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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #71
Recent Advancements of a Function-Based Approach to Treating Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
10:30 AM–11:20 AM
Studio DE, Niveau 2
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Melanie H. Bachmeyer, Ph.D.
Chair: Melanie H. Bachmeyer (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Decades of research demonstrate that some behavior-analtyic procedures are empirically-supported treatments for food refusal exhibited by children diagnosed with feeding disorders. However, studies examining assessment methodologies to determine the most specific, effective, and efficient function-based interventions are lacking in the behavioral feeding literature. Further, studies demonstrating the effectiveness of function-based interventions to specifically treat varied topographies of feeding problems are scarce. This symposium will discuss recent advancements to a function-based approach of treating pediatric feeding problems. Specifically, Sean Casey will discuss the use of descriptive analyses to determine which procedures are necessary for effective treatment. Melanie Bachmeyer will discuss the correspondence of descriptive and functional analyses of inappropriate mealtime behaviors and the outcomes of interventions matched to each. Finally, Kathryn Peterson will discuss the results of a comparison study between behavior-analytic treatment and a wait-list control group with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who exhibit severe food selectivity.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): feeding disorders, food refusal, food selectivity, function-based treatments
Using Descriptive Analyses to Determine What Feeding Procedures to Retain, Discontinue and Add for Effective Treatment
SEAN D. CASEY (The Iowa Department of Education)
Abstract: The impact of applied behavior analysis methodologies to address feeding issues has enjoyed unparalleled success (Sharp et al., 2010). However, most of the literature has been demonstrated that treatment is most likely to occur in the medically oriented settings conducted with trained therapists. There are fewer published studies that are occurring in the naturalistic settings (i.e., schools and homes) with parents and school staff being utilized as the therapists during treatment meals (e.g., Gentry & Luiselli, 2008). Descriptive analyses (Mace & Lalli, 1991) offer the clinician the opportunity to see how each care provider responds to the childs bite acceptance and refusal behaviors which can lead to identification of the schedules of care-provider responses to the childs behaviors. This information can then be used to determine what schedule manipulations (i.e., bite acceptance, refusal, or both) to focus for treatment. The usefulness of this information can expedite and maximize treatment success and help to avid the usage of overly complex procedures and avoidance of highly intrusive procedures for some children. Such procedures may be difficult to maintain by feeders who are unlikely to have any training in applied behavior analysis (e.g., parents, school associates). In this study, descriptive analyses were used to identify the naturally occurring responses for bite acceptance and food refusal behaviors for the care-providers of several young children who possessed total food refusal or food selectivity. The results of these assessments and their concomitant treatment procedures are discussed.
A Comparison of Descriptive and Functional Analyses in the Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
MELANIE H. BACHMEYER (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jessica Ashley Keane (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Catherine Elizabeth Graham (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jessica Woolson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sydney Ball (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Previous research on the correspondence between hypotheses derived from descriptive and functional analyses has shown mixed findings (e.g., Lalli et al., 1993; Lerman & Iwata, 1993; Thompson & Iwata, 2007). Studies comparing the relative effects of treatments matched to each hypothesis when results of these analyses do not correspond are scarce. To our knowledge, no studies to date have conducted a systematic comparison of descriptive and functional analyses outcomes in the treatment of pediatric feeding problems. Therefore, we compared the results of a descriptive analysis and caregiver- and therapist-conducted functional analyses of the inappropriate mealtime behavior of eight children with feeding disorders. Results of the descriptive and functional analyses did not correspond for any of the children. We then compared extinction and reinforcement procedures matched to the results of each analysis using a reversal design. Results of the subsequent treatment evaluations showed that interventions matched to the functional analysis were more effective for all children. Interobserver agreement was collected on at least 33% of sessions and agreement was above 80% for each child. Clinical implications of these findings will be discussed.
Recent Advancements in the Treatment of Food Selectivity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kathryn M. Peterson (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Valerie M. Volkert (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), VIVIAN F IBANEZ (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have feeding difficulties, namely food selectivity (i.e., consumption of a limited variety of foods by type or texture). Food selectivity inevitably leads to inadequate dietary intake, which is associated with learning and behavior problems. If left untreated, children with food selectivity also may suffer from malnutrition or other health problems (e.g., constipation, Type II diabetes). Currently, treatments for pediatric feeding disorders based on ABA research have the most empirical support (Volkert & Piazza, 2012); however, there are not as many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ABA in the treatment of food selectivity. Health professionals often recommend that caregivers wait to see if their child?s feeding difficulties resolve over time, independent of treatment, or suggest alternative treatments that do not have empirical support. In the current study, we compared ABA treatment to a wait-list control group. Independent acceptance of foods increased for children who received applied behavior analysis, but not for children in the wait-list control group. We subsequently implemented applied behavior analysis treatment with the children from the wait-list control and observed a similar increase in independent acceptance across all foods.



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