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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #293
CE Offered: BACB
Diagnostic, Language, and Barriers Assessments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 25, 2015
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Berenice de la Cruz (Autism Community Network)
CE Instructor: Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D.
Abstract: Various types of assessments are needed when assessing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This symposium will discuss diagnostic, language, and barrier assessments. Obtaining a medical diagnosis for ASD at an early age is important in order to allow children to obtain early intervention. This symposium will discuss a multidisciplinary diagnostic process for diagnosing young children, ages 2-5, with ASD with an emphasis on the role of the behavior analyst. Data will be presented on agreement between diagnostic tools. Information on common barriers to learning identified in young children with ASD will also be presented. Once children receive a diagnosis of ASD and are referred for ABA therapy, an assessment is needed. Data on the use of functional analysis vs. task analysis of verbal behavior for this assessment process will be presented.
Keyword(s): assessment, diagnostic, functional analysis, verbal behavior
Autism Diagnosis in Children Ages 2-5: DSM IV-TR, DSM 5, and ADOS-2 Agreement
BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Autism Community Network), Lupe Castaneda (Autism Community Network), Adriana I Sanchez (Autism Community Network), Megan G. Kunze (Autism Community Network)
Abstract: A multidisciplinary team consisting of a developmental pediatrician or licensed psychologist, a speech pathologist, an occupational therapists, and a behavior analyst assessed children ages 2-5 at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The diagnostic team utilized various measures including the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (IV-TR; DSM IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000), the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed; DSM-5; APA, 2013), and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2; Lord & Rutter, 2012). Children were scores on both DSM IV-TR and DSM 5 criteria. The ADOS-2 is considered the “gold standard” of diagnostic instruments for individuals at risk for ASD. The ADOS-2 measures communication, social interactions, play, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors. The multidisciplinary evaluation process will be described with an emphasis on the role of the behavior analyst. Data on agreement between the DSM IV-TR, DSM 5, ADOS-2 scores, and overall diagnosis for children who underwent comprehensive diagnostic evaluations will be presented.
Learning Barriers in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
LUPE CASTANEDA (Autism Community Network), Berenice de la Cruz (Autism Community Network), Adriana I Sanchez (Autism Community Network), Megan G. Kunze (Autism Community Network)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with strengths and deficits that affect their overall development. The deficits or “barriers” often impede the development of new skills and should be a primary target of intervention. The Verbal Behavior Milestones and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008) includes a Barriers Assessment that assesses 24 common language and learning barriers in individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. The Barriers Assessment was conducted by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA or BCBA-D) or Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate (BCBA-D) during a comprehensive, multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation for children ages 2 to 5 at risk for ASD. Data for children diagnosed with ASD during comprehensive evaluations in 2013 and 2014 (N=105) indicate that the most common barriers were defective mands, instructional control, negative behaviors, failure to make eye contact, and defective listener skills. A description of the procedures utilized to identify the common barriers in diagnostic evaluations and discussion of future research in common barriers of children diagnosed with autism will conclude the presentation.
Functional Analyses of Verbal Behavior as an Efficient Alternative to Language Assessment
STEPHANIE CURTIS (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Lee L. Mason (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Abstract: Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R; Partington, 2006), are frequently employed in clinical settings for both assessment and curricular purposes. However, these tools can take an inordinate amount of time to accurately administer and score, and often exceed the time limitations for assessments allowed by insurance. Lerman et al. (2005) proposed a functional assessment of verbal behavior that may provide an alternative means of expediently measuring the present levels of stimulus control over an individual’s verbal behavior. Extending the procedures described by Lerman and colleagues, we present a comparison of the results between a functional analysis of verbal behavior and corresponding domains from VB-MAPP assessments for children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Results are presented in terms of a stimulus control ratio among four primary verbal operants: mands, tacts, echoics, and sequelics.



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