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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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Program by Continuing Education Events: Monday, May 31, 2021


 

Invited Paper Session #358
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis as an Animal-Care Tool in Zoos and Aquariums
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Erica N. Feuerbacher (Virginia Tech)
CE Instructor: Christy Alligood, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: CHRISTY ALLIGOOD (University of Florida; Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Abstract:

In recent years, behavior has been recognized as an essential piece in the constellation of components critical to the care of animals housed in zoos and aquariums. The science of learning has many applications in these settings, and behavior analysts have contributed to the advancement of evidence-based practices particularly in the areas of husbandry training, environmental enrichment, and animal welfare. In this presentation, I will describe some examples of the role of behavior in multiple aspects of animal care. Along the way, I will highlight some key questions for the application of behavior analysis in zoological settings, some examples of work that addresses these questions, and some areas in need of further development.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This presentation is appropriate for behavior analysts interested in the application of behavior principles to behavior management across settings, and particularly in zoos and aquariums.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe at least three components of animal care at zoos and aquariums, and explain how behavior interacts with each; (2) identify at least two key questions for the application of behavior analysis in zoological settings; (3) identify at least two important areas for future development in the application of behavior analysis to animal care in zoos and aquariums.
 
CHRISTY ALLIGOOD (University of Florida; Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Dr. Christy Alligood received an M.A. (2003) from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Ph.D. (2007) from West Virginia University. She is also a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Dr. Alligood is a Lecturer at the University of Florida, where she teaches undergraduate courses in behavior analysis. In addition, since 2007 she has worked at Disney's Animal Kingdom® in Orlando, Florida. Much of her initial work focused on a multi-faceted conservation program for Key Largo woodrats, which received a Bean Award for Significant Achievement in Captive Breeding from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (2009) and a Federal Challenge Grant (2010) in collaboration with the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge for population monitoring work on Key Largo. Dr. Alligood now works with the Science Operations Team, where she focuses on using the science of behavior to enhance animal care. She is the secretary of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis and has recently served as At-Large Representative to the ABAI Executive Council, Coordinator of the ABAI Special Interest Groups Board, and co-coordinator of the ABAI Applied Animal Behavior Program Area.

 
 
Symposium #360
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Methods to Maximize Teaching: Equivalence Based Instruction, Progressive and Conventional Discrete Trial Teaching
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D.
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is a commonly used approach to teach a variety of skills for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two studies will be presented within this symposium that involve comparisons of different approaches to DTT. The first study compared equivalence based instruction (EBI) to DTT using an adapted alternating treatments design with typically developing adult participants and children diagnosed with ASD. The second study utilized a group design to compare the effectiveness of conventional and progressive approaches to DTT when teaching tact relations (sometimes referred to as expressive labels) to children diagnosed with ASD. Both studies will be discussed with respect to their strengths, limitations, and potential future directions by the discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): DTT, equivalence, tact
Target Audience: Any certified or non-certified behavior analysts providing or overseeing interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be able to: (1) identify some conditions under which equivalence-based instruction or discrete trial teaching may be more or less preferred; (2) identify how advances in discrete trial teaching methodology and can be used to enhance instruction; (3) describe methods that can enhance the effectiveness of discrete trial teaching methods.
 

Toward Efficiency and Effectiveness: Comparing Equivalence-Based Instruction to Discrete Trial Teaching

JULIA FERGUSON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Christine Milne (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

Research has continually found equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to be effective and efficient, with recent research extending these findings to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). EBI has also been compared to more traditional approaches to teaching, such as traditional lectures, reading assignments, and video lectures. However, the authors are unaware of any comparisons of EBI to other similar, behavior analytic approaches such as discrete trial teaching (DTT). The purpose of this study was to compare EBI to DTT using an adapted alternating treatments design with typically developing adults, typically developing children, and children diagnosed with ASD. The two teaching approaches were evaluated with respect to mastery of trained relations, emergence of untrained relations, and participant preferences. The results will be discussed with respect to their implications for practice and research.

 

Comparing Conventional and Progressive Approaches of Discrete Trial Teaching When Teaching Tact Relations to Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Christine Milne (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

There are a variety of recommendations or guidelines for interventionists when implementing discrete trial teaching (DTT) for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These guidelines typically involve a protocol being the main source of control for the interventionist’s behavior that outlines what instruction to give, reinforcer to use, and when to use and fade prompting strategies. However, recent research has demonstrated strategies in which the main sources of control for the interventionist are relevant to the learner’s behavior and involves in-the-moment assessment, or clinical judgement, when making decisions to modify variables within intervention. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of conventional and progressive approaches to DTT when teaching tact relations (sometimes referred to as expressive labels) to children diagnosed with ASD. The effectiveness and efficiency of each approach was evaluated across several dependent variables. The results of a randomized clinical trial will be discussed with respect to implications for clinical practice and future research.

 
 
Symposium #361
CE Offered: BACB
Empirically Evaluating the Organism in Behavior Analysis: Applications to Preference Assessments
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robert W. Isenhower (Rider University )
Discussant: Kenneth W. Jacobs (Ronin Institute)
CE Instructor: Robert W. Isenhower, Ph.D.
Abstract: Killeen and Jacobs (2017) suggest determinants of behavior other than what is currently specified in the three-term contingency. Among those determinants are the anatomical and biomechanical properties of the organism (O). The concept of affordance, first proposed by Gibson (1979), may be useful for understanding the relevance of O’s anatomical and biomechanical properties to behavior. When studied empirically, affordances have been quantified in terms of action-scaled ratios. For example, Warren (1984) used this concept to correctly predict whether or not participants would perceive staircases as climbable using the ratio of the riser height of the stairs (environmental property) to the leg length of the participant (organismic property). In order to empirically explore Killeen and Jacobs’ notion of O, we use two variations of multiple stimulus with replacement preference assessments that parametrically manipulate the distance to target stimuli. Both studies find that individuals reach for preferred stimuli at increasingly further distances. The ratio of stimulus distance to O’s arm length appears to interact with O’s preferences. We interpret these results both in terms of action-scaled ratios and traditional behavioral economic principles. We also discuss the potential functional relations between response effort, reachability, and the value of stimuli to reinforce behavior.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): preference assessments, reinforcer assessments, response effort
Target Audience: Participants should have a basic understanding of preference assessments and reinforcer assessments.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the main types of preference assessments as well as variations on preference assessments 2. Understand how behavioral economics and action-scaled ratios can enhance our understanding of the relationship between preference and reinforcement 3. Understand the importance of incorporating biomechanical and anatomical characteristics of the participants into an experimental analysis of behavior
 
Evaluating Stimulus Preference Using a Progressive Response Effort Assessment
(Applied Research)
FRANCES A. PERRIN (Rider University), Robert W. Isenhower (Rider University ), Cynthia Bott-Tomarchio (Eden Autism Services), Rachel Tait (Eden Autism Services)
Abstract: Stimulus preference assessments are widely used to determine which stimuli are likely to function as reinforcers. In the current study, a procedural variation of the multiple stimulus with replacement (Windsor, Piché, & Locke, 1994) preference assessment was conducted, where the distance to the most preferred item was parametrically manipulated to assess the relationship between preference and response effort. Four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated. Five stimuli were presented on a line 4 inches in front of the learner. During the first minute all stimuli remained on the line, and each stimulus was immediately replaced when selected. The stimulus selected most often became the target. Target distances were 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, and 25 inches. In the ascending sequence, the target was moved to the next line further from the learner each subsequent minute. In the descending sequence, the target was moved to the furthest line after the initial minute and was then moved closer each subsequent minute. Data were collected on the number of selections to each stimulus at each distance. Participants selected target stimuli at that required more effort. Results are discussed in terms of behavior economic principles.
 

Examining the Relationship Between Reachability and Preference Using a Progressive Response Effort Assessment

(Applied Research)
ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Rider University ), Frances A. Perrin (Rider University), Cynthia Bott-Tomarchio (Eden Autism Services), Rachel Tait (Eden Autism Services)
Abstract:

Formal stimulus preference assessments are widely used to determine which stimuli are likely to function as reinforcers during intervention. However, the relationship between preference and reinforcement needs further examination. This study used a procedural variation of the multiple stimulus with replacement (Windsor, Piché, & Locke, 1994) preference assessment where the distance to each preferred item was parametrically manipulated. Five stimuli identified as preferred using a paired choice assessment (Fisher et al., 1992) were presented on a line about 4 inches in front of the learner. Stimuli were immediately replaced when selected. During the distance manipulation phase, each time a stimulus was selected it was replaced at a line three inches further from the participant until stimuli were almost out of reach. Four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated. Data were collected on the cumulative number of selections of each stimulus as well as the distance from the learner when selected. Results suggest that the effort of the response—measured in terms of stimulus distance from the learner—affected how participants allocated responding to the stimuli. Results are discussed with reference to affordances (Gibson, 1979) and the benefit of incorporating the organism (Killeen & Jacobs, 2017) into behavior analysis.

 
 
Panel #362
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethics
Diversity submission Providing School-Based Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Qatar With and Without a Formal Diagnosis: A Service Delivery Model
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Shariffah Azzaam, M.Ed.
Chair: Shariffah Azzaam (Qatar Foundation; Florida Institute of Technology)
LAUREN JONES (Qatar Academy Al Khor)
SAMANTHA CAMPION (Awsaj Academy)
CHRISTINA LEE ROBERTS (Renad Academy)
Abstract:

There are an estimated 300,000 students attending schools in Qatar. A regional study in Qatar placed the number of people with ASD at 1 in 87. Due to Qatar’s requirement that all schools be inclusive, many of these students attend independent or private schools. Educators often find it difficult to support students who display behaviors similar to students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. During this panel we will discuss some of the student service model that allow for the provision of support for students regardless of a formal diagnosis.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Teachers, Practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify at least one service delivery model that is used to provide ABA to students attending schools in Qatar: (2) Review the cultural barriers associated with providing services to students who display behaviors similar to students with a formal diagnosis of Autism. (3) Review the ethical issues that arise when developing a service delivery model in Qatar.
Keyword(s): Autism Diagnosis, Middle East, Qatar, School Based
 
 
Symposium #363
CE Offered: BACB
Tolerating Tough Stuff: How to Teach Getting Through Important but Aversive Situations
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Cook, M.S.
Abstract: Individuals with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders often have difficulty tolerating stimulus events that are important to their medical well-being (e.g., dental exams, blood draws), general health (e.g., wearing eye glasses, hearing aids, and winter mittens), safety (e.g., wearing seatbelts, bike helmets), and daily social routines (e.g., getting a haircut, managing a fear of escalators). These issues have been addressed across various research studies, but the aggregate results of these studies are not well known. The first presentation of this symposium will review the literature in this area, followed by two presentations discussing recent research on teaching children with ASD to tolerate wearing aversive apparatus. One study will describe a DRO procedure to teach two children to tolerate wearing their heart rate monitors, and the other study will demonstrate the use of a DRO plus DNRO procedure to teach four children to tolerate wearing face masks for sustained durations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Taken together, these three presentations will highlight an area of research that is commonly overlooked as an evidenced-base compilation of studies for teaching toleration.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): exposure, face masks, medical devices, tolerating
Target Audience: Behavior analysts who directly work with or supervise others who work with children with ASD or related disorders, or behavior analysts who support their clients in the school, home, or community setting(s).
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Define passive cooperation (2) Describe some stimulus situations to which passive cooperation procedures have been applied in the literature (3) Describe intervention options that may be used to teach toleration of aversive situations (4) Describe how fading procedures have be used to teach children with ASD to wear a heart rate monitor or a face mask.
 
Passive Cooperation: A Review of the Literature on Tolerating Aversive Events
(Theory)
Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), RASHA BARUNI (University of South Florida ), Anna Kate Edgemon (Auburn University), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Active and passive cooperation are concepts delineated by the form of behavior, which is conditional on an aversive stimulus change. Active cooperation describes dynamic behavior in response to an instruction. Passive cooperation involves the omission of problem behavior in response to specific stimulus conditions. The antecedent stimulus conditions for either active or passive cooperation are considered aversive because they have a history of evoking uncooperative escape behaviors (Rapp, 2012, 2013; Cook et al., 2015). Despite the importance of passive cooperation interventions for teaching individuals to tolerate stimuli required for medical, health, safety, or daily activities, there are no existing literature reviews on this topic. The purpose of this review is to (a) systematically review the behavior analytic literature on passive cooperation for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disabilities, and (b) categorize these studies to guide researchers and practitioners to identify efficacious assessments and interventions. We found that passive cooperation research has been applied to four broad categories of stimulus situations involving (a) medical and dental procedures, (b) hygiene routines, (c) prolonged tactile contact (e.g., clothing, devices), and (d) feared stimuli.
 

Increasing Compliance With Wearing a Medical Device in Children With Autism

(Applied Research)
MARIE-MICHÈLE DUFOUR (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Abstract:

Health professionals often recommend the use of medical devices to assess the health, monitor the well-being, or improve the quality of life of their patients. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may present challenges in these situations as their sensory peculiarities may increase refusals to wear such devices. To address this issue, the current study systematically replicated prior research that implemented interventions to increase compliance with wearing different medical devices (Cook et al., 2015; Richling et al., 2011). More specifically, we examined the effects of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) to increase compliance with wearing a heart rate monitor in 2 children with autism. The intervention increased compliance to 100% for both participants when an edible reinforcer was delivered every 90 s. The results indicate that DRO does not require the implementation of extinction to increase compliance with wearing a medical device. More research is needed to examine whether the reinforcement schedule can be further thinned.

 

Wearing Face Masks: Removing Barriers to Accessing School and the Community for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

(Applied Research)
Jennifer L. Cook (University of South Florida), VANESSA MARIE LARSON (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract:

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and teachers have faced the unique challenge of quickly teaching children with ASD to tolerate face masks, so they may continue therapy, attend school, or otherwise participate in community spaces, such as retail stores. We used a DRO procedure within a changing criterion design consisting of no-mask breaks and tangible reinforcers to teach four children with ASD of varying abilities to cooperate with wearing face masks for up to one hour. Additionally, one participant was taught over telehealth, with the aid of a Spanish-language interpreter. We included video models that were also narrated in Spanish within a behavior skills training procedure for the parent. During baseline, none of the children were able to meet the one-hour criterion. Results demonstrate that systematic fading of latency criteria across trials was successful in teaching all children to cooperate with keeping their masks on for at least one hour. Further, all participants were able to wear masks across consecutive one-hour periods (with brief no-mask breaks), and two participants that attended an inclusive classroom were able to keep their masks on for the full duration of the school day without any programmed no-mask breaks.

 
 
Panel #364
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Increasing Cultural Responsiveness: Empirical and Applied Efforts in the Work With Latinx Caregivers of Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Sebastian Garcia-Zambrano, M.S.
Chair: Sebastian Garcia-Zambrano (Southern Illinois University)
NATALIA BAIRES (Southern Illinois University)
LUISA F CANON (Institute for Effective Behavioral Interventions (IEBI))
I. PATRICIA PATRICIA GUERRERO (Early interventions & Parent Support)
Abstract:

Behavioral parent training is a fundamental aspect during treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. However, practitioners often find that rule-governed parenting represents a significant challenge to the effectiveness of the intervention. An approach to addressing this challenge and enhancing treatment outcomes is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). With vast empirical evidence targeting different variables, ACT is promising for caregivers of individuals with ASD. However, the integration of ACT within behavior-analytic services may be insufficient, as values within the cultural context are seldom considered. In an effort to increase cultural responsiveness, the present panel will inform on the awareness, knowledge, and approaches of behavior analysts that have primarily worked with Latinx caregivers. Specifically, ACT work with Latinx caregivers will be explored from a cultural perspective, as well as the current state of the literature in culturally adapting behavior-analytic approaches for the Latinx community. Panelists will discuss how others who work with Latinx caregivers may overcome barriers that topographically resemble non-adherence but are in fact behaviors that align with Latinx cultural values. Moreover, recommendations for adjusting treatment and methods for increasing success with treatment will be provided.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

Students, practitioners, and researchers with knowledge or competency in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Discuss the current state of the literature in culturally adapting behavior-analytic approaches for the Latinx community (2) Engage in behaviors to assist in overcoming barriers that topographically resemble non-adherence but are in fact behaviors that align with Latinx cultural values (3) Utilize recommendations that can adjust treatment and methods for increasing success with treatment among Latinx caregivers
Keyword(s): ACT, behavioral parent-training, cultural responsiveness, Latinx caregivers
 
 
Symposium #365
CE Offered: BACB
Programming System-Wide Differential Reinforcement Procedures
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
Discussant: Ashley Shayter (Northern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Ashley Shayter, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Differential reinforcement procedures involving behavior contracts and token economies are implemented program wide at a residential treatment facility for students with severe problem behaviors. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) serves 138 school-aged students and 143 adults with ages ranging from 9 to 61 years old. Approximately 77% of clients have developmental and intellectual disabilities and the remaining 23% of clients have emotional and behavioral disorder classifications. We serve many individuals with limited verbal behavior, yet all clients have individualized behavior contracts with differential reinforcement of other, alternative, or incompatible behavior. Behavior contracts are set for specific times of day (overnight, transport, school hours, evening hours), settings (school, residence, or community), and include various response criteria (academic or adaptive tasks and withholding dangerous and disruptive problem behavior). The majority of school-age students also utilize token economies using conditioned reinforcers. We describe the programmatic implementation of large scale, yet individualized differential reinforcement procedures, and their impact on academic and adaptive behavioral functioning.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavior contracts, contingency contracts, monetary-based rewards, token economy
Target Audience:

Audience should have some working knowledge of behavior contracts and token economies.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) understand the program-wide application of differential reinforcement procedures to a range of behavior topographies across settings and response criteria, (2) the unique application of behavior contracts with non-verbal clients, and the (3) application of a school-wide reward system to shape academic and adaptive behavior repertoires.
 

System-Wide Use of Behavioral Contracts Across Verbal Populations, Behaviors, and Settings

SIMMS HISE (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
Abstract:

Behavioral contracts, interchangeable with contingency contracts, are widely utilized in the field of applied behavior analysis. The use of which has been primarily associated with individuals who have a specific set of verbal and conceptual prerequisite capabilities (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2020). The purpose of this discussion is to denote the efficacy of behavioral contracting with individuals regardless of their level of functioning, verbal behavior, or diagnosis. Each of the clients we serve, from non-verbal clients with limited receptive language repertoires to fully verbal clients with emotionally disturbed classifications, benefit from differential reinforcement in the form of behavioral contracts. This is evidenced by the often immediate deceleration of target problem behavior and increase in appropriate replacement behaviors following contract implementation. Clients with limited verbal repertoires may take longer to discriminate the contingency, but repetition and contact with reinforcement generally leads to the desired outcome. The data collected show a direct correlation between the implementation of behavioral contracts with a wide array of individuals and the subsequent decrease in aberrant behavior. System-wide use of behavioral contracting fosters programmatic consistency, ease of implementation, and systematic replication.

 

Shaping Academic and Adaptive Behavior Repertoires With a System-Wide Token Economy

JOSEPH TACOSIK (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Dawn O'Neill (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center; Contextual Behavioral Science Institute)
Abstract:

Behavior analysts may assist with the development of academic goals and implementation of programs to improve academic performance and adaptive behaviors. A token economy is one procedure used by many behavior change agents to improve various topographies of behavior. Token economies can be used for a single topography for one client, such as attending behavior during brief sessions (Tarbox, Ghezzi, & Wilson, 2006) or for a large group of individuals and various response criteria, such as 600 mine operators without individual or within group injuries (Fox, Hopkins, & Anger, 1987). A carefully managed token economy can be inexpensive, applied across multiple students in a classroom, and effective. Here we review the system-wide use of a token economy in place at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC), a residential treatment facility. Students earn red and blue tickets (tangibles) as well as academic money (digital currency) for the successful completion of academic tasks and for engaging in positive, replacement behaviors. The use of a ticket system provides immediate conditioned tangible reinforcers for target behavior and helps improve academic performance across classrooms. We outline the implementation of the program wide token economy and demonstrate improvement for both academic and behavioral performance.

 
 
Invited Paper Session #366
CE Offered: PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP
The Interaction Between Development and Instruction
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: DEV
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Kieva Hranchuk, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: KIEVA HRANCHUK (St. Lawrence College)
Abstract:

The difference between curricula and pedagogy is highlighted best when we consider what we teach versus how we teach it. There exists an interaction between development and instruction such that instruction can only be effective if the educator considers the learner’s level of verbal development. The ways in which we teach must cater to the current verbal developmental cusps found within the learner’s repertoire. While the progression of instructional objectives targeted within a curriculum will change as the learner acquires the necessary prerequisite skills to move forward, attention should be placed on modifying the ways in which we teach those subsequent objectives. Research in the field of verbal behavior development has proven time and time again that the acquisition of skills can be accelerated if the method of teaching is consistent with the capabilities that the learner exhibits, i.e. the presence of verbal developmental cusps within their repertoire.

Target Audience:

Educators, Practitioners, and Researchers

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss verbal developmental cusps; (2) identify how verbal development relates to pedagogy; (3) modify instruction to better suit the learner.
 
KIEVA HRANCHUK (St. Lawrence College)
Kieva is both a certified special education teacher and a doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst. She specializes in teacher training as well as in supervision of evidence-based service delivery to students with and without disabilities. Her interests include effective delivery of instruction, analyzing rates of learning in young children, inclusion/integration, kindergarten readiness, verbal behavior development, and the CABAS® model. Her research focuses on how teaching procedures can be effectively modified to accelerate student learning. Kieva received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a Behavioural Science Technician post-graduate certificate from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario. She then worked at both Surrey Place Centre in Toronto and at the CHEO Autism Program in Ottawa before making the big move to New York City. There, she earned her M.A. in Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis and her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Columbia University. She has taught at both Columbia University and Arizona State University as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. Additionally, Kieva helped to pioneer the Scottsdale Children’s Institute, an integrated kindergarten readiness program in Arizona where she then served as the Clinical Director for two years before moving back to Canada to begin her career as a full-time Professor at St. Lawrence College.
 
 
Symposium #367
CE Offered: BACB
Have the What Works Clearinghouse Standards for Single Case Designs Influenced Behavior Analysis Research?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Discussant: Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Kristin Griffith, M.A.
Abstract:

The evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in human services has increased interest in the quality research and synthesis of literature bases. In the early days of the EBP movement, there were no standards for evaluating the quality of research using single case designs (SCDs). As a consequence, evidence based on these designs were excluded from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on effective interventions. In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) finalized standards for SCDs. In this symposium, we examined the impact of these standards on research involving single case design in Applied Behavior Analysis. We reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to determine if there was a change in the research practices in the five years after the standards relative to the five years prior to their publication. The first paper in this session reports the method and results of this review. The second paper discusses limitations of SCD research in JABA and limitations of the standards. We will also outline suggestions for future research so that it is included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses and can contribute to the knowledge base.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): dissemination, literature syntheses, methodology, single-case design
Target Audience:

basic

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to describe... 1) the two components of the What Works Clearinghouse Standards (WWC) for Single Case Designs. 2) the implications for behavior analysis research for failing to adhere to the WWC standards for single case designs. 3) the limitations of the WWC single case design standards.
 
Applying the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards to Applied Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
SCOTT PAGE (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Kristin Griffith (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: The single case design (SCD) standards developed by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) have provided a framework to evaluate the quality of SCD research. The standards allow for appraisal and synthesis of the literature that is most often conducted in the field of behavior analysis, creating a bridge to other disciplines that could benefit from our findings. The extent to which these standards have been adopted by the larger behavior analytic community has not been assessed. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to review the impact these standards have had on the design and reporting of behavior analytic research using SCDs. To investigate this, we reviewed all articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis from five years before and five years after the WWC SCD standards were published. Only studies using withdrawal or multiple baseline designs were included. The findings from our review indicate that there have not been substantial change in the number of behavior analytic articles that met WWC SCD standards since the standards were first published in 2013. Limitations of the review and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
 
How the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Standards Influence Dissemination of Behavior Analytic Research
(Applied Research)
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (Utah State University), Stephanie Mattson (Utah State University), Juliana Aguilar (Utah State University), Scott Page (Utah State University), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)
Abstract: In 2013, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) formalized and published design and evidence standards to proficiently judge the quality of evidence provided by studies using single case design (SCD) methodology. Reviewing ten years of SCD research a flagship journal in behavior analysis revealed that there has not been a substantial change in the number of articles meeting design and evidence standards following their publication. This paper will briefly discuss how findings from this review may limit the ability of behavior analysts to successfully disseminate their work to other relevant disciplines. We will discuss issues encountered in applying the standards, the applicability of the standards to SCD design variations, and other barriers that may prevent behavior analytic research from being included in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We conclude by discussing directions to explore to improve the reporting of SCD research, possible refinements for the WWC standards, and ways to promote the dissemination of behavior analytic research.
 
 
Symposium #369
CE Offered: BACB
Title: Monetary Incentives and Goals: Recent Research and Application
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Barbara R. Bucklin (The Bucklin Group, Inc.)
Discussant: Barbara R. Bucklin (The Bucklin Group, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Dan B. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Monetary incentives and goals, alone and in combination, have been shown to improve performance in a variety of settings. Well controlled research on incentives is difficult to do in applied settings because the systematic manipulation of pay systems affects employee income. Additionally, it is often not feasible or appropriate to implement different pay systems or stagger the implementation for employees within the same organization. The first presentation will describe a laboratory study that examined the relative effects of tiered goals and monetary incentives. Unless goals are set too high, monetary incentives enhance the effectiveness of goals. However, it is difficult to set goals that are appropriate for all employees: Goals may be too high for some, just right for some, and too low for others. Tiered goals, setting multiple goals or sub-goals for performance, may offer a solution to this problem and promote the enhancing effects of the incentives. While laboratory research can inform organizational decisions about incentive systems, it cannot address issues that arise when implementing them. The second presentation will describe case studies that examined the effects of various monetary incentive systems in an applied setting, along with the trials and tribulations (and successes) that accompanied their implementation
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Business Practice, Monetary Incentives, OBM, Performance Pay
Target Audience: Those responsible for managing the performance of others in the workplace. In particular those in senior leadership or business owner positions. Also, those generally interested in performance management and Organizational Behavior Management
Learning Objectives: Understand basic research associated with monetary incentives and it's impact on performance in the workplace Understand the interaction between goal and monetary incentives Describe potential applications of monetary incentive systems in the workplace
 

Pay Systems and Goals-Setting: 'Til Research Do Them Part

(Basic Research)
ALEJANDRO RAMOS (Western Michigan University)
Abstract:

Goals are often touted as a relatively inexpensive and easy way to increase performance. For organizations, goals and incentives often go hand-in-hand and thus it is difficult to know the true impact of the goals on employee performance. This talk will begin by summarizing the different types of goal-setting strategies before delving into the concept of tiered goals and the reasoning behind their potential efficacy. It will then discuss the methodology of a laboratory study that focused on the effects of tiered goals and piece-rate pay, both alone and in combination. The results will then be discussed, the findings from which could change the way that organizations use goals and piece rate pay as a means to improve the performance of their employees. At a minimum, tiered goals could add another tool to the performance improvement toolkit within an organization – one that is an advancement over the common goal-setting methods.

 

Using Money Effectively: A Case Study in Monetary Incentives

(Applied Research)
DAN B. SUNDBERG (Kendrick Realty, Inc.)
Abstract:

Monetary incentive systems are an extremely popular area for research and discussion in both the business and academic world. For good reason, these systems receive an intense amount of interest including the attention of Nobel Prize winning researchers. Salary and wage expenses typically account for 25% - 50% or more of a businesses expenses. Understanding how best to deploy such resources in a business represent tremendous opportunity for cost savings and performance improvement. The present case study will examine the application of various monetary incentive systems in an applied setting, including commission pay, wage pay, and bonus systems. Comparisons will be drawn between experimental studies and the results of these applied studies. Audience members will gain a deeper understanding of monetary incentives through real-world examples, including successes and failures. Applying laboratory research to the real world can be a messy affair, and sharing these attempts with others helps the field advance.

 
 
Symposium #370
CE Offered: BACB — 
Supervision
Diversity submission Applications of Training Packages to Increase Fidelity of Core Competencies for Registered Behavior Technicians
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Lynn Hilton (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Jessica Piazza, M.Ed.
Abstract:

The Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBT®) credential has resulted in over 80,000 individuals being certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) since its creation in 2014. RBTs provide direct service to individuals receiving Applied Behavior Analysis services, which has resulted in individuals with this credential becoming the face of the field, which many families and clients work with the majority of their treatment time. It is imperative that the training of individuals who hold the credential of RBT receive high quality and effective training. Empirically validated training packages can be used to train a variety of topics essential to the core competencies of the RBT credential. This symposium will present applied research that has investigated effective training focused specifically on individuals who are certified as an RBT. Training topics include the writing of effective session notes, treatment integrity of RBT implementation of preference assessments and discrete trial training, and RBT session feedback delivery to families of clients.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Intermediate

Learning Objectives: Learning objective: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify one training technique for training RBTs to write objective session notes (2) treatment fidelity for discrete trial training and preference assessments, (3) provide culturally sensitive session feedback
 
Diversity submission Treatment Integrity: A Comparison Study
ROXANNE GAYLE (Trumpet Behavioral Health; Endicott College)
Abstract: As Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) becomes more prevalent, practitioners within the field of behavior analysis continue to develop therapeutic techniques. With that being said, there is an increasing legal and ethical burden placed on the practitioner working with an ASD population to use evidence-based interventions that have been evaluated in the scientific literature (Detrich 2008). As practitioners sift through the literature, they also have to consider the treatment integrity regarding implementation of procedures that are selected for clients. Treatment integrity refers to the extent to which the intervention was implemented as intended (Vermilyea, Barlow, & O’Brien, 1984; Yeaton & Sechrest, 1981). Treatment integrity, as a construct, factors considerably in the implementation of an intervention and a high level of treatment integrity has been associated with increased probability of changes on treatment outcome measures (Livani et al, 2013; Perepletchikova & Kazdin, 2005). A comparison study was conducted to determine if different types of treatment integrity checklists yield different results. The current study provided similar results as previous studies, when treatment integrity increased, client outcomes increased. Although one checklist did not yield greater results, the participants rated written feedback on a detailed checklist most useful with gaining and retaining accuracy in implementation.
 
Diversity submission 

Implementing the Teaching Interaction Procedure to Train Objective Session Notes Via Telehealth

JESSICA PIAZZA (Endicott College; CARE, LLC)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using Teaching Interaction Procedure (TIP) in order to remotely train RBT certificants to write objective session notes. Session notes are a required component for each behavior analytic session conducted by an RBT. This requirement is present for acquiring and maintaining the certification as well as necessary for many funders of behavior analytic services. It is imperative that session documentation presents information in an objective format in order to accurately detail client progress. Behavior analysts can utilize proven training techniques in order to increase the fidelity of documentation of services completed by RBTs. A multiple baseline design across participants was employed with 3 RBTs. RBTs’ session notes during in home behavior analytic sessions were used as probes. Each RBT received the training, which implemented the TIP remotely, detailing how to write narrative sections of session notes objectively. Results indicate that all participants met mastery criteria within 3-4 teaching sessions and maintained these results across maintenance probes.

 
Diversity submission Providing Culturally Sensitive Feedback
NICHOLAS VINCENT ORLAND (Endicott College; Dubai Autism Center)
Abstract: Dubai, United Arab Emirates is composed of 90% expats who hail from various parts of the world (such as the United Kingdom, India, and Philippines). As Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) provide session feedback to these parents from various parts of the world, miscommunications can occur which can potentially cause a variety of challenges (which can range from the therapist being viewed as “rude” by the parent to the parent discontinuing the service due to a miscommunication). A multiple baseline study across participants was employed at the Dubai Autism Center (a state-of-the-art treatment environment located in the heart of Dubai) with 3 RBTs. The RBTs were trained on core competence skills associated with providing culturally sensitive session feedback. Behavior Skills Training (BST) was utilized as the training intervention. This study is currently in progress and results are expected to indicate mastery criteria within 3 to 4 teaching sessions and will maintain over time across maintenance and generalization probes.
 
 
Symposium #371
CE Offered: BACB
Everyone Cares About Quality: How Do We Show It?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Discussant: Richard Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Richard Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D.
Abstract:

What patients, their parents/guardians, insurance providers, and the community at large have in common with direct care staff, clinical supervisors, and ABA service organizations is that each stakeholder cares about quality services. To assureall stakeholders that quality services are being provided, a neutral entity must set standards to define what is considered quality. Such standards are typically based on the scientific literature, and where research may fall short, subject matter experts provide guidance based on best practice. Then, to determine if services meet these standards, an objective entity conducts thorough evaluations using reliable assessment methods. In this symposium, we will share how Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) has developed a quality assurance system with a focus on our accumulated data collected over the past five years. The first presenter will discuss the value of quality assurance and best practice recommendations for conducting quality assurance. The second presenter will discuss outcomes assessments and why they are important for determining the value of behavioral interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The third and fourth presenters will share the results of evaluations with patients and staff. All presenters will discuss the implications of their findings and future steps.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): assessment, patient outcomes, quality assurance, supervision
Target Audience:

Audience members should have a general understanding of assessments such as the VB-MAPP and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales as well as concepts such as social validity, treatment fidelity, and organizational systems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define quality assurance and identify common strategies for measuring, assessing, and reporting on quality assurance; (2) describe the difference between individual and organizational outcomes; and (3) describe how patient and staff surveys can be employed measures of quality assurance.
 
A Multimodal Approach to Measuring Quality Assurance
(Applied Research)
NIKKI WILLIAMS (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence)
Abstract: Quality assurance in human care services refers to a systematic process that organizational employees conduct to determine if the services that employees provide meet quality standards. Important components of the quality assurance process are the collecting and reporting on data. One way to evaluate quality is through the use of multimodal measures that examine key performance indicators. This presentation describes multimodal assessment strategies for quality assurance in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) organizations. To do this, we discuss the importance and use of different key performance indicators collected from 220 ABA organizations for approximately 14,500 patients throughout the United States. For example, 65% of organizations assess their supervisors for competence. But, when analyzed by the number of patients served, 57% of patients work with supervisors whose competence has been assessed. Assessing supervisor competence is one example of how the type of measurement taken and the analysis of obtained data can influence statements about quality assurance. Throughout our presentation, we will discuss additional examples to highlight the many ways quality assurance can be measured, assessed, and reported.
 
Organizational Outcome Data: Don't I Already Do That?
(Applied Research)
SCOTT PAGE (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Behavior analysts commonly use skill-based and adaptive assessments to analyze individual patient outcomes and to customize treatment programs. However, as a whole, such assessments provide limited demonstration of organizational effectiveness and the data that might speak to organizational outcomes do not appear to be widely collected. The growth of applied behavior analysis as an effective treatment option for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder is causing funding sources to be increasingly interested in the accurate measurement, assessment, and reporting of organizational outcomes. In this presentation, we describe the distribution of organizational outcome data submitted during accreditation processes spanning five years and involving 218 organizations and 15 norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments. We then discuss examples of the procedures being used to track organizational outcomes. Finally, we review some of the many benefits that result from tracking organizational outcomes. These include: communicating internally with staff and patients about current quality of care; communicating organizational effectiveness to potential clients and funding sources; identification of opportunities for targeted staff training; and the ability to use data to make decisions that drive company progress toward organizational mission and values.
 
Patient Satisfaction as a Quality Assurance Metric: What it Does and Doesn’t Tell Us
(Applied Research)
P. MICAH FRIDDLE (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Quality assurance measurements are an important, but under-utilized and under-researched, component of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services. Measuring patient satisfaction is one type of quality assurance measure that ensures the social validity of services offered by ABA providers. In this study, we sought to determine which characteristics of clinical quality and organizational processes have the greatest impact on the overall satisfaction of patients or their caregivers. As part of a comprehensive quality review of ABA service providers, we administered patient satisfaction surveys to the patient or their primary caregivers. Each survey asked questions about the caregivers’ level of agreement with statements about their service provider spanning six domains of clinical quality and organizational processes. These domains were: caregiver involvement, patient progress, navigating funding, scheduling, staff training and abilities, and treatment programs. Regression analyses suggest patient progress was the most important predictor of overall caregiver satisfaction. Additionally, the organizational processes of scheduling, staff training and abilities, and caregiver involvement were predictive of overall patient satisfaction. In total, the data and methods presented here highlight how measuring patient satisfaction may help ABA providers identify barriers to patient satisfaction and to develop targeted, function-based interventions to overcome these barriers.
 
Staff Satisfaction Surveys: A Multi-Organization Analysis of Quality Assurance Data
(Applied Research)
MELISSA COTTENGIM (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Sara Gershfeld Litvak (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), Ellie Kazemi (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College)
Abstract: Quality assurance (QA) systems are widely adopted practices in healthcare, pharmacy, and laboratory settings. In the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), quality assurance is equally important but is not a current standard practice. In this study, staff satisfaction surveys were administered to 27,472 employees at 360 ABA organizations through the BHCOE accreditation process. Survey response completion rate was at 65% with 17,855 employee respondents. The survey comprised 67 total questions, measured through a five-point Likert scale, across seven sections including work engagement, career development, compensation, benefits, relationship management, scheduling, and work environment. We examined the relationship between employee satisfaction and overall quality markers reviewing data that had been collected over the past four years. We used a predictive model fit through linear regression to pinpoint the most meaningful sections of our staff satisfaction survey that predict an organization’s overall accreditation score. The results suggest the most important predictor of staff satisfaction was work engagement and the least important predictor was scheduling and work environment. We will discuss considerations for organizations in developing a QA system, the development and utility of staff satisfaction survey, and directions for future research.
 
 
Symposium #372
CE Offered: BACB/QABA
So You Have a Behavior Analyst Licensure Law: Now what?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Discussant: John Walter Scibak (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)
CE Instructor: Gordon Bourland, Ph.D.
Abstract: Once a state, province, or other governmental jurisdiction has enacted a statute establishing licensure of behavior analysts, can behavior analysts finally breathe a sigh of relief and relax? Statues and experience clearly indicate the answer is an emphatic “NO!” Once a behavior analyst licensure law is enacted, behavior analysts still need to be very vigilant and active with respect to it. The presentations will address some of the crucial tasks in which behavior analyst need to engage once licensure is established.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ABA Licensure, Maintaining licensure, Public policy
Target Audience: Intermediate instruction level Attendees familiar with applied behavior analysis and interested in or familiar with behavior analysis licensure and public policy activities will benefit the most from this symposium.
Learning Objectives: Participants will: 1. Outline and plan post licensure law passage activities that will enable the law to be carried out as efficiently as possible. 2. Describe how to move to the execution and implementation stage of recently past licensure legislation laws in their states. 3. State an activity involving behavior analyst licensure regulations in which they should be prepared to engage, 4. State an activity involving other professions with which behavior analysts should be prepared to engage, once behavior analyst licensure is established. 5. State the basic components of sunset review. 6. State what can happen to a state’s behavior analyst licensure program as a result of a sunset review.
 

We Have a Behavior Analyst Licensure Law, Can’t We Relax Now?

JOHN M. GUERCIO (Benchmark Human Services and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract:

The passage of a licensure law is by no means the end of the road for the behavior analysis community in states that have just reached this milestone. The local chapter that supports behavior analysis activities should immediately begin to identify potential members of the licensing board that can be nominated and ultimately will be put in place to serve on the board. This panel will enable those that are on the brink of implementing licensure to be equipped with a step-by-step protocol by which to fully participate in this process. A number of things need to be identified that help to maintain the momentum that led to the passage of the licensure law in the first place. These catalysts will be identified and outlined for interested Behavior Analysts in states that are at this process step in their licensure law.

 
Licensure Laws and Regulations Are In Place: Now We Can Relax, Right?
GORDON BOURLAND (Trinity Behavioral Associates and ABAI Licensing Committee), John Walter Scibak (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract: After a behavior analyst licensure law has been enacted and the initial version of the relevant regulations to guide implementation have been established, behavior analysts are wise to remain vigilant regarding and engaged with licensure issues. The initial version of regulations may require updating as new issues germane to behavior analyst licensure arise and as regulations requiring clarification. In addition, licensure opponents may try to have the statute repealed or suggest onerous regulatory changes. Behavior analysts need to monitor carefully any proposed changes and provide comment regarding them. Behavior analysts should monitor meetings of the regulatory bodies involved with licensure to stay informed with decisions and ongoing discussion as well as provide input regarding issues that should be considered by the body. Additionally, behavior analysts should closely monitor possible activities of other governmental entities and other professions that could have an impact on behavior analysts and their licensure and be prepared to address those activities.
 
Watching the Sunset!
GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract: Many states require state agencies and programs periodically to be reviewed and evaluated by a designated group of people. That group makes recommendations to legislators regarding whether each agency and program should be continued as it is, be revised in some manner, or be eliminated. The legislature then decided what course of action to take. This process is called sunset review. The sunset review process differs across states. The sunset review process has occurred, is occurring, or soon will occur in several states. Given the possible changes that could occur to behavior analyst licensure due to the sunset review process, behavior analysts should be aware of when their licensing program is to be reviewed and actively participating in public input regarding the initial review and regarding the subsequent legislative action. Examples of sunset review activity related to behavior analyst licensure in several states will be discussed.
 

So, What Should You Do Next?

JOHN WALTER SCIBAK (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract:

An overview will be provided of the range of activities that behavior analysts should consider for maximizing the likelihood of behavior analyst licensure adequately protecting the public and supporting the profession of behavior analysis. Elaboration of particular strategies and tactics for doing so will be tailored to address questions raised by attendees.

 
 
Symposium #373
CE Offered: BACB
Acceptance and Commitment Training: Evaluating Direct Measures of Overt Behaviours Across Populations
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kendra Thomson (Brock University )
Discussant: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
CE Instructor: Kendra Thomson, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Acceptance and commitment training (ACTraining) is a third wave, empirically supported behavioural intervention that has been demonstrated to improve the quality of life across numerous populations. ACTraining differs from Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), as ACT focuses on the therapeutic delivery in the psychotherapy realm. Comparatively, ACTraining focuses on providing individuals with the tools to implement ACT in their daily lives. With increasing interest in ACTraining within the field of behaviour analysis, this symposium explores its diverse application across a variety of populations. Presenters will explore the use of direct measures of overt behaviours when training mediators to facilitate ACTraining, the delivery of ACTraining in a group format for caregivers of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and the implementation of ACTraining in an individual format with caregivers, staff, and individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Discussion also includes the delivery of ACTraining within the scope of behaviour analysis, adapting the delivery of ACTraining to a telecommunication format, gaps in the ACT literature, and potential future directions.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): ACTraining, caregivers, direct measurement, neurodevelopmental disabilities
Target Audience:

Designed for: Students, researchers, and Clinicians

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation participants will be able to: 1. Describe how to use direct measures when implementing ACT 2. Discuss various gaps in the ACT literature 3. Describe how direct measurements of ACT processes can be implemented with a variety of populations 4. Describe how self-monitoring can be incorporated into an ACT intervention 5. Assess & describe the pros and cons of providing an intervention using a telecommunication platform
 

A Systematic Review of Acceptance and Commitment Training in the Behavioral Intervention of Individuals With Autism and Developmental Disorders

VICTORIA DANIELA CASTILLO (Endicott College), Emma Isabel Moon (Pepperdine University), Adel C. Najdowski (Pepperdine University)
Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a contemporary approach to dealing with unhelpful private events and improving psychological flexibility (Hayes et al., 2006) that is often used in psychotherapy (Szabo, 2019). Non-psychotherapeutic uses of ACT have been referred to as Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACTraining; Moran, 2011, 2015; Szabo, 2019), which refers to the use of six processes: present moment attention/mindfulness, values clarification, committed action, self-as-context, defusion, and acceptance (Hayes et al., 2006), implemented in the context of a training method.Recent interest in ACTraining within the behavior analytic community has led behavior analysts to question whether ACTraining is truly useful to the field and whether it’s within their scope of practice. Tarbox et al. (2020) have proposed that the use of ACTraining is within the scope of practice of behavior analysts and aligns with the seven dimensions of ABA as outlined by Baer et al. (1968). Thus, the purpose of this study was to provide a review of single-case research designs measuring the behavioral effects of ACTraining components conducted with individuals with ASD/DD, their parents, and/or their staff and to inform clinicians/researchers about what variables have been evaluated and what gaps still exist.

 

Implementing and Evaluating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the Context of ABA for Children With Autism

AMANDA N. CHASTAIN (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Alexandra Little (University of Southern California), Erica Baron (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Courtney Tarbox (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Tom G. Szabo (Florida Institute of Technology), Taira Bermudez (FirstSteps for Kids)
Abstract:

While research on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with individuals with autism has been increasing in recent years, it remains true that there are limited data demonstrating its effectiveness on generating overt behavior change for this population in the applied clinical context. The current presentation reviews a series of treatment evaluations which used multiple baseline designs to analyze the effects of ACT interventions on overt behavior change for children with autism as a part of their clinical ABA treatment. Based on an initial analysis of the participants indirect acting contingencies, multiple exemplar training was used to teach one of the six behavioral repertoires outlined on the ACT Hexaflex (acceptance, present moment, self as context, defusion, values, or committed action). Results of these evaluations suggest that ACT strategies can produce socially significant behavior change in this population with generalization to direct care staff. Maintenance data and social validity data were also collected and will be discussed.

 

Self-Monitoring Committed Actions During Acceptance and Commitment Training for Caregivers of People With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

AMANDA MARCINKIEWICZ (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University ), Carly Magnacca (Brock University), Sarah Davis (Brock University), Lee Steel (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)), Linda Moroz (Bethesda), Yona Lunsky (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH))
Abstract:

Caregivers of people with neurodevelopmental disabilities often experience greater psychological distress than other caregivers. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) has been shown to decrease this psychological distress. Limited research has measured a core component of ACT (committed actions), which could be crucial in understanding how ACT can improve life satisfaction. In two separate studies, we asked caregivers in an in-person ACT-workshop (N=11) and caregivers in a virtual adaptation of the ACT-workshop (N=14) to complete standard psychological measures and self-monitor their frequency of committed actions pre-, post- and 1-month follow-up. Post-ACT, the in-person group average frequency of self-monitoring committed actions increased from 0 in baseline to 3.9 days per-week across four weeks, which returned to baseline levels in follow-up. Statistical analyses indicated therapeutic trends for all psychological measures, with decreases in parenting stress scores approaching statistical significance. Post-ACT, the virtual ACT-workshop results for self-monitoring increased from 0.33 in baseline to 3.56 days per-week across seven weeks. Statistical analyses indicated significant results for decreasing parenting stress, depression, anxiety and stress. Follow-up results are currently being collected. Results may help inform how self-monitoring committed actions may impact or relate to self-reported measures of psychological distress and impact the overall ACT experience for caregivers.

 

Evaluating Behavioural Skills Training via Telecommunication to Teach Mediators to Facilitate Acceptance and Commitment Training

CARLY MAGNACCA (Brock University), Amanda Marcinkiewicz (Brock University), Sarah Davis (Brock University), Lee Steel (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)), Yona Lunsky (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)), Kenneth Fung (University of Toronto), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), Kendra Thomson (Brock University )
Abstract:

Multiple randomized control trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment training (ACT) for improving the quality of life of numerous populations, including caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. However, little research has been conducted on effective methods to train facilitators to lead ACT experiential exercises in general, with even less research incorporating caregivers as co-facilitators. To increase potential facilitators’ access to ACT facilitation training and reduce geographical barriers, a telecommunication format may be leveraged. The aim of this research was to examine the effect of providing behavioural skills training via telecommunication to caregiver and clinician facilitators across Canada that had already received a manualized, group-based ACT facilitation training to prepare to facilitate ACT workshops themselves. This study included a total of five caregivers and three clinicians, where quantitative data on fidelity and confidence was collected at baseline, post-training, and at 1-month follow-up using a multiple-baseline design. The results from this study suggest that implementing behavioural skills training to teach facilitators to provide ACT greatly improved the facilitators’ fidelity implementing three ACT exercises. Increasing the number of competently trained facilitators will help build capacity to increase caregivers’ access to ACT, ideally resulting in decreased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression this population has reported experiencing.

 
 
Symposium #374
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Diversity in Behavior Analysis: Cultural Competence, Neurodiversity, Ableism, and Practicing What We Should Be Preaching
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM EDT
Online
Area: CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Diana J. Walker (Visions, LLC; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
CE Instructor: Diana J. Walker, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium will address diversity issues within the field of behavior analysis, with emphasis on humility, cultural humility, pragmatism, and inclusion. The first talk will present data on the diversity of behavior analysts practicing in Ontario, as well as their self-reports of how culturally competent they believe they are, in comparison with the level of diversity education and training they report. A second presentation will describe the neurodiversity movement, autistic culture, and how traditional Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) contributes to the trauma autistic people experience from others trying to change who they are. A third presentation will describe the cultural bias of research in ABA, specifically, the historical roots of ableism in ABA and examples of ableism in current research. A final presentation will describe the differential treatment and segregation of applied practitioners vs. basic researchers/academicians, and the negative effects on the science and practice of behavior analysis. Presenters will offer suggestions for combating the concerns they highlight, and Dr. Christine Hughes, a distinguished basic and translational researcher and radi