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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #601
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Research With Adults With Acquired and Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon G
Area: DDA/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Nicole Pantano (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Michael P. Mozzoni, M.A.

This symposium will cover two data-based presentations teaching to adults with acquired and developmental disabilities. The first study evaluated the effects of a video prompting strategy to teach adult women to shave their legs. All participants acquired and maintained the skill. The second study replicated and extended Gross, Fuqua, and Merritt's Verbal Behavior Assessment Battery (2013). They piloted this function-based assessment to guide language programming for adults with acquired brain injury (ABI). This population differs from the original population of adults with dementia as adults with ABI may experience complex changes in their verbal behavior. Following revisions to the assessment, the authors completed the study with five participants with ABI and five matched control participants.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): adults, brain injury, language assessment, self-help skills
Target Audience:

BCBAs, practitioners, graduate students, and researchers interested in or working with individuals with Acquired Brain Injury or other

Learning Objectives: 1. Audience members will be able to identify a tool and teaching strategy to teach leg shaving. 2. Audience members will become familiar with the Verbal Behavior Assessment Battery and how it can be used with individuals with acquired brain injury. 3. Audience members will identify additional considerations and refinement for future clinical use of the Verbal Behavior Assessment Battery.
Teaching Leg Shaving with Finishing Touch Flawless Legs™ to Women with Disabilities
(Applied Research)
Natalie Folgia (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), PRIYA P PATIL (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Teaching independence with shaving can provide individuals with privacy and comfort, increase quality of life, and reduce effort of caregivers. Unfortunately, no previous studies have provided clinicians with procedures for teaching leg shaving. The current study evaluated the effects of a video prompting teaching package on leg shaving skills using a concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. Participants included three women ages 22 to 56, each with a different diagnosis (i.e., paraplegia, Down Syndrome, and cognitive impairment with Schizoaffective Disorder). The Finishing Touch Flawless Legs™ shaver was selected because a) it can be used without water or shaving cream, b) individuals with fine motor deficits can handle the device, c) the device will not cut or nick the user, and d) it is rechargeable and does not require batteries. All participants learned to shave their legs at the mastery criterion of 100% independent, correct steps within a mean of 7.33 teaching sessions. These levels were maintained at 2-week probes and during generalization probes. On the Treatment Acceptability Rating Form - Revised, scores indicated high social validity of the procedures of this treatment package.
Piloting a Function-Based Language Assessment for Adults with Neurocognitive Disorder
(Applied Research)
Dani Leigh Buckley (California State University, Sacramento), Megan R. Heinicke (California State University, Sacramento), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University), AMANDA N JONES (California State University, Sacramento), Shelby Marie Bryeans (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Language deficits are common following neurocognitive disorder (NCD), yet behavior analysts serving this growing population do not have a validated, function-based assessment to guide language programming. Gross, Fuqua, and Merritt (2013) developed and piloted the Verbal Behavior Assessment Battery (VBAB) to evaluate language deficits for older adults with dementia, but researchers have yet to replicate this study or evaluate this tool for adults following acquired brain injury (ABI). We expanded the VBAB to better capture the complex changes that may occur following ABI. We conducted the revised assessment with five adults with severe ABI and matched control participants and found 1) varying deficits across ABI participants, 2) significant differences between the performance of ABI and control participants, 3) acceptable test-retest reliability, and 4) evidence for both functional independence and interdependence of verbal operants. Our discussion will focus on methodological considerations and potential refinement of the assessment for future clinical use.



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