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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #198
CE Offered: BACB
Utilizing Telehealth to Deliver Interventions to Increase Communication and Play Skills and Reduce Challenging Behavior
Sunday, May 30, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University)
Discussant: Tracy Jane Raulston (Penn State)
CE Instructor: Tonya Nichole Davis, Ph.D.
Abstract: Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience delays and deficits in a variety of domains, including communication, social skills, and play skills. Additionally, many children with intellectual and developmental disabilities engaged in high levels of challenging behavior. Access to high-quality behavior analytic intervention can improve both skill deficits and challenging behavior excess. However, many families experience numerous barriers to accessing intervention. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families lacked access due to geographical location, lack of skilled providers, and financial barriers. The pandemic has only exacerbated these and added additional barriers to accessing intervention. Telehealth and other technology-based service provision has offered solutions to overcome such barriers. Now, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the development and evaluation telehealth-delivered interventions is most critical. In this symposium, four research projects evaluating interventions delivered via telehealth will be presented. Two presentations will share the results of studies that evaluated interventions targeting acquisition of communication and play skills. The remaining two presentations will share the results of interventions targeted challenging behavior reduction. Both child outcomes and parent fidelity results will be presented. The final discussion will s, highlight the applied value of the results and discuss future research.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): technology, teleconference, telehealth
Target Audience: The presentation is at the basic instructional level. Our target audience includes graduate students working toward obtaining the BCBA credential, practicing BCBAs, and researchers with an interest in a telehealth delivery model.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe methods measure fidelity of parent implementation. 2. Describe the steps of behavior skills training. 3. Utilize methods to collect data on play, communication, and challenging behavior. 4. Describe the procedures of a trial-based functional analysis. 5. Describe procedures for incorporating siblings into intervention programs. 6. Describe milieu teaching procedures that can be implemented via telehealth.

Sibling Techniques for Enhancing Play and Supportfor Strengthening the Sibling Bond of Children With Autism via Telehealth

LINDSAY GLUGATCH (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)

Sibling relationships are a unique and special bond throughout the life span. Having a sibling with autism may present some extra difficulties and barriers to form a close and meaningful relationship. While siblings play an important role in the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) life, there is no consistent method for involving siblings in treatment for individuals with ASD (Shivers & Plavnick, 2014). This research project evaluated a novel treatment package including training siblings on play strategies in combination with a sibling support group to increase positive sibling play and perceived relationship quality. Using a concurrent multiple baseline design across groups, sibling dyads will participate in the eight week online STEPS program. Specifically, the intervention package includes an online implementation of behavior skills training (BST) on simple play strategies and participation in a sibling support group. Nine sibling dyads received BST via telehealth with coaching and feedback and half of the neurotypical siblings participated in an online sibling support group. It is expected that there will be a functional relation between the intervention package and increases in neurotypical sibling fidelity of implementation, increase in the percentage of reciprocal play, and increases in the level of neurotypical sibling initiations.


Effects of Parent-Implemented Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching for Children With Angelman Syndrome

Mandy J. Rispoli (Purdue University), CHARISSA DONN VOORHIS (Purdue University)

Angelman syndrome is a rare genetic syndrome that includes significant communication delays, often times presenting as a complete absence of vocal speech. Prelinguistic milieu teaching embedded into home routines has been shown to improve communication outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder. However, there is limited research in prelinguistic milieu teaching for young children with Angelman syndrome. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a telehealth parent training program specifically for families of children with Angelman syndrome. Parents were taught three groups of strategies including following the child’s lead, environmental arrangement, and mirroring and mapping language. We will present the effects of the training program on child vocalizations, joint attention, and use of augmentative and alternative communication within a series of multiple baseline across participant designs. Results show increases in child prelinguistic communication, use of augmentative and alternative communication systems, and slight improvements in responding to joint attention. Implications for future research and practice will be discussed.

Using Telehealth to Teach Parents to Conduct Trial-Based Functional Analyses in Home
Tonya Nichole Davis (Baylor University), Stephanie Gerow (Baylor University), MACKENZIE RAYE WICKER (Baylor University), Providence Lively (Baylor University), Emily Paige Exline (Baylor University), David Sottile (Baylor University)
Abstract: The trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) is an experimental method of identifying the function of challenging behavior. The TBFA is particularly well suited to applied settings as the procedure can be embedded within natural routines and activities. A number of studies have successfully utilized face-to-face instruction to train parents and professionals such as public school teachers, residential staff, and Head Start teachers to conduct a TBFA in homes and schools. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a telehealth consultation approach to teach parents to conduct a TBFA. Three children with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers participated in this study. Parents received telehealth consultation twice a week to implement a TBFA with their child in their home. Experimenters then taught parents to implement a function-based intervention based on the results of the TBFA. Results indicated that, with coaching via telehealth, caregivers successfully implemented a TBFA and subsequent function-based intervention. Moreover, the effectiveness of the function-based intervention validated the results of the TBFA. Implications for practice and future research will be discussed.
The Use of Behavioral Skills Training and Frequency-Building Flashcards to Parents on Behavior Support Plans via Telehealth
ALLAINA DOUGLAS (University of Oregon ), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Challenging behaviors are the most impactful factor in parent stress (Davis & Carter, 2008) and prevalence of challenging behaviors are especially high for those with a developmental delay (Dunlap et al., 2006). Currently, there is an escalating need for early intervention services and trained professionals (Hine et al., 2018); however, specific barriers make it difficult for parents to access services. Some of these barriers include; lack of resources, geographical location, and COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are left to serve as the primary interventionist and behavior change agent to their child’s behaviors (Cluver et al., 2020; Unholz-Bowden et al., 2020). The current investigation aimed to reduced these barriers by using a concurrent multiple baseline across dyads design to investigate a treatment package comprised of Behavioral Skills Training and Say All Fast A Minute Each Day Shuffled (SAFMEDS) flashcards. The study included parents with children with mild to moderated challenging behaviors and a developmental delay. All trainings and observations took place using two-way videoconferencing technology. Results of the interventions found a functional relation for increased parent treatment fidelity; however, a clinical significant change in child challenging behavior was not detected. Parents also rated the intervention as acceptable, efficient, and effective.



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