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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.

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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #4
Functional Communication Training: Caregiver Training and Use in Typical Settings
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Scene DEF, Niveau 0
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jennifer N. Fritz, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a common treatment strategy for the reduction of problem behavior. Challenges can be encountered in teaching the procedures to caregivers in rural or ethnically diverse communities, as well as in the maintenance of treatment effects when reinforcement delays are necessary. Cordova, Phillips, Fritz, and Lerman used a train-the-trainer model to teach caregivers to train other caregivers to implement FCT with their children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Caregivers' integrity of implementation improved following training. Sellers, Hoffmann, and Bogoev used combined the train-the-trainer model with telehealth to teach caregivers to conduct a functional analysis implement FCT with their young children. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst? taught a behavior specialist to train caregivers in the procedures, and results showed this approach to be highly effective in reducing problem behavior and increasing independent comunication. Finally, Ghaemmaghami, Hanley, Jessel, Landa, and Ward compared time-based delays and contingency-based delays (CBD) following successful use of FCT. CBD was more effective, and most participants preferred unpredictable CBD compared to predictable CBD. Directions for future research and implications for clinical applications will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): caregiver training, FCT, reinforcement delay, telehealth
Improving Access to Care for Challenging Behavior Using a Parent-To-Parent Mentoring Approach
Samantha Cordova (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Lauren Phillips (University of Houston-Clear Lake), JENNIFER N. FRITZ (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are more likely to engage in challenging behavior, such as aggression and self-injury, than children without ASD. If left untreated, these behaviors can increase in severity over time, causing significant stress on families. Numerous studies over the 30 years have demonstrated the efficacy of behavioral treatments for these challenging behaviors, particularly an intervention called functional communication training (FCT). Furthermore, caregivers have been able to effectively implement FCT in home settings to reduce their children's challenging behavior. However, all caregivers to date have been trained by professionals. The waiting lists to obtain these professional services can be quite lengthy, and these services are even less accessible to ethnically diverse, low-income families due to language and financial barriers. In this study, we evaluated a model of training in which caregivers trained by professionals then trained other parents to implement FCT with their children in the home setting. This model has the potential to expand clinical service availability in rural, low-income communities, as well as to more diverse ethnic groups who face barriers to receiving services for their childrens challenging behavior.
Using Telehealth for Assessment & Intervention: Behavior Specialist as Coach & Caregivers as Implementers
TYRA P. SELLERS (Utah State University), Audrey N. Hoffmann (Utah State University), Bistra Bogoev (Utah State University)
Abstract: Researchers and clinicians have successfully demonstrated the use of telehealth in coaching parents to conduct functional analyses (FA) and subsequent functional communication training (FCT). We replicated and extended previous research by enlisting existing natural change agents to conduct FAs and FCT interventions via telehealth for children three years old and younger. Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA®)s trained and coached the existing behavior specialist via telehealth, who in turn trained and coached parents to conduct FAs and implement FCT in the community clinic setting. The function of challenging behavior was successfully identified for four participants. Challenging behavior reduced and the selected appropriate communication response increased for all participants. This study demonstrates that BCBAs can provide coaching and training, via telehealth, to less-trained behavior specialists to improve existing services provided through service programs, while minimizing potentially intrusive involvement of outside service providers.
Efficacy of Contingency-Based Delay Tolerance Training and Preference for Predictable Versus Unpredictable Delays
MAHSHID GHAEMMAGHAMI (University of the Pacific; Western New England University), Gregory P. Hanley (Western New England University), Joshua Jessel (Child Study Center), Robin K. Landa (Western New England University), Shannon Ward (Western New England University)
Abstract: The effectiveness of treatments for problem behavior, like functional communication training (FCT), depends on the extent to which the treatment can be successfully extended to typical environments that include unavoidable and unpredictable reinforcement delays. Time-based delay (TBD) often result in loss of acquired communication responses and a re-emergence of problem behavior, whereas contingency-based delay (CBD) appears effective for increasing tolerance for delayed reinforcement (Hanley, Jin, Vanselow, & Hanratty, 2014). No direct comparison of TBD and CBD has been conducted, however. We first compared the relative efficacy of TBD and CBD across progressively longer delays using probabilistic reinforcement. Four individuals who engaged in a range of problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, vocal and motor disruptions, self-injury) participated. Lower rates of problem behavior and emotional responding were observed during CBD than TBD. We then evaluated the efficacy of, and participants’ preference for, predictable versus unpredictable CBD. Results from four participants showed that unpredictable CBD was more effective at maintaining optimal rates of communication, low rates of problem behavior, and high rates of compliance during delay. Unpredictable CBD, however, was preferred to predictable CBD and a control condition for three out of four participants.



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