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At UF, Dr. Borrero continued her training in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. Dr. Borrero’s clinical experiences and training have continued since earning her degree, although her interests have shifted to the area of pediatric food refusal. In her current position, Dr. Borrero works in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at Kennedy Krieger Institute, an intensive program designed to treat young children who exhibit severe food refusal. As such, in recent years, Dr. Borrero’s research has focused heavily on eating difficulties, specifically evaluating methods to increase food consumption and decrease inappropriate mealtime behavior. Dr. Borrero currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Modification, and Behavioral Development Bulletin and has served as a Guest Associate Editor for Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of the Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis and an Adjunct Instructor at UMBC.
Description: Severe food refusal can be a relatively common concern for parents with young children, particularly those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been reported that as high as 90% of children with ASD have some form of food refusal or selectivity (Kodak & Piazza, 2008). Food refusal and selectivity are associated with a child experiencing severe difficulties consuming adequate nutrition by mouth, and can often be a significant source for stress in the home. Although the causes may not be identifiable in all cases, pediatric food refusal can be related to physiological, developmental, and environment factors, and can benefit from a behavior analytic approach. Emphasis on a behavior analytic interpretation of the emergence of food refusal, and an approach to assessment and treatment will be discussed.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) describe potential factors related to pediatric food refusal; (2)understand how pediatric food refusal is assessed from a behavior analytic perspective; (3) understand how pediatric food refusal is treated from a behavior analytic perspective; (4) describe how an interdisciplinary team may approach pediatric food refusal.
Activities: Instructional strategies include lecture and discussion.
Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
 
Workshop #W2
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP — 
Supervision
The Behavior Analyst as Supervisor: Creating Advanced Supervision and Mentoring Repertoires
Sunday, February 4, 2018
2:00 PM–4:50 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D.
LINDA A. LEBLANC (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)
Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Licensed Psychologist is the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting.  She previously served as a professor at Claremont McKenna College, Western Michigan University and Auburn University and as the Executive Director of Trumpet Behavioral Health. She has published over 100 articles and book chapters on topics such as behavioral treatment of autism, technology-based behavioral interventions, behavioral gerontology, supervision and mentorship, and systems development in human services. Dr. LeBlanc is an Associate Editor for Behavior Analysis in Practice and the Literature Review Editor for Education and Treatment of Children.  She has previously served as an Associate Editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.  She is the 2016 recipient of the American Psychological Association Nathan H. Azrin Award for Distinguished Contribution in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Description: Practicing behavior analysts and behavior analysts in academic settings often provide supervision for young professionals who are pursuing certification as a behavior analyst. Effective supervision is critical to the quality of ongoing behavioral services, the professional development of the supervisee, the continued growth of the supervisor, and the overall development of our field and its practice. Though there are now training and CEU requirements for supervising those who are accruing hours towards the experience requirement for certification, few resources exist to guide supervisor activities and recommended practice. This workshop summarizes five overarching recommended practices for supervision with detailed strategies and resources for structuring the supervisory experience and ongoing mentorship. Examples are provided for how to: create expectations for supervisees, use positive strategies for managing performance, teach structured clinical-decision making and problem-solving skills, and arranging to be a mentor and to be mentored. Examples from the presenters history with mentorship are presented and analyzed.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees will be able to: (1) list the 5 recommended practices for supervision; (2) describe several critical components of an effective supervision contract; (3) describe positive strategies for managing supervisee performance; (4) identify behaviors that contribute to a positive long-term supervisory and mentoring relationship.
Activities: Instructional strategies include lecture and discussion.
Audience: This workshop is targeted at board certified behavior analysts who are supervisors or who will become supervisors in the future. All are welcome.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced
 
Poster Session #1
Sunday, February 4, 2018
6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Central Hall
AUT
001. Targeting Academic Compliance Using Sight Words Through Ratio Reinforcement Scheduling for a Child With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AARON CHRISTOPHER WHITE (Mississippi State University ), Jonathan Tritley (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Reinforcement has long been recognized as an effective method for gaining compliance in a various array of settings and tasks. However, there is limited research examining the effectiveness of reinforcement scheduling methods used in the academic setting gain access to client compliance in an academic task. There is even less research targeting compliance in the academic setting of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using an ABAB design, the study demonstrated improved compliance in academic tasks of a child with ASD through scheduled 1:1 reinforcement and 2:1 reinforcement during sight word reading engagement. During baseline, initially the client was anticipating reinforcement. Once reinforcement was not given, the compliance dropped to zero percent. Reinforcement was given between each word if the client tried to say the word during the first intervention phase. Withdraw was implemented, and the clients compliance dropped back down to zero percent. In the second intervention phase, the client was given reinforcement between every two words. Reinforcement scheduling with a gradual fade proved to be an effective method of gaining compliance to sight word reading engagement.
 
002. Targeting Sight Words Through Brief Experimental Analysis and Evidence-Based Intervention for a Child With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AARON CHRISTOPHER WHITE (Mississippi State University ), Jonathan Tritley (Mississippi State University ), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Traditional Drill and Practice (TDP) has been recognized as an effect intervention for improving sight word accuracy. There is limited research measuring sight word accuracy using TDP without reinforcement. Also, there is limited research examining the effectiveness of TDP in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thus, the purpose of study was to improve sight word accuracy through implementing a brief experimental analysis (BEA) and evidence-based interventions. First, to gain compliance throughout the sessions, iPad reinforcement was given at the end of each session contingent on the completion of the task given that day. Second, the clinician conducted a BEA by administering TDP with and without reinforcement. A control condition was also administered in the BEA. Following the BEA, TDP with reinforcement was administered for the rest of the sessions, because TDP with reinforcement was more effective than the TDP without reinforcement until the client accurately recalled 100% sight words three consecutive times.
 
003. Improving Sight Word Identification ina Non-Verbal Child Using Incremental Rehearsal
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN ANDERSON (Mississippi State University), Shengtian Wu (Mississippi State University), Liddie McPhail (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Mule et al. 2015 found Incremental Rehearsal (IR) to be effective for teaching sight words to children; however, previous studies have not applied IR to non-verbal children with autism, as the learners typically need to verbally respond to an interventionist during IR. Thus, the current study aims at increasing sight words acquisition of a 5-year old non-verbal child with autism using an adapted IR. The study utilized the ABAB single subject design. The baseline was established by identifying known and unknown words. The intervention started by modeling an unknown word. Then, 1 unknown word among 4 known words were presented, and the participant was given three opportunities to identify all of the 5 words by pointing to the words mentioned by the clinician. Once the client could identify the unknown word correctly 3 times it was considered known. This was repeated with each unknown word until the client could identify the entire set of sight words with 80% accuracy. The adapted IR was very effective, as evidenced by the Percentages of Non-overlapping data were 100 in both intervention phases. Limitations and future direction will be discussed.
 
004. Pairing Positive Reinforcement With Traditional Drill and Practice to Increase Sight Word Identification
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW FERRIGNO (Mississippi State University ), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University ), Liddie McPhail (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Traditional drill and practice (TDP) incorporates the use of flashcards in order to help increase a students sight-word recognition. This technique is used when a student cannot immediately correctly identify a group of sight words presented to them (Mule, Volpe, Fefer, Leslie, & Luiselli, 2015). TDP is a well-studied exercise, but using this technique with a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is understudied. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to expand the literature to include children with ASD. A simple phase change design was used to explore the implementation of TDP. The student was trained using 40 unknown sight words across four phases of instruction. While preliminary, TDP was effective relative to baseline. This was further substantiated with progress monitoring procedures. Limitations and future direction will be discussed.
 
005. Using a Brief Experimental Analyses to Improve Reading Fluency With a Child With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW FERRIGNO (Mississippi State University ), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Repeated reading (RR) and listening passage preview (LPP) have been demonstrated to be effective for increasing a students reading fluency (Lee & Yoon, 2017). Paired reading (PR) has also been shown to be effective when helping improve a students reading fluency (Sharp & Skinner, 2008). While each has been extensively studied in the literature, there is little exploration using these interventions for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this study was compare the effectiveness of each intervention for a child with autism using brief experimental analysis procedures. An alternating treatment design was used to compare the interventions. Overall, the student did better across all interventions relative to baseline; however, there was little differentiation amongst the interventions themselves. Progress monitoring data provided further evidence that the student improvement during the interventions. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.
 
006. Examining the Effectiveness of Preschool Life Skills in Nonverbal Children With Autism
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
ANNE H LIPSCOMB (Mississippi State University), Alexander Clarke (Mississippi State University), Irmarie Cruz-López (Mississippi State University), Emily Seals Mathis (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Preschool Life Skills (PLS) is an empirically supported comprehensive program designed to foster prosocial skills in preschool children. PLS contains a sequence of thirteen skills that are critical to early school success and are taught using a class-wide approach. Although PLS has been extensively investigated across preschool Head Start settings, the literature contains limited research exploring the effectiveness of PLS in alternative settings and among children with disabilities. Thus, the current study aimed to expand the literature by examining the effectiveness of PLS in nonverbal children (ages 3 to 6) with Autism Spectrum Disorder over a four-week summer behavioral program at a university based clinic. Further, the current study examined which setting (i.e., class-wide, small group, or individual) was most effective in promoting independent or spontaneous emissions of these PLS prosocial skills within this population. The first five PLS skills were taught in sequence during a class-wide, small group, and individual circle time each day via instruction, modeling, role-play, and feedback. Observations were then conducted during evocative situations to measure the frequency of preschool life skills and problem behaviors. A multiple probe design was used to examine the effectiveness of PLS across skills and settings in nonverbal children with Autism.
 
007. Evaluating the Effect of Positive Reinforcement and Visual Timer on Increasing Task Compliance
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SHENGTIAN WU (Mississippi State University), Aaron Christopher White (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Non-compliance, defined as failure to follow directions, is one of the most prevalent problem behaviors among preschool children (Fischetti et al., 2012). Following directions is considered a crucial factor for kindergarten readiness and academic success in a survey of over 3,000 of kindergarten teachers (Lin, Lawrence, & Gorrell, 2003). Children with autism commonly face more challenges in following directions in the classroom (e.g., Rutter, Bailey, & Lord, 2003). While various tactics have been used to decrease non-compliant behaviors, there are limited studies that target the duration of task compliance for children with autism. This study implemented positive reinforcement (e.g., contingent reward) and visual assistance (i.e., timer) and utilized a changing criterion single subject design to increase the rate and duration of compliance for a 5-year old child with autism. As a result of the preliminary data, there was 100% compliance for two consecutive intervention sessions and the duration of compliance was also higher than the baseline duration of compliance. Data collection is ongoing.
 
008. A Comparison of Contingent and Non-Contingent Reinforcement for Increasing Mands in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDER CLARKE (Mississippi State University), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University), Margaret Bernheim Powell (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Delays in speech are one of the most common features in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; Mitchell et al., 2006). Children with delays in speech often engage in pointing, grabbing, leading and problem behaviors before engaging in vocal mands (Drasgow, Halle, & Ostrosky, 1998). The current study aimed to test a low cost and efficient intervention by comparing the effects of contingent reinforcement and noncontingent reinforcement to increase mands. This study included three children diagnosed with ASD who displayed with communication delays. An alternating treatments design was used to compare the cumulative effects of contingent reinforcement (CR) with question present and noncontingent reinforcement with question present (NCR) on mand training; however, relative to a baseline control, both interventions were effective. Data suggest no significant difference exists between contingent reinforcement and non-contingent reinforcement on increasing spontaneous mands. Future directions and limitations will also be discussed.
 
009. Teaching a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Label Emotions
Domain: Applied Research
MARGARET BERNHEIM POWELL (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: One major characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction. This can include deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, and deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships. A problem that many with ASD face at the root of these social deficits is difficulty understanding emotions. The present study replicated methods from Conallen and Reed's (2016) study to effectively teach a child with ASD to label the emotions of others. Through an ABB'B"A design with follow-up generalization probes, the participant will be taught to name simple emotions (e.g., happy, sad, mad), match these emotions to appropriate illustrated situations, generalize these emotions to new situations, and label his own emotions. In the original study, participants were between the ages of 6 and 9, but the present study's participant was 11 years old. Preliminary data indicate that prompting the participant to match an emotion to the correct illustrated situation resulted in an immediate increase in percentage of correct matching. Further, once prompts were taken away and the participant had to independently match the emotion to the correct illustrated situation, percentage correct was still at a level higher than baseline.
 
010. A Social Play Skills Intervention for Early Elementary Children With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
MARGARET BERNHEIM POWELL (Mississippi State University), Chathuri Illapperuma (Mississippi State University), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University), Adam Wesleoh (Mississippi State University), Matthew Ferrigno (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Social play is a fundamental aspect of children's social-emotional and cognitive development from birth. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) typically experience difficulties with this from early on in their childhood due to the nature of the disorder. ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by both social communication and interaction deficits, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and/or activities. These characteristics of ASD make imaginative play and forming friendships through social play more difficult for children with ASD as compared to their typically developing peers. The present study used a multiple baseline design across skills to assess the effectiveness of a social play skills intervention package on increasing social play skills in early elementary aged children with ASD. The intervention package included the use of behavioral skills training and a token economy. The targeted play skills were taken from the "Playing a Game" lesson from McGinnis and Goldstein's evidence-based "Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child" manual used to teach essential prosocial skills to elementary aged children. Preliminary data shows that this behavior intervention package can be effective in increasing targeted play skills in children with ASD.
 
011. Examining the Effectiveness of Preschool Life Skills in Verbal Children With Autism
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY SEALS MATHIS (Mississippi State University), Whitney Driskell (Mississippi State University), Margaret Bernheim Powell (Mississippi State University), Anne H Lipscomb (Mississippi State Univsersity), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Preschool Life Skills (PLS) is an empirically supported comprehensive program designed to foster prosocial skills in preschool children. PLS contains a sequence of thirteen skills that are critical to early school success and are taught using a class-wide approach. Although PLS has been extensively investigated across preschool Head Start settings, the literature contains limited research exploring the effectiveness of PLS in alternative settings and among children with disabilities. Thus, the current study aimed to expand the literature by examining the effectiveness of PLS in verbal children (ages 3 to 6) with Autism Spectrum Disorder over a four-week summer behavioral program at a university based clinic. Further, the current study examined which setting (i.e., class-wide, small group, or individual) was most effective in promoting independent or spontaneous emissions of these PLS prosocial skills within this population. The first five PLS skills were taught in sequence during a class-wide, small group, and individual circle time each day via instruction, modeling, role-play, and feedback. Observations were then conducted during evocative situations to measure the frequency of preschool life skills and problem behaviors. A multiple probe design was used to examine the effectiveness of PLS across skills and settings in verbal children with Autism.
 
012. Lets Play! A Play-Based Social Skills Intervention for Elementary Aged Children With Autism
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY DRISKELL (Student; Mississippi State University), Irmarie Cruz-López (Student; Mississippi State University), Shengtian Wu (Student; Mississippi State University), Alexander Clarke (Student; Mississippi State University ), Megan Anderson (Student; Mississippi State University ), Nashedra Barry (Student; Mississippi State Unviersity ), Savannah Trice (Student; Mississippi State University ), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Play based skills are necessary for elementary aged children to gain access to play with same aged peers. In the elementary age group (age 7-10) these games can vary but a wide variety of skills are needed to be successful to engage in playing the game. This intervention aimed at teaching necessary play based skills to children with Autism. Students received intervention at an Academic and Behavior clinic four days a week for four weeks and received social skill intervention for one hour a day each day. The skills taught included setting up the game, discussing the rules, deciding who should go first, waiting turn, showing good sportsmanship, and cleaning up the game. An activity phase was conducted where students were able to earn tokens for appropriate play based skills as well as a free play condition where students were encouraged to use the skills taught but were not reinforced for engaging in skills. A multiple baseline design was used to teach skills one at a time across a four-week period. Results indicated that the activity phase of the intervention was more successful than the free play phase and also that the level of functioning of students impacted performance of play based skills.
 
013. Using Parent Consultation to Toiling Skills
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
WHITNEY DRISKELL (Student; Mississippi State University ), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: A number of children with autism and related disabilities present with toiling issues (Stanberry-Beal et al., 2014), which may persist into adolescents. While many different interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in the literature, there are fewer studies focusing on parent consultation as the primary mechanism for treatment. The current study focused on parent consultation to improve toileting in a twelve-year old female with autism. A simple phase change design was used to explore chaining and shaping of small behavioral changes in her changing routine to evolve into independent toilet sitting and hopefully urinary output.
 
014. Targeting Quantity Discrimination Manipulatives for a Child With Autism and Developmental Delay
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH STRUNA (Mississippi State University ), Shengtian Wu (Mississippi State University ), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: One of the strongest predictors of academic success in both reading and mathematics is mathematic achievement (Duncan et al., 2007). In order to be successful in mathematics one must have a solid foundation in early numeracy skills. Overall, there is limited research examining the effectiveness of Quantity Discrimination. This is particularly true for children with autism. The current student used a simple phase change design to explore the use of manipulative for improving quantity discrimination in a child with ASD. The child was taught to use manipulatives to discriminate various number quantities. Preliminary results suggest the child improved using the intervention relative to baseline. Future directions and limitations will be discussed.
 
015. Stranger Danger: An Anti-Abduction Intervention for a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
HAILEY RIPPLE (Mississippi State University), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Abstract: Due to social skill and communication deficits, children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be more susceptible to lures or suggestions of strangers (Gunby, Carr & Leblanc, 2010) because they may fail to recognize and avoid the danger of the situation (Greenspan, Loughlin, & Black, 2001). The current study aimed to teach a 5 year-old male with ASD prerequisite anti-abduction strategies including 1) identifying himself by his first and last name and 2) verbally identifying his mother and father using errorless learning and corrective feedback. A simple phase change design was used. Identification by his first and last name resulted in an upward trend that appeared to be stabilizing at 100% accuracy. Results of the intervention targeting the participants ability to identify his parents across known and unknown individuals and by their first names indicated mastery. Phase 4 involved a delay in prompting when the asking the participant to identify his parents by their names. Preliminary results indicate that with the delay, the participant successfully identified his parents by their first names. Results indicated using errorless learning and corrective feedback might be effective in increasing these skills.
 
016. Teaching Basic Hierarchical Relations by Physical Attributes for Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
MINA ROHAIL (Southern Illinois University), Alysse A Cepeda (Southern Illinois University), Lindsey Renee Ellenberger (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is an account of human language and cognition based off the science of behavior. Within the philosophy of RFT, there is a variety of relational frames that account for human language. Within this account, a complex verbal operant described by Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche (2001) is hierarchical responding. The frame of hierarchy includes relations in which certain things are contained within others, for example, part-whole or attribute-of, relationships. There is a current lack of research on this complex relational frame family within the literature. The present study used a single-subject multiple baseline design to evaluate a procedure promoting derived hierarchical skills in children with autism. Children were taught to identify how to sort objects based on attributes such as weight, color, or size. This program targeted the acquisition of identifying hierarchical relations through multiple features of objects. The results suggest that children with autism can sort items following a discriminative stimulus within a frame of hierarchy when presented with items of various attributes.
 
017. Increasing On-Task Behavior Using Discrimination Training A Case-Study
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
SHADEN KASSAR (Southern Illinois University; ASD Life ABA Therapy), Moäz Kassar (Governors State University; ASD Life; Project Org and Design Studio), Tracy McKinney (Georgia State University)
Abstract: Increasing on-task behavior in an adult with autism by separating the work and play environments is the goal here. Many adults with autism, especially higher functioning adults, make it to the workforce and to higher educational institutions. However, even with their success, they still face other challenges like staying on task, being organized, following up with assigned tasks, and meeting deadlines. The basis for this experiment was to see if productivity could go up with different environmental discriminative stimuli (SD), and more specifically different computers. One computer was designated strictly for academic and productive purposes and one for entertainment purposes. Different computers will become different SDs, in their presence the behavior will more likely occur. This will lead to reduced distraction during times of productivity, which is what this experiment is meant to test. Data was taken by using a time table that marked productivity for certain intervals (5-minute whole intervals). If any distractions occurred at all during the given interval by the time it ended, it was marked incorrect. At the end of the period of attempted productivity, the correct intervals are compared with the incorrect intervals to give a productivity index. This is recorded for the given day. Examples are provided below, in which green marks correct intervals and red marks incorrect intervals. The expected results from the beginning are that this method will work to reduce distracted thoughts and actions during periods of productivity. This data will only be taken during attempts and being productive as they are the main periods of interest, and distraction will occur of course when there is no defined productive goal. The participant in the current case study is a 21-year-old adult with autism, Frank. He is a college student who is majoring in computer science and mathematics. He develops computer programs and teaches mathematics for a living. The nature of his work dictates that he spends most of his day working on his computer; however, he struggles with meeting deadlines due to being distracted with video games and surfing the web on his computer. Frank’s main concern is graduating on time. Frank is capable of getting good grades; however, his distractibility is getting in the way of him passing his classes. Baseline data was taken using his own laptop. The intervention started when he was given another device and asked to use it for productivity only.
 
018. Comparing Directly Implemented and Indirect Assessments of Verbal Abilities Using the PEAK Direct Training and Generalization Pre-Assessments
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BECKY BARRON (Southern Illinois University), Dana Paliliunas (Southern Illinois University), Linda Muckey (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between the PEAK-Direct Training Pre-Assessment (PEAK-DT-PA) and the PEAK-Generalization Pre-Assessment (PEAK-G-PA) with the corresponding indirect assessments based on parent and therapist reports. Participants were administered the PEAK-DT-PA and PEAK-G-PA. Parents and therapist completed a 184-item skills checklist for each of the corresponding modules. The results of the study suggest that there was a strong correlation between the pre-assessments and the indirect reports from both the parents and the therapists for each module. Additional correlations and interrater reliability across factors and individual test items were also investigated. Finally, trends in interrater reliability between caregiver report and direct assessments suggest that caregivers reporting for participants with lower overall scores more reliably identified if their child had a deficit with an advanced skill, but could less reliably identify if their child had a more basic skill. The opposite trend was found for caregivers reporting on participants with greater overalls scores. Implications of these findings for clinicians and future research are discussed.
 
019. Teaching Children With Autism to Identify Private Events of Others in Context
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
AYLA SCHMICK (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Many children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties identifying and labeling feelings or emotions of other individuals. This becomes increasing more complex when factoring in the context to which the behavior is occurring. The current study sought to use relational training to teach the identification of private events of others in context to three adolescent males all diagnosed with ASD. In a multi-element design, the participants were trained to tact private events of others in context using novel video-based scenarios. Two of the three participants were able to reach mastery criteria and maintain their responding for all trained, derived, and transformation of stimulus function relations. The third participant required multiple exemplar training of novel stimuli to increase his responding for all of the video-based scenarios. The results of the study support the utility of relational training for teaching children with autism to identify private events of others in context.
 
020. Non-Arbitrary Here-There Deictic Relational Training for Individuals With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
YESENIA ARREGUIN (Southern Illinois University), Sarah Cheyanne Ashe (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a behavior analytic approach which focuses on the acquisition of human language and cognition. Within RFT, there are relational frames which includes deictic relations that are the basis of perspective-taking. There has been limited research regarding deictic frames and individuals with autism and other disabilities. The current study utilized perspective-taking tasks within a frame of here-there in order to evaluate the participants ability to derive deictic relations. A multiple baseline design across three participants with an embedded multiple probe was used. Individuals with autism were trained to complete perspective-taking tasks and were evaluated based on their ability to derive non-arbitrary relations and a transformation of stimulus function in real world applications. The results suggest that relational training can be utilized to teach individuals with autism to learn non-arbitrary deictic relations within a frame of here-there. Together, future research should evaluate the effectiveness of single-reversal deictic frames in more complex situations.
 
021. The Effects of a Behavioral Training Package on the Acquisition of Aquatic Skills
Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY ERIN WRIGHT (Quest Inc.), Amber Lampert (Quest Inc.; Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The use of behavioral training packages have been found effective in teaching a variety of skills to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The current study evaluated the effects of a behavioral training package on the acquisition of aquatic skills for 4 participants diagnosed with ASD. Prior to treatment, each participant was evaluated using the American Red Cross level 1 and level 2 Learn-to-Swim criteria. Skills taught included: bobbing, retrieving items from the pool floor, rotary breathing, rotating from front to back, floating on front, kicking, blowing bubbles, and movement along pool edge. Baseline data showed that targeted skills were at 0% correct. The behavioral training package involved prompting/fading, discrete trial training, chaining, shaping, and preferred activities contingent on correct responses. Treatment was evaluated using a multiple baseline across skills. Results showed that the percentage correct increased to 100% for all skills. Moreover, there was a mean increase in the American Red Cross evaluation in performance across 5 subjects.
 
022. A Comparison of Within and Across Session Prompting Procedures for Teaching Aquatic Skills to Individuals With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY ERIN WRIGHT (Quest Inc.; Quest Swims)
Abstract: A variety of prompting procedures have been used to aid in the acquisition of aquatic skills. The effectiveness of within-session and across-session variations of prompting procedures for teaching aquatic skills was evaluated for one participant diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first variation, within session, consisted of varying prompts within session contingent on correct responding. The second variation, across session, consisted of using most-to-least prompting and decreasing the prompt level based on a predetermined number of correct trials (i.e., changing the prompts across sessions). Prior to implementation of both treatments, the participant was evaluated using American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim level 1 and level 2 criteria. Both treatments were evaluated using a multiple baseline across skills. Data indicated that both variations were effective on the acquisition of aquatic skills; however, varying prompts within session led to a quicker rate of acquisition. Implications for using varied prompts during swimming instruction of clients with ASD is discussed.
 
023. Club '57: Applied Behavior Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA M HINMAN (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Sebastian Garcia- Zambrano Zambrano (Southern Illinois University), William Root (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Daniel Ray Grisham (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale ), Victoria Diane Hutchinson (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Molly Ann Lamb (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Miranda Morton (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Teens and adults with high functioning autism spectrum disorder often experience severe mental health difficulties and social isolation (Brugha et al., 2012; Matson & Williams, 2014). Many individuals with ASD often engage in rigid behavioral routines that may make it difficult to effectively adapt and respond to unforeseen changes in life, which may result in ill-adaptive avoidance behaviors in the future, all characteristics of psychological inflexibility (Pahnke, Lundgren, Hursti & Hirvikoski, 2013). The purpose of Club 57 is to provide an environment where teens and adults with ASD meet and socialize with peers, while receiving Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) services that promote engagement in behavioral repertoires consistent with valued living. Between February and June, Club 57 served a total of 31 individuals ranging in age from 12 to 28 years old. Pre/Posttest assessments were administered to 14 participants that indirectly measured levels of psychological inflexibility, experiential avoidance, social anxiety, and cognitive fusion. Overall, analyses of the assessment results found a statistically significant different in responses for three of the four assessments, suggesting an overall improvement in psychological flexibility. Given the number of teens and adults with ASD that experience anxiety, depression, and social isolation, programming that directly addresses these experiences will be discussed.
 
024. Acceptance and Commitment Training's Affect on Negative Thoughts: Changing the Verbal Self Statements and Physiological Responses of Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA M HINMAN (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with adolescents and young adults with autism to change the function of verbal statements made about the self while talking about a negative thought. Throughout the study, participants will wear an Empatica wristband measuring physiological responses. Participants will determine a negative thought they have about themselves and discuss why they believe the thought is true. Participants will then receive a version of ACT and be asked to talk about the same negative thought. Verbal statements about the self and physiological measures before and after ACT will be compared. Preliminary anecdotal results for three typically developing adults suggest that ACT was effective in increasing self-as-context statements and decreasing self-as-content and reason giving statements. Additionally, the physiological data show stabilization while discussing the negative thought after receiving ACT, suggesting that ACT can change the function of verbal statements and affect physiological responses. While little research has been done on using ACT with adolescents and young adults with autism, the preliminary and expected results of this study suggest a clinical utility of ACT to improve the way individuals with autism interact with their thoughts.
 
025. Establishing Relations of Opposition Using Emotions for Children With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA BOOTH (Southern Illinois University), Kaitlyn LeeAnn Maston (Southern Illinois University), Dana Paliliunas (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Relational Training promotes the development of derived language and cognitive skills for children with autism or related disabilities. Relational Frame Theory is the behavior analytic perspective of human language and cognition that focuses on these derivations of language skills through families of relational frames. The present study evaluated the efficacy of a training procedure teaching the relational frame of opposition as well as promoting the derivation of untrained relations for children with autism. A multiple-baseline design was conducted across three participants was designed to teach the oppositional frame using culturally relevant stimuli for emotions. Furthermore, probes were conducted across baseline and treatment phases to test for the transformation of stimulus function for each participant. The results of the initial analysis indicated that the participants acquired the skill and support the efficacy and usefulness of relational training. Finally, these results have implications that advance the technologies within the field of behavior analysis.
 
026. Arbitrary Comparative Relations and Transformation to Non-Arbitrary Comparative Properties in Individuals With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CALEB STANLEY (Southern Illinois University), Ayla Schmick (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Becky Barron (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory provides a behavioral account of language development that emphasizes non-arbitrary and arbitrary relations among stimuli. Of the applied literature surrounding derived stimulus relations, approximately 73% has evaluated developing coordinated relations; however, comparatively fewer studies have evaluated facilitating the development of other relational frame families. Facilitating the development of derived stimulus relations can have important benefits for individuals with deficits in their verbal repertoires. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate if relational training of arbitrarily applicable comparative relations conducted with two individuals with autism resulted in emergent, untrained combinatorially entailed arbitrarily relations. In addition, the study evaluated whether the function of combinatorially entailed arbitrary stimuli were transformed in terms of non-arbitrary stimulus properties across the participants. Two multiple-baseline studies were conducted to evaluate a set of procedures using arbitrary and non-arbitrary comparative stimuli. The percentage of correct responses during both studies baseline phases were below chance level of responding, but with successive training the participants were able to demonstrate the directly trained r and r relations, as well as the combinatorially entailed r and r relations. Additionally, both participants were able to match the arbitrary stimuli with non-arbitrary stimulus properties following training.
 
027. The Impact of Mindfulness Skills on Interactions Between Direct Care Staff and Adults With Developmental Disabilities
Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA L CHANCEY (Southern Illinois University of Carbondale), Cynthia Weihl (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Donnell McCauley (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Kazu Takeguchi (Specialized Training for Adult RehabiliTation (S.T.A.R.T.)), William Root (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Positive staff interactions with clients can be difficult to maintain when working with adults with developmental disabilities who display challenging behavior. Research findings have demonstrated a common display of challenging behaviors within this population and some of the staff that work with these individuals display less than positive interactions which has led researchers to investigate the use of several behavioral approaches to improve staff interactions. One intervention that has been explored is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); however, there is limited research in applying ACT to this problem. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of ACT, specifically the use of mindfulness techniques in improving staff interactions towards developmentally disabled clients. Results of this study revealed that mindfulness techniques were effective at improving staff interactions towards clients, as indicated by an increased number of positive staff interactions, with continued practice of these behaviors during maintenance probes.
 
028. Evaluating the Sequential Effects of Visual-Visual Training and Auditory-Visual Training on Stimulus Equivalence Relations and Naming Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA DIANE HUTCHINSON (Southern Illinois University), William Root (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University), Jessica M Hinman (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Understanding the development of language is vital to helping those with language delays or developmental disabilities acquire an adaptive verbal repertoire. Previous research has focused on stimulus equivalence as a means of acquiring generative language (Sidman & Tailby, 1982). One thing thats been shown to improve the processes of generalized imitation and stimulus equivalence is the behavior of Naming (Greer & Longano, 2010). The current study evaluated the differences between visual-visual and auditory-visual training of stimulus relations on acquisition of derived relations using adults with developmental disabilities. A naming assessment was also conducted to evaluate whether participants could acquire the skill of naming stimuli. Two of the four participants acquired the derived stimulus relations and provided names for all or most of the stimuli. The other two participants were not able to derive the stimulus relation but also could not provide a name for most or all the stimuli. This demonstrates the importance of naming behavior for the acquisition and development of language. Participants generally acquired the trained relations at a faster rate during auditory-visual training, providing evidence for the importance of naming stimuli during training procedures when teaching language skills. Future avenues of research and practice will be discussed.
 
029. The Link Between Applied Behavior Analysis and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Increasing Social Skills in Adolescents and Young Adults With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIA BAIRES (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Abstract: Social skills are a common deficit in repertoires of individuals with autism. Common skills include initiating conversations, understanding facial expressions, and detecting sarcasm. While there is literature focusing on strengthening social skills of individuals with autism, the vast majority concentrates on children. These children eventually proceed through adolescence and adulthood. Thus, it is important to expand the literature regarding social skills in adolescents and young adults with autism due to the limited research within the population. Furthermore, few, if any, researchers have combined traditional behavior analytic methods with those of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to develop a curriculum targeting social skills. Participants of the current study will be taught particular social skills via task analyses while utilizing acceptance and mindfulness strategies. The ACT component will refine participants skills in accepting private events pertaining to the social skill, developing greater clarity regarding their personal values, and committing to behavior change. Preliminary data suggests that all participants have deficits in turn taking and flexibility during conversations. Additionally, they possess the language skills necessary for ACT interventions. Progress regarding mastery of skills will be measured via a multiple-probe across participants design. Implications regarding results from the treatment package will be further discussed.
 
030. Not the Toilet Lid! Assessment and Treatment of Automatically Maintained Disruption Toward Toilet Lid Covers
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ARTHUR GLENN DOWDY (Melmark; Temple University), Jennifer Quigley (Melmark)
Abstract: Problem behavior that occurs during an ignore or alone condition of a functional analysis (FA) has often been described as being maintained by automatic reinforcement (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994; Queriem et al., 2013). Challenging behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement presents difficulty when treating, for the reason that the events which evoke or reinforce the behavior cannot be observed or manipulated directly (Vollmer, 1994). A reinforcement-based treatment for automatically maintained behavior often includes the presentation of stimuli which compete with automatically maintained challenging behavior (e.g., Piazza et al., 1998; Shore, Iwata, DeLeon, Kahng, & Smith, 1997). The research base for treating automatically maintained behavior by presenting competing stimuli is robust (see e.g., Richman, Barnard-Bark, Grubb, Bosch, & Abby, 2015). However, no research has targeted automatically maintained disruption in a bathroom context toward the toilet lid cover. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of presenting competing stimuli to compete with toilet lid disruption.
 
031. Improving Paraprofessionals-Implemented Mand Training for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Other Developmental Disabilities Through a Brief Performance Feedback Intervention
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MIGUEL AMPUERO (University of Pittsburgh ), Rachel E. Robertson (University of Pittsburgh), Sarah Lapinski (University of Pittsburgh), Rachel Schwartz (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: Due to the increasing number of students in need of special education services, and the shortages of licensed special education personnel, paraprofessional staff have become a critical component in the education of students with autism and/or other disabilities in school settings. Due to this, the training of non-certified personnel is a critical concern for human service as well as educational settings. Several strategies and training protocols have been researched and established as effective practices to teach children with autism and/or other disabilities a variety of skills (i.e., mand training, discrete trial training). The literature has suggested performance feedback, as a part of a training package, as an effective and the most widely researched intervention to address implementation deficiencies among educators and other professional, or non-professional staff in school settings (Hall et al., 2010; Hagermoser Sanetti et al., 2007; Kim et al., 2017; Koegel et al., 2014)). However, only few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of performance feedback, as the main intervention, to improve implementation of targeted skills (i.e. mand training) by paraprofessional staff in educational settings (Alavosius & Sulzer-Azaroff, 1986; Gilligan & Luiselli, 2007; Leblanc et al., 2005) Given the limited time teachers and other certified professionals have to train paraprofessional staff or other non-certified personnel, identification of interventions that are less rigorous, time efficient, and equally effective is needed. This study is a replication study regarding the implementation of performance feedback, as the main intervention, to improve paraprofessionals' implementation of targeted practices (i.e., mand training) for children with ASD in special education settings. In addition, this study attempts to address limitations and recommendations for future research and practices as suggested by empirical research. This study attempts to answer the following research questions:(a) what effect does a brief vocal verbal performance feedback intervention have on the frequency of mand sequences taught by paraprofessionals to students with autism and/disabilities? (b) what effect does a brief vocal verbal performance feedback intervention have on the overall percentage of correctly implemented steps to teach mands to students with autism and/or other disabilities? and (c) will paraprofessionals correct implementation of procedures to teach mands maintain after termination of performance feedback intervention?
 
032. Comparing Clinic and Home-Based Mand Training: Assessing Generalization
Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
HARRY VOULGARAKIS (Shoreline Center for Social Learning; School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University; Seaver Autism Center in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ), Marina A. Azimova (Shoreline Center for Social Learning; Institute for Autism and Behavioral Studies, University of Saint Joseph), Beth Winebrenner (Shoreline Center for Social Learning), Colleen Parise (Shoreline Center for Social Learning )
Abstract: Recent research has emerged evaluating the effects between clinic and home-based behavioral treatment programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This literature suggests that clinic-based approaches result in faster acquisition, and a greater number of exemplars mastered per objective; however, little research is available that evaluates generalization and maintenance of these skills. Given the numerous health insurance reforms, home-based ABA has become more prevalent in recent years, hence the need to evaluate the differences in instructional settings. This poster presents retrospective manding program data to include follow-up probes for generalization across two young male participants with autism. One received center-based therapy, and two received home-based therapy. Both present with similar cognitive profiles, and are 6 and 7 years of age. A modified withdraw design was employed which included intervention phases, and probe phases. Two separate probe phases included the intervention setting and the follow-up/generalization phase (a novel setting). These data suggest that the participant who received clinic-based therapy acquired a mand repertoire of spontaneous mands faster, yet retained fewer mands during generalization probes. Conversely, that participant that received home-based therapy acquired a mand repertoire at a slower rate, but was able to maintain these skills and generalize them to new settings. Acceptable levels of inter-observer agreement and fidelity of implementation suggest high levels of confidence in intervention. This research helps increase our understanding of the variables effecting acquisition and the need to effectively plan for generalization and maintenance.
 
033. Errorless Learning With Stimulus Fading in Discrimination Learning With Autistic Children
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARGOT BERTOLINO (University of Lille), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille )
Abstract: Nowadays, it is thoroughly known that people with autism may have different visual pattern in front of social stimuli. This observational pattern has been studied by using eye tracking system and researches demonstrated that persons with autism seem to be focused on some parts of the visual stimulus, which doesnt permit them to identify the facial expressions. This pattern of particular behavior is called over selectivity. It occurs when an individual is confronted to a compound stimulus and he selectively responds to only one or a reduced characteristics of the stimulus. Nonetheless, the reason why these patterns are present was not thoroughly studied. Persons with autism spectrum disorders could have a better capacity in visual search task and an impairment in color perception. In order to avoid discrimination learning deficit as over selectivity, a large panel of procedure including errors reducing has been developed. Errorless learning with stimulus fading is a procedure in which the discrimination by fading in the S- across the training. By adding progressively the S-, errors are reduced and discrimination is acquired more rapidly than with a traditional procedure. We conducted a study with typical children in kindergarten implying an errorless learning procedure and a reversal with a classical discrimination training. We found that performances were superior in errorless learning and that children whom began with classical training have a blocking effect in errorless learning. According to abnormal visual perception in ASD, could the results be similar ? This study may have an important impact in applied setting.
 
034. An Evaluation of Pairing Procedures on Establishing Vocalizations as Conditioned Automatic Reinforcers for Individuals With a Minimal Vocal Repertoire
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
KELLEY L. HARRISON (University of Kansas), Ashley Romero (The University of Kansas), Marcella Hangen (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Communication delays are a common feature of children with developmental disabilities. The degree of impairment is variable across children, with a complete absence of vocal language for some children. Interventions to increase communication in these cases can be difficult if the individuals do not reliably echo the speech of others and do not exhibit a variety of vocal sounds to be shaped (Petursdottir & Lepper, 2015). As such, an investigation into effective and efficient procedures to establish novel vocalizations for individuals with a minimal vocal repertoire is warranted. Previous research has suggested that language development may occur due to natural environmental events that condition vocalizations as automatic reinforcers (Bijou & Baer, 1965). Based on this theory, three procedures have been suggested for establishing vocalizations as automatic reinforcers: stimulus-stimulus pairing (e.g., Sundberg, Michael, Partington, & Sundberg, 1996), operant-discrimination training (e.g., Lepper, Petursdottir, & Esch, 2013), and response-stimulus pairing (e.g., Petursdottir & Lepper, 2015). However, the effectiveness of these procedures is unclear. The purpose of the current study is to compare the effects of these three different procedures on the establishment of novel vocalizations in individuals with a minimal vocal repertoire. To date, three young children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities have participated in this study. Preliminary results suggest response-stimulus pairing may be more effective for establishing vocalizations for one of the three participants. This research extends behavior-analytic literature by comparing three different procedures for establishing vocalizations as conditioned automatic reinforcers.
 
035. Increasing Safety Skills Through Discrimination Training and Derived Stimulus-Stimulus Relations
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
COLLEEN YORLETS (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College), Christina M. King (RCS Learning Center), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center)
Abstract: Teaching safety skills to individuals with developmental disabilities is well-established as socially significant and valid, yet the research literature cites few studies demonstrating effective procedures to increase these skills. Additionally, existing research on safety skills has seldom examined the potential emergence of equivalent stimuli, as a result of discrimination training. The present study utilized discrimination training and errorless teaching procedures to teach one 8-year-old child diagnosed with autism to form stimulus classes of auditory stimuli (e.g., “The stove is on fire.”), visual stimuli in the form of videos, and visual stimuli in the form of printed words. A pretest-posttest experimental design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a conditional discrimination training protocol. During pretest and posttest conditions, potential reflexive, symmetric, and transitive relations were presented and tested through counterbalanced PowerPoint slides. During the training condition, auditory-visual conditional discrimination training was conducted in which participants were taught to match videos to auditory stimuli and printed words to auditory stimuli. Both trained and emergent stimulus-stimulus relations were demonstrated during posttest in the absence of programmed reinforcement. Study implications included the efficacy of discrimination training for teaching stimulus-stimulus relations in the area of safety skills and demonstrated emergent stimulus-stimulus relations.
 
036. Teaching Auditory Conditional Discrimination to Children With Autism With Limited Repertoires
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA NIEMEIER (UNMC Munroe- Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amber R. Paden (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with autism may require remedial strategies to develop conditional discrimination repertoires. For example, Slocum, Miller, and Tiger (2012) used a blocked-trials procedure to teach identity matching to a child with autism. Unlike previous studies (Saunders & Spradlin 1989 & 1990, Perez-Gonzalez & Williams, 2002, Williams, Perez-Gonzalez & Queiroz, 2005), Slocum et al. did not require fading of the block size to obtain discriminated performance. We attempted to replicate and extend Slocum et al. to the teaching of auditory conditional discriminations. Our participants included four children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with little to no auditory conditional discriminations prior to the start of our study. We began by replicating the sequence of intervention phases used by Slocum et al., including the use of a blocking procedure when a mixed-trial format was ineffective. However, we did not replicate the effects of Slocum et al.s blocking procedure for any of our five participants. Thus, we evaluated a series of supplementary interventions such as removing reinforcement for prompted responses, using partial physical prompts, and incorporating modified blocking procedures (e.g., mass trialing one target until mastery followed by fading the block size). Data collection is ongoing.
 
037. Emergent Coin Relations and Stimulus Generalization Following Conditional Discrimination Training
Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN BREAULT (RCS Learning Center), Christina M. King (RCS Learning Center), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract: Conditional discrimination training has been demonstrated to be an efficient strategy for teaching individuals diagnosed with autism functional money skills. However, no studies to date have tested for the application of emergent money skills in the natural environment. Fields, Reeve, Adams, and Verhave (1991) conducted an equivalence study that utilized a variety of pictures of one of the stimulus class members during conditional discrimination training to replicate natural contingencies. Results indicated emergent equivalent classes and stimulus generalization. The purpose of the current study is replicate and extend the findings of Fields et al. (1991) and test for the generalization of money skills following conditional discrimination training using a variety of pictures. In the current study a 14 year-old boy, diagnosed with autism, will be taught to match written values (B) to a variety of corresponding pictures of items with price tags (A) and pictures of coins (C) to their corresponding written values (B). Following training, all emergent relations will be tested for and a generalization probe will be conducted within the context of purchasing items in a school store. These data will be discussed in terms of maximizing student learning and programming for stimulus generalization during conditional discrimination training.
 
038. Categorization and the Emergence of Selection and Topography-Based Verbal and Non-Verbal Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA M. KING (RCS Learning Center), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center), Lauren Donovan (RCS Learning Center ), Jessica Byrne (RCS Learning Center ), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract: Teaching children with autism to select members of a class by category name (e.g. selecting apple in the presence of the spoken word fruit), tact the class of a stimulus (e.g. saying fruit when shown an orange or apple), and match members within a class to one another (e.g. chicken to turkey; carrots to broccoli) are three skills that are often addressed in language acquisition programming. The applied literature, however, lacks evidence of participants demonstrating this type of class formation, as well as efficient teaching procedures to produce. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficiency and efficacy of training two arbitrary visual-visual conditional discriminations (B-C & D-B) and one tact (B-Name) and then testing for the emergence of nine additional untrained relations: tacting by class name (C-Name, & D-Name), selecting members of the class in the presence of the auditory stimulus (A-B, A-C, & A-D) and arbitrary matching class members to one another (C-B, B-D, C-D, D-C). The participant included one 10-year old child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. It is expected that the results of this study will demonstrate the emergence of these nine untrained relations across three stimulus classes, with only three directly trained relations.
 
039. The Use of iPads to Improve Leisure Skills of Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
KAORI G. NEPO (Chimes), Matthew Tincani (Temple University), Saul Axelrod (Temple University), Ken Thurman (Temple University), Philip N. Hineline (Temple University - Emeritus)
Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterized by difficulties in social interactions and presence of repetitive behaviors and restrictive interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). These characteristics can affect their daily functions and pose problems in obtaining and maintaining stable employment (Shattuck, et al., 2012; Taylor and Seltzer, 2012). This tendency increased for individuals with comorbid diagnosis such as Intellectual Disability (ID). In addition, their limited or lack of ability to engage in leisure activities can also affect quality of life (Garcia-Villmaisar, & Dattilo, 2010; Patterson, & Pegg, 2009). Given a handful of studies focued on this important skills, especially for adults with ASD and ID, the present study examined the effects of a most-to-least prompting procedure on independent leisure engagement of six adults with ASD and ID on the iPad. Additionally, this study investigated the impact of a visual schedule on the participants, independent transitioning between leisure activities on the iPad2. Further, a survey was conducted to explore social validity of the interventions, including social perceptions of the use of these commonly available devices and the stigma associated with these devices.
 
040. Effects of Technology-Based Intervention on Social Communication Skills for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
BEYZA ALPAYDIN (Doctoral student, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often exhibit a lack of social interaction, language, and communication skills. Therefore, one of the critical study areas for researchers that are improving these skills for individuals with ASD. In recent years, technology-based interventions (TBI) have been used in children with ASDs education effectively via the use of iPad, iPods, Tablet computers, and software programs. Considering limitation of social interaction skills, communication skills, and language skills for children with ASD, TBI is an effective way to prevent lack of social communication and language abilities among such children. To the understanding of the effectiveness of TBI, it is vital to identify varied types of implementation in social communication skills. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review on the effects of TBI in social communication skills. As a result of this review, TBI appears to be effective for teaching social communication skills including initiating and maintaining the conversation, making spontaneous requesting, and social interaction skills in children with autism.
 
041. The Effect of Group Activity on Social Interaction of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Quantifying With Motion Capture System
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TAKUYA ENOMOTO (Keio University, Advanced Research Center), Airi Tsuji (Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Tsukuba), Kenji Suzuki (Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Tsukuba), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Department of Psychology, Keio University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the small group activities of children with ASD (8- to 12 years-old) by quantitative measures using Motion Capture System. Performance of children with ASD was compared with the following three experimental conditions; 1) iPad watching (with a therapist and other ASD children), 2) Card game & Toy play (with a therapist and other ASD children), 3) Active group play. The changing condition design was used to identify the effect of three conditions. The followings were served as dependent measures; a) Physical distance between ASD children, b) approaching to a ASD children, c) looking at a ASD childrens face and d) positive affect (ex: smiling, laughing). The result indicated that children with ASD were more interact in Active group play than in iPad and Card game & Toy play. Active group play facilitated social interaction among ASD children much more than iPad and Card game & Toy play. These results suggest that social interaction of children with ASD occurs more in the conditions with Active group play. This study represents an important step toward clarifying the effect of group dynamism on promoting social behavior of children with ASD and extending new intervention method.
 
042. ABA Cadabra: An Application for iPad to Teach Stimulus Relations to Individuals With Autism
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
LUIZA GUIMAR…S (Universidade Federal de S� Carlos), João S. Carmo (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: Autism behavioral intervention involves, among other things, teach stimuli relations. A person with autism may demonstrate difficulties to match spoken sounds to their meaning. For example, to touch a spoon as an object, after hearing "spoon" as a sound. They also have difficulties in generalizing this learning to new stimuli without direct training (to touch different spoons as object and picture, after hearing "spoon" as a sound). Understanding that autism intervention requires intensive work, and it often can not be provided by the costs, the use of applications to teach this population enables intensive behavioral intervention training that can be given by parents and teachers. The present work aims at describing an application for iPad to teach relations between stimuli and to present the preliminary results of the use of this tool. An experimental multiple baseline study was conducted comparing trials with cards and Ipad to teach a child diagnosed with autism. Partial results point to the benefits of iPad to teach stimuli relations. The participant who didnt have sucess in listening discrimination training with cards,reach the target repertoire criteria after listening discrimination training with ipad aplication.
 
043. Teaching Multi-Step Requesting to Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Systematic Instruction and a Speech-Generating Device
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
DERYA GENC TOSUN (Eskisehir Osmangazi University), Onur Kurt (Anadolu University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an iPad-based speech-generating device (SGD) and an instruction package in teaching multi-step requesting to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The instruction package included discrete trial teaching, time delay, graduated guidance, and reinforcement. Social validity data were also collected from parents and teachers. Three male participants with ASD, aged 4 to 5, participated in the study, which was conducted using a multiple-probe-across-participants design. Findings of the study showed that the SGD and the instruction package were effective in teaching multi-step requesting to all participants. Furthermore, the target skill was maintained and generalized to different materials and individuals. Social validity findings indicated that opinions of the mothers and teachers were positive. On the other hand, one of the participants father stated that he was concerned with the negative effects of using tablet computers. The findings were discussed with regards to the parents opinions, and suggestions were made.
 
044. The Use of Response Interruption and Redirection With Stimulus Control Training for Motor Stereotypy in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AMBREEN SHAHABUDDIN (Eastern Michigan University ), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University), Renee Lajiness-O'Neill (Eastern Michigan University), Kenneth Rusiniak (Eastern Michigan University), Angela Capuano (University of Michigan-Dearborn)
Abstract: Motor stereotypy is a common, skill disruptive behavior exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) is the delivery of incompatible demands contingent on motor stereotypy, which is gaining support for reducing these behaviors. However, RIRD has limitations with generalization as behaviors often return to baseline levels post-treatment. Stimulus control (SC) training followed by generalization probing (GP) have been implemented with other behavior-reduction strategies to help counter these difficulties; however, studies are limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of RIRD in combination with SC training and GP using a changing-criterion design for eight children with ASD during their early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programming. Eight children with ASD were assigned across four conditions: 1) experimental (RIRD + SC + GP), 2) traditional treatment (RIRD + GP), 3) clinical control (EIBI + GP), and 4) waitlist controls. Results demonstrated that RIRD + SC + GP produced immediate reductions in motor stereotypy to near zero rates during treatment, with reductions maintaining post-treatment. Participants receiving this intervention package also met mastery criteria across four generalization conditions in the clinic setting in fewer sessions compared to other groups. Results of this study extend the literature by emphasizing the utility of combining SC procedures and probing for generalization when implementing RIRD to reduce motor stereotypy. Considerations of using SC training and avenues for future research are discussed.
 
045. Reducing Vocal Stereotypy and Increasing Appropriate Vocalization Using Response Interruption and Redirection
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
GITA SRIKANTH (ABA India), Swati Narayan (Association for Behavior Analysis, India)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy which includes non-contextual vocalizations and socially inappropriate speech presents itself as a problem behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Vocal Stereotypy functions as a barrier to efficient learning for the individual emitting the behavior. It also socially isolates the individual engaging in the behavior and restricts his access to social reinforcement. Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) has emerged as a well-documented method of increasing contextually appropriate vocalizations and decreasing inappropriate (non-contextual) speech and sounds. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the decrease in occurrence of inappropriate vocalizations that served no communicative purpose and was automatically maintained. The participant in the single subject study was a teenager with a diagnosis of ASD who exhibited high levels of vocal stereotypy. Each instance of vocal stereotypy emitted by the participant resulted in vocal demands being placed on him by the therapist in a clinical setting. The therapist withdrew the vocal demands once the participant successfully responded to three consecutive demands without engaging in Vocal Stereotypy. The follow up probes conducted by the specific therapist who had implemented the procedure earlier showed that Vocal Stereotypy was maintained at post treatment levels.
 
046. A Case Study about Decreasing Stimulatory Vocalizations for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SANGWEON AUM (Eden II Programs), Paulina Luczaj (Department of Educational Studies, Seton Hall University)
Abstract: Inappropriate vocalizations (i.e., stimulatory vocalizations occurring out of context) of two adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability were tested under three different conditions using a single-subject alternating treatment design: 1)No Task/Activity, 2) Mastered Task, 3) Listening to Music through Headphone. Functional assessment showed that those vocalizations were maintained by a sensory function in some degrees for both participants. Participant 1�s vocalizations occurred the most under no task/activity condition and the least under the mastered table top task condition However, participant 2�s vocalizations occurred the most under the mastered task condition (matching tasks on iPad application) and the least under the music listening condition. Preference assessment conducted afterwards showed that participant 1 preferred the mastered table top task to the listening to music activity. However, participant 2�s preference between the mastered task and listening to music activity was undetermined. The presentation of preferred tasks or leisure activities as a way to decrease inappropriate stimulatory vocalizations is discussed as a possible effective intervention.
 
047. Utilizing Brief Experimental Assessments to Determine Function
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA SARIN (Melmark), Alexandra Held (Melmark)
Abstract: While functional analysis remains the "gold standard" of assessment, the many factors that prohibit the completion of a standard functional analysis often cause clinicians to utilize indirect methods of assessment. The present case study considers the utilization of two types of direct experimental assessments (i.e., Trial-Based Functional Analysis and Concurrent Operations Assessment) across settings to determine behavioral function and then compares the results to various indirect assessments and to a standard functional analysis. Implications of this study serve to supplement the current literature on assessment methodology and strengthen the consideration for the usage of brief experimental assessments.
 
048. Functional Analysis of Refusal to Drink From an Open Cup
Domain: Applied Research
LAURA SENN (Florida Institute of Technology), Andrew Morgan (Florida Institute of Technology), Ronald Clark (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Lauren Dill (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Samuel Shvarts (Florida Institute of Technology), James Oskam (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment)
Abstract: Escape is commonly found to be the function of refusal behaviors related to feeding; however it can sometimes be unclear whether an individual is attempting to escape the food item itself or the method of delivery. We evaluated refusal of an open cup with two 4-year-old boys diagnosed with autism whose only liquid consumption was a milk-Pediasure mixture from a baby bottle. When presented with an open cup the boys would turn their head away and engage in disruptions such as pushing the cup away and covering their mouth. A functional analysis using alternating liquids indicated that refusal behavior for both boys was maintained by escape. It was unclear for both whether refusal was maintained by the removal of an open cup or the removal of novel liquids. We extended the functional analysis using a milk-Pediasure mixture and presenting the bottle contingent on refusal behavior and noncontingently during presentation of the cup. For both boys, the extended sessions demonstrated that the cup itself evoked refusal behavior, even when containing a preferred liquid.
 
049. A Four-Component Comparison of Alternative Activities to Facilitate Schedule Thinning During Functional Communication Training
Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA SIMMONS (Rowan University), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is an effective treatment for decreasing socially-mediated destructive behavior (Carr & Durand, 1985). Multiple schedules are often used to thin the reinforcement schedule during FCT (Hanley et al., 2001). With each schedule thinning step, an extinction burst may occur, contributing to slow schedule thinning. Furthermore, in the natural environment, an individual is not often asked to wait to access functional reinforcers without alternative items/activities available. Six children with autism spectrum disorder referred for treatment of destructive behavior participated in this study. Therapists conducted a functional analysis for each participant and taught participants a functional communication response to access functional reinforcers. Therapists implemented a multiple schedule during schedule thinning, comparing a control condition (i.e., nothing available during S-delta intervals) to separate conditions with embedded items/activities during S-delta intervals (i.e., moderately preferred tangible items, attention, demands). After reaching the terminal schedule in at least one condition, therapists assessed participant preference across S-delta conditions. Results indicate that, for four of the six participants, the terminal schedule was only reached with alternative items/activities. For one participant, the terminal schedule was reached in half the number of sessions with alternative activities than the control. All participants demonstrated preference for alternative items/activities.
 
051. Implementation of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Model for Children With Autism
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TODD HARRIS (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Carol Anne McNellis (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Richard Allen (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health)
Abstract: As more empirically supported practices are identified for children with autism, it is critical that we have strategies to translate these research findings into common implementation practices across a variety of settings. Devereuxs Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports-Autism (D-PBIS-Autism) model was developed to provide a framework to create this environmental context. D-PBIS Autism provides evidence based universal supports to all clients through Tier 1 interventions which build skills across the broad domains of communication, socialization, independence, and safety. Also heavily emphasized by the model are best practice staff training and performance management practices that ensure the integrity of implementation. For this study, Tier 1 performance indicators were measured across three distinct settings serving children with autism: a public school, a specialized private school, and a residential program. Outcomes demonstrate that high levels of program fidelity were achieved with implementation of recommended training, modeling, coaching, and performance feedback. Moreover, an analysis of program data in the residential setting found associated reductions in rates of aggression, elopement, and tantrums. In conclusion, the data provide strong support that the D-PBIS Autism model increased use of evidence-based practices in all three settings as well as reductions in targeted challenging behaviors.
 
052. Treating Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior Without Extinction Through a Token Economy
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Elle Smith (Autism Concepts Inc. Learning Centers ), CORINNE GIST (The Ohio State University ), Natalie Andzik (Northern Illinois University ), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Treating problem behaviors without the negative side-effects of extinction (i.e., extinction bursts, spontaneous recovery, worsening topographies, extinction induced aggression, and behavioral contrast) has proven a successful way eliminate escape-maintained problem behaviors. This study is extending the research by being the first known study to examine the effects of delayed reinforcement without extinction for escape-maintained problem behaviors. The participants included three males and one female diagnosed with autism ranging from four to five years old. Occurrences of problem behavior in baseline and intervention resulted in removal of the demand for 30s. Compliance during treatment was reinforced with tokens that were traded in at the completion of a session for a break with a preferred item. Thus far, delayed reinforcement for compliance has resulted in an immediate decrease of problem behavior to near zero levels and increased compliance to 84% or higher for all participants in intervention. The data indicates that the treatment was successful by eliminating problem behavior for two participants and decreasing the average rate from 3.1 per minute to .5 per minute for other. Compliance for all participants has not dropped below 85% in intervention.
 
053. Heart Rate Variability in Relation to Behavioral Problems in Boys With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: BPN; Domain: Applied Research
DIANA FILCIKOVA (Institute of Physiology, Comenius University in Bratislava, Sasinkova 2, 81108, Slovakia), Aneta Kubranska (Institute of Physiology, Comenius University in Bratislava, Sasinkova 2, 81108, Slovakia), Hana Celušáková (Institute of Physiology, Comenius University in Bratislava, Sasinkova 2, 81108, Slovakia), Daniela Ostatnikova (Institute of Physiology, Comenius University in Bratislava, Sasinkova 2, 81108, Slovakia)
Abstract: Introduction: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) apart of core symptoms often demonstrate co-morbid problems, such as aggressive behavior. One of the physiological measures that might serve as an index of aggression is heart rate variability (HRV). HRV refers to the vagally mediated beat-to-beat change in heart rate. Lower HRV has been associated with impaired emotional and behavioral regulation and stress. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between heart rate variability and behavioral problems in boys with ASD. Methods: Thirty- two boys with autism spectrum disorder were included into the study. Parents completed The Behavior Problems Inventory (BPI-01) to assess frequency and severity of specific behavioral problems. HRV parameters, measured in supine position for the duration of 3 minutes were further analyzed. Results: Significant negative correlations between HRV parameters related to parasympathetic nervous system activity and the Frequency and Severity of Aggressive/Destructive Behavior subscale, but not for other subscales were observed. Conclusion: Our research showed, that boys with ASD, who also display more frequent and severe aggressive/destructive behavior show poorer autonomic regulation as evidenced by their lower HRV. This information can help us to plan and test interventions to improve behavioral and autonomic regulation.
 
054. The Impact of Functional Communication Training on Behavior and Physiological Arousal
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JOHANNA F LANTZ (The Center for Discovery), Theresa Hamlin (The Center for Discovery), Tania Villavicencio (The Center for Discovery), Kalyn Bertholf (The Center for Discovery), C. Matthew Northrup (The Center for Discovery)
Abstract: Electrodermal activity (EDA) reflects activation of the sympathetic nervous system, commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. Clinicians and researchers from The Center for Discovery developed an innovative assessment process that utilizes EDA data generated from wearable sensors to evaluate environmental antecedents to challenging behaviors as well as response to intervention. This process was implemented with a 14-year-old, minimally verbal student with autism who presented with aggressive behaviors. A functional behavior assessment revealed that EDA responses and aggression were most often noted in naturally occurring demand settings. Functional communication training for break was implemented as the primary intervention. When student requests for breaks were honored, maladaptive behaviors were less likely to emerge or continue despite EDA activation, and a recovery in EDA back to baseline was noted. Further analysis revealed that the student initiated return to task following a recovery in EDA indicating a lower level of arousal. Allowing the student to return on his own rather than based on an arbitrary time limit was found to be effective at preventing an immediate re-escalation in behavior. Through this evaluation process, it was also noted that honoring student requests for head squeezes also resulted in EDA recovery following activation.
 
055. Developing Adaptive Responses Through Systematic Desensitization to Challenging Stimuli
Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN ERION (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life), Dan Albrand (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas; Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life), Gloria Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life; Endicott College)
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder tend to display several core deficits. One identified area of need is development of adaptive behavior when faced with environmental events that occur without warning and cannot reasonably be predicted or controlled. These occurrences are a part of daily life that can be especially challenging for individuals with ASD and lead to instances of disruptive or potentially dangerous behavior. In this study, two adolescent twin boys with autism as a primary diagnosis were systematically exposed to common situations that were previously noted to precede behaviors targeted for reduction including aggression, self-injury, loud vocalizations, and property destruction. The participants were selected due to their caregiver's concerns for safety and community immersion. Initial data were collected on observed and hypothesized antecedents at systematically increasing intensities to determine the conditional probability of the behaviors occurring when each individual was faced with identified stimuli to assess effective coping skills and determine the point at which to begin instruction. A fixed schedule of reinforcement was implemented across targets for successful use of replacement behaviors with changing criteria for mastery. Data will be analyzed across targets and systematically increasing intensities of stimuli to determine if independent use of replacement behaviors increase during contrived trials and naturally occurring generalization probes.
 
056. Multiple-Schedule for Rapidly Thinning Noncontingent Reinforcement
Domain: Service Delivery
THEO PAUL ROBINSON (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology), Ronald Joseph Clark (Florida Institute of Technology; The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology), Andrew Morgan (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is a common treatment for behavior maintained by social reinforcement. We treated self-injury (SIB) maintained by positive reinforcement with NCR, and rapidly thinned the schedule using a multiple-schedule design. Schedule thinning consisted of 60s of NCR followed by 60s of extinction with each condition paired with a separate discriminative stimulus. SIB decreased to low/zero rates in both conditions. These rates maintained into a third phase which consisted of 60s of NCR followed by 540s of extinction.
 
057. Teaching Functional Communication to Reduce Disruptive Behavior and Increase Tolerance and Compliance in Young Children With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ALEXANDRA ROTHSTEIN SMALL SMALL (ABC Solutions; Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM))
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT; Carr & Durand, 1985) has been demonstrated to be an effective intervention for problem behaviors. FCT, which is a form of differential reinforcement, teaches an individual an appropriate alternative response that serves the same function of the problem behavior. A treatment protocol incorporating functional communication, tolerance to delays and denials and compliance training (Hanley, Jin, Vanselow & Hanratty, 2014) was implemented to 5 children on the autism spectrum who exhibited problem behavior (noncompliance, escape, self-injury). Preliminary results suggest that the treatment protocol was effective at reducing problem behavior and increasing functional communication, delay/denial tolerance and compliance for all children.
 
058. Exploratory Study of Manualized Parent Training With Parental Support for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Examining Treatment Integrity, Parental Stress, and Child Disruptive Behavior
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA CARTWRIGHT (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Children's Health Dallas), Katherine Bellone (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Children's Health Dallas)
Abstract: Though training parents to serve as change agents is an effective way to increase exposure to behaviorally-based interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), parent training programs vary widely in approach and effectiveness (Lesack, Bearss, Celano, & Sharp, 2014). An emerging, though still limited, research base explores the use of manualized parent training within the ASD population (e.g., Bearss, Johnson, Handen, Smith & Scahill, 2013). As parents of children with ASD experience more parental stress than parents of children with other developmental disabilities or children who are typically-developing, addressing parental barriers to successful treatment is paramount (Hayes & Watson, 2013). The current study aims to improve parent treatment integrity within a manualized treatment by providing two essential needs of parents of children with ASD: evidence-based behavioral parenting strategies and support for parenting-related stress. Specifically, this study evaluates the effects of adding a parent-support component to a manualized parent-training program in a community-based sample of parent-child dyads, including a child with ASD who is between 2-5 years old and who exhibits disruptive behaviors (e.g., tantrums, aggression, non-compliance). Outcome measures include child disruptive behaviors, parenting behaviors, parental stress, and treatment integrity, with initial data collection supporting this addition as advantageous.
 
059. Behavior Skills Training to Increase Parent Fidelity
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES EVENSEN (University of West Florida), Mieke San Julian (University of West Florida), Melissa Mossford-Carroll (Strategies Inc, FL)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the fidelity of parent implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strategies learned by Behavior Skills Training (BST) and the effects of the parent implementation of the strategies on decreasing problem behavior of children exhibiting those problem behaviors with an identified escape function during task assignment. The participants were two mothers with their children with autism spectrum disorder. BST includes instruction, rehearsal, self video model, and feedback following in vivo use of the skills. There was also an independent phase to test short term maintenance. The increased fidelity of the parent implementing the planned checklist of behavior strategies coincided with a decrease of off-task time of the child in both dyads. The implications include that self video modeling can be used as part of structured parent training to increase fidelity of implementation and that structured parent training can be used in decreasing some off-task behavior of children with autism.
 
060. Effects of a Brief Telehealth Parent Training Program on Parents' Acquisition of Skills and Children's Early Development
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ATSUKO MATSUZAKI (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: Developing a telehealth parent training program is important for parents who have limited access to evidence-based intervention for their children with autism. The authors developed a telehealth parent training program and this study showed that the training was effective in improving parents intervention skills and childrens early development. Five mothers and their children with autism participated. All materials were transferred via three apps: a video lecture, text information, and video clips. Parents were provided an iPod with the apps installed, and kept it for two months so that they could view the apps as often as they wished. The parents also received a 30-min telehealth consultation a month after they received the iPod. During the consultation, a trainer shared her desktop screen with a parent and observed the video probes submitted by the parent, and she provided childs target tasks, intervention examples, and corrective feedback on parents intervention skills. Parents intervention skills were assessed with a 10-item fidelity list, and childs language, early communication, and social skills were also examined. The results showed that parents improved their fidelity scores after the training, children improved their language, communication, and social skills after the training, and parents were very satisfied with the training program.
 
061. Effects of a Brief Parent Training Program Using an iPod With Apps Installed
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
JUN'ICHI YAMAMOTO (Keio University), Atsuko Matsuzaki (Keio University)
Abstract: Developing a cost-effective parent training program is important to disseminate evidence-based intervention strategies to parents of children with autism efficiently. The authors developed a brief training program using an iPod and this study showed that the training was effective in improving parents intervention skills and childrens early development. Forty-six mothers and their children with autism participated. All materials were transferred via two apps: text information and sample video clips. Parents received a 3-hr didactic lecture and 30-min video feedback, and were given an iPod with the apps installed. During the didactic lecture, a trainer explained early communication development, 10-item intervention skills, and 20 ideas to improve communication skills. During the video feedback, a trainer and parent observed the video probes submitted by the parent, and the trainer provided descriptive reinforcement and corrective feedback on parents intervention skills. Parents intervention skills were assessed with a 10-item fidelity list, and childs language skills, developmental age and early communication were also examined. The results showed that parents improved their fidelity scores after the training, children improved their language comprehension, language production, developmental age, and early communication after the training, and parents were very satisfied with the training program.
 
062. Evaluation of Parent Training When Cultural Sensitivity is Applied to Functional Communication Training
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ADRIANA RODRIGUEZ (Rollins College), April Michele Williams (Rollins College)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis services have been provided to a wide range of people. The population of those receiving services is culturally diverse, yet little research has been done with diverse populations. Our purpose is to evaluate parent training when cultural concerns are taken into account in behavior interventions. Behavior analytic services will be provided to 3-5 Latino/Latina families with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities for whom problem behaviors are maintained by social positive or social negative reinforcement. Parents will be trained on the implementation of functional communication training (FCT). A questionnaire will be provided to the parents to identify cultural relevant information and preferences. This questionnaire will help guide services. Services will include functional analysis, preference assessment, FCT, and parent training. Data will be collected to measure possible effects of cultural sensitivities when providing services to families within the Latino/Latina community. It is hypothesized that culturally sensitive interventions will have more of an impact in the Latino/Latina community than non-culturally sensitive interventions.
 
063. The Family Enrichment Program at the University of Georgia: A Behavior Skills Training-Based Approach
Domain: Service Delivery
MAGGIE ANN MOLONY (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract: When providing the best care for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), application of principles of behavior analysis have been experimentally demonstrated to be an effective approach to intervention. Although, a large portion of these interventions are taught and implemented by individuals who are not the childs parent or caregiver. Given the relatively large amount of time children spend in their homes, it is imperative for parents to understand and implement behavior plans to help maintain lasting change and thus programs targeting these needs are necessary. The current program has provided a brief parent education and training program in both individual and group settings among 17 caregivers. This poster describes a systematic program weve used at UGA to provide parent enrichment to parents and caregivers with the purpose of increasing their abilities to implement ABA based strategies.
 
064. Teaching Safety Skills to Children With Low Functioning Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MARIE LAURE JOËLLE NUCHADEE (French ABA), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille ), Mélissa Becquet (Chapter french ABA)
Abstract: Research shows that training of functional living skills is more effective and efficient in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) when generalization and maintenance of skills are programmed from onset of intervention. In this study, items from the Essential For Living Assessment were used to assess responding to dangerous stimulus (e.g., responding to potential poisons and fire starting materials, not talk to, walk with, get in a car with, or open the door to a stranger) and behaviors that may promote high levels of generalized responding (e.g., to hold and maintain contact with the hand of an instructor, care provider, or parent when directed to do so; to wait at a current location or a specific location when directed to do so ; to stop moving or engaging in a dangerous activity when directed to do so ) and target the safety skills. A multiple probe design with probe trials across behaviors was used to assess the effects of an in situ behavioral skills training package to teach safety skills to 2 children with low functioning autism. Preliminary results suggest the in situ behavioral skills training package was effective in the acquisition of the safety skills.
 
065. Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Abduction-Prevention Skills to Children With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN ASHLEY LEVESQUE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jessica Niemeier (UNMC Munroe- Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Although the abduction of a child by an unknown adult is unlikely to occur in a childs lifetime, the consequences are serious and devastating. In response to recent reports of an abduction in the area, we sought to replicate previous research on using behavior skills training (BST) to teach abduction-prevention skills to children with autism by demonstrating its efficacy during in-situ probes across four different types of lures delivered by unknown adults. In addition, because undesirable generalization to known adults may occur, particularly with children with autism, we extended this literature by testing the effects of our training on following matched instructions to leave with known adults. No feedback was provided during in-situ probes. Participants learned to engage in appropriate safety behavior when presented with a lure from an unknown adult; however, undesirable generalization was observed with the known adult. Discriminated responding across unknown and known adults was observed following discrimination training. These results generalized across settings and maintained up to 3 months for two participants.
 
066. Improving Daily Living Skills in Adults With Autism Using a Peer-Mediated Self-Management Intervention
Domain: Applied Research
ERIN ENGSTROM (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara), Maxwell Higgins (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Research suggests individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulties with daily living skills. Since interventions that integrate motivational and peer-mediated components have improved social communication in adults with ASD, it is possible that incorporating these methods into a self-management intervention may lead to improvements in daily living skills for this population as well. The purpose of this study is to assess whether the use of peer-mediated motivational components would increase the number of household, employment, and hygiene tasks completed per week. Two males ages 25 and 42 diagnosed with ASD participated, and data collection is ongoing for a third participant. A multiple baseline across participants with reversals design was used, where a baseline condition with a self-management daily living checklist without peer-mediation was compared to a peer-mediated intervention condition where individualized prompts were provided to complete the self-management daily living checklist. The preliminary results indicate that each participant has increased the number of daily living tasks with large effect sizes. This line of research shows optimism that improving daily living skills in adults with ASD may be highly profitable.
 
067. Increasing the Frequency and Diversity of Choices Offered by Staff to Adults With Disabilities in a Community Program
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL SCHWARTZ (University of Pittsburgh), Rachel E. Robertson (University of Pittsburgh), Sarah Lapinski (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: The increasing responsibility and trust to make independent choices marks the transition from adolescence into adulthood. The value of choice, notably the independence and identity affirmation associated with it, has reportedly led to greater self-determination and participation with the broader community. Adulthood symbolizes autonomy to make self-directed choices, yet research demonstrates that adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) are routinely denied opportunities to exercise control in even minor aspects of their lives. One of the primary factors influencing consumer engagement in choice-making is staff practices. Given the link between choice opportunities and staff behavior, more research is needed in how staff members conceptualize, promote, and implement choice in postsecondary settings. The present study trained staff in a community day program to facilitate diverse choice-making opportunities for adult consumers. Researchers implemented a multiple-probe across-participants single-subject design to address the following questions: (a) Will a staff training package in choice-making increase the correct provision of choices offered by staff to consumers with disabilities?, (b) Will this training increase the diversity of choices offered by staff to consumers with disabilities?, and (c) Will staff members decrease incorrect choice attempts made by staff to consumers with disabilities? Researchers trained staff members in a designated choice sequence and provided coaching and feedback to staff members during their daily work routines. After receiving training, all staff members increased the frequency and diversity of correct choices they offered consumers as well as decreased incorrect choice attempts. Researchers discuss the potential implications of this training package and procedure within adult disability organizations, and the observed impact of this training on staff behavior.
 
068. Using Data-Based Decision Teams to Reduce Problem Behavior With Adults With Autism and/or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT F. PUTNAM (May Institute), Shannon Barry (May Institute)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism and/or intellectual and development disabilities present with challenging behavior (McCarty et al., 2010). This study focused on improving problem behavior of adults with autism and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving services provided by large behavioral health organization in the northeastern United States. This study examines the initial implementation of the data based teams and its impact on decreasing the frequency of problem behavior. The team met once per month to review 23 individuals. The review consisted examining the line graphs of daily data over the past sixty days of the three most problematic behavior of each of these individuals. The graphs were reviewed by the team to determine whether the problem of these individuals demonstrated trends that were decreasing, about the same or were increasing. Post intervention data was compared to pre-intervention data and there was found improvements in the percent of individuals who had all of the three targeted behaviors showing improvement, as well as, a decrease in the number of individuals whose problem behaviors were not improving.
 
069. Development of Life Habits Relative to Housing Type of Adults With Intellectual Disability in Serbia
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
JANA DRAGAN GOLUBOVIC (University In Belgrade, Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation ), Marija Stosic (University In Belgrade, Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation )
Abstract: One of the most important predictors of the level and quality of social inclusion of people with intellectual disability in the community is the type of housing. The aim of the research is to determine the quality of the achieved roles of adults with moderate intellectual disability, observed through the development of life habits in the areas of responsibility, interpersonal relationships, community life, employment, recreation and determine the effect of type of housing on the quality of achieved social roles. The sample in this study consisted of 67 persons with moderate intellectual disability, of both gender, aged from 18 to 56. The sample consisted of people who live in the family home and people who live in residential facilities within the supported housing program on the territory of Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia. For the purpose of determining the quality of life habits an instrument The Assessment of life habits - LIFE - H 3.1 Fougeyrolles et al., 2002.was used. Obtained results showed that the respondents involved in the program of supported housing have the higher level of Responsibility compared to respondents who live in the family home; the differences in other domains are not within the limits of statistical significance.
 
070. The Use of Fixed-Duration Presentation of High-Carbohydrate Foods in the Reduction of Chronic Rumination in an Adult With Severe Developmental Disabilities: An Evaluation of Intervention, Maintenance, and Health-Related Data
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNIE K. BARLOW (Amego Inc.), Tina Maguire (Amego, Inc), Paul Mahoney (Amego, Inc), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College & Amego, INc)
Abstract: Chronic rumination is a highly dangerous behavior, often resulting in physical damage to the individuals esophagus, teeth, etc. Research has demonstrated that the use of non-contingent access to high carbohydrate foods such as bread can reduce the overall frequency of rumination. The current study was designed to investigate the potential differential effects of such an approach when the food is made available for a fixed-duration prior to and following meals as opposed to a consumption-driven duration just after meals. The study also investigates the generalization and maintenance of the treatment effects across day habilitation and residential environments. Health-related data are also evaluated, as concerns exist regarding the adverse effects of excessive consumption of carbohydrates.
 
071. Using Skillstreaming and Performance Feedback to Promote Social Skills Development for Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
KARA CONSTANTINE (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health; Michigan State University), Richard Allen (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Kate Langston (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Todd Harris (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Amanda Duffy (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health), Ashley Snider (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health)
Abstract: For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), social interaction/communication deficits tend to persist into adulthood (Schall & McDonough, 2010); however, there is a paucity of research on social skills interventions for adults (Reichow & Volkmar, 2010). The current study used a single-subject, multiple probe design across participants to examine the efficacy of using Skillstreaming (McGinnis, Sprafkin, Gershaw, & Klein, 2012), a social skills curriculum, in increasing the social skill performance of three adult participants with ASD. Participants were able to quickly learn and perform their respective target social skill during training. Two of the participants were also able to consistently display their social skill during post-training analogue trials. One individual was able to display his target social skill (i.e., asking for a favor) on two out of the five post-training analogue trials, but declined to use the skill when the favor was for a want instead of a need. These results suggest that Skillstreaming was effective in teaching the participants the social skill steps; however, some individuals may need continued support and adequate motivation to perform the learned skill. Moreover, the participants and their support staff all indicated that they were highly satisfied with the intervention.
 
072. Teaching Social Interactions Via Text Messaging
Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH FONTAINE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; KGH Consultation and Treatment, Inc. ), Diane Crumrine (KGH Consultation and Treatment, Inc)
Abstract: Texting has become the new mode of communication among many adults and teens who have access to cellular phones. The ability to initiate and maintain conversations via text messaging is an important skill in gaining and maintaining long term relationships as this serves as a primary mode of communication for many teens and young adults. This study examines the efficacy of a behavioral skills training intervention on teaching both initiation and conversational skills via text message to four adolescent males diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. All four of the participants attended middle school or high school and had shown the ability to maintain conversations with peers in their school setting but had difficulty maintaining relationships with their peers via text messaging. Through behavior skills training, each participant was taught how to appropriately begin and end a conversation, maintain a conversation, and wait an appropriate amount of time for a response. Prior to intervention, each of the four participants were maintaining conversations, appropriately ending conversations, and waiting for responses less than 50% of the time.
 
073. Video Modeling, In Vivo Desensitization, and Reinforcement Used in Tolerance Training for Electroencephalogram Preparation for an Adult With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
JOLENA CONSTANCE OLDFIELD (Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences, Mackenzie Health), Melissa Sweet (Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences, Mackenzie Health)
Abstract: A 22 year old male with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) engaged in loud vocalizations, problem behaviour and noncompliance when required to sit while having electroencephalogram (EEG) leads glued to his face and head as required for medical testing in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). As a result, a procedure using video modeling, in vivo desensitization and reinforcement of appropriate behaviour was introduced. Results show that over 10 sessions, the participant advanced from sitting and having leads glued onto his face and head for 2 minutes to 90 minutes with the behaviour consultant present and supporting. He was able tolerate the leads on for the length of the hospital stay. On the third day of hospital stay he pulled some of the leads off resulting in the hospital staff re-gluing all leads in a 90 minute session, this was 100 percent successful, and the behaviour consultant was not present. Generalization across people, environment and over time was displayed. The findings of this study indicate that video modeling, in vivo desensitization and reinforcement of appropriate behaviours are highly effective strategies to gradually expose an individuals contact with an aversive stimulus, as previously demonstrated by Luscre and Centre (1996), Neumann, Altabet and Fleming (2000) and Conyers and Miltenberger (2004).
 
074. A Behavior-Analytic Application of Art and Movement Therapy
Domain: Applied Research
GINA SATRIALE (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Sutie Madison (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life), Gloria Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis is rooted in scientific practices that include empiricism, determinism, and parsimony. Our worldview explains operant behavior and thus should be able to explain other disciplines and their methodologies in terms of our unique perspective. The purpose of this project was to empirically evaluate art and movement activities and interpret them from a radical-behavioral perspective. Specifically, it was assessed whether or not activities that are associated with high positive affect and therefore assumed to be highly preferred, would function as positive reinforcers when made contingent upon a discrete response. Several adolescents and adults with autism and moderate to severe communication deficits were presented with a series of activities developed by a Creative Leisure Coach who had a background in fine arts. Examples of these activities included painting, clay molding, dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. Researchers took data on affect (happy/sad). Activities that were consistently rated as paired with high affect were then used in a forced-choice preference assessment. Those items that were ranked as most preferred from this assessment were then made contingent upon a single-response task (e.g., vocational tasks) in order to determine whether or not those stimuli functioned as reinforcers (increasing the rate of the response task). Results will be presented in terms of the predictive ability of high affect tasks functioning as reinforcers. This research extends the literature on affect and choice by operationalizing procedures for assessing levels of affect and determining potential items that might function as motivating stimuli.
 
075. Adolescents and Adults With Autism: Effects of Preferred Staff on Affect, Compliance, and On-Task Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA ZAWACKI (PAAL), Gloria Satriale (MECA), James Harrison (PAAL)
Abstract: ?This study seeks to investigate the effects of staff preference (highly preferred staff versus non-preferred staff) on the affect, compliance, and on-task behavior of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during demand activities that require prompting for on task and thorough completion. Individual participants who indicate a clear preference for certain staff members when compared to others, identified through a preference assessment, will be included in the study. Each participant will engage in the same demand activity during both treatment conditions while direct-care staff members are randomly alternated (highly preferred and non-preferred). Data will be evaluated through an alternating treatments design and be analyzed through visual analysis. Implications for the study include the value of providing choice and assessing preference of staff members and the potential impact for changing traditional staff training models.
 
076. Using Peer-Mediated Literacy-Based Behavioral Interventions to Increase Vocational Skills in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
TOBY J. HONSBERGER (The Learning Academy at The Els Center of Excelence), Christine M. Honsberger (Els For Autism Foundation), Michael Brady (Florida Atlantic University), Kelly Kearney (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: The current study utilized literacy-based behavior interventions delivered by a peer coworker to teach individuals with autism vocational tasks. Three female participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were taught three tasks required to work on a food truck. A multiple baseline across tasks experimental design was utilized to teach initial set up of the truck, set up of the morning coffee service, and filling a coffee order. Each participant mastered target skills and demonstrated significant increase from baseline levels for each task after having the literacy-based behavioral intervention delivered by a peer coworker familiar with the targeted tasks. Skills were maintained after the literacy-based behavior intervention was removed.
 
077. Fidelity of Behavior Technician Performance Following Training via Telehealth
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
BRITTNEY FARLEY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Collaborative Autism Resources and Education), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Susan D. Flynn (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Cicely Lopez (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract: Telehealth utilizes technology to train and supervise behavior technicians to implement ABA techniques. Current research supports the use of telehealth to train and coach parents to implement FA and FCT procedures with success. An area that is in need of further research is the use of telehealth to train behavior technicians. The present study utilized a delayed multiple baseline design across three participants to measure the fidelity behavior technician performance following telehealth training. Pretest and baseline probes were used prior to training to assess participant’s initial knowledge of Precision Teaching and the SCC. Following training, a series of three competency assessments were administered to probe Precision Teaching and the SCC knowledge along with a maintenance and generalization probe. Results indicate that prior to telehealth training participants knowledge and correct implementation of Precision Teaching and the SCC was 40% or below and following telehealth training participants knowledge and correct implementation of Precision Teaching and the SCC was at 85% or above for competency. Participant scores were maintained during maintenance and generalization phases with individuals scoring between 80% and 100% correct. These results add to current research and support the use of telehealth for training behavior technicians to competently implement behavior interventions.
 
078. The Effects of Bug-In-Ear Coaching on Paraeducators' Use of Incidental Teaching
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH KELLY (University of Washington), Nancy Rosenberg (University of Washington), Rachelle Huntington (University of Washington), Xueyan Yang (University of Washington ), Kathleen Meeker (University of Washington ), Kathleen Peterson (University of Washington )
Abstract: Paraeducators and behavioral technicians play a critical role in teaching individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. They are often expected to implement instruction related to student goals, but do not always have access to the necessary education or training to effectively do so. Incidental teaching is an evidence-based strategy for teaching individuals to use novel communication in natural settings. To date, there is no research that examines the effects of coaching paraeducators to use incidental teaching with students in a school setting. This study examines the effects of bug-in-ear (BIE) coaching on four paraprofessionals implementation of incidental teaching to teach novel communication phrases to children with autism and other developmental disabilities in a K-12 private school. BIE coaching uses technology to allow skilled coaches to provide real-time, discrete feedback to adult learners working with students. Data show BIE coaching is associated with immediate, increased rates of incidental teaching delivered by paraprofessionals and increased rates of corresponding student communication phrases.
 
079. Using ClassDojo® to Enhance School Age Students' Prosocial Behavior in a Classroom Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
VALERIE FORTE (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Victoria Ryan (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment ), Kelsey Lynn Purcell (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment ), Ada C. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology), Alexandrea Hope Wiegand (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Previous literature supports the use of a variety of classroom-wide behavioral management programs to increase prosocial behaviors and decrease problem behaviors. For example, token economies, placement of classroom rules and guidelines, and providing the opportunity for students to choose the activity or subject to work on, have proven to be effective for many students; however, they can be expensive, and cumbersome to manage. ClassDojo®, a classroom management system, is a type of token economy system that includes technology to track digital points for teacher-directed behavior. The program is free to download, simple to use, and is easily transferable between teachers and families. The present study evaluated the effects of ClassDojo® for 3 children in a classroom setting that included one participant diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and two neurotypical participants. Goals of the current study included (1) increasing prosocial behavior, and (2) reducing disruptive behaviors. Results were evaluated within a reversal design, and showed for all three participants that using ClassDojo® was an effective system for classroom management. Further research should test this finding using a larger number of participants that would represent a typical classroom size.
 
080. What's the difference? Impact of Transitioning from PECS to PECS IV App on the Vocalizations of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
JULIE KOUDYS (Brock University), Krysten Elizabeth Thompson (Brock University)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with communication impairments often use augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) systems. Some AAC systems, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS; Bondy & Frost, 1994), have been extensively researched and are considered evidence-based practice for individuals with ASD (Wong, 2013). However, many parents and practitioners are opting to use alternative AAC systems, including tablet-based applications, which currently lack sufficient empirical support to be considered evidence-based practice. Although emerging evidence is promising, little is known about the risks and benefits of these systems on vocal communication. The purpose of this study, which uses multiple-baseline design across participants, is to evaluate the effects of a tablet-based communication system (PECS IV App) on the vocal communication of school-aged children with ASD. Vocalization data are being collected from 4 children prior to transition to the PECS IV App (i.e., while using the PECS binder), as well as during and following the transition to the PECS IV App. Treatment fidelity data are being collected on training with the PECS binder and the PECS IV App. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for selecting and training AAC communication systems.
 
081. Increasing Accuracy Using an Observing Response During PECS Discrimination Training
Domain: Service Delivery
TIMOTHY NIPE (Melmark), Amanda Marie Finlay (Melmark)
Abstract: Deficits in communication are a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (APA, 2013). Individuals with ASD often have difficulty having their needs and wants met due to communicative behaviors that are difficult for a listener to understand or occur infrequently. However, there exists a growing body of evidence for the benefits of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) in increasing the effective social communication of individuals with ASD (Iacono, Trembath, & Erikson, 2016). Though AAC can take many forms, i.e., Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) (Bondy & Frost, 1994), they typically involve some form of discriminative responding from the speaker to effectively control listener responding. Failures in this discriminative responding can lead to ineffective communication systems for learners with ASD. Across basic and translational research studies with both human and nonhuman subjects, observing responses have been required during discrimination training in an effort to increase the saliency of discriminative stimuli. This case reflects the use of an observing response to increase the discriminative responding of a young woman with autism spectrum disorder during discrimination training of Phase IIIB of PECS.
 
082. Speech Generating Devices: Comparing the Effect of Teaching Strategies on the Vocalizations of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
Krysten Elizabeth Thompson (Brock University), JULIE KOUDYS (Brock University)
Abstract: Augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) systems are often introduced to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and communication impairments. The use of speech generating devices (SGDs) as a method of AAC for individuals with ASD has an emerging evidence base. However, little is known about the effects of SGD use on the development of vocal speech for children with ASD (Gevarter et al., 2013; Schlosser, & Wendt, 2008). Specifically, the impact of the voice output feature on children�s vocalizations remains relatively unknown. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of two approaches to communication training using a tablet-based SGD: a) training device use with the voice output function activated, b) modifying the voice output to include a behavior chain interruption strategy. This study uses multiple baseline design across participants, with an embedded alternating treatment design (Barlow & Hayes, 1979) to determine whether one strategy is superior at increasing participant�s speech production. Vocalization data are being collected from 4 participants using two equivalent sets of reinforcers. Data are being collected while participants are training on the SGD (no voice output), and during the alternating treatment conditions. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for enhancing vocalizations during SGD training.
 
083. Effects of Initial Versus Frequent Preference Assessments on Skill Acquisition
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIA BARATZ (Florida Institute of Technology; World Evolve), Yanerys Leon (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that using stimuli identified via daily brief preference assessments may produce more responding under concurrent-schedule arrangements than using stimuli identified via lengthy, pre-treatment preference assessments (DeLeon et al., 2001). To date, this has not been evaluated in the context of skill acquisition. Thus, it is unknown the extent to which conducting daily brief preference assessments impacts the rate of skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction (DTI). In this study, a 7-year-old male with autism was exposed to three reinforcement arrangements during DTI: #1 initial PSPA stimulus was provided as the reinforcer, #2 daily MSWO stimulus was provided as the reinforcer, and #3 praise was provided after correct responding as the control condition. Rate of skill acquisition was measured across conditions and results show that accuracy of responding was higher in the MSWO condition.
 
084. Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior: An Experimental Analysis of Adventitious Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CATALINA REY (University of Vermont), Alison M. Betz (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Andressa Sleiman (Florida Institute of Technology ), Toshikazu Kuroda (Aichi Bunkyo University), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is a procedure commonly used to decrease problem behavior. Although the decelerative effects of the DRO have been well researched, little is known about the processes that produce this behavior reduction. DRO schedules may decrease behavior through extinction, negative punishment, adventitious reinforcement, or some combination of these. Recent research has found some evidence to support the adventitious reinforcement hypothesis in a human operant arrangement (Jessel, Borrero, & Becraft; 2015). This study replicated and extended previous research by evaluating the effects of DRO schedules on other behavior in a human operant arrangement. Participants played a computer game with two response options (target and other) and received points according to various schedules of reinforcement. We compared rate of responding across repeated exposures of DRO, yoked variable time schedule (VT), and extinction (EXT) probes. Results showed that DRO schedules resulted in the lowest rate of the target response and the highest rate of the other response. Results also showed that DRO schedules sometimes resulted in adventitious reinforcement of the other response.
 
085. Generalization Across Modalities of Expressive and Receptive Language Acquisition Using Multiple Exemplar Teaching and Discrete Trial Teaching
Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA GALBATO (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: This present study assessed the efficacy of a general discrete trial teaching (DTT) procedure and Multiple exemplar teaching (MET) for acquisition and generalization of two modalities of language skills: receptive and expressive. Goals of the study included determining (1) whether DTT or MET produced more efficient teaching of language acquisition skills, (2) which order the modalities should be taught, and (3) the modality for the greater propensity for generalization. In general, therapists taught individuals a target in one modality and then tested for generalization in the untrained modality, across all individuals with both teaching procedures. Three pre-schooled aged children all diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were used in this study. Results suggested that both teaching procedures readily produced acquisition of targets, and that generalization across modalities was idiosyncratic across participants. For all three participants, expressive targets generalized to receptive targets. Receptive targets generalized to expressive targets for two of the participants. For the one participant for whom generalization was not evident in the expressive modality, the target was taught until mastery criteria were met.
 
086. Avoidance of Water Activity: The Effects of Gradual Exposure on Aquatic Skills
Domain: Applied Research
AMBER LAMPERT (Quest Inc., Quest Swims, Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: The current study evaluated the effects of gradual exposure on aquatic skills for 2 participants diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participant 1 was resistant to leaving the pool wall; this participant exhibited protests, grabbing, screams for help, and forcing herself under the water. Participant 2 exhibited grabbing, pinching, and protesting, while in deep water. Parents reported, however, that both participants had some basic swimming skills, but problem behavior interfered. A hierarchy of exposure to water activities was designed for each participant. Baseline data for both participants showed 0% correct for targeted skills in the hierarchy. During gradual exposure, contingent on completing a specified distance of swimming or duration of floating, participants earned a preferred activity. Treatment effects were evaluated using a multiple baseline across skills. Results for participant 1 showed that the data increased to 100% for reaching the wall and floating on the back. Results for participant 2 showed that the data increased to 100% for reaching the wall and floating on the front. In addition, for participant 1 floating on the back may have generalized to floating on the front, and for participant 2 swimming to the wall may have been generalized to floating on the back.
 
087. A Simultaneous Presentation and Fading Procedure Treating Food Selectivity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
MAGS KIRK (Queen's University of Belfast), Katerina Dounavi (Queen's University of Belfast & Magiko Sympan)
Abstract: Individuals with feeding disorders may be excluded from social interaction at mealtimes. This study contributes a research based and data driven solution to improve the feeding habits of children with autism within a community clinic environment. Two participants were treated using simultaneous presentation with a fading protocol across three different food groups using multiple baselines. Preferred foods were presented on the spoon simultaneously with a small piece of a new target food and the size of the preferred food was gradually decreased until the child was eating only the target food. Results indicate that the protocol was highly effective for one participant who began to eat a wide range of new foods in daily life, including foods that had not been specifically offered in treatment sessions. The second participant was unable to attend appointments consistently and he did not generalise the treatment effects to daily life. However, he became more willing to try new foods in the clinic environment. This study offers conservative yet promising evidence that for some individuals, simultaneous presentation with a fading protocol may be a useful alternative method for treating feeding disorders when compared to inpatient hospital ABA services.
 
088. Feeding Problems in Children With Typical Development or Autism in Mexico
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
FELIPE DIAZ (University of Guadalajara), Karina Franco (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: Feeding problems are common among 24 to 50% in children with typical development this percentage increase up to 89% in children with ASD. Feeding problems that never receive treatment do not change but are more severe with trace of time. Thus, it is important to know how to evaluate and design modification programs in order to decrease the number and severity of feeding problems. In this study, a systematic review was conducted in order to know the most common feeding problems and the kind of method used to evaluate these problems. The search was run in PubMed, Science direct, Scielo and EBSCO databases using the key words feeding problems evaluation, feeding in children with ASD, feeding behavior in children, selective ingestion, pediatric feeding disorders and eating behavior in children with ASD and typical development. The purpose was to classify the articles in one of two categories according to the method used for its evaluation, direct evaluation or indirect evaluation. Results showed articles in at least three common feeding problems, rejecting food, low intake and selectivity. Only one study was conducted in Mexico. It is necessary to start scientific and applied research in this country.
 
089. Autism Knowledge Survey Tool and the Implications for Teacher Preparation Programs
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
ASHLEA RINEER-HERSHEY (Slippery Rock University), Eric Joseph Bieniek (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract: This study was developed to gather data through a survey tool on the current knowledge of practicing teachers regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). As the rate of children diagnosed with ASD continues to increase, it is critical that we evaluate current teacher knowledge on general knowledge of ASD as well as specific areas like Role of Reinforcement, Academics, Social Skills, Communication, Behavioral Supports, Sensory needs and Motor Development. As the needs of children with special needs change, the preparation of teachers must also change. Results from this survey tool provide the readers with critical information regarding how well teacher education programs are preparing teachers for their role in educating students with ASD. The article outlines how the study was conducted, participant demographics and specific results in terms of trends across a variety of demographic variables. These variables include urban versus rural schools, socio-economic status, professional experiences and types of teaching environments. Specific data trends will also be identified in regards to the knowledge of and application evidenced based practices across the domains outlined.
 
090. Supporting Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder in School Settings: Feasibility and Acceptability of a Comprehensive Modular Intervention
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN J. MARTIN (May Institute), Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute), Rose Iovannone (University of South Florida), Tristram Smith (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges and often require intensive support in schools. Unfortunately, evidence-based interventions for children with ASD are rarely implemented in school settings. Barriers to implementation are fueled by two often competing requirements of interventions: that they must address multiple skills or behaviors but also be flexible enough to accommodate both individual student needs and diverse school contexts. Students with Autism Accessing General Education (SAAGE) uses a systems approach to provide individualized interventions grounded in behavior analysis to students with ASD. The model employs active coaching and collaboration to build educator capacity by implementing intervention modules that are based on evidence-based practices to address the core and associated features of ASD. In this poster presentation, we provide an overview of SAAGE and present the results of a year-long feasibility study across 9 public schools in the United States. Overall, coaches and educators implemented SAAGE with acceptable levels of fidelity, and educators provided positive acceptability ratings of the process. Preliminary results indicate that modular interventions may be a feasible approach to supporting students with ASD. Intervention outcomes from one student-teacher dyad will also be presented as an exemplar.
 
091. Teacher’s Perspective of Functional Behavior Assessment in North Carolina Public Schools
Domain: Basic Research
KERI ANN SULLIVAN (Northcentral University, Lee County Schools North Carolina)
Abstract: The re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 changed previous requirements regarding policies and assessment required for students with disabilities who display challenging behaviors. The re-authorization now requires the use of a functional behavior assessment (FBA) whenever there is a child displaying problem behaviors. The use of the FBA in the public school settings lacks research. There is a lot of research on the use of the FBA in a clinical or home-based setting. This is because this is where many services are provided for families of children who have disabilities and who are displaying problematic behaviors. The research shows that there are some issues between the use and application of the functional behavior assessment in public schools settings and the policy mandate of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Since Exceptional Children Teachers are the ones in North Carolina, that are seen as the experts, it would be beneficial to study their beliefs and attitudes on the FBA process to see if there is a relationship with integrity in the implementation of the research-based strategies in the public school setting.
 
092. Investigating the Effect of a Class-Wide Video-Based Intervention for Elementary-Aged Students Enrolled in a Special Education School
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AYAKA TAKAHASHI (Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Japan)
Abstract: Video hero modeling (VHM), in which children’s highly preferred characters model the desirable behaviors on the screen, has been utilized recently especially for students with autism spectrum condition (ASC). However, no studies to date has yet investigated the effectiveness of the class-wide implementation of VHM. This study investigated the effect of the class-wide video-based intervention implemented for an elementary-aged classroom in a special education school. Six children enrolled in the first-grade classroom (five participants with ASC and one participant with Down syndrome, all of whom were diagnosed with intellectual disabilities) participated in this study. The target behavior was the act of putting shoes on in three appropriate settings. The researcher developed the video in which a popular animated character modeled the target behavior. In addition, the voice-over instructing the importance of engaging in the target behavior was inserted in the video. Students watched the video together in the morning circle time. The multiple baseline design across settings for each participant revealed that the desirable behavior was increased for three students, and was maintained for two students. VHM was not effective for one student. These results were discussed based on individual students’ characteristics.
 
093. Using Teacher Generated Emails That Include Performance Feedback to Improve Paraeducator Implementation Fidelity.
Domain: Basic Research
KELLEEN CORRIGAN (Drexel University), Bridget Blakely (Drexel University), James E. Connell (Drexel University)
Abstract: Early intervention is essential for individuals diagnosed with autism. Interventions must be implemented with fidelity to be effective. Often, preschool staff are responsible for providing essential interventions, though little-to-no training is offered. This study evaluates the effects of a daily, electronically-delivered performance feedback (PFB) package on procedural fidelity of paraeducator plan implementation. PFB is providing verbal or written feedback about implementation with graphical display of progress. PFB has been used to increase implementation fidelity of academic and behavior interventions (e.g., Pellecchia et al., 2011). This study seeks to extend PFB research to include email feedback. Using within-subject methodology advanced through behavioral research, this study included teacher-paraeducator dyads in a multiple baseline design. The teacher provided email-PFB to the paraeducator responsible for delivering evidence-based intervention (EBI) to a preschool student. The teacher observed and evaluated intervention steps completed. An email was composed, including a graph of implementation progress along with other essential, structured language. Data was collected until fidelity reached 100% for five consecutive days. Teachers were trained to collect data prior to the start of the study, and paraeducators were familiar with the implemented plans. Informed consent from each participant and school board approval was obtained prior to onset. Data was de-identified. Results indicate that PFB is as effective in email form as in more personalized approaches. All participants maintained 100% fidelity of implementation of EBI. Therefore, email-PFB should be considered by preschool staff as a means for providing constructive feedback, thus ensuring the best possible intervention for students with autism.
 
094. An Evaluation of School Personnel Training and Experience With Functional Behavioral Assessment
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MEGHAN L. MCGEE (University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education & Human Development), Hennessey Lustica (University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education & Human Development; Brighton Central School District), David Donnelly (University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education & Human Development)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to gather information regarding current Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) training and practices in educational environments (K-12) . Functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) are used to identify the function of challenging behaviors within the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) (Smith et al., 2012). Accurate identification of the function of challenging behavior exhibited by an individual informs the development of effective treatment and instructional interventions (Beaver et al., 2013; Smith et al, 2012). The use of the FBA to assess behavior function has been adopted in policies and regulations at the organizational, state and federal levels in early intervention, school age, and adult services. In a number of settings, however, qualified behavior analysts are not conducting these assessments. In many schools, school counselors, special education teachers, school psychologists and other personnel are responsible for contributing to or developing the FBA (Villalba, 2005). In their discussion of the FBA process in schools, Conroy, Alter & Scott (2009) concluded that "FBA training provided has not been sufficient to develop the necessary skill level needed for school staff to implement these complex practices, and there is a dearth of studies related to training in school settings" (p. 134). In any effort to improve the effectiveness of behavioral interventions in school settings, it is vital to ascertain the level of proficiency and familiarity of those who will be conducting the FBA. Competence in conducting FBAs is an essential first step in developing effective intervention. Only when accurate FBAs are conducted is it be possible to develop supports and interventions that address the function(s) of behaviors that are considered challenging or that are limiting the quality of life of the individual. If it is unclear what level of training school personnel have; it would be important to understand the level of training, understanding and comfort with the FBA process by those commanded to complete it. The present pilot study used an anonymous online survey to assess the educational staff's preparation and comfort responding to student needs related to challenging behavior and their districts' FBA process in five school districts (N=177) representing rural, suburban and small city schools.
 
095. Evaluating the Effects of a Mixed Group Contingency Intervention Implemented During Social Skills Instruction For Children With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ERICA LILY LEHMAN (University of Utah), Aaron J. Fischer (University of Utah)
Abstract: Social skills training for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is delivered in group formats in schools, private clinics, or community care settings (Sansosti, 2010; Wang & Spillane, 2009). Despite a high volume of social skills training publications, researchers have not yet investigated interventions for challenging behavior during group instruction that may jeapordize the effectiveness of social skills training (Bellini, Peters, & Benner, 2007; Odom, Cox, & Brock, 2013). In fact, across several community-based social skills training providers, (Bryson, & Ostmeyer, 2014) behavior management skills were listed as a common area of weakness. In the present study, the researchers used an ABAB reversal design to evaluate the efficacy of a mixed group contingency intervention in increasing on task behavior during social skills training for young children with ASD in a private clinic setting. The researchers also investigated facilitator acceptability of intervention procedures. Results indicated a functional relationship between the intervention and student on task behavior and a high level of acceptability.
 
096. Effects of a Short-Term Intensive Behavioural Intervention Program on Student Outcomes in Inclusive Classrooms
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CATHERINE DESMOND (Edmonton Catholic Schools), Mark Donovan (Edmonton Catholic School District)
Abstract: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often require specialized interventions to maximize their learning outcomes in inclusive classrooms. To explore the effects of a short-term Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) program on the learning outcomes for students with ASD, the Edmonton Catholic School District piloted a project comparing the rates of learning for students in inclusive classrooms, before and after participation in the Genesis Inclusive Support Transition (GIST) program. The GIST program provided IBI to 33 students (28 with ASD) in Grades 1-3 and Behavioural Skills Training to their Educational Assistants (EAs) for a period of 6-18 weeks. Student treatment plans were guided by the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised (ABLLS-R) and rates of learning were calculated based on the average number of ABLLS-R tasks achieved per week. EAs completed a self-report measure before and after GIST to show their changes in confidence and knowledge related to ASD and implementation of behaviour analytic techniques. Results showed that student rates of learning were higher in their inclusive classrooms and EAs reported increased confidence after participating in GIST. Social validity data were collected from parents and staff which showed a high level of acceptance for program components.
 
097. Reducing Risk for Metabolic Syndrome in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Polypharmacy Reduction and an Interdisciplinary ABA Treatment Model
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA MARIE DIPIETRO (Melmark), Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark), Jennifer Quigley (Melmark), Timothy Nipe (Melmark), Rebekah Hinchcliffe (Melmark), Amanda Gill (Melmark), Amanda Marie Finlay (Melmark), James Chok (Melmark )
Abstract: Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that raise an individual's risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. These risk factors include: low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high fasting blood glucose, high triglycerides, high BMI, and a large waistline. Metabolic Syndrome has become a more prominent topic in child and adolescent psychiatry with the increase in the prescription of antipsychotic drugs. Numerous studies have found the differential prevalence of metabolic syndrome associated with atypical antipsychotic drugs. In fact, atypical antipsychotics carry an FDA warning about metabolic risk. Specifically, there have been higher effects noted for antipsychotic medication on triglycerides, glucose, weight, and waist circumference. Many insurance companies now require monitoring for Metabolic Syndrome by psychiatric prescribers be performed and documented in the medical record. Additionally, it has been estimated that 80% of children and adolescents who are prescribed psychotropic medication are prescribed three or more medications (Connor & McLaughlin, 2005) and polypharmacy is common and increasing in routine psychiatric practice (Duffy et al. 2005). Often, these medication packages include more than one drug with metabolic abnormalities as a side effect. Antipsychotic drugs are among the class of psychotropic medications most commonly prescribed to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This, in conjunction with the growing polypharmacy epidemic, makes efforts to reduce polypharmacy in the ASD population even more crucial. In clinical practice, psychiatric practitioners and behavior analysts often make changes to an individuals' medication and behavioral treatment package without much collaboration between the two disciplines. Integrated efforts in the fields of psychiatry and behavior analysis are sparse in both research literatures as well as in applied settings. The Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) at Melmark specializes in the assessment and treatment of severe and treatment resistant challenging behavior for children with intellectual disability and co-morbid psychiatric/neurological disorders. The RTF provides intensive clinical services, using applied behavior analysis (ABA), as well as comprehensive psychiatric and rehabilitative care within a short-term residential placement. Data collection occurs 24 hours a day and is reviewed on an ongoing basis by a multidisciplinary team representing the fields of behavior analysis, psychiatry, psychology, and healthcare. This poster is an expansion of a previous retrospective analysis that looked at both reductions in polypharmacy as well as high risk challenging behavior within an ABA treatment model. This poster furthers that work to include the effect of reducing polypharmacy on specific metabolic risk factors including: weight, BMI, triglycerides, HbgA1C, and cholesterol. The poster will present retrospective medication, behavioral, and laboratory data from 48 individuals. Systematic manipulation of medication packages and dosage changes with frequent review and collaboration between clinicians and psychiatric practitioners, in conjunction with intensive behavioral intervention, led to a decrease in both challenging behavior as well as polypharmacy. Additionally, these efforts led to reductions in individuals' BMI, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HgbA1C as well as increases in HDL cholesterol. This poster serves to illustrate that targeted efforts to reduce polypharmacy within a structured ABA program can result in reductions the development of Metabolic Syndrome, while simultaneously achieving decreases in targeted high risk challenging behaviors.
 
098. Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Psychotropic Medications: Results of a Survey
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ANITA LI (Western Michigan University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: There has been an increasing pattern of psychotropic medications prescribed to treat problem behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities (Park et al., 2016). Recent papers (Brodhead, 2014; Newhouse-Oisten, Peck, Conway, & Frieder, 2017) have provided recommendations on interdisciplinary collaboration yet there is little known involving the current practices of Board Certified Behavior Analysts® on the monitoring and evaluation of psychotropic medications as it pertains to behavioral interventions. Board Certified Behavior Analysts® were e-mailed an anonymous web-based survey regarding such practices. Results of the survey indicate that a majority of practitioners work with individuals prescribed at least one psychotropic medication, and that many practitioners do not work in settings that involve interdisciplinary collaboration. About half of respondents indicated their training in psychotropic medication is via self-study, and results of a thematic analysis indicate that training, data collection, and collaboration are important factors to consider when involving psychotropic medication in behavior analytic practice.
 
099. Trauma Informed Care for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Where Does Applied Behavior Analysis fit in?
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
DAVID DONNELLY (University of Rochester), Meghan L. McGee (University of Rochester Warner School of Education), Keith Frederick Gordon (University of Rochester; Hillside Family of Agencies)
Abstract: Within the medical and social sciences communities, there has been a growing awareness over a number of years that exposure to traumatic events can have a significant impact on the person so exposed; given their characteristic behaviors, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are particularly susceptible. As a concept that crosses several clinical fields, Trauma Informed Care (TIC) has grown in the number of published articles devoted to it, as well as in the resources allocated to provide TIC. As yet however, the field of Applied Behavior Analysis has not focused on this area in its published literature. We will briefly discuss the conceptualization of trauma from the existing non-behavioral clinical literature. We will then offer an alternative conceptualization of trauma based on empirically derived behavioral principles in order to develop a framework where behavior analysts can contribute our expertise. We will also highlight where treatment based on the principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis can be used to better define, understand, and effectively treat individuals with ASD who have experienced trauma.
 
100. The Effects of Transfer of Stimulus Control Procedures and Peer-Mediated Intervention on the Acquisition and Generalization of Intraverbals for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
BUKET KISAC (Buket Kisac, Ph.D, BCBA, Bulent Ecevit University. ), Steven Lyon (Steven Lyon, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh), Douglas E. Kostewicz (University of Pittsburgh, Associate Professor, BCBA-D.), Jesse Smith (University of Pittsburgh, BCBA)
Abstract: Intraverbals are a type of verbal behavior that occurs when a verbal stimulus evokes a verbal response that has no point-to-point correspondence or formal similarity with the verbal stimulus (Skinner, 1957). One teaching procedure used to establish intraverbal skills is transfer of stimulus control procedure. Although a number of research studies have shown that transfer of stimulus control procedures appeared to be effective in teaching intraverbals for children with ASD, the gains observed in the training did not transfer, or generalize, to other people and settings. In this study, the researcher investigated the effects of transfer of stimulus control procedures and a peer prompting procedure on the acquisition and generalization of intraverbals across peers without disabilities using a multiple baseline across three conversation scripts design. Two children with ASD and four typically-developing children participated in this study. Upon the intervention, both participants demonstrated increased contextually-appropriate intraverbal responses in a few sessions. Results also indicated that the combined approach showed promising generalization outcomes related to increases in correct intraverbals. Additionally, both participants required decreased number of adult-delivered prompts to converse with their peers during peer prompting sessions, indicating that they would maintain social interaction in the teachers absence.
 
101. Examining an Effective Communication Method for Bilingual Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
ANA KANAOKA (University of Tsukuba, Master’s Program in Disability Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences)
Abstract: The number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are raised in a bilingual environment has increased worldwide. Unfortunately, previous studies have not focus on this population. The purpose of this study was to examine whether utilizing mother language would facilitate the acquisition of the Japanese language for a child with ASD. A non-verbal 4-year-old boy with ASD in a Japanese and Russian language environment participated in this study. We used incidental teaching procedures to teach the child to request for desired items in the Japanese language. We conducted pronunciation assessment to identify the childs pronounceable sounds (PS) and hardly pronounceable sounds (HPS) in the mother language and Japanese. We utilized multiple-probe design across settings and cumulative record to analyze the acquisition difference between the items with PS and HPS. The results of this study showed that the childs request in the Japanese language for 4 items maintained for a month after the end of training. The child acquired the full spontaneous request for items with PS faster than HPS. This research provides an evidence to develop a teaching procedure to enhance communication skills for children with ASD in a bilingual environment.
 
102. Increasing Vocal-Verbal Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Tact Teaching Procedures
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE O'ROURKE LANG LANG (Mercy College), Regina Martorello (Mercy College )
Abstract: The study examined the effectiveness of a teaching procedure developed to increase vocal verbal behavior in two preschoolers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The independent variable in the study was participants' emissions of pure tacts as defined as emitting vocal behavior corresponding to a stimulus, without a vocal antecedent. The dependent variable involved a tact teaching procedure incorporating shifting selection based responses to independent, pure tacts evoked by the presence of the environmental stimulus. The results of the study showed an increase in the frequency of pure tacts following the tact teaching procedure for both participants compared to baseline levels of responding. A multiple baseline design across participants was used and a functional relationship was demonstrated. The results of the study were discussed in terms of increasing "spontaneous language" in children with autism spectrum disorder.
 
103. Comparison of Kaufman and Standard Echoic Teaching Procedures: A Replication of Sweeney-Kerwin et al. (2005)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
TINO LOVULLO (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Terreca Cato (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Hanna C. Rue (Autism Spectrum Therapies)
Abstract: Although widely considered as essential for language development, an echoic repertoire is often difficult to establish in children with autism. Behavior analytic procedures to teach echoic behavior have included differential reinforcement, shaping, rapid motor imitation, prompt fading, and chaining. The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP) is a quasi-behavioral approach to treating childhood apraxia of speech. K-SLP instruction is delivered primarily through vocal imitation and shaping along a hierarchy of target syllable shapes. To date, limited empirical evidence exists to support the use of the K-SLP to teach echoic skills to children with autism. Sweeney and colleagues (2005) compared a modification of the Kaufman approach including assessment and selection of word categories and progression through word shells using shaping procedures, to a standard echoic teaching approach employing differential reinforcement. The current study replicates the procedures of Sweeney et al. (2005) and includes two 4-year-old children with autism. Data will be analyzed using a multi-element design comparing percentage accuracy and cumulative number of Kaufman words mastered between the standard echoic and modified Kaufman approaches. Initial assessment, identification of word categories, and baseline data collection has been conducted for participant 1. Implications and future research will be discussed.
 
104. Effects of Instructional Schedules on Skill Acquisition and Challenging Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
COLLEEN O'GRADY (Melmark New England ), Nicole E. Boivin (Melmark New England)
Abstract: When determining the least restrictive, most effective learning environment for students with disabilities, teacher to student ratio is an important issue. A key component in preparing a student to transition from individual (i.e., one-to-one) to small group instruction is to assess the effect of sharing a teacher’s attention on skill acquisition and rate of challenging behaviors. This study investigated whether the schedule of sharing attention impacted a ten-year-old student with autism in his rate of challenging behaviors and rate of acquisition in an expressive labeling task. An alternating treatment design was used to compare performance when the student had 4 ½ minutes of free time or worksheets followed by the teacher’s attention for 18 trials and when the student had three consecutive sessions of 1 ½ minutes of free time or worksheets followed by the teacher’s attention for 6 trials. Interobserver agreement was measured in 32% of sessions and averaged 100% for skill acquisition and 93% for challenging behaviors. The results from this study indicated that the rate of skill acquisition was higher in the 18 consecutive trials conditions, and the rate of challenging behaviors was slightly higher in the 4.5 minutes of free time condition. This information can guide the student's transition into a less restrictive teaching ratio.
 
105. Using Video Analysis to Improve Service Delivery for Children With Autism: A Single-Case Study
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
KRISTI MORIN (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Kimberly Vannest (Texas A&M University), April N. Haas (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: While the number of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) is increasing, there is a critical shortage of BCBAs in many areas. As a result, individuals may be employed as behavior therapists despite a lack of training in applied behavior analysis (ABA). Without additional training, the services provided by these therapists might not be ideal. This presentation reports the results of a study conducted with behavior therapists enrolled in a distance Master of Special Education program in the southern United States. The course was part of a Verified Course Sequence, and all participants provided ABA services to clients with autism. The purpose of this research was to improve the skills of the therapists through video analysis, an intervention which required the participants to record and view videos of themselves delivering ABA services to clients for the purpose of self-improvement. To increase the social validity and generalizability of the study, the participants self-selected target behaviors and implemented all steps of the single-case study independently. The results of the study were positive and indicated that all participants were not only able to improve their skills in ABA but also maintain these skills and generalize them to a second target behavior.
 
106. Effect Size of Peer Mediated Instruction Strategies to Increase Academic Skills in Students With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
APRIL N. HAAS (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: Students with autism often receive support from paraprofessionals when little to no empirical evidence exists to support their use. Conversely, there is a large body of literature on the use of peer mediated instruction to increase social skills in individuals with autism. Support from paraprofessionals can be an inefficient system when promoting true academic success, as well as stigmatizing and often costly. Peer supports have successfully been used to increase academic and social skills in individuals with different disabilities, as well as social skills in individuals with autism, suggesting it could be a useful strategy to increase academic skills as well. A Tau-U for effect size was run to determine significance to add to the literature. Meta- analysis results for the eleven studies will be discussed including implications for practice and directions for future research.
 
107. A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Fluency Based Instruction for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
GAMZE KAPLAN (Bulent Ecevit University, Doctoral Student), Buket Kisac (Bulent Ecevit University, PhD., BCBA.)
Abstract: Precision teaching is an evluative method that allows the measurement of teaching. One key elements of precision teaching is building fluent responding, characterized by accuracy and speed. Displaying fluent behavior has shown positive outcomes including retention, endurance, and application. A lack of fluency limits learners ability to apply what they have learned in schools. Many children with autism spectrum disorder display behavioral dysfluency that may prohibit advancement in both social and educational settings. The addition of fluency instruction to behavioral treatment of children with autism may be one particularly effective intervention to remediate fluency deficits. The purpose of this paper was to conduct a search for articles published in peer-reviewed journals that investigated the effectiveness of fluency based instruction for children with autism ages three through 21. Eight single-subject studies and 25 participants were coded according to a number of variables. Results of the review suggested that fluency based instruction was effective in teaching skills including reading, math, and communication skills for children with autism. The researcher describes strenghts and weaknesses of the reviewed studies, shares conclusions about efficacy of fluency based instruction and implications for practice, and proposes directions for future research.
 
108. The Effects of Interactive Whiteboard Instruction on Early Numeracy Skills of Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
FAYEZ S MAAJEENY (University Of Jeddah)
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of interactive whiteboard instruction on early numeracy skills of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Four students diagnosed with ASD between the ages of five to seven years old participated. They were taught early numeracy skills, specifically one-to-one correspondence and representation of numbers, using an interactive whiteboard (IAW) and discrete trial training (DTT). A multiple probe design across subjects was used to determine the effectiveness of the IAW instruction. It was predicted that students with ASD would acquire, maintain, and generalize the early numeracy skills taught using the IAW. Results revealed the IAW with DTT was effective for teaching early numeracy skills to students with ASD. The introduction of the intervention resulted in all participants meeting the established criteria. All students generalized the target early numeracy skills to a different setting and with different materials and the results were maintained over time. The findings of the study support the effectiveness of the IAW, coupled with DTT, to teach early numeracy skills to students with ASD. This study met the evidence standards for single case design addressed by What Works Clearinghouse. Implications for practice include the consideration of using the IAW to teach a variety of academic skills as well as developing interactive lessons based on each students needs. Future research should focus on generalization of skills gained using IAW instruction.
 
109. Evaluation of Stimulus Prompts for Teaching Receptive Identification of Pictures to Students Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA DERSTINE (The Learning Academy at the Els Center of Excellence), Danielle Doherty (The Learning Academy at the Els Center of Excellence)
Abstract: In the current study, an evaluation of using stimulus prompts for teaching receptive identification to students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder was conducted. Researchers conducted the study in a school setting. An alternating treatment design was used to compare the effectiveness of redundancy stimulus prompts and positional stimulus prompts.
 
110. The Relationships Between Sociability and Motor Learning in a Physical Activity Program
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Yanli Pang (Central China Normal University), Liangshan Dong (Central China Normal University), Yu Xing (Central China Normal University), Yuan Xiang (Central China Normal University), Minting Zhang (Central China Normal University), JIN BO (Eastern Michigan University; Central China Normal University; University of Michigan), Bo Shen (Wayne State University; Central China Normal University)
Abstract: Motor deficits can be fundamentally associated with the core symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study was designed to examine the relationships between sociability and gross motor skill learning in a two-week physical activity (PA) program in China, using Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT) as the intervention strategy. Participants were 15 male Chinese children with ASD (ages=8-12 years). Their gross motor skills were measured with the Test of Gross Motor Development-3 (TGMD) and their sociability was evaluated with the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) - Chinese version. Paired T tests revealed significant improvements on the TGMD scores after the program. To explore whether participants who were discrepant in their SCQ would respond differently to PA, we separated the participants on the basis of their SCQ Z-scores. Two subsequent regression analyses with the posttest TGMD as the dependent variable, and the pretest TGMD and SCQ as predictors revealed that SCQ was related to the posttest TGMD only within the group of high SCQ. Findings overall support the effects of PA on motor skill acquisition. Under CPRT strategy, children with high social-communication deficiency are more likely to show improvement on gross motor skills.
 
111. Determination of Responses of the Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to a Human With Robot Appearance
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
OZLEM DALGIN EYIIP (Anadolu University), Sezgin Vuran (Anadolu University Egitim Fakultesi)
Abstract: Robots, virtual environments and other computer based technologies are increasingly using to teach social skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Limited studies used robotic systems to explore the development of joint attention for children with autism. Findings show that, robotic systems have positive effects on increasing interaction skills in children with ASD. However, a few studies conducted to investigated what type of interactions they can afford when they saw a human with ordinary appearance and a life size robot appearance. Participants showed higher scores when the human appeared in robot costume. However, further researches are still needed in this area. Therefore, in this study, we focus on investigating how children with autism respond in two conditions with different appearances of a human; one when the human was dressed as an ordinary human and the other as a robot. 5 children diagnosed with ASD took part in the study. Quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. The findings of this study are consistent with the findings of previous studies. Furthermore, findings will be discussed during sessions as well.
 
112. Females With Autism in Behavioral Intervention Literature: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Single-Case Research
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
Sarah Lapinski (University of Pittsburgh), ANASTASIA KOKINA (University of Pittsburgh), Rachel Schwartz (University of Pittsburgh)
Abstract: Recent research suggests qualitative and quantitative differences in characteristics of females and males with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), with females demonstrating higher levels of externalizing behaviors, irritability, and fewer restricted repetitive behaviors (Frazier, et al., 2014; Kirkovski et al., 2013), but lower social skills deficits (Baker Van Ommeren et al., 2016). Unique characteristics and needs of females with ASD may necessitate unique intervention targets and intervention approaches. However, although the efficacy of many behavioral interventions is well-established for the general population of students with ASD (e.g., Wong et al., 2014), much less is known about the applicability of those findings to female participants with the disorder. We will describe the findings of a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis of single-case research, using a subsample of studies from the report by National Professional Development Center on ASD (NPDC, Wong et al., 2014). The findings pertaining to the following areas will be discussed: (a) representation of female participants in studies of of behavioral interventions (e.g., number, age, characteristics); (b) representation of females vs. males by intervention characteristics (e.g., type, dependent variables, setting, agent); (c) efficacy of behavioral intervention strategies for females vs. males with ASD. Results suggest similar gender ratios of 4 males to 1 female in studies of behavioral interventions as in general population, with females with ASD without intellectual disability being slightly underrepresented. Females were also underrepresented in studies of certain intervention types (e.g., time delay, discrete trial training) and outcome categories (e.g., social communication). Most interventions were effective for females with ASD. However, due to the low number of studies that included female participants, no intervention can be currently viewed as evidence based (using the Wong et al., 2014, definitions). We call for better representation of female participants in behavioral research, particularly in certain intervention and outcome categories, as well as better reporting of certain participant characteristics (e.g., race, communication skills). We discuss the possible need to modify the existing behavioral interventions to better fit females' characteristics.
 
113. Exposure and Response Prevention for a Child With Asperger's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
AMANDA ADRAGNA (Hofstra University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of exposure and response prevention therapy with a child with Asperger's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) The study used a changing criterion design with replication across two responses. A preference assessment was conducted along with pre-and-post intervention sessions and baseline. Results showed the participant met the criteria across all three studies with mastery. Keywords: Asperger's Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, ritualistic or repetitive behaviors.
 
114. Individual Response to Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Deanna Swain (Virginia Tech), Angela Dahiya (Virginia Tech), Jill Lorenzi (Virginia Tech), Tyler Hassenfeldt (Virginia Tech), Haley Murphy (Virginia Tech), ANGELA SCARPA (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: A prior wait-list controlled study showed average group decreases in lability/negativity and behavioral outbursts for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using the Stress and Anger Management Program (STAMP), a developmentally adapted cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, individual response rate has not been examined for STAMP and could lend insight into ways to improve treatment for non-responders. We examined individual-level change in 18 young children (5-7 years old; 89% male) with ASD. Parents completed pre- and post-treatment measures of lability/negativity and related behaviors using a checklist and weekly monitoring. Treatment responders and non-responders were identified based on significant outcomes as assessed by Reliable Change Index for lability/negativity and 20% decrease in intensity, duration, or frequency of behavioral outbursts. Results indicated that 67% of children met criteria as a responder, showing meaningful improvement in at least two outcome measures. Wilcoxon signed rank tests showed significant increases for responders, but not for non-responders, in parent-reported confidence in their own ability and in their childs ability to manage the childs anger and anxiety. Results demonstrated that CBT can significantly decrease behavioral expressions of anger/anxiety in two-thirds of young children with ASD, and suggests need for research targeting parental efficacy to assist non-responders.
 
116. Executive Functioning as a Mediator Between Empathy and Emotion Regulation in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Basic Research
GUANGYU ZENG (Catholic University of America), Brendan Rich (Catholic University of America), Mary Alvord (Alvord, Baker, & Associates, LLC.)
Abstract: Background: Social skill is a multifaceted construct that is thought to be comprised of skills including emotional regulation, executive functioning (i.e., cognitive regulation), and empathy. In typical developing youth, previous studies showed that there were associations between them. Therefore, clarifying the relationship between emotional regulation, executive functioning, and empathy may provide valuable information for improving therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation capable of improving social skills in children. However, there has been very limited research investigating the relationship between emotion regulation, executive functioning, and empathy in children with autism. To address this research gap, the current study tested a model that explored if executive functioning mediates the relationship between empathy and emotion regulation in a population of children with autism. Methods: Participants were recruited from a sample of children diagnosed with ASD who were treated through the Resilience Builder Program, a manualized group therapy intervention conducted in a large private practice. Of these, 29 children (M age = 9.59 years, SD = 1.60; 86.20% male; 79.30% White) provided complete pre- and post-therapy data. Results: The proposed mediation model was analyzed with the Hayes PROCESS module in SPSS. The result indicated that there was a significant indirect effect, b = 1.16, 95% BCa CI [.39, 2.26], R2 = .31, which indicated that executive functioning was a significant mediator that explained 31% of the variance in emotion regulation. Discussion: The mediation model suggested that empathy had a significant effect in the development of emotion regulation in autistic children, and executive functioning served as one of the significant pathways that this relation occurred. This model could provide some insight for future studies of the mechanism of empathetic deficits in ASD and for designing new training plans. Specifically, our results suggested that treatments aimed at improving emotion regulation abilities in ASD children might focus more on trainings of empathetic abilities which contain executive functioning components.
 
117. Graduated Exposure and Differential Reinforcement to Overcome Avoidant Behavior With Haircuts in a Child With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
LUCAS CEPEDA (Devereux CARES), Sharon Lausch (MELMARK)
Abstract: Children with autism often display fearful responses and avoidant behavior during activities that are necessary for adaptive functioning, including hygienic routines. The participant in this study was an 11-year-old child with autism who, for many years, demonstrated anxiety and escape-related problem behaviors each time his family attempted to trim his hair using hair-clippers. This study evaluated the effectiveness of graduated exposure combined with differential reinforcement in eliminating the occurrence of avoidant behavior towards haircuts in a child with autism. The intervention was divided into three phases. Each phase included a gradual hierarchy of steps. The absence of avoidant behaviors at the completion of each step was required to advance to the next step. A changing criterion design was used to assess intervention effects. Results suggest the intervention was successful in reducing the participants avoidant behavior during haircuts. Treatment and results were generalized to the childs mother in the school setting.
 
118. 2017 Autism Summer Camp
Domain: Service Delivery
TING LIU (Texas State University), Kelly Hargraves (Texas State University; Garland Independent School District)
Abstract: Texas State University Autism Summer Camp Abstract Texas State University Autism Summer Camp is the first of its kind in San Marcos, Texas. Established in 2010, this camp is a partnership between the Texas State University’s Department of Health and Human Performance and San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. This camp provides many children access to a quality summer camp experience designed to accommodate the special needs of children with autism. No child has been turned down because of the severity of his/her disability. Since 2010, this camp has provided a place for recreational activities for the underserved children with autism and hands-on experimental learning opportunities to Texas State University students. It has provided over 400 children with autism aged 4-12 living in San Marcos and its surrounding areas the opportunity to participate in a developmentally appropriate therapeutic summer program. About 40 Texas State students every year volunteer at the camp as part of a service-learning project providing involved students with experiential learning to meet genuine community needs. Every summer, Texas State University students serve over 3000 hours as camp counselors, work with children with autism one-on-one and assist in a daily activities like dance, music, games, swimming, drumming, yoga, and many other therapeutic exercises.
 
119. A Component Analysis of Job Interview Training for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
HELENA WHITLOW (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Nicole Auclair (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: Reports of a recent national survey showed that young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at higher risk for unemployment than young adults with other disabilities (Shattuck et al., 2012). A successful job interview contributes to gainful employment, but individuals with ASD struggle with interviewing skills (Hendricks, 2010). Previous research has focused on training programs to teach job-interviewing skills, but few studies have evaluated procedures to improve responses to interview questions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of individual components of an interview-training package on responses to eight commonly asked interview questions by young adults with ASD. We used a multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate the impact of: 1) written instructions, 2) rehearsal and video self-feedback using a commercially available program, and 3) verbal feedback from a trainer. A generalization probe was conducted by a career counselor not involved in the study. Results show all participants required a remedial behavioral skills training session to answer all eight interview questions with accuracy. The skills generalized to an interview with a novel trainer and were maintained at follow-up. We will discuss the limited impact of each training component and areas for future research.
 
120. Outcomes of Providing Registered Behavior Technician Training to Undergraduate Interns at the Autism Program at the University of Illinois
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
CHERYL LIGHT SHRINER (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
Abstract: Due to the shortage of ABA line therapists in the community, there are still many families and individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities who are not receiving services to improve skills and behaviors. One of the goals of The Autism Program at the University of Illinois has been to train undergraduates across several different majors about autism and the evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for individuals with autism and their families. In 2017, The Autism Program made the decision to provide additional training to these undergraduate interns in order to teach them about Applied Behavior Analysis and to prepare them for careers directly or indirectly related to ABA services. The knowledge and skills related to autism and ABA and the projected career path of the interns were assessed before and after the internship experience. Results will be presented within this poster. Through direct experiences through locale agencies, RBT online training, practice sessions, and supervision by a BCBA-D, undergraduate interns have shown a change in career focus and interests, successfully passed the RBT examination, and become employed in agencies that provide ABA services. Through the efforts of The Autism Program at the University of Illinois to train individuals who may choose to enter ABA practitioner careers, thus providing individuals with autism and their families more access to quality services.
 
121. The Use of a Teaching Interaction Procedure to Train Staff on the Implementation of a Social Skills Intervention
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
JULIA FERGUSON (Autism Partnership Foundation), Dana Redican (Autism Partnership), Norma Torres (Autism Partnership), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: The teaching interaction procedure (TIP) is an evidence based procedure that has been utilized for the development of social skills. The TIP consists of labeling the targeted skill, providing a meaningful rationale for the importance of the skill, describing the steps of the targeted skill, modeling how the skill, and providing feedback throughout the TIP. Although the TIP has been used to teach a variety of social skills for children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or other social and behavioral disorders, its use has not been evaluated to train staff. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a TIP to teach three interventionists the skills to implement a TIP to target the development of social skills for children diagnosed with ASD. The results of a multiple baseline design showed the TIP was effective at teaching all three interventionists how to implement a TIP with children diagnosed with ASD.
 
122. Online Parental Taining: Social Validity and Perception of Parents of Children With Autism
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
MYRIAM ROUSSEAU (Institut universitaire en DI-TSA), Jacinthe Bourassa (Institut universitaire en Di-TSA), Suzie Mckinnon (Institut universitaire en DI-TSA), Béatrice Balmy (Institut universitaire en DI-TSA)
Abstract: Parents who have a child with autism are confronted with situations affecting their well-being and their family life (Hurson, Pyne, & Kovacs, et al., 2014). Several studies underscore the need to intervene with them to help them adapt to the difficulties encountered (Karst, & Hecke, 2012). Training sessions have been developed to enhance their knowledge of the characteristics of people with autism and of effective educational practices (Bearss, Burrell, Stewart, & Scahill, 2015). Some studies (Jang, 2012; Vismara et al., 2012) report certain obstacles concerning these training sessions and propose an innovative development, through digital versions (Sanders et al., 2012). Enabling access to at-home training, online training is becoming an interesting and suitable modality. The program evaluated was offered to parents of children under six years old with autism, mostly on waiting lists for Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention services. In this mixed-design study, data were collected from 15 parents having completed the training. The results show the parents satisfaction concerning: content, learning of new concepts, relevance of the themes, and accessibility of the site. The analysis supports the social validity of the program and helps pinpoint some challenges and some conditions required for its implementation.
 
123. How Do You Know? Understanding the Scope and Source of Caregivers’ Knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis
Domain: Service Delivery
Nicole Bardikoff (Autism Ontario), SUZANNE MURPHY (Autism Ontario), Margaret Spoelstra (Autism Ontario)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is one of the most widely used methods of intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While there is extensive research on ABA, it is unclear whether families are knowledgeable regarding its practice. We asked caregivers’ to rate their knowledge of ABA and report the source of said knowledge. Respondents were from across Ontario, with children ranging from birth to adulthood (n = 2,155). Using a 5-point likert scale we found that most caregivers reported being “somewhat knowledgeable,” see Figure 1. The most frequently cited sources were “Self-taught” (58.5%) and “Professionals” (58%). The least frequently cited source was “Other Ministries, Community and Social Service, Education, etc.” (8.2%), see figure 2. There was a significant difference in caregiver knowledge based on child’s age, F(3, 2,177) = 14.239, p < 0.001) with caregivers of children under 5 and over 18 reporting knowing less than caregivers of children between 5 and 17. There were also significant differences based on how families access ABA services, with those who pay privately reporting a higher level of knowledge F(1, 2,145) = 58.026, p < 0.001). The results will be discussed in the important context of knowledge translation and dissemination in relation to ABA and methods of caregiver engagement. There will be a focus on using this data to inform how ABA is discussed with families and the community at large.
 
124. Teaching Independent Work Skills Utilizing a Visual Schedule
Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA MARIE FINLAY (Melmark; Temple University), Timothy Nipe (Melmark)
Abstract: Frequently, children with autism spectrum disorders become dependent on prompts from teachers or parents to complete tasks, even those that have been previously mastered (Hume and Odom, 2007). The ability to independently navigate through multiple work tasks can create significant opportunities for individuals to become more self-sufficient in less restrictive settings and serve as a brief respite for caregivers. The present study is an example of how a visual schedule increased independent work completion for 15-year-old-aged boy in a private school. Through the use of prompt fading the individual was taught to check the binder which contained pictures of tasks, then to retrieve a bin from a shelf which corresponded to that picture. The individual then completed the task and turned it in to be checked for accuracy and completeness. Verbal praise and an edible were provided once the terminal bin was completed and checked by the staff member. Challenging behavior remained low throughout the treatment even as prompts were faded. Independence in task completion increased and remained high and stable throughout generalization. Generalization included increasing the amount of work bins completed in one session as well as varying environments in which the work was completed.
 
125. A Systematic Literature Review of Research Examining Knowledge of Autism Symptoms and Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism Among Primary Care Physicians
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
ALISON DILLON (Trinity College, Dublin), Gerard McCormack (Trinity College, Dublin), Stephen Buckley (Trinity College, Dublin), Sinéad Lydon (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: Primary care physicians (PCPs)are frequently the first point of professional contact for the parents of children who present with atypical development. It is therefore imperative that PCPs have a thorough knowledge of ASD, particularly given its increasing prevalence and the importance of early intervention, so that they can offer clear explanations, diagnosis if appropriate, andguidanceto evidence-based treatments to families. This study comprised a systematic literature review of research assessing the level of knowledge of autism symptoms and evidence-based interventions for persons with autism among PCPs. Systematic searches of five electronic databases were supplemented with reference list reviews and resulted in the identification of eleven articles that were deemed eligible for inclusion. The data collated indicated that prior education, location, an interest in ASD, the focus of residency training, continued education in ASD, professional specialisation and rate of ASD cases were significantly associated with PCPs knowledge of ASD symptoms and evidence-based intervention. Furthermore, research suggests that brief educational interventions can improve PCPs knowledge and increase the accuracy of ASD diagnoses. PCPs based in developing countries had a very limited knowledge of ASD compared to those from developing countries. Results indicated that this was due to a lack of funding in education, outdated ASD research and negative attitudes towards the disorder. Future research could focus on assessing all medical professionals knowledge of ASD across the lifespan.
 
126. Using RTI in Teacher Training: A Vocabulary Assessment as a Repeated Measure in a Special Education Teacher Preparation Program
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAEL C. LAMBERT (Western Washington University), Gail Coulter (Western Washington University)
Abstract: Curriculum-based evaluation (CBE) has strong support in professional literature for K- 12 populations. Application of the technology is relevant in higher education, especially special education preparation. This presentation describes the process and results of research designed to identify and provide support to candidates who are at risk for program incompletion. CBE is a sophisticated assessment, instruction and evaluation framework, employing complex decision making processes and serves as a means of gaining reliable and valid data in a timely manner. For a CBE system to work, candidates must be able to be assessed in content areas repeatedly and easily so that teachers can make immediate and accurate decisions about the effectiveness of instruction and/or accommodation and modifications. Faculty participated in multiple steps, identifying key vocabulary terms representing concepts and knowledge. The corpus consisted of approximately 1,000 terms and definitions. A total of 100 words were randomly selected from the corpus for each administration across the program. Candidates matched the terms to the definitions as quickly as possible. Faculty noted that the assessment differentiated candidates progress in knowledge of vocabulary. Faculty also noted that individual scores supported instructors' perception of candidates progress throughout the program and were consistent with exam scores.
 
127. The Relationship Between Self-Reported Job Performance of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapists and Client Performance
Domain: Applied Research
CORRINA CAROTTI (Butterfly Effects, LLC)
Abstract: Though several studies have demonstrated the benefits of staff training on improving job performance, there remains a gap in research in the field of ABA focusing on staff training as it relates to child performance. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the implementation of incidental teaching, an aspect of job performance, would improve in ABA therapists after undergoing a brief training package. This study also considered whether ABA therapists would report an increased job performance and/or measure child performance differently after undergoing training. Sixteen participants who were ABA therapists working in the United States participated. Each was asked to complete both the Task-Based Job Performance Scale and the Academic Performance Rating Scale. The first three with moderate to low scores in both job performance and child performance were selected to undergo an intervention involving behavioral skills training on the implementation of incidental teaching. The implementation of incidental teaching of each participant improved after receiving training. Each participant who received training also reported higher job performance post-intervention, but only one participant reported higher child performance. Future research on therapist performance and its possible effects on child performance is recommended.
 
128. Behavioral Parent-Training for Disruptive Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Clinic Setting
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
BRENNA CAVANAUGH (University of Rochester Medical Center), Laura Silverman (University of Rochester Medical Center), Amanda Malinou (University of Rochester Medical Center)
Abstract: The Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network developed a parent-training (PT) manual for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The manual contains clinician-administered sessions that teach caregivers behavioral interventions for child disruptive behavior. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) indicate that PT is efficacious for reducing disruptive behavior in children with ASD in research settings. Clinicians at the University of Rochester have been administering an adaptation of the RUPP PT intervention within a clinic setting (N=50 children with ASD and other developmental disorders). The current investigation aimed to (a) compare implementation in the current clinic setting to implementation in a previous RCT (Bearss et al., 2015) and (b) explore the effectiveness of the clinic-based intervention, despite protocol differences. Overall, we found some differences in the children who were served and the sessions that were selected. Nevertheless, disruptive behavior, assessed by the Home Situations Questionnaire-ASD, decreased by an average of 40% in clinic children, comparable to the average decrease of 35% in the RCT. Limitations of the current investigation include missing data and absence of a comparison group, but the results provide preliminary support for using PT in a clinic setting and indicate that additional investigation is warranted.
 
129. Let's get LiftEd! The Impact of Implementing LiftEd,a Mobile Application for Digital Data Collection on Learning Outcomes for Learners With Autism and Service Providers
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
JOANNE HILL-POWELL (Teachers College, LiftEd ), Heather Peltack (Caldwell University, LiftEd), Andrew Hill (UC Berkeley, MBA, LiftEd)
Abstract: LiftEd is a mobile academic, functional skill and behavior tracking application for special education professionals. The application provides a comprehensive system for tracking, scoring, and analyzing learning based upon the principles of applied behavior analysis. LiftEd was designed upon the premise that best practices in service delivery for learners with autism should incorporate educational technology. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects implementing digital data collection on student learning and staff performance. LiftEd was implemented as a data collection intervention within diverse special education settings that support learners with autism across three major U.S. cities. Implications for the integration of LiftEd as a replacement to paper-based data collection systems were assessed across 100 + student and staff participants. The results of the study demonstrated that LiftEd accelerated learning outcomes for learners with autism and decreased the amount of training needed for paraprofessional staff to effectively deliver instruction and reliably monitor student learning. The results of the LiftEd intervention indicate that learning can be accelerated and practitioner training can be conducted more efficiently, ultimately promoting treatment integrity. The implications of the study help to identify best practices in instruction for individuals with autism through the use of educational technology.
 
130. Evaluation of the Effects of Using SAFMEDS Teaching Method to Increase Staff Members' Fluency of Behavior Analytic Terminology
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Jessica Derstine (BCBA), DANIELLE DOHERTY (BCBA)
Abstract: The study was conducted with staff members that are employed at a high school for students with autism. Twenty-four staff members participated in the first part of the study and the experimenters administered the daily one minute timings. All participants showed a significant increase in fluency of responses. The second part of the study, shows the effectiveness of say all fast minute every day shuffle (SAFMEDS) when staff members administer the timings themselves.
 
131. Changes in 20 Years of Research Involving Higher Functioning People With Autism in Inclusive Societies: A Literature Review
Domain: Theory
JACQUELINE J.A.M. SCHENK (Associate Professor Psychology, Education & Child Studies), Jessica Wohlleben (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Fabienne Naber (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Lidia Arends (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Abstract: The current study involves a review of published studies involving higher functioning people with autism. Over the last 20 years, many societal developments towards inclusion of people with autism have led to changes in legal frameworks, education and policy, school curricula and teaching methods, as well as changes in attitudes and knowledge on autism in educators, parents, employers, and professionals. These changes are reported to have had several effects on actual inclusion of people with autism in mainstream education and employment and inclusion related issues such as how to adequately educate and train people with and without autism to further facilitate inclusion. Also, higher functioning people with autism are also of interest to society due to economic benefits of many of talent. The object of the current review is to investigate whether these aforementioned developments can be traced by changes in the number, nature and aims of published research involving higher functioning people with autism1. Method: Web of Science and PubMed and relevant conference abstracts were systematically searched to identify experimental and applied studies involving higher functioning people with autism. Results: will become available Medio November 20172and will be presented by means of VOS-viewer images, bar charts and graphs. 1.(1) a cumulative increase in the number of publications on higher functioning people with autism (and whether this is significantly higher than for average or lower functioning autism); (2) the nature of journal studies a) from clinical and disability to educational and employment related scientific journals, and b) from psychiatric to more applied behaviour analysis journals; (3) the aims of studies over the years, not only aims to decrease of problem behaviours but also to increase behaviours and skills that facilitate quality participation. 2. The review is part of a larger research project for the Dutch government on Diversity & Autism, Ministry of Science and Education, the Netherlands).
 
132. Android Based Game Intervention for Enhancing the Face Reputation Abilities in Youngsters With Autism
Domain: Basic Research
ANURAG SHARMA (CT Group of Institutions Jalandhar), Arun Khosla (Dr. BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology), Mamta Khosla (Dr. BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology), Yogeswara Rao (Cogno Labs Pvt. Ltd.)
Abstract: Multimedia devices had received repute in the special desires community. The wide display screen makes it appealing and easy to use, specifically for the ones who've susceptible pleasant motor skill. This paper highlights how an android app named as “KIDDY” can be used to enhance confront face perceiving capacities in kids with autism and aid the children to develop social interaction capabilities. This game improved concentration and imagination via repetitive movement and visual commentary. Four students with Autism, diverse in historic period, social behavior and communique ability had been enrolled in program and provide opportunity to recognize new faces thrilling way. This paper offers resultant role based on “Social Skills Rating System” that shows how cellular generation used as an academician intervention to decorate studying and communique among children with autism and additionally proven the tremendous behavior toward cell primarily based game.
 
133. The Buddy Game: A Structured Outdoor Play Curriculum in an Integrated Preschool Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SONJA ZIEGLER (Emory University), Michael J. Morrier (Emory University)
Abstract: In educational settings, deficits in social communication and interaction presented by children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are apparent on the playground, where the curriculum is commonly unstructured and adult staffing reduced. This lack of a structured activity time lends to children with ASD experiencing difficulties engaging in play, and are missed opportunities for needed social skills treatment. A multiple baseline design across three integrated preschool classrooms evaluated the effects of a structured, cooperative play recess curriculum, comprised of singing movements songs in a group, with randomly assigned partners of differentiating neurodevelopment on the social behavior of children with ASD. Fourteen teachers, nine children with ASD and 19 typically developing children, whose ages ranged from 2 years, 6 months to 6 years, 6 months, participated. After the intervention’s implementation, all three classrooms’ participants with ASD increased their frequency of social bids towards typically developing peers. A total count interobserver agreement of 89.6% across all study phases was calculated for 38% of sessions. Results demonstrated that naturally occurring modelling and imitation within sustained structured play, positively effects the social communication of children with ASD. Outcomes also highlight valuable benefits that children with ASD gain from an integrated learning environment.
 
134. Naturalistic Interventions for Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
MARIE-JOËLLE BRACONNIER (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Maxime Poitras (Université de Sherbrooke), Carmen Dionne (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Annie Paquet (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières)
Abstract: Naturalistic interventions have been described as an evidence-based practice for children, youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Wong et al., 2014). However, the information concerning the specific use of naturalistic intervention for very young children with ASD is limited. This study aims, as to review the studies addressing the use of naturalistic intervention for young children with ASD. Method: A literature search was conducted to document the use of naturalistic intervention with ASD children under 6 years old. The research strategy replicated the one used by Wong et al. for published articles from 1990 to 2011, with an update for articles published from 2012 to 2016, and the addition of specific intervention strategy key-words. A total of 78 articles were retained after a first reading of titles and abstracts. Among those 78 articles, 61 were excluded because they did not meet all the selection criteria. The analysis includes information about age, developmental domains and strategies. Results: The 17 naturalistic intervention studies analysis reported effects on many developmental domains: social, communication, behavior, joint attention, play skills, academic and autonomy. It also showed that this type of strategy includes multiple components and is commonly accompanied by other instructional methods.
 
137. Effectiveness of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) Delivered Via Telehealth
Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER J MIYAKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Esther Hong (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Marlena Novack (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract: The purpose of this research study is to investigate whether remote administration of a social skills training program can improve outcomes in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a parent-assisted social skills intervention specifically aimed to teach middle school or high school adolescents how to make and keep friends. Existing research demonstrates the effectiveness of PEERS® when administered in in-person group training sessions in university settings; however, logistics involved in conducting training in community settings (e.g., family availability, clinician training, geographical restrictions, etc.) can make administering such training difficult. The current study will expand on existing research by evaluating the effectiveness of the PEERS® training protocol administered remotely via telehealth (i.e., video conference). The current pilot study investigated whether the 14-week training protocol increased social skills outcomes in adolescents with ASD. Participants demonstrated increased social skills and decreased problem behavior. The results show that this protocol may increase accessibility of an effective social skills training program and warrant a broader study.
 
138. Comparing Social Skills Training Outcomes via Prompt-Fading vs. Video-Modeling Procedures for Adolescents With High-Functioning Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MARINA A. AZIMOVA (Shoreline Center for Social Learning, CT University of Saint Joseph, CT), Harry Voulgarakis (Shoreline Center for Social Learning, LLC School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University), Beth Winebrenner (Shoreline Center for Social Learning, LLC), Colleen Parise (Shoreline Center for Social Learning, LLC)
Abstract: Research directed towards video modeling has shown that these approaches are most effective when they include specific strategies for specific subject to address mostly conversation/functional communication deficits. Social skills research has also shown that teaching social skills to autistic adolescents via scripting and a script/prompt fading (Bluetooth) has some convincing data as well. This poster reports result of a study done on 13 years old high-functioning teenager with Autism diagnosis. Both methodologies were presented to the young man as a training (for specific amount of time) for several social situations where he would typically show anxiety (with physical and behavior manifestations). After each of these interventions (phase) completion and fluency trials, the subject was given a generalization opportunity in in the natural environment. Comparison of the data collected during these generalization sessions is a focal point of this poster presentation. It allows us to see gains produced by each approach as well as their limitations. Acceptable levels of inter-observer agreement suggest high levels of confidence in both types of intervention. This research helps increase our understanding of specific use of modern technologies available for effective acquisition of social/language pragmatic trainings for high-functioning adolescents with autism diagnosis.
 
139. Examining How Siblings Build Social and Play Skills in Their Brothers and Sisters With Autism
Domain: Theory
SYLVIA COLLAZO (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: Given their role as a family member, friend, and even caregiver -- siblings are uniquely qualified in supporting their brothers and sisters with autism. Though few in number, studies have demonstrated how siblings can increase and improve the social and communication abilities of their brothers and sisters on the spectrum through the implementation of behavioral interventions. Using research-based programs such as video and live modeling and cueing, researchers have trained siblings three to thirteen years old as interventionists. In this added role, not only have siblings built their repertoire of behavior analytic strategies, but they have served as appropriate models and significantly helped their brothers and sisters increase reciprocal interaction and play abilities. With the added positive effect of improving the siblings relationships with one another, this review suggests furthering research and practitioners inclusion of siblings in behavior therapy to offer an additional and valuable resource that enhances the lives of children with autism.
 
140. An Online Pivotal Response Treatment Intervention for Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
ELIZABETH MCGARRY (Koegel Autism Center, University of California, Santa Barbara), Anisha Baktha (Koegel Autism Center, University of California, Santa Barbara), Amber Tharakan (Koegel Autism Center, University of California, Santa Barbara), Ty Vernon (Koegel Autism Center, University of California, Santa Barbara)
Abstract: Despite advances in evidence-based treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD),improving access to quality services remains a serious concern. Treatment models often require parents to commute to a clinic or have a clinician visit their home many hours per week. This format is not feasible for families who live in remote areas or do not have the resources to travel. To address this, recent studies have begun to explore parent-implemented interventions via an online format. This study examined a 6-week online course designed to help parents implement Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) with their child. Participants consisted of 20 toddlers with ASD ages 8-48 months. Brief presentations consisting of informational slides, videos, and quizzes were delivered through Qualtrics each week. Topics focused on strategies to elicit social engagement through playful interactions, child-selected materials, and positive behavior principles. Parents submitted weekly videos capturing their use of treatment strategies, which were coded for fidelity of implementation. Preliminary data from 3 families who have completed the course indicates that treatment fidelity significantly improved following intervention. These results suggest that an online intervention may be a feasible approach to disseminating PRT strategies. This innovative format has the potential to reduce disparities in access to evidence-based intervention.
 
141. Early Start Denver Model Group Study for Professional Staff in Argentina
Domain: Service Delivery
MARTIN MAURO MASCOTENA COOK COOK (FLENI)
Abstract: Early Start Denver Model, it a relatively new ABA based approach (2010) for young children with autism. Its dissemination has been increasing from his first manual publication to the date on many countries. The ESDM manual has been translated to many languages as French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Spanish. ABA treatment for children with autism is still associated mainly to Discrete Trial Teaching Technique. ESDM Manual explains on a detailed way how new ABA based treatment have evolved including the science of Child Development , and becoming one of the most known Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs). Official Training it is expensive and not very often professionals have time and resources to enroll on training programs. This poster will show how we introduced this model to an interdisciplinary group of professionals from a service (FLENI) that provides health services for children with developmental disorders, including Autism, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Creating a voluntary Group Study, to go through the systematic lecture and discussion of each chapter as a first step to introduce actual ABA based treatment for Autism. (*) FLENI is a non-profit organization that provides health services for adults and children with neurologic disorders in Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
142. Role of Board Games in Improving Social Interactions of Middle School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder From Research to Practice
Domain: Service Delivery
PANKAJ KHAZANCHI (Affiliation one: Liberty University, United States Affiliation two: Cobb County School District, United States), Rashmi Khazanchi (Mitchell County School System, United States), Ajay Singh (Eastern New Mexico University, United States)
Abstract: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show deficits in reciprocal social interaction, imitation, and empathy due to weaknesses in social skills. Students with ASD typically have very narrow interests and show deficits in engaging in recreational activities that involve social interactions with their peers. Board games involves appropriate turn taking and reciprocal social conversation. Most of the time students with ASD do not maintain long conversation and will usually answer in short phrases with prompts with others. Most of the time students with ASD fail to participate in playing simple turn taking games and often needs intensive training to accomplish such tasks while maintaining conversation with their peer group members. With visual supports students with ASD do learn such skills of simple conversation. The aim of this poster presentation is to highlight what research says and which practical strategies might work while using board games to improve social interactions of students with ASD in middle school classrooms.
 
143. Training in New Ground: A Peruvian Story
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
ANTUANETE CHAVEZ (Alcanzando), Mapy Chavez Chavez (Alcanzando)
Abstract: Alcanzando is a not for profit organization that provides educational services based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to children with autism in Peru. This poster will present data from training professionals to become staff members in our early intervention center. Problems encountered as well as solutions implemented will be outlined.
 
144. Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: A Peruvian Story
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
MAPY CHAVEZ CHAVEZ (Alcanzando), Antuanete Chavez (Alcanzando)
Abstract: Alcanzando is a not for profit organization that provides educational services based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to children with autism in Peru. This poster will present data from the implementation of services in Peru, addressing community, social and sustainability issues encountered in the last 10 years, as well as the solutions that were implemented. Current problems and proposed solutions will also be addressed.
 
145. Cultural Incompetency in ABA Service Delivery Models: Implications for Future Behavior Analysts
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Paulina Luczaj (Seton Hall University), Fabiana Cacciaguerra (Seton Hall University), BRIAN CONNERS (Seton Hall University)
Abstract: Cultural competence and diversity training can be found throughout many human service professions. These trainings prepare future professionals to provide services that are sensitive to individuals of diverse cultures, ethnicities, race, socioeconomic status, gender, etc. Although the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provides services to many diverse clients and families, cultural competency training is lacking when preparing future professionals to work in the field. Cultural competency training is crucial to the field of ABA because of the current issues with cultural beliefs of autism within the minority population, misdiagnosis, and lack of diversity amongst Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who provide the services. How can cultural competence benefit those providing ABA services to individuals with autism? This poster will explore this type of training to ABA and looking at equal access to culturally competent behavioral services to families of individuals with autism. Having a more diverse population of behavior analysts as well as a more in-depth cultural training will promote an increased rate of culturally competent ABA services provided to individuals of various cultural backgrounds.
 
146. Nature of the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Models in Large-Scale Community-Based Services
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
ANNIE-CLAUDE BOURQUE (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Carmen Dionne (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Annie Paquet (Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres)
Abstract: In Quebec, EIBI programs are offered by large-scale community-based services. Rehabilitation centers (RCs) for persons with developmental disabilities (DD) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are mandated to offer these services to young children with ASD (MHSS, 2003). However, no specific treatment has been recommended. There is thus no consistency in the way EIBI has been implemented. This communication focuses on the nature of the EIBI models selected by the participating RCs (curriculums, intervention strategies, and parents involvement). Those data are part of a larger research project concerning the implementation and outcomes of EIBI offered by RCs in Quebec. Method: 15 RCs completed a questionnaire (translation and adaptation of Love & al. (2009) and adaptation of Gamache & al. (2010)). Written documents concerning clinical procedures used by each RC were collected and analyzed to describe multiple dimensions of comprehensive treatment models (CTM). Results: 18 program services were described (some RCs reported more than one EIBI model). A diversity of practices was observed. The majority of the RCs used at least one published curriculum and a wide range of intervention strategies. The involvement of parents across treatment planning and intervention phases are presented.
 
147. Research-Based Strategies for Behavior Analysts: Focus on Cultural Awareness and Diversity of Clients
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
MOHAMMED ALMUTAIRI (University of Oklahoma), Annie Baghdayan (University of Oklahoma)
Abstract: Culture has great impact to each individual’s life. It influences every person’s beliefs, perspectives, qualities, and expectations. Different societies give one of a kind likelihood conditions that shape and impact people's conduct. Applied Behavior Analysis spreads behavioral theory through cumulative attention in solving social impoverished important problems in applied settings, continuous as well as direct measurement of observable behavior. It also helps in understanding the reliant relationship which is between action incidences and environmental factors. Behavior Analysts must be aware of their own values and seek to learn others. Since, communicating and collaborating with families are an integral part of life, so as learning about others’ cultures. A quantitative survey design will be utilized to investigate behavior analysts’ understanding in cultural sensitive matters on national and international levels. This paper will provide suggestions and strategies for behavior analysts and behavior technicians in developing cultural awareness skills especially when providing services to individuals who are from different cultural backgrounds. It will address some of the cultural barriers which behavior analysts face.
 
148. Early Detection of Disorders Within the Autistic Spectrum
Domain: Basic Research
MARIJA STOSIC (University In Belgrade, Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation ), Jana Dragan Golubovic (University In Belgrade, Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation )
Abstract: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by disorders in several areas, including reciprocal social interactions, communication, the presence of repetitive behavior as well as narrow-minded behaviors.. Early screenings as well as early detection are of paramount importance as they provide the possibility of early intervention. On a sample of 102 respondents, aged 16-30 months from PU "Lastavica" (Novi Beograd), PU "" (Surcin) and PU "Panda" (Borca), in which we identified potential developmental delays of children using the form "Parental Evaluation Child Development Status "(Parent Evaluation of Developmental Status-PEDS). After that, it was determined how many children are susceptible to autism disorder using a modified test for autism in small children, Revised, with Control (Modified-Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-R / F). The analysis found that children who showed a certain degree of delay and who were singled out using the Peds instrument (15 children), further analysis of the M-Chat instrument found that most children show the mean level of susceptibility, while only 5 children show a high level of susceptibility within the autistic spectrum. There is no statistically significant difference in sex compared to the level of susceptibility within the autistic spectrum.
 
149. The Standard and Practice of Assessing Response to Intervention for Children With Autism in Ethiopia
Domain: Service Delivery
WAGANESH ZELEKE (Duquesne University), Simegn Sendek (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia )
Abstract: Behavioral and educational intervention service for student with autism in Ethiopia is still primarily provided by the two parent owned autism centers. The primary goal of these center is to address the students behavioral, developmental, social and academic needs, which is an intensive undertaking process that requires many hours each week of different instruction and therapies. In this process, it is crucial to assess intervention response on an individualized basis, especially in a country like Ethiopia where service is offered with limited resources and human power. However, the implementation of assessment to intervention response has received scant attention (Zeleke, Hughes, & Chiytio, 2017). The purpose of this study was to assess the standard and practice of intervention implementing plan for students with ASDs in Ethiopia. Using mixed method, data was collected from 120 students with ASDs, 12 program coordinators, 32 teachers, and 12 parents. Survey questionnaires, direct observation, focus group discussions, and individual interviews were utilized to gather information on the standard and practice of (a) intervention selection, (b) identification of reasonable strength of intervention, (c)implementing the intervention, (d) assessing progress, and (e) applying decision rules to the resulting data. Findings indicate that even though a substantial service provision practice that addresses students behavioral, developmental, social, and academic needs observed, lack of documentation on intervention plan and implemented interventions were marked. Implication on the role of plan implementation and how to assess response to intervention can be used to inform implementing an entitlement process in which services are integrated with assessment and a due process protection for students are discussed.
 
150. Evaluation of Sequential Presentation Without Extinction for the Treatment of Food Selectivity
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA JUANICO (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Nicole Coleman (University of Kansas), Rachel Jess (University of Kansas), Elizabeth Foley (University of Kansas), Sara Camille Diaz de Villegas (University of Kansas), Bertilde U Kamana (University of Kansas), Kathleen Holehan (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Sequential presentation and escape extinction are often used to increase consumption of foods in children with food selectivity (e.g., Kern & Marder, 1996). However, there are challenges associated with the implementation of extinction (e.g., extinction bursts; Azrin, Hutchinson, & Hake, 1966), which may make these procedures difficult to implement (e.g., McConnachie & Carr, 1997). Therefore, it is important to evaluate the effects of sequential presentation in the absence of extinction (Bachmeyer, 2009). We evaluated the effects of sequential presentation without extinction with single preferred stimuli (i.e., food, tangible, and attention), a combination of preferred stimuli, and a combination of preferred stimuli with increased access duration with eight children with and without developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. Results suggest the delivery of a single preferred stimulus was effective for three of eight participants, the combination of stimuli was effective for three of six participants with whom we evaluated this procedure, and escape EXT was necessary for two participants.
 
151. An Evaluation of Matched Versus Unmatched Stimuli to Reduce Rumination
Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA GILL (Melmark PA), Arthur Glenn Dowdy (Melmark PA; Temple University)
Abstract: Rumination involves the repeated regurgitation of food, spitting out, or the re-chewing and re-swallowing of food that was previously ingested (Severio, Monagas, Noel, & Hyman, 2015). The quality of life of an individual who ruminates could be negatively impacted as rumination can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, tooth decay, upper respiratory distress, halitosis, gastric disorders, aspiration, and choking (Fredricks, Carr, & Williams, 1998; Rhine and Tarbox, 2009; Wilder, Register, Register, Bajagic, & Neidert, 2009). Wilder et al. (2009) evaluated the effectiveness of antecedent-based interventions which resulted in a reduction of rumination. Antecedent-based interventions often involve providing the participant with stimuli, hypothesized to match the sensory reinforcement produced from the rumination response (Favell, McGimsey, & Schell, 1982; Piazza, Adelinis, Hanley, Goh, & Delia, 2000; Wierzba and Tiger, 2017). Piazza et al. (2000) found that providing matched hypothesized sensory consequences of aberrant behavior in comparison to unmatched, resulted in lower levels of the target behavior. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of matched stimuli in comparison to unmatched stimuli to reduce rates of rumination. Our findings suggest that in some cases the presentation of unmatched sensory stimuli may be more effective than matched sensory stimuli when reducing automatically maintained challenging behavior.
 
153. Effects of High-Probability Request Sequences on Compliance to Low-Probability Requests for Elementary Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LARRY FISHER (University of North Carolina at Charlotte )
Abstract: Noncompliance in the classroom setting is problematic for all students, and can especially be problematic for students with disabilities. Frequent noncompliance can negatively impact the personal, social, academic, and vocational success of children (Lee, 2005). One antecedent-based intervention that has empirical evidence for successfully increasing compliance is the use of a high-probability request sequence. This intervention involves the presentation of 3-5 requests in rapid succession that the student has a history of complying with, providing reinforcement contingent on compliance, and then issuing the targeted request immediately following the series of high-probability requests (Mace et al., 1988). A reversal design was used to assess the effectiveness of implementing a high-probability request sequence to address noncompliance in the classroom for three elementary students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Results are displayed in a visual graph and include the percentage of compliant responses and the mean latency to respond to low-probability requests. In addition, generalization across interventionists and social validity measures are provided.
 
154. Use of a Level System to Improve Synchronous Engagement for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership)
Abstract: Level systems have been described as a framework which can be used to shape behavior through the systematic application of behavioral principles. Within level systems, an individual moves up and down through various levels contingent upon the emission of specific behaviors. While level systems have been evaluated across a wide variety of settings using group contingences, their use on an individual level has received considerably less attention. Furthermore, to date, the authors are only aware of one study that has utilized a level system with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a level system to improve synchronous engagement (SE) with two dyads of children diagnosed with ASD. The results of an ABAB reversal design showed that the level system was effective at improving SE for both dyads.
 
155. Associative Learning in Non-Verbal Autistic Children: Verbal Processing Hypothesized as a Mediator of Associative Learning
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
CHARLOTTE RENAUX (University of Lille, France ), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille ), Paul Craddock (University of Lille, France), Ralph R. Miller (State University of New York, Birmingham)
Abstract: Verbal processing has been proposed to be necessary for associative learning in humans. But there are no published reports of higher-order conditioning that test this hypothesis despite the existence of many behavioral programs for treating verbally deficient autistic children. Here we refuted the necessity of verbal skills for higher-order associative learning by examining conditioning in non-verbal autistic children compared to a control group of normal children. We employed a sensory preconditioning procedure that was quick and used no instructions. CS2-CS1 and CS3-CS4 trials were presented during phase 1, and CS1-US+ and CS3-US- trials were presented during phase 2. The CSs were colored geometric shapes, the US+s were entertaining video clips, and the US- an unpleasant sound. The conditioned response was looking at the location where the US+s had appeared. At test, non-verbal autistic children exhibited greater conditioned responding to CS2 than did normal children. Thus, verbal processing might be viewed as having a disruptive influence on the formation of associations and it seems to be unnecessary for associative learning. Moreover, the higher-order conditioning observed with eye-tracking systems in nonverbal autistic children could provide an opportuniy to develop behavioral programs based on sensory preconditioning tasks to enhance their abilities quickly and avoid the use of instructions.
 
156. Working With Insurance: Writing Successful Appeals and Working Successfully With State Regulators
Domain: Service Delivery
KAREN FESSEL (Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project )
Abstract: With nearly all US states now having insurance autism mandates, more and more providers are turning to health plans as the primary funder of ABA services for Autism. This talk will lay out a template describing what providers need to know when facing insurance denials. We will use specific, real life cases and discuss how providers can address them. We start by looking at the specific written reason given for denial. Common reasons which we routinely encounter, many of which will be discussed include location (school vs home), disputes about hours of coverage, duration of the program, not benefitting from services, no longer needing services, parental involvement, as well as disputes about payment and coverage. When reviewing reports, health plans often look for descriptions of progress balanced with continued description of deficit and need. This can be highlighted in the appeal, depending on the stated reason for denial. Health plans typically cite their own guidelines in issuing denials, some of which are overly restrictive. A series of recent legal actions have brought some of this to attention -- shortcomings can be addressed and guidelines developed by professional bodies can be cited instead. When and what type of literature to cite and/or include will also be discussed. Even when done right, health plans typically uphold their own denials. Often the external review process is where "real justice" occurs. We will discuss what to include with external reviews, how the process works, and what types of plans are typically supported. Buiding relationships with state regulators and legislators is important. Finally, we will examine some of the laws which confer protection, including the Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and many sections in the Affordable Care Act.
 
157. Meta-Analyses of Single Case Designs in Autism Research: Current Practices and Future Directions
Domain: Basic Research
WHITNEY L. KLEINERT (May Institute), Cynthia M. Anderson (May Institute)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Fortunately, many interventions are available to address deficits and excesses associated with ASD and there currently are hundreds of published studies documenting such interventions. Because challenges vary by individual, single case research designs (SCDs) are frequently used to examine the effectiveness of interventions. Meta-analytic procedures are a useful mechanism for synthesizing outcomes across multiple studies of a given target behavior or intervention. In this study, we identified 18 meta-analytic reviews of SCD studies and analyzed those studies to determine how decisions about effects were reached. Results indicated little agreement with regard to the ideal effect size metric and meta-analytic procedure to use. In this poster, we will (a) provide a synopsis of the current meta-analytic research on interventions targeting challenges faced by individuals with autism, and (b) offer future directions in this domain based on SCD meta-analyses in other areas.
 
158. In Search of Autistic Traits Using the AQ-10 Screening Tool vs. 2nd to 4th Digit Ratio
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
KLAUDIA KYSELICOVÁ (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Diana Filcikova (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Aneta Kubranska (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Hana Celušáková (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Petra Keményová (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Eva Nescakova (Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University Bratislava), Katarína Babinská (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava), Daniela Ostatnikova (Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University Bratislava)
Abstract: Autistic traits may display a continuous distribution throughout the population. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of autistic traits occurring in university students and look for possible cognitive or behavioral differences between students of different study programs, as well as correlations with the biomarker 2D:4D. The AQ-10 was used as a quick screening tool in a sample of 369 Slovak university students (102 males and 267 females; mean age 21.9 years) of four programs: medicine, philosophy, natural sciences and management. There were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of autistic traits between students of different specializations, nor did we prove that sex of the students would play a role in the occurrence of autistic traits. No correlation between the AQ-10 score and the second to fourth finger ratio could be found. The 2D:4D ration proved to be significantly lower in males than in females in both right hand (mean: 0.96) and left hand (mean: 0.97) with an even greater difference when comparing neurotypic males with boys with ASD (mean: 0.95). This leads to the suggestion whether the AQ-10 is discriminative enough to be used as a reliable screening tool.
 
159. Assessing Effectiveness and Preference Across Delay Tolerance Treatments
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE LICHTBLAU (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Time-based progressive delay (TBPD), contingency-based progressive delay (CBPD), and multiple schedules may be effective treatments for decreasing the occurrence of destructive behavior and increasing appropriate behavior during unavoidable and unpredictable delays to reinforcement. The generality of clinical treatments for destructive behavior may be limited by their ability to simulate unavoidable or unpredictable delays that occur in a client’s natural environment (e.g., home, school, community). We conducted a direct comparison of the effectiveness of TBPD, CBPD, and multiple schedule treatments in decreasing one participant’s destructive behavior. Preliminary results suggest that CBPD may be more effective in decreasing destructive behavior. Additionally, we assessed the participant’s preference for a delay tolerance treatment and found that the participant preferred the multiple schedule treatment during shorter delays to reinforcement (i.e., 60 s, 150 s) and switched preference to CBPD during longer delays to reinforcement (i.e., 240 s).
 
160. Looking Beyond a Rate-Building Paradigm and Setting the Course With Performance Benchmarks
Area: DDA; Domain: Theory
RYAN LEE O'DONNELL (High Sierra Industries), Stuart M. Law (University of Nevada, Reno & High Sierra Industries), Mark Malady (High Sierra Industries)
Abstract: The field of Precision Teaching (PT) has long been synonymous with structured rate-building, often in the context of academic targets such as reading and arithmetic. While fluency is not marked by high rates per se, but rather application, endurance, and retention, many of the examples provided in PT literature are examples of high-rate academic learning targets. However, a little-known project of Ogden Lindsleys called The Behavior Bank may have been a technology which could carry PT principles far beyond rate-building for academic targets. This project was well ahead of its time in the 1960s. It was set up to be an international computer bank containing a large amount of information on a myriad of human behavior and performances. At the time, it was extremely costly (they had to rent time on a mainframe to input records) and did not gather the momentum needed. These issues will be explored, and will be exemplified through discussion of a broadly-applicable assessment tool currently in development at High Sierra Industries.
 
161. An Evaluation of Picture Prompting on Variability during the Acquisition of Intraverbal Categorization
Domain: Applied Research
KALLY SORENSEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center; Munroe- Meyer Institute), Kathryn Glodowski (Penn State - Harrisburg), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Maria Malachowski (Nationwide Children's Hospital)
Abstract: Restricted or repetitive behavior is a symptom of autism (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), and therefore, identifying procedures to improve variable responding continues to be a research focus. Some researchers have evaluated whether variability could be improved with various prompting strategies within discrete trial instruction (DTI; Peterson, Rodriguez, & Pawich, in press; Carroll & Kodak, 2015). Peterson et al. found initial variability with the use of a variable echoic prompt during DTI of intraverbal categorization. Similarly, Carroll and Kodak demonstrated increased variability during a similar task when providing a variable echoic model with, and without, instructive feedback. Providing picture prompts within DTI could also improve variability of intraverbal categorization . Researchers found picture prompts to be efficacious in the acquisition of intraverbal tasks (Ingvarsson & Hollobaugh, 2011; Kodak, Fuchtman, & Paden, 2012; Vedora & Barry, 2016). However, we are unaware of any research evaluating the use of picture prompts on the variability of responding. We used a picture prompt to teach intraverbal categorization with four children diagnosed with autism. Initial variability occurred for all participants, but all participants emitted a dominant order for the majority of trials within sessions. Additional research should be conducted to determine teaching procedures that promote variable responding.
 
162. Does Yoga Improve the Motor Skills of an Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
MORGAN WRIGHT (Eastern Michigan University), Amber Schmitt (Eastern Michigan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University), Jin Bo (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Fifty to 100% of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience difficulties with motor skills. Motor deficits can affect children's abilities to participate in physical activity and may also reduce opportunities for social engagement. Previous reports suggest that yoga may be an effective medium for improving motor skills in this population; however, instructional methods have been inconsistent or inadequately described. The present study used an AB design to implement an in-home yoga intervention and to examine its effects on the general motor skills of a 14-year-old with ASD. Yoga poses were instructed using a least-to-most prompt hierarchy. General motor skills were assessed pre- and post-study using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency Second Edition (BOT-2). Differential performance of yoga poses and upper-extremity muscle strength were systematically measured, the former through video-coding by trained, independent raters, the latter via a hand dynamometer. Preliminary visual analysis of the data suggests improvements in muscle strength, performance of yoga poses, and general motor skills. Yoga may offer a socially acceptable medium for improving motor skills and increasing physical engagement in children with ASD.
 
163. Observable Measurement of Variables Inside the Skin: Can Heart Rate Variability be Predictive in Automatically Maintained Behavior?
Domain: Applied Research
KAITLIN ROSS (MECA), Dan Albrand (MECA), Gloria Satriale (MECA), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: The explanation for self-injurious behavior (SIB) remains controversial and can often assumed to be related to an automatic function once other possibilities have been systematically ruled out. One hypothesis relates to whether SIB is influenced, or influences, biophysical activity and there are two competing theories in reference to physiological states of the person. These hypotheses suggest that individuals engage in SIB in order to regulate their arousal state-to either activate or reduce the activity of the central or peripheral nervous systems. Often the measurement of arousal states focuses on heart rate, but also in other areas such as salivary cortisol, and (electroencephalogram) brain activity. This study evaluated the patterns of heart rate in relation to various environmental contexts and activities. A 20 year old man with severe autism, and a significant history of severe SIB preceded by specific vocal perseverations wore a device on his wrist that measured heart rate while observers recorded these data throughout his program day for several weeks. Data collection focused on specific activities in which he was engaged (e.g. free time, demand situations, transitions). It is expected that the data will result in a marked difference in heart rate immediately preceding instances of the specific vocal perseverations, providing an indication that SIB is likely to occur, where no other obvious indication had been observed.
 
164. The Friendship Model: The Facilitation of Friendship Initiation and Maintenance in Autistic Populations
Domain: Service Delivery
VANESSA SUZANNE KAY (Elm's College)
Abstract: Individuals on the autism spectrum have difficulty forming and maintaining friendships or social connections with others (Rotheram-Fuller, Kasari, Chamberlain, & Locke, 2010). Some challenges that individuals on the spectrum face is a lack of initiation of interactions, difficulty interpreting both verbal and nonverbal cues, social pragmatics, perseveration on specific topics, difficulty interpreting nonliteral language, and impaired theory of mind (Weiss & Harris, 2001; Kransy, Williams, Povencal, & Ozonoff, 2003; Kerbel & Grunwell, 1998). These individuals often desire friendships and express loneliness and discontentment (Bauminger & Kasari, 2000). They are typically very much aware of the social challenges that they face, but have difficulty adapting to other peoples social expectations (Knott, Dunlop, & McKay, 2006). Challenges in maintaining social skills may lead to other difficulties including academic/occupational underachievement and mood and/or anxiety related challenges (Howlin & Goode, 1998). The friendship model was designed to promote the use of materials intended to facilitate social interactions and promote behaviors associated with successful friendships. The friendship model operationally defines different levels of types of friendships by dividing them into acquaintances, causal friends, good friends, and best friends. Characteristics of each level of friendship, such as how often you talk and what you should talk about, are clearly defined. Furthermore, it emphasis feasibility, respect, interest, empathy, nurturing, and diligence as qualities that are imperative for the formation and maintenance of friendships. Friendship formation is approached in a step by step model in order to target appropriate social boundaries and relationship progression. Social Scripts and Stories emphasizing the components of friendship are used to facilitate the development of these skills. They are used in conjunction with the friendship model in order to facilitate understanding of social attributes impacting friendship. The following intervention methods have the potential to be implemented: -Operationally defining friendship characteristics in a manner easily understandable to individuals on the autism spectrum. Specific aspects such as how much time to spend together, duration of conversation, and topics discussed are operationally defined. Intervention methods: -Providing scripts for social interactions, varied in order to enforce flexibility. -Presenting social relationships in a novel, quantifiable manner. Teaching individuals with social challenges to quantify the quality of friendships. -Generalization of turn taking to complex areas of social functioning such as communication by phone and sharing stories. -Empirically validated tools including social stories and role plays to promote social functioning. -Self-monitoring social behaviors in order to improve the quality of outcomes or consequences. -Teaches individuals to define the functions of bullying and other problem behaviors in others, and to respond according to the function.
 
165. Using a Response-Based Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Motivational System With Multiple Schedule and Response Cost to Reduce Stereotypy and Increase Skill Acquisition in a Child With Autism
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER WOODRUFF (SEARCH Learning Group), ToniAnne Fede (SEARCH Learning Group), Nicole Journe (SEARCH Learning Group)
Abstract: This present study combined the use of differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) with a response-based token economy system and a response cost to reduce motor and vocal stereotypy in a seven-year-old learner with autism. A whole-interval DRO procedure was initially implemented as an intervention for stereotypy reduction, with a separate motivational system used for correct responding during various skills acquisition tasks. Although this intervention was successful in decreasing stereotypy, appropriate responding to the skill acquisition tasks also markedly decreased. A response-based DRO procedure, combined with a motivational system and response cost, was then introduced. Correct responses to skill acquisition tasks in the absence of motor and vocal stereotypy were reinforced on an FR1 schedule. Any instance of motor or vocal stereotypy resulted in the removal of all tokens. After five sessions, the learner�s responses to skill acquisition tasks increased by 91%, with 45% of total skill acquisition tasks meeting mastery criterion. Overall, these results suggest the use of a response-based DRO motivational system with response cost to be an effective treatment in both the reduction of motor and vocal stereotypy and an increase in appropriate skills. Recommendations for reinforcement schedule thinning are also discussed.
 

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