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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.

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Program by Continuing Education Events: Monday, May 28, 2018


Invited Paper Session #388
Behavioral Pharmacology of Prescription Drugs: Their Effects on Learning and Remembering
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom B
Area: SCI
CE Instructor: Mark Galizio, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan W. Pinkston (Western New England University)
MARK GALIZIO (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Dr. Mark Galizio earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and currently serves as professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, having previously served as department chair (2004–2011). Dr. Galizio’s highly productive research career includes more than 80 published articles and chapters, a textbook now in its seventh edition, an edited book, more than $1 million in grants, service as associate editor and editorial board member of multiple prominent behavior analytic journals, and extensive leadership service to the field (e.g., president of APA Division 25, NIH Study Section on Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning, and Ethology). His contributions have included empirical, conceptual, and methodological advances across an impressive range of specialties within the experimental analysis of behavior, including rule-governed behavior, aversive control, complex stimulus control, behavioral pharmacology, and learning and remembering. His work exemplifies the best of the benefits of translational research, taking a thoroughly behavior analytic approach to issues of broader interest in the behavioral, social, and biological sciences, for which he has been recognized as a Fellow in four different divisions of APA. Dr. Galizio’s teaching and mentorship are also noteworthy, and have resulted in numerous awards and recognitions.
Abstract: This talk will provide a brief overview of procedures used in the behavioral pharmacology of learning and remembering with a focus on prescription drugs used to treat clients with intellectual disabilities. The talk will also provide a more detailed analysis of research using novel procedures that vary the number of stimuli to remember as well as the retention interval. We will briefly review findings from the animal laboratory on drugs that impair learning and memory as well as the search for “cognitive enhancers.” Factors that have made it difficult to translate findings from the animal behavioral pharmacology laboratory to improvements in human learning and remembering will be discussed and we will consider the implications of these difficulties for the treatment of clients with intellectual disabilities.
Target Audience: Researchers and practitioners interested in the behavioral pharmacology of learning and remembering.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify and describe procedures used to study drug effects on learning and remembering in non-human subjects; (2) evaluate the strengths and limitations of these procedures with respect to internal validity and translational significance; (3) describe potential issues raised by the basic research literature that are relevant to pharmacotherapy.
Symposium #390
CE Offered: BACB
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis: Investigations of Experiential Avoidance in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall D
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Meshes, M.S.
Chair: Elizabeth Meshes (The Chicago School for Professional Psychology, Los Angeles; CARD)
Abstract: Ample research has demonstrated the effectiveness of behavior analytic procedures for producing substantial improvements in relatively socially meaningful behaviors, for example, severe behaviors, social behavior, and the elementary verbal operants. Relatively little behavioral research has addressed complex human verbal behavior. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a contemporary behavior analytic approach to psychotherapy that is based on an analysis of relations between complex human verbal behavior and other socially relevant overt behaviors. Although ACT has primarily been applied by clinical psychologists, its basis is entirely behavior analytic and great potential exists for combining ACT with applied behavior analysis. This symposium brings together three presentations on ACT from a behavior analytic perspective. The first presentation, by Elizabeth Meshes, is a conceptual presentation that ties together the ACT literature and the behavior analytic literature on self-control versus impulsivity (aka delay discounting). The second presentation, by Jessica Hinman, describes a study that used an ACT approach to training self-perspective taking an evaluates collateral effects on physiological measures. The third presentation, by Sebastian Garcia-Zambrano, describes a study that employed a defusion approach to training flexible self-directed verbal behavior.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ACT, Defusion, Delay Discounting, Perspective Taking
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts working with individuals with autism with well developed verbal repertoires
Synthesizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Delay Discounting: Implications for Applied Behavior Analysis
ELIZABETH MESHES (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles; CARD), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was originally developed as a behavioral approach to psychotherapy for treating disorders traditionally treated by clinical psychology, including substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. However, the functional analyses that form the foundation of ACT are equally applicable to anyone who has verbal behavior and rule-governed behavior that interacts with socially meaningful overt behavior. Most problems of behavior faced by typically developing adolescents and adults involve making difficult choices between smaller short term reinforcers (e.g., avoiding work) versus larger longer-term reinforcers (e.g., successful career). Delay discounting research has shown clearly that unfavorable delays and proportions of reinforcement determine that individuals will make less favorable behavioral choices. At the core of the ACT model is the attempt to transform the function of verbal behavior such that choosing the harder choice in the short term in order to access the larger reinforcer later is more probable. This presentation will present the radical behavioral conceptual analysis behind this process and discuss applicability across work with individuals with autism, parents of children with autism, and behavioral supervision of staff. Potential for using this analysis for extending applied behavior analysis into other important areas of applied work will also be discussed.
Acceptance and Commitment Training's Effect on Negative Thoughts: Changing the Verbal Self Statements and Physiological Responses of Adolescents and Young Adults With Autism
(Applied Research)
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 Training (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.
Effects of Defusion and Deictic Frames Interactions on the Development of Self-As-Context in Individuals With Autism
(Applied Research)
SEBASTIAN GARCIA-ZAMBRANO (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of a defusion exercise in combination with perspective- taking interactions as a brief protocol based on the Relational Frame Theory. The protocol is designed to train deictic frames (I-YOU, HERE-THERE, AND NOW-THEN) in conjunction with an exercise of defusion focused on the regulation of verbal statements about the self. A pre-post design with control group is implemented to evaluate the effects of the protocol on the probability of occurrence of self-as-context and self-as-content statements. Adolescents with autism are selected and assigned to each group based on the frequency of self-as-content statements. After the assignment of the participants to each group, each participant is interviewed individually through a structured interview aimed at identifying deictic frames and negative statements. Then, participants in the treatment group receive the protocol of defusion and deictic frames individually, and participants in the control group receive a Behavioral Skills Training session on an individual basis. Finally, participants are interviewed individually through an interview based on the identification of deictic relationships and negative statements about the self. A preliminary result showed an increase of the probability of occurrence of the self-as-context statements after the implementation of the protocol.
Symposium #391
CE Offered: BACB
Training Strategies to Enhance the Implementation of Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) Relational Training System
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom G
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Autumn N. McKeel, Ph.D.
Chair: Kyle E Rowsey (University of Southern Mississippi)
Abstract: Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) Relational Training System is a four part assessment and curricula that includes programs related to direct training, training for generalization, and training via stimulus equivalence and relational frame theory. PEAK Relational Training System assessments and curricula are designed to be easily accessible by anyone, but programs with more advanced or less commonly applied verbal behavior concepts may be problematic for non-expert personnel. The current set of studies evaluate the effects of training strategies used with staff to teach them how to utilize PEAK relational training system validly. Results will be discussed.
Keyword(s): PEAK, BST
Target Audience: Practitioners and therapists who conduct discrete trials with children with autism.
Learning Objectives: 1.) Audience will learn how to conduct PEAK D using BST 2.) Audience will learn how to conduct PEAK E and PEAK T using BST 3.) Audience will learn how how to use PEAK, in general
Targeting Staff Treatment Integrity of the PEAK Relational Training System Using Behavioral Skills Training
Adam Hahs (Arizona State University), JAMES JARYNOWSKI (Arizona State University)
Abstract: The present study sought to evaluate the extent to which behavioral skills training (BST) program impacted treatment integrity for six direct care staff (3 male, 3 female; aged 20-25) implementing the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK) with six individuals with autism (5 male, 1 female; aged 9-12). Students and their respective target programs were selected based on PEAK-DT PA and PEAK-DT Assessment results. BST improved overall procedural integrity for all staff involved and, more importantly, all six learners with autism improved their total percentage scores specific to the targeted programs. Generalization probes were conducted at 2-months post-BST, and all staff performance maintained well above baseline levels with novel programs. The importance of appropriate training and treatment integrity specific to the implementation of PEAK is discussed.
Improving Selection of Training Stimuli in Advanced PEAK-DT Programs With Multiple Exemplars
SETH W. WHITING (Central Michigan University), Marcel Kirberg (Central Michigan University), Molly M. Conway (Central Michigan University), Daniel Abraham Moreno (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: PEAK Relational Training System assessments and curricula are designed to be easily accessible by anyone, but programs with more advanced or less commonly applied verbal behavior concepts may be problematic for non-expert personnel. On advanced PEAK-DT programs, behavior technicians, parents, or other service implementers may choose inappropriate stimuli for training, or fail to insert stimuli at all. Three participants (2 female, 1 male; aged 21-23) working in an autism clinic demonstrated 100% accuracy in selecting appropriate stimuli to train on PEAK programs such as tacting animals and colors. However, accuracy of stimuli selected on more advanced programs (e.g., programs for metaphorical emotions, autoclitics, metonymical tacts) averaged 37% across participants in baseline conditions. In multiple baselines across two advanced PEAK programs, each participant received lists of additional multiple exemplars of appropriate stimuli to target in training. Provision of additional exemplars resulted in 93-100% accuracy across all targeted programs. Generalization probes verified participants could successfully generate additional appropriate novel stimuli for training. Results suggest that PEAK users may wish to keep records of stimuli used for programs to increase future accuracy and ease of implementation in more challenging programs.
The Effects of Paraprofessional Implementation of PEAK Relational Training System: Equivalence and Transformation Modules in an Autism Classroom
AUTUMN N. MCKEEL (Aurora University), Kari Smith (Aurora University)
Abstract: The current studies evaluated the effectiveness of three paraprofessionals' implementation of equivalence based multiple exemplar training following behavioral skills training (BST). The paraprofessionals were trained using programs from Promoting the Emergence of Advance Knowledge Relational Training System-Equivalence (PEAK-E) and Transformation (PEAK-T) Modules. Both consist of evidence based assessment and curriculum that uses behavior analytic language and discrete trial process to promote language skills and the use of stimulus equivalence. Each was used as a tool to teach paraprofessionals how to apply equivalence training following BST. Two multiple baseline designs were used to implement a behavioral skills training package across three paraprofessionals in an autism classroom. Task analyses were used to teach symmetrical relations among weather, seasons, and months using a program in PEAK-E (data included). Results showed that paraprofessionals unfamiliar with behavior analytic language used PEAK-E to conduct multiple exemplar training following BST.
Symposium #392
CE Offered: BACB
Analyses of Equivalence-Based Instruction Using Three Different Training Structures
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom H
Area: AUT
CE Instructor: Christina M. King, Ph.D.
Chair: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting; Simmons College)
Abstract: Equivalence-based instruction has utilized a one to many, many to one, and linear series training structure, with varying degrees of effectiveness. These three studies demonstrate the efficacy of equivalence-based instruction using three different training structures. In Experiment One, a participant diagnosed with autism will be taught to sort a variety of physically dissimilar items, followed by visual-visual match-to-sample training. It is expected that posttests will demonstrate the formation of generalized equivalence classes and generalization of money skills to the natural setting. Experiment Two will assess for the emergence of selection and topography-based verbal and non-verbal behavior in two children diagnosed with autism. Visual-visual conditional discrimination training and tact training will be conducted through an equivalence-based format. It is hypothesized that nine additional relations will be demonstrated following the training of three relations for each stimulus class. Experiment Three demonstrated that learners emitted substantially more errors and formed fewer equivalence classes with a trial-and-error protocol compared to an errorless learning protocol. It is anticipated that these results will be replicated when the reinforcement density is kept constant across both training conditions. These three experiments will expand upon the existing equivalence research through the use of different training structures.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): errorless learning, stimulus equivalence, verbal behavior
Target Audience: This presentation is appropriate for behavior analysts of an intermediate and advanced skill level.
Emergent Coin Relations and Stimulus Generalization Following Conditional Discrimination Training
(Applied Research)
MEGAN BREAULT (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College), Christina M. King (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting; Simmons College), Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College)
Abstract: Equivalence based instruction has been demonstrated to be an efficient strategy for teaching a variety of individuals functional money skills; however, the generalization of the emerged relations in the natural environment has yet to be assessed. Several equivalence-based studies, conducted in laboratory settings, have utilized a variety of pictures of the stimulus class members during conditional discrimination training to form generalized equivalence classes. The purpose of the current study is to demonstrate the emergence of a minimal generalized equivalence class in an applied setting. In the current study a 14 year-old boy, diagnosed with autism, will be taught to sort a variety of physically different items (C) that can be purchased at a school store based on price. Followed by training the participant to match coins (B) to their corresponding written values (A) and items that can be purchased in a school store (C) to their corresponding assigned coin values (B). After acquisition of trained relations, all tests for a minimal generalized equivalence class and generalization probes of purchasing a variety of items in a school store will be conducted. These data will be discussed in terms of maximizing student learning and programming for stimulus generalization during conditional discrimination training.
Categorization and the Emergence of Selection and Topography-Based Verbal and Non-Verbal Behavior
(Applied Research)
CHRISTINA M. KING (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College), Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting; Simmons College), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College), 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 drum in the presence of the spoken word instrument), tact the class of a stimulus (e.g. saying furniture when shown a chair or bed), and match members within a class to one another (e.g. fork to knife; guitar to piano) 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 is to assess the efficiency and efficacy of training one arbitrary visual-visual conditional discrimination (D-B) and two tacts (B-Name and C-Name) and then testing for the emergence of nine additional untrained relations: tacting by class name (D-Name), selecting members of the class in the presence of the auditory stimulus (A-B, A-C, & A-D) and arbitrarily matching class members to one another (C-B, B-D, C-D, D-C). The participants included two children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. 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.
Comparison of an Errorless Learning to a Trial-and-Error Protocol on Equivalence Class Formation
(Applied Research)
Russell W. Maguire (Simmons College), Megan Breault (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College), COLLEEN YORLETS (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting; Simmons College), Christina M. King (RCS Learning Center; Simmons College)
Abstract: Errors emitted during instruction pose a number of potential risks, particularly for learners with developmental disabilities. While it is preferable to utilize errorless protocols to minimize the occurrence of errors, practitioners often rely on traditional trial and error protocols. Experiment One compared the effects of errorless versus trial-and-error protocols to form equivalence classes via conditional discrimination training. Participants 1 and 2 emitted errors, on average, during 73% of trials in the trial and error training condition. They emitted errors for an average of 5% of trials within the errorless learning condition. Participant 1 formed 4 of 9 equivalence classes in the errorless condition and 3 of 9 classes in the trial and error condition. Participant 2 formed 9 of 9 equivalence classes in the errorless condition and 2 of 9 classes in the trial and error condition. Participant 3 completed only the errorless learning condition and formed 9 of 9 equivalence classes. The effects of density of reinforcement on equivalence class formation will be further evaluated within Experiment Two. Errorless and trial-and-error protocols will be compared for Participants 1 and 2, while holding the density of reinforcement constant across both protocols. This change in protocol from Experiment One will allow for evaluation of the effects of errors on skill acquisition while eliminating reinforcement density as a variable between errorless and trial and error protocols.
Symposium #393
CE Offered: BACB
Improve Learning Outcomes of Children With Autism in China
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom AB
CE Instructor: Youjia Hua, Ph.D.
Chair: Youjia Hua (The University of Virginia)
Discussant: David L. Lee (Penn State)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are lifelong neurodevelopmental disabilities (Allen & Rapin, 1990). The number of referrals for evaluation of children with ASD has dramatically increased since it was first recognized as a disability in China 1982. The Mental Health Institute of Beijing University reported that more children being referred for suspected ASD than any other mental health issues, and the numbers rose 210% from 1980 to 1999. Researchers estimate that over one million children in China have autism using the prevalence rate of 6 in 1,000 from the United States (Wang, 2008). A 2001 Chinese government survey reported that intensive behavioral intervention was the most requested service by parents of children with ASD (Yang, 2003). However, there is a severe shortage of professionals who can deliver early intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI) to children with ASD in China. Approximately 90% of the children with autism never received any type of intervention. The symposium will include two experimental studies that investigated the interventions designed to improve teacher's use of EIBI to improve learning outcomes of children with autism in China.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Autism, International
Target Audience: Researchers and practitioners who are interested in early behavioral interventions for children with autism and education in China.
Learning Objectives: The audience will learn (a) effective interventions that will improve and maintain procedural integrity using distance learning technologies and (b) how to correct errors in early behavioral intervention for children with autism.
Improve Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Procedural Integrity Using Distance Learning Technologies for Teachers in China
(Applied Research)
JING ZHU (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Procedural integrity has a direct impact on Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) outcomes for children with autism. Research evidence suggests that providing feedback can improve procedural integrity. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of delivering feedback using distance learning technologies on EIBI procedural integrity for teachers in China. Three teachers from a school serving children with autism in China participated in the study. During the baseline, we recorded and measured teachers' procedural integrity while implementing discrete trial training (DTT) and incidental teaching (IT). During the intervention, the teachers received feedback regarding their procedural integrity on either DTT or IT using distance learning technologies. In the context of an alternating treatment design, we directly compared the percentage of steps implemented correctly between the two conditions. The study showed that there was a functional relation between the intervention and teacher's improved procedural integrity. The effects were replicated when the teachers received feedback on the other procedure. The results of the study suggest that delivering feedback using distance learning technologies can be an effective intervention to improve procedural integrity for practitioners.
Comparing Error-Correction Procedures in Early Behavioral Intervention for Children With Autism in China
(Applied Research)
CHENGAN YUAN (The University of Iowa), Youjia Hua (University of Virginia)
Abstract: It is critical to find effective error-correction procedures used in early behavioral intervention (EBI) for children with autism because they tend to make persistent errors. However, studies have not provided empirical support as to whether instructors should deliver reinforcers during error correction. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of the error correction with and without reinforcement on (a) the acquisition of a match-to-sample skill and (b) intervention preference of children with autism in China. We will recruit four children with autism from China to participate in the study. When error occurs, the instructor will first prompt the student to make a correct response. The instructor will either deliver a reinforcer or not use any reinforcers following student correct response under the respective conditions. We will use a repeated acquisition design to compare which error-correction procedure will result in faster skill acquisition. We will also assess student preference of the procedures. The results will contribute to the knowledge of effective error correction used in EBI for children with autism. In addition, we will discuss the potential mechanism responsible for error correction in the context of stimulus control and punishment. We will complete data collection in January 2018.
Symposium #394
CE Offered: BACB
Organizational Behavior Management and Beyond: Case Studies in Organizational Behavior Management
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom F
CE Instructor: Daniel B. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Chair: Daniel B. Sundberg (Kendrick Realty, Inc)
Abstract: Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and Behavioral Systems Analysis has had huge successes in changing variables to increase productivity and profitability over time. Contract fulfillment, as defined as contracted versus billed hours, is a concrete measurement related to profitability across any company providing intensive Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. In this symposium, presenters will be discussing the history of Organizational Behavior Management and Behavioral Systems Analysis, how one agency utilized these systems to increase contract fulfillment and the potential other benefits Organizational Behavior Management can have with an agency. This presentation will give a practical real-world look at how one organization has begun to improve an issue that plagues most ABA service providers. This will also serve as an example of how Organizational Behavior Management can be applied at a large scale to solve business-wide issues from a behavior analytic systems perspective.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: BCBA practitioners, clinicians, administrators
Learning Objectives: Expand knowledge, including application of Organizational Behavior Management principles Increase contract fulfillment across insurance contracts within an ABA agency Increase systems analysis across different organizations, including ABA agencies, real estate and more
Behavior Analysis in Real Estate? A Case Study in Organizational Behavior Management
DANIEL B. SUNDBERG (ABA Technologies), Lisa M Sickman (Kendrick Realty, Inc.)
Abstract: Behavior Analysis as a science has the potential to produce significant changes in all areas that involve human behavior. Recently, the field has had a tremendous impact in the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities, and has gained much public recognition and acceptance. However, many behavior analysts often lament the apparently narrowing focus of the field into just one subject area, and frequently ask - why haven't we done more? Outside of clinical behavior analysis, there are a number of individuals working to apply the science of behavior to a great variety of settings and populations. The present talk will present a case study of how behavior analysis has been used to influence performance in a very "non-traditional" setting - A real estate company.
Increasing Contract Fulfillment Using Organizational Behavior Management and Behavioral Systems Analysis
(Service Delivery)
MARI R. UEDA-TAO (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Brenda J. Terzich Garland (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Daniel B. Sundberg (ABA Technologies)
Abstract: The rapid change in the world of autism treatment has sparked rapid growth, and big challenges for companies providing ABA treatment services. One major challenge many such organizations encounter relates to providing all treatment hours deemed clinically necessary by ABA professionals. Under-providing hours can slow clinical progress, as clients receive fewer service hours than are deemed clinically necessary. It also presents a significant business challenge, as it leaves hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars unbilled by service providers. Many of the factors that contribute to low contract fulfillment rates are behavioral in nature, and may be improved by taking a behavior analytic approach. This presentation will present a case-study of an organization that employed OBM and Behavioral Systems Analysis to analyze and improve contract fulfillment rates. Intervention strategies included process redesigns, and implementation of task clarification and multi-level feedback systems. Preliminary data indicate the organization increased hours billed by 5% - 10% at one site, and have the potential to see increases as much as 10% - 15% organization-wide.
A Behavior Analytic Understanding of the Change Management Protocol Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement
Abstract: Change Management is a common approach to change in many organizations. The ADKAR model to change management is one of the popular change management systems being used by businesses today. Upon further inspection of the ADKAR change management model, there are many behavior analytic principles that may be extrapolated for effective organizational behavior management. If behavioral analysts are able to utilize this widely adopted practice by bridging the well-known organizational development components and verbiage of ADKAR with the underlying science and nomenclature of behavior analytics, then behavior analysts will be able to continue to make strides in supporting the ongoing needs of any organization within and outside of the ABA industry. This talk is designed to teach clinicians in the behavior analytic industry how to utilize their extensive training in behavior analysis to not only apply their knowledge to organizational behavior management, but also to generalize that knowledge across organizational systems.
Symposium #395
CE Offered: BACB
Clinical and Educational Applications and Analyses of Behavioral Skills Training for Increasing Staff Effectiveness
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom E
Area: OBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Donald M. Stenhoff, Ph.D.
Chair: Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Training staff is a critical component for the success of organizational interventions. Behavior analysts are often required to train staff for the organizations for whom they work or during consultations to meet the organizations goals to improve staff performance. Behavioral skills training (BST) is an effective method to training staff. BST usually includes interrelated components including instruction, modeling of the targeted skills, rehearsal, and praise or corrective feedback. In this symposium, three applications of BST will be described across three presentations. In the first presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which school staff were trained to help students initiate play with peers and engage in outdoor activities during recess. In the second presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which BST was used to train therapy staff to conduct visual analyses and make decisions based on their analyses. In the third presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which a component analysis was conducted on the components of BST within the context of training staff to implement discrete trial training procedures.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): skills training, staff training
Target Audience: The target audience includes behavior analysts, both practitioners and researchers, who train staff or are involved in research of behavioral skills training. The contexts are applicable to those who work in organizational behavior management, and clinical and educational settings.
Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe recent research-based applications of behavioral skills training. 2. Attendees will be able to describe the critical components of behavioral skills training based on component analyses. 3. Attendees will be able to describe effective methods for increasing student social interactions and playground interactions. 4. Attendees will be able to describe effective methods for increasing visual analysis and decision skills that will increase staff independence.
Improving Staff Involvement During Recess Through Behavioral Skills Training
Elizabeth Singer (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University), SHRAVYA SRINIVAS SANAGALA (Arizona State University)
Abstract: School recess provides the opportunity for teachers to work on students’ social and play skills. This opportunity is especially important for teachers of students with developmental disabilities. In the current study, educational staff of two classrooms at a private special education school were taught to provide models and prompts to students during recess to increase social initiations and interactions with peers and playground equipment. Through Behavioral Skills Training (BST; i.e., instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback), staff were trained to help students initiate play with peers as well as engage in outdoor activities during recess. Results from baseline indicate that teachers provide low levels of opportunities to practice these social skills during recess. This study demonstrates that educational staff might be easily trained using a BST model. Additionally, students can benefit from increased opportunities to practice social skills during recess.
Promoting Data-Based Decision-Making Skills With Behavioral Staff Using Behavioral Skills Training
ELIZABETH SINGER (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Data-based decision-making is an often neglected, yet extremely important behavior-analytic strategy. Behavior-analytic staff are often responsible for collecting and graphing data, but rarely analyze the data being graphed. In the current study, four employees at a behavioral organization were trained on simple visual analysis terms: level, trend, variability. Using the components of Behavioral Skills Training (BST) instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback staff were trained to interpret and make decisions based on the level, trend, and variability of the data. Implications include both autonomy on the part of behavioral staff and increases in independent work time for supervisors. As data are analyzed frequently, programs can be modified and adapted as necessary to promote the speed at which clients acquire the skills being taught.
A Component Analysis of Behavioral Skills Training on Staff Implementation of Discrete-Trial Teaching
CHRISTINE HERRERA (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the components of behavioral skills training (BST)—instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback—to determine the critical component of BST. There are only a few research studies that evaluate the components of BST in single study research (Feldman, Case, Rincover, Towns, & Betel, 1989; Krumhus & Malott, 1980) and one in group research (Hudson, 1982). To the experimenter’s knowledge, there are no component analyses of BST on staff implementation of behavior intervention teaching methods, such as DTT. This research study will help fill in the gap in research as well as provide effective training to staff on DTT procedures. The types of participants in this study were clinicians with little to some prior training or experience with DTT that work directly with individuals with disabilities. Baseline sessions included provision of the instructions portion of BST, which was an 11-step DTT procedure. The experimental condition consisted of quasi-randomized trials between the modeling, rehearsal, and feedback components of BST. Current data show that feedback was the most effective at increasing scores on the DTT procedure, followed closely by modeling. While rehearsal was effective, it was so at a lesser degree than feedback and modeling.
Panel #397
CE Offered: BACB — 
Crossing the Borders With Behavior Analysis: Barriers Encountered by Our Workforce When Interacting With Different Cultures
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom B
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Paula Ribeiro Braga Kenyon, Ph.D.
Chair: Shawn E Kenyon (Palm Springs Unified School District; Northeastern University)
PAULA RIBEIRO BRAGA KENYON (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
ZACHARY C. BIRD (Perkins School for the Blind)
Abstract: Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are supervising therapists who deliver behavior analytic treatment in a variety of settings and across many different cultures. The Behavior Analyst certification is international and as such, BCBAs working abroad and within the United States often encounter cultural practices that do not align with our Professional and Ethical Code. The panelists will present examples of barriers encountered while providing services to different cultures, specifically in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, the Mexican community in California, and the Deafblind community. Some of the issues that will be discussed include the use of technology and confidentiality, professional relationships, gift acceptance, and participation in caregiver training. The panelists will also discuss the impact of some cultural practices on the implementation of the guidelines from the Professional and Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts. Finally, the panelists will discuss training of therapists and supervisors, and the need to consider formal training on multi-cultural practices and the need to understand its impact on the implementation of our Professional and Ethical Code
Target Audience: BCBAs working in the applied field providing services to children with ASD and related disorders
Learning Objectives: Participants will learn to identify cultural practices that may be in conflict with the Professional and Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts Participants will learn how the Professional and Ethical Code for Behavior Analysts relates to specific practices Participants will be able to list training opportunities to increase awareness of cultural diversity in service delivery
Panel #398
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethicists Deconstruct Unethical Conduct
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: PRA/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Zane, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
THOMAS L. ZANE (University of Kansas)
MARY JANE WEISS (Endicott College)
Abstract: This panel is a continuation of previous panel discussions at ABAI on Behavior Analysts Behaving Badly. This year we will present ethics cases and deconstruct them in front of the audience so they can see how we approach unethical conduct. An ethicist is a professional who is sought after for ethical advice and counsel; For this panel we have brought together three such behavior analysis ethicists who are regularly consulted to provide guidance on complex cases of unethical conduct. Toward the end of the session we will open the floor to questions from the audience and again each ethicist will respond so that the range of tactics and strategies will be apparent.
Target Audience: The target audience is BCBAs who are practicing in schools, homes and the community as well as clinics and agencies.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to determine the basic principle underlying the ethics case, e.g. client right to treatment, conflict of interest, confidentiality. 2. Participants will be able to deconstruct the case into its basic elements and identify them. 3. Participants will be able to arrive at an ethical solution based on the underlying principle, basic elements, and specific items of the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Codes.
Invited Paper Session #399
Don Baer Lecture: Simple Is Better: Helping Ordinary People Apply Behavior Science
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: PRA
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Carl V. Binder, Ph.D.
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
CARL V. BINDER (The Performance Thinking Network, LLC)
Dr. Carl Binder is CEO of The Performance Thinking Network, LLC, where he develops performance consultants, leaders and managers in organizations worldwide. Starting in 1970 as a student with B.F. Skinner at Harvard, he worked for ten years in B.H. Barrett's Behavior Prosthesis Lab, conducting laboratory and classroom research and training teachers. An early contributor to Precision Teaching, he was mentored by Ogden Lindsley and Eric Haughton. In 1982, he founded his first consulting firm, Precision Teaching and Management Systems, Inc., and became active in the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) where his mentors included Tom Gilbert, Joe Harless, Robert Horn and Donald Tosti. He founded Product Knowledge Systems, Inc., a Boston consulting firm specializing in sales enablement for Global 1000 companies. Carl is currently known for Six Boxes Performance Thinking, a plain English viral approach to organizational performance improvement. APA Division 25 honored Carl with the Fred S. Keller Award (2004), ISPI recognized his contributions to performance improvement with Honorary Lifetime Membership (2009) and the Thomas F. Gilbert Award (2012), and the OBM Network gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award (2015). Contact Carl at and learn more about his work at and
Abstract: As with scientists and technicians in many fields, we applied behavior scientists use precise language and we value our language highly. In addition, we often value detail and complexity because they illustrate the depth of our analysis of behavior and of the variables that influence it. But when we attempt to engage clients, parents, colleagues in other disciplines, and others not schooled in our science, our language and the complexity of our analyses and models often become barriers. We must not be simplistic in our communication with others, but we need to learn how to be simple. We can accelerate our impact by using language, models, and concepts that make sense to ordinary people and are relatively intuitive for them. We want people to "get it," and simplicity can help. Carl Binder has spent the 47 years since he first studied with B.F. Skinner learning from masters in the field of behavior science and performance engineering, and attempting to pass on what he learns to others. He has consulted with, trained and coached educators, parents, clients, business people, training and process professionals, and others not schooled in behavior science. In this lecture he will trace a path from Skinner's elegant measurement technology through his own work in precision teaching, behavioral fluency, sales and marketing enablement, organizational performance consulting, leadership and management, and talent development with examples of how simplicity and plain language have enabled "viral" diffusion of models and methods in organizations and communities. Key takeaways will include the forewarning that things get complicated before they get simple, and that we need to develop intermediate vocabularies that link our science with the vocabularies and experience of ordinary people who can benefit from what we can provide.
Target Audience: Anyone who communicates about our science or application to people outside our field.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how jargon and complexity in our models and language interfere with our effectiveness; (2) cite examples of models and language that communicate simply without being simplistic; (3) explain how and why the term fluency was adopted by Binder and his colleagues who were early Precision Teachers; (4) describe the two models of Binders Six Boxes Performance Thinking approach to performance improvement.
Symposium #401
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Communication Training
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jeffrey H. Tiger, M.A.
Chair: Katie Lichtblau (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) is an effective treatment for reducing problem behavior and increasing communication responses. This symposium explores various aspects of FCT in the treatment of problem behavior (i.e., reinforcement schedule thinning, client preference, multiple schedules), while highlighting advantages and limitations. Presentations will focus on a) client preferences of schedule thinning procedures, b) the clinical utility of treatment chaining, c) variables contributing to discriminated responding within multiple schedules, and d) prevalence of resurgence during reinforcement schedule thinning. The discussant will provide a synthesis of research findings and discuss implications for clinical practice and future research.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, functional communication, multiple schedules, resurgence
Target Audience: Practitioners treating severe behavior disorders
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how to assess client preference of different schedule thinning arrangements (e.g., chained vs. multiple schedules) ; (2) state the prevalence and magnitude of resurgence during reinforcement schedule thinning; and (3) describe the advantages and limitations of using differential reinforcement of compliance versus functional communication training to treat escape-maintained problem behavior.
An Evaluation of the Variables Controlling Responding Within Multiple Schedule Arrangements
ELIANA MARIA PIZARRO (University of Florida)
Abstract: One limitation of functional communication training (FCT) is that although problem behavior has decreased, the functional communication response (FCR) might be emitted at exceedingly high rates (Betz et al., 2013). One potential solution to this problem is establishing stimulus control of the FCR through a multiple schedule. However, several studies have demonstrated difficulty with establishing discriminated responding across multiple schedule components (Saini, Miller, & Fisher, 2016). It is unclear if the production of discriminated responding within a multiple schedule is due to the programmed stimuli, or if some other variable is responsible for the development of stimulus control. The current study seeks to evaluate the controlling variables within a multiple schedule arrangement. More specifically, if programmed stimuli, contingencies, or therapist behavior is responsible for the development of stimulus control with 3 participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A pre-assessment was used to determine the verbal repertoire of all participants and results provide preliminary evidence that some level of prerequisite skill might be necessary to establish discriminated responding in the context of a multiple schedule.
The Clinical Utility of Treatment Chaining: Differential Reinforcement of Compliance and Functional Communication Training
WILLIAM SULLIVAN (Upstate Medical University), Nicole M. DeRosa (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of compliance (DRC) and functional communication training (FCT) are two effective procedures for reducing escape-maintained challenging behavior. However, there are limitations with both procedures (i.e., a lack of functional communication [DRC] or compliance [FCT]). The current study, based on Lalli, Casey, and Kates (1995), evaluated the effects of chaining DRC to FCT in three children that engaged in multiply maintained challenging behavior (i.e., escape-to-tangible). The present study consisted of four phases: (1) a concurrent treatment preference assessment, (2) a multielement comparison of DRC vs. FCT, (3) a treatment chaining analysis in which compliance produced access to FCT under a multiple schedule arrangement, and (4) demand fading. Each child preferred FCT, and FCT produced greater reductions in challenging behavior over DRC. However, during FCT none of the children complied with task demands. Thus, we chained the procedures and observed increases in compliance while reductions in challenging behavior maintained. Finally, we conducted demand fading in which the requirement for compliance systematically increased before the FCT component of the multiple schedule was presented. Overall, reductions in challenging behavior and elevated levels of compliance maintained throughout fading. The clinical utility of chaining DRC to FCT will be discussed.
Prevalence of Resurgence of Destructive Behavior When Thinning Reinforcement Schedules During Functional Communication Training
ADAM M. BRIGGS (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Ryan Kimball (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Functional communication training is a well-established treatment for socially reinforced problem behavior that typically includes differential reinforcement of the functional communication response (FCR) in combination with extinction of problem behavior. However, when the schedule of reinforcement for the FCR is thinned, problem behavior may resurge. Currently, data are unavailable on the prevalence and characteristics of resurgence during reinforcement schedule thinning. In this study, we examined previously published data (i.e., Greer, Fisher, Saini, Owen, & Jones, 2016) and evaluated the prevalence of resurgence during reinforcement schedule thinning on a per-case and per-schedule-step basis. We identified resurgence in 19 of the 25 (76%) applications of reinforcement schedule thinning. In addition, we determined the magnitude of resurgence in relation to the functions of destructive behavior. In some cases, the magnitude of resurgence exceeded the mean levels of destructive behavior observed in baseline. We discuss these results relative to prior translational and applied research on resurgence.
Systematic Changes in Preference for Schedule-Thinning Arrangements as a Function of Relative Reinforcement Density
JESSICA AKERS (Baylor University), Adam M. Briggs (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Brian D. Greer (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Billie Retzlaff (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: We treated destructive behavior maintained by both social-positive (i.e., access to tangibles) and social-negative (i.e., escape from demands) reinforcement in an individual diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder using functional communication training (FCT). We then thinned the schedule of reinforcement for the tangible function using a multiple schedule (mult FCT) and later thinned the availability of escape using a chained schedule (chain FCT). Both treatments proved effective at maintaining functional communicative responses while decreasing destructive behavior to near-zero levels. In addition, treatment effects maintained when we rapidly thinned mult FCT to the terminal schedule. Throughout chain-FCT schedule thinning, we assessed client preference for each schedule-thinning arrangement (mult FCT or chain FCT) using a concurrent-chains procedure. Client preference reliably shifted from chain FCT to mult FCT as the response requirement increased and the proportion of session spent in reinforcement began to favor mult FCT. We discuss the clinical implications of these findings.
Symposium #402
CE Offered: BACB
Everyone Grows Up: What is the Role of Behavior Analysts in the Transition to Adulthood?
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom DE
CE Instructor: Michele D. Wallace, M.S.
Chair: Benjamin Thomas Heimann (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles; Center for Applied Behavior Analysis )
Abstract: The purpose of this symposium is to evaluate the state of service delivery for adults with developmental disabilities and other diagnoses and highlight the current and potential role of behavior analysts in the support of these individuals. First, the use of Functional Analyses to support adults in behavioral journals over the past twenty years will be reviewed. The current state of policy and available resources in the state of California will then be discussed. Based on the identified social importance of evidence based practice to support adults in life transitions; the results of a national survey of behavior analysists' preparedness related to severe problem behavior will be presented. Finally, data from three adults receiving behavioral support during or after the transition to adult services will further illustrate the role behavior analysts can play during this tumultuous time. The discussant for the symposium, who brings decades of expertise in treating severe problem behavior, will then provide valuable insights to those assembled.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Adult Services, Case Studies, Life Stages, Status Review
Target Audience: Behavior Analysts
Have We Forgotten About the Aging Population of Individuals With Behavior Problems? Review of the Last 20 Years
(Applied Research)
MICHAEL C. PETERS (Pepperdine University; Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Alexis Munoz (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis; California Sate University, Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles; Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Previous literature has demonstrated that interventions based on Functional Behavior Assessments produce the most effective treatment in the elimination of problem behavior for individuals diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. In addition, the literature is full of examples of the use of functional analyses and effective interventions aimed at eliminating problem behavior in children. However, where does the literature stand with respect to functional analyses and interventions with adult populations? When children grow up, what happens as they transition to a new environment (e.g., from school to a sheltered workshop) or when they get bigger in stature? Moreover, what about the assessment and treatment of individuals who develop problem behavior in adulthood, what is best evidence-based practice? This review evaluated the literature on functional analyses and interventions for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, autism, and other medical diagnoses (e.g., Alzheimer) to evaluate for evidence-based practices. We included articles that have been published over the last 20 years that utilized a functional analysis and intervention model to effectively treat problem behavior from behavioral journals. We coded whether the participants were under or over 21 years of age. If they were over 21, we coded for several factors: diagnosis, assessment and treatment setting , type of assessment, type of intervention, what kind of problem behavior was addressed, as well as whether maintenance, generalization, or social validity data were reported. This presentation will summarize the state of the current literature with respect to evidence-based practice for adults with problem behavior.
Changes Are Happening for Adult-Based Behavioral Services: Are We Ready?
(Service Delivery)
Stephanie A. Etie (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), RACHEL TAYLOR (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: In 1977, the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act, passed in the state of California to enforce human rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. More than forty years later, we are still feeling the effects of this mandate. In the state of California, behavior analysts are being called to provide increased services to adults with developmental disabilities. This increased demand for adult-focused behavior analytic services is simultaneously happening while several new initiatives are currently underway at the state policy level. The current presentation will discuss the policies behavior analysts are currently encountering regarding the transition from center based day-programs to community-based programs, self-determination, and person-centered planning. In particular, what does the "Final Rule" policy mean for our consumers, the transition away from the traditional "group home" settings, and how does this impact the movement toward self-determination and person-centered planning? Are behavior analysts in general prepared to support these changes and provide the level of services this population of adults may require?
When the Going Gets Tough: Are BCBAs Receiving the Necessary Supports for Treating In-Home Severe Problem Behavior?
(Service Delivery)
RICHARD COLOMBO (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Rachel Taylor (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Recently, Reed and Henley (2015) surveyed 382 individuals with respect to various types of staff and supervisory training offered to BACB certificants. Their results suggest several areas that require increased attention; in particular, half of the respondents indicated that they did not receive initial pre-service training and nearly one third of respondents indicated that they do not receive on-going training in their work setting. The outcomes of Reed and Henley's investigation provide several valuable avenues for future research and practice. It is important to note, however, that only 18.9% of respondents reported that they work in the home setting (the remainder worked in center- or school-based programs). Moreover, the topography and severity of challenging behaviors may differ across home and other settings for a given individual. As such, the purpose of the current investigation was to extend Reed and Henley by 1) surveying BACB respondents who practice in the home setting and 2) gathering more data on the nature of training and supervision received by the respondents (with attention given to severely challenging behaviors). The present study surveyed 139 BACB certificants with regard to initial and ongoing supervision for home-based services. Of that group, 125 respondents were included in a section on training and support for severe problem behavior in the home-setting. Potential benefits associated with establishing a more robust definition of on-going training and performance management will be discussed. Implications for the concept of "Continuing Education" will also be presented.
Growing Pains Beyond 21: Aging Out of Behavioral Services
(Service Delivery)
HIEN THI MAO (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Benjamin Thomas Heimann (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis), Jennifer Lynn Hammond (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Transitioning into adulthood is a time of change and uncertainty. According to Friedman, Warfield, and Parish (2013), this is a particularly vulnerable time, as the entitlements of the children's service system end and young adults with ASD and their families encounter fragmented and underfunded systems of care which suggests that the current models of school-based transition planning are not meeting the needs of youths with ASD. Hendricks and Wehman (2006) indicate some individuals with ASD are able to successfully transition; however, most are faced with significant obstacles in multiple areas as they attempt to negotiate their way into college, work, community participation, and independent living. This transition often involves securing appropriate behavioral services and access to community resources, including educational, vocational, and tailored day programming, as well as identifying options for residential and long-term care. The purpose of this presentation will be to review the clinical outcomes for three adults with developmental disabilities who engage in severe problem behavior, and examine how behavioral support services may influence the course of their transitions. Functional analyses conducted in relevant community settings suggested that target problem behaviors were maintained by social reinforcement in the form of access to preferred items and/or escape. Treatment data, collected in each individual's relevant environment including the progression of services, will be presented. Identified barriers to continued progress and social validity outcome measures also will be discussed.
Symposium #404
CE Offered: BACB
Naming and Stimulus Class Formation in Children and Adults
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom C
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Danielle LaFrance, M.S.
Chair: Danielle LaFrance (H.O.P.E. Consulting, LLC; Endicott College - Institute for Behavioral Studies)
Discussant: Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: This symposium presents four basic and translational studies on naming and the effects of naming on stimulus class formation, seeking shed light on the relationship between speaker and listener behavior, and on the involvement of verbal behavior in human equivalence class formation. The first study focused on the acquisition of bidirectional speaker and listener relations, and found a greater degree of transfer from speaker to listener than from listener to speaker relations in typically developing children and one child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The second study examined the effects of common and intraverbal naming on equivalence class formation in kindergarten-age children who failed to demonstrate equivalence prior to learning to name the stimuli. The third study similarly investigated the effects of intraverbal naming on the acquisition of baseline matching-to-sample relations and equivalence class formation in adults. Finally, the fourth study examined the effects of training sequence on the formation of stimulus classes established via intraverbal naming in adults.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): naming, stimulus equivalence, verbal behavior
Target Audience: Behavior analysts; scientists; graduate students
Transfer From Listener to Speaker Versus Transfer From Speaker to Listener
HANNE AUGLAND (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Tonje Eidshaug (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Most Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention-manuals state that listener behavior should be mastered before training a tact repertoire. This is due partly to how typically developed children's repertoire normally develops. To date, however, only a few studies have examined this question and the results have been somewhat mixed. Participants were one child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) aged 5 years and 11 months and 4 typical children between the age of 2 and 3 years. Using an alternating treatment design three stimuli were trained as listener behavior alternated with three stimuli trained as impure tacts. After mastering one of the conditions, transfer to the other condition were tested under extinction. The child with ASD mastered impure tacts quicker than listener behavior, as did two of the four typically developing children. All five children showed higher degree of transfer from impure tacts to listener behavior as compared to transfer from listener behavior to impure tacts. Results suggest that transfer from impure tacts to listener behavior occurs more often that transfer from listener behavior to impure tacts. Moreover, impure tacts can be acquired without first having learned to respond to the stimuli tacted as a listener.
The Role of Naming in Equivalence Class Formation
GURO DUNVOLL (Oslo and Akershus University College), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: Among others, Murray Sidman has discussed the role of naming in equivalence class formation in his book Equivalence Relations and Behavior. A Research Story. There are still disagreements about how important naming is in equivalence class formation. We asked the following research questions: Do kindergarten children form equivalence classes without any training in naming the stimuli on beforehand? Do preliminary training with homogeneous/common or heterogeneous/intraverbal naming lead to different outcome tests for equivalence class formation? In the present experiment three children aged around four years old were trained to establish six conditional discriminations in a matching to sample (MTS) format and tested for forming three 3-member classes. If failing to establish the first relation within 600 trials, they were trained in intraverbal and common naming before conducting the MTS procedure again. One child established the first relation within 600 trials and responded in accordance with stimulus equivalence (see Table 1). The two other children conducted the MTS with naming, both conditions in reversed order. The results showed that the child starting with heterogeneous naming did not respond in accordance with stimulus equivalence in this condition, but did so in the homogeneous condition. The other child starting with homogeneous naming responded in accordance with stimulus equivalence in both conditions.
The Role of Irrelevant, Class-Consistent, and Class-Inconsistent Intraverbals on the Establishment of Equivalence Classes
Amanda Chastain (California State University, Sacramento), SVEA LOVE (California State University, Sacramento), Shannon Luoma (California State University, Sacramento), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that equivalence classes may be formed, or at least facilitated by intraverbal relations among stimuli. Therefore, the purpose of Experiment 1 was to assess whether participants’ performance on MTS tasks were differentially affected by learning how to verbally relate the stimuli. In Experiment 1, eight participants were trained on a class-consistent intraverbal phrase (i.e., B1’A1’, C1’A1’) relating three classes of stimuli. Next, participants were exposed to baseline MTS training (e.g., B1A1, C1A1), and tests for emergent relations. All participants were trained on irrelevant intraverbal phrases for a second set, and the rate of acquisition to mastery criterion for baseline MTS relations between sets was assessed and compared. Results indicated that participants required fewer trials to criterion, and made fewer errors when baseline MTS training followed class-consistent intraverbal training. This suggests that training on the intraverbal phrase that corresponded with the correct answers on the baseline MTS tasks facilitated responding. However, results did not demonstrate a difference in responding to tests for emergent relations. It is possible that participants made up their own rules during baseline MTS training when they were not directly taught to verbally relate the stimuli. Therefore, the purpose of Experiment 2 was to compare rates of acquisition of baseline MTS relations, as well as emergence of equivalence classes after class-consistent versus class inconsistent (e.g., B2’A1’, C3’A1’) intraverbal training with eight additional participants. Results replicated the findings of Experiment 1, as participants required fewer trials to criterion, and made fewer errors when baseline MTS training followed class-consistent intraverbal training. Additionally, half of the participants did not demonstrate pass tests for emergent relations, suggesting that the class-inconsistent rule interfered with responding to the MTS tasks.
Effects of Training Sequence on Stimulus Class Formation via Intraverbal Naming
REAGAN ELAINE COX (Texas Christian University), James R. Mellor (Texas Christian University), Courtney McKeon (Texas Christian University), Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: Humans group visual objects together after learning verbal relations between object names. In a typical study, children or adults learn to vocally tact a set of visual stimuli, and then learn vocal intraverbal relations between names of stimuli in an experimenter-defined class. Subsequent matching-to-sample performance is consistent with the emergence of visual stimulus classes in accordance with the trained intraverbals, but it is unclear if this effect depends on mediating behavioral events. Our study followed up on evidence that during intraverbal training, some people may engage in visualization (conditioned or operant seeing) of the stimuli. To examine whether an opportunity to do so affected performance, 32 adults were randomly assigned to a standard group that received tact training before intraverbal training and a reverse group that received intraverbal before tact training. Although the same proportion of participants in both group retained the trained tacts and interverbals throughout testing, a larger proportion of participants in the standard (50%) than in the reverse group (13%) responded with above 80% accuracy on the matching-to-sample test. Experiment 2 will attempt to improve baseline retention in order to minimize variability attributable to poor retention.
Symposium #405
CE Offered: BACB
Using Laboratory Models to Evaluate Topics of Applied Importance: Incentives, Feedback, Prevention, and Choice
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Amy J. Henley, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy J. Henley (Western New England University)
Discussant: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Laboratory investigations are a beneficial means of evaluating socially relevant problems that are difficult to study experimentally in real-world contexts because of practical or ethical constraints. Such methods also provide a controlled environment for identifying functional relations and behavioral mechanisms responsible for the behavior of interest. This symposium includes four unique approaches to studying a range of research areas using laboratory-based methods that have implications for applied behavior analysis. The first presentation examines parametric manipulations of reinforcer dimensions of incentives on performance in a simulated online workplace. The second presentation will share findings from a laboratory investigation of varied levels of feedback accuracy and frequency on acquisition of a novel task with undergraduate participants. The third presentation used a computerized analog arrangement to examine the conditions under which differential reinforcement prevented the development of problem behavior. The final presentation evaluated the effects of conditioning histories on preference for reinforcer choice in five preschool-aged children. The symposium will conclude with comments and considerations for applied behavior analysis from a discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): human operant, laboratory models, translational
Target Audience: Researchers wishing to use laboratory models to understand the controlling variables for socially relevant applied problems or practitioners hoping to gain a better understanding of laboratory-based research.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how reinforcer probability and delay influence incentive efficacy for promoting work-related behavior; (2) articulate the effects of varied levels of feedback accuracy on acquisition; (3) describe how differential reinforcement can be used to prevent problem behavior; and (4) describe how various conditioning histories contribute to preference for reinforcer choice.
Parametric Analysis of Reinforcer Probability and Delay on Incentive Efficacy: A Behavioral Economic Demand Curve Analysis
AMY J. HENLEY (Western New England University), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Recent research has effectively translated behavioral economic demand curve ana