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 #433
AUT Monday PM
Monday, May 25, 2015
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
67. Using Structural Analysis to Inform Peer Support Arrangements for Students with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEARTLEY B. HUBER (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Peer support arrangements have been shown to increase social interactions for students with autism, addressing needs related to a core deficit. In this study, we used an ABC within multiple-probe across participants design to examine the effectiveness of structural analysis (i.e., the systematic examination of environmental variables that may influence the likelihood of a behavior occurring) as a means of individualizing peer support arrangements for three students with ASD in general education high school classrooms. Peer support strategies involve arranging for one or more peers to provide ongoing social and academic support to their classmates with disabilities in a single inclusive classroom, after receiving initial orientation and ongoing guidance from school staff members who are also present the classroom. We used the structural analysis procedure to examine non-critical components of peer-support interventions (i.e., elements of the intervention that can be changed without affecting the fidelity of implementation), as a means of making data-based decisions for individualizing the intervention. Results of structural analyses for all three participants indicated a combination of variables that increased the likelihood of social interaction. Preliminary results indicate increases in social interaction and/or decreases in variability of social interactions for participants.
68. Getting to Group Instruction: Evaluating the ability of learners with autism to work in small groups
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HELENA L. MAGUIRE (Melmark New England), Catherine Judkins (Melmark New England), Katrina Grandelski (Melmark New England)
Abstract: It is widely known that learners with autism do well with one on one instruction. However, the provision of one to one instruction on a long term basis is not efficient or realistic. Funding streams, particularly in adulthood, do not support this level of staffing. Furthermore, the ability to follow instructions delivered to a group is essential to successful integration in school, vocational, and community settings. An instructional protocol to assess a learner's performance in individual and group instruction was designed. Research focused on examining the learner's differential performance in individual and dyad learning situations with mastered skills as well as novel skills. Variables assessed included the ability to learn new material, levels of engagement in independent activities, rates of challenging behavior, and maintenance of mastered targets in individualized and group instructional arrangements. Initial data collected using this protocol demonstrates that a learner continued to learn novel skills while maintaining previously mastered skills in small group instruction. Data also demonstrates that the learner engaged in low level problem behavior while engaging in adaptive skills such as functional communication, leisure and waiting skills. Follow-up data will be demonstrated with a focus on the expansion of this protocol for larger periods of the instructional day.
69. Guidance for Autistic Children with Intellectual Disability to Play "Musical Chairs"
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AYAKO OKA (Kwansei Gakuin University Graduate School of Humanities)
Abstract: Many autistic people with intellectual disabilities have problems with the maintenance of interaction.It is necessary in order to maintain interaction not only to transmit communication information, but to act in arrangement with the received communication information.I thought that guidance which used the procedure of conditional discrimination was effective, in order to act in arrangement with the received communication information.In this study, I used guidance to play the game “musical chairs” for autistic children with intellectual disabilities.The supporter stopped clearly as a discriminative stimulus and gave prompts by speaking to the participated children. Since the participated children liked the game “musical chairs”, they made an effort in order to continue the game sitting in a chair at the certain times.As a result, the participated children could sit in a chair spontaneously when the music stopped. In conclusion, I thought it is an effective guidance using the conditional discrimination to continue and maintain the interaction of autistic children with intellectual disability.
70. The Effects of a Self-Mangement Intervention on Academic Engagement for High School Students with ASD
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GARRETT ROBERTS (The University Texas at Austin), Min Kim (East Tennessee State University), Briana Steelman (Bastrop High School), Colleen Reutebuch (The University of Texas at Austin), Gavin Watts (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Self-management is considered an emerging and effective evidence-based practice with strong effect sizes. It has been successful in improving social skills, independent work skills, student engagement, and social interactions. It has also been successfully implemented across both general education and special education settings. In this study, a multi-component self-management system was used in a special education classroom in a public high school with two students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). An ABAB withdrawal design was used to assess whether a self-management and video modeling intervention could improve academic engaged time with the research question of: what is the effect of a multi-component self-management intervention on academic engaged time for two high school students with ASD? Results suggested that using self-management strategies improved high school students with ASD’s academic engaged time through measures of level, slope, variability, and immediacy of effect. Teacher social validity measures found the intervention feasible and beneficial. Implications from these findings suggest that the use of a multi-component intervention in a high school setting can both improve academic engaged time and be feasible to implement.
71. A Mother’s Views About Discrete Trial Teaching Who Has A Child with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
YESIM GULEC-ASLAN (Sakarya University), Hande Cihan (Sakarya University)
Abstract: Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) is an evidence-based method for teaching skills to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this poster presentation we are going to present the views of a mother about DTT, whose child diagnosed with autism. In this context we implemented DTT on the teaching of matching skills to a boy with autism and we made interviews with his mother during and after the implementation. In these interviews we gave information about the DTT implementation process and made her watch video records belong to this process. At the end, qualitative data gathered from the interviews were analysed descriptively. The results showed us according to the mother, her son learned matching skills quickly with DTT and her son’s problem behaviors diminished. Also she added that she found this method very usefull which she could implement at home by herself. Results were discussed in accordance with the literature.
72. Prompting Procedure Comparison: Most-to-Least, Least-to-Most, or Both?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: This study compared most-to-least prompting, least-to-most prompting, and a criterion-based combination of the two procedures for teaching skills to children with autism. Using a parallel treatments design, experimenters taught receptive and expressive skills to participants using all three styles of prompting. Most-to-least prompting hierarchy consisted of an experimenter providing the most intrusive prompt when an error is made by the participant, and then systematically fading the intrusiveness of the prompt as the participant becomes more and more successful with the target response. Least-to-most prompting hierarchy consisted of an experimenter providing the least intrusive prompt when the participant errors, and then systematically increasing the intrusiveness of the prompts until a correct response is made. The criterion-based combination consisted of using most-to-least procedures until the participant reaches 70% accuracy with the target, and then using least-to-most until mastery criteria is met. Mastery criteria for all targets was set at 80% accuracy, or higher, for three successive sessions. Preliminary results indicated that the criterion-based combination prompting procedure is more effective in teaching acquisition targets to all participants. Results were compared for number of errors made per session, trials to mastery, maintenance of targets over time, and occurrence of problem behaviors.
73. Do students with autism spectrum disorders really need to spell repeatedly to learn new words?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MIKIMASA OMORI (The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry), Masumi Inagaki (The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry)
Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often show the spelling difficulties. Our previous research suggested that stimulus pairing procedure is effective for Japanese students with ASD to learn English words. However, we still do not know whether stimulus pairing procedure is more effective than repeated writing procedure. In this study, we examined which of two procedures would be easier for two students with ASD to learn new English words. A multiple-probe with alternative treatment design was used. During the baseline and probe, students spelled 12 English words when the corresponding Japanese word was presented. Training began with either of the procedures. In repeated writing procedure, students copied the six English words, which were presented on the paper with its representative picture. In the stimulus pairing procedure, six words stimulus pairs of the word, spoken sound, and picture were presented sequentially. Students were instructed to observe the presented stimuli. The results indicated that two students successfully learn the new English word through both procedures. However, both students showed faster learning and higher maintenance after stimulus pairing procedure than repeated writing. Results suggested that students with ASD can learn the English spelling not with writing repeatedly but with simply observing.
74. Teaching Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders ti Engage in Variations to Rigid Routines
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACKIE MOHLER (Family Outreach), Ann N. Garfinkle (University of Montana)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by definition have deficits in the area of restricted repertoire. One aspect of a restricted repertoire is a strict adherence to routines and a difficulty moving away from routines. Further, parents and teaches report that this adherence to these routines restricts the child's ability to access novel and typical settings. Further, when attempting to move children away from these rigid routines, children often engage in challenging behavior. Despite the wide-spread existence of the challenges around inflexible routines and the importance of engaging in flexible behavior, there is a paucity of information about how to teach children with ASD to increase their flexibility while at the same time decreasing their challenging behavior. The present study identifies routines in which children with ASD are inflexible and then seeks to help children engage in a variation of that routine. Once the inflexible routine has been identified, variations of that routine are determined. For example, if the inflexible routine is that the only way the child will play with the ball is by throwing the ball, variations of the routine may be kicking the ball or bouncing the ball. Symbols for these routines are then attached to a 4-inch cube and the child is asked to toss the cube. No prompts other then the symbol on the cube were used. At baseline (no cube) children engaged in challenging behavior and non-compliance when asked to perform the variation to the rigid routine. In intervention (with the dice) children readily performed the variation to the routine and engaged in lower rates of challenging behavior. Inter-observer data were taken in both baseline and intervention and were across study phases, children and rigid routines. Additionally a pre- and post- measure on flexibility was performed as well as a video-based social validity measure. All measures indicate that the intervention is effective, and acceptable to consumers
75. Teaching a 10 year-old Boy with High-Functioning Autism to Plan Afterschool Activities
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Kristin Wilkinson Smith Smith (Organization for Research and Learning), Angela Engbrecht (Organization for Research and Learning), MEAGHAN KEMP (O.R.L. Inc), Kelly J. Ferris (Organization for Research and Learning (ORL))
Abstract: Children with autism often display deficits in executive functioning (Bergh et. al, 2014), which causes difficulty when identifying the necessary components needed to complete a given task. These deficits often burden parents and caregivers with extra responsibilities or position them in the role of monitoring and reminding. The instructional team sought to liberate a parent from this responsibility as well as grant a young man the planning skills to increase his self-sufficiency. This poster will present data on an in-home instructional program designed to teach a ten-year-old boy with high-functioning autism to identify materials necessary to complete various tasks (for example, homework and personal routines) to promote greater independence during afterschool activities. The intervention employed fluency-based instruction: daily improvement goals combined with a differential reinforcement of higher rates of behavior (DRH) schedule. The poster will present progress data demonstrating skill acquisition across multiple tasks will be displayed on Standard Celeration Charts.
76. Evaluating Learner Preference for Discrete Trial Teaching versus Incidental Teaching
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DESDALIN BLACK (Beacon ABA Services), John Claude Ward-Horner (Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Abstract: Previous research comparing discrete-trial teaching (DTT) with incidental teaching (IT) indicates that the former is more efficient and produces faster acquisition but the latter results in greater generalization. Both teaching methods however appear effective at improving student performance, regardless of their respective benefits. Some authors have suggested that learners with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD) prefer more naturalistic settings for instruction. The current study used the concurrent chain paradigm to compare student preference for IT versus DTT. Results obtained across free choice sessions from four participants indicate that two participants demonstrated a preference for IT as compared to DTT. These results were not replicated in the forced choice condition. Two other participants demonstrated a stable preference for DTT across both assessment conditions. These data suggest that preference for one condition over another may be subject to histories of reinforcement with each condition and task rather than some variables that are inherent to the learner.
77. A Comparison of Two Assessments for Evaluating the Reinforcing Value of Tokens
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University ), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lauren Alison Pepa (Douglas Develomental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Progressive-ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement have been used to evaluate the potency of a reinforcer using successively higher ratio requirements. Critics note that the procedure is lengthy and may be aversive for some individuals (e.g. Poling, 2010). Smaby et al. (2007) describe a reinforcer assessment that rapidly alternates between extinction and reinforcement conditions to compare rates of responding. The extent to which these two reinforcer assessments achieve commensurate results, and the comparative efficiency of each, is unknown. In the current study, two students with autism participated in a full analysis of tokens and primary reinforcement using both a PR schedule (Roane et al., 2001) and the rapid reinforcer assessment (Smaby et al., 2007). For both students, the PR analyses indicated that primary reinforcement produced the highest rates of responding and that tokens were variably reinforcing. In contrast, for one student the rapid reinforcer assessment indicated that tokens were nearly as effective as primary reinforcement in maintaining high response rates. For the second student, tokens appeared to have a suppressive effect on responding. The rapid assessment was significantly faster to conduct than the PR schedule. Implications for the use of reinforcer assessments in clinical practice will be discussed.
78. Validity of the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Kimberly Zlomke (University of South Alabama), GARET EDWARDS (University of South Alabama), Sarah Bauman (University of South Alabama)

Due to the specific symptomology associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), interactions between parents and children with ASD are often different than those of typically developing children. The Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System-III (DPICS-III; Eyberg, Nelson, Duke, Boggs, 2010) is a standardized observation system consisting of coded categories for observed verbal and physical behavior that occur during parent-child interactions. The DPICS-III is frequently used to assist clinicians in measuring treatment changes and progress in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). With the increased use of PCIT for children with ASD, empirical research is needed in order to determine the validity of the DPICS-III when used with this population. Participants for this study included 85 mother-child dyads (46 ASD, 39 Typical), who each completed the 20 minute DPICS-III interaction tasks. Frequencies of parent and child behavior as well as child compliance were collected during the structured observations. Significant differences on multiple categories were revealed with predominately moderate effect sizes (labeled praises, commands, questions, & criticisms). Results from the current study suggest that the DPICS-III demonstrates discriminative validity for typically developing children and children with ASD symptomology and future research on the DPICS with children with ASD is warranted.

80. Developing Eye Contact in a Child With Autism Using a Graduated Prompting Procedure
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA KRABBE (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jeffrey H. Tiger (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Eye contact is an important prerequisite for many early learner skills targeted in autism intervention, but there is surprisingly little research on how to teach this foundational skill. The current data set is a case study in which eye contact following a name call was taught using a novel, 6-step, graduated-prompting procedure with a child with autism who failed to develop eye-contact given exposure to previously established treatments (e.g., stimulus fading, shaping, positive practice overcorrection). Initially, the child required a full physical prompt to make eye contact. However, the stimulus control of the physical prompt was transferred to the calling of the participants name over the course of 28, 10-trial sessions.
81. Shaping Visual Regard in Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Gladys Williams ( David Gregory School), KAREN J. CIHLAR (David Gregory School), Maria DeMauro (The David Gregory School), Maridsa Reyes (David Gregory School), Richard Laitinen (Educational and Developmental Therapies, Inc.)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a shaping procedure that incorporated joint attention as a main component of the training to increase visual regard. Three children with autism with ages ranging between three and five participated in this study. The initial probe indicated that all three students lacked visual regard and joint attention. During training we reinforced instances of eye contact where the learner looked at the instructor and then looked at the reinforcer in the instructor�s hand. We shaped gaze shifting with increments of one-second to three seconds and then generalized the skill to other instructors. The results indicated that visual regard was acquired with this specific shaping procedure. The results also indicated that some children may acquire the skill faster than other children.
82. Teaching Young Children with Autism to Respond to a "You Go There" Gesture
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KARLYN GIBBS (The Child Development Center), Jamie Eff (Child Development Center), Jenny Vickhammer (Child Development Center), Ann N. Garfinkle (University of Montana)
Abstract: By definition, children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have deficits on social-communication skills. These deficits include a lack of understanding of understanding gestures. However, parents and teachers of young children frequently use gestures to communicate important information to children such as "stop", "come" and "you go there". Despite the core nature of the deficit in understanding of gestures and the common use of gestures used by people while communicating, there is a paucity of information about teaching young children diagnosed with ASD to attend to and understand the meaning or required response when presented with a gesture. The present study focuses on the "you go there" gesture, which consists of point at the child to communicate "you" and then pointing at a chair five feet from the child communicating "go there". Using a Constant Time Delay the children are prompted to the chair. Study data indicate that the children learn the skill quickly and are able to generalized the skill to novel targets (i.e., the chair in a new location, a place where there is no chair) and with novel interventionists. Additionally one children learn the skill, parents and teachers of the children report that the child can also perform the behavior in novel (untrained environments). Inter-observer agreement was taking in each phase with each child and was consistently high. A fidelity measure was also performed and was likewise high. Finally, several social-validity measure were conducted including a more traditional survey and a novel video-based approach. Social validity measures taken together suggest that parents and practitioners both agree that the intervention is effective, efficient and acceptable
83. Training Peer Models to Teach Social Skills to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Therese L. Mathews (UNMC), Christopher Vatland (University of South Florida), Ashley Lugo (Munroe Meyer Institute), Elizabeth Koenig (Munroe Meyer Institute), SHAWN PATRICK GILROY (Rowan University, Temple University)
Abstract: Social skills training programs have increasingly enlisted typical, same-age peers as instructors in the teaching of social skills to children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The inclusion of typical peers in the teaching process has been found to be a critical component in these programs, as skills taught and established by adults are unlikely to generalize to same-age peers without substantial training. Despite strong support for incorporating same-age peers in social skills programs, there are few guidelines for training same-age peers to implement these teaching procedures. The present study examined behavioral skills training with school-aged children implementing a Peer Model Education Curriculum with peers having an ASD. A multiple baseline design across behaviors research design was implemented using components of behavioral skills training to teach (a) initiating verbal interactions, (b) prompting for targeted skills, and (c) delivery of praise. The peer models quickly acquired the skill of initiating verbal interactions; however, posting of data, prompting, and additional contingencies were needed to maintain and generalize prompting for targeted skills and delivery of praise with novel children.
84. Mentoring for Children and Youth with Autism: Is Behavioral Mentoring a More Accurate Description?
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JACK SCOTT (Florida Atlantic University), Melissa Stiksma (Florida Atlantic University), Darius Murray (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: Mentoring for youth with vulnerabilities is seen as a proactive approach to help promote success and avoid problems. In an organized mentoring program, carefully screened adults are recruited to work with youth. The Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) has begun a mentoring program for youth with autism. A critical feature of this program are efforts to match the child with autism with an adult who shares the special interests of that youth. Mentoring is typically conceptualized within a framework of community psychology. However, it becomes apparent that behavior analytic principles and practices are not only common in such programs but also fundamental. Most obvious are the reliance on positive reinforcement, modeling to teach valuable skills and promote a positive long term vision for success, extinction on the part of the mentor to deal with digressive youth interests, and an understanding and, at times, manipulation of relevant motivational variables among others. In this poster we have analyzed the critical elements of quality mentoring programs and place them squarely within their proper behavior analytic context. We believe the vast majority of evidence-based and successful mentoring programs should most accurately be described as behavioral mentoring programs.
85. Post-Secondary Occupations Attained by Individuals in the Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
GLEIDES LOPES RIZZI (The Ohio State University), Bryan Droesch (Haugland Learning Center), Christina A. Rouse (Haugland Learning Center), Amanda Fishley (Haugland Learning Center)
Abstract: The current special education law (i.e., Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 2004) mandates that transition services for individuals with disabilities to be in full effect by an individual’s sixteenth birthday. However, practitioners, teachers, and service providers have limited guidance related to the planning, program development, implementation, and outcomes of these transition plans for individuals with disabilities in the literature. For individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, less data can be found regarding post-secondary transition efforts and results. The extent to which planning, programing, and implementation of transition services will be successful is dependent upon the understanding of how to best prepare these individuals for transition, which can only be achieved by identifying and evaluating the possible outcomes. The outcomes (e.g., occupation, employment, education) guide the transition programming. This study examines experimental research in which the dependent variable includes post-secondary outcomes (e.g., paid employment, unpaid volunteering, and paid or unpaid internship/trainingship) of transition services for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder from 1997 to 2015 with the purpose of identifying channels to tailor unique transition programing to successful community opportunities and long term transition. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are included.
86. The Use of Applications for Tablet to Teach Individuals with Autism: A Systematic Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LUIZA GUIMARÃES (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Vanessa Pereira-Ayres (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Marlon Oliveira (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), João S. Carmo (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: Advances in technology have enabled not only the development of electronic devices such as Tablets (hardware), but also the development of applications (software) that can be used in educational programs. This study presents a systematic review that includes studies which uses applications (software) for Tablets to teach individuals with autism. The search was conducted in the databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, and SAGE journals. The combinations of descriptors were "AUTISM" and "iPad" or "AUTISM" and "TABLET". We selected only empirical studies, in English, and which have participants diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Information about the articles was submitted to analysis of agreement between observers. Seventeen articles were selected. The results showed that the first article that used applications for tablet to tech individuals with autism were published in 2012, two years after the first tablet. The following year, in 2013, that number rose up from three to ten studies. The researchers who published most in this period were JB Ganz and J. Sigaffos, both published four articles each other. In total, eight different journals published studies listed in this review and participants also included individuals with intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, complex needs of speech, speech delay, Asperger's Syndrome, and Hyperactivity Disorder. Nine of the 17 articles, report studies with children under 7 years old. Considering the method used to teach skills to individuals with autism, we found the follow strategy: (1) voice outputs as an alternative communication tool, (2) use of videos (video modeling), (3)visual cues and (4)comparative studies. The most frequent teaching strategy was the use of applications that provide voice outputs as an alternative communication tool to teach non-verbal individuals. The application that was more cited throughout the research was the Proloquo2Go, used in six articles. From the 17 articles found, nine had applications with voice outputs in education programs. Analyzing the results in terms of learning, ten studies showed positive results with reach of criteria for learning, and seven had mixed results.
87. Incorporating Specialized Interests Into Educational Interventions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALICIA KOBYLECKY (Baylor University)
Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties with social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviors. These restricted or repetitive behaviors can include the pursuit of specialized interests. Specialized interests are activities, objects, or themes with which individuals with ASD engage in an unusually focused or intense manner. A systematic search was conducted to identify studies that incorporated the specialized interests of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders into educational interventions focused on social skills or play skills. Results were analyzed in terms of (a) study design, (b) participant characteristics, (c) intervention setting, (d ) dependent variable, (e) method of determining special interest area, (f) independent variable, (g) measurement of social validity and (h) results. The majority of studies had positive findings and showed increases in social skills or play skills that were the focus of the intervention.
88. Visual Supports for Improving Transitions of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of Recent Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University), Jessica Biller (Northern Illinois University), KAITLIN BROWN (Northern Illinois University)
Abstract: When transitioning from one activity to another, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes display off-task and/or challenging behaviors. The purpose of the current literature review was to analyze recent peer-reviewed journal articles (2010-present) that examined the use of visual supports to improve the transition behaviors of individuals with ASD. We included 5 articles in the review, and the following information was analyzed: participant characteristics, setting, intervention implementer, type of intervention, 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 a variety of intervention methods were utilized, including video modeling, video self-modeling, and picture schedule. Additional methods such as least-to-most prompting, DRO, and extinction were also used. Studies were conducted primarily in school environments with school-aged participants. Researchers reported positive results in 4 out of 5 studies. Implications for practice and future avenues for research will be discussed.
89. A Review of the Use of Functional Communication Training in Public Classroom Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SAMANTHA GUZ (Texas A&M), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M), Emily Gregori` (Texas A&M), Samantha Templeton (Texas A&M)
Abstract: Functional Communication Training (FCT) is a commonly implemented intervention aimed to improve the communication of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) while simultaneously decreasing challenging behavior. FCT is commonly implemented in public schools by a special educator instructor. Additionally, the majority of children with ASD enter the public school system and receive a large part of their behavioral treatment from the public school system. Thus, the purpose of this literature review is to reflect upon the effectiveness of FCT implemented in public schools, encourage future research involving the implementation of FCT in classrooms and provide educators with a systematic summary of how FCT is implemented in a classroom.
90. Autism Propaganda or Professional Conformity: Why do BCBAs use contemporary unsupported treatments?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YENUSHKA KARUNARATNE (Penn State Harrisburg ), Kimberly A. Schreck (Penn State Harrisburg), Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies, Endicott College), Heather Wilford (Penn State Harrisburg)
Abstract: As autism continues its rise, with the latest estimate being quoted as 1 in 68 (Baio, 2014), parents have been relying upon professionals to recommend the most effective treatment for their children. Historically, even professionals trained in scientifically supported treatments (i.e., Applied Behavior Analysis: ABA; NationalAutism Center, 2009) have been recommending non-scientifically supported treatments (Schreck & Mazur, 2008). This study replicated and extended Schreck & Mazur (2008) by surveying certified behavior analysts to determine what treatments (i.e., scientifically supported and non-scientifically supported) were used by BCBA-D’s (n=138), BCBA’s (n=646) and BCaBAs (n=66). Factors contributing to behavior analysts’ use of the treatments included media-based propaganda, a-priori beliefs about the treatments, and persuasion by colleagues, parents and instructors to conform. Self-report of reinforcers for using treatments (e.g., verbal praise, monetary gain, etc.) according to treatment support categories (i.e., established, emerging, unestablished, ineffective/harmful) indicated that behavior analysts may be partially influenced to continue to use both scientifically supported and non-scientifically supported treatments by the reinforcement they get from using them. Results indicated that behavior analysts continue to use a variety of non-scientifically supported treatments, including those that have been deemed ineffective and harmful to people with autism.
91. Teaching Identifying, Recording, Reporting the Occurrence of Novel Events with Adults with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE MCDERMOTT (Temple University), Gregory S. MacDuff (Princeton Child Development Institute), Saul Axelrod (Temple University)
Abstract: Identifying and reporting novel events is an important life skill that improves the quality of interactions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who engage in this skill, may build significant professional relationships with their co-workers and instructors and more meaningful relationships with their family members by having more substantial conversations regarding relevant and interesting events that occur in their lives. A multiple-probe across-participants research design was used to investigate the effects of a treatment package that assessed the skills of three adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder in identifying, recording and reporting novel events. The participants ranged in age from 21-35 years, with a mental age of 8-3, 6-3, and 5-10 as determined by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. The participants used a note, written after identifying the event, to respond to the question, How was your day? The treatment package consisted of a progressive time-delay procedure to implement scripts, manual prompts and a verbal prompt. All three participants quickly acquired the target skills and independently identified, recorded and reported the occurrence of novel events following intervention. The skills generalized across settings with conversation recipients who were not part of the teaching intervention.
94. Does the Tau Non-Overlap Effect Size Measure Up to Visually Analyzed Indicators?
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University), Ee Rea Hong (Texas A&M University), Margot Boles (Texas A&M University), Whitney Gilliland (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ganz (Texas A&M University), John Davis (Texas A&M University), Kimberly Vannest (Texas A&M University)
Abstract: Attention to methodological rigor in addition to the use of credible effect sizes is current state of the art in meta-analysis of single-case research. As the most widely accepted method for data interpretation of single-case research is visual analysis, validity of effect sizes can be gleaned by comparing them against indicators of visually analyzed evidence. In the context of a meta-analysis of single-case studies targeting functional living skills among individuals with autism spectrum disorder, this study evaluated convergent and divergent validity of visual analysis criteria with the Tau effect size by testing categorized ratings on visually analyzed evidence indicators as moderators. Rated indicators between phases corresponded with Tau, demonstrated by large and statistically significant discrepancies of effects between variables (i.e., presence versus absence of sufficiently low overlap and presence versus absence of overall effects). In analyses between three rated levels of experimental control, tests produced large and statistically significant discrepancies between both strong versus weak evidence and moderate versus weak evidence variables, but failed to produce disparate effects between moderate versus strong evidence. This study appears to be the first to analyze the validity of an effect size through determining convergence and divergence of it with various visually analyzed indicators.
95. Is Autism Caused by Innate or Early Acquired Difference in the Effectiveness of Social and Sensory Reinforcers?
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
SVEIN EIKESETH (Oslo and Akershus University College), Lars Klintwall (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: The social deficits exhibited by children with autism has for some time been considered primary when attempting to understand the disorder. Recently, the social motivation hypothesis has been proposed positing that the autism is caused by an inborn lack of social motivation. Children without social motivation lack the incentives to acquire social skills such as joint attention, theory of mind, pretend play or pragmatic language. The social motivation hypothesis has been supported by recent research suggesting that children with autism show less interest in social stimuli as compared to typical children. A recent study showed that toddlers with autism as young as 14 months spent significantly more time looking at dynamic geometric images as compared to same aged children with developmental delay and typically developing children (Pierce et al., 2011). The latter children preferred looking at the social images. A limitation of the social motivation hypothesis is that social motivation is a construct that is difficult to measure and manipulate. Also, it is difficult to find neural correlates and a genetic basis for the postulated motivation deficit. We argue that the social motivation hypothesis can be phrased more precisely, by postulating that autism is caused by innate or early acquired differences in the effectiveness of certain reinforcers. In the study just described, the stimuli the children preferred locking at may have been reinforcers, and there may be differences in which type of stimuli that function as reinforcers for the behavior of autistic children compared to typically developing children. These reinforcers may be primary or early acquired, and they may explain why some children develop autistic behaviors and some typical behaviors. Also, research has demonstrated that primary reinforcers are genetically coded, and genetics together with other neurobiological factors is known to be the causes of autism. The slightest difference early on in life in this relative reinforcer strength may have cascading effects on the establishment of secondary reinforcers, and thus large effects on the subsequently developing behavioral repertoire. Given early detection of high-risk infants, a behavioral or pharmacological intervention targeting this core deficit in autism could potentially prevent some cases altogether.
96. Increasing Implementation of Effective Teaching: A Professional Development Model of Least-to-Most Supports for Special Educators
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MEAGHAN MCCOLLOW (Central Michigan University), Carol Ann Davis (University of Washington)
Abstract: Professional development serves as means of transferring skills and knowledge to in-service educators (Reid, 2010) and of aiding practitioners in maintaining a current knowledge base (Grimes, Kurns, & Tilly, 2006; Jacobson, 1990). Much remains unanswered regarding how to enhance professional development and increase implementation of evidence-based practices in order to improve student outcomes (Guskey & Yoon, 2009; Odom, 2008). This study utilized a non-concurrent multi-element within a multiple-baseline across participants design to investigate the effects of a least-to-most system of supports for professional development to increase implementation of discrete trial training (DTT). Three special educators of young children with autism participated in the study. Results were varied across each participant but indicated a relationship between number of DTT components implemented, closed learn units (or teaching loops), and behavior-specific praise and the professional development activities (i.e., online module, self-monitoring, coaching). In addition, teachers reported the activities were informative and valuable.
97. Assessment and Treatment of Elopement in Young Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
IVETTE ANDRADE (University of Texas - Pan American), Zina A. Eluri (The University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: Elopement, leaving a caregivers side without permission or supervision, is a behavior that is more prevalent among children with autism as compared to their typically developing peers. With potentially fatal consequences (e.g., drowning, being run over, abducted), it is reported to cause high levels of stress for caregivers. In the present study, the assessment and treatment of elopement is evaluated using a multicomponent treatment package to address the multiple functions of elopement. The treatment consisted of an antecedent control procedure, blocking and differential reinforcement of other behaviors with extinction (DRO w/ EXT). An ABAB reversal design was utilized to assess treatment effectiveness. A significant reduction of elopement following the first phase of treatment was observed for both participants. However, for one participant, previous reduction rates were not reached upon reimplementation of treatment following the reversal phase. The differences in effectiveness for these participants will be discussed and limitations to the study will be noted.
98. An Evaluation of Video Modeling to Teach Greeting Others by Name in an Echolalic Child
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER DOLL (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Med), Katie A. Nicholson (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Med), Kari J. Adolf (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: High rates of echolalia can interfere with attempts to teach intraverbal responses, including greeting others by name. In the current evaluation, a multiple baseline across responses was used with a 7 year-old boy with autism to assess the effects of video modeling on greeting others by name. Previous attempts to teach this skill were unsuccessful due to the child’s strong echoic repertoire. When others said, “Hi” plus his name, he responded to their greeting using his own name instead of the listener’s name. Prior to each greeting trial during the treatment phase, the child watched a video of a confederate greeter saying, “Hi” plus her own name, which the participant then repeated. Over sessions, the volume on the video was systematically turned down until the child could not hear what the greeter was saying. In vivo probes were then conducted to assess whether the participant responded with “Hi” plus the greeter’s name when the greeter gave an expectant look and also when she said, “Hi” plus his name. A pilot study of this intervention with two greeters demonstrated that this was an effective intervention. We are continuing to evaluate the intervention with a second set of three confederates.
99. Newspaper Coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis and Alternative Treatments for Autism in Canada
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MARIE-MICHÈLE DUFOUR (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal), Shalaka Shah (McGill University)
Abstract: Newspapers are often a primary source of information regarding autism treatment for the general population. As such, examining the portrayal of applied behavior analysis in newspaper articles may be important to inform the field about the perception and dissemination of our science. The purpose of the study was to compare trends in coverage of applied behavior analysis and alternative autism treatments in Canadian newspapers over a 10-year period and determine whether the portrayal of the two categories differed. We searched a sample of 10 daily local and national Canadian newspapers using the keyword autism combined with intervention or treatment. In total, 43% of articles on autism treatment discussed applied behavior analysis, 53% at least one alternative treatment, and 12% at least one uncategorised treatment. Newspaper articles provided favourable, unfavourable, and neutral portrayals of applied behavior analysis in 78%, 5%, and 17% of cases, respectively. In contrast, alternative treatments were portrayed favourably in 55%, unfavourably in 29%, and neutrally in 16% of cases. Altogether, our analyses indicate that applied behavior analysis is generally perceived more favourably than alternative treatments for autism in Canadian newspapers.
100. Comparison of Matched Stimuli and Matched Stimuli plus Response Interruption on Perseverative Speech
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CASEY BETHAY (Ivymount School), Stacey M. McIntyre (Ivymount School)
Abstract: Perseverative speech is frequently targeted for decrease as it may interfere with a students ability to learn more adaptive behaviors and can be stigmatizing for the individual. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the treatment effects of Matched Stimuli and Matched Stimuli paired with Response Interruption on perseverative speech maintained by automatic reinforcement for one young adult in a school and vocational setting, as well as social validity of the treatment. Initially, a Matched Stimulus intervention effectively treated the target behavior. However, the intervention lost its effect over time, possibly due to satiation. A response interruption component was then added to the treatment package and resulted in a reduction in preservative speech. A reversal design was employed to evaluate rates of perseverative speech with each treatment and data revealed that a matched stimulus paired with response interruption was most effective in reducing perseverative speech for this individual. Survey data indicated that educators working with the individual found the treatment to be both successful and appropriate across school/community settings. Data from the current study support the value of using matched stimulus plus response interruption treatment to address perseverative speech across school, vocational, and community settings.
101. Using Clicker Counter as a Generalized Reinforcer to Decrease Palilalia in an Integrated Classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TRACY YIP (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
Abstract: Students who exhibit palilalia present a challenge to their transition into integration classroom settings as their behaviors may be disruptive to other students as well as their own learning. Providing reinforcers such as tokens during integration classes may interfere with the flow of class and thus decreasing this behavior and promoting appropriate attending skills has been a continued area of interest. The current study employed a discrete form of generalized reinforcer in order to decrease palilalia for a student with a diagnosis of Autism. The intervention involved having a shadow teacher provide a token using a clicker counter along with full interval recording when the student was attending the integration classes. A simple correction and redirection procedure was used when the student engaged in palilalia. The results of the study showed significant improvements in decreasing palilalia in the integration classroom and the use of the clicker counter has been a discrete yet effective generalized form of reinforcer.
102. Development of a Circumscribed Special Interest Classifying System of the Korean Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
HYUN OK PARK (Baekseok University), Jeungeun Lee (Daegjeon University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop a circumscribed special interest classification system of the Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD). To accomplish this goal, parents and teachers of 361 ASD students of varying age were surveyed. The survey was comprised of free response questions on past and current special interests of ASD students, observed by their parents and teachers. In this survey 1066 responses were collected, which were then categorized using the three following steps. 1) Two researchers compared the contents of the responses and separated them into categories and subcategories. The results of this classification were validated by two experts. 2) Referring to the comments made by the experts in the previous step, researchers tried to refine the circumscribed special interest classifying system. In this process, seven professors, seventeen special teachers, and four speech therapists evaluated and commented on the process and the results of the refined classification system. 3) A final classification system was developed containing six categories and twenty-eight subcategories, in addition to examples of interests in each subcategories and the three response types of ASD students to the circumscribed special interests. Based on the results of this study, the significance of this classification system was established and a future direction for the use of this system was discussed in order to better understand and educate ASD students.
104. Prompt Dependency in a Nine Year Old on the Autism Spectrum by Using Differential Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ERICA VALKO (Carolina Center for ABA and Autism Treatment)
Abstract: Client is a nine-year old male who is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, he was observed by a BCBA and was seen waiting for a one finger touch on the shoulder to move on to the next step of all tasks. Parent were observed giving full prompts and/or giving a one finger touch on the client's shoulder for every task, including but not limited to, eating, using the bathroom, all DTT tasks, putting on socks/shoes. Utilizing four different phases of the prompt hierarchy and differential reinforcement, the team has taken the client from complete prompt dependency in DTT settings and independent living skills to being able to complete all of these tasks independently over the course of about five weeks. Complete prompt dependency is defined as not moving on to the next step in a process without at least a one finger touch on the shoulder. Team utilized using a high tangible reinforcer for a step of a task that was completed without the one finger touch. As less intrusive prompts were used for the client to display independency reinforcement was increased. The client progressed through the protocol mastering all tasks to complete independency within five weeks.
105. The Effect of Matrix Training on the Tact With Two-word Utterance in a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SAORI MAEDA (Keio University), Hiroshi Sugasawara (Tokiwa University), Takahide Omori (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: The students with ASD often show difficulties in producing a two-word utterance. In this study, we examined the effect of the training of tact on the acquisition of two-word utterance (subject + verb) in a student with ASD using the matrix training procedure. We used the picture card as a sample stimulus and required the student to tact the presented picture cards with two-word vocal response. The matrix contained a total of 9 subject-verb pairs, consisting of three animals (cat, rabbit, elephant), and three verbs (sleep, run, sit). In the training phase, we taught the student 3 of 9 two-word utterance with showing him the visual frame prompt "? ga ?" to facilitate two-word utterance "Subject + ga (a Japanese particle) + Verb." In baseline, probe and follow-up phase, the remaining 6 two-word items were used without the visual prompt and no feedback was given. As a result, the student immediately acquired the correct responding such as "Neko (a cat: subject)" "ga" "hashitteru (runs:verb)" in training and probe phase. However, the percentage of correct responding slightly decreased at 1 week follow up. The result was discussed on the procedure to maintain the acquired tact.
106. Comparing Strengths of Teaching Strategies and Retention Rates of Math Skills to Children With Autism in a Clinical Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
TAMLA LEE (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Rachael Judice (Applied Behavior Analyst), Ashley Schaff (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Math skills, particularly addition and subtraction, are important for basic life skills and thus, are an important area of instruction for children with autism. In the present study, four different math strategies were taught to two pre-kindergarten aged children across multiple session within a social learning environment. These strategies: finger counting, counting pictures, counting tangible objects, and counting on a number line, were all accompanied by a song and instructor lead demonstration. Although the primary goal of the social learning environment is to teach age-appropriate social skills, the center also strived to introduce observational learning by teaching pre-kindergarten skills as identified by the state’s requirements. The charts display the results from the month spent on teaching addition and a month spent teaching subtraction during the observational learning portion of the social learning groups. Lastly, a retention graph displays the overall success at teaching the two students each skill after a month removed. An alternating-treatment design to illustrate the success rate of these strategies. The results indicate that counting tangible objects was the most effective strategy in teaching addition skills. Success in this study is represented by the strategy that yielded the highest percentage of correct spontaneous self-identified responses. The retention session also supports the initial findings of counting tangible objects being the most successful way to teach adding to children with autism, but it also showed growth in counting fingers and using a number line not originally seen in the experimental phase. Learning objectives: 1. Teach basic math skills to children with autism 2. Chart students’ development with specific strategy 3. Test strength/success of strategy by comparison and time elapsed activities



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