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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Paper Session #21
Effects of ABA on Behavior Displayed by Infants and Children With Down Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom AB
Area: DDA
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Evelyn Amanda Boutot (Texas State University)

What Can ABA Do for Infants With Down Syndrome? Results of a Pilot Feasibility Study

Domain: Service Delivery
EVELYN AMANDA BOUTOT (Texas State University), Samuel DiGangi (Arizona State University)

Comprehensive ABA programming ("ABA therapy") is most commonly associated with children on the autism spectrum, with most states having mandates for insurance coverage of ABA therapy. However, only one state, Florida, has a mandate for ABA therapy for disabilities other than autism (including Down syndrome). The potential for ABA to improve behaviors and skills for children with other disabilities, such as Down syndrome is great, yet there is a dearth of research on such programming. Additionally, because Down syndrome can be known at an earlier age than that of some disabilities (such as autism), there is potential to begin ABA programming in infancy; however, research on ABA and infants is also scant. This paper presentation will review the current literature on programming for infants with DS and present a study that assessed feasibility of ABA programming for four infants with Down syndrome ages 5-18 months. We measured feasibility according to five of the eight criteria outlined by Bowen and colleagues (2009): Acceptability, Demand, Implementation, Practicality, and Limited Efficacy. Results suggest ABA programming is promising for this young population; recommendations will be made for researchers and practitioners.


Application of Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions With Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Domain: Applied Research
SUSAN COPELAND (University of New Mexico), Megan Griffin (University of New Mexico), Rolanda R Maez (University of New Mexico)

Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are at risk for a host of learning challenges (e.g., difficulty with memory, attention, executive functioning, information processing, language, and motor tasks; Kodituwakku & Kodituwakku, 2014) and often exhibit higher rates of challenging behaviors (e.g., disruptive and uncooperative behavior) when compared to children with typical development (Jirikowic, Kartin, & Olson, 2008). Relatively few empirical studies have examined interventions to decrease problem behaviors in this population and almost no researchers have employed ABA strategies with this population. We conducted a series of four single case studies with four children with FASD ages 9 to 12 to study the effects of ABA interventions (self-monitoring, goal setting, and contingent reinforcement) on participants' compliance with home-related routines and academic responding. Studies took place in participants' home at times families identified as having high rates of problem behavior. Implementation of the interventions was associated with increases in compliance and academic responding and decreases in non-compliance and argumentative behaviors across all participants. Social validity assessment indicated participants' satisfaction with the studies' interventions and outcomes. We will present findings across studies and discuss implications for behavior analytic research and practice among individuals with FASD.




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