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.

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48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

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Poster Session #278
AUT Sunday Poster Session: Odd-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
1:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
111. Psychometric Properties and Normative Sample of LIFE Skills Emergence System Functional Module
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZHIHUI YI (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Elana Keissa Sickman (Missouri State University), Lauren Rose Hutchison (Missouri State University ), Jessica M. Hinman (University of Illinois at Chicago )
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract: The LIFE Skills Emergence System Functional Module is a comprehensive life-skill curriculum that utilizes relational training procedures in empowering the learner in multiple areas of daily life, including social skills, personal care skills, performance skills, leisure skills, and home skills. The current study conducts preliminary inquiries into the psychometric properties and the normative sample of the curriculum’s assessment. Content validity was evaluated by a panel of 20 subject matter experts. 96.4% (n = 241) of the programs reached the critical value of the content validity ratio. Preliminary data also suggested excellent overall internal consistency (α = .948) and acceptable to excellent internal consistency across each skill level (i.e., essential skills, foundational skills, independent skills, and liberating skills). A preliminary normative sample was also obtained by analyzing de-identified assessment results submitted via an interactive online portal. Suggestions for future studies and the use of online data collection portals to complete secondary research objectives concurrent to providing clinical services were discussed.
 
113. Improving Reciprocity during Pretend Play for Children with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chengan Yuan (Arizona State University), LANQI WANG (University of Iowa), Shaokang Zheng (Best Love Child Development Center, Kunming)
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract: Impairments in reciprocal pretend play are common in children with autism (Jarrold, 2003; Lifter, 2000). Their play is often characterized by repetitive behaviors with a lack of symbolic and social quality (MacDonald et al., 2009). Prior studies addressing pretend play often focused on the symbolic quality, and few addressed social interactions during pretend play. In this study, we specifically target reciprocal social interactions during pretend play for children with ASD when they are paired in dyads. Using direct instruction and constant prompt delay, children in each dyad are being taught to provide vocal and physical reciprocal responses relating to their peer’s play actions during pretend play. In the context of a multiple baseline across toy sets, we investigate if the direct instruction with prompt delay could facilitate the children's reciprocal responses during pretend play with their peers. The procedure and data collection of this study has begun and are anticipated to complete in March 2022.
 
115. Psychometric Properties of a Function-Based Elopement Measure: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSEA MARIE ROCK (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Marcus Autism Center), Laura Suzanna Coleman (Marcus Autism Center), Jessica Solomon (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Marcus Autism Center), Sarah Slocum (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine), Mindy Christine Scheithauer (Marcus Autism Center)
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract: An exploratory measure of elopement was constructed to assess children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in an actively enrolling randomized controlled trial to treat elopement. Treatment involved a manualized behavioral intervention for elopement, and the control group received parent psychoeducation. The 30-item parent-rated measure rates severity of various everyday situations where elopement may occur. This instrument was modelled after the Home Situations Questionnaire-Autism Spectrum Disorder (HSQ-ASD), measuring non-compliance in ASD (Chowdhury et al., 2016). We examined the elopement measure’s psychometric properties from a sample of 37 completed participants with ASD in the treatment and control arms across 28 weeks. Within the 30 items are 3-4 potential item clusters of elopement functions (i.e., attention, tangible, demand, and/or automatic). Results from the measure were compared to other parent-ratings of behaviors, such as hyperactivity (Kaat et al., 2014) and elopement frequency. Preliminary findings suggest marked decreases of hyperactivity and elopement frequency in the treatment group compared to the control group at endpoint, but less clear differences between groups on the elopement measure, suggesting the parent-reported outcomes in the novel elopement measure may assess different aspects of elopement.
 
117. Effects of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers' Use of Embedded Teaching to Support Child Learning in Inclusive Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Serife Balikci (University of North Carolina Greensboro;), SALIH RAKAP (University of North Carolina Greensboro; Ondokuz Mayis University), Burak Aydin (Ege University), Sinan Kalkan (Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate relative effectiveness of two professional development programs (Workshops only and Workshops + Practice-BasedCoaching) in increasing preschool teachers’ frequent and accurate use of embedded teaching practices while working with children with autism. The study employed a randomized controlled trial with a total of 36teachers and 36 children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Thirty-six teachers were randomly assigned to one of the three study groups: Control Group, Workshops only Group and Workshops+Practice-Based Coaching Group. Findings of the study indicated that teachers in the experimental groups used embedded teaching practices more frequently and correctly than teachers in the control group; teachers who received practice-based coaching support in addition to the workshops demonstrated better performances on implementing embedded teaching practices than teachers who attended workshops only. With respect to child outcomes, children whose teachers were in the Workshops+Practice-Based Coaching group showed larger increases in target behavior performances in comparison the children in Workshops only or Control groups.
 
Diversity submission 119. Challenges in Transitioning to Adulthood for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder in India
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SWATI NARAYAN (WECAN ProACT India ), Gita Srikanth (ABA India)
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract:

An increasing number of individuals with ASD are entering adulthood in India. There is growing concern among parents of these individuals, about their employability, future living arrangement, financial independence and safety, particularly as the caregivers grow older. Majority of these individuals struggle with communication and social isolation, according to parent narratives. The participating adults continued to live with their families, having limited social interface and faced a lack of employment opportunities at the time of the study. The study also indicates a need for shift in parental attitudes towards long term planning for the child early into the intervention years. This descriptive study also points to the need for psychoeducation and focused intervention for better adult outcomes and the ongoing need for trained personnel who are specialized in working with adults, apart from residential options for all socio-economic sections of the affected population.

 
121. Analysis of Four Measures of Positional Bias Within a Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement Preference Assessment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID RAY GUTIERREZ MIRANDA (Purdue University), Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University), Emma Seliina Sipila-Thomas (Michigan State University ), Marisa H Fisher (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Alexandria Thomas (Michigan State University), Isaac Joseph Melanson (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Kathleen Ann Quill (Autism Institute)
Abstract: Positional bias is a pattern of responding to a specific location (Bourret et al., 2012). When individuals engage in positionally biased responses, practitioners may find it more difficult to interpret whether selections were due to preference or item location (Karsten et al., 2011). Prior research on positional bias within stimulus preference assessments have focused primarily on its use in paired stimulus assessments. However, there are currently no measures for calculating positional bias within the multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment due to the increased number of stimuli and changing number of stimuli in the array. The present study is a secondary data analysis that utilized four different methods to measure side and center bias within an MSWO for 19 young children with autism spectrum disorder. All four methods utilized the same MSWO data to calculate both side and center bias percentages. When comparing the positional bias percentages outputted by the four methods, general output patterns were found. General recommendations for the application of these methods and directions for future research are discussed.
 
123. Utilizing the PEAK Relational Training System to teach language skills to children with autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH MAKENZIE LINDEMANN (Utah Valley University ), Sydney Jensen (Utah Valley University), Mikayla Campbell (Utah Valley University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Individuals with autism often have deficits in their verbal behavior repertoire. Recent research has shown utility of the PEAK curriculum in teaching complex verbal behavior to individuals with autism (McKeel et al., 2015). The current study sought to expand the research on the effectiveness of the PEAK curriculum by evaluating its use to teach several relevant verbal behaviors to three children diagnosed with autism within an integrated preschool classroom. The intervention was evaluated using a multiple baseline across participants that was replicated across behaviors. DTT was used in conjunction with a least-to-most prompting procedure and participants were differentially reinforced for correct responding. Programs included similar sets of stimuli embedded within teaching trials to test for generalization. Each participant acquired the skills that were trained during teaching trials and demonstrated generalization for the untrained sets of stimuli. The data sets suggest that there is utility for using PEAK within integrated programs to promote skill acquisition and generalization. These findings lend support for the use of the PEAK curriculum in inclusionary settings as well as in more transitional settings.
 
125. Implementing the PEAK relational training system to teach language skills in an integrated pre-school classroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SYDNEY JENSEN (Utah Valley University), Sarah Makenzie Lindemann (Utah Valley University), Mikayla Campbell (Utah Valley University), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University), Yamileth Beltran Medrano (Utah Valley University )
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Individuals on the autism spectrum often have significant delays or deficits in their language repertoires. Recent research has shown the utility of the PEAK relational training system in addressing these delays or deficits by teaching relevant verbal behavior skills. Although research has demonstrated the use of the PEAK curriculum in several settings, there is limited research evaluating the applicability of it when used in an integrated pre-school classroom. The current study aimed to expand previous research by evaluating the efficiency of PEAK to teach language skills to individuals with autism in an integrated pre-school setting. Participants were assessed in terms of their verbal behavior and deficit skills were taught using DTT. A multiple baseline across skills was utilized to evaluate effectiveness of the intervention. The results showed that each participant was able to reach mastery criteria for each of the targeted skills. Overall, the results support the existing data that PEAK programming is an effective method of teaching language skills to individuals on the autism spectrum. Additionally, the findings expand on previous literature by showing that PEAK can be effectively implemented in an integrated pre-school setting. Additional limitations and further implications will be discussed. ?
 
127. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assessment: Empowering Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Individualized Communication Systems
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
REBECCA JAYNE FREAKLEY (Woodbury Autism Education and Research)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract:

For some individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, communicating with verbal speech presents a challenge. Access to Augmentative and Alternative Communication can be the difference between students having communicative independence or continued challenges with language. Determining appropriate communication options comes down to trailing various systems and measuring these through a comprehensive assessment. Woodbury’s device trials assess three alternative communication options each trailed over 3 weeks in collaboration with speech and language pathologists. Data collection tracks a student’s level of independent communication, variety of words accessed across communicative functions (e.g. requesting, protesting, greeting, commenting, asking and responding to questions), and acknowledges student’s personal preference for an alternative communication system. This dynamic assessment examines user abilities across several areas of competence, including linguistic, operational, strategic, emotional, and social-functional domains. While commercially available options allow students quick access to relatively low-cost communication support, it does not necessarily guarantee access to the appropriate communication system, nor does it ensure improved student communication outcomes meeting the students long term needs. This poster reviews 3 case studies of primary school-aged students with Autism, demonstrating this assessment process and highlighting the importance of offering choice when choosing a communication option.

 
129. Evaluating the rates of skill acquisition across school, clinical, and combined settings using the PEAK Relational Training System
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LINDSEY AUDREY MARIE DENNIS (Emergent Learning Center), Kathy Anne Roustio (Emergent Learning STL Center)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Across modes of service deliver, skill acquisition can vary based on several different factors including instructional control and exposure to stimuli. Many clients may receive similar treatments in clinical settings as they do in school to assist in target skill acquisition. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of exposure across instructional settings on rates of skill acquisition for language and cognitive skill programs using the PEAK Relational Training System. Using a multielement design combined with a multiple baseline across skills, will evaluate skill acquisition over 3 instructional settings: ABA center, school, and combination of both ABA center and school. Pilot data shows skill acquisition occurred across all instructional settings however there was a faster rate of mastery for the combined instructional setting. Implications of including multiple instructional settings to accrue faster rates of skill acquisition is discussed for client treatment goals in both school and clinical settings.
 
131. The Use of Behavioral Skills Training with Caregivers on Correct Pairing Procedures
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MIKAYLA CAMPBELL (Utah Valley University), Devin Guinn (Alternative Behavior Strategies - Kids), Caleb Stanley (Utah Valley University), Sydney Jensen (Utah Valley University), Sarah Makenzie Lindemann (Utah Valley University), Yamileth Beltran Medrano (Utah Valley University)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Behavior analysts and caregivers play a critical role in the delivery of effective treatment to those with autism. One effective strategy for ensuring long-term maintenance of targeted behaviors is to train caregivers on specific treatment implementation procedures. Previous research has shown BST as an effective intervention for teaching caregivers proper treatment implementation of a variety of skills, such as prompting, teaching social skills, and self-care, to their children. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of BST in teaching appropriate implementation of pairing procedures to caregivers. The current study employed an AB design, whereby the intervention involved a BST protocol (instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback) given to caregivers on effective pairing strategies with their child with autism. The staff recorded data on the implementation of the pairing task analysis as well as the frequency of independent tacts and mands made by the child with autism to these family members. The results suggest the training was effective in teaching appropriate pairing procedures to the parents. Additionally, the findings show an increase in independent tacts and mands to family members, as well as to the behavior technician.
 
133. Preference Assessment and Reinforcement Delivery Practices of BCBA's in Home-Based Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIEL ALMEIDA (Beacon Services), Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
Discussant: Colin S. Muething (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Thirty-two BCBAs employed by a home-based agency providing EIBI services completed an on-line survey. Forced-choice and Likert-scale questions assessed participants’ demographic information, client’s reinforcers, and preference assessment practices. Seventy-three percent of the participants had been a BCBA between 0-6 years. Fifty percent of the clients had been receiving services from the BCBA for 2-3 years and 62% of clients received between 6 -15 hours of services per week. Results found that 72% of the children served had between 0-10 identified tangible reinforcers, 81% had fewer than five activity-based reinforcers, 69% had fewer than five social reinforcers and 88% had fewer than five sensory reinforcers. Commonly used practices included allowing clients to choose reinforcers pre and during sessions, controlling access to reinforcers during sessions and reassessing preferences if clients became off task or made errors. There was less agreement regarding the use of natural reinforcers, if reinforcers should be reassessed if the client leaves an instructional area and when to conducting formal preference assessments. Implications for clinical practice will be discussed.
 
135. Conducting Matched-Stimuli Preference Assessments to Identify Replacement Stimuli to Reduce Pica
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHAUNESSY M. EGAN (The Center for Children with Special Needs), Elizabeth C. Nulty (Center for Children with Special Needs)
Discussant: David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: In order to identify appropriate substitution stimuli to replace pica, it is critical to conduct matched-stimuli preference assessments. Data collection should be designed to identify the specific reinforcing properties of the preferred pica stimuli including the visual appeal regarding color, material, and size, oral texture, smell, and auditory stimuli (e.g., makes a crunch sound). Once the hypothesized reinforcing features of the preferred pica stimuli are identified, a matched-stimuli preference assessment can be conducted that includes foods with similar properties (e.g., ground up graham crackers in place of sand). The goal of using a matched-stimuli is to introduce a replacement behavior, and the literature has used matched-stimuli by placing bowls of the high preference foods around the room. This solution is often limiting as children with autism are often moving across environments including home, school, and in the community. Since environments change, it is important to have the matched-stimuli available at all times so that they can independently engage in the replacement behavior in the presence of the preferred pica stimuli. This paper extends the current research by teaching children with autism to access the matched-stimuli from a pouch attached to their waist across environments.
 
137. Parental Attitude and Expectations in Raising a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder in India
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Swati Narayan (WECAN ProACT India ), GITA SRIKANTH (ABA India)
Discussant: David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: The current study aims to understand the attitude of parents of 28 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in India. This study was conducted in Chennai, an urban metropolitan setting in South India, and most of the respondents were middle and upper middle-class parents. In a country like India with a vast number of languages, cultures, socioeconomic disparities, and varying education levels, the challenge lies in finding a standardized understanding of Autism, and an optimal intervention package. Social norms and expectations play a significant role in shaping parental acceptance of ASD and their choice of intervention. Findings show that parents of children with ASD have the same expectations of their child as they do of their typically developing children, giving a leverage of a few years. There was also a mismatch between what was vocalized as being the ideal outcomes for their child and the steps taken to achieve them. This descriptive study illustrates the urgent need to provide parents with a uniform understanding of the condition, the availability of scientific intervention services and additionally, the need for a uniform policy on processes and educational and therapeutic intervention that will meet the needs of the child and that of the family
 
139. Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior Evoked by the Disruption of Hoarding
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY SULLIVAN (Western New England University; May Institute), Robin K. Landa (May Institute), Jennifer R. Zarcone (The May Institute)
Discussant: David Legaspi (Center For Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Hoarding is characterized by behavior such as excessively collecting various items, organizing those items in highly specific and atypical ways, and resisting attempts at disrupting collection or organization. For example, individuals who hoard may resist expectations to relinquish collected items, independent of their functional use or value. For some individuals, such resistance may take the form of severe problem behavior. Both hoarding behavior and severe problem behavior are associated with impairments in adaptive functioning for individuals with autism. However, few studies have investigated the function of problem behavior among individuals with autism who hoard, and treatments for hoarding or related problem behavior remain under-investigated for this population. The present investigation involved a practical functional assessment (PFA) and skill-based treatment (SBT) approach to assessing and treating problem behavior associated with the disruption of hoarding for two adolescents with autism. Results of the PFA demonstrated that problem behavior for both participants was maintained by a reinforcement contingency involving the opportunity to engage in participant-directed hoarding behavior. These results informed the development a SBT package, which decreased problem behavior to near-zero levels and increased desirable replacement skills (e.g., functional communication; cooperation with instructions to relinquish or organize collected items) for both participants.
 
147. The Correlation Between a Novel Area and an Increase in Rearranging Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIA GILLORAN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Meagan K. Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Sara Deinlein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: One of the diagnostic criteria for autism is the presence of restricted, repetitive behavior, and this may manifest as an insistence on sameness, such as requiring objects in the environment to be placed in a consistent location. As such, when objects are not in the “correct” location and cannot be moved, this can evoke problem behavior. If caregivers then stop blocking and allow the objects to be relocated following problem behavior, this can serve as reinforcement. The current study involved a series of repeated exposures to a room with objects placed in specific locations, after which the objects were moved to new locations. In the control condition, rearranging items was permitted. In the test condition, rearranging was blocked unless problem behavior occurred, at which point blocking was terminated and access to rearranging was permitted. The conditions were evaluated in a multielement design. Problem behavior only occurred during the first three sessions of the test condition and none of the following test sessions, until sessions were moved to a novel environment. Following repeated exposure to the new environment and placement of stimuli, the items were rearranged, and the test and control conditions were repeated. Following this, the participant engaged in an increase in problem behavior in the test condition.
 
149. An Evaluation of Problem Behavior during Ambiguous and Unambiguous Transitions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXA NOPPENBERGER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Margaret Cavanaugh (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sagar Patel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Valeria Macuare (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Natalie Toups (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: Problem behavior during transitions may occur if the individual is unaware of the purpose of the transition. That is, the transition may be “ambiguous.” The purpose of this study was to evaluate if making ambiguous transitions unambiguous would decrease problem behavior for an adolescent female with autism and severe intellectual disability. Sessions were conducted as discrete trials embedded across the day during behavioral therapy while she was admitted to an inpatient unit for the treatment of severe problem behavior. Two conditions were conducted that each consisted of transitions to various areas and activities. The first condition included unambiguous transitions where the participant was presented with a micro switch prior to the transition that visually depicted the activity or area she was transitioning to while also providing audio feedback when the micro switch was pressed. During the second condition, ambiguous transitions, the participant was informed that they were going on a walk, but the location was not disclosed. The participant did not engage in problem behavior during the unambiguous transition condition. However, she engaged in problem behavior more frequently during ambiguous transitions. Results suggest that providing individuals with clear signals about where they are transitioning may reduce problem behavior.
 
151. Teaching Vocal Imitation Of Prolonged Sounds To A Young Adult With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NICOLA CEFALO (Aliter Cooperativa Sociale)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: Some studies support the general conclusion that language development after a certain age is more improbable. Although, a significant proportion of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) fail to develop word or phrase speech by age 8, successful acquisition by older children is reported in several studies. However, such children may show several articulation errors, unusual intonation or volume, or other difficulties that interfere with speech intelligibility. Despite the development of effective interventions for young children with ASD, virtually nothing is known about older students. We describe a young adult (22-years-old) who speaks in single words, or at most two-word phrases. Furthermore, he shows a specific problem in connecting the sounds within a word (e.g. “ho…..m” for home; “t…..wen…ti…tu” for twenty-two). The present study evaluates a visual prompt procedure to teach vocal imitation of prolonged sounds (e.g. “mmmmmmm”; “aaaaaaaaaa”) and vocal imitation of a held sound to a second sound (e.g. “oooooommmmmmm”; “iiiiiiiiuuuuuuu”). In baseline, the subject couldn’t imitate sound longer than 3 seconds neither link the sounds together. After training he learnt to prolong every sound for up to 5 seconds, on average; he also learnt to connect several single sounds together. We tested generalization with other people and in other environments. We evaluate internal validity through a single probe multiple baseline design.
 
153. “Boarding Pass to Autism”: An Innovative Intervention for Desensitizing Children with Autism to air travel
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANGELIKI GENA (University of Athens, Greece), Aikaterini Drosinou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Christina Panagiotakou (Onassis Foundation)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: People with Autism Spectrum Disorder typically experience high levels of anxiety which often renders taking a flight a rather demanding and stressful procedure for them and their families. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention aiming to desensitize children with Autism Spectrum Disorder that have flying phobia and to prepare them for a trip with an airplane. “Boarding Pass to Autism” is a therapeutic program that draws from the science of Behavior Analysis and incorporates various methodologies, such as task analysis, reinforcement contingencies, and a desensitization process that entails both in-vivo exposure and imaginary practice. In addition, Social Stories were used to familiarize the participants with preparing for a flight, going to the airport, and entering the aircraft. All 10 participants – 4-16 years old – were fully desensitized in preparing for a flight – from getting ready for a flight at home, getting to the airport, going through all procedures within the airport, until the point of boarding an aircraft. In addition, airport staff was provided with training that aimed to ameliorate difficulties that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder may face during an air travel.
 
155. A Comparison of Prompting by Exclusion and Single-Stimulus Prompting in Auditory Visual Conditional Discriminations
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAIGE ELLINGTON (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Tom Cariveau (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Alexandria Brown (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Delanie Fetzner (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: Training arrangements that include selection-based responses (e.g., matching to sample) may be more likely to result in responding under irrelevant sources of stimulus control characterized by position or stimulus biases. Although several training recommendations should be considered (see Green, 2001), prompting procedures may be particularly relevant to ensure responding is controlled by the relevant conditions. Learning by exclusion procedures typically include the presentation of one or more defined (i.e., trained) relations and the undefined relation. Under these conditions, the participant should select the undefined comparison when presented with an undefined sample by rejecting the already defined comparisons. The current study compared two prompting procedures on the acquisition of auditory-visual conditional discriminations for a child with autism spectrum disorder using an adapted alternating treatments design. In both conditions, an observing response produced an auditory sample followed by three visual comparisons. In the single stimulus prompting condition, the correct comparison is presented alone. In the prompting by exclusion condition, the correct comparison is presented with two defined comparisons. The findings of three direct comparisons suggest that both procedures were effective and differences in efficiency were negligible. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.
 
157. Evaluating DRO with Asymmetrical Magnitude of Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
LINDSEY M HRONEK (West Virginia University), Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is a widely recognized reinforcement schedule used in behavior analytic procedures aimed at decreasing challenging behavior. DRO commonly includes a programmed reinforcer delivered on an interval-based schedule dependent on the omission of a target behavior, and the reinforcer is withheld following the occurrence of the target behavior (i.e., extinction). Although interventions employing DRO can be an effective, procedures that include extinction can, at times, be impractical or potentially lead to undesirable side effects. A DRO schedule can be implemented without extinction, but previous research has shown limited utility of this tactic. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate an asymmetrical DRO arrangement in which meeting the omission requirement resulted in a greater magnitude of reinforcement than the target behavior that continued to produce a lesser magnitude reinforcer. We examined DRO with and without asymmetrical magnitude of reinforcement for the omission and emission of the target response in a human-operant arrangement with nine adult college students. None of the participant’s exhibited a greater reduction in responding reliably during the higher magnitude DRO condition in comparison to the equal magnitude DRO condition.
 
159. Teaching communication skills to children with autism spectrum disorders through parent training via telehealth: A comprehensive literature review
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Camille Orlanda Lajara (Endicott College; Autism Partnership Philippines), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), CHRISTEN RUSSELL (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College)
Abstract: Telehealth, telemedicine or telepractice is defined as the application of telecommunication technology to conduct professional services remotely by connecting clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention and/or consultation (Baharav & Reiser, 2010). The purpose of the comprehensive literature review was to provide an update on the current research that studied the effects of telehealth-based parent training in implementing communication interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria was reviewed. Majority of the studies included were single-case research studies and only one study was conducted through randomized controlled trial (RCT). Overall, the current research provides support in the use of telehealth as an effective option to train and coach parents in implementing communication interventions for their children. The findings of this review support the role of parents in providing an effective and quality communication intervention to their children when receiving training and/or coaching via telehealth. Therefore, future research should conduct studies to determine whether providing training and/or coaching via telehealth to parents in implementing other kinds of behavior analytic strategies can also achieve effective outcomes.
 
161. Telehealth PECS® Parent Training: Error Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMANPREET RANDHAWA (Brock University), Julie Koudys (Brock University), Melissa Ann Elliott (Bethesda Services), Jeffrey Esteves (York University), Krysten Spottiswood (Pyramid Educational Consultants of Canada), Alyssa Treszl (Brock University), Katelyn Rolfe (Brock University)
Abstract: The available research indicates that the Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®; Bondy & Frost, 1994) is an evidence-based communication approach for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further, research indicates that parents may be trained to implement PECS with relatively good teaching accuracy (e.g., Treszl et al., 2021). However, little is known about parents’ PECS teaching accuracy across the various phases of PECS. Similarly, little is known about the nature of parents’ PECS teaching errors. This information would be helpful in tailoring PECS training and coaching to better support parents’ needs. This study explored parents’ PECS teaching accuracy across various PECS phases (e.g., phase 1 – the picture exchange, phase 2 – distance & persistence, phase 3a/b – picture discrimination), as well as the error patterns within each phase. Six parents of children with ASD participated. Following a brief telehealth training using behavioral skills training, parents’ performance on maintenance and follow-up probes was assessed. Preliminary analyses indicate that after training parents’ PECS teaching accuracy was relatively consistent across all phases. Within each phase, parents committed few errors. Most errors occurred in phases 3a/b during correspondence checks and error correction procedures. Limitations, future research directions, and clinical implications will be shared.
 
163. Teaching Independent Mask Application During COVID-19 Pandemic
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TYLER-CURTIS CORY ELLIOTT (University of Georgia, Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research), Rose Morlino (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia, Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research)
Abstract: The Center for Disease Control suggests that people wear masks to slow the transmission of COVID-19. However, not all children have the behavioral repertoire required to initiate mask-wearing independently. Recent studies focus on building a child’s tolerance of mask-wearing using differential reinforcement (Halbur et al., 2021; Lillie et al., 2021). While these procedures are useful for increasing the length of time over which mask-wearing occurs, the child may still require a second individual to put on the mask. To minimize the frequency of other people touching an individual's face and mask, it is important to teach the skills required to put on a mask. In the current study, researchers evaluated the use of a 5-step task analysis to teach a 7-year-old boy with autism to independently put on a mask. Researchers used a prompting hierarchy that did not include physical prompts to decrease the frequency of others touching the participant's hands, face, and mask. Results demonstrate that a model prompt with vocal feedback increased the percentage of steps completed independently. Results are discussed with respect to their implications for practical implementation and skill development related to mask-wearing.
 
165. A Review of Literature on Problem Behavior Maintained by Negative Reinforcement
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Savannah Tate (University of Florida), JEANNE STEPHANIE GONZALEZ (University of Florida), Ronan Bustamante (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: A common approach to the treatment of problem behavior is to conduct a functional analysis and design a function-based treatment. These functional analyses often include an escape condition to test whether problem behavior is maintained by negative reinforcement. Typically, a treatment to reduce escape-maintained problem behavior is introduced, either in the research study or clinically. Thus, a variety of treatment options exist for problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement. We conducted a literature review to identify specific functional analysis methodology and treatment methods for problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement. We used EBSCO Host with the search terms “functional analysis” OR “functional analysis of problem behavior”. This search yielded 7,017 peer-reviewed articles since the seminal Iwata et al. (1982) functional analysis paper. We extracted 387 articles that included a functional analysis with an escape condition and at least one participant in which researchers identified an escape function. We have extracted information from 25 articles thus far. Of these articles, 64.2% of participants had an escape function. We also coded for whether treatment was included, and the methods included in treatment. Researchers evaluated a variety of treatment methods in the 56% of articles that included treatment.
 
167. An Assessment of Prompt Types to Teach Behavior Chains to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Haven Sierra Niland (University of North Texas; UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center), Samantha Bergmann (University of North Texas ), Marla Baltazar (University of North Texas; UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center), Valeria Laddaga Gavidia ( University of North Texas; UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center), RACHEL LAI (University of North Texas; UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Assessment-based instruction, which involves evaluating a learner’s behavior in response to several instructional arrangements, can assist in selecting of efficient and efficacious interventions for children with autism (Kodak & Halbur, 2021). In this clinical evaluation, we designed an assessment to evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of four different prompts (textual, video, vocal, and physical) on the acquisition of behavior chains with a four-year-old female with autism who received comprehensive behavior-analytic intervention services. Each prompt type was assigned to one of four different behavior chains, and evaluated using an adapted alternating treatments design. We used a prompt-delay procedure to fade all prompts regardless of type. Results indicated that all prompts were efficacious; however textual prompts were the most efficient. We replicated the assessment with four more behavior chains, and results were comparable to the first assessment. The results of the assessment were used to inform the selection of prompts used to teach developmentally appropriate behavior chains in the client’s programming. Research on assessment-based instruction may support further development of assessments that can be used across clients and clinically indicated interventions for clients who receive individualized treatment based in applied behavior analysis.
 
169. Establishing a Generalized Qualifying Autoclitic Repertoire in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TODD M. OWEN (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Nicole M. Rodriguez (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Skinner (1957) described autoclitics as secondary verbal operants that are dependent upon and function to modify aspects of the speaker’s own verbal behavior (e.g., tact, mand). Specifically, qualifying autoclitics extend, negate, or assert a speaker’s primary verbal response and modify the intensity or direction of the listener’s behavior (Howard & Rice, 1988; Skinner, 1957; Speckman, Greer, & Rivera-Valdes, 2012). The current study aimed to teach children with an autism diagnosis to employ a qualifying autoclitic to extend a known tact to a distorted or unknown stimulus. This study is an extension of the only study to date on teaching qualifying autoclitics, Howard and Rice (1988). Four participants first learned to combine a qualifying autoclitic with a tact in response to a distorted shape or textual character. This response then generalized to distorted versions of newly acquired tacts for previously unknown shapes and textual characters. After reaching mastery, we tested for generalization of the autoclitic to unknown animals and items. The participants began using the qualifying autoclitic to extend a known tact to an unknown stimulus following multiple exemplar training with several sets of stimuli.
 
 

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