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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Paper Session #193
Advances in Feeding Disorders
Sunday, May 24, 2020
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon A
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Bryant C. Silbaugh (The University of Texas at San Antonio)

Interventions to Support Feeding in People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Domain: Applied Research
BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (The University of Texas at San Antonio, Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching ), Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento), Scott Page (Utah State University), Melissa Moseman (California State University, Sacramento)

Pediatric feeding disorders (PFD) are treatable feeding problems characterized by consumption of a limited variety of nutritive foods, inappropriate mealtime behavior, and in some cases oral motor delays or nutritional or growth deficiencies. PFD are estimated to be highly prevalent in children with intellectual and developmental disorders, and the leading empirically supported approach to treating PFD is behavior intervention. How behavioral interventions support such individuals with PFD across age groups (e.g., infancy, school age) has not been systematically examined. Therefore, the purposes of this synthesis were to review recent behavioral intervention feeding research (i.e., 2008 – 2018) across the life span in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and suggest practice guidelines for using evidence-based practices in applied behavior analysis (ABA) to support feeding. Fifty studies were included, study and participant characteristics were synthesized, and the certainty of the evidence was assessed. Interventions including differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, escape extinction and fading procedures were found to have the most empirical support, though the evidence-base is largely restricted to individuals up to 12 years of age. The findings are discussed in the context of the evidence-based practice of ABA and practice guidelines are individualized by age group and evidential certainty.

Operant Control of the Swallowing Response
Domain: Applied Research
ALDEN MARIE GARTRELL (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas), Brennan Patrick Armshaw (University of North Texas), Russell Silguero (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The process of swallowing can be described in four stages; the Oral-Preparatory phase, the Oral-Transit phase, the Pharyngeal phase and the Esophageal phase. Behavioral feeding procedures have been effective in aiding individuals resolve issues with the first two phases of swallowing. Medical procedures have been shown to be effective with individuals that have issues with the esophageal stage of swallowing. This presentation explores the utility of behavior analytic procedures in helping with the third or Pharyngeal stage of the swallowing response. In particular, this research explores the utility of surface electromyography (sEMG) in micro-shaping activation of the suprahyoid muscle which controls the action of the larynx in the swallowing response. Eight healthy college-aged participants were exposed to contingencies promoting a more effortful and sustained swallowing response. The data show that activity of the suprahyoid muscle can be operantly conditioned. These results suggest that sEMG technology can be used to supplement contingencies of reinforcement and provide effective behavioral treatment and rehabilitation for Dysphagia.



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