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 #290
AUT Sunday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
112. Preference for Social Stimuli: A Comparison of Stimulus Modes Used in Preference Assessments
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON WILSON (University of South Florida ), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida), Hannah Lynn MacNaul (University of Texas at San Antonio), Geninna Ferrer (University of Texas San Antonio ), Rebecca Salinas (University of Texas San Antonio)
Discussant: Evy Boateng (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: Social stimuli are some of the most commonly used reinforcers in clinical programming (Graff & Karsten, 2012). Previous research shows that preference for social stimuli can be identified using variations of a paired stimulus preference assessment (PSPA; Fisher et al., 1992), including assessments conducted with video stimuli (Wolfe et al., 2018), pictures of the actual social stimuli (Kelly et al., 2014), and pictures of arbitrary shapes that correspond to the social stimuli (Morris & Vollmer, 2019). To date, no study has evaluated the correspondence in the preference hierarchy for social stimuli identified using these three stimulus modes. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to assess 1) the correspondence in preference hierarchy identified via PSPAs conducted using these three stimulus modes, 2) whether preference corresponds to reinforcing properties, and 3) whether preference is stable over repeated administration of the preference assessment (i.e., within 1 month). Two participants with ASD were included in this study. Current results demonstrate low correspondence in preference hierarchy across stimulus modes; however, preference did correspond to reinforcing properties. Additionally, although preference was somewhat stable over time, the stimulus mode associated with the most stable preference differed across participants.
 
Diversity submission 114. Online ABA Training in Mexico: A Pilot Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JANET SANCHEZ ENRIQUEZ (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Varsovia Hernandez Eslava Eslava (Universidad Veracruzana), Teresa Contreras Gamboa (Universdiad Veracruzana; Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Conocimiento y Aprendizaje Humano (CEICAH)), Gabriela Mendez de la Cruz (Universdiad Veracruzana; Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Conocimiento y Aprendizaje Humano (CEICAH))
Discussant: Evy Boateng (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract:

Mexico is one of the largest countries in Latin America. Over the years, social sector reform has dramatically impacted the redesign of health programs and education. Still, challenges related to fragmentation and administrative troubles have resulted in a lack of medical and educational services for many, particularly for families of children who have autism or those suspected of having autism. Extant research demonstrates that early intervention programs and research-based practices significantly improve outcomes in children with ASD. Unfortunately, most materials distributed for dissemination in Mexico are predominantly intended for English-speaking populations, and Spanish resources are not being culturally modified and responsive to Latin American culture. The current study uses the Repeated Acquisition Design (RAD) to measure the effectiveness of delivering a 5-week program focusing on introducing behavior analytic interventions and providing culturally adapted materials for caregivers and professionals supporting children with ASD. Results showed significant improvement in participants’ knowledge of behavior analytic principles, autism characteristics, and implementation of supports in the home or school environment. Recommendations for the development and delivery of culturally responsive materials are provided.

 
116. A Meta-Analysis of Functional Communication Training for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Challenging Behavior
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Eun-Young Park (Jeonju University), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida), MADELINE ROSE RISSE (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Evy Boateng (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: This meta-analysis synthesized 33 published single case design studies on functional communication training (FCT) for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The analysis included 63 children with ASD ages 2 to 8, with varying communication modes. Results indicated that most studies were conducted in home or clinical settings. Low reporting rates were found in preference assessment, treatment fidelity, social validity, and maintenance and generalization effects. Overall, the magnitude of FCT effects was large, but the omnibus effect sizes varied depending on moderators. FCT was more effective when implemented at school than when implemented at home. Results indicated assessing treatment fidelity could increase the magnitude of the FCT effect. This study provides further evidence on the positive outcomes of FCT for young children with ASD. More studies with methodological quality are needed to further examine moderating variables associated with better outcomes of the FCT intervention for young children with ASD.
 
118. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Delay/Denial Tolerance Training Implementation and Generalization to a Parent and In-Home Setting
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELTI OWENS (Acorn Health ), Bailey D Chapman (Acorn Health )
Discussant: Evy Boateng (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: A practical functional analysis (PFA) was used to determine the establishing operations and reinforcers for severe problem behavior. Delayed/Denial Tolerance Training was successfully used to decrease severe problem behaviors. This was used with a 7-year old boy who has ASD and ADHD 7.5 hours a week of center-based services. This was effective at decreasing severe problem behavior without experiencing extinction bursts and increasing his tolerance to nonpreferred activities and being told ‘No’. Results were generalized to other technicians, the in-home setting, and to his parent
 
120. Tools for Advocacy, Acceptance, and Access
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TIFFANY KRISTIN MRLA (Learning & Behavior Solutions, LLC; SageWay Behavioral Health, Arkansas Association for Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Evy Boateng (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract:

Our work in service to individuals with autism, their families, caregivers, educators, therapists, and healthcare providers, has experienced significant growth and success thanks to those who pioneered the science, as well as those who pioneered the legislative and regulatory efforts to ensure services are available to all. As far as we have come, with insurance mandates in all fifty states, a majority of states in compliance with CMS requirements, and licensure laws being implemented in over 32 states to date, we still have work to do to ensure high quality services remain accessible, to increase acceptance and understanding, as well as to ensure the delivery of services remains viable. Our professional organizations continue to provide us with the necessary efforts to ensure our work continues to move forward. Nonetheless, it can be overwhelming, whether as an individual within a service organization or state professional organization, to try to begin to address these things without the right tools and teams. Resources, sample policy recommendations, and general tips will be provided for those interested in pursuing advocacy efforts in your area, developing opportunities for collaboration and collegial relationships with our peers to ensure advocacy efforts for access and acceptance are attainable.

 
122. Barriers to Receiving Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY LITTMAN (University of Central Florida College of Medicine), Leslie Gavin (Nemours Children's Hospital), Andrew Broda (University of Central Florida College of Medicine), Ansley Catherine Hodges (Nemours Children's Hospital ), Lisa Spector (Nemours Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract:

Introduction: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the current gold standard for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), yet barriers for treatment are not well understood. Methods: Patients were identified from four children’s hospitals in Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania during 2021. Patients ages 1-8 with a diagnosis of ASD were included. ASD diagnosis <6 months were excluded. Caregivers were voluntarily surveyed on demographics, parental assertiveness, treatment perceptions/knowledge. Data analysis was performed on patients who received and never received ABA services. Results: 444 surveys were completed. Median ASD diagnosis was 3-5 years ago. A majority of patients from Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey received ABA services(>67%) compared to Delaware(45%) (p<.001). Caregivers with children who received ABA services were more likely to know how to find the right services(2.06[1.38-3.08]p<.001), know what to do when not getting the right services(1.98[1.33-2.95]p=.001), comfortable finding services through phone(2.04[1.25-3.34]p=.004), email(1.81[1.05-3.14]p=.034) and social media(1.72[1.16-2.56]p=.007). Caregivers believe the earlier a child gets treatment for ASD the more progress they will make(3.07[1.61-5.86]p=.001), and with proper treatment, behavior(2.24[1.36-3.69]p=.001) and development(1.70[1.01-2.83]p=.044) will improve(OR[95% CI]p-value). Conclusion: Barriers to accessing ABA services is a multifactorial issue. Demographics, parental assertiveness, treatment perceptions, and knowledge contribute to children with ASD not receiving ABA services.

 
124. The Use of Systematic Desensitization and Shaping to Increase Mask-Wearing of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LEANNE LATOCHA (Western Michigan University), Sydney Hull (Western Michigan University), Sacha T. Pence (Western Michigan University), Alexandria (Alex) Rusu Chester (Western Michigan University), Amanda Pisoni (Western Michigan University), Kayla Vincenty-Cole (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract:

Presently, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 available for young children. Additionally, children diagnosed with underlying medical conditions and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be at increased risk for contracting serious illness. The use of face masks is an effective method for slowing down the transmission of COVID-19. We evaluated the use of systematic desensitization (with and without extinction) and shaping to increase mask wearing among 3 to 4-year-old children diagnosed with ASD in a special-education classroom. Participants with a history of engaging in interfering behavior when an adult attempted to place a mask on his face were trained to tolerate wearing a mask for 5 s in the absence of interfering and challenging behavior using systematic desensitization with escape extinction. Once participants tolerated the mask on their face for 5 s, we gradually increased the duration of mask wearing for up to 10 min using shaping with escape extinction. Maintenance probes into the classroom and for up to 30 min were conducted.

 
Diversity submission 126. Relational Density Theory: Teaching Adolescents Flexible Relations Around Gender Expression using the PEAK Relational Training System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN ROSE HUTCHISON (Missouri State University ), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Jessica M. Hinman (University of Illinois at Chicago )
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract: Dense and rigid relational networks surrounding gender in adulthood can have profound effects on those that meet certain gendered stereotypes and previous research has shown that children too, have perceptions of gender discrimination (Brown & Bigler, 2004). In this study, appropriate use of gendered pronouns were taught to two neurotypical and two autistic adolescents using the PEAK Relational Training System. A multiple probe design across participants was used with a pre- and post-test measure of a multidimensional scaling (MDS) procedure. PEAK program T-9B COR: Pronouns in a Story was adapted to include images of individuals with various gender expressions and identities. Results showed that the participant was not able to correctly identify images during baseline, however once training was implemented the participant was able to respond using appropriate pronouns and expression labels as well as derive the correct pronoun given an image. The MDS results showed that the participants changed how they related to the stimuli following training. This study has implications for teaching diversity in a clinical setting as well as the MDS procedure as a measure of generalization and finally, demonstrates the flexibility that is incorporated within the PEAK curriculum.
 
128. Using Behavioral Skills Training with Self-Monitoring to Increase Conversation Skills in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA DEZAYAS (University of South Florida), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida), Daniel Kwak (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract: One of the major skill deficits found in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited social communication skills. Behavior skills training (BST) and self-monitoring have been shown to be effective in improving the social communication skills for this population. However, there is limited information on whether adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in the school setting can benefit from these interventions. To address the gap in the literature, the current study aimed to further evaluate the use of behavioral skills training and self-monitoring to address conversation skills of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in the school setting. Three students with autism spectrum disorder in grades 9-12, who were served at a private high school, participated in the study. A concurrent multiple baseline design across participants with an ABC sequence was used to evaluate the intervention outcomes. Data collection is currently ongoing. It is expected that the implementation of behavioral skills training with self-monitoring is effective in improving conversation skills of the adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, and their conversation skills will generalize to a novel environment with novel peers and adults, and will maintain with self-monitoring only, even when self-monitoring was faded out and after the intervention ended.
 
130. Functional Assessment and Treatment of a Self-Injurious Behaivor in an Adolescent With Severe Autism in Italian Public Healthcare System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GUIDO D'ANGELO (DALLA LUNA - BARI), Niccolò USL Varrucciu (Public Local Health, Bologna), Anna Di Santantonio (Health and Disability Integrated Program, Mental Health Dept., Public Local Health Unit, Bologna, Italy), Ingrid Bonsi (Cadiai Cooperativa Sociale), Giulia Papa (Cadiai Cooperativa Sociale), Sara Del Grosso (Cadiai Cooperativa Sociale), Valentina Agnello (Libertas Cooperativa sociale, Pedrosa (Bo), Italy), Rita Di Sarro (Disability and Health Integrated Program, Local Health Unit, Bologna )
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract:

Almost 40 years of functional assessment methodology had proven the effectiveness of the model in identifying the function of the behaviors and implement an intervention coherent with the function. The current study addressed the effectiveness of an outpatient treatment for adolescents with Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIBs), in the context of the Italian public healthcare system. A latency-based functional analysis and function based treatment were carried out for an adolescent with severe autism and intellectual disability, displaying SIBs (head hitting and arm biting). The results of the assessment highlighted tangible and attention as main functions. A Functional Communication Training (FCT) was implemented for each function in one weekly sessions of about 90 minutes, involving parents as therapists since an early stage. Socially significant results were reported in terms of a decrease of SIBs, and increase of alternative responses higher than 80% with respect to the baseline level. Generalization to different settings (home, school, day care center) was achieved through Telehealth sessions. Parents stated that intervention was socially significant and anecdotally reported a reduction of the duration the participants was wearing self-protection equipment. This case study highlights the possibility to provide effective treatments for severe SIBs in public health services. Specific adaptation of functional assessment and treatment in public healthcare system are discussed.

 
132. Teaching Fluent Pre-Handwriting Skills to a Five-Year Old Girl with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Elizabeth M. Sansing (University of North Texas), GABRIEL LUKE ARMSHAW (University of North Texas), Karen A. Toussaint (University of North Texas), Samantha Bergmann (University of North Texas )
Discussant: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract: Handwriting is a foundational academic and life skill that is taught in early school years. However, some studies report that individuals with autism spectrum disorder have handwriting difficulties that require individualized instruction. Handwriting is a complex behavior comprised of several prerequisite skills, including correct pencil grasp. Unfortunately, there is limited empirical research to inform interventions for establishing correct pencil grasp, particularly with individuals with autism. In this evaluation, we measured the effects of a telehealth-based caregiver-delivered intervention on teaching fluent (quick and accurate) pre-handwriting skills to a 5-year-old female with autism. We developed a 12-step task analysis to teach the participant to form and write with a dynamic tripod grasp, the developmentally-appropriate grasp. Each step was taught to mastery using least-to-most prompting and fluency training. As a result of the intervention, the participant demonstrated fluent tracing of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines while maintaining a correct pencil grasp. Results generalized to accurate tracing of all capital straight-lined letters of the alphabet and to some letters that include curved lines. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
 
134. Teaching Overlapping Domestic and Vocational Skills Remotely Using Components of the LIFE Curriculum
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAGGIE ADLER (Missouri State University), Raymond burke (Apex Regional Program), Steven L. Taylor (Apex Children's Center), Jordan Belisle (Missouri State University), Dana Paliliunas (Missouri State University), Lindsey Audrey Marie Dennis (Emergent Learning Center)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: COVID-19 provided an opportunity to develop technologies that could be used for remote instruction with opportunities for vocational training within and beyond the pandemic. With the use of remote instruction, training can occur in home or in vocational job placements. The LIFE Skills Emergence System (Dixon, 2021) provides an assessment of domestic and vocational skills that can improve independence and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. In a series of two studies, we evaluated a series of programs from the LIFE curriculum with adolescents and young adults with autism using a remote training format. The first series of studies evaluated the training of vocational cleaning skills in a multiple baseline across skills design. The second study replicated the first with a series of leisure and health skills with a new set of participants. Results of both studies demonstrate that remote instruction can efficaciously establish the skills in locations where performance of the skills is likely to take place, moving behavioral instruction into the future with the use of technology in applied settings. Moreover, the procedures illustrate the potential flexibility of the LIFE curriculum.
 
136. Reduction of Pica in Children with Autism across Settings Using Response Interruption and Redirection
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALISON REGAN (CCSN Behavioral Health)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: Pica is a dangerous behavior that can result in serious injury and can potentially be lethal. Research is unclear on the etiology of pica, yet evidence suggests high rates of co-morbidity of pica and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Behavior interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing instances of pica behavior. Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) to an alternative/replacement behavior is perspective intervention demonstrating effectiveness in reducing other self-injurious behaviors, similar to pica (e.g., head banging). Research is limited in the generalization of these skills across environments. In these 2 case studies, two children with ASD who engaged in pica, frequently, were taught replacement behaviors (i.e., reaching for a match-stimuli such as pretzels when pica stimuli were in the environment). Researchers examined multiple components of a treatment package necessary to reduce pica behavior, including analysis of preferred pica stimuli, matched-stimuli preference assessments, functional behavioral assessment, the Home Accident Prevention Intervention (HAPI), teaching to access a matched-stimuli upon observing pica stimuli, and consequence strategies including response blocking. Interobserver agreement (IOA) data are being collected for 30% of all sessions and is calculated using interval by interval method.
 
138. Assessment and Treatment of an Idiosyncratic Function of Challenging Behavior: Escape to Context Change
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN LAYMAN (University of Nebraska Medical Center- Munroe-Meyer Institute; University of Southern Mississippi), Nathan Allen Preston Cech (University of Nebraska-Medical Center), Ashley Bell (University of Nebraska Medical Center- Munroe-Meyer Institute), Sarah Elizabeth Martinez Rowe (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Cynthia P. Livingston (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: The current study aimed to assess effects of an idiosyncratic function of challenging behavior, escape to context change condition (i.e., therapist attention, snack, therapist attention+ new toys, or alone), via a functional analysis (FA) with a subsequent treatment evaluation. A review by Schichenmeyer et al. (2013) notes that a clear function was identified in just 47% of initial FAs and increased to 87% when two or more modified FAs were implemented. The participant in the current study was an 8-year-old female diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder who was referred for aggression, disruption, and self-injurious behaviors. The therapists found that an initial, standard functional analysis (i.e., with attention, escape, tangible, and toy play/control conditions), was undifferentiated. Therapists then completed a pairwise FA which identified an escape to context change function. In the subsequent treatment, the therapists taught the participant to complete a chained sequence in which she first requested a break which resulted in the presentation of a choice between Functional Communication Response (FCR) for the specific contexts identified during the FA. A treatment evaluation was conducted using a reversal design and a 100% reduction in target problem behaviors and 100% independent engagement in the functional communication responses was observed.
 
140. Analysis and Treatment of Self-Injury with a Student Protected by Multiple Forms of Equipment
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AUSTIN E HUGHES (The May Institute), Emily Sullivan (Western New England University; May Institute), Robin K. Landa (May Institute)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: The Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skills-Based Treatment (SBT) process has been successfully implemented in a variety of clinic, school, and home settings. However, there have been no studies showing these processes being used with individuals who engage in severe self-injurious behavior (SIB) necessitating continuous, noncontingent use of multiple types of protective equipment. The aim of the present study was to safely functionally analyze and treat SIB for one participant who wore a helmet and arm limiters. A multifactorial analysis was first conducted in which the presence of preferred items and availability of protective equipment was manipulated. Results suggested that inadvertent establishing operations may have been present during the analysis resulting in persistence of problem behavior. Next, a PFA was conducted which showed that SIB was sensitive to a synthesis of social consequences involving escape from demands to access preferred items, protective equipment, and presumably automatic reinforcement. These results informed the development of a SBT designed to decrease rates of SIB and fade the use of protective equipment by teaching functionally related replacement skills.
 
142. An Evaluation of Caregiver Treatment Fidelity during Implementation of a Multi-Component Feeding Intervention
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTIN TYLER HALL (Kennedy Krieger Institute; University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Carrie S. W. Borrero (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: Following the identification of an effective intervention, clinicians train caregivers to implement the intervention so they can continue treatment at home. As interventions often include multiple components, training caregivers to implement a number of components successfully can be difficult, but its importance cannot be minimized. This study sought to evaluate caregiver fidelity with implementation of specific components common to mealtime protocols, for caregivers in an intensive program focused on the assessment and treatment of food refusal and selectivity. Child performance during caregiver-fed meals was also monitored to identify any concomitant changes in child behavior during those meals. Results of the study showed that although caregiver fidelity was generally high, there was a strong negative correlation between the caregivers’ treatment fidelity of a NUK re-distribution procedure and child acceptance, and a weaker positive correlation between the caregivers’ fidelity with a finger prompt procedure and child swallowing. Clinical and research implications are discussed, as well as how these results could impact future caregiver training approaches.
 
144. Evaluation of Free Operant Preference Assessment for Social Interactions
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTINE HENRY (Florida Institute of Technology ), Luiz Alexandre Barbosa de Freitas (UFMT)
Discussant: Penelope Wells Schenkkan (Kadiant, LLC)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to evaluate a novel preference assessment for social interactions. Three children participated who were diagnosed with ASD, 3 to 7 years old, two male and one female. All participants had verbal repertoire limited to a few mands, vocal or use AAC, at beginning of the study. Three potentially preferred social interactions were identified by indirect assessments completed by therapists. Preference was assessed using an alternating treatment design. Social interactions were correlated with colored t-shirts in 5-minutes sessions. During sessions therapists interacted with participants whenever the individual approached within arm’s reach. Five different behaviors were scored to form a preference index: approach, positive vocalizations, target mands, negative vocalizations and avoidance movements. Preferences were identified for all 3 participants using free operant arrangement.
 
146. From Fast Food To Fast Acceptance: Increasing Food Variety with Rapid Shaping Procedures
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELEAH ACKLEY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Laura E Phipps (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Karlie Petersen (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Marysa Wilkinson (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Bethany Hansen (Munroe Meyer Institute )
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Research on shaping procedures for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with food selectivity is growing (e.g., Hodges et al., 2017; Koegel et al., 2012; Penrod et al., 2012; Turner et al, 2020; Valdimarsdottir et al., 2010). However, such research has not included rapid shaping procedures. The current study extends the existing research on shaping procedures within the behavioral pediatric feeding literature. The participant was a six-year-old Latine boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Shaping steps included touch lips, touch lips and open, and take your bite. To progress to the next step, the participant needed a trial with zero inappropriate mealtime behaviors, acceptance of the bite, and compliance. If such criteria were not met on the first step within three trials, the session ended; if they were not met for other steps, then the feeder presented the previous step. Results showed an increase in acceptance of bites, an increase in step compliance, a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior, and generalization to the home environment with caregivers-all across four foods.
 
148. Decreasing Inappropriate Comments and Interruptions in an Adolescent with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TASHINA VANDERWOUDE (Mississippi State University), Hailey Ripple (Mississippi State University)
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Appropriate conversation skills are imperative to social interactions and are consequently a common area of intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study attempts to decrease inappropriate comments (IC) and interruptions (INT) made by the participant, a 13-year-old female with ASD. Through an ABAB design, the study extends the literature on the Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) intervention, while using a self-monitoring component. During baseline, there was an average of 6 IC and 6.17 INT. During intervention, there was an average of 0.63 IC and 1.5 INT. During withdrawal, there was an average number of 4 IC and 8 INT. A very large Tau-U effect size (.85) was calculated for IC from baseline to intervention, with another very large effect size (.88) from intervention to withdrawal. A large Tau-U effect size (.67) was calculated for INT from baseline to intervention, with a moderate effect size (.5) from intervention to withdrawal. Effect sizes have a 95% confidence interval. Reimplementation and generalization data are currently being collected, with a maintenance phase to follow. The current and expected results could suggest that combining a RIRD intervention with a self-monitoring component is effective at improving conversation skills among adolescents with ASD.
 
150. A Crosswalk of the VB-MAPP and ABLLS-R Assessments: Bridging the Gap
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALANAH PLATTE (University of Kansas), Caitlen Sloan (University of Kansas), Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Two commonly used assessments for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receiving applied behavior analytic (ABA) services are the Verbal Behavior – Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised (ABLLS-R). Each of these programs focuses on assessing the verbal operants (tacts, intraverbals, echoics, mands, etc.). However, each program also targets their own unique skills in the areas of independent living, academics, and social functioning. Practitioners who are deciding which assessment to use with their client may not have the means to examine and compare each assessment to parse out which would be the most appropriate assessment for each client’s present behavioral repertoire and learning environment. Additionally, providers with clients who may have already been administered one assessment cannot easily switch to other assessments due to the lack of equivalency between the assessments. This poster presents the similarities and differences between the VB-MAPP and the ABLLS-R and draws from that a crosswalk of skills that is manageable and easily understood by practitioners.
 
152. Teaching Intraverbal Responses to Activity-Based Questions During Naturalistic Play
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRITTANY BROWN (Marquette University), Landon Cowan (Marquette University), Ashley Van Handel (Marquette University), Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University)
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently involve strengthening the intraverbal repertoire (responding to social questions, safety skills, conversation skills, etc.). A common strategy employed by clinicians to teach these intraverbal responses is discrete-trial teaching, often occurring in a table-top format. However, it may not be desirable to teach some intraverbal responses, such as those related to play, in this context. Naturalistic teaching strategies have also been shown to be effective in teaching a variety of verbal operants. We applied a naturalistic teaching procedure comprised of an attending procedure, prompt delay, and error correction to teach a child with ASD a variety of intraverbal responses to activity-based questions (“what,” “how,” and “why”) during play. We used a multiple probe design across playsets to evaluate the efficacy and generality of these procedures. The combined treatment package resulted in an increase in correct intraverbal responding to mastery levels across a variety of activity-based questions for multiple playsets. These results provide preliminary support for a naturalistic teaching procedure with relatively few procedural components for teaching intraverbal responses that can be applied across play contexts during sessions with clients.
 
154. Treating Automatically Reinforced Stereotypy in Individuals with Autism: A Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL BEHLING (Endicott College), Kimberly Marshall (University of Oregon; Endicott College), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College)
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Stereotypic behaviors are defined as restricted, repetitive behaviors and are often present in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (American Psychological Association, 2013). Interventions are frequently implemented to target these behaviors based on the assumption that they are maintained by automatic reinforcement (Rapp & Volmer, 2005). Although stereotypic behavior is commonly automatically reinforced, it is important that functional analyses are conducted in order to confirm function prior to intervention implementation. This review of the literature includes 49 studies that utilized function-based interventions to decrease motor and/or vocal stereotypy that was confirmed to be maintained by automatic reinforcement through assessment. Each of the studies were assessed and quantified among the following dimensions; participants, setting, topography of stereotypy, experimental design, intervention procedures, outcomes and maintenance. Results indicated that a wide variety of interventions are effective in treating stereotypic behavior (RIRD, matched stimulation, differential reinforcement). A major concern that was identified through the initial search in this literature review was the lack of functional analyses that are used to confirm the function of stereotypic behavior. Future research is needed in several domains including maintenance of treatment of stereotypy and consistent use of functional assessments when treating stereotypic behavior.
 
156. A descriptive analysis of diurnal bruxism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Savannah Tate (University of Florida), Lindsay Lloveras (University of Florida ), RONAN BUSTAMANTE (University of Florida), Angie Van Arsdale (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Discussant: Joseph Hacker (Key Autism Services)
Abstract: Diurnal bruxism, defined as audible grinding of teeth while awake, has several harmful side effects including abnormal tooth wear, loss of teeth, and tongue indentations. These issues often result in dental work, which may pose a challenge for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Research indicates that 10.3%-60% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder engage in diurnal bruxism. Thus, it may be important to identify environmental variables that are related or unrelated to the occurrence of diurnal bruxism. We conducted a descriptive analysis of diurnal bruxism and calculated risk ratios to identify the relative risk of environmental variables. Thus far, we have completed this study with one participant. At the time of the study, Kevin was a four-year-old male diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We measured frequency of bruxism, demands, and praise. We also measured the duration of discrete trial training, time in the bathroom, transitions, time outside, engagement with items, mealtime, and crying. We collected data 1-2 times per week, with two 30-minute sessions each day, for one month. We found that time spent in the bathroom and discrete trial training were associated with higher rates of diurnal bruxism.
 
158. The Effectiveness of Behavioral Skills Training for Parents who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review of ASD Children’s Skill Acquisition and Maintenance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Joanne Wong (Endicott College), Jessica Piazza (Endicott College), CRAIG A MARRER (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Behavioral Skills Training is one of the most common multi-component treatment packages that has been applied to teach children with autism spectrum disorder. Since early intensive behavioral intervention is shown to be effective in improving a child's overall functioning across a wide variety of areas, Behavioral Skills Training has also been used to teach parents in implementing interventions to children at home. This literature review include 14 articles that implemented Behavioral Skills Training to caregivers. Each article was analysed across six dimensions (participants, intervention implemented, target skills, training time, dependent variable, and outcome and maintenance). From this analysis, information regarding the effectiveness of Behavioral Skills Training on caregivers is discussed, as well as limitations in current literature and suggestions for future research.
 
160. Early Interventions Targeting Social Skills for Young Children with or at-risk of an Autism Diagnosis: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER WICOREK (Autism Partnership), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), Lisa Tereshko (Endicott College)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Social skill deficits are a hallmark characteristic of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. These deficits may be targeted with a wide variety of interventions, often beginning in childhood. Greater gains are seen with earlier diagnosis and intervention, supporting the implementation of early intervention measures. This literature review includes 43 articles that implemented a variety of interventions targeting social skill deficits in children under the age of five. Each article was analyzed across several dimensions (participants, setting, interventionist, type of intervention, experimental design, and social skill target). Within this analysis, information regarding trends and type of interventions applied are discussed, along with limitations in the literature and suggestions for future research and applications.
 
162. Health Monitoring of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder through a Computer-Assisted Bowel Movement Tracking System
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England), Andrew Shlesinger (Melmark New England), Haritha Gopinathan (Melmark New England), Kimberly L. Duhanyan (Melmark New England), JESSICA BUCKLEY (Melmark New England), James Luiselli (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gastrointestinal (GI) problems and associated fecal incontinence, constipation, and diarrhea. We describe the design and operation of a computer-assisted health monitoring system for tracking and recording bowel movements at a residential school. Implementation integrity of the system by care providers was 100% for six targeted students with ASD and GI difficulties. The utility, objectives, and effectiveness of the system were rated positively by supervisory professionals, parents, and GI physicians. Our discussion focuses on the advantages of computer-assisted data recording and instrumentation technology for documenting health measures such as bowel movement frequency and quality in children with ASD.
 
Diversity submission 164. Behavior Analytic Clinicians Documentation of Cultural Considerations for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALEXANDRIA C. ROBERS (University of Minnesota), Bethany Schwandt (Ball State University), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract:

The notion that principles of behavior are so robust across species and settings that they should be universally applicable conflicts with both the importance of context in behavior analysis and the real-world expectation for behavior analytic clinicians to incorporate culture considerations into their service delivery. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the patterns and usefulness of cultural considerations documented by behavior analytic clinicians for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A total of 208 cultural considerations were included in qualitative analyses that involved both inductive and deductive approaches to thematic analysis. Results showed that the cultural considerations documented by behavior analytic clinicians mostly described the race/ethnicity of clients and their families as well as the language(s) spoken by them. Behavior analytic clinicians did not describe the steps taken to critically examine and/or systematically test hypotheses regarding the influence of culture-specific variables. Implications for documenting and utilizing cultural considerations for children with ASD are discussed.

 
166. Self-Restraint Covariation Analysis: Identifying a Hierarchy of Self-Restraint Topographies by Systematically Blocking Predominant Forms
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DREW E. PIERSMA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Griffin Rooker (Mount St. Mary's University), Amanda Goetzel (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Emily Ann Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Some individuals who engage in self-injurious behavior (SIB) also engage in self-restraint (SR), self-limiting behaviors that restrict movement and interfere with the ability to engage in SIB (e.g., holding on to objects, sitting on hands). Although SR can decrease the occurrence of SIB, it may also interfere with adaptive behavior and lead to other detrimental consequences (e.g., decreased circulation, skin breakdown). Prior research has suggested that blocking SR may result in an increase in SIB (e.g., Scheithauer et al., 2015); it is less clear whether other topographies of SR may also emerge. As part of a clinical trial investigating treatment-resistant subtypes of SIB, one participant completed a self-restraint covariation assessment to formally examine variability in SR and SIB as specific topographies of SR were either freely allowed or systematically blocked. In doing so, this assessment examined the relation between these topographies of SR to SIB and other forms of SR. Results of this study suggest that SR topographies may shift or novel SR topographies may emerge when an individual is physically blocked from engaging in a predominant form of SR. Findings from this assessment can be used to inform individualized treatment decisions and teach individuals how to engage in other forms of self-control that are less restrictive in nature.
 
168. Establishing Echoic Control Through Acquisition of Potential Prerequisite Imitation Skills
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HANNA BECK (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Autism Care for Toddlers Clinics), Madison Klute (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute Autism Care for Toddlers Clinic), Jennifer Luebbe (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Autism Care for Toddlers Clinics), Leah Hansen (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Autism Care for Toddlers Clinics), Mary Halbur (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Echoic skills is a common deficit in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An echoic is defined as a verbal stimulus that is likely to evoke an identical verbal response (Skinner, 1957). It may be valuable for children to acquire echoic skills, in order to assist in the development of vocal-verbal communication (e.g., requesting, labeling). Few studies have evaluated the effects of teaching specific prerequisite skills that may be responsible for increasing echoic behavior for children with ASD. The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate a sequence of imitation skills, as prerequisite skills for early echoic control in children with ASD. Participants included children age 5 years or younger, with a diagnosis of ASD. A sequence of prerequisite skills consisting of motor imitation with objects, gross motor imitation, and oral motor imitation tasks were taught to participants. Ongoing results suggest that the acquisition of prerequisite skills (i.e., imitation with objects, gross motor imitation, and oral motor imitation) led to increased echoics that correspond to the oral imitation targets. Future clinical applications and research suggestions will be discussed.
 
170. Further Evaluation of Preference for Fixed and Variable Exchange Production Schedules in a Token Economy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Franchesca Izquierdo (University of Miami), Kamila Garcia Garcia Marchante (University of Miami), MIRANDA ARYN SADLOW (University of Miami)
Discussant: Olivia Harvey (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Basic research has shown that nonhuman animals generally display a preference for variable ratio (VR) rather than fixed ratio (FR) schedules of reinforcement, particularly when low individual ratios are included (Field et al., 1996). Minimal applied research has investigated preference for these schedules among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) despite a clinical phenotype that suggests a general preference for sameness (which may theoretically extend to a preference for fixed schedules). In a preliminary investigation of second-order schedule effects within a token economy, Argueta et al., (2019) found a similar preference for VR rather than FR schedules for their participant with ASD. This study extends Argueta et al. by evaluating preference for FR and VR exchange schedules across an escalating range of exchange ratios within a token economy. We used a concurrent chains assessment to evaluate preference for FR or VR exchange-production schedules of reinforcement at equal ratios of 5 and 10. Preliminary results did not indicate a strong preference for either schedule at a ratio of 5, however an increase to a ratio of 10 resulted in an emergence of preference for the FR exchange-schedule arrangement.
 
 

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