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 #190
AUT Sunday Noon
Sunday, May 24, 2015
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
52. Behavioral Intervention to Treat Phonological Disorders in Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SMITA AWASTHI (Behavior Momentum India), Sridhar Aravamudhan (Behavior Momentum India), Karuna Kini (Behavior Momentum India), Karola Dillenburger (Queens University Belfast)

Sufficient response-exemplar training has been used successfully to typically developing children to articulate several Norwegian words with difficult blends (Eikeseth S. & Nesset 2003). The present study extends and adapts these procedures for children with autism. One girl and 3 boys aged between 7 and 16 years in the autism spectrum participated in the study. Two of the children had a co-occurring diagnoses of apraxia. This study examined if sufficient-response-exemplar-training would improve articulation in children with autism. In addition to SRET, stimulus salience, shaping, chaining and supplementary prompts were also added to the intervention. A multiple baseline across behaviors (word sets targeted) design was used. Results showed improvement in articulating words and sounds in all three participants. Two word sets improved after training for one participant while for two participants training in one set had generalisation effects on other word sets and sounds. Intervention in the fourth participant has just begun. For 37% of probe sessions mean IOA was 91% for participant 1 and 100% for participants 2 and 3 for agreement on correct responses. IOA on treatment integrity was 85 - 100%.

53. A hospital-based early behavioral intervention for social engagement in a toddler with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOICHIRO MATSUDA (Keio University), Mika Nakagome (Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hosopital), Ryoko Otani (Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hosopital), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University), Ryoichi Sakuta (Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hosopital)
Abstract: Children with autism are known to have difficulty in social engagement. A previous study suggests that limited social interaction has long-term implications for outcome (Howlin et al., 2013). However, there are few studies that have examined whether social engagement could be facilitated in toddlers with ASD. Since there are few clear discriminative stimuli that sets occasion for spontaneous eye contact in their daily life, establishing spontaneous eye contact without providing instruction would play the important role. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether social engagement could be facilitated in a toddler with ASD (CA: 3 years 2 months, IQ: 63). This study evaluated the full packages of time delay, physical contact, contingent adult imitation, novel adult behavior, and holding toys near eyes. An ABAB design was implemented. Results showed that the eye contacts, smiles, and eye contact with smile were facilitated by a hospital-based early behavioral intervention.
54. Assessment of the Reinforcing Efficacy of Tokens During Skill Acquisition
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARY KATHERINE CAREY (Western New England University), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Tokens economies are commonly used in teaching new skills to individuals with autism. Tokens are delivered in lieu of primary reinforcers for correct responding and then exchanged for a variety of back-up reinforcers. When used in this way, tokens are conceptualized as generalized reinforcers by virtue of being exchangeable for an array of primary reinforcers. Thus, they may be insensitive to motivating operations for certain back-up reinforcers and particularly useful if skill acquisition is being affected by satiation. Unfortunately, the effects of satiation on skill acquisition have gone largely unexamined. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of abolishing operations on response acquisition when tokens are used but exchangeable for only a single back-up reinforcer. First, the reinforcing efficacy of tokens was evaluated and data from one participant show that tokens were functioning as reinforcers. Second, the effects of satiation on skill acquisition was tested when tokens were exchangeable for one back-up reinforcer. Data showed a small effect of satiation on the rate of skill acquisition. Although the impact of satiation was small, these data suggest that the use of a generalized reinforcer may be warranted in some cases.
55. The Effects of Delayed Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior on Inappropriate Food Consumption.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY ALEXANDRA BENHART (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Children with autism sometimes eat items that are not intended for their consumption. An extensive literature base exists on the assessment and treatment of pica, but little research has been done on the inappropriate consumption of edible items. Eating items off of the floor, from trash cans, or other inappropriate places in the environment, hereafter referred to as inappropriate food consumption (IFC), is concerning because the behavior may lead to allergic reaction, orally transmitted diseases, accidental poisoning, parasitic infection, intestinal blockage, among many other undesirable and potentially dangerous consequences. The purpose of this study was to teach an alternative response to replace IFC, and to determine whether physical blocking was a necessary component of an effective intervention. Additionally, because alternative reinforcement is not always immediately available in the natural environment, we assessed the durability of the treatment effect following a delay to reinforcement. We have IOA for 33.8% of sessions and scores average 99.6% for appropriate manding and 97% for IFC.
56. A Comparison of Prompts for Teaching Long Response Chains to an Adolescent With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARGARET RILEY (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

Research has demonstrated that manual guidance is effective at teaching long response chains and can be faded systematically using graduated guidance. In contrast, clinical findings suggest that verbal prompts might be more difficult to fade than physical prompts, because learners might come to be dependent upon verbal instructions. However, empirical evaluations are scarce comparing the use of manual guidance and verbal prompts for the acquisition and then maintenance of long response chains. The purpose of this study is to evaluate if manual guidance, faded systematically using a time delay procedure, would result in faster acquisition and then maintenance compared to verbal prompts faded in the same way. A multi-element design is being used to compare the use of verbal prompts to teach operating a washing machine with the use of manual guidance to teach operating a dryer. A pretest assessment revealed low levels of accuracy with completing steps in each of the response chains. During intervention, verbal prompts and manual guidance were used and then faded using a progressive time delay procedure. We plan to continue this analysis by continuing to fade these prompts and replicating this study with new target responses.

57. A Comparison of Response Rate and Preference Hierarchy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA KWOK (Western New England University)
Abstract: Reinforcing items are often used in skill acquisition and behavior management programming for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). When identifying a specific reinforcer, a variety of preference assessments can be used such as multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) or a paired stimulus (PS) preference assessment. The purpose of the present study was twofold. First, to evaluate the generality of preference assessments. Second, to evaluate the relation between preference assessment rank and response rate for behavior maintained by a variety of stimuli. Results showed correlation between preference hierarchy and response rate for edible items but not for leisure items. Interobserver agreement was scored for 33% of the sessions averaging at 88%.
58. Establishing Looking Behavior in the Interactive Conversation Using iPad for a Student with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SATORU SEKINE (Keio university), Soichiro Matsuda (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often exhibit difficulties in interactive conversation. Previous researches suggest that they have difficulties to keep paying attention to the listener. This study examined the effect of video-feedback with iPad on non-verbal behavior in the social conversation setting. A boy (CA: 7;10, FSIQ: 80) with ASD participated in this study. As the procedure, the participant and a male experimenter talked together during the session (3 minutes). This study targeted two posture behavior during the conversation (looking toward the experimenter and retaining posture). This experiment consisted of four phases; baseline, video-feedback, probe-tests, and generalization-test. In the baseline, the experimenter gave no feedback to the child. In the video-feedback, the participant was given feedback with iPad at the end of session. The participant was required to watch the video of previous session via iPad. In the probe-tests, the procedure was the same as in baseline. Probe-tests were conducted 1week and 1month after the video-feedback phase. In generalization, the participant talked with a female experimenter. As result, the frequency of looking toward the experimenter and retaining posture increased in 1month probe-test and generalized across people. In this study, we suggest video-feedback is efficient to improve non-verbal behavior at the social conversation settings.

59. The Use of ABA Techniques in Reducing Self-Injurious Behaviors in a Three-Year-Old Girl with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA BUDZINSKA (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk), Iwona Ruta-Sominka (Institute for Child Development)
Abstract: Self-injurious behaviors are defined as behaviors which lead to inflicting pain or physical injury to oneself (Tate et al., 1966). Such behaviors are markedly varied, differing in terms of location, duration and intensity. Included in the category are both mild responses and those capable of directly endangering the sufferers life (Matson , 1989). The aim of our study was to find effective methods which could be used to reduce self-injurious behavior in a three-year-old girl with. To analyze our results we used the ABC research model (Bailey, 2002), in which stage A means the baseline measurements, whereas the measurements conducted at stages B and C show the behavioral changes that result from our therapeutic activities. The results of our research show that a set of properly selected behavior analysis techniques are very effective in eliminating self-injurious behaviours.
60. Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Maintained by Directing and Interaction
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZINA A. ELURI (The University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: We conducted an assessment and treatment for problem behavior in a 7-year-old Hispanic male with autism that involved a modification of the original functional analysis methodology first published by Iwata and colleagues (1982/1994). First, a preference assessment and traditional functional analysis was conducted to identify what was maintaining his problem behavior. However, given that rates of problem behavior were low across all conditions, a modification was made to better capture the function of the childs behavior. The modification involved providing social reinforcement in the form of allowing the child to direct the interaction in the functional analysis. Once the function was identified, a treatment package involving a token economy plus response cost (TE + RC) was used to reduce problem behaviors to socially acceptable levels. A reversal design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment in comparison to the relevant functional analysis condition. The importance of this modification will be discussed in the context of the current functional analysis technology. In addition, ways to enhance our current assessment procedures will be addressed.
61. Peer Mediated Discrete Trial Training Within a School Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CHRISTOPHER M. FURLOW (The University of Southern Mississippi), Keith Radley III (The University of Southern Mississippi), Evan Dart (The University of Southern Mississippi), Emily Ness (The University of Southern Mississippi)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the feasibility and effects of a peer-mediated, schoolbased, discrete trial training (DTT) protocol for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Six typically developing elementary-age peers were trained to implement a basic DTT protocol. A multiple baseline across student interventionists design was utilized to evaluate the integrity with which trained peers implemented the DTT protocol and the efficacy of the student interventionists in training target academic behaviors. Results indicate that student interventionists acquired skills to implement the DTT protocol with high levels of integrity. Additionally, it was observed that participation in peer-mediated DTT resulted in mastery of target academic skills by participants with ASD. Measures of acceptability indicated high levels of student interventionist satisfaction with intervention procedures.
62. The Effects of Response Effort on Preferences of Young Children With ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GREGORY R. MANCIL (Louisiana Tech University), Todd Haydon (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Several research studies have demonstrated the success of using preferences as reinforcement for children with autism and other developmental disabilities (Roane, et. al., 1998). However, children with autism often become obsessed with just one or small set of items, which can relate to higher levels of challenging behaviors (Mancil, 2009). Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of manipulating levels of response effort on choosing between most preferred and less preferred items. A multi-element design was used to test five levels of response effort that considered amount of force and difficulty to access preferred items. Data was collected via IPad during 1-hour sessions. Prior to manipulating levels of response effort, preference assessments were conducted keeping response effort levels equal across items to obtain a ranked order of items. Assessments were conducted for each of the response effort conditions also. The amount of response effort was systematically manipulated across preferences rankings of items. Results indicate that participants chose less preferred items when response effort was increased for more preferred items. In addition, the change in response effort did not have to be a large change. Minimum increases resulted in a move to a lesser preferred item. This study potentially impacts planning for more complex systems and natural environments considering the complexities within any given behavioral economic system. IOA was 95% across all conditions and reliability with each observer's data was 100% across all observers.
63. A Comparison of Prompting Tactics to Teach Intraverbals to Young Adults With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN CONANT (Evergreen Center), Joseph M. Vedora (Evergreen Center)
Abstract: Several researchers have compared the effectiveness of tact or textual prompts to echoic prompts used to teach intraverbals behavior to young children with autism. We extended this line of research by comparing the effectiveness of visual (textual or tact) prompts to echoic prompts to teach intraverbal responses to three young adults with autism. An Adapted Alternating Treatments Design was used with two to three comparisons for each participant. The results were mixed and did not reveal a more effective prompting procedure across participants. The results suggested that the effectiveness of a prompting tactic may be idiosyncratic across individuals. The role of one's learning history and the implications for practitioners teaching intraverbal behavior to individuals with autism are discussed.
64. Comparing Modeling Procedures Through An Alternating Treatments Design
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE MERY (California State University, Northridge), Madison Oddo (California State University, Northridge), Katerina Monlux (California State University, Northridge), Debra Berry Malmberg (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Comparing the efficacy of interventions for children with autism is valuable because it provides clinicians with the tools necessary to determine which intervention will be the most efficient, potentially saving future time and resources. Imitation training through in-vivo modeling and video modeling has lead to increase in participants play skills; however, the acquisition rates and overall gains in play responses (vocal and action) via these two modeling procedures has not been directly evaluated (Charlop-Christy, Le, & Freeman, 2000; MacDonald et. al, 2009). In this study, we compared these two commonly used modeling procedures for children with autism with an alternating treatments design. Three participants diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder were randomly presented with either condition, in-vivo or video modeling. A modified alternating treatments design was used to evaluate the rates of acquisition of play sequences across treatment and control conditions. Future implications and challenges encountered while using alternating treatments design were discussed.
65. Examining Next Steps: A Review of Higher-Order Social Communication Interventions for Young Children with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
SARAH HANSEN (University of Oregon), Tracy Raulston (University of Oregon)
Abstract: The extant literature on social communication interventions for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has been well reviewed. However, current reviews of the literature indicate more research is needed on higher-order or pragmatic social skills for young children with ASD. These more complex social skills, such as carrying on a conversation, showing empathy, or telling a joke are critical for peer acceptance in the elementary school years. The current paper will review the existing single-case literature on social communication interventions for higher-order social skills for young (4-12 year old) children with ASD. The authors define higher-order using social-communication assessments; particularly the social behavior task analysis of level three of the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). This poster will provide a matrix of included studies, an assessment of their rigor and effect size, as well as main implications and directions for future research.
66. Assessment of effects of word complexity on communication preference using two communication modalities: Vocal approximations and a voice output communication aid
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Sarah Luem (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), KATELYN SELVER (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutger), Sarah Levine (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in communication. To address this issue, a number of different modes of communication have been developed (i.e., picture exchange, sign language, voice output communication aides (VOCAs)). Research has shown that the rates of acquisition of each modality and preference for modality may vary across individuals (e.g., van der Meer et al., 2012). For example, a student may acquire a picture exchange response to label items in fewer trials than sign language and may also show preference for the picture exchange response (i.e., engage in that response when given a choice of both responses). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of response effort (word complexity) on communication preference. Participants were first taught to label pictures with vocal approximations and VOCAs (Proloquo to go). The pictures included one, two, and multi-syllable words. Data were collected on trials to acquisition for each modality. Then, a choice analysis was conducted in which participants were asked to label the picture with either communication modality. Results showed that trials to acquisition were similar across modalities for one-syllable words. As the complexity of the words increased, acquisition of vocal approximations decreased. In addition, preference shifted from vocal approximation to VOCAs.
67. A Preliminary Investigation of Teaching a Child with Autism to ask, "What's that?"
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE A. NICHOLSON (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Andrea Clements (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Claire Turbes (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Lanisa Tafoya (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: An important behavioral cusp for children with autism is to learn to ask questions that lead to the acquisition of new information. In the current study, a progressive, echoic prompt delay procedure was used to teach a 4 year-old boy with autism to ask, “What’s that?” in the presence of unknown stimuli. He learned to tact the unknown stimuli simply by hearing the answer to his question with no additional training. As unknown stimuli were mastered, novel unknown stimuli were introduced until all unknown stimuli that were identified during the preassessment were mastered. He generalized the “What’s that?” response and new tacts across settings. However, many children with autism overgeneralize mands for information and ask these questions even in the absence of the relevant establishing operation (e.g., asking “What’s that?” for stimuli that are already known to the child). To assess whether proper stimulus control was established, known stimuli were interspersed among the trials containing unknown stimuli. The participant demonstrated mastery-level responding on the known items, demonstrating that the “What’s that?” response was under the control of the establishing operation.
68. Autism and Self-Monitoring: What is the Quality of Study Designs?
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorders often display stereotypic, repetitive behaviors which are problematic throughout the lifespan. Self-monitoring, an intervention which involves participants self-identifying, observing, and tracking their own behaviors. Unfortunately, few studies have assessed the quality of designs for self-monitoring, and no studies have assessed the quality of designs under the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC) recent standards. This study aimed to assess the quality of design for studies, under the CEC’s 2014 standards. Results, limitations, implications, and directions for future study are discussed.
69. Developing and Validating a Standardized Inventory to Measure Socially Relevant Treatment Outcomes in a Classroom Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHIARA M. CUNNINGHAM (Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta), Dana Zavatkay (Marcus Autism Center; Emory University), Lisa M. Cymbor (Marcus Autism Center), Peyton Groff (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: This poster will provide information regarding the initial development and validation of an inventory created to measure meaningful treatment outcomes for children with developmental disabilities placed in public education settings, specifically in ABA based model classrooms provided by the Marcus Autism Center (MAC- MCs). While measurement of individualized, socially-relevant goals is the gold standard within behavior analysis, increasing demands for standardized methods to monitor treatment response have unfortunately resulted in few viable options. The Model Classroom Skills Inventory (MCSI) was created to be a standardized measure sensitive to treatment response following these classroom intervention strategies. Information presented in this poster will show the MCSI’s initial reliability and validity, including internal consistency, informant agreement, inter-rater reliability, sensitivity to treatment, and concurrent agreement with another treatment outcome for children, the Autism Impact Measure (AIM). In addition to these findings, the presentation will also highlight theoretical and psychometric differences between the MCSI and the AIM. Specifically, data from a yearlong treatment study with nearly 100 children will highlight how the MCSI may be more suited as an outcome measure as it focuses on measuring individual skill acquisition instead of measuring core symptomology.
70. Application of Stimulus Fading and Modified Extinction Procedures to Decrease the Problem Behavior in an Adult with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JESSE LOGUE (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Individuals with autism may display a range of socially inappropriate responses (e.g., negative vocalizations, aggressive and self-injurious behaviors). These behaviors are, at times, perceived to be symptoms of larger constructs (e.g., anxiety) which are often subjectively, rather than objectively, defined (Evans et al, 2005; Ung et al, 2013); thus making difficult the assessment and treatment for these problems. While much evidence exists for the efficacy of systematic desensitization the literature on procedural modifications to this treatment strategy for children with disabilities is limited. Utilizing a changing criterion design, the current study examined the effectiveness of stimulus fading procedures, functional communication, and modified escape-extinction procedures to decrease problem behaviors occasioned by entering public places for an adult male with autism. Treatment was effective in decreasing the client’s fear response to approaching a grocery store. The utility of these procedures and added benefit of employing a changing criterion design to evaluate individualized adaptations to traditional systematic desensitization procedures is discussed, as well as limitations and future directions.
71. Clinical Implications of Utilizing Discontinuous versus Continuous Data Collection
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DENA SHADE-MONUTEAUX (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: The practice of continuous measurement of teaching trials is widely implemented in early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programs for individuals with ASD. Continuous measurement provides the most detailed information and captures every data point (Lerman, D., et al., 2011; Cummings, A. & Carr, J., 2009). This can be time consuming may detract from the fluency of instruction. A number of studies have compared continuous and discontinuous data collection with respect to rates of learning, however, the impact on session structure (the amount of time actively engaged in instruction) has not been evaluated. This study compared the number of sessions required to reach ‘mastery’ criterion across three skills and the amount of time spent collecting data both using data collection methods. Participants were able to reach mastery criterion in as many or fewer sessions with discontinuous measurement as with continuous measurement. However, the amount of time engaged in instruction was notably higher in the discontinuous measurement condition. These findings have implications on how data are collected and analyzed, as decisions with respect to data collection methods may significantly increase or decrease time spent actively engaged in learning activity for children with ASD.
72. Differential Negative Reinforcement of Other Behavior to Increase Wearing of a Medical Bracelet
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER LYNN COOK (Monarch House), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), Kimberly A. Schulze (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: A young boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder and limited communication skills engaged in extreme problem behaviour and was noncompliant with wearing a Medical Alert™ bracelet required for his safety in the community. We used a changing criterion design with three stages to evaluate the extent to which differential negative reinforcement of other behaviour (DNRO) systematically increased the duration of time for which the participant wore the bracelet. Results show that over the course of several weeks, the participant advanced from wearing the bracelet for 5 sec to a 24-hr day. In addition, as the duration intervals of acceptance increased, problem behaviour conversely decreased. These results replicate previous studies, indicating a DNRO procedure may be another option for increasing passive compliance. In addition, this study extends previous findings, demonstrating that passive compliance can be achieved for extended durations (24 hrs). Limitations of these findings are briefly discussed, as well as areas for future research.
73. Quickly attaining terminal multiple-schedule performance by providing and subsequently fading competing items
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SCOTT A. MILLER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Med), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valdeep Saini (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: The practicality of using multiple schedules during reinforcement schedule thinning of functional communication training may be limited by (a) resurgence or response bursting during the extinction (EXT) interval, (b) lengthy thinning progressions, or (c) requiring additional discrimination training. Providing competing items during the EXT interval of a multiple schedule might improve efficiency and practicality for caregivers and practitioners. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the use of competing items during the EXT component of a multiple schedule, and subsequently fade access to the competing items. Results for one child with autistic disorder who engaged in disruptive and aggressive behaviors demonstrated an immediate reduction to criterion rates of problem behavior (M = 0.13 responses per minute) relative to the control condition (M = 1.19 responses per minute). Access to competing items was progressively faded out entirely during the terminal EXT interval (240 s) of the multiple schedule while maintaining an 80% reduction in problem behavior
74. Skills Necessary for Post-Secondary Success for Individuals with ASD: Comparison of Perspectives from Individuals with ASD, Parents, Teachers, and Community Service Providers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROSE A. MASON (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, University of), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (The University of Kansas Medical Center), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Joseph Furman Buzhardt (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, University of Kansas), Ben A Mason (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, University of Kansas), Stephen Crutchfield (Juniper Gardens Children's Project, The University of Kansas), Sean Swindler (Juniper Gardens Childrens Project)
Abstract: Although initially considered a childhood disorder, the incident rate of autism in adulthood is estimated to be 1 in 100, slightly lower than the prevalence rate in childhood of 1 in 88. Despite the documented increase of young adults entering the postsecondary environment with unique support needs, the evidence regarding effective intervention and delivery modalities is meager. Intervention studies are needed to assist adolescents and young adults with ASD to navigate their environments more effectively, however, established interventions should be focused on (a) pivotal skill areas that will increase capacity across education, work, and community, and (b) skill areas identified as important by key stakeholders including individuals with autism, their family members, and service providers. In an effort to identify those pivotal skill areas with high importance to the key stakeholders, 5 focus groups including individuals with autism were conducted. This poster session will provide both qualitative and quantitative data elucidating perceptions of key skill areas necessary for increasing access across post-secondary environments for individuals with autism. Implications for future research will be discussed.
75. Evaluating Learner Preference for Descriptive Versus General Praise During Discrete-Trial Teaching
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
John Claude Ward-Horner (Beacon ABA Services), SEAN ANGLIN (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: The use of descriptive praise is a widely recommended to be provided as consequence for correct responses to with children diagnosed with autism as a component of instructional programming. Descriptive praise consists of specific feedback regarding correct and or incorrect performance of a target skill and differs from general praise which does not specify aspects of the skill targeted for acquisition or reduction. Direct comparison studies have indicated that students’ performance on skill acquisition and maintenance tasks are similar regardless of whether descriptive or general praise is provided. The present study sought to further examine the effects of different praise statements on student performance by evaluating students’ preference for praise statements using a concurrent chain procedure. Three toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) participated in the study. The results indicate that the participants did not display differential preference for either type of praise. The results are discussed in terms of variables that may affect praise as a condition reinforcer.
76. Using Differential Reinforcement Schedules to Reduce Inappropriate Verbalizations in Kindergarteners with Autism in Inclusion Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MCCABE-ODRI (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Nicole M. Rzemyk (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Nicole Pease (Partners in Learning, Inc.), Jennifer Cornely (Partners in Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: Often time children with autism engage in repetitive behaviors that do not seem to be contingent on social behavior (Turner & Durham, 1999). One type of repetitive behavior may be vocalizations such as scripted language derived from videos, books, or previous conversations as well as vocalizations not understood by others. However, several studies have used functional analysis methods to assess repetitive vocalizations indentifying social attention as a maintaining contingency for adults (e.g., Dixon, Benedict, & Larson, 2001; Mace & Lalli, 1991; Rehfeldt & Chambers, 2003; Wilder, Masuda, O’Conner, & Baham, 2001). This study utilizes DR (Differential reinforcement) schedules with changing criteria design to reduce inappropriate verbalizations in two kindergarten-aged students. The current study includes baseline, treatment, return to baseline and maintenance phases. DRL (Differential reinforcement of Low Level Behaviors) and DRA (Differential reinforcement of Appropriate Behaviors) schedules were used based on individual student needs. Results show that both students reduced rates of inappropriate verbalizations with their individual DR schedules. Differential reinforcement procedures have proven effective in decreasing inappropriate verbalizations and educing appropriate means of communication (Alberto & Troutman, 2008; Champagne, Ike, McLaughlin, & Williams, 1990; Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).
77. Assessing Preference between Massed and Alternating Trials in Teaching Word-Picture Relations to Children with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAULO GUILHARDI (Beacon ABA Services), Jennifer Smith (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services), Camille Rivera (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: The goal was to assess preference between massed and alternating matching-to-sample trials in children with autism. Two participants were presented with a matching-to-sample task on a computer. Sessions consisted of six trials of an unknown set of word-picture stimuli relations and six trials of known picture-picture identity relations. Prior to the presentation of the 12 trials, participants were asked to choose between three different colored stimuli randomly located on the computer screen. The participant’s choice of stimuli determined the condition for the session either mass (6 known/6 unknown stimuli relations, or vice-versa), alternating (alternation of known and unknown stimuli relations), or extinction (no reinforcement delivered). Once a condition preference to a condition was established a new set of colors were presented and preference was reassessed. Throughout a session, no prompts were delivered during the presentation of known stimuli relations, and a spoken “word” was used as prompt for the unknown stimuli relations. Prescribed prompts were faded systematically to assess acquisition of skill. All correct responses produced a token and once three tokens were earned a trade-in period occurred (unless the extinction condition was chosen). A preference for alternating trials developed during every assessment within and across participants.
78. An Evaluation of the Effects of Consequences in a Latency-Based Functional Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ADAM BRESSLER (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Typical, rate-based functional analyses rely on both the establishing operations put in place through manipulation of antecedent stimuli as well as the consequences delivered as potential reinforcers for engaging in the target response. Latency-based functional analyses, however, require just one instance of the target response and thus provide only one consequence per session, severely reducing the exposure of the individual’s behavior to the arranged consequences. Previous research (Carr & Durand, 1985) has shown that differentiated results can be obtained through a modified rate-based functional analysis during which no differential consequences were provided throughout conditions, but rather, only different antecedents. Follow up research, however, has been inconclusive, however. In the current study, two individuals participated in a latency-based functional analysis during which no consequences were provided for the target response, followed by a latency-based functional analysis during which consequences were provided. Results of the different modifications of latency-based functional analyses were compared. For one participant, consequences were required in order to obtain differentiated responding. For the other participant, differentiation occurred in the first functional analysis and results matched those from the second analysis.
79. The Interaction of Response Effort and Quality of Reinforcer on Acceptance and Food Refusal
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMBER PERSONS (Seattle Children's Hospital), Danielle N. Dolezal (Seattle Children's Hospital ), Karen Barnes (Seattle Children's Hospital), Cassandra Cerros (University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry)
Abstract: The current investigation evaluated the interaction between response effort and quality of positive reinforcement on the food refusal and solid grams consumed by a participant who consumed only pureed food. The participant was a 7-year-old boy with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, eosinophilic esophagitis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder not otherwise specified and a feeding disorder. He engaged in high levels of food refusal, disruptive behavior, gagging, and vomiting when asked to try new foods including advanced textures. Response effort was conceptualized as increased textured bites, consisting of fork mashed and chopped fine. Quality of reinforcement was established through a preference assessment. The evaluation included two phases: Phase I, we conducted an analysis of response effort across texture within a multielement design, and Phase II, we conducted an analysis of effort and quality of reinforcer through a multielement design embedded within a reversal. Phase I results indicated differentiated food refusal and consumption across levels of texture. Phase II results showed increased quality of positive reinforcer effectively competed with increased response effort of consuming higher textured foods when available. This information was helpful to decrease the refusal of textured bites and increase the volume consumed for this participant.
80. Got Reinforcement? Increasing the consumption of Non-preferred Foods Using Preference Assessment, Motivation and Pairing
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CRISTINA VEGA (Seek Education, Inc.), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Given the prevalence of feeding difficulties in children with autism, effective and non-aversive interventions are imperative. This study utilized preference assessment to develop an intervention for behavioral feeding difficulties in a child with autism and evaluated emerging preferences as a treatment outcome. In addition, the effect of motivation was examined when Highly Preferred Foods (HPF) were removed from the participant's diet and used as reinforcement for the consumption of Non-Preferred Foods (NPF) in replacement of escape extinction procedures. An A B design was implemented to measure both inappropriate mealtime behaviors and consumption of NPF. Results showed a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an overall increase in the consumption of target NPF. Pretest-posttest preference assessment demonstrated an emerging preference for previously NPF and stability of preference for paired HPF. These findings add to, and expand on emerging research supporting the use of non-aversive approaches to treating behavioral feeding difficulties.
81. The Effect of a Premack Procedure and Token Reinforcement on Acceptance of Previously Refused Foods
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA KING (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: It is estimated that more than 30% of individuals with developmental disabilities have issues related to food intake or food refusal (Ahearn, 2001). One procedure that has been applied to food refusal/selectivity is based upon the Premack principle. Premack procedures generally involve providing a learner with the opportunity to engage in a behavior that occurs at a high frequency at baseline, contingent upon the occurrence of a low frequency behavior where the high frequency behavior will function as a reinforcer for the low frequency behavior (Cooper, Heron, Heward, 2007). Procedures based upon the Premack principle have been used to support behavior change across a wide range of behaviors (Azrin, Vinas, & Ehle, 2007; Kane & Gantzer, 1977; Makin & Hoyle, 1993; McMorrow, Cullinan, & Epstein, 1978). In the treatment of food refusal/selectivity these procedures involve prompting the child to eat a non-preferred food, then delivering a highly preferred food upon acceptance of the less -preferred items. The present study used Premack procedures in conjunction with a token system to increase the consumption of parent-selected foods previously identified as consistently refused by the participant. The data indicate that the procedure was effective in increasing consumption of previously-refused foods.
82. Evaluation of Antecedent Interventions for Food Selectivity in Home-Based Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIELLE EWRY (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (stu), Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: A number of researchers have evaluated interventions to treat food selectivity in children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The high-probability instructional sequence and simultaneous presentation are two antecedent interventions with inconsistent results, but which may be especially useful for children with less severe feeding problems. Using two reversal designs, we evaluated the effectiveness of the high-p sequence and simultaneous presentation on the consumption of non-preferred foods with two mildly selective children with autism. The high-p sequence increased acceptance of two non-preferred foods for one participant but was not effective for the second participant; the simultaneous presentation method of preferred and non-preferred foods, when combined with a bite size manipulation, increased consumption of two non-preferred foods for the second participant. Finally, individuals from the child's natural environment were trained to implement the intervention, and implemented the interventions effectively, producing similar results to the therapist implementation phases. Implications for further research and practice are provided.
83. Utilizing Self-Initiation Training as a Part of Intensive Toilet Training to Advance Continence
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Mynaria Everett (Marcus Autism Center), JOANNA LOMAS MEVERS (Marcus Autism Center), Seth B. Clark (Marcus Autism Center), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Toilet training is an important self-help skill allowing children with developmental disabilities live more independently. Many toilet training program focus on achieving continence via trip-training using the protocol outlined by Foxx and Azrin, 1977. This method addresses incontinence but still requires a caregiver to take the child to the bathroom for regular sits, and prevents the child from having complete bathroom independence. Self-initiated (independent mands for the bathroom) promotes effective communication and is often a secondary goal during toilet training. In addition, there is little to no research on the how to best teach a child to self-initiate, therefore research is needed in this area. In the present evaluation, training trials for self-initiation was included as part of an intense toilet training program for children with autism. Training trails were conducted in which a mand for the bathroom resulted in access to the bathroom and an edible item. The distance between the location of the training trials and the bathroom was systematically increased. In the last step of training reinforcement was only delivered when an independent mand, followed by a continent void was observed. Self-initiation was observed across participants during both training trials and within the natural environment.
84. An Examination of Intensive Toilet Training without Positive Practice for the Urinary Incontinence of Students with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ABIGAIL KENNEDY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center ), Corey Miles Cohrs (Unviversity of Nebraska Medical Center), Ray Burke (The Prevention Group), William J. Warzak (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: A modified Azrin & Foxx (1971) intensive toilet training (ITT) procedure was evaluated for two children with autism ages 7 and 14 yrs old. This procedure consisted of scheduled toilet sits, increased fluid intake, positive and negative reinforcement for correct eliminations, communication training, and a urine sensor alarm. No positive practice component was included, and training only occurred in the school setting. Results were evaluated using a multiple baseline design across participants. Correct eliminations and self-initiations increased to high, stable levels for one participant, and incorrect eliminations decreased to near-zero. Results maintained over an 8 wk follow-up period. Increased correct eliminations and decreased incorrect eliminations were initially observed for the second participant, however, when the school day decreased from 6.5 to 4 hrs per day during the summer term, the second participant decreased eliminations at school to near zero levels. Preliminary data suggest that higher levels of correct eliminations resumed with an extended school day in the fall term. These results suggest ITT without positive practice was effective for both students with autism, although the second participant required a longer duration of treatment to achieve a desired effect.
85. Applied Behavior Analysis in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Latifa AlJohar (University of Nevada, Reno), Sarah M. Richling (University of Nevada, Reno), NADIA ASHOUR (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The number of individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities in the Middle East demands an increase in professionals trained in empirically-based interventions. Applied behavior analysis has become an established intervention within the United States and replication of its success elsewhere is anticipated. In April 2014, the first Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was launched. The program was only the second established in the Middle East. The project was initiated in collaboration with several entities including the University of Nevada, Reno, the Center of Autism Research, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). Students involved in the project provide applied behavior analytic services to individuals diagnosed with autism under the supervision of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s) in order to receive their own certification. This is considered to be a fundamental stepping stone for ABA services in KSA. The purpose of this poster is to provide an outline of the development and ongoing progress of this project in KSA.
86. Teaching Children With Autism To Initiate Joint Attention Using Social Reinforcers
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALESSANDRA RANNAZZISI (The New England Center for Children), Diana Parry-Cruwys (The New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The present study evaluated the effects of social reinforcement on the generalization of joint attention initiation across different toy sets. Participants were 2 children with autism spectrum disorder. A multiple baseline, multiple probe design was used to assess the effects of training joint attention initiation using social reinforcers across nine toy sets. Participants were taught to initiate a bid for joint attention by looking at the item and then to the adult, by making a comment about the toy, and by showing the completed toy activity to the adult. Gaze shifting, commenting, and showing were taught by teacher model plus least-to-most prompting and social reinforcement. Generalization probes were conducted across and within untrained toy sets throughout training. Results show that the participants learned to initiate joint attention using social reinforcers, and that multiple exemplar training was effective in facilitating acquisition within and across toy sets. Both participants generalized the acquired skills to untrained toy sets.
88. Case Studies on the Effective Behavioral Intervention Plan Tailored To Individual’s Functioning and Cognitive Levels
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SANGWEON AUM (Eden II Programs), Tarek Ascar (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: The effectiveness of reinforcement (behavioral contract, functional communication) and punishment (response cost) based behavioral interventions were compared for the two adults who reside at group home residences. Both participants were diagnosed with autism and mental retardation, participant 1 in the severe rage of cognitive impairment, participant 2 in the mild range of cognitive impairment. Target problem behaviors were self-injurious behavior (SIB) (i.e., hitting head) for participant 1 and verbal and/or physical provocation for participant 2. For both participants, data were collected by supervisor level staff. For participant 1, the punishment-based response cost plan alone was not effective in decreasing his SIB. However, the addition of reinforcement-based functional communication training component resulted in a substantial decrease in his SIB. For participant 2, the reinforcement-based behavioral contract was not effective in decreasing his provocation. However, the punishment-based response cost plan resulted in a substantial decrease in his provocation behavior. Behavioral intervention plan tailored to individual’s functioning and cognitive levels is discussed.
89. Effects of Motor Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy in a Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE MUELLER (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that the use of motor response interruption and redirection (RIRD) may effectively reduce the occurrence of vocal stereotypy, despite the differing topographies of the behaviors (Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung, 2007, Casella, Sidener, Sidener, and Progar, 2011). The purpose of the current study is two-fold. The first goal is to systematically replicate previous research by assessing the effectiveness of instructed responses of a differing topography from the target behavior. Secondly, I look to extend current research by assessing the effectiveness of this intervention when implemented in the natural environment. The participant was chosen due to the high rates of vocal stereotypy engaged in which were disruptive to her learning as well as the other students in her class. Motor RIRD was implemented in the participants Pre-Kindergarten classroom throughout the four hour school day. Results show that motor RIRD significantly decreased the level of vocal stereotypy emitted. Additionally, the results demonstrate that RIRD can be an effective intervention when implemented in the natural environment.
Keyword(s): Poster



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