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 #214
CE Offered: BACB
Some Current Intervention Approaches for the Treatment of Behavioral Complications in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
217C (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin)
CE Instructor: Terry S. Falcomata, Ph.D.
Abstract: Core and secondary features of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often create difficulties for individuals diagnosed with ASD in terms of skill deficits (e.g., social; communicative) as well as behaviors of excess (e.g., challenging behavior). These complications can include skill acquisition in terms of play activities, the use of appropriate communication to convey wants and needs, and difficulties with transitions between activities. In this symposium, three papers will be presented describing innovative approaches to the treatment behaviors of deficit and excess in individuals with ASD. First, Katy Davenport and colleagues will describe procedures that entail the application of lag schedules of reinforcement during play activities facilitate appropriate play and treat stereotypy. Next, Cindy Gevarter and colleagues will present data pertaining to interventions for programming for advanced mand responses with augmentative and alternative (AAC) devices. Last, Regan Weston and colleagues will show the results of a study evaluating activity schedules during play and work transitions in their effects on challenging behavior during transitions.
Lag Schedule of Reinforcement Increases Appropriate Play and Decreases Stereotypy in Children with Autism on a School Playground
KATY DAVENPORT (Texas State University-San Marcos), Russell Lang (Texas State University-San Marcos), Melissa Moore (Texas State University), Allyson Lee (Texas State University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A & M), Katherine Ledbetter-Cho (Texas State University)
Abstract: Play is a developmentally important activity during childhood; however, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often lack appropriate play skills. Previous research has demonstrated that teaching play may reduce stereotypy, improve language, and facilitate socialization in children with ASD. The majority of play intervention research has been conducted in clinics and children’s homes and there is a relative paucity of research involving play interventions in school settings. Because children spend so much time in school, embedding play intervention into school routines would likely be beneficial. We used lag schedules of reinforcement on a school playground to increase the rate of appropriate play by three children with ASD during recess. In addition to changes in play, data were collected on stereotypy and social interactions. Although play increased and stereotypy decreased, these improvements did not result in a corresponding increase in opportunities for social interaction between the children with autism and their peers. Results are discussed in terms of implication for practice and directions for future research.
A comparison of schematic and taxonomic iPad® AAC systems for teaching multistep navigational AAC requests to children with ASD
CINDY GEVARTER (The University of Texas), Mark O'Reilly (The University of Texas at Austin), Nicolette Sammarco (The University of Texas at Austin), Raechal Ferguson (University of Texas at Austin), Michelle Kuhn (The University of Texas at Austin), Laci Watkins (The University of Texas at Austin), Laura Rojeski (The University of Texas at Austin), Heather Gonzales (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: This study compared how four young children (ages 3 to 8) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) acquired advanced manding with different types of iPad® augmentative and alternative (AAC) display formats/organizational structures. More specifically, a mulitielement design was used to compare two-step navigational requesting with a schematically organized (i.e., vocabulary grouped by locations) visual scene display (VSD), or VSD plus symbol grid, to requesting with a taxonomically organized (i.e., vocabulary grouped by categories) symbol grid system. Acquisition was compared across two settings (e.g., living room, kitchen), and three categories of preferred items (e.g., drinks, food, toys). Using behaviorally-based strategies (e.g., time delay, least to most prompting), three of the four participants mastered the schematically organized systems (VSD or VSD with grid), but did not master the taxonomically organized grid. Using the schematic systems, two of these participants also generalized requesting to an untrained third location with a new preferred item, and maintained responding across all three settings. A fourth participant mastered both a schematically organized VSD and a taxonomically organized grid during training. Differences in the types of errors observed suggest possible advantages and disadvantages of each system. Results have important implications for the development of AAC assessment and implementation protocols.
Effects of Activity Schedules in Play to Work Transitions for Children with Autism
REGAN WESTON (Baylor University), Rachel Scalzo (Baylor University), Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Nander Min (Baylor University), Alex Weber (Baylor University), Sami Ackard (Baylor University), Lillie Dukes (Baylor University)
Abstract: Evidence suggests activity schedules are useful tools in managing challenging behavior for children with autism spectrum disorder (Lequia, Machalicek, & Rispoli, 2012). However, the research regarding the effectiveness of activity schedules from play to demand situations for children with autism who have tangibly maintained challenging behavior is limited (Lequia, Machalicek, & Rispoli, 2012). For this reason, a single subject reversal design was used to determine the utility of this intervention. Baseline consisted of no advanced notice of upcoming transition from play to work, whereas treatment conditions included the use of an activity schedule that was reviewed prior to the session starting and again when play and work tasks ended. Results appeared variable suggesting activity schedules as a stand-alone intervention may not be enough to moderate challenging behavior in the absence of reinforcement. However, it may be useful to include activity schedules with reinforcement during demand conditions Implications for practitioners will be discussed.



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