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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Poster Session #91
DDA Saturday PM
Saturday, May 23, 2015
5:00 PM–7:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
103. Effects of Shared Active Surface Technology on the Communication and Speech of Two Preschool Children with Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JASON TRAVERS (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Shared active surface technology is a new technology that can be described as a supersized tablet computer for multiple simultaneous users. Shared active surface technology allows for manual (i.e., touch) input from several users to simultaneously interact with digital content and each other. This technology has the potential to resolve teaching and learning issues associated with single-user computer technology, but has not yet been investigated for use in classroom settings. This study reports findings f of the effects of a shared active surface technology on the social communication and non-social speech of two preschool children identified with autism and developmental delay. An alternating treatments design was used to detect whether differences existed in non-social speech and social communication behavior as a function of two conditions. Triads comprised of one learner with disability and two typical peers participated in a digital coloring activity on the shared active surface device and analog coloring activity using crayons and poster paper. Sessions were 10 minutes long and videotaped for analysis using partial and whole interval recording. Results indicated differences in social communication and non-social speech for both participants. One child engaged in more non-social speech during the shared active surface condition than analog. The second child engaged in more social communication during the shared active surface condition than analog (see four figures attached). Implications of the findings will be discussed and directions for potential research with this technology will be provided.
104. Conditions and Steady State Responding in the Trial-Based Functional Analysis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CASSANDRA STANDISH (Appalachian State University), Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University), Marissa Stockstad (Appalachian State University), Laura Spratt (Appalachian State University), Justyn Roark (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: Prior studies suggest that trial-based functional analyses (TBFA) can be used to identify the function of problem behaviors for individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders. Across studies, there have been several procedural variations. For example, of the 14 studies published to date, six used a control segment after the test segment; five used a control segment prior to the test segment; one randomized the order of the test and control segments; and two studies used a control before and after the test segment. Additionally, the number of observations conducted per test condition has varied between six and 10 observations, yet steady-state responding is not typically identified as a key for determining the number of sessions to conduct. The purpose of this study is to (a) examine patterns of responding in pre- and post-control conditions to determine whether either or both are necessary and, (b) evaluate response patterns within and across test conditions to determine whether it might be more appropriate to use stability criterion to determine number of test conditions. This study also is distinguished from prior studies as we conducted the TBFA in children’s homes, with caregivers implementing contingencies. Three children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers will participate.
105. Treatment of Aggression Maintained by Access to Idiosyncratic Vocal Responses from Others Following Perseverative Speech
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA GOETZEL (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Phillip Orchowitz (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Rebcca Getachew (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Prior functional analysis research about perseverative speech shows this behavior is often socially-mediated (Rehfeldt & Chambers, 2003). Therefore, perseverative speech is an important behavior to address because it can greatly impede an individual’s ability to interact with peers; there is a need for function-based treatments that emphasize developing stimulus control over the behavior (Dixon, Benedict, & Larson, 2001). In this study, the participant was a 16-year-old male diagnosed with Autism, who was admitted to an inpatient unit for severe aggression. Results of a functional analysis suggested the participant’s aggression was maintained by positive reinforcement to access a specific, scripted vocal response to perseverative statements. Treatment consisted of alternating periods of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to preferred responses, followed by periods of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) for perseverations to access the NCR period. Schedule changes were indicated via a discriminative stimulus card and the schedule of reinforcement was thinned over time. Results from a reversal design show that aggression was substantially lower with the implementation of the intervention when compared to baseline, thus indicating that the use of a multiple schedule can be effective in reducing problem behavior related to perseverative speech. Strategies for generalization and maintenance will be discussed.

Behavioral Interventions for Adults Who Engage in Self-Injurious Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY GREGORI` (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University)

Self-injurious behavior can be a chronic problem for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over an extended period of time, self-injurious behaviors can produce irreversible physical damage. In addition to medical concerns, chronic self-injury can lead to social rejection, limited employment opportunities, as well as an increased risk of abuse and neglect. Although these behaviors often continue into adulthood, there is a lack of behavioral services available for these individuals once they exit the school system. While there is a significant literature base for the treatment of challenging behavior and self-injury for children, there is a need for research with adult populations. We present a review on non-pharmacological behavioral interventions for treating self-injurious behaviors in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A synthesis of the literature and implications for future research are presented.

107. Prediction of Treatment Efficacy through Evaluation of the Functional Analysis Control Condition
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHLOE J. MCKAY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Shari M. Pincus (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Most severe problem behavior is treatment resistant, thus treatment effects are difficult to distinguish from no treatment effects during initial treatment implementation. One consequence of this is that potentially effective treatments may be terminated prematurely, creating a false negative conclusion. Another consequence of this is that many sessions may be required to verify the absence of the treatment effect. Therefore the purpose of this study was to evaluate how the degree of differentiation between the functional analysis (FA) test and control conditions relates to eventual treatment outcome. To assess this potential, we summarized 160 cases of assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior published in the Journal of Applied Analysis over the past 10 years. Results suggested that: 1) the amount of differentiation in the FA more effectively predicted treatment outcome for nonsocial than for social cases, across different treatment intensities and 2) although differentiation does not predict effectiveness of treatment in all cases, greater differentiation in the FA is more likely to lead to greater reductions in treatment.
108. Some Effects of Different Adults During Functional Analysis and Treatment Evaluation
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER TUNG (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mandy M. Park (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: A functional analysis is used to experimentally identify variables maintaining target behaviors. However, it may be necessary to modify some aspects of the analysis so as to achieve conclusive results. In the present study, the individual serving as therapist was manipulated in order to identify function. It is hypothesized that the staff person conducting the analysis may not have provided the essential antecedent stimuli indicative of the individuals natural environment. Functional analyses were conducted with a 15-year-old male diagnosed with Intellectual Disability. Results from the initial analysis conducted by staff were inconclusive due to zero responding. Results of the analysis conducted by the individuals mother showed clear differentiation between the attention and control conditions, indicating that the individuals problem behavior was maintained by his mothers attention. A subsequent replication of the functional analysis with staff acting as therapist resulted in low to rates of problem behavior. An attention treatment evaluation with the individuals mother as therapist was conducted and resulted in an 89% reduction of problem behavior from baseline levels. Results of this study support the need to modify the functional analysis on an individualized basis and highlight the effects of therapist-specific antecedent and/or consequent stimuli for some individuals.
109. Teaching Non-Verbal Children with Intellectual Disabilities to Wear Headphones for a Hearing Exam
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CAROL CUMMINGS (The University of Kansas), Kathryn Saunders (The University of Kansas), Dean C. Williams (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: This study was part of project to develop a technology for teaching non-verbal children to take a hearing exam. Hearing loss, if left uncorrected, can delay and limit language development. Correction requires examinations using earphones to assess both ears. Without the results of such a test, hearing aids cannot be properly adjusted. Children who cannot follow verbal instructions present a challenge for audiologists to assess in general, and often refuse to wear earphones. Participants were children with autism aged 4-5 years. Those who refused attempts to place headphones on their heads during baseline received training. Across sessions we shaped wearing headphones by delivering reinforcers through a series of steps (holding earphones close to the ear, then over the head, and eventually over the ears). If the child showed signs of distress, we backed up to an earlier step. Results showed a decrease in non-compliance across sessions and that the participants wore the earphones without experimenter assistance in 2-3 sessions following baseline.
110. Evaluating Procedures to Teach Social Skills to Children with Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN FALLIGANT (Auburn University), Sacha T. Pence (Auburn University)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities typically require direct social-skills instruction to successfully acquire the skills. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of class-wide, small-group, and individual instruction on acquisition of social skills, including responding to name, tolerating waiting, tolerating denied requests, requesting attention, and requesting assistance. Eight children with developmental disabilities participated in the study. Participants ranged from three to five-years old and attended an integrated preschool at least two days per week. A multiple-baseline across-behaviors design will be used to show the effects of instruction (class-wide, small group, and individual) on acquisition. Prior to baseline, participants were observed for a minimum of 20 min and across at least five opportunities to practice each skill in the classroom. During baseline, researchers arranged opportunities to practice each skill. Following baseline, class-wide instruction will be delivered. The intensity of instruction will be increased as necessary for participants to acquire the skill. Probes will be conducted in the classroom to test for generalization. Four participants never engaged in any social skills and four participants engaged in low levels of social skills during pre-baseline observations. Zero to low levels of skills were observed during current baseline sessions.
111. The Effectiveness of Using Video Modeling Booster Sessions to Maintain Vocational Skills Following Summer Break
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Daina Hunt (Indian Prairie School District #204), Jesse W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University), Ximena Burgin (Northern Illinois University), Wendy Bonneau (DeKalb High School), Erika Blood (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Improving independent completion of vocational skills is critical for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities (ID) to obtain and sustain employment; however, another consideration is maintenance of those skills, particularly when there are interruptions in work schedules. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using video modeling “booster” sessions to maintain vocational skills of students with ASD/ID following a 12-week summer break. Six young adults participated and each was assigned two vocational tasks at their employment settings. Their independence with each task was measured prior to and following break and evaluated using a nonequivalent dependent variables design. One task was assigned to a control condition (no video) and the other was assigned to a video modeling booster condition (watching video model three times before going to work). Vocational tasks were counter-balanced across participants and order of conditions was randomized across employment sites. Results indicated that 5/6 participants increased independence following the video modeling procedure and 5/6 participants decreased performance with the control condition. A large effect was observed for one group (d=2.12) and a medium effect size was identified for second group when comparing treatment and control conditions (d=0.54) across order of conditions.
112. Functional Analysis and Treatment for Chronic Emesis
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CRYSTAL THOMAS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Alexander Arevalo (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Anthony Concepcion (Kennedy Krieger Institute | University of Maryland), Gabriella Ulloa (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Abby Long (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (University of Missouri), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Emesis and rumination can be associated with severe medical complications including gastrointestinal issues, weight loss, malnutrition, and tooth decay. Prior research has shown that rumination is often automatically maintained (Lyons et al., 2007), but can still be effectively treated using behavioral strategies. Increasing the volume of food (Rast et al., 1981), following a fixed-time delivery of food (Lyons et al., 2007) and delivering noncontingent reinforcement (Kliebert and Tiger, 2011) are effective for reducing rumination; however, there is a dearth of research showing the effectiveness of such strategies for the treatment of emesis. The participant in the current study was an 18-year-old male admitted to an inpatient hospital unit for the assessment and treatment of chronic emesis. Results of a functional analysis showed emesis was automatically maintained. Treatment, which was evaluated using a reversal design, focused on developing stimulus control over the behavior by increasing the latency to the occurrence of emesis after the delivery of food. Results from a comprehensive treatment, which included noncontingent reinforcement, response cost, and overcorrection, showed an increase in the latency to the first occurrence of emesis during a 30-minute meal, which was subsequently extended to a 60-minute leisure period immediately following the meal.
113. The Effectiveness of Video Prompting to Teach Transition Age Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
IRENE JONES (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Transition from high school to adulthood is fraught with challenges for many students with intellectual disabilities. Providing instructional strategies to meet their unique needs is complex. This review synthesizes 18 studies, examining the use of video prompting strategies to increase the acquisition of independent living and vocational skills for transition-age individuals with moderate-to-severe intellectual disabilities through the use of a variety of single-subject designs. The 18 studies reported outcomes for 61 participants, who ranged from 13 to 41 years of age and had a diagnosis of intellectual disability. Interventions directly targeted the acquisition of independent living or vocational skills through either the use of video prompting alone or a combination of video prompting plus error correction procedures. Nine studies focused on teaching participants to self-operate a variety of video prompting devices (e.g., iPod Touch, DVD player, etc.) with largely positive results. While outcomes for the 18 studies are somewhat tempered by the fact that only 48% (n=29) of participants acquired targeted skills using video prompting alone, results suggest that video prompting is an evidence-based practice for this population. Implications for practitioners using commercially available technology to support transition-related goals for students with intellectual disabilities and future research will be discussed.
114. Case Study: Efficacy of a Combined Behavioral Skills Training and Precision Teaching Method
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CRAIG A MARRER (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training and precision teaching methods were used to teach a modified dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) sequence, based upon Julie Brown's Skills Training Program (Brown, 2011), to a pre-adolescent, high functioning male with a diagnosis of autism. Results of the training sessions, which were conducted in a multiple baseline design, indicated that the behavioral skills training method alone was insufficient to exert the necessary level of control over the participant's responding. The addition of precision teaching methodology to the training program led to a nearly immediate increase in performance accuracy that maintained over time. Prior to implementation of the program, the participant displayed regular instances of physical aggression, property destruction, and self-injurious behavior, several of these instances led to significant injury to others. During and following the training program, instances of problem behavior decreased markedly. It is reasoned that the DBT sequence was a behavioral chain in which an individual sequence of the chain acted as a discriminative stimulus for the following. In summary, the behavior sequence was incompatible with previous problem behavior.
115. Using Stimulus Equivalence Training Procedures to Teach Receptive Emotional Labeling and Self-emotional Expression to Students With Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAYO IWAMOTO (University of Tsukuba), Takayuki Tanji (University of Okayama), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the ramifications of the self-emotional expression and factors that generalization came into effect between sets. The design used a multiple probe between stimulus-class sets. There were four (happiness, anger, sadness, and fear) emotional states. Participants were 6-year-old and 8-year-old students with Developmental Disabilities. Participants in this study had acquired relations between schematic faces expressing emotion and printed-words/oral labeling of emotions prior to this study. The participants were taught relations between the emotional situation cartoons and printed-words/oral labeling of emotion in training phases. Only one of the stimuli class (CB) training, the participants increased percent of correct responses the other classes included self-emotional expression. Training sessions were conducted in a university clinical service room. The results suggest effectiveness and efficacy of the stimulus equivalence training for teaching emotional labeling and derived effect of self-emotional expression.



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