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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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43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Poster Session #66
Saturday, May 27, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
AUT
Chair: Nicole Heal (Margaret Murphy Center for Children)
145. Combining Precision Teaching and Autism Developmental Task Sequence
Domain: Theory
DRISTI ADHIKARI (Dare Association), Michael Lamport Commons (Harvard Medical School)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: The aim of precision teaching is to produce positive acceleration in the occurrence of behaviors that are desirable and deceleration in the occurrence of behaviors that are not desirable. If the behavior is desirable, the measure of improvement is the amount of positively changing behavior. An aim is the goal for a terminal rate of performance. If the behavior is not desirable, the measure of improvement is the amount of decrease in undesirable behavior. By seeing the rate of improvement or the lack thereof, interveners may quickly adjust the task on which the person is working. The use of Autism Developmental Task Sequence ©2015, or similar behavioral instruments for non-autistic people allows for making good valuation as to where to begin individual interventions. It also allows for the long term assessments of intervention choices. Furthermore, long terms intervention program’s progress can be assessed by uniting two ways: a) Using instruments to measure behavioral-stage of development change scores: and b) Applying techniques for combining charts (Commons, Miller & Miller, 2015).
 
146. Rules in Treatment of Automatically Maintained Elopement With a Child With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KAITLIN CURTIS (Missouri State University), Kara Forck (Missouri State University), Ginny Keenan (Missouri State University), Megan A. Boyle (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Elopement is a dangerous behavior common with children with ASD. Few studies have treated elopement maintained by automatic reinforcement, and few studies have isolated rules in the treatment of problem behavior. The current study used rules to treat the automatically maintained elopement of a child with ASD. A changing-criterion design embedded within a withdrawal design was used to gradually increase the criterion for maintaining a close proximity to a caregiver prior to being allowed to run. A terminal criterion of about 1 min was reached without the use of blocking.
 
147. Generalization following a Virtual Training Program for Applied Behavior Analysis Technicians
Domain: Applied Research
JULIENNE HEIMERL-LEE (Southcentral Foundation and University of Alaska Anchorage ), Mychal Machado (University of Alaska Anchorage), Felicia Glaser (University of Alaska Anchorage), Ashleigh Nero (University of Alaska Anchorage), Grant Ensign (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: One approach to extending access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) services has been to develop training programs that can be delivered via the Internet. Fisher et al. (2014) developed and evaluated a 40-hr virtual training program and showed that it was effective at teaching technicians to implement ABA interventions in discrete-trial and play-based formats. A limitation of this evaluation is that no assessments of generalization were undertaken. In the current study, we replicated Fisher et al.’s virtual training program with teachers working with young children diagnosed with autism (n = 4). Teachers completed didactic video modules, and received behavioral skills training (via the Internet) as they worked with an adult role-player. Teachers also implemented discrete-trial training with the child with whom they typically worked, but no training was provided. Pre- and post-training measures of teachers implementing discrete-trial training with an adult and a child were obtained. Results showed that all teachers learned to correctly implement discrete-trial training with an adult role-player following the virtual training program, but only two teachers successfully implemented these same procedures correctly when observed working with a child with autism. Future replications should focus on identifying methods to maximize generalization following virtual training programs.
 
149. Using Arbitrary Reinforcers to Treat Off-Topic Speech of an Individual with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KORTNEY KATHERINE CLASSEN (Briar Cliff University; Pier Center for Autism ), Corey S. Stocco (University of the Pacific)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Results from previous research have shown that function-based treatments and those using arbitrary reinforcers are effective for decreasing perseverative speech. However, function-based treatments have shown to be more effective. As a result, it is unclear if or when to use arbitrary reinforcers to treat perseverative speech about restricted topics. We evaluated functional and arbitrary consequences to increase on-topic speech during 5 min conversations: attention, preferred topics, and preferred items. A reversal design was used to demonstrate experimental control across the differential reinforcement contingencies. Providing contingent attention alone or in combination with preferred topics did not improve the participant’s on-topic speech. Providing access to preferred items contingent on on-topic speech did demonstrate to be effective in improving behavior. However, additional treatment components should be considered to condition attention as a controlling variable for on-topic speech. Generalization of treatment effects was assessed and measures of social acceptability were collected from the participant’s mother.
 
150. Evaluating the Impact of Service Setting on Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention Outcomes for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
KARLI PEDREIRA (University of Manitoba; St. Amant), Toby L. Martin (St.Amant Research Centre)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBi) is well established as an effective intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The most common settings where EIBI programs are delivered include homes, centres, and integrated child care settings (i.e., daycare and preschool). Each of these settings encompasses a unique combination of service characteristics, yet few studies have directly compared the effectiveness of EIBI programs in different settings. Archival data from 2006-2014 was obtained from St.Amant Autism Program consisting of 188 children. A multivariate regression was used to examine whether the setting of service delivery was predictive of scores on 5 outcomes measures including standardized scales assessing autism severity, cognitive functioning, language, and adaptive behaviour, and a criterion-referenced assessment to measure skill mastery. Service setting is the independent variable, and outcome scores are the dependent variables. Five linear models were run, one per each outcome variable. Overall, the results suggest that (1) services delivered at home may be predictive of gains in cognitive functioning, and adaptive behaviour, (2) integrated child care settings may serve as a predictor of reduction in autism severity, and (3) Minnetonka may serve as a predictor of lower scores in adaptive behaviour and an increase in autism severity.
 
151. Function of Challenging Behaviors in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
ESTHER HONG (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)), Elizabeth Stevens (Chapman University ), Erik Linstead (Chapman University), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a greater risk for challenging behavior (CB) than individuals with other developmental disabilities (McClintock, Hall, & Oliver, 2003). Identifying the function of behavior is essential to effective treatment. In the current study, data were collected from a large database, in which supervising clinicians from a community-based behavioral health agency recorded the topography and function(s) of behaviors treated as a part of an individual’s behavior intervention plan. In a sample of 2,107 individuals with autism spectrum disorder, autistic disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), we report on the frequency of the most common challenging behaviors and the identified function of the behavior. Stereotypy was the most commonly reported topography of the behavior, followed by noncompliance and aggression. Escape was reported as the most common function of behavior, regardless of the topography of the behavior. These data are discussed in further detail.
 
152. Use of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors and Interests in Behavioral Interventions
Domain: Applied Research
TORI FOSTER (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Jeffrey F. Hine (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics), Ashley Dubin (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders), Douglas Roberts (Georgia State University), Miyah Sundermeyer (Georgia State University, School of Public Health, Center for Leadership in Disability), Brian Barger (Georgia State University, School of Public Health, Center for Leadership in Disability)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Without development of prerequisite learning skills and instructional techniques that harness their attention and motivation, many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be unlikely to respond to further attempts at behavioral intervention. This premise is fundamental to naturalistic intervention strategies, which capitalize on individuals’ interests and have proven to be successful in decreasing challenging behaviors and facilitating skill acquisition. As a core diagnostic feature of ASD, restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (RRBI) have been examined frequently in the context of behavioral intervention research. However, most currently existing studies involving RRBI incorporate them as targets of intervention (i.e., undesirable behaviors to decrease) rather than as potentially reinforcing and useful agents of behavior change. A systematic review was conducted to examine the single-subject design (SSD) literature concerning the use of RRBI in antecedent- or consequence-based interventions for individuals with ASD. Electronic, ancestral, and expert nomination searches were performed, and only studies published in peer-reviewed journals whose primary language was English were considered. This yielded 35 studies published between 1983 and 2016. Participant/setting characteristics, target behaviors, measurement procedures, assessment and intervention strategies, design characteristics, effects (e.g., internal validity, generalizability), and directions for future research (e.g., examination of generalization, maintenance, and fading procedures) are discussed in detail. Findings indicate that the use of RRBI as a reinforcement tool in behavioral interventions is a largely underexplored area in the SSD literature and may represent an untapped resource in effectively increasing desired behaviors and decreasing inappropriate behaviors exhibited by individuals with ASD.
 
153. Increasing Consumption of Nonpreferred Foods and Liquids Using Simultaneous Presentation and Stimulus Fading in a Private School Setting
Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY MAHON (Garden Academy), Danielle L. Gureghian (Garden Academy), Lauren Sinning (Garden Academy), MacKenzie Emmons (Garden Academy )
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Selectivity is a common feeding problem that may contribute to inadequate development and nutritional intake (Piazza, Santana, Goh, Delia, & Lancaster, 2002). Thus, identification of effective treatments of highly selective intake is imperative to decrease these health risks (Bachmeyer, 2009). The study describes two cases thus far to treat inadequate intake. During Case 1, an assessment was conducted with a 9-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to determine if food selectivity was influenced by taste or texture. A treatment consisting of simultaneous presentation with stimulus fading was implemented to increase acceptance. During Case 2, a stimulus fading procedure was implemented to increase consumption of a liquid nutritional supplement with a 10-year-old boy with an ASD. All sessions were conducted in the classroom. A reversal design, with periodic probes across treatment sessions, was used to demonstrate experimental control. Results showed an increase in acceptance as the size of the non-preferred food and liquid was systematically increased to its terminal size. These data suggest that simultaneous presentation with stimulus fading (Case 1) and stimulus fading (Case 2) was effective in increasing acceptance of non-preferred foods and liquids. These results are particularly noteworthy, as escape extinction was not necessary to increase acceptance.
 
154. Increasing the Frequency and Duration of Eye Contact with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
DAYNA COSTELLO (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Samantha Bergmann (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: The DSM-5 includes abnormalities in eye contact as part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). At present, there is a paucity of behavior-analytic interventions to address deficits in eye contact. The purpose of the current case study was to evaluate least-to-most prompting and differential reinforcement on the frequency and duration of eye contact using a multiple probe design across settings and activities and a changing-criterion design with a 4-year-old boy diagnosed with ASD. In baseline, we assessed the frequency of eye contact following a vocal prompt and the mean duration of eye contact. We then differentially reinforced eye contact that met or exceeded our duration requirement with praise and access to a preferred item until the client met our terminal goal of 5 s of sustained eye contact. We did not observe generalization of eye contact to other activities and settings following intervention in his work place. Next, we will implement the intervention in another setting and continue to test for generalization. The results of this intervention may provide another strategy for behavior analysts to teach sustained eye contact that occurs across settings. Future directions and implications will be discussed.
 
155. A Comparison of Simultaneous and Delayed Conditioning Procedures
Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE WATHEN (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment; The Florida Institute of Technology), Alison M. Betz (Coastal Behavior Analysis), Jeanine R Tanz (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology), Karli Silverman (Florida Institute of Technology), Madeleine Diane Keevy (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College)
Abstract: Conditioning procedures are commonly used within applied settings to establish conditioned reinforcers. This is important as children with intellectual disabilities, especially autism, have restricted interests and often do not respond to social reinforcers. While there are studies in the applied literature that indicate conditioning procedures may be effective, there is a lack of direct comparisons evaluating procedural variations. The purpose of the current study was to compare one common variation, delayed conditioning and simultaneous conditioning. The conditioning procedures including pairing a neutral stimulus (a picture) with a reinforcer to determine if the neutral stimulus would take on the reinforcing properties of the reinforcer, thereby becoming a conditioned reinforcer.
 
156. An Evaluation of Prompting Strategies on Variability during the Acquisition of Intraverbal Categorization
Domain: Applied Research
MARIA MALACHOWSKI (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kathryn Glodowski (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Victoria Smith (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Ciobha Anne McKeown (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Although an effective teaching strategy, some have suggested that discrete-trial instruction (DTI) contributes to rote responding in children with autism. To determine whether continued prompting of one correct response—typical of DTI—contributes to rote responding, Peterson, Rodriguez, and Pawich (Experiment 1, under review) used an adapted-alternating-treatment design to compare modeling varied versus rote responding during the teaching of intraverbal categorization. Only temporary variability was observed in the variable modeling condition. These results, however, differ from Carroll and Kodak (2015) who demonstrated increased variability when providing a variable model with, and without, instructive feedback. One potential reason for the difference in findings is carry over to the variable model condition from the second comparison condition (i.e., instructive feedback condition or rote model condition). We conducted a two-part study with young children with autism. In Experiment 1, we evaluated variable models in isolation, eliminating the possibility of carry over. In Experiment 2, we evaluated a scenic picture prompt that did not require exposure to a specific order of exemplars. Preliminary results demonstrated initial variability with both procedures, but variability only persisted for one participant. These results indicate a need to continue to systematically evaluate methods of promoting varied responding during DTI.
 
157. The Effects of Within-Stimulus Proximity Prompts on the Acquisition of Conditional Discriminations by Two Young Children with Autism
Domain: Service Delivery
KRISTEN GREEN (University of Nevada, Reno), Daylee E. Brock (University of Nevada, Reno), Teal McAllister (University of Nevada, Reno), Emily Taylor (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Prompting is often necessary for learners with autism to acquire new skills, but this may cause issues with stimulus control. The literature suggests that when extra prompts are delivered prompt dependency can occur, making it less likely that the relevant stimuli come to evoke the desired behavior. Research has shown that within-stimulus prompts can be effective in teaching procedures with young children with autism as they can be easily faded out. The current study focuses on one type of within-stimulus prompt, a proximity prompt. This is where the physical location of the training stimuli is systematically manipulated. Two children with autism enrolled in an early intensive behavioral intervention program were exposed to a within stimulus proximity prompt in order to teach the conditional discrimination of matching on the basis of similarity and distinction. While the proximity prompts were implemented and faded differently for each of the two children based on their individual learning data, the outcomes were the same. The proximity prompts were successful in teaching the children to match a variety of stimuli on the basis of similarity and distinction. Implications for using within-stimulus prompting procedures and a discussion of future research will also be discussed.
 
158. Increasing Variety of Foods Consumed by Children with Autism and Severe Food Selectivity
Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA PHAM (Clinic 4 Kidz), Kerri Caltabiano (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Feeding problems are frequent among children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), in particular food selectivity. Food selectivity is characterized as food refusal by type or texture, limited food repertoire and high frequency single food intake. Behavioral programs have been utilized in clinical settings to treat food selectivity including texture fading, blending, stimulus fading, differential reinforcement, escape extinction, simultaneous presentation, sequential presentation, and choice arrangements. The purpose of this study was to increase variety of food in 2 children diagnosed with ASD through a home program. Ethan is a 6-year-old male who was referred to intensive feeding therapy for severe food selectivity. His treatment included escape extinction, response cost, and positive reinforcement. Anna was a 7-year-old female who was initially diagnosed with ASD at age 3 and was referred for severe foods selectivity and poor nutrition. Her treatment included noncontingent reinforcement, choice arrangements, and escape extinction. Results showed that both participants successfully accepted a larger variety of foods at age-appropriate portions once treatment was implemented across several months. Data will be discussed in relation to behavioral mechanism responsible for behavior change.
 
159. A Quantitative Evaluation of Caregiver Training.
Domain: Applied Research
FARIS RASHAD KRONFLI (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Samantha Schultz (University of Florida)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: We assessed and treated problem behavior with one individual diagnosed with autism and analyzed the data using the matching law. First, an initial observation was conducted in the individual’s home to identify contexts that were likely to evoke problem behavior. Second, a functional analysis was conducted and results suggested that problem behavior was sensitive to social positive reinforcement. Third, functional communication training and differential reinforcement were implemented to reduce problem behavior and teach alternative, appropriate behavior. Fourth, the caregiver was taught to implement the treatment and a post-observation was conducted in the home identical to the initial observation. Last, an analysis of the initial and post-observations was conducted using equation one of the matching law. A shift in the child’s response allocation was observed from problem behavior to appropriate behavior, matching the relative rate of reinforcement provided by the caregiver. Results further demonstrate the generality of the matching law and provide a more fine-grained description of the caregiver training process.
 
160. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Desensitization and Differential Reinforcement in the Treatment of Dog Phobia in an Individual with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIN LEFEVRE (Melmark), Elizabeth Dayton (Melmark), Lauren M. Palmieri (Temple University)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at increased risk of anxiety and anxiety disorders (Steensel, Bogels, & Perrin, 2011). Evidence also suggests that around 30% of individuals with ASD also receive a diagnosis of clinical phobia (Steensel et al, 2011). A number of studies have demonstrated that there is an increase in heart rate in the presences of a feared stimulus (Heimberg, Hope, Dodge, & Becker, 1990, Marks & Huson, 1973; McNeil, Vrana, Melamed, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1993; Nesse et al., 1985; Priganto & Johnson, 1974; Teghtsoonian & Frost, 1982). The present study demonstrates the treatment of dog phobia in a child diagnosed with ASD, intellectual disability, and bipolar disorder. A changing criterion design was employed to determine the effects of desensitization with differential reinforcement. A heart rate monitor was used as a secondary measure at baseline and at the target step. Distance from the dog and frequency of avoidance behavior were also measured. Results indicate a decrease in avoidance behavior while criterion increased. Also, there was an increase in heart rate in the presence of the dog and while engaging in avoidance behavior.
 
161. Teaching Individuals With Autism Listener Skills: A Comparison of Two Different Conditional Discrimination Training Procedures
Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY MARIE DISANTI (Oslo and Akershus University College), Svein Eikeseth (Oslo and Akershus University College), Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Jenna Conrad (The Achievement Center, Pennsylvania, USA), Kortnie Cotter (The Achievement Center, Pennsylvania, USA)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: This study compared two different conditional discrimination procedures for teaching receptive labeling to 3 boys with autism. The two training procedures included: Structured Mix before Counterbalanced Random Rotation (SMCRR) and Counterbalanced Random Rotation (CRR). The SMCRR procedure followed a seven-step procedure involving mass trialing and intermixing of stimuli before CRR. The CRR procedure only involved the last step of the SMCRR procedure. All participants had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and their primary form of communication was through an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device or Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Participants ranged in age from 4-years to 10-years-old. The receptive targets trained across all participants included nouns. Two participants acquired the receptive labels in the SMCRR condition, one participant acquired the receptive labels in the CRR condition, and one participant did not acquire the receptive labels in either of the two conditions. The CRR condition was associated with the highest number of errors and prompts.
 
162. Modifications to Video Model Intervention Improves Acquisition of Social Skills in an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA DAY-WATKINS (Drexel University), Ashley Pallathra (University of Pennsylvania), James E. Connell (Drexel University), Edward Brodkin (University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: There is a scant body of published studies investigating social skills instruction for adults on the autism spectrum (Cappadocia & Weiss, 2011; Williams et al., 2007). This study addresses the research and practice gap with the development and implementation of a new behavioral intervention treatment package consisting of a video model, with role-play, and performance feedback. The goal of the study was to increase four fundamental social skills in an adult diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder . Across eight weekly sessions, Participant A was taught to engage in these skills: approach a group (skill 1); don’t approach a group (skill 2); greet a group (skill 3); and initiate conversation (skill 4). After access to the video model, he repeated role-play trials, and feedback was provided on steps completed correctly and incorrectly. After multiple weeks of not responding, the inter-response time (IRT) was increased from 5 seconds to 20 seconds for skill 1. Participant A demonstrated an increase in correct responses for Skills 1, 3, and 4 after the IRT was increased for just one social skill. In conclusion, increased inter-response times may be necessary for some adults with on the autism spectrum who are developing foundational social skills.
 
163. Using Video Modeling to Teach Sociodramatic Play With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA CLEMENTS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Claire Turbes (University of Nebraska Omaha/University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kendall Lanning (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Sydney Readman (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Core characteristics of autism spectrum disorder include deficits in social communication and repetitive and restrictive activities. One major area of concern is that children with autism spectrum disorder often lack appropriate social-play skills due to stereotypic use of play materials and resistance to change, which markedly impairs their interactions with peers. Given these deficits, when presented with play scenarios that require reciprocal responding to peers (e.g., during sociodramatic play) children with autism spectrum disorder often do not respond appropriately. In this investigation, three children with autism spectrum disorder learned to enact three different roles within a restaurant scenario using video modeling and prompting. All individuals watched a video of their therapists performing a restaurant scenario consisting of three restaurant roles; customer, waiter, and cook. If a child was not able to enact a role to criterion responding after watching the video, we used client-specific prompting procedures to teach the child to complete their roles in the restaurant scenario. All three children learned to enact all three roles, often with minimal to no prompting from the therapist.
 
164. Embedding Functional Analysis into the Naturally Occurring School Schedule
Domain: Applied Research
ANNA BUTLER (The University of Georgia), Rachel Cagliani (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: The study describes the use of functional analysis in the naturally occurring school schedule. Teachers and other school personnel often are not able to locate alternative locations to conduct assessments, and may need to conduct a functional analysis in order to determine the function of the behavior as soon as possible. Although this methodology may not be able to control for certain variables like an analog functional analysis, it is potentially more ecologically valid. Operant behavioral functions were found for three participants in which the FA conditions were embedded into their naturally occurring school day.
 
165. A Comparison of Phoneme Arrangements during Receptive Labeling Tasks
Domain: Applied Research
RICHELLE ELIZABETH HURTADO (University of North Texas), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: A common curricular goal in early intervention programs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is learning new auditory-visual discriminations or receptive language. One component of any receptive language program is that the learner must discriminate between different auditory stimuli. However, previous research suggests that individuals with autism may have difficulty discriminating between auditory stimuli. Yet, little research has examined how auditory stimulus discriminability can affect the acquisition of auditory-visual conditional discrimination during receptive language tasks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of two different auditory stimulus or spoken word arrangements during a matching-to-sample task. We used an alternating treatment design and assigned one-syllable words into two instructional sets: target sets contained three one-syllable words with either similar onsets and dissimilar rimes or dissimilar onsets with similar rimes. Results suggest that participants acquired auditory-visual conditional discriminations more efficiently when vocally-presented words had dissimilar or discrepant rimes.
 
166. Addressing Stimulus Overselectivity during Tact Training with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
BRITTANY BENITEZ (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Samantha Bergmann (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ), Gabriella Van Den Elzen (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee), Mary Halbur (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), Sophie Knutson (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences)
Abstract: Stimulus overselectivity involves responding to a restricted range of features of a stimulus and can impede acquisition of skills when attending to multiple features is necessary for learning to occur. For example, when learning to tact red square, both red and square must control responding. A five-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was not making sufficient progress with a program designed to teach tact-intraverbal responses to color and shape. He typically responded with color, suggesting stimulus overselectivity. Thus, we evaluated several procedural modifications to attempt to resolve stimulus overselectivity. Both error correction and the addition of a differential observing response did not resolve restricted stimulus control. Next, we implemented a sorting task. The client sorted by shape and color in isolation but not when feature trials were mixed. Sorting did not resolve stimulus overselectivity during the original tact-intraverbal trials of color and shape. Then, we taught color and shape classes as pure intraverbals and modeled varied responding without the visual stimuli present. Following mastery of pure intraverbals, the client was able to acquire color and shape as a tact-intraverbal. The possible behavioral mechanisms underlying the success of intraverbal training on resolving stimulus overselectivity will be discussed.
 
167. The Use of a Stimulus Fading Procedure to Teach Mand Discrimination Across Contexts
Domain: Service Delivery
ANDREW SODAWASSER (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Todd M. Owen (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Appropriate communication is a common concern across many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. This study examines the use of a stimulus fading procedure with picture cards to increase functional communication for an 8-year-old boy with ASD. We taught mands (i.e., swing, iPad, physical attention) using a multiple baseline design across three mand contexts. During baseline, the client scrolled through various mands that were not under stimulus control of the context. To achieve stimulus control, we taught functional mands in the form of a card exchange using three picture cards (76.2 by 127.0 mm). We then used a systematic stimulus fading procedure to teach discrimination between the distractor card and target card within each context. Results indicated that following implementation of the fading procedure in the first context, the client engaged in discriminated card exchanges. Next, we implemented the fading procedure in the second context. The client met mastery criteria in the subsequent two contexts after briefly (i.e., one fading step) implementing the fading procedure within the second context only. Follow-up data indicated correct mands maintained at high levels while incorrect responses occurred at near-zero levels across the three contexts when all cards were available simultaneously.
 
168. Assessment and Treatment of Non-Functional Chained Vocal Behavior: A Side Effect of Supplemental Vocal Prompts
Domain: Service Delivery
KRISTIN MILLER (Little Star Center), Whitney Westfall (Little Star Center), Maggie Moore (Little Star Center)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The use of supplemental vocal prompts when teaching functional communication may inadvertently shape non-functional chained vocal behaviors. A child with an autism diagnosis within an intensive early intervention program exhibited a chained vocal response. Initially, this learner chained the word “say” with all mands and it was hypothesized that this behavior resulted from supplemental vocal prompts. The treatment plan eliminated the use of supplemental vocal prompts but the behavior persisted. Soon, the chained response began to occur before all vocal behavior. To address the pervasiveness of the chained response, an alternating treatments design was conducted to compare the percent of trials with the chained response in baseline to differential reinforcement, and differential reinforcement plus escape extinction conditions. In baseline, the learner emitted the chained response an average of 92% of trials. Once the two treatments were implemented in an alternating treatment design, it was found that both interventions were effective at reducing the behavior to 10% of trials or less, but differential reinforcement plus escape extinction required 2 fewer sessions to produce results. Following the assessment, differential reinforcement plus escape extinction was implemented and was effective at reducing the frequency of the chained vocal response by 90% for all vocal behavior.
 
169. An Evaluation of Shaping Procedures to Treat Routine Problem Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
CATI RAE MILLER (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Christina Simmons (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Carrie E Hoeser (UNMC MMI), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Ritualized, restricted, and repetitive behaviors are a primary feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the current study, a 14-year-old male with ASD attended a severe behavior day treatment clinic for the assessment and treatment of aggression, disruption, and noncompliance that we determined were maintained by access to routines. We conducted a systematic evaluation of shaping procedures across two different contexts to address problem behavior that occurred as part of his routine. In Study 1, we used shaping procedures to address a routine incontinent void that occurred daily in the same context and location. During baseline, we determined the percent of continent voids occurring in the bathroom and the location of incontinent voids. Following unsuccessful consequence-based interventions, shaping procedures resulted in elimination of incontinent voids and low rates of other topographies of problem behavior. Study 2 evaluated the use of shaping procedures to address routine aggression towards therapists that occurred in the same context and location. Shaping procedures resulted in elimination of routine aggression and low rates of other topographies of problem behavior compared to baseline sessions. These data suggest that shaping procedures can be used to eliminate problem behavior that occurs as part of a routine.
 
170. A Comparison of Trial Arrangement Procedures in Children With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIN M. ALBERT (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Sandhya Rajagopal (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Tamara L. Pawich (Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology), Amelia Dressel (Florida Institute of Technology, The Scott Center for Autism Treatment)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Improving the rate of acquisition and maintenance of skills taught to children with autism through discrete trial instruction is an important focus for behavior analytic researchers. Prior research showed massed-trial instruction (i.e., several back-to-back repetitions of acquisition targets) is more efficient than task interspersal (i.e., presenting previously mastered skills between acquisition targets). Less research has been conducted on a commonly recommended procedure known as task variation, sometimes called mixing and varying across the operants. The current study combines and extends these lines of research by comparing the efficiency of two trial arrangement procedures for skill acquisition. In the serial condition, all targets from a single program (e.g., tact) are taught during session 1, then all targets from the next program (e.g., listener) in session 2, and all targets from the third program (e.g., intraverbal) are taught during session 3. In the varied condition, acquisition targets across the 3 programs are interspersed within each of the 3 sessions (i.e., tact, listener, and intraverbal mixed together). A combined adapted alternating treatment and multiple probe design was used with a 3-year-old boy with autism to compare these arrangements across percentage correct per target, trials to criterion, and cumulative number of targets mastered.
 
171. An Analysis of Toilet-training Procedures Recommended for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
YUHUI WANG (Florida Autism Center), Brandon C Perez (University of Florida), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other intellectual disabilities are commonly asked for assistance with toilet training. To date, we have recommended evidence-based toilet training procedures. However, we do not know whether the procedures are best for children with ASD. Greer et al. (2016) evaluated the effectiveness of three typical components presented within a toilet training package: sit schedule, underwear vs. diapers (or pull ups), and differential reinforcement. These components were evaluated with 19 typically-developing children and one child diagnosed with ASD. The aim of the current study is to 1) evaluate the generality of the procedures implemented by Greer et al. with children with ASD. 2) to empirically evaluate elimination patterns to allow researchers to identify modifications necessary for individualized toilet training. It is hypothesized that the treatment package proposed by Greer et al. (2016) will be effective for only some subjects. For those that the treatment package is ineffective, elimination patterns will assist in determining potential modifications (i.e., increasing fluid intake, increasing scheduled sits, increasing sit duration, etc.). The proposed study will create a tool for caregivers and professionals to effectively toilet train children with ASD and related disabilities.
 
172. Teaching Quantity Discrimination to a Child with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDER CLARKE (Mississippi State University), Molly Butts (Mississippi State University ), Kasee Stratton-Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Early numeracy skills are an important prerequisite for future academic success (Gersten & Chard, 1999). Unfortunately, some individuals have more difficulties acquiring these skills than others. Specifically, some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may display more complications learning early numeracy skills than typically developing individuals. One early numeracy skill, Quantity Discrimination, has been less studied in the research literature when investigating interventions to teach individuals with ASD is quantity discrimination. Quantity discrimination is the ability to differentiate numbers as bigger or smaller than other numbers. The purpose of the current study was to explore the effectiveness of two interventions to teach quantity discrimination to a child with ASD. The participant of the current study was a 9-year-old African American male diagnosed with ASD. In this study, Direct Instruction and Direct Instruction plus Self-Monitoring were implemented within a combined simple phase change design. The results of the current study suggested Direct Instruction plus Self-Monitoring was an effective intervention in teaching quantity discrimination to a child with ASD.
 
173. Functional Analysis of Refusal to Drink from an Open Cup
Domain: Applied Research
LAURA SENN (Florida Institute of Technology), Andrew Morgan (FIT), Ronald Clark (Florida Institute of Technology), Lauren Dill (Florida Institute of Technology), Alex Forton (Florida Institute of Technology), Samuel Shvarts (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Escape is commonly found to be the function of refusal behaviors related to feeding; however it can sometimes be unclear whether an individual is attempting to escape the food item itself or the method of delivery. We evaluated refusal of an open cup with two 4-year-old boys diagnosed with autism whose only liquid consumption was a milk-Pediasure mixture from a baby bottle. When presented with an open cup the boys would turn their head away and engage in disruptions such as pushing the cup away and covering their mouth. A functional analysis using alternating liquids indicated that refusal behavior for both boys was maintained by escape. It was unclear for both whether refusal was maintained by the removal of an open cup or the removal of novel liquids. We extended the functional analysis using a milk-Pediasure mixture and presenting the bottle contingent on refusal behavior and noncontingently during presentation of the cup. For both boys, the extended sessions demonstrated that the cup itself evoked refusal behavior, even when containing a preferred liquid.
 
174. Effects of High-Probability Request Sequence Topographies on Mealtime Compliance for a Child with Food Refusal
Domain: Applied Research
KASEY WESTON (Central Michigan University), Brian Davis (Central Michigan University), Seth W. Whiting (Central Michigan University)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The use of high-probability request sequences has been shown to increase compliance and engagement in low-probability responses across academic targets and with other behaviors such as taking bites of less-preferred foods. However, little research has been conducted on how the topography of the high-p behaviors influence the likelihood of compliance with lower probability requests. The present study compared the effects of high-p request sequences including similar topography (taking bites of high-probability food items) and dissimilar topography (gross motor behaviors) on food selectivity. A four-year old boy with autism receiving intensive services two days per week with a history of food refusal and extensive meal durations participated. In baseline, the participant required between 9 and 34 minutes to complete snack time by consuming five bites of foods identified as low-p items (muffins and cereal pieces). Preliminary data suggests that similar topography high-p sequences including requests to eat high-preferred items, decreased total snack times to an average of 90.5 seconds. An additional condition will include gross motor high-p requests to examine differences between topographies and their influence on eating times.
 
175. The Effects of a Flowchart on the Procedural Integrity of a Behavioral Intervention for Educational Staff
Domain: Applied Research
LINDSAY MORIN (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Procedural integrity is the extent to which interventions are implemented as prescribed. The present study evaluated the effects of a procedural flowchart reviewed by educational staff prior to implementation of a token economy system with children with autism spectrum disorders. An A-B case study design was used to compare components completed correctly during baseline and after the flowchart was introduced. Participants demonstrated an increase in percentage of steps implemented correctly during the intervention condition compared to the baseline condition. The results offer a practical procedure that may be used in schools to support educators’ implementation of behavioral interventions.
 
176. Negative Reinforcer Value Manipulations for Treating Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior
Domain: Applied Research
DANIEL FREDERICKS (New England Center for Children & Western New England University), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Jacqueline Marra (New England Center for Children & Western New England University)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of an alternative response (DRA) without extinction may have clinical utility when practitioners cannot successfully implement extinction (Hagopian & Thompson, 1999). DRA for compliance without extinction, when both compliance and problem behavior result in equal durations of escape, has been found to be ineffective (Lalli et al., 1999). By contrast, the use of longer durations of escape for compliance relative to problem behavior has been found successful in increasing compliance and decreasing problem behavior for one participant (Athens & Vollmer, 2010). Given the potential utility of this approach in increasing compliance and decreasing problem behavior without the use of arbitrary reinforcers, we sought to further evaluate this approach. Specifically, we evaluated the effects of manipulating large versus small differential escape durations during DRA without extinction for two participants with escape-maintained problem behavior. Results for both participants showed successful treatment outcomes during the large differential escape duration condition. These findings indicate that increasing the escape duration for compliance relative to problem behavior may facilitate treatment of escape-maintained problem behavior when implementing DRA without extinction. Reliability was collected for 33% of sessions and averaged 95% for problem behavior.
 
177. Social Validity of a Multimodal Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive-like Behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY GUERTIN (Brock University), nancy leathen (Brock University), Heather Yates (University of Manitoba), Maurice Feldman (Centre for Applied Disability Studies, Brock University), Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Discussant: Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Social validity is a crucial consideration for evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment (Baer, Wolf, and Risley, 1987). Research has identified a positive relationship between therapeutic alliance—a component of social validity—and treatment outcomes (Krupnick et al., 1996). Limited research has evaluated the social validity of treatment programs addressing Obsessive Compulsive-like behaviors. In the present study, 31 children (ages 7 to 12 years) with Autism Spectrum Disorder attended a 9-week, manualized functional behavior-based cognitive behavioral therapy program as part of a randomized control trial to treat Obsessive Compulsive-like behaviors. At post-treatment, parents (N = 27) completed a consumer satisfaction questionnaire that consisted of 9 questions on a 7-point Likert-type scale. The treatment-specific questionnaire evaluated individual components of the therapy including homework, therapeutic alliance, behavioral skills training, and data collection. Overall, parents were generally satisfied with the effectiveness of the treatment (M = 5.67, SD = 1.59). Satisfaction with the therapists delivering therapy was the highest rated component (M = 6.04, SD = 1.19). While indicating general satisfaction with daily data collection procedures, parents showed lesser satisfaction with this component (M = 5.37, SD = 1.74). Implications of social validity for effective treatment of Obsessive Compulsive-like behaviors will be discussed.
 
178. A Matched Stimulation Intervention to Reduce Diurnal Bruxism
Domain: Applied Research
HANNAH EVERTSEN (The Sage Colleges; Family Support Center), Shasta Brenske (MS, BCBA)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: This poster will discuss the use of a matched stimulation intervention to reduce the frequency of diurnal bruxism for a six year old, female diagnosed with a primary diagnosis of autistic disorder. The function of bruxism was hypothesized to be automatic reinforcement. An alternating treatment design was used in which external and internal stimulation was applied to the clients mouth using a vibrating chewy. Prior to intervention, the subject's bruxism occurred 97.5% of the time sampled. The alternating treatment design was conducted over a period of 14 sessions. Results concluded that there was no significant difference between interventions. Overall, bruxism reduced by 52.83% during treatment conditions. In conclusion, this intervention was effective in reducing bruxism adds to previous research that suggests external pressure may be helpful in decreasing diurnal bruxism. This stimulation may need to be paired with a verbal directive such as No (response interruption) to reduce bruxism to a near zero level.
 
179. Comparing the Effects of Traditional and Embedded DTT on Responding for a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Domain: Applied Research
GABRIELLA ULLOA (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Shaji Haq (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Amy Williams (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Jessica O'Donnell (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Naomi Melendez (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Problem behavior (e.g., elopement) maintained jointly by attention and escape from instructional tasks could pose major challenges during skill acquisition programs within a traditional model of discrete-trial training (DTT). Traditional DTT typically involves the presentation of instructional targets and reinforcement at a table; embedded DTT occurs during a naturalistic, play-based environment (Geiger et al., 2012). This study evaluated the efficacy of two treatment packages on frequency of elopement and responding to instructional targets, using a reversal ABAB design, within the context of home-based, early intervention services for one child with autism spectrum disorder. The treatment package which included embedded DTT resulted in immediate reductions of elopement and higher levels of responding to instructional targets compared to a treatment package including traditional DTT. Moreover, patterns of responding maintained when novel stimuli were introduced during embedded DTT. The results will be discussed in light of research and recommendations for clinical practice.
 
180. Teaching Wh-Concepts to a Child with Autism Using Equivalence-Based Instruction
Domain: Applied Research
JAMIE FITZGERALD (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Stephanie Ventura (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: We designed an equivalence-based protocol to determine if receptive and expressive identification of wh-concepts would emerge following EBI. A pretest/posttest experimental design was used to examine the effects of teaching specific conditional relations among stimuli representing wh-concepts (i.e., who, what, and where), on the emergence of untaught relations, as well as receptive and expressive identification of wh-concepts in sentences as well as sorting tasks. Equivalence stimuli consisted of the name of the category (who, what, where, and when) the meaning (i.e. person, place, thing, and day), and pictures representing the category. A matchto-sample protocol using a linear training structure (A-B, B-C) was used. Pretests were conducted for all relations and with the exception of C-B, scored at or below 50%. During the posttest for all relations the participant responded at or above 80%. During a pretest for sorting pictures into who, what, when, and where categories the participant responded correctly on % of the trials. The participant responded correctly on 100% of the trials during the posttest for sorting. During the pretest for expressively identifying WH concepts in sentences, the participant responded correctly on 25% of the trials, however after EBI this only increased to 50%. Similarly, when asked to receptively identify (i.e., point) to Wh-concepts in sentences, the participant responded correctly on 0% of the trials in the pretest; responding increased to only 60% on the posttest. We conducted 3 additional EBI sessions and discrete trial sessions and correct responding increased to 100%. Although new relations emerged following EBI and the task for sorting pictures into WH categories emerged as well, the participant still could not demonstrated other receptive or expressive identification tasks when the WH-concepts were in the contexts of sentences. Future training sets might include sentences as equivalence stimuli used during training. Implications for the limits of EBI with this learner are discussed. Contact
 
181. Duration of Treatment and Recurrence of Food Refusal
Domain: Applied Research
DENISE PICHARDO (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: We examined changes in the rate of inappropriate and percentage of appropriate mealtime behavior during a behavioral intervention subjected to differential levels of exposure to treatment and subsequent reversals. Four children diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder experienced treatment that was made progressively longer (i.e., 5, 10, and 20-consecutive treatment sessions) prior to each reversal to determine the long-term effects of multiple reversals on the rate of inappropriate mealtime behavior. Results indicated that, for all participants, appropriate mealtime behavior (e.g., acceptance) remained low during each reversal to baseline and inappropriate mealtime behavior remained high and decreased when treatment was introduced. Additionally, for 2 of 4 the participants, treatments effects were more robust with extended exposure.
 
182. A Simple Intervention for Stereotypical Engagement With a Communicative Device
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER LYNN COOK (Monarch House), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), Carla Burji (Monarch House), Catherine McHugh (Monarch House), Raluca Nuta (Monarch House)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Although electronic devices may enhance the effectiveness of some behavioral interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), such devices may also give rise to problem behavior such as repetitious button pressing. We showed that a child with ASD only displayed high levels of stereotypical button pressing on an iPad when presses generated auditory output. Subsequently, we showed that when the participant used the iPad without auditory output, his stereotypical behavior decreased and his manding for various items simultaneously increased. Finally, we provided a questionnaire to family and staff members to measure the social validity of this intervention to decrease button pressing while maintaining the functional utility for the participant to mand with the device.
 
183. Examining Early Learning Rate as a Predictor of Outcome in an Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention Program
Domain: Applied Research
MARIA PONGOSKI (Manitoba Association for Behaviour Analysis, University of Manitoba), Genevieve N. Roy-Wsiaki (Université de Saint Boniface), C.T. Yu (University of Manitoba), Morena Miljkovic (University of Manitoba )
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI) has been extensively studied as an intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and results consistently demonstrate its effectiveness. Previous research has identified a need to examine potential predictors of outcome for children enrolled in EIBI programs, including IQ, age at intake, and adaptive behaviour, but few studies have examined early learning rate as a predictor variable. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the reliability of early learning rate as a predictor of outcome for children diagnosed with ASD who received EIBI treatment. To do so, a one-way MANOVA will be conducted with archived data obtained for 254 children from the St.Amant Autism Early Learning Programs. Cognitive functioning, adaptive behaviour, and autism symptoms have been selected as the standardized outcome measures. Based on previous findings, I predict that faster acquisition rates will be associated with greater improvements in outcome measures after 1 year of EIBI treatment. These results have important clinical implications. If service providers can utilize various potential predictors to determine expected outcomes, they may be more efficient in creating individualized training programs that are a better match to the children’s abilities and needs.
 
184. The Effectiveness of Using Transfer of Stimulus Control in Teaching Intraverbal Behaviors, Leading to Novel or Untrained Intraverbal Responses
Domain: Applied Research
AFIFA SALIM MAGRAM (IME MAIA, France), ANA BIBAY (IME Maia, France)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The study was completed to evaluate the effects of systematically using transfer of stimulus control procedures to teach intraverbals to 3 boys with autism, between 10 and 14 years old. An echoic to tact to intraverbal transfer procedures was combined. The literature suggests that transfer of stimulus control is generally effective in teaching intraverbal behavior (Braam & Poling, 1983; Luciano, 1986; Miguel, et al., 2005; Partington & Bailey, 1993; Sundberg, et al., 1990; Watkins, et al., 1989). Training procedures often generated novel or untrained intraverbal responses (Braam & Poling, 1983; Luciano, 1986; Miguel, et al., 2005; Partington & Bailey, 1993; Watkins, et al., 1989). A multiple baseline design was employed in order to demonstrate experimental control over the acquisition of the intraverbal responses. Baseline data was collected on five intraverbal responses per category consisting of where questions. In baseline, all the subjects made no response or incorrect responses, such as echoing the teachers verbal stimuli. Only three intraverbal responses per category were directly targeted for teaching. No intraverbal were trained for the fourth and fifth verbal stimulus in order to determine if generalization would occur. Daily probe data were collected in the subjects classroom. Incorrect responses, no response in three seconds, or self-correction by subject were all considered incorrect responses. All three subjects acquired the intraverbal responses by using transfer of stimulus control procedures and differential reinforcement, after the second week of commencement of teaching. A generalization/ follow up phase (1 week later) indicates that the learners had retained the intraverbal responses, and mastered correct intraverbal responses to novel or untaught verbal stimuli. Interobserver agreement, was assessed by having a second observer simultaneously but independently record data, during a minimum of 30% of all sessions.
 
185. The Effects of Continuous and Intermittent Schedules of Reinforcement on the Acquisition, Maintenance and Generalization of Responses Taught to a Young Child with Autism
Domain: Service Delivery
TAYLOR SEIDLER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ainsley B. Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Staheli Meyer (University of Nevada, Reno), Emily Taylor (University of Nevada, Reno), Teal McAllister (University of Nevada, Reno), Alex Nieto (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: The thoughtful use of schedules of reinforcement is important in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) programs, particularly when establishing skills where generalization, resistance to extinction, and retention are valued. Despite the importance of schedules of reinforcement in clinical practice, a review of schedule effects in the applied literature reveals that a systematic analysis of schedules in applied settings has not been well documented. However, many practitioners working with children diagnosed with autism often report the effects of ratio strain, a decrease in the frequency and/or accuracy of the target response, which results from a schedule of reinforcement thinning too rapidly. The present study assessed the effects of different schedules of reinforcement throughout phases of instruction in discrete trials teaching for two children diagnosed with autism enrolled in EIBI programs. Specifically, trials to acquisition and performance in maintenance and generalization tasks will be examined for responses taught using two instructional procedures: 1) Continuous, in which the target response is continuously reinforced on an FR1 throughout teaching phases, and 2) Thinned, in which the schedule of reinforcement is thinned from an FR1 to a VR3 gradually throughout teaching phases. Implications for clinical practice and a discussion of future research will be provided.
 
186. Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Abduction- Prevention Skills to Children with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN ASHLEY LEVESQUE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jessica Niemeier (UNMC Munroe- Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Although the abduction of a child by an unknown adult is unlikely to occur in a child’s lifetime, the consequences are serious and devastating. In response to recent reports of an abduction in the area, we sought to replicate previous research on using behavior skills training (BST) to teach abduction-prevention skills to children with autism by demonstrating its efficacy during in-situ probes across four different types of lures delivered by unknown adults. In addition, because undesirable generalization to known adults may occur, particularly with children with autism, we extended this literature by testing the effects of our training on following matched instructions to leave with known adults. No feedback was provided during in-situ probes. Participants learned to engage in appropriate safety behavior when presented with a lure from an unknown adult; however, undesirable generalization was observed with the known adult. We plan to include additional participants as well as assess procedures for addressing undesirable generalization to known adults test. *Data collection is ongoing
 
187. Effectiveness of Listening Preview in an Individual with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
JORDAN CUMMINS PARKER (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: This research evaluated the effectiveness of a reading intervention using Dolch sight words. The individual was a 15-year-old, African American male with a diagnosis of Autism. The academic intervention was completed during a 4-week program that targets academics as well as social skills. This individual has minimal academic skills, and his word recognition was targeted to improve these skills. During the intervention, he was given a modified version of listening passage preview. This version incorporated flashcards instead of a full passage. The flashcards were read to him in groups to avoid fatigue. When the flashcards were completed, he was instructed to read the same words back to the instructor. During baseline, his average percent correct was below 20%. After the first phase of intervention was implemented, he showed an increase in percent correct. When the intervention was withdrawn, his percent correct decreased, but he still showed an increase form the initial baseline. The increase from the first baseline could be an acquisition of skill. The final phase showed another increase in percent correct. The implementation of this intervention showed that a modified version of listening passage preview could have strong positive effects on individuals with minimal academic skills.
 
188. Effects of Video Modeling on Initiating Bids for Children with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
CORALYS DEL MAR SANCHEZ (Florida Institute of Technology), Adam Thornton Brewer (Florida Institute of Technology), Justine Henry (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Kristine Boozer (Nova Southeastern University)
Discussant: Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Joint attention is considered an important developmental milestone socially and in promoting language (Rudy et al., 2014). To evaluate the effectiveness of video modeling (VM) on bids for joint attention in children with autism, we used a multiple probe design across participants. Video modeling consisted of a therapist demonstrating three components of a bid for joint attention with a conversational partner: orienting/pointing towards the object, a vocal statement, and eye gaze shift. Results indicated that VM alone was not effective in teaching any of the components of a bid for joint attention for one participant. Additionally, it was not effective in teaching an eye gaze shift or a vocal statement for the second participant, but did slightly increase pointing and orienting. Further components (i.e. VM, in-vivo prompting for pointing/orienting, and in-vivo prompting of complete bid) were needed to increase independent responding in both participants. These findings suggest that VM alone may not be an effective intervention for some children with autism when teaching joint attention; additional teaching strategies may be needed.
 
189. Practice Makes perfect: Appropriate Social Skills and Skill Generalization in a Mock Preschool Setting
Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA COSGRIFF (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Previous research has indicated developing appropriate social skills is crucial during the pre-school age and can negatively impact social, academic and behavioral skills (Brown, Odom & Conroy, 2001). Children who begin school with poor social skills can experience social problems such as peer rejection (McClelland, Morrison, 2003). Therefore, appropriate social skills are important for developing positive social interactions amongst peers. This study measured the social behaviors of four pre-school aged children before receiving and after receiving direct instruction, modeling and appropriate practice of social skills. The purpose of this study was to determine if engaging in positive social behaviors through practice would generalize during free-play in a mock pre-school setting. Participants in this study were verbal and non-verbal with or without a diagnosis of ASD. Results of this study suggest that the use of direct instruction, modeling and practice of appropriate social behaviors was effective in the generalization of some appropriate social skills. Participants received positive praise as well as tangibles for engaging in appropriate social behaviors. Inter-observer agreement was collected across each child three times throughout intervention. Data was analyzed across a total of 13 trials. Implications and future research will be discussed.
 
190. The Degree of Social Validity and Generality of Effects Obtained in Teaching Sportsmanship Skills to Children with Autism
Domain: Applied Research
MAEGAN D. PISMAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kevin C. Luczynski (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Melissa Bowen (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Ami J. Kaminski (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: One opportunity for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to interact with peers includes tabletop games (e.g., Candyland). We used a multiple baseline design across subjects, who were three children aged 6 to 8, to demonstrate the efficacy of behavioral skills training, and we assessed generality of the effects across board games. We also assessed treatment extension to playing games with a peer. A reduction in problem behavior and increase in appropriate behavior was observed across all subjects, with some subjects exhibiting immediate generalization to other games. Next, we obtained measures of social validity from BCBA-Ds with experience in publishing research on social skills, who did not know the children. We asked each respondent to view preteaching and postteaching videos and respond to a question regarding their satisfaction with the child’s interactions with the therapist or peer and the game materials. We ordered the videos in a manner that allowed us to obtain social-validity measures with and without the children’s preteaching performance serving as an anchor for respondents’ ratings. When a novel intervention is implemented, measures of social validity are important for refining procedures and improving the clinical application of the outcomes.
 
191. A Fixed-ratio Schedule to Increase the Acceptance of Non-preferred Foods
Domain: Service Delivery
DOMINIQUE MICHELLEE ROUGEAU (McNeese State University), Megan Cross (McNeese State University)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Eating a variety of food is critical to maintain overall health; individuals who avoid a large number of foods, or in some cases, whole food groups, may have a range of physiological problems. The purpose of this intervention was to increase the amount of non-preferred food accepted by a learner at the McNeese Autism Program. The learner was a 4 year old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder whose diet was limited to 7 to 10 preferred foods. Due to health concerns, an A-B design was utilized. The intervention consisted of delivering preferred foods contingent on successful eating of non-preferred foods, on a FR1 schedule. Initially, during baseline phase, the learner did not accept non-preferred foods, averaging 0% of non-preferred food eaten per session. Results demonstrated that non-preferred food acceptance averaged at 100% per session near the conclusion of the intervention. Following the intervention, food acceptance generalized to a variety of non-preferred foods, as well as novel foods, in the clinical setting. Furthermore, guardians reported generalization with eating novel foods in various environments outside of the clinic.
 
192. A comparison of fidelity of two parent-implemented vocabulary interventions for younger learners with autism spectrum disorder
Domain: Applied Research
QUANNAH PARKER-MCGOWAN (University of Minnesota), Joe Reichle (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: The current study examined fidelity over time of two parent-implemented interventions designed to teach novel vocabulary items to three young children (3;3-5;11) with autism spectrum disorder. Additional dependent variables included: (a) rate of vocabulary item acquisition; (b) learner generalization; and (c) learner maintenance. One intervention required the parent to initiate teaching opportunities while the other intervention relied on the child to initiate teaching opportunities. Both interventions utilized mand, model, and time delay strategies within two different structured play scenarios. Three novel vocabulary items were taught within each of the two play scenarios. One replication was conducted for each parent-child dyad. Visual analysis of the data was conducted within participants. Results showed that all parents exhibited a degrading trend in intervention fidelity across experimental conditions. All participants acquired all vocabulary items across sets, though rate of acquisition differed between conditions. Results from generalization probes using storybooks were mixed. Two participants showed modest generalization across materials while one participant did not demonstrate generalization of vocabulary within a different medium. Maintenance probe results were also mixed, however, all participants showed a decreasing trend across vocabulary items. Implications for practice and research are discussed, as are study limitations.
 
193. Decreasing Inappropriate Vocal Behavior and Promoting Community Independence in an Adolescent with Autism
Domain: Service Delivery
Leigh Cooper (NYC Autism Charter School), JENNIFER JAYE (NYC Autism Charter School), Rebecca Wells (NYC Autism Charter School)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Enhancing personal safety skills in individuals with autism is critical to increasing community membership and independence in adulthood. While there is emerging literature in this area, to date there is limited research on teaching socially mediated safety skills in a community setting. The current study examined the effects of a differential reinforcement of low rates of behavior procedure to decrease inappropriate vocal behavior with strangers in an adolescent with autism as he learned to independently ride a New York City public bus. Over the course of treatment, the adolescent gained access to greater degrees of independence when riding the public bus as lower rates of inappropriate vocal behavior were demonstrated. Results indicate that this intervention package successfully decreased inappropriate vocal behavior with others in the community. Furthermore, this change in behavior was maintained for six months during which the adolescent regularly traveled independently on the public bus. This suggests that the functional nature of the reinforcer may have played an important role in the success of the differential reinforcement procedure.
 
194. The Effect of Lag Schedules of Reinforcement on Social Skill Accuracy and Accurate Variability
Domain: Service Delivery
WILLIAM FORD (University of Southern Mississippi), Kate Helbig (University of Southern Mississippi), Keith Radley III (University of Southern Mississippi), James Moore (University of Southern Mississippi), Evan Dart (University of Southern Mississippi)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Although researchers have frequently evaluated strategies for addressing impairments in social communication and social interaction in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), research in promoting social skill variability has received less attention (Wolfe, Slocum, Kunnavatana, 2014). Five participants with ASD between the ages of 10 and 14 attended a twice-weekly social skills group for 8 weeks. A multiple probe design across skills with concurrent replication across participants was utilized to assess the effects of intervention of social skills training using multiple exemplars and lag schedules on social skill variability. Prior to intervention, participants demonstrated low levels of skill accuracy and accurate variability. Training with one and three exemplars of target skills without lag schedules resulted in no to small increases in accurate variability, despite increases in skill accuracy characterized by little overlap relative to baseline levels. Following introduction of lag schedules, substantial increases in social skill variability were observed. In summary, the current study found implementation of the Superheroes Social Skills curriculum without lag schedules to result in increased skill accuracy but limited change in skill variability. Lag schedules were associated with higher levels of variability, with some effects maintained until the conclusion of the study.
 
195. Treating Public Exposure via Antecedent Analysis
Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLY DIGGS (The Autism Community Therapists), Kevin J. Schlichenmeyer (TACT, LLC )
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Using Antecedent Analysis to Treat Public Exposure It is considered best practice in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to conduct a functional analysis prior to intervening on problem behavior. For a nine-year-old with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we conducted an antecedent analysis for a highly concerning class of automatically reinforced problem behavior (i.e., public exposure). First, we verified that public exposure persisted in repeated alone conditions, confirming maintenance by automatic reinforcement. Second, we employed a multielement design to determine if rapid reductions in public exposure would occur via an antecedent manipulation (i.e., response effort with clothing manipulation). Third, we evaluated the intervention across typical therapy sessions via multiple baseline across therapists design. Finally, we evaluated the social validity of our procedures. High parental approval and low levels of exposure during the response effort manipulation suggested a meaningful outcome for our client. Our study provides an example of how clinicians can develop practical and efficient treatment for problem behavior without sacrificing analysis. Interobserver agreement was collected for greater than 65% of sessions and yielded 100% average agreement.
 
196. Use of a Multiple Schedule to Treat Problem Behavior Evoked by Transitions
Domain: Service Delivery
WENDY STRANG (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Todd M. Owen (Munroe Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Many children exhibit high levels of problem behavior when asked to transition from one activity to another (McCord, Thomson, & Iwata, 2001). Determining if problem behavior is evoked by activity change, location change, or both can be difficult. In this study, we exposed a 7-year-old male diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to transitions between activities including a preferred activity (access to a preferred item), a non-preferred activity (e.g., handwriting), and access to therapist attention. Therapists presented each combination of transitions between activities with and without a change in location. Problem behavior resulted in a return to the original activity. Results indicated that problem behavior was evoked by presentation of change in activities, with or without a location change. A treatment for problem behavior was conducted using functional communication training and a multiple schedule to signal the availability of both positive and negative reinforcement in a non-transition context. Therapists then implemented the same treatment package in a replication of the transition assessment, which resulted in low levels of problem behavior throughout the assessment.
 
197. The Displacement of Leisure Items by Edible Items in Stimulus Preference Assessments: A Replication
Domain: Applied Research
SARAH MATHISON (Florida Autism Center), Daniel Conine (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Previous research (Bojak & Carr, 1999; DeLeon, Iwata, & Roscoe, 1997; Fahmie, Iwata, & Jann, 2015) has reported a strong tendency for individuals with developmental disabilities to select edible items more often than leisure items in stimulus preference assessments that present those items together. However, this effect may not replicate in a contemporary population of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) receiving early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services. Several variables (e.g., motivating operations for food, new technology in leisure items) might contribute to different outcomes for this population. Only one prior study on this phenomenon (Fahmie et al., 2015) included children with ASD, who comprised only 5 of 12 subjects in that study. The current study sought to replicate the results of prior research in 19 children with ASD, using multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments. A general overall tendency to select edible items was observed, but to a lesser degree than in prior research. Leisure items were also selected more often overall than in prior studies. These results suggest a need for clinicians currently working with children with ASD to evaluate relative preference for edible and leisure items on an individual basis.
 
198. A Response Cost, DRO, and Stimulus Discrimination to Reduce Stereotypy and Non-compliance
Domain: Service Delivery
DOMINIQUE MICHELLEE ROUGEAU (McNeese Autism Program), Megan Cross (McNeese State University)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: In the natural environment, exhibiting a high level of non-functional, repetitive behaviors can lead to social isolation. Likewise, refusing to comply with instructions can be a safety concern and also lead to difficulties for learners in the academic setting. The purpose of this intervention was to decrease the amount of non-functional speech, noncompliance, and non-functional motor movements exhibited by one child in the McNeese State Autism Program. Additionally, the intervention was aimed at increasing functional speech and compliance with peers and adults. The learner was a 4 year old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers used a noncurrent multiple baseline across behaviors research design. The intervention initially consisted of a response cost procedure with a DRO component. Once stereotypy and noncompliance stabilized, researchers added stimulus discrimination in the form of a red card and green card. In red card condition, engaging in target behaviors would result in the response cost; in the green card condition, the learner could engage in stereotypical behaviors at no cost. Data demonstrates that the frequency of stereotypical motor and vocal behaviors and noncompliance was significantly lower in the intervention phase; moreover, the learner was able to discriminate appropriate times to engage in stereotypical behaviors.
 
199. Increasing Behavioral Persistence in the Context of Treatment Integrity Failures
Domain: Applied Research
AIMEE COURTEMANCHE (New England Center for Children; Western New Engla), Jessica L. Thomason-Sassi (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Brittany LeBlanc (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Abstract: Procedural integrity failures, particularly commission or combined errors, can degrade treatment efficacy and lead to increases in challenging behavior (St. Peter Pipkin, Vollmer, & Sloman, 2010). The current study evaluated the effect of different reinforcement schedules on manding and challenging behavior in the context of procedural integrity failure. A functional analysis was conducted to inform functional communication training. Results of the functional analysis showed that challenging behavior was maintained by access to therapist attention. Differential reinforcement of an alternative response (DRA) was effective in suppressing challenging behavior and produced high, stable rates of mands. Mand training was introduced to establish a more complete mand. Once the mand was established, a history of continuous reinforcement was established before the introduction of systematic integrity failures. A reversal design will be used to compare degradation effects following a history of both continuous and intermittent schedules of reinforcement. After establishing a history with continuous reinforcement, integrity failures will be systematically introduced. Treatment integrity data were collected in 40% of sessions and averaged 100%. Interobserver agreement data were collected in 34% of sessions and averaged 99.7%.
 
200. A Component Analysis of the Use of a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior and Short-term Positive Punishment Procedure as a Method for Reducing Thumb Sucking in a Child With Autism
Domain: Applied Research
MEGAN HINDS (Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention), Scott C. Cross (Lovaas Institute)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: In this case study, the effectiveness of a DRO and a positive punishment procedure were evaluated using a component analysis of both procedures as a method for reducing thumb sucking in a child with autism. One 4.5 year old male with autism participated in this study in a general education school setting. Thumb sucking was measured as a rate and the DRO was evaluated using a percentage of trials for a pre-determined time objective. The DRO was paired with a stimulus cue (e.g., bracelet) so that as the duration increased, the bracelet served as a reminder to maintain the absence of the target behavior. At the end of the study, the participant was able to abstain from the target behavior for 45 minutes using the DRO procedure. The short-term positive punishment procedure consisted of the participants parent applying a bitter cream advertised to reduce nail biting and thumb sucking, to the thumb. A reversal design showed that while thumb sucking reduced with both individual components, the treatment package was most effective with the DRO and positive punishment procedure were implemented synonymously. Thumb sucking reduced from 4.78 times per hour in baseline to .32 times per hour when both components of the treatment packages were implemented. When the punishment procedure was removed, the rate of thumb sucking remained at .49 times per hour. The participant was able to access reinforcement by refraining from the target behavior during the DRO period in 67% of opportunities. Limitations and future research directives are discussed.
 
201. Evaluation of Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer Using a Modified Acquisition Task
Area: PCH; Domain: Applied Research
KARLI SILVERMAN (Florida Institute of Technology), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Alex Forton (Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Stimuli predicting the availability of established reinforcers can acquire the capacity to control behavior. Although traditionally discussed as strengthening of behavior by conditioned reinforcement, it is possible such stimuli might influence behavior only by signaling the availability of other reinforcers. In previous studies, we have shown that praise can maintain a previously acquired response in the absence of the presentation of primary reinforcers, suggesting a potential reinforcing function of praise. The purpose of the current study was to further assess the strengthening versus discriminative function of praise using a modified acquisition task. Two boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) served as participants. Initially, a response assessment was conducted to identify responses occurring at near zero rates in the absence of programmed consequences. Next, a primary reinforcer was delivered contingent on the occurrence of the low rate response, and for both participants response rates increased. Upon demonstrating an increase in responding, a return to extinction was conducted. Finally, for one participant, a praise statement was delivered contingent on the occurrence of the low rate response. No systematic effects were observed in this condition, suggesting lack of strengthening effects of praise.
 
202. Nothing to See Here: Further Investigations of Citations of Foundational Empirical Literatures by Facilitated Communication and Rapid Prompting Advocates
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
JAMES T. TODD (Eastern Michigan University), Ambreen Shahabuddin (Easern Michigan University ), Lauren Acton (Eastern Michigan University)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: A previous search of the facilitated communication (FC) and rapid prompting method (RPM) literatures for citations of technical literature on response prompting found no citations of relevant studies, literature reviews, or other kinds of authoritative statements. This underscored the lack of empirical and technical foundation for FC/RPM practices. This poster extends that analysis to citations to the general literature on applied behavior analysis practices and validated testing methods. The advocates of FC/RPM sometimes say their methods are a "last resort" or a supplement to treatment. Yet, it appears the FC/RPM literatures contain few or no specific references to empirically validated treatments, how they might be used in conjunction with their methods, or how they might be used to enhance training effectiveness. Indeed, an examination of an initial sample of about two dozen articles and books found no specific references to behavior analysis method, barring criticism. We anticipate that further review of this literature will yield few if any references. Our likely findings further reinforce the view the academic FC/RPM advocacy community as significantly divorced from various relevant background literatures, further accounting for its lack of recognition of the problems associated with their methods.
 
203. Toilet Training a 15-Year-Old Student With Autism in a Public School: A Case Study
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
LAURA KENNEALLY (Advance Learning Center)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Toilet training a student with severe autism can be extremely challenging. Toilet training a 15 year old with severe autism in a public high school is additionally challenging with issues of hygiene, social norms, staff expectations, and parental adherence. This case study illustrates a step-by-step process to toilet train a student with challenging behaviors including aggression and high rates of self-stimulatory behavior after years of failure. The student averaged one accident per day and was not viewed favorably by staff. Using a step-by step procedure, which included all stakeholders views, a successful plan was implemented. The student has learned to be schedule trained and has not had a toileting accident in 7 months. The discussion includes: organizational behavior management strategies, treatment and parental adherence to protocals, generalization, and maintenance strategies.
 
204. The Application of Equivalence-Based Instruction for Teaching Academic Skills to Adolescents with Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LEAH VERKUYLEN (Southern Illinois University), Caleb Stanley (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Adolescents are required to learn a variety of academic skills over the course of their educational career. Previous literature on equivalence-based instruction has shown time efficiency of learning new skills compared to direct instruction of the same skills. This research has provided implications that equivalence-based instruction may be more efficient and less time-consuming for teaching more challenging academic material. Prior research has also shown that equivalence-based instruction can be effective for individuals with autism or developmental disabilities. The current study utilized three different stimulus equivalence training procedures to teach a variety of novel academic skills to three adolescents diagnosed with autism in a school setting. All three participants had previously demonstrated the ability to derive complex equivalence relations. History, mathematics, and science skills were targeted for instruction within the study. These skills were taught in multiple stimuli presentation formats including many-to-one, one-to-many, and linear. The procedures were taken from the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge: Equivalence Module curriculum. All three participants demonstrated mastery of the trained relations and an emergence of derived, untrained equivalence relations. The results of the study have implications for the efficacy and utility of equivalence-based instruction within school settings to teach basic and more complex academic skills to adolescents with autism.
 
205. A Parametric Analysis of the Percentile Schedule: Increasing Frequencies of Pre-Academic Behavior
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
STAHELI MEYER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ainsley B. Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Vanessa Willmoth (University of Nevada, Reno), Emily Taylor (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: The percentile schedule is a mathematical equation, which offers a systematic and objective procedure for shaping. The equation for percentile reinforcement is k=(m+1)(1-w) where m is the distribution of observations, w is the probability of reinforcement, and k is the rank the current response must exceed to contact reinforcement. The present study is a parametric analysis of the w variable of the percentile schedule. A multi-element design across responses will be utilized. This analysis will evaluate the differential effects of a range of w values on rates of responding to academic stimuli (letters) by a young child with autism. Responding phonetically to letters is a necessary component to reading. Changes in rates of responding over time are quantified as celeration values, and variability in responding is quantified as bounce. By comparing celeration and bounce of correct responses during training, as well as celeration and bounce of incorrect responses during training we will evaluate response differentiation observed in the various w value conditions. By comparing bounce on retention, endurance, and stability probes we will evaluate differential effects of the w value observed on functional assessments of mastery.
 
206. Implementation of a Pre-school Life Skills Intervention in a Clinical Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MACKENZIE D SIDWELL (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University), Amanda Cosgriff (Mississippi State University), Shengtian Wu (Mississippi State University), Jonathan Tritley (Mississippi State University), Adam Wesleoh (Mississippi State University), Daniel L Gadke (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Prior to beginning kindergarten, it is important for children to gain skills that are crucial for early school success and decrease problem behaviors, such as aggression and non-compliance, as these behaviors can be related to social and academic concerns (Hanley, Heal, Tiger, & Ingvarsson, 2007; Agostin & Bain, 1997). Previous studies (Hanely et al., 2007; Hanley, Fahmie, & Heal, 2014; Luczynski & Hanley, 2014) have found that the implementation of a classwide pre-school life skills (PLS) teaching program across instruction following, functional communication, delay tolerance, and friendship skills to be successful. In order the extend the PLS literature to include solely participants with developmental disabilities, 4 males between the ages of 4 and 5 years old diagnosed with developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were taught targeted skills (responding to name, requesting help or attention, and compliance with one-step instructions) using direct instruction, modeling, and a prompting hierarchy across a multiple baseline design in a mock pre-school program in a clinical setting. Interobserver agreement was collected on 33% of trials. Results from the data collected demonstrated some variability, however, suggested an overall increase in functional communication skills.
 
207. To Be or Not To Be OCD: Conceptualizing and Treating Interfering Ritualistic Responses and Behavioral Rigidity as Restricted Access to Preferred Outcomes.
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Philip L. Concors (ABC Consultants), PATRICIA WILSON (Sussex Consortium), Jessica Joynes (Sussex Consortium)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Rituals, repetitive behavior and rigid adherence to routines are among core criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), therefore comorbid diagnoses of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are often considered controversial. The extant research literature ranges widely in conceptual, explanatory, and theoretical clinical models, yet Functional Behavioral Assessment methods can readily provide pragmatic and systematic analyses of the sequential conditions, distal and proximal antecedents, and consequence events related to interfering behavior that is often described as “compulsive”. In this study, data from various descriptive and experimental evaluations informed a multi-component treatment package for a 9-year-old elementary school student with intense and frequent tantrum, disruptive, aggressive, and self-injurious repertoires related to losing a game, correcting “imperfect” letters and numerals during writing tasks, providing incorrect responses during academic work, and interacting with environmental features that were not in the preferred order, arrangement, or sequence. FBA results suggested that restricted access to desired outcomes (e.g. winning a game, being first in line, writing “perfectly”) reliably occasioned problem episodes. Function-Based Interventions included scheduled access to ordering/sequencing activities, contrived conditions that provided repeated exposure to aversive outcomes (e.g. losing), and Functional Communication Training to increase requests for desired outcomes while concurrently shaping tolerance.
 
208. Peers, an Overlooked Resource for Supporting Children With Autism in Schools
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
APRIL N. HAAS (Texas A&M University), Julie L. Thompson (Texas A&M University)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Students with autism are increasingly served in the general education setting. Due to this, schools are in need of more cost- and resource-effective strategies to increase academic performance in students with autism. Common practice is to use paraprofessionals which in return can be costly, inefficient, and stigmatizing as noted in the literature. Peer-mediated instruction has been shown to be effective in increasing academic performance for students with disabilities and their typically-developing peers. In addition, using peers may be a more socially valid way to increase independence, and reduce stigmas. The use of peer mediated instruction has also shown to increase social skills in children with autism. This poster explores the research used to teach children with autism using peer-mediated instruction.
 
209. Embedding Non-Target Information Into Daily Instruction as Instructive Feedback: A Review of the Literature
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
SUSANNE ALBARRAN (The University of Texas at Austin Department of Special Education), Micheal Sandbank (The University of Texas at Austin Department of Special Education)
Discussant: Lauren K. Schnell (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Instructive Feedback (IF) involves presenting non-target information in the consequence event during discrete trial instruction, where a response isn’t required or reinforced. Strategic presentation of extra information engages children in learning opportunities that may have otherwise been ignored, and exposure to future targets provides the repetition and practice needed for many children to succeed. To explore effective strategies that can enhance the pre-existing structure of a learning trial, a review of the literature was conducted, and 32 articles were reviewed for the effects of presenting IF on learning non-target information. Every study reported some or a complete gain of extra stimuli that were not directly targeted, and some students learned both the target and non-target information of their peers during group instruction. Advantages of using IF in the classroom extend to future learning as some children acquired extra skills in less trials to criterion when IF was transferred to direct instruction trials. IF is a valuable tool because extra information is embedded into instruction that is already planned as part of a child’s daily routine, and any gains in extra information should be considered advantageous. Future implications for practice, such as transferring implementation to parents, are discussed.
 
210. The Effectiveness of Using Social Stories to Promote Behavior, Communication and Social Skills for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): A Literature Review
Area: EDC; Domain: Theory
AIMAN ALKLDI (The University of Iowa )
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the literature on the effects of Social Stories intervention on improving behavior, communication, and social skills in students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Nine scholarly articles that focused on the impact of using social stories strategies were reviewed and will be shared. The majority of these articles addressed the use of Social Stories exclusively on promoting behavior, communication and social skills. The focus of other studies was on the effects of using technology (Computer, iPad, Video, and Power Card) to present Social Stories with the goal of improving behavior, communication and social skills. All of the studies reviewed revealed that Social Stories were effective in improving the targeted behaviors and skills in kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students with ASD. Despite the findings of the studies, further research might be needed to determine the effects of using Social Stories on improving skills in high school students with ASD or the application of Social Stories with individuals with more sever forms of ASD. In addition, the impact of Social Stories on the ability to generalize the acquired skills may need further examinations.
 
211. Developing District-Wide Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Through the Arizona Statewide Autism Project: A Case Study
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
KARA ANNE MAGEE-ARICK (STAR Autism Support)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: The Arizona Statewide Autism Project is an innovative project that began in the fall of 2012. The project focuses on the educational needs of students with significant learning challenges, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first two years of the project focused on Early Childhood Educational Teams. Twenty-five early childhood teams participated in the first year. Since 2012, the project expanded to elementary, middle and high school teams. The project builds sustainability of practices through the establishment of training sites in each geographical region of the state. Currently 50 school districts have participated in the project. Participating teams are learning effective instructional strategies for teaching students with ASD in a high quality learning environment. Components of the project include: • Professional development workshops and on-site coaching • Comprehensive ABA curricula • Content-based thematic units • Professional development for general education teachers to promote inclusive practices • Information and resources on effective environmental and visual supports
 
212. Clinical Application of Functional Analysis Methodology in an Integrated Day Program for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CARLA T. SCHMIDT (University of Cincinnati), Victoria Childers (University of Cincinnati), Kristine Feliciano (University of Cincinnati), Kate Linz (University of Cincinnati), Gregory Stegbauer (University of Cincinnati), Deidre Wise (University of Cincinnati), Christina Carnahan (University of Cincinnati)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Functional analysis is well documented in the literature as a standard for assessment in the field of Behavior Analysis. The purpose of this study was to test the utility of Functional Analysis methodology to inform intervention planning to address the aberrant behavior of three adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants were two males and one female with significant behavioral and communication challenges. Participants attend an adult day program that is fully integrated in a university campus setting. The inclusive program is designed to systematically build social and employment skills for adults with autism in an integrated setting. The goals of this program are to provide permanent integrated employment, life-long learning, and health and wellness opportunities for all participants. Target behaviors were selected based on the needs of each participant and their specific goals in the program. After the functional analysis was conducted, an intervention plan was created for each participant based on these results. Each intervention was empirically evaluated using the appropriate single-subject design. Data will be presented on the functional analysis conducted for each participant as well as the subsequent resulting interventions designed to ameliorate target behaviors. The results from this study further support functional analysis methodology and suggest its utility in an integrated day program on a university campus.
 
213. Play Interventions Involving Neurotypical Peers and Children with Autism: A Review of Research Quality
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CATHARINE LORY (Purdue University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Play is vital for children’s developmental growth and provides a context for social interaction. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) struggle to acquire appropriate play behaviors, which impedes the development of cognitive, language and communicative abilities. As children with ASD are increasingly educated with typically developing peers in inclusive settings, it becomes pertinent that along with teaching appropriate play, we also ensure that they learn to play with typically developing peers. Our systematic review examined the quality of play interventions for children with ASD that involved typically developing peers as interventionists or play partners. The search procedures included a keyword search in four databases, followed by a search of references of included articles, and finally a manual search of two relevant journals in 2015 and 2016. Thirteen studies were included and coded for eight components based on quality indicators developed by the Council of Exceptional Children in 2014. An inter-rater agreement of 80.6% was obtained on two sample articles. Twelve out of 13 studies met five quality indicators (i.e., context and setting, participants, description of practice, outcome measures, data analysis), while seven to eight studies met the remaining three quality indicators (i.e., intervention agent, implementation fidelity, internal validity).
 
214. Comparison of Tablet-Delivered and Instructor-Delivered Teaching on Receptive Identification in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MARIE-MICHÈLE DUFOUR (Université de Montréal), sabine Saade Chebli (Université de Montréal), Marc J. Lanovaz (Université de Montréal)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Because most children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) require individualized teaching, using tablets as instructional tools represents an interesting solution in classrooms with high student to teacher ratios. The purpose of our study was to compare the effectiveness of tablet- and instructor-delivered teaching on the receptive identification of one-word concepts. To this end, we embedded a multielement design within a multiple probe design to compare the effectiveness of the two instructional modalities in seven children with ASD. Two of seven participants showed generalization on all concepts with fewer instructional trials after receiving instructor-delivered teaching whereas the remaining five participants had mixed results depending on the concept. In total, the participants showed more rapid generalization with the instructor for 14 of 19 concepts taught. Our results suggest that tablets should not replace instructor-delivered teaching, but that they may serve as a complement when one-to-one instruction is unfeasible or impractical.
 
215. The Effectiveness of Digital Comic Strips to Increase Empathetic Responses in Children With Autism
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KHALIFAH SAMI ALDUGHAYSH (Missouri State Universtiy), Linda G. Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University), Michael Goeringer (Missouri State University), David Goodwin (Associate Professor, Missouri State University)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: A multiple baseline design across three children with Autism was employed to assess the effects of teaching verbal and nonverbal empathetic responding via digital comics. Digital comic strips were developed specifically to depict three emotional categories happiness, sadness or pain, and fear in a variety of social contexts. Studies correlated deficit in theory of mind and empathetic responsiveness skills to children with autism (Baron-Cohen, et al, 1985, Baron-Cohen & Wheelwright, 2004 Butean, et al., 2014). Mixed results in studies correlating empathy disorders in children with autism; however, recent research strongly supports the idea that children with ASD express less empathic responses than typically developed children (Peterson, 2014). Researchers have noted (Schrandt, et al., 2009) that limited studies have focused on the utilization of evidence-based practices to teach these skills. Preliminary results show an increases for all three participants are: Participant One: Baseline=.50 Verbal responding, .25 Nonverbal, Treatment=3.7 Verbal Responding, 3.2 Non-Verbal responding; Participant Two: Baseline .33, Verbal Responding, 0 Non-Verbal responding; Treatment 3.4 Verbal Responding, 2.7 Non-Verbal; Participant Three: .14, Verbal Responding, .14 Non-Verbal Responding; Treatment: 3.25 Verbal Responding, 3.5 Non-Verbal Responding.
 
216. Measurement of Treatment Integrity in the Application of Functional Communication Training Withina School-based Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
SONJA R. DE BOER (Woodbury Autism Education and Research), Aurora Alonzo (Woodbury Autism Education & Research), Lauren Chapman (Woodbury Autism Education and Research)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: One very important aspect to behavior change is the establishment of reliable treatment integrity among practitioners. There is current research supporting the notion in which treatment integrity of school-based interventions can be directly related to intervention outcomes (Fiske 2008). Further review of the current research also describes some implications which treatment integrity has on the practice and implementation of behavior analytic interventions (Vollmer et al. 2008). This research project extends the current research on treatment integrity through the creation of a measurement tool utilizing direct practitioner observation. We examine the importance of treatment integrity in the implementation of Functional Communication Training. We also discuss the use of the learn unit (Greer 2002) as a measure of treatment integrity through the examination of the dimensions of functional communication training. We will describe how the integrity of treatment intervention is paramount to behavior change and discuss events that may result in decreased integrity of intervention. Based on our research, recommendations are made on how the direct practitioner observation tool can be utilized by other practitioners and adapted for a variety of interventions.
 
217. Video Modelling and Classical Conditioning: Which is More Efficient in Helping Children With a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Develop New Interests?
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
SHERENE ALICIA POWELL-OKAFOR (HOPE Autism Care Centre), Jennifer Sheridan (Hope Autism Care Centre)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Autism is defined by the triad of impairments that includes social interaction, communication and restricted behaviour. There are many interventions for improving the lives of children diagnosed with (ASD) but research has demonstrated that Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the most effective. A significant issue with autistic children is their lack of variation of interests and obsessions in activities or play. However, due to this potentially limited and narrow ranges of interest in activities for children with ASD, this may make it difficult for professionals working with them to identify potential reinforcers to increase their educational and social opportunities. The study investigated how to expand otherwise fixated interests in children with ASD using a multiple baseline design. This was done by using: ? Conditioning: In which the highest preferred item is conditioned with the lowest. ? Video Modelling: Which entailed watching typical developing children playing with the lowest preferred item in different ways. Participants consisted of seven children, between the ages of three and six years, with varying levels of severity along the spectrum, all currently enrolled in early intervention services. Two types of preference assessment (PA) were used: paired stimulus (PS) which is also known as 2-choice paired stimulus and free operant (FO). PA was used to identify the hierarchy of participants preference in order of one to six and to assess if this hierarchy changes throughout the study. The results of this study showed that both conditioning and video modelling were effective at changing preferences for young children with ASD. However, the video modelling condition was superior as it helped changed preference faster and in different way.
 
218. Social Validity Assessment of the Headsprout Early Reading for Individuals With Autism and Intellectual Disability
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANITA YAKKUNDI (University College Dublin, Queen's University, Belfast), Karola Dillenburger (Centre for Behaviour Analysis, Queen's University Belfast), Lizbeth Goodman (SMARTlab, School of Engineering and Architecture, University College Dublin)
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Acquisition of literacy skills will help with social, communication, leisure, daily living and vocational skills, having long term impact on individuals' quality of life. However students with autism and co-occurring intellectual disability (ID) acquire limited if any reading skills by the end of their school education. This research supported by the charity RESPECT and Marie Curie actions, was undertaken to provide reading interventions for students with autism and moderate/severe ID using the online Headsprout' early reading (HER) program via the Kids a-z app on a touch screen device. The study participants (> 6y), had minimal reading skills and intervention was carried out in special schools or home settings. A single system research study provided individualised intervention using appropriate prompts, token system, visual and voice support as needed. Assessment of reading skills pre, post was carried out using tools appropriate for verbal or non-verbal students. Social validity of 1) HER program and 2) intervention package and its impact was assessed using pre- and post- questionnaires completed by the caregivers/teachers. Comparison of gains in the early reading skills is also made between the groups of participants having verbal ability vs. low verbal and/or read aloud ability: results and potentials will be discussed.
 
219. Exploring Barriers to Father Implementation of Behavioral Interventions for Nonverbal Children With Autism From Diverse Ethnic and Cultural Backgrounds
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHAEL LAFASAKIS (Walden University; Downstate Medical Center-State )
Discussant: Kate Doyle (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Very little research has been conducted on fathers of nonverbal children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and no studies to date have explored the perspectives of fathers from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds residing in New York City (NYC) regarding barriers to implementing behavioral interventions in the home. To address this gap in the literature, an in-depth qualitative interview was conducted to obtain information from fathers of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds residing in NYC regarding barriers to implementing behavioral interventions in the home with their nonverbal child with ASD. Findings were interpreted using the behavioral and humanistic approach, which involved an analysis of environmental contingencies as well as an empathic understanding of the father's perspectives related to the assigned meaning of their experiences. An evaluation of interview data uncovered themes within and across cases with interrater agreement at 85.9% and 82%, respectively, which contributed to recommendations for parents and professionals. Findings provided much insight into the perspectives of fathers of nonverbal children from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and offered useful information for psychologists, counselors, parents, advocates and autism treatment organizations to help improve parent training and counseling methods with the goal of promoting positive therapeutic outcomes.
 

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