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 #485
Outside the Box: Novel Approaches to Reducing Challenging Behavior in Children With Autism
Monday, May 28, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom H
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer L. Beers (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Adel C. Najdowski (Pepperdine University)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Beers, Ph.D.

Ample research has demonstrated the effectiveness of applied behavior analytic procedures for decreasing challenging behaviors in individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. However, some challenges in the area of behavior reduction remain relatively vexing. Reducing automatically reinforced or habitual behaviors can be particularly challenging. It is not surprising, then, that many of the empirically validated treatments available for these behaviors are consequence manipulations that likely involve punishment. This symposium contains two talks that evaluate novel antecedent-based interventions for challenging behaviors; one consisting of music and the other consisting of a habit reversal treatment package.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): habit reversal, habitual behavior, matched stimulation, vocal stereotypy
Target Audience:

BCBAs, Program Supervisors

Comparing the Effects of a Single, Repeated Song and Varied, Repeating and Nonrepeating Songs on Vocal Stereotypy
KAYLA WELLS (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Jennifer L. Beers (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy can negatively impact an individual’s ability to learn and to form social relationships with peers. Previous studies have shown that noncontingent access to music is effective in reducing vocal stereotypy; however, these studies have used either one, repeated song, or a select few, repeating songs for all sessions. While this has been shown to be beneficial, it is more common for the songs played while listening to music to vary. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of noncontingent access to music in the form of a single, repeated song, varied, repeating songs, and varied, nonrepeating songs on vocal stereotypy. The results suggest that noncontingent access to music decreased vocal stereotypy for all participants, and varied, nonrepeating songs were found to reduce vocal stereotypy to the lowest levels.

The Effects of a Habit Reversal Treatment Package to Treat Stuttering and Motor Tics Across Children With Autism

VALERIE R. ROGERS (The ABRITE Organization), Hannah Prados (The ABRITE Organization )

Significant empirical evidence supports the utility of behavioral treatments for habitual behaviors such as stuttering and repetitive movements (e.g., motor tics) in children and adults, however, less empirical support is available for the treatment of such behaviors with children with autism. Behavioral treatment packages for habit reversal are often employed; yet involve multiple components that may prove unnecessary. The current paper utilizes a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to demonstrate the effect of two components of the habit reversal treatment package, namely, awareness training and social support for children with autism. Moreover, various procedural modifications are described and evaluated in relation to challenges with the acquisition of response detection and the generalization of treatment gains. Results indicate decreases in the targeted behavioral excess and are discussed in terms of the utility and implications of these components and subsequent modifications within treatment sessions. Considerations related to inclusion of such treatment packages in an overall treatment plan for insurance funded Applied Behavior Analysis services as well as suggestions for future research will be discussed.




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