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 #61
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Common Treatment Components in Behavior Interventions for Differential Effectiveness and Preference by Clients and Therapists
Saturday, May 26, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah J. Miller (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Sarah J. Miller, Ph.D.

Behavior interventions often involve several components that can be manipulated across individuals or settings including contingencies of reinforcement, prompting procedures, and establishing operations. While many variations of these procedures exist in the literature, less research has been dedicated to directly comparing the effectiveness of these variations. Even less focus has been given to preferences for treatment components by the individual who is receiving the intervention or the individual who is implementing the intervention. This symposium presents three studies that evaluated modifications to various components of treatment and preference. Diabiase, Schuierer, DeQuinzio, and Taylor extended the research on traditional versus embedded discrete trial teaching to adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Luck, Lerman, Zey, and Campbell assessed teacher preference for three error-correction procedures and compared these preferences to the effectiveness of each procedure. Miller, Scheithauer, Shirley, Gerenscer, and Muething compared client and therapist preference across three prompting procedures and compared these data to the effectiveness of each procedure at promoting compliance. Together these studies represent methods for evaluating preference across procedures and evaluating for the most effective intervention in within participant models.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): client preference, error correction, prompting procedures, treatment efficacy
Target Audience:

Practitioners in educational settings, skill acquisition settings, and those treating escape-maintained problem behavior

An Assessment of Teacher Preference for Error Correction Procedures
KALLY M LUCK (University of Houston - Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Brittany Zey (University of Houston Clear Lake), Morgan Breaux Campbell (University of Houston - Clear Lake)
Abstract: Teachers encounter student errors every day in the classroom, but they are not always trained on how to best respond to them. Past research has identified several effective error-correction procedures, such as demonstrating the correct response, prompting the student to respond correctly, and providing the student with an opportunity to respond independently following a prompted response. Teachers’ preference for different teaching strategies likely influences what they use in their classrooms. However, no study has assessed teacher preference for different error correction strategies or variables that might influence preference. In the current study, eight special education teachers and one speech pathologist were taught to use three different error correction procedures. We then assessed the participants’ preference for the different procedures using a concurrent-chains procedure and evaluated the sensitivity of their preferences to the relative effectiveness of the procedures. The majority of participants showed a preference for one specific type of error correction procedure. Preferences for all but one participant maintained despite changes in the effectiveness of the procedures. The results of this study have important implications for assessing teachers’ preference when training multiple teaching strategies.

Comparison of Traditional and Embedded Discrete Trial Teaching to Improve Receptive Discriminations in Adolescents With Autism

CORTNEY DEBIASE (Alpine Learning Group), Jaime DeQuinzio (Alpine Learning Group), Nicole Schuierer (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)

Geiger, Carr, LeBlanc, Hanney, Polick, and Heinicke (2012) compared traditional discrete trial teaching and embedded discrete trial teaching (DTT) with children with autism. We extended the results to two adolescents with autism. A multi-element design within a multiple baseline design across two stimulus sets was used to compare the effects of traditional and embedded DTT. Traditional DTT consisted of the instructor presenting a discriminative stimulus to start each trial ("Point to ___"), implementing a prompt (i.e., manual guidance), and providing reinforcement (i.e., praise and token) for correct responding. Embedded DTT consisted of presenting trials similar in structure to the traditional DTT but within an ongoing activity (e.g., shooting baskets). The percentage of correct responses improved with the introduction of both types of DTT. However embedded DTT resulted in faster acquisition (i.e., less trials to criterion). Mean session duration was longer for embedded than for traditional. The results of this study with adolescents with autism is promising because it demonstrates that receptive skills can be targeted during activities away from a desk or table with implications for incorporating instruction during vocational activities.

Client and Therapist Preference for Prompting Strategies to Increase Compliance
SARAH J. MILLER (Marcus Autism Center / Emory University School of Medicine), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center), Kelly Shirley (Marcus Autism Center), Kristina Gerencser (Marcus Autism Center), Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Three-step prompting is a strategy utilized to increase compliance with demands, and typically consists of a vocal, gestural, and physical prompt (Piazza, Contrucci, Hanley, & Fisher, 1997). However, this prompting procedure can be difficult to safely implement when individuals engage in severe problem behavior. The current study compared three prompting procedures based on rates of problem behavior and compliance. Two males diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who engaged in severe problem behavior maintained by escape from demands participated. Participants were exposed to three prompting procedures: three-step, vocal prompt only (repeated every 5 s), and initial prompt only (provided once at the beginning of session). Data were collected on rates of problem behavior and compliance. Resulted indicated that the inclusion of a tangible item as a reinforcer for compliance was required to maintain low rates of problem behavior and high rates of compliance. For one participant, the vocal prompt only condition was most preferred; for the second participant, no preference was demonstrated. The results of this study indicate that a rapid pre-treatment assessment can identify when it may be possible to treat escape-maintained problem behavior without the use of physical guidance for participants for whom this procedure would be challenging.



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