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.

48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details


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Poster Session #104
AUT Saturday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Saturday, May 28, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
118. Teaching Mask Wearing Using Shaping, Choice, and Synthesized Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Alicia Zielenski (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), MARA VANDERZELL (Upstate Cerebral Palsy)
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Many children who have developmental disabilities have difficulty complying with and tolerating personal hygiene and healthcare routines such as dental treatment, washing hands, brushing teeth, etc… (e.g., Carter, Harper, & Luiselli, 2018). In the year 2020, acquisition of these skills and toleration of health/hygiene related routines became even more imperative due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The current study demonstrates a mask toleration intervention that includes an interview with caregivers and teachers to identify reinforcers as well as a functional assessment to assess the individual’s mask wearing repertoire and its relationship with challenging behavior. Following the assessment, treatment consisted of the differential delivery of synthesized reinforcers subsequent to engagement with the mask at a predetermined criterion. The criterion for reinforcement was then gradually increased across a range of response topographies once success was achieved. Results revealed an increase in engagement with the mask and fully wearing it for 10 minutes in the treatment space and up to a full day of intermittent mask wearing in the classroom and residence. In addition, challenging behavior remained at low level levels throughout the intervention.
 
120. Accumulated vs. Distributed Token Exchange Production Schedules
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY ANN CHESBROUGH (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Mary Margaret Ruckle (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brianna Laureano (Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Token exchange-production schedules specify the number of responses required to produce a backup reinforcer (i.e., a break). Previous research has suggested that individuals prefer accumulated token exchange-production schedules over distributed exchange-production schedules (e.g., Falligant & Kornman, 2019). There is very little research depicting outcomes of using the less preferred schedule after assessing the preference for either accumulated or distributed schedules. In this particular study, preference between schedules was assessed with a 12-year-old male diagnosed with autism, who engaged in escape maintained problem behavior. Results of this preference assessment showed that despite outcomes of previous research, this individual preferred an accumulated schedule to a distributed schedule. However, due to similarities in efficacy of both schedules and feasibility for caregivers, an accumulated schedule was implemented. Although a distributed schedule was preferred, an accumulated schedule was effective in maintaining low rates of problem behavior throughout the demand treatment evaluation including schedule thinning and generalization phases. Clinical recommendations and implications for future research will be discussed.
 
122. Testing for and Inducing Bidirectional Naming: Contrived versus Non-Contrived Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LARA SANDYS (Jigsaw Trust)
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This paper looked into testing and later inducing the Bidirectional Naming (BiN) cusp in a 7-year-old male with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Preliminary baseline probe sessions (using a match-to-sample procedure) suggested that, when using contrived stimuli, Unidirectional Naming (UniN) was present. Following the naming experience the participant demonstrated they still remained to have just UniN present in his repertoire. When moving to non-contrived, a match-to-sample procedure demonstrated UniN present but not BiN. Following the naming experience with the non-contrived stimuli, the participant demonstrated that BiN had been successfully induced. Such results suggest that there could be various levels of BiN. Future research should look at returning to contrived stimuli to test whether the presence of BiN with contrived stimuli can be induced following this procedure.
 
124. An Evaluation of the use of a Behaviour Contract on the Transition Behaviour of a 10-year-old Boy with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE LEOW-DYKE (Jigsaw CABAS School)
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: For children with developmental disabilities, a change in routine associated with the initiation of a transition can lead to behaviour difficulties such as non-compliance or behaviour that challenges. A need for routine and predictability may mean that some children with autism do not recognize naturally occurring environmental cues which signal a potential transition change. A 10-year-old boy with autism, delayed play, social interaction and social communication skills participated in the study which examined the use of a behaviour contract on occurrences of behaviour that challenges and non-compliance. The contract specifically targeted transitions to and from the PE hall. Contingent upon the participants behaviour a reward was earned as per the contract. The results showed that the behaviour contract was effective in reducing the duration of non-compliance on the transition from the PE hall to the classroom, thus reducing the overall transition time. Despite the behaviour contract only being implemented for transitions to and from the PE hall, a reduction in the target behaviours were also recorded across other transitions during the school day. The findings have implications for the use of written behaviour contracts and how these may be utilized to target transition behaviour.
 
126. Increasing Cooperation with Activity Transitions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GEGUEL FEDERICO LANDESTOY (Western New England University; The New England Center for Children )
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Activity transitions are associated with challenging behavior, perhaps especially when transitions are from higher to lower preference activities. We compared effects of 2 methods of prompting activity transitions on cooperation and challenging behavior. Participants were 2 students at a school for children with autism. The two methods, advance notice (AN) and intervening activity (IA), were presented in an alternating treatments design. Higher, moderate, and lower preference activities (HP, MP, and LP) were identified using preference assessments. In the AN condition the participant was informed that he had 1 more min with the HP before he was cued to engage in the LP. In the IA condition the participant was provided with an MP for 1 min before he was cued to engage with the LP. Cooperation was the inverse of pausing, which started when the participant was cued to begin the LP and ended with the first active response. For one participant, the IA condition resulted greater cooperation and fewer instances of challenging behavior. For the other participant there was no difference between the conditions. For some individuals, scheduling a period of engagement with a moderate preference activity may improve cooperation with activity transitions.
 
128. Caregiver Preference for Behavior Interventions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ESTHER PARK (Marcus Autism Center ), Kimberly Nicole Nicole Palmer (Marcus Autism Center ), Janae' Pendergrass (Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), Nadrat Nuhu (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine )
Discussant: Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at high risk of engaging in challenging behavior requiring treatment. Although there is empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of behavioral interventions, identifying caregiver preference for such procedures may further ascertain the social validity of these interventions and improve caregiver adherence. In this study, caregiver preferences for interventions treating escape maintained challenging behavior were assessed. Caregivers were exposed to and taught to implement functional communication training with extinction (FCT+EXT), noncontingent reinforcement with extinction (NCR+EXT), and differential negative reinforcement of alternative behavior with extinction (DNRA+EXT). In study 1, preferences were determined using a paired-stimulus preference assessment prior to training. In study 2, caregivers were trained to implement these interventions and a concurrent-chains procedure was conducted to assess caregiver preference after implementing procedures. The current data indicates one participant preferred the DNRA+EXT (70%) procedure after initial exposure to treatment recordings, as compared to NCE+EXT (50%) and FCT+EXT (25%) procedures. However, a positive correlative trend showed that NCE+EXT was the preferred choice of treatment during our concurrent-chains procedure. By assessing caregiver preference to treatment based on the type of exposure presented (observation vs. implementation), caregiver adherence and treatment integrity may be better understood.
 
130. Evaluation of a Brief, Telehealth PECS® Parent Training
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY ESTEVES (York University), Julie Koudys (Brock University), Melissa Elliot (Bethesda Services ), Amanpreet Randhawa (Brock University), Krysten Spottiswood (Pyramid Educational Consultants of Canada), Alyssa Treszl (Brock University), Katelyn Rolfe (Brock University)
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: The Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®; Bondy & Frost, 1994) is an augmentative and alternative communication system designed to teach functional communication. The existing body of evidence supports PECS as an evidence-based communication approach for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite the existence of a substantial amount of PECS research, little is known about how to train natural mediators, such as parents, to teach and support their child’s PECS use. Without parental involvement, system abandonment is likely; reducing the opportunity for socially valid child communication outcomes. This study explored the results of a brief (i.e., two week) telehealth PECS parent training involving didactic training (i.e., PECS Level 1 Training) and behavioral skills training (BST). Six parents of children with ASD participated. A multiple-baseline design across behaviors was used to explore the impact of BST on parents’ PECS teaching accuracy for Phases 1, 2, 3a, and 3b. Results indicate that all parents’ PECS teaching accuracy improved, and these results were generally maintained at follow-up. Overall, results indicate that a relatively brief telehealth training, using BST, may enhance parent PECS teaching skills. Limitations, future research directions, and clinical implications will be shared.
 
132. Application of Crowding Bars in Visual Stimuli to Increase Acquisition and Response Accuracy in Skills Training for Children With Autism and Visual Impairment
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KENNAN JAY LISTON (Behavior Analysis Support Services )
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: Individual needs vary greatly in the clinical setting and ethical standards require that programming be specific to these needs. It is critical then to include in the analysis and programmatic treatment of behavior all environmental factors related to the individual. In the current case study the client was displaying a highly variable responding and high rates of problem behavior in the specific demand context of Listener responding with numbers in arrays of any size. Since the client had known visual impairments a consult with an Optometrist was scheduled. Through collaboration with an Optometrist it was revealed that issues specific to numbers or letters in white fields and isolation are common among children with visual impairments and the literature in the field of Optometry recommends the inclusion of crowding bars which can be faded as the individuals eye develops. Once these bars were added to the visual stimuli in session responding was highly accurate and there were no displays of reduction target behavior from the client.
 
134. Implementing An Intervention To Reduce Self-Injurious Behavior In A Child With Austim Using Telehealth Resources During Covid-19 Pandemic
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VERÔNICA OLIVEIRA DOS SANTOS (Grupo Metodo), Maria Andrade (Grupo Método - Intervenção Comportamental)
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: The covid-19 pandemic brought incredible challenges for the treatment delivery for people with autism all over the world. This poster presents the results of an intervention based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) carried out via telehealth with significant results in reducing self-injurious behavior in an 8-year-old child. The intervention was implemented, in the child’s home, by a therapist trained and supervised by a specialist in ABA. Weekly supervisions lasting 1 hour were carried out and envolved live footage of the therapist working with the child. The target behavior was to tap his finger on hard surfaces, with was causing wounds to the area. A functional assessment was carried out, and indicated that the child’s behavior was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A competing itens assessment was also carried out to identify activities to effectively compete with the child’s behavior. After three weeks of intervention (i.e. giving the child non-contingent access to competing activities and materials) the child’s behavior was reduced by 67%. One reversal probe session was realized and corroborated the intervention effectiveness. The reduction was also related by the family and school teachers after they gave acess to the same activities during daily routine.
 
136. Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions: A Review of Data Collection & Measurement Techniques
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
NOEL E. OTETO (Michigan State University), Allison Nicole White (Michigan State University ), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Andrea D Mata (Michigan State University)
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: Early intensive behavioral interventions based on principles derived from applied behavior analysis (ABA) and developmental psychology categorized as naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions, or NDBIs improve development of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Schreibman et al., 2015). Although earlier literature demonstrates the efficacy of NDBIs, researchers have yet to carefully describe the data collection and monitoring techniques that are utilized by researchers and needed by practitioners to make day-to-day decisions in practical applications of NDBIs in both clinical and community-based intervention settings.These strategies may have an impact on the use and effective implementation of an NDBI in clinical and community settings. We conducted a systematic literature review to evaluate the components of data collection and measurement strategies used in applications of NDBIs between the years 2015-2020.This timeline was chosen specifically to review literature published after the Schreibman and colleagues (2015) article which thoroughly described and coupled interventions as NDBIs for the first time, effectively making NDBIs its own field of intervention research. Results will be discussed as well as implications for future research and the growing field of NDBIs.
 
138. Assessment and Treatment of Self Injury for a Visually Impaired Elementary Student with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARA SNYDER (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: Assessment of challenging behavior via functional analyses and subsequent treatment including functional communication training (FCT) is a common approach to treating severe problem behavior for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities (Iwata et al., 1982, 1994; Carr & Durand, 1985). However, for those individuals that have a comorbid diagnosis of visual impairment and autism, there are assessment and treatment challenges faced with this common approach (e.g. visual symbols vs. tactile symbols, etc.). Visual impairments affect a significant percentage of the population of individuals with an autism diagnosis (Butchart et al., 2016). However, there is minimal research regarding assessment and treatment of challenging behavior for individuals with this comorbid diagnosis. The current study included an 8 year old caucasian male with autism and visual impairment who engaged in self injurious behavior. Researchers conducted a functional analysis within the participants' elementary school classroom. Based on the results of the functional analysis the researchers began FCT with the participant to address the escape function of the individual’s self injury. Results suggest that adaptations to functional communication training may be necessary for individuals with autism and visual impairment to make the communication response more salient to the individual and establish independent communication responses.
 
140. Teaching Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Request Assistance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY MATTES (Western Michigan Universtiy ), Kayla Vincenty-Cole (Western Michigan University), Sacha T. Pence (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Art Dowdy (Temple University)
Abstract: Teaching key social and communication skills to young children can reduce challenging behavior in the classroom and increase prosocial skills. The Preschool Life Skills program provides a tiered approach to teach preschool children with developmental disabilities to request assistance from teachers; however, researchers need to evaluate the extent to which requesting assistance will generalize to other situations and people following acquisition. Using a multiple baseline design, experimenters used a tiered approach with an instructional package consisting of behavior skills training, prompts, error-correction procedures, and reinforcement to teach children to ask for help. Acquisition and generalization were evaluated across five antecedent situations: self-care skills, opening containers, completing a difficult task, getting something that was out of reach, and accessing a toy. Students progressed from general class-wide procedures, to small-group teaching with more practice opportunities, to individualized instruction with most-to-least prompting, additional reinforcers, direct rehearsal, and progressively increasing inter-trial intervals as needed to master requesting help using an icon exchange. Generalization probes to untrained antecedent situations were conducted following mastery with a trained antecedent situation. Two participants’ independent requests for help increased with small-group instruction, but all participants required individualized instruction for mastery.
 
142.

Theory of Psychology: Its application to autism spectrum disorder

Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMANUEL MERAZ-MEZA MEZA (Universidad Veracruzana), Luis Martell (Universidad Veracruzana), Agustin Daniel Gomez Fuentes (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract:

The present study purpose to analyze the conditional relationships between an individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and his mother in a situation of consumption and play. A mother-child dyad, the child diagnosed with ASD, participated in the study. A design with Exploratory Phase, Intervention Phase and a Follow-up Phase in play and consumption situation were used. The psychological phenomenon was analyzed, as a functional contact in the first two levels of the Taxonomy of functions: coupling and alteration. The modes of the observing-signal language were used as a means of conventional contact between the child, the mother, and the objects of the environment. A catalog and behavioral record were used to observe dyadic interactions in real time. The results indicate that in the follow-up phase the child's stereotyped behaviors decreased in frequency and duration; in addition, the child emitted behaviors that altered his own behavior, that of the mother and the objects of the environment. The results are discussed based on the concept of contingency, the psychological phenomenon as a relationship and the modes of language as the medium that enables interindividual interactions.

 
144. Isolating The Effects of Attention on Problem Behavior During Small Group Instruction
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARISSA JEANETT LEWIS (Kenney Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract: Following the initial functional analysis (FA), modifications to the “standard” procedures are often necessary to determine the function of severe problem behavior (Hagopian, Rooker, Jessel, and DeLeon, 2013). The participant in this study was a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who attended prekindergarten at a public school and was admitted to an inpatient unit for the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior. The school staff hypothesized that the problem behavior was maintained by escape from demands. We conducted an initial FA, similar to Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bowman, and Richman (1982/1994), and no problem behavior occurred during demand sessions. We then conducted a modified FA to mimic the small group instruction in the participant’s school. Due to the hospital safety guidelines, a staff member was utilized as a confederate “student.” Academic demands were placed across all conditions. We compared two test conditions, attention and escape, against a control condition in a reversal design. The results of the FA indicated that the participant’s problem behavior was maintained by access to adult attention, even in the context of academic instruction. These results were used to develop a treatment which resulted in a clinically significant reduction in the participant’s problem behavior.
 
146. Effects of Incorporating Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement Preference Assessment into Token Economies: A Preliminary Investigation
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE HAROOTUNIAN (The Learning Consultants), Jeremy Douglas Steele (The Learning Consultants), Sean Page (The Learning Consultants ), Jeffrey Gesick (The Learning Consultants)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract: Given that reinforcement effects are idiosyncratic, this study is relevant to improving the value of token economies. The benefits of implementing a token economy within treatment sessions of young children with autism have been established. In addition, multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment is a validated empirical assessment to identify an individual’s preference for various stimuli. The present study is a preliminary investigation to examine the effects of using various parameters in developing and implementing a token economy on the duration of refusal behavior for one child with autism. An alternating treatment design demonstrates that a token economy developed using MSWO to identify themes as well as token order preference resulted in shorter, less frequent refusals throughout the session compared to the less structured, less preferred token economies. The preliminary data from this study suggest that implementing a token economy using stimuli identified in a MSWO increases the potential reinforcing properties of the tokens.
 
148. Autism Spectrum Disorder Services in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DUAA ALZAHRANI (Umm Al-Qura University ), Xiuchang Huang (Duquesne University)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract: This poster summarizes a paper that addresses the current landscape of ASD services in the King of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the light of the new reform agenda “Vision 2030”. The paper addresses the remaining challenges that faces the provision of ASD service in KSA and provides recommendations to combat the challenges.
 
150. Using Video Based Preference Assessments for Vocational Tasks
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ (Bancroft; Rider University), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft; Rider University)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract: There is limited research to help teachers and adult employment specialists assess learner preferences in vocational training programs. The purpose of the present study was to replicate and extend the procedures of Synder et. al. (2012) by using video based preference assessments to assess preference for vocational tasks. Participants were adult learners with autism and intellectual disabilities between the ages of 18 and 21 in a special education vocational training program. Participants were shown brief looping videos of vocational tasks in a paired choice preference assessment. To assess the validity of the preference assessment, we then presented the highest and lowest preferred tasks simultaneously in a concurrent chain design. Following the selection of a task, participants completed the task for 30 seconds, and the choice was presented again. This procedure was repeated until a clear preference emerged. Clear preferences were identified following the paired choice preference assessments for all individuals. Results of the validity assessment were less clear, as responding in the preference assessment did not accurately predict responding during the choice assessment for all of the participants.
 
Sustainability submission 152.

Increasing Accurate Recycling in a Self-Contained Special Education School

Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN DOUGLAS ZANGERLE (The May Institute, Randolph School), Jessica M. Cohenour (The May Institute, Randolph School)
Discussant: Amalix Flores (USF)
Abstract:

Recycling is a common environmentally sustainable behavior targeted by behavioral interventions in various settings. Previous research demonstrated increases in accurate recycling behaviors via manipulations of recycling bin and trash can quantity and placement in combination with different prompting strategies. Multiple studies have implemented recycling interventions in university buildings, office settings, and residential neighborhoods, but few have researched methods to increase this skill in individuals with disabilities. Specifically with this population, recycling represents a vocational training experience that could lead to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including Autism. Research has shown that employment opportunities can provide benefits such as improved cognitive performance for adults with Autism, as well as increased access to advanced skill training. Yet there is a relative lack of research targeting accurate recycling among this population. This research aims to synthesize methods used in previous studies to increase both the frequency and accuracy of recycling within 4 classrooms in a self-contained school for special education. Baseline data show low frequency and accuracy of recycling behavior across all 4 classrooms. Participants include classroom staff and students.

 
154. Teaching Engagement in Safe Behaviors to Respond to Aversive Stimuli
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MALCHIJAH WILLIAMS (Florida Autism Center), Faris R Kronfli (University of Florida), Jeanne Stephanie Gonzalez (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: Teaching individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to appropriately respond to common sounds encountered in the community (e.g., children laughing, babies crying) that they tact as aversive is imperative to increase independence and safety. The purpose of the current study was to teach a 19-year-old man diagnosed with ASD to appropriately respond to aversive auditory stimuli which had a history of evoking problem behavior (e.g., elopement, screaming, crying). First, we measured consent to play the aversive stimuli, latency to turn off the stimuli, and appropriate behavior observed when hearing the stimuli. Then we used behavioral skills training to teach appropriate behaviors to mitigate the aversiveness of the stimuli. Last, we provided opportunities for the individual to contact the aversive stimuli to determine if they would emit the appropriate behaviors learned during BST. Results show that the individual had learned to emit the appropriate behaviors. However, they did not provide consent to play the aversive auditory stimuli within our training sessions. Implications regarding ethical considerations during treatment are discussed.
 
156. Improving Daily Living Skills via Telehealth Caregiver Coaching
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE GEROW (Baylor University), Catharine Lory (Baylor University), Kristina McGinnis (Baylor University), Remington Swensson (Baylor University), Tracey Sulak (Baylor University), Jessica Akers (Baylor University), Stephanie Fritz (Baylor University), Marie Kirkpatrick (University of Texas at San Antonio)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: Children with autism often experience deficits in daily living skills, such as tooth brushing, hand washing, and picking up toys. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of coaching caregivers, such as parents and grandparents, to implement a total task chaining procedure to improve daily living skills for children with autism. Eighteen children participated in the study and 32 daily living skills goals were targeted with these participants. We implemented a multiple baseline across skills design with one child and an AB design for the remaining participants. The data indicated the caregiver-implemented intervention resulted in improvements in daily living skills, with an average Tau-U effect size of 0.82. Based on the treatment fidelity data, most of the caregivers implemented the intervention correctly; the average intervention fidelity was 93% across the targeted skills. We are continuing to work with participants, collect data, and analyze data. We also plan to analyze and present information regarding the length of time required to achieve these improvements and the extent to which there were corresponding improvements on Vineland scores. Implications and directions for future research will be discussed.
 
158. Increasing Mask Wearing Tolerance for Two Developmentally Disabled Individuals
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SANGWEON AUM (Eden II Programs), Holly Weisberg (College of Staten Island, City University of New York), Danielle French (Eden II Programs), Minira Ottiano (Eden II Programs), Stephanie Tafone (Eden II Programs)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: Two adults with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder were taught to be tolerant in wearing a mask as a safeguard during the COVID-19 pandemic period. After the baseline, their wearing the mask for a target duration was followed by a reinforcer during the intervention. Verbal and gestural prompts were also provided during the intervention when the participants attempted to take off the mask before the target duration elapsed. The target tolerance duration for the reinforcer was systematically increased when the participants met a mastery criterion using a changing-criterion design. Both participants showed an increase in the duration of their tolerance in mask wearing over sessions as the duration of the reinforcer criterion increased during the intervention. However, only one participant reached the tolerance duration for more than 10 minutes. One, five, and twelve month follow-up probes showed the maintenance of learned tolerance in wearing the mask but only for one participant.
 
160. Mothers' and Fathers' Stress Over Time in Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANEHA PATEL (University of Quebec, Montreal), Mélina Rivard (University of Quebec, Montreal), Catherine Mello (Penn State Berks), Diane Morin (Universite du Quebec a Montreal)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: Parents raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience greater stress than parents of typically developing children and parents of children with other neurodevelopmental disabilities. While parents' stress has been extensively studied in the literature, there are gaps regarding stress in the mother-father dyad, and how it changes over time, while considering children's clinical profile. The present study assessed parenting stress at three timepoints: upon receiving an ASD diagnosis, immediately after children completed specialized intervention services, and one year following these services. Participants consisted of 265 mothers and fathers and their child with ASD (Mage at the time of diagnosis = 3.8 years). At each timepoint, mothers and fathers completed a measure of three dimensions of parenting stress (related to: the role of being a parent, the level of satisfaction with parent-child interactions, and the demands of caring for their child). Either a parent or professional working with the child completed a measure of children's symptom severity. Cross-lagged panel analyses revealed different transactional and longitudinal links between mothers’ and fathers’ stress, depending on the facet of stress examined. Results are discussed in terms of supports and interventions that can assist parents who have a child with ASD.
 
162. A choice-based approach for schedule thinning treatments for multiply maintained destructive behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HALLE NORRIS (Rutgers University; Children's Specialized Hospital–Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: The literature lacks best practice recommendations on how to schedule thin when destructive behavior is multiply maintained. Incorporating an individual’s choice behavior and preference may help clinicians better understand one’s relative preference for different, functional reinforcers for destructive behavior while schedule thinning. Participants are individuals attending an outpatient severe behavior program who engage in multiply-maintained destructive behavior. In experiment 1, participants experienced a concurrent chains arrangement which was used to assess preference throughout simultaneous schedule thinning of two functional communication training (FCT) arrangements. Guided and independent presession choices determined which FCT arrangement the participant would experience. Independent choice of one FCT arrangement, in addition to rate of problem behavior and percentage of correct functional communication responses, were the criteria to thin the schedule of reinforcement within that specific FCT arrangement. A clear preference for one reinforcer over the other was shown with both participants when reinforcement rates were matched. However, one participant’s choice behavior did not follow the matching law, that is he repeatedly selected one reinforcer even when the reinforcement rates highly favored the other.
 
164. Heart Rate as a Predictive Biomarker for Severe Destructive Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LIAM MCCABE (Rutgers University; Children's Specialized Hospital-Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Discussant: Sarah Grace Hansen (30306)
Abstract: Though prior studies have examined physiological arousal in relation to severe destructive behavior (Barerra et al., 2007; Goodwin et al., 2018), the conflicting findings on both the patterns of physiological responding and predictive validity of these measures have not improved clinical assessment or understanding the relationship between physiology and destructive behavior (Hagopian et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was to validate the Polar H10 heart rate monitor for research with this population, examine the heart rate waveforms of individuals who engage in severe destructive behavior during a functional analysis, and explore the predictive validity of heart rate in relation to destructive behavior. In Experiment 1, we assessed the reliability of the Polar H10 monitor and examined the feasibility of its use in an analog functional analysis session. In Experiment 2, we examined the patterns of physiological arousal of individuals who engage in severe destructive behavior during a functional analysis and assessed the validity of heart rate as a predictive measure of destructive behavior. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that the Polar H10 monitor is a reliable measure of heart rate, with an average correlation coefficient of .99 across all durations and conditions of physical activity.
 
166. Exploring Factors Influencing Compatibility of Roommates on the Autism Spectrum: A Scoping Review
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
AMANDA MARIE BAILEY (Brock University), Laura E. Mullins (Brock University), Marco Kilada (Niagara College Canada; (Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society))
Discussant: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract: Many adults on the autism spectrum live in group-based settings. While the person should be central to the decision regarding placements, there are limited resources to aid in determining potential roommate compatibility. Challenging behaviors and placement breakdowns can often occur when social and environmental factors are not considered. This scoping review explores the current research on the factors that influence the compatibility of roommates on the autism spectrum. Following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines, 41 resources were reviewed to identify issues that influenced roommate compatibility and living arrangements. A deductive content analysis was used to identify areas within six domains consistent with a behavioral perspective using a bio-psycho-social approach to challenging behavior: general house details, health needs, sensory, lifestyle, social interaction, and behavioral profile. Initial results suggest the highest supported domain was social interaction and the least represented domains include health needs and lifestyle. This scoping review will guide the development of the Group Home Living Compatibility Assessment in partnership with Kerry’s Place Autism Services. The assessment aims to identify environmental modifications and opportunities for skill development that could improve the compatibility of prospective housemates and the transition process.
 
168. Increasing Cooperation in Children with Autism during Play
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHENGAN YUAN (Arizona State University), Lanqi Wang (University of Iowa), Qiuyu Min (Clover Children Rehabilitation Kindergarten, Shanghai), Zuxuan Huo (Sunshine Special Education Center, Taizhou)
Discussant: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract: Cooperation is one of the critical social skills as it facilitates learning, problem-solving, and social interaction with others. During cooperation, two individuals engage in give-and-take interactions towards a common goal (Luther, 2011). Teaching cooperation skills directly to children with autism should improve their social interactions with their peers. Given the limited studies addressing cooperation skills for children with autism, we examin if systematic direct instruction could improve the multiple cooperation targets of children with autism when paired in dyads during play. We have recruited six children with autism and paired them in three dyads and require our participants to complete a goal during their play (e.g., complete a structure using building block, Potato Head), during which the participants are taught to emit tacts of their own actions, mands for the cooperative actions from their peers, and responses to the mands (i.e., following instruction) from their peers to complete the goal. We also examine the generalization of the target responses using novel toy sets. This study is currently ongoing and anticipated to complete in February 2022.
 
170. Teaching a Learner with Sophisticated Verbal Skills Appropriate Alternatives to Low-Frequency, High-Intensity Undesired Behaviors
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SANDRA R. GOMES (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Jessica Lamb (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Emily Gallant (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract: Phoebe is a 15-year-old learner with autism spectrum disorder whose parents expressed concern about profanity use, self-injury, and aggression, all observed only in the home environment. A behavioral contract and modeling and role-play with school instructors were used to teach Phoebe to engage in appropriate alternatives. Phoebe was also taught to self-monitor her own behavior for precursors to self-injury and engage in a competing tactile response (i.e., manipulating a necklace). Initially, the contract was reviewed was every two hours, and tangible rewards were delivered daily. Over three years and 73 intervention phases, reinforcement was faded by extending the contract review interval, thinning the schedule of community trips with instructors, switching to money to spend in the community, and removing instructor feedback. By discontinuation, Phoebe’s contract was reviewed only once at the end of each week, with no money delivered. Appropriate behavior maintained over a 4-month period in the absence of contract review. We hypothesize that critical components of this intervention were: a very conservative phase criterion (i.e., 7 consecutive days with zero occurrence of target behaviors); layered contingencies of reinforcement; a systematic and gradual reinforcement thinning procedure; and the utility of the contract as a contingency management tool for parents.
 
172. Individualized Curricula for Teaching Foundational Reading Comprehension Skills to Learners with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Priya P Patil (Caldwell University), Catherine Collins (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Cassandra McGuirl (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Amber Trinidad (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), EMILY GALLANT (Somerset Hills Learning Institute), Kevin J. Brothers (Somerset Hills Learning Institute)
Discussant: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract: Jamie is a 10-year-old girl with autism spectrum disorder whose prerequisite reading and writing skills set the occasion for implementing reading comprehension intervention. Separate instructional programs were implemented to teach two foundational elements of reading comprehension, i.e.: (a) responding to WH-questions and (b) making predictions. Whereas initially, Jamie was required to vocally answer only one or two WH-questions, after 63 phases of intervention over the past three years, she now writes responses to 10 WH- questions on a worksheet after reading a story book. Generalization data are robust across people, settings, and materials. Jamie initially made predictions by via multiple choice in response to two-to-three-sentence passages, and now writes responses following short stories. Generalization across materials is an ongoing goal of intervention for this skill. (Outcome similarities/differences will also be discussed for a second learner, Susie, currently in her second phase of intervention but expected to acquire skills quickly enough for meaningful comparison by time of presentation.) We attribute the success of these interventions to a combination of commercially-available (or individualized, instructor-generated) reading materials with individualized, systematic increases in response requirements. Grade-level performance remains an ongoing goal of intervention and will be discussed further at the time of presentation.
 
174. Surveying Caregivers of Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
KATELIN HOBSON (University of Washington Doctoral Student ), Scott A. Spaulding (University of Washington)
Discussant: Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
Abstract: Social validity has been an area of importance within behavior analysis since the 1970s. Although social validity tools have been created for educators and behavior analysts there has yet to be a social validity tool that has been informed by the caregivers who receive behavior analytic services for their children with autism. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to survey caregivers of children with autism to determine how and what aspects of social validity they find most important. Caregivers of young children with autism were surveyed to determine how important it is to consider treatment outcomes, acceptance of an intervention, empathy from their behavior analyst, and the extent to which behavior analysts consider culture when programming for their child. Items related to empathy, treatment outcomes, and culture were rated by caregivers as moderately to extremely important. Overall, caregivers ranked these aspects from most-to-least important as follows: treatment outcomes, acceptance, empathy, and culture. More specifically, caregivers ranked treatment outcomes as the most important aspect of social validity but equally rated empathy from their behavior analyst and acceptance of the intervention as the second most important aspect of social validity. The results and limitations are discussed, as well as areas of future research to improve the measurement of social validity.
 
 

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