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 #453
CE Offered: BACB
Teaching Children Skills that Promote Safety and Healthy Living
Monday, May 28, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall C
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Amber R. Paden (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Linda A. LeBlanc (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)
CE Instructor: Linda A. LeBlanc, M.S.

Young children may come into contact with unsafe situations that may lead to abduction, drowning, firearm discharge, accidental poisonings, or spread of infection and illness. Damaging outcomes from these situations could be prevented if the children were taught how to appropriately respond in those conditions. As such, the development of effective procedures for teaching children how to react in these situations is of significant need. The research presented in this symposium will explore (a) using behavior skills training, multiple exemplar training, and discrimination training (across strangers and familiar adults) to teach abduction-prevention skills; (b) using video modeling for training abduction-prevention skills; (c) teaching a three-step safety response in the presence of a variety of dangerous stimuli using behavioral skills training plus in-situ training; and (d) teaching appropriate handwashing to prevent the spread of infections using video modeling and visual feedback. We are fortunate to have Dr. Linda LeBlanc, one of the most productive and well-respected researchers in applied behavior analysis, serve as our discussant.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, health, safety
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) know how to use behavior skills training to teach abduction-prevention skills; (2) use video-modeling and feedback to increase hand washing; (3) use behavioral skills training plus in-situ training to teach children to respond to dangerous stimuli; (4) use video-modeling to teach abduction prevention skills.

Using Behavior Skills Training to Teach Abduction Prevention Skills to Children With Autism

MEGAN ASHLEY LEVESQUE (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Jessica Niemeier (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Nicole M. Rodriguez (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

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. Discriminated responding across unknown and known adults was observed following discrimination training. These results generalized across settings and maintained up to 3 months for two participants.

Effects of Video Modeling and Visual Feedback on Handwashing in Preschool-Age Children
RACHEL JESS (University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Elizabeth Foley (University of Kansas), Daniela Garcia (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Young children who attend out-of-home care (e.g., preschool and daycare) come into close contact with each other through playing and eating; therefore, they are more susceptible to infections than children who do not attend an out-of-home care program. Studies have shown handwashing is effective in reducing risk of infection and illness (Larson, 1988); however, research suggests that individuals do not routinely wash their hands using methods determined best practice (Witt & Spencer, 2004). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of video modeling and visual feedback on preschool-aged children’s handwashing. That is, we showed groups of children a video depicting appropriate handwashing and showed them pictures of ultra-violet light illuminated lotion (Glo-Germ) on their hands prior to and following handwashing. We evaluated effects by measuring the percentage of correct handwashing steps and comparing cleanliness of participants’ hands pre- and post-handwashing (as determined by the surface areas with illuminated Glo-Germ). Results showed that video modeling and visual feedback was effective in increasing correct handwashing and cleanliness of children’s hands across groups of children. Furthermore, we implemented in-situ feedback and showed a slight increase in effects. Changes in handwashing and hand cleanliness after handwashing maintained after we removed the interventions.
Using Behavioral Skills Training and Equivalence-Based Instruction to Teach Children Safe Responding to Dangerous Stimuli
ANTONIA GIANNAKAKOS (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Columbia University)
Abstract: Over 3,000 children under the age of 10 died in 2015 as a result of unintentional injuries. Specific unintentional injury causes include suffocation, drowning, firearm discharge, burns, and accidental poisonings. Some of these deaths likely occurred when children came across a dangerous item while unsupervised. In the current study three preschool age students were taught to engage in a three-step safety response in the presence of a variety of dangerous stimuli. Behavioral skills training plus in-situ training was used to teach a leave, do not touch, tell an adult response in the presence of one dangerous stimulus. Following mastery of this response, we used equivalence-based instruction to create classes of dangerous and non-dangerous stimuli. All participants demonstrated discriminated responding in the presence of untrained stimuli following EBI.
A Video Modeling Approach to Train Abduction Prevention Skills
JONATHAN PRIEHS (New England Center for Children), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Childhood abduction by nonfamily members affects approximately 58,200 families each year (Finkelhor, Hammer, & Sedlak, 2002). These abductions can cause devastating effects which may be attenuated through proper execution of stranger awareness strategies to at-risk populations. With social-communicative deficits present in persons with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) it would be prudent to investigate successful teaching methods for those with ASDs. Many investigators have evaluated teaching programs for teaching abduction prevention to typically developing children but fewer have evaluated teaching these skills to those with disabilities. This study attempts to further previous research by evaluating the use of video modeling for training abduction prevention skills to children diagnosed with an ASD. A multiple probe across contexts design was used to evaluate abduction prevention skill performance with four participants with an ASD. Training videos depicted target responses of 1) saying no to a stranger’s lure, 2) walking away, and, 3) reporting the lure to a trusted adult. Inter-observer agreement was calculated for 33% of sessions at 100% agreement. Results indicated that video modeling was sufficient at training the abduction prevention skills in one participant for all three contexts while video modeling with a short contingency review was sufficient for another participant. However, in-vivo training was necessary to produce the abduction prevention skills to the final two participants.



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