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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #425
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating the Outcomes of Low-Intensity Behavior Interventions
Monday, May 28, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall C
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Paula Pompa-Craven (Easterseals Southern California)
CE Instructor: Amin Duff Lotfizadeh, Ph.D.

Empirical evidence shows that early and intensive behavioral interventions result in better treatment outcomes and are therefore considered the intervention of choice for treating individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In many instances practical constraints prevent individuals from receiving intensive behavioral treatments and low-intensity interventions are provided instead. In this symposium, We will report outcome of low-intensity behavioral interventions across different sites, and with a variety of assessment tools, including the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), IQ scores, and other related measures.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, behavioral intervention, low-intensity, treatment outcome
Target Audience:

Clinicians who provide treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder

Moderate Effects of Low-Intensity Behavioral Interventions
AMIN DUFF LOTFIZADEH (Easter Seals Southern California/CSULA)
Abstract: We compared clinical outcomes in a group of individuals who received on average 10.6 weekly hours of applied behavior analysis (ABA) intervention (n=98) with a group that received 5.7 weekly hours (n=73). After two years, the more intensive group made greater gains on language skills, social skills, and other areas assessed by the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). Daily life adaptive behaviors skills were evaluated on a smaller sample of the participants (n=28) using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) but the groups did not differ significantly on this measure. Compared to high-intensity ABA interventions, the gains in this study were moderate. These findings provide further support for a dose-response relationship between intervention hours and outcomes.
Evaluating the Inter-Rater Reliability of the VB-MAPP
KHRYSTLE LAUREN MONTALLANA (Easterseals Southern California)
Abstract: The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP; Sundberg, 2008) is a comprehensive assessment tool that takes a functional and topographical approach to assessing language and other skills (e.g., social skills, play skills, math skills). The VB-MAPP has received considerable attention and promise as a clinical assessment tool. In contrast, it has been used far less frequently as a clinical outcome measure in research, presumably due to limited psychometric data. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the inter-rater reliability of the VB-MAPP among different pairs of clinicians who regularly conduct the VB-MAPP as part of their clinical duties.

Effects of Moderately Intensive Behavioral Intervention Provided Through a Community Based Service Model

SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)

Early Behavioral Intervention for children is provided through a range of different service models across countries. Supervision and consultancy on Early Behavioral Intervention for children with autism are available through public taxpayer-funded centers in Oslo (STI) and Bergen (AA), Norway. The day-to-day intervention is done in the child's local mainstream pre-school. An intervention team is formed based on the extra resources (person) provided through the child's special educational needs statement - along with the ordinary staff in the preschool. Also, students doing practicums are part of the intervention teams. We have compared outcomes of 46 children with autism (2-6 years of age at intake) who received services of moderate intensity (10-20 weekly intervention hours) through STI and AA with a comparison group of 28 children receiving treatment as usual of similar intensity. After two years, children receiving behavioral intervention had larger gains in IQ scores, adaptive behavior composite scores. The children in the behavioral intervention group also scored significantly better on a measure of autism severity. Strengths and weaknesses of this intervention model are discussed.




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