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 #272
DDA Sunday PM
Sunday, May 24, 2015
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
102. Teaching Strategies and Behavior Interventions for Deaf Students: The Case of Ty
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
HOLLEE ANDERSON (Steps center for autism), Sadaf Ameen (STEPS Center for Excellence in Autism)
Abstract: Outlining effective teaching strategies and behavioral interventions for children who are deaf has been a topic of research for educators in recent years. Ty is an 11 year old boy at STEPS Center for Excellence in Autism in Strongsville, Ohio diagnosed with Dyspraxia and Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct (EVA) fragility, which has resulted in profound hearing loss bilaterally. Ty has received two cochlear implants which have been activated. He uses sign language and vocalizations as his main form of communication. He can use 2-3 signs in succession for simple requests, and is working on functional communication training to increase his mand repertoire. A functional behavior assessment revealed that access to tangibles, access to attention and escape from task were the main functions of Ty’s problem behaviors (aggression, screaming/yelling, property destruction). Ty’s treatment team included a sign language interpreter, a teacher of the deaf, and a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). It was noted that Ty’s problem behaviors decreased only when the teacher and interpreter were removed and he worked in a 1:1 setting with a BCaBA. In this case study we will present a comparative analysis of all teaching and behavioral interventions used with Ty in the classroom and discuss why some were may be more successful than others. We will present limitations and future implications of the methodology used to teach Ty and suggest improvements we will be incorporating in our future endeavors with him and children with similar deficits in the academic setting.
103. An Application of Generalizability Theory to Direct Observation Measures of Problem Behavior and Classroom Contingencies
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JOHANNA STAUBITZ (Vanderbilt University), Blair Lloyd (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts rely on direct observation to measure target behaviors and behavior-environment contingencies. Measurement samples are used to assess behavior and evaluate effects of interventions, thus it is essential that they are sufficiently reliable and representative. Generalizability theory (GT; Cronbach, Gleser, Nanda, & Rajaratnam, 1972) may be used to assess sources of variability within a set of measurement samples and may be applied to existing observational data sets to identify how many observation sessions are necessary to yield reliable and representative estimates. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the number of observations necessary to produce reliable estimates of problem behavior, antecedent-behavior contingencies, and behavior-consequence contingencies for 7 students with I/DD and severe problem behavior during 1:1 instruction in classroom settings. Results indicated that although five, 30-min sessions were sufficient to produce reliable estimates of student problem behavior, reliability coefficients for antecedent-behavior and behavior-consequence contingencies were variable, suggesting that the amount of observational data necessary to yield reliable estimates of contingencies between two behaviors or events is likely to exceed the amount necessary to yield reliable estimates of each behavior in isolation. Future work related to obtaining representative estimates of behavior and contingencies will be discussed.
104. Reducing Response Latency in a Young Adult With Developmental Disabilities Using Over-correction
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELINE KINYUA KINYUA (Kaizora Consultants), Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Consultants)
Abstract: Individuals with developmental disabilities experience challenges that impede learning. One commonly reported challenge is response latency which occurs when an individual takes long to respond to instructions. Failure to follow instructions in a timely manner limits an individual's opportunity to learn many skills. The subject was Rahab a 22 year old girl with a developmental disability who struggled to follow instructions in a timely manner. Several reinforcement based procedures were attempted to reduce her response latency without much success. As a result an overcorrection procedure was implemented. The procedure involved giving the subject an instruction and when she did not respond within one minute, she was required to walk to the instructor who was a distance away and the instruction was re-administered. This procedure was repeated until she complied with the instruction. Differential reinforcement was provided when she complied with the instruction within a short time period. During the baseline phase of the study, it was found that she responded to the instruction after an average of 3 minutes but with time she was found to respond to instructions in one minute. Data collection is still in progress.
105. IPad, IPhone, and IPod Applications for Special Education Practitioners: Evidence-Based Practice
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SAEED ALQAHTANI (University of Iowa)
Abstract: With the increase in the use of new technologies (NT) in today's society, it is important to investigate their usefulness in special education settings. Traditional technology (e.g., desktop and laptop computers) has been used to support special education teachers in improving students’ performance in a variety of skills; though, the use of NT (e.g., iPad, iPhones, and iPod) may enhance this goal and maximize students learning activity, engagement, and motivation. The purpose of this literature review is to evaluate how NTs have been used in research in order to highlight their effectiveness for evidence-based practice. Thirty studies that used NT and targeted students with developmental disabilities (DDA) were obtained, reviewed, and synthesized. The findings indicated that NTs have been used effectively for individuals with DDA in a variety of skills including academic, social, communication, employment, and independent skills. In addition, teachers could use NTs to either teach skills or to deliver instructions, alone or combined with teaching strategies. These findings will inform teachers, practitioners, and policy makers to consider the new technology in order to increase the teaching quality and students’ outcomes. Also, it will help audience to explore scientific approaches (apps and built-in-features) when using NT to teach individual with disabilities.
106. An analysis of the rate of acquisition and the accuracy of discrimination across communication modalities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark), AMANDA GILL (Melmark), Claire Lovero (Melamrk), Tracy Chin (Melmark), Rebekah Lush (Melmark)
Abstract: Carr and Durrand (1985) evaluated communication modalities for functional communication training (FCT) as a way to reduce and replace problem behavior for individuals with developmental disabilities. However, there is minimal empirical research evaluating the most appropriate mode of communication for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially in regard to discrimination across modalities. As discussed by Tiger, Hanley, and Bruzek (2008) the main areas of research examining the selection of a communication modality include: a) response effort; b) the social recognition of the response; and c) the rate of acquisition. The current study looked to expand on current research by examining the rate of acquisition and accuracy of discrimination. The modalities examined included a button press, picture exchange system, sign, vocal responding, and three-dimensional objects. The results indicate acquisition for the modality was similar across multiple modalities, however, discrimination was highest with the use of 3D objects.
107. An evaluation of a competing items assessment on fire alarm pulls maintained by automatic reinforcement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark), REBEKAH LUSH (Melmark), Amanda Gill (Melmark)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation is to extend the current literature on competing items assessments focusing on the aberrant behavior of fire alarm pulling. The current study extends the research conducted by Piazza, Adelinis, Hanley, Goh, and Delia (2000) for the treatment of automatically maintained behavior. The functional analysis conducted identified the behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Prior to completing the competing items assessment, a paired-choice preference assessment was conducted to rank preference for two classes of items. The first class included items from the individual’s current treatment plan, and is defined as unmatched items. The second class is fire alarm related, and is defined as matched items. The results of this assessment indicate the majority of items competed with fire alarm pulling when compared to the conditions with no item. Further evaluation is warranted to determine long term effects of the competing items on fire alarm pulls in the natural environment.
108. Sign Language as an Intervention Strategy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Literature Review
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University), Robert Bachar (Northern Illinois University), HANNAH KRAWCZYK (Northern Illinois University), Jacquelyn Messick (Northern Illinois University), Jenna Poppen (Northern Illinois University), Melissa Steinborn (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: Sign language is often used as an intervention strategy with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. The purpose of the current literature review was to analyze peer-reviewed journal articles that examined the use of sign language as an instructional method with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. We included 11 articles in the review, and the following information was analyzed: participant characteristics, setting, intervention implementer, intervention components, research design, and results. Additionally, we analyzed the inclusion of generalization, maintenance, treatment fidelity, and social validity data in all of the studies. Results of the synthesis indicate that sign language was often used as part of a treatment package, and multiple studies examined the comparative effects of sign language vs. other strategies. Almost half of the studies were conducted in school environments, while other settings included the home, laboratory, and residential facilities. The ages of participants ranged from 5 to 61 years old. Researchers reported positive results in most studies. Implications for practice and future avenues for research will be discussed.
109. Direct observation-based data collection on the prevalence of problem behavior among individuals with intellectual disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TONY VETS (St. Mary's Residential Training School), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University), Niamh Doyle (Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Previous literature on the prevalence of problematic behavior (e.g., self injury, aggression) among individuals with intellectual disabilities has been based on caregiver interview or behavioral rating scales. The validity of unsubstantiated reports has been well documented. In the current study, partial-interval recording was used to collect data on the occurrence of destructive behavior (e.g., aggression, stereotypy, pica, masturbation) among a sample of over 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities in a residential treatment facility. Data were collected across 933, 60-s intervals divided into observation windows of 10 min, and interobserver agreement data were collected on 100% of observations (averaging 92% agreement on the occurrence of problem behavior). Data were recorded on the occurrence of separate topographies of problem behavior among groups of 5 to 9 individuals, with variable occurrences observed. The obtained data will be discussed relative to previous studies in this area, as will the implications of using observation-based data collection in residential settings.
110. An Evaluation of the Individualized Levels System in 11 Inpatient Cases
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTI JEFFERY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Behavioral levels systems are multi-component interventions that generally involve differential reinforcement and response cost organized within a system of two or more “levels,” each of which is associated with different opportunities to access reinforcement. Higher-level status is associated with increased access to materials and privileges that are preferred; while lower level status is associated with less reinforcement. Promotion and demotion is contingent upon behavior. Although levels systems are widely used in residential and hospital settings, they are generally applied universally across all participants rather than individualized. Only a few studies, describing a small number of cases have reported on levels systems designed based on functional assessment and preference assessment outcomes (Grace, Thompson, & Fisher, 1996; Hagopian, Rush, Richman, Kurtz, Contrucci, & Crossland, 2002; O'Connor, Sorenson-Bursworth, Rush, & Eidman, 2003). The purpose of the current study was to report on 11 participants who were treated with individualized behavioral levels systems. At least an 80% reduction in problem behavior from baseline was achieved in 10 of the 11 cases.
111. Effects of a Medical Condition on the Outcomes of a Functional Analysis of Disruptive Behaviors
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTI CORTEZ (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Gloria N. Maillard (University of North Texas), Christina DeLapp (University of North Texas), Carla M. Smith (University of North Texas), Katy Atcheson (University of North Texas)
Abstract: A functional analysis was conducted with a 52 year-old man to determine the variables influencing disruptive behavior. Disruptive behavior showed two distinct patterns during the analysis. Periods of relatively high and undifferentiated responding alternated with periods during which disruptive behavior occurred primarily in the attention condition. It was subsequently determined that the subject was diagnosed with medical conditions during periods of the evaluation that corresponded with high, undifferentiated response patterns. Resolutions of the medical conditions were followed by decreases in disruptive behavior in all conditions except the attention condition. These outcomes suggest that disruptive behavior was, in part, a function of the participant’s health status. In the absence of medical conditions, disruption appeared to be sensitive to social positive reinforcement only; however, when medical conditions were present the behavior appeared to be automatically reinforced or maintained by multiple contingencies. The effects of medical conditions on functional analysis outcomes must be interpreted with caution due to the correlational nature of the analysis; however, covariance between these variables was observed multiple times in the current study. These results are consistent with prior research indicating that medical conditions can alter the outcomes of functional analyses of problem behavior (O’Reilly, 1997).
112. A Treatment Evaluation of Pervasive Dropping in an Individual with Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
REBECA TORRES (Bancroft), Katie Donohoe (Bancroft), Lauren F. Troy (Bancroft)
Abstract: Current best practice in Applied Behavior Analysis is to analyze a function of behavior and then develop an intervention based on the function(s). In some cases, however, conducting a functional analysis can be challenging due the severity of the problem behavior or other environmental difficulties. For example, in 2013, Lehardy et. al, described challenges in conducting a functional analysis of elopement due to the need for the participant to have repeated opportunities to engage in the behavior. In the current study, similar difficulties were encountered in attempts to analyze and intervene on the pervasive dropping behavior of an 18-year old female diagnosed with Autism, Psychosis, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Observing the behavior repeatedly during contrived analogue conditions was nearly impossible due to the timing of onset and lengthy duration of the dropping behavior. An intervention was chosen based on functional assessment of other challenging behaviors, and data suggest that was effective in decreasing dropping while transitioning home from school. However, this has not generalized to other important transitions such as fire drills and attending doctors appointments. The purpose of the current study is to conduct a treatment evaluation of dropping, in a design similar to a functional analysis, in order to simultaneously determine both the probable function and an effective treatment. An alternating treatments design will be used, in which escape, attention, and tangible test treatments will be contrived to reinforce the target behavior of compliance with walking.
113. A Comparison of Functional Communication Consequences for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARCELLA HANGEN (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Lena V. Willse (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mandy M. Park (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Rolider (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a commonly used treatment for problem behavior displayed by individuals with intellectual disabilities. FCT involves identifying the function of problem behavior, the selection and teaching of a communication response, and the application of differential reinforcement (for the communication response) and extinction for problem behavior. When problem behavior is maintained by escape from demands, the communication response typically results in a brief break from demands. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether consequences other than a break from demands (i.e., help or attention) would be effective in the context of a FCT treatment for an adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Three separate communication responses were trained and evaluated separately in a multielement comparison. A second comparison involved allowing the participant to request help, attention, or a break at any time during demand sessions. All three FCT consequences produced clinically significant reductions in problem behavior when evaluated singularly. The most significant reduction in problem behavior was obtained when all three FCT consequences were available concurrently.
114. Effects of Video Prompting versus Behavioral Skills Training and Fluency Training on the Acquisition and Maintenance of Vocational Skills of Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL KRANAK (The Ohio State University ), Eliseo D. Jimenez (The Ohio State University), Helen I. Cannella-Malone (The Ohio State University), Mary Sawyer (The Ohio State University), Margo Vreeburg Izzo (The Ohio State University )
Abstract: With the shift in Ohio State Legislation regarding competitive employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, agencies are looking for better ways to effectively teach skills that can maintain over time after the removal of job coach supports. The goal of this study was to compare the effects of video prompting to Behavioral Skills Training with fluency training on the acquisition and maintenance of vocational skills with individuals with intellectual disabilities. This study highlights the effects of job coaching and fading procedures. Using an Adapted Alternating Treatments Design (AATD), the study examined the time it took to reach mastery of a skill and then using the data to inform researchers on the most appropriate fading procedure/model. Two college-age students were taught two vocational skills. One intervention was assigned to one task; the other intervention was assigned to the second task. This procedure was counterbalanced for the second student.



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