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 #530
AUT Monday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Monday, May 30, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
110. Comparing Low Dosages of ABA Treatment on Children’s Treatment Gain and School Readiness
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ZHIHUI YI (Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago), Jennifer Koenig (Highland Community Unit School District #5), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Discussant: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract: The current study analyzed the data of a one-year pragmatic clinical trial on the effectiveness of a naturalistic implementation of the PEAK Relational Training System in a public-school setting. We accessed student records from two classrooms at the same grade level within one public school. Students’ assignments to these two classrooms were based on their disability and severity. Post-hoc analyses indicated a significant difference in students’ behavior skill level and school readiness skills at the beginning and end of the school year. Significant differences were also found in the amount of PEAK interventions they received in one school year between the two classrooms. All students demonstrated improvements in their performance during the PEAK pre-assessment (p < .001) and the Bracken School Readiness Assessment (BSRA; p < .001). A secondary analysis examined variables that predicted students’ progress and showed that their daily ABA dosage (R2 = .278) and their BSRA performance at the beginning of the school year (R2 = .705) were significant predictors of their BSRA improvement in two models. Implications of applying a low dosage of ABA intervention are discussed.
 
112. Increasing Intervals of Mask Wearing for a Child with Autism in School
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANET SANCHEZ ENRIQUEZ (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Melissa Tapp (University of North Carolina- Charlotte), Robert C. Pennington (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Discussant: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract: Schools around the world experienced monumental changes due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. New guidelines and policies regarding safety measures (e.g., social distancing, masks, cleaning procedures, small class sizes) were put forth to mitigate the spread of the virus and to protect all students, families, teachers, school staff, and community members. One safety recommendation is for all students and staff to wear masks. The coronavirus is spread through the transmission of respiratory droplets, so the spread can be mitigated through the use of masks. Masks are especially critical in circumstances where social distancing is difficult and indoors, which includes school buildings; however, wearing masks may pose some challenges for students on the autism spectrum. Teachers need guidance to address and support mask wearing in their classrooms and school environments. We examined the effects of differential reinforcement on the percent of intervals of mask wearing for a student with autism in school using an AB design with multiple phases. Data indicated the intervention package produced increases in mask wearing for the participant.
 
114. Evaluating The Effectiveness of Skill-Based Training on Increasing Skill Acquisition and Decreasing Intensive Physical Aggression in a Six Year Old Boy
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELTI OWENS (Acorn Health), Jessica Richardson (Acorn Health )
Discussant: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract: A practical functional analysis (PFA) and skill-based training (SBT) was completed to decrease several severe problem behaviors demonstrated by a 6-year old boy. The results of the PFA showed that the clinicians identified establishing operations and synthesized reinforcement for the child. The SBT data showed a functional relationship between progressing through skill-based training and problem behavior decreasing.
 
116. Socioeconomic Status Factors Limiting Applied Behavior Analysis Service Enrollment 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: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract: Introduction: Accessibility barriers are known to prevent children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), however socioeconomic barriers have yet to be identified. Methods: Demographic data was gathered from caregivers of children with ASD. Children ages 1-8 years with ASD were included. Other neurodevelopmental disorders were excluded. Data analysis compared those receiving and not receiving ABA. Results: Of the 444 respondents surveyed, 92.5% were females and 73.6% ages 30-44. A majority of patients from Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey received ABA compared to Delaware (67%, 76%, 75%, 45% respectively), (p<.001). 36% of participants reported annual income =$50,000 [r-ABA 27.37%;n-ABA 44.58%]; 74% had income =$50,000 [r-ABA 74.04%;n-ABA 56.05%],(p=0.027). More caregivers whose highest level of education included high school did not receive ABA [rABA-4.91%;n-ABA 9.55%] compared to those who had a Bachelor degree or higher [r-ABA 53.68%;n-ABA 38.85%],(p=0.003). Work activity included those working full-time [r-ABA 43.86%;n-ABA 43.31%], working part-time [r-ABA 8.77%;n-ABA 12.74%], homemaking [r-ABA 32.63%;n-ABA 28.66%], or receiving disability [r-ABA 2.11%;n-ABA 8.28%],(p=0.049). Logistic regression analysis was performed for income (1.21[1.08-1.37],p=.001), education (1.19[1.08-1.32],p<.001), and work (1.01[0.82-1.24],p=.935)(OR[95% CI],p-value). Conclusions: Socioeconomic status including location, income, education, and work activity of the caregiver contribute to children with ASD not receiving ABA.
 
118. Evaluating Task Relevance Within a High Probability Sequence in Primary School Students With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
REBECCA JAYNE FREAKLEY (Woodbury Autism Education and Research)
Discussant: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract:

Student success within a classroom setting is largely affected by the ability to actively participate, follow instructions and learn new content. The high probability (or high-P) request sequence is a strategy identified to support individuals with compliance to less preferred tasks (see for example, Mace, Hock, Lalli, West, Belfiore, Pinter & Brown, 1988) with mixed results. Some research has looked at specific mechanics within a high probability request sequence that determines increased likelihood of compliance. One area is the relation of high probability requests to the low probability request, with some research suggesting presenting relevant high probability tasks can increase compliance to low probability tasks (Planer, DeBar, Progar, Reeva & Sarokoff, 2018). Woodbury Autism Education and Research Centre presents their own adaptation of the Planer et al (2018) study with children aged 4 to 12 years, all with a primary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. An alternating treatment with baseline design was used to determine the effects of relevant and irrelevant high probability tasks on compliance to low probability tasks, as well as reinforcement delivery. Results suggest task relevance and reinforcement should be considered within the high probability request sequence.

 
120. Teaching Joint Attention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Quasi-Experiment Design in China
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YINI LIAO (Sun Yat-sen University), Miaomiao Li (Sun Yat-sen University), Jiaxi Li (University of Hong Kong), Yujia Dai (Sun Yat-sen University), Xinyue Luo (Sun Yat-sen University)
Discussant: Stephanie L. Kincaid (Rollins College)
Abstract:

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often displayed deficits in joint attention, an early emerging ability typically includes responding joint attention and initiating joint attention. The behavior analytic procedure, a most-to-least prompt procedure, is often used to improve children’s joint attention behavior. The level of prompt to be used for children with different abilities remains further explored, and the systematic prompting strategy could be expanded. The present study used a quasi-experiment design to compare an experiment group (20 children at the university’s laboratory) and a control group (20 children received treatment as usual at the community organizations), aiming to examine the effectiveness of prompt procedures for children of different symptoms. The results of study indicate an evidence-based decision-making procedures, and it will help clinicians and parents understand the dosage of interventions of changing a pivotal skill like joint attention. Further discussions were made on how to advance family’s appropriate time and money investments under the Chinese social and economic background.

 
122. Effectiveness of Pairing Musical Tones With Physical Stimuli in Discrimination Training for Non-Verbal Autistic Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEX MARIE INGEBRITSON (University of West Florida)
Discussant: Whitney L. Kleinert (May Institute)
Abstract: The present study compares the effects of auditory stimuli in the form of two distinct musical pitches when used as extrastimulus prompts during discrimination training for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who exhibit signs of having speech delay. Children with ASD and language delays often have enhanced perception of musical pitch compared to their typically developing peers (Eigsti & Fein, 2013). However, in auditory–visual conditional discrimination, only spoken word or environmental sounds are primarily used (Halbur & Kodak, 2021). A reversal experimental design was used to test the participants’ ability to discriminate between two physical stimuli. In baseline phases, only physical stimuli were used. In intervention phases, two different pitches were played as an auditory cue if the two physical stimuli were non-identical, the same note was played twice for identical physical stimuli. Participants include a 4-year-old female and a 6-year-old male, both are diagnosed with ASD and exhibit speech delay traits. The participants’ accuracy percentage rose by an average of 47.9% in intervention phases, proving that the addition of the musical pitches significantly helped the participants differentiate. Findings suggest that children with ASD would benefit from having additional musical auditory stimuli incorporated into their formal training and assessments.
 
124. Effectiveness of Interventions to Teach Intimate Care Skills to Individuals With Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MOLLY KATE OSHINSKI (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Patricio Erhard (University of Texas at Austin)
Discussant: Whitney L. Kleinert (May Institute)
Abstract:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities often need to be explicitly taught personal hygiene skills. A subset of personal hygiene skills are intimate care skills which include menstrual care, penile care, and washing and cleaning of intimate body parts. The taboo and private nature of intimate care skills has can lead practitioners to avoid teaching these skills which may make individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities more vulnerable to abuse and other health concerns. Due to the intimate nature of these skills, interventions need to be viewed as socially acceptable by the individuals, caregivers, and practitioners that will be the primary implementers. Teaching intimate care skills can improve independence, quality of life, and overall health. The purpose of this synthesis was to examine and summarize interventions to teach intimate care skills and examine the social validity of these interventions. Interventions fell into four categories including (a) chaining, (b) social stories, (c) lesson packages, and (d) punishment procedures. The results of the reviewed studies indicated improved performance on intimate care skills for participants and a lack of social validity measures utilized throughout the studies. Further discussion includes strengths, limitations, and suggestions for future research.

 
130. Using Online Delivery Parent-Mediated Intervention to Reduce Challenging Behaviors in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ZAKARIA MESTARI (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)), Mélina Rivard (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)), Diane Morin (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM))
Discussant: Whitney L. Kleinert (May Institute)
Abstract:

Offering high-quality data-based intervention using telehealth technology brings new challenges. It is necessary to assess if otherwise efficient interventions could offer similar results via online meeting delivery. This pilot study included three children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) whose families implemented a program targeting challenging behaviors at home while being supervised virtually by professionals. Three psycho-educator from public services received online training on the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Young Children (PTR-YC) program. Each of them then acted as a facilitator for each of the families, by guiding them through the program’s steps using weekly virtual meetings. As per the PTR-YC program, 1) families targeted a challenging behavior to decrease and appropriate behavior to increase, 2) took daily data on both behaviors, 3) completed a functional behavior analysis (FBA), 4) chose intervention strategies, and 5) implemented them while being coached by their psycho-educator. All those steps were done using online meeting technology (Zoom or Teams). All three teams completed the 10 weeks program and data were collected using the PTR-YC behavior rating scale. This poster presents those clinical results as well as a brief overview of the clinical record, such as targeted behaviors, results of the FBA, and interventions implemented.

 
132. Four Types of Group Contingencies for Behavioral Process Improvement in an Autism Spectrum Disorder Framework
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRYANT C. SILBAUGH (Maraca Learning, Inc.)
Discussant: Whitney L. Kleinert (May Institute)
Abstract:

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) organizations that provide services to children with autism commonly apply contingencies to improve performance or behavioral processes. Such contingencies are believed to be especially important for maximizing ABA service delivery quality (ASDQ). For some behavioral processes, group contingencies applied to the behavior of individuals within the process are likely to be more feasible and efficient than individualized contingencies. Historically, behavior analysts have used group contingencies at the operant level of selection, such as independent, interdependent, and dependent group contingencies. However, recent experimental work in culturo-behavioral science suggests the metacontingency, an analogue of the operant contingency at the cultural level of selection, can also control the behavior of individuals in a group. Accordingly, in this paper I describe and compare “group-oriented” contingencies and make a case for conceptualizing the metacontingency as a fourth group-oriented contingency. Next, I provide examples illustrating how leaders in an organization might use operant and group-oriented contingencies for process improvement to promote quality in an ASDQ framework. Lastly, I conclude with a discussion of future research needed to examine potential differences in the effects of different group-oriented contingencies and their utility for promoting ASDQ.

 
134. Employing Coordination and Difference Relational Training to Modify Pre-Experimental Racial Biased Repertoire of Children With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOAO HENRIQUE DE ALMEIDA (Londrina State University), Carolina Coury Silveira de Almeida (ABAKIDS), Emanuel Natã (ABAKIDS), Bianca Jeniffer Santos (ABAKIDS), Maicon Almeida (ABAKIDS), Táhcita Medrado Mizael (University of São Paulo)
Discussant: Abraao Melo (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

In the RFT perspective, prejudice is built into the language itself and, for this reason, produces implications for human behavior. The objective of the current investigation, still in progress, is to employ relational training to enhance flexibility, reducing racially biased responses. The participants are two children (female ten years old; male five years old) with autism that presented incidentally prejudiced responses during intensive ABA intervention on social playtime. The procedure comprises three different phases. Initially, Phase 1 is a pre-test to attest to these observed biases. Then, phase 2 is relational training, including coordination and difference frames. Finally, phase 3 is a post-test phase that evaluates for changes on these biased repertoires. Meaningless stimuli and drawings of black and white people were the stimuli sets employed in this procedure. At the present moment, the boy is finishing the relational training. The continuity of this procedure will potentially add more information about modifying biased responses in children with autism through relational training.

 
136. The Effects of Size Prompts on Stimulus Control During Object Imitation
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN ELIZABETH BAUM (Western Michigan University), Sacha T. Pence (Western Michigan University), Victoria E. Risinger (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Abraao Melo (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Object imitation is often an early skill area targeted with young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). When teaching imitation, it is important to consider the characteristics of the environment that may come to exert control over the imitative response. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the size of the target stimulus on acquisition. We compared acquisition of object imitation across three conditions: no size prompts (target stimulus and distractor stimuli were approximately the same size), size prompts (target item was larger than the distractor stimuli), and a control (no formal teaching was conducted). Currently, one four-year old female Hispanic student diagnosed with ASD is participating. She mastered the targets in the no size prompts condition first. Correct responses increased in the size-prompt condition to high, but variable, levels of accuracy. Correct responses increased to moderate levels in the control (despite no formal training during these sessions). We will discuss how to develop imitation training to ensure stimulus control of the model, rather than various aspects of the stimuli.

 
138. A Comparison of Intraverbal Instructive Feedback With and Without a Picture Delivered via Telehealth
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BREANNA KATHLEEN ANDERSON (California State University Stanislaus), Katie Wiskow (California State University Stanislaus)
Discussant: Abraao Melo (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Instructive feedback (IF) promotes acquisition of secondary targets without direct intervention, which may lead to more efficient instruction. In previous IF studies, intraverbal IF was delivered with the picture from the primary target present; therefore, acquisition of secondary targets may be partially controlled by the presence of the picture. The present study compared intraverbal IF with and without a picture delivered via telehealth to 3 children, 5 to 6 years of age, who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the tact to intraverbal (TI) condition the participant tacted a picture (primary target) and then the researcher delivered intraverbal IF (secondary target). In the intraverbal to intraverbal (II) condition, the participant responded to an intraverbal (primary target) and then the researcher delivered intraverbal IF (secondary target). The data indicate that the TI condition resulted in faster acquisition of primary and secondary targets and the II condition resulted in slower acquisition of the primary targets and limited acquisition of the secondary targets. These results suggest that the presence of a picture may facilitate acquisition of secondary targets for some children with ASD. Future research should examine the characteristics of learners for whom intraverbal IF may be an effective instructional tool.
 
140. Applying the Good Behavior Game to Enhance Children's Engagement in Virtual Programming
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CLAIRE CARRERA (The University of Scranton ), Dana M Gadaire (The University of Scranton ), Erin Dunleavy (The University of Scranton )
Discussant: Abraao Melo (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, virtual programming replaced clinical and educational services for millions of children worldwide. Whether virtual adaptations adequately substituted for live programming in largely unknown (Daniel, 2020; Hoffman & Secord, 2021). Many students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) struggled with this disruption given deficits in motivation, engagement, and/or interpersonal skills needed for optimal virtual learning (Hurwitz, Garman-MaClaine, & Carlock, 2021; Manning et al., 2021). We sought to enhance the effects of virtual programming for these children using an interdependent group reinforcement contingency. The Good Behavior Game (Barrish, Saunders, & Wolf, 1969) has been used extensively in schools to reduce disruptive behaviors incompatible with learning. We sought to evaluate this intervention to increase pro-social behavior (i.e., engagement) in a virtual learning format. Twelve participants participated in a virtual social skills program. We used a changing criterion design over the course of 8 weekly sessions to evaluate changes in engagement (vocal and typed) relative to changing reinforcement criteria. Results indicated that total (group) engagement increased in direct relation to programmed reinforcement criteria. Individuals with low levels of engagement at baseline experienced the most pronounced increases over time.
 
144. Teaching Identification and Reciprocation of Complex Emotions to Individuals Diagnosed With Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RONALD FRANCIS MORENO (Easterseals of Southern California), Joyce Chenchen Tu Battersby (Easterseals of Southern California), Khiela Vejerano Achurra (Easterseals of Southern California), Shayna Kennedy (Easterseals of Southern California), Jonathan-Alan Gonzalez (Easterseals of Southern California), Kayla Briseno (Easterseals of Southern California), Natalie Beyer (Easterseals of Southern California)
Discussant: Abraao Melo (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract:

Individuals diagnosed with autism often experience difficulties identifying emotional responses of others and themselves. They are unable to identify emotions, which leads to lack of understanding of social situations and appropriate ways to reciprocate social interactions. Past studies and current common practices focus on tacting “emotions” by looking at pictures or real persons exhibiting various facial expressions. This present study uses a five phase approach to teach individuals diagnosed with autism to identify and respond to complex emotions. The five phases targeted different components such as identifying facial expression, verbal behavior, and body gestures, responding to emotions exhibited by the other person, identifying the context (antecedent and consequence) of the emotions and if the person is still experiencing the emotion in a different context, and generalizing to a natural learning environment. The results suggest that the all fives were required in order for the participants to identify and respond to complex emotions.

 
146. Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions Provider Utilization of Telemedicine Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BETUL CAKIR-DILEK (University of Minnesota Twin Cities), Quinn Oteman (University of Minnesota), Anne Floyd (University of Minnesota), Phuong Tran (University of Minnesota), Nicole Berning (Minnesota Department of Human Services), Jessica J. Simacek (University of Minnesota), Adele F. Dimian (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced service providers to pivot to using alternative service delivery models such as telehealth. Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) are an applied behavior analytic approach that can be effective for teaching skill acquisition for individuals with autism. There is limited research on service providers’ use of telemedicine to deliver EIBI. The purpose of this study was to examine how EIBI autism specific service providers in the state of Minnesota used telemedicine for service provision prior to and during the pandemic. An online survey was distributed in 2019 to EIBI autism providers (n=50) to evaluate how and where providers were using telemedicine and to assess supports. EIBI telemedicine billing claims from 2020-2021 by county were also evaluated to assess the trends by county type (e.g., rural, urban). Descriptive and statistical analyses indicated that 36% of providers used telemedicine prior to the pandemic and a statistically significant increase in billing in 2020 was observed. Overall, billing differed by county type [F(4,718)= 32.5, p< .001] with Urban counties having the most claims and Rural having the least. More research is needed to assess what the barriers and facilitators are for utilizing tele-based services and if the trends are equitable.

 
148. Online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training With Parents of Children With Autism During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SADAF KHAWAR (Montclair State University/Helping Hands ABA, P.C), Chana Tilson (Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Helping Hands ABA, P.C.)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

The current study used telehealth to deliver Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) training for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during the Covid-19 pandemic which had promising results. ACT has been effective with parents in the in-person format (Blackledge & Hayes, 2006; Gould et. al., 2017) and via telehealth (Thorne, 2018). Nine parents of children with ASD completed a six week online ACT parent training delivered asynchronously. Each session included specific topics and exercises which included: (a) values identification; (b) present moment awareness; (c) defusion; (d) the matrix (moving toward/away); (e) committed action; and (f) self-care. Pretest and posttest measures were completed by the participants which assessed depression (Beck, 1996; BDI-II), emotion dysregulation (Gratz and Roemer, 2004; DERS); parental stress (Abidin, 1995; PSI-4-SF), psychological flexibility (Bond et al., 2011; AAQ-II), and child behaviors (VABS-3, Maladaptive Behavior Domain; Sparrow et al., 2016). Paired sample t-tests revealed that depression [t(8) = 4.28, p = 0.003, d = 4.44], parental stress [t(7) = 3.60, p = 0.009, d = 1.42], and psychological flexibility [t(7) = 2.55, p = 0.038, d = 7.35] improved post-intervention, while statistically significant decrease was not noted for emotion dysregulation and child internalizing and externalizing behaviors.

 
150. A Constructional Approach to the Treatment of Food Aversion
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW M MILLER (Conestoga Behavioral Services, LLC), Jonathan Amey (AIMS Instruction)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract: Food aversion is common phenomena characterized by a change in eating behavior exhibited through food refusal, avoidance, and adverse physical responses such as nausea, gagging, and vomiting (Marnanova, 2019). There is considerable evidence that food aversion is classically conditioned (Bernstein and Borson, 1986; Garcia et al., 1955, Garcia and Koeling, 1966) and that reflexes are directly susceptible to operant control (Marcucella, 1981). Common treatment methods include escape extinction, which often includes invasive physical procedures such as non-removal of the spoon (NRS) (Ahearn et al., 2001). Other studies have avoided extinction procedures and have focused on shaping food acceptance using positive reinforcement (Bernal, 1972; Koegel et al., 2012), however the literature is relatively void of food aversion treatment utilizing program-intrinsic reinforcement that is free of superimposed contingencies and coercion. The following case study is a preliminary analysis of a Constructional Approach (Goldiamond, 1974) for the treatment of full/complete food aversion in a 14-year-old with autism in a hospital setting.
 
152. Promoting Effective Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for a Young Adult Diagnosed With Encopresis
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHAJI HAQ (Easterseals Southern California), Frank Ammirato (Easterseals of Southern California), Lana Ranch (Easterseals Southern Calfornia), Angela Yen (Easterseals of Southern California), Joyce Chenchen Tu Battersby (Easterseals of Southern California)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

Social determinants of health that influence the delivery of ABA treatment were identified and targeted for a 20-year-old male diagnosed with autism disorder, ADHD, anxiety disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, insomnia, and encopresis.Prior to starting of ABA treatments, the clinical teams focused on issues such as housing, transportation, legal matters, and access to other health professionals. The results suggest an effective ABA treatment for encopresis is only possible when all of these conditions are addressed.

 
154. A Rapid Screening Tool for Identifying Comorbid Psychiatric Symptoms in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROL E WILLIAMS (Butterfly Effects, LLC), Emily Hooker (Butterfly Effects, LLC), Thomas Thompson (Butterfly Effects, LLC)
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract:

Comorbid psychiatric disorders are observed in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at substantially higher rates than those found in typically developing peers. The most common comorbid psychiatric disorders are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety (including general anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder). The symptoms of these disorders could diminish the effectiveness of therapeutic treatment via applied behavior analysis (ABA), aimed at addressing the core symptoms of ASD (i.e., social and communication deficits, repetitive/restrictive behaviors). Identification of behavioral symptoms associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders for clients receiving treatment for ASD assists in differentiating matters related to scope of practice for board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and aids clients/caregivers who may benefit from referrals to other providers as part of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. Secondly, this research highlights the value of ABA treatment for behaviors associated with conventional psychiatric conditions, which could benefit clients as well as the field of behavior analysis. A rapid screening survey instrument was developed to administer at initial assessment to caregivers of clients with a diagnosis of ASD and at subsequent reviews to identify and track the presence of behaviors consistent with comorbid psychiatric symptoms. Results will provide data on initial presentation and the progression of behavioral and/or psychiatric symptoms with ABA treatment and collaborative care as necessary.

 
158. Responses to Anxiety-Related Problems of Students with Autism in School Settings
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
CELAL PERIHAN (Idaho State University), Madison Weeden (Idaho State University )
Discussant: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyan Behavioral Services)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the responses of teachers to anxiety-related problem behaviors of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in school settings. Special education teachers and school psychologists completed the TRAC Teacher Responses to Anxiety in Children in Autism Spectrum Disorder (TRAC; Allen & Lerman, 2017) and the TRAC-ASD (TRAC-Autism Version) questionnaires for students with and without ASD. Cohen’s d will be calculated as an estimate of effect size and then paired t-tests will be used to compare teachers’ and school psychologists’ responses to anxiety-related problem behaviors in school settings. Initial findings showed that most of the participants, including school psychologists, response significantly differently to anxiety problems in children with or without ASD. Initial findings note that teachers are likely to overlook anxiety symptoms of children with ASD compared to typically developing children. Implications will be discussed.
 
160. Behavior Skills Training to Increase Parenting Skills of Adults with Developmental Disabilities
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE WHEELER (Texas Tech University), Jennifer Hamrick (Texas Tech University; Burkhart Center), E Amanda DiGangi (Arizona State University), Nikkolina Prueitt (Texas Tech University; Burkhart Center)
Discussant: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
Abstract: It is often the case that individuals with developmental disabilities do not receive adequate sexuality education during their formative years (Schaafsma et al., 2017), yet there is still an underlying desire for relationships and marriage (Healy et al., 2009). Thus, the purpose of the current study is to determine if Behavior Skills Training (BST) combined with the use of infant simulators increase parenting skills of adults with developmental disabilities. Participants were recruited from a post-secondary vocational center serving young adults aged 18-30. Three participants with ASD, aged 22, 23, and 21, provided informed consent and assent to participate in the study. Participants engaged in a simulated parenting experience using an infant simulator. Baseline was collected using the infant simulator data collection system on specific parenting skills as determined via the infant simulator software. Following baseline, BST was conducted on each parenting skill (i.e., burping, diapering, rocking, and feeding). Data following the BST intervention was collected again using the infant simulator data collection system. Preliminary results indicate an increase in parenting behaviors across feeding and diapering as well as a decrease in mishandling behaviors.
 
162. Integrating Professional Skills in the Outpatient Treatment of Problem Behaviour in Italian Public Healthcare System: A Case Study
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
RITA DI SARRO (Health and Disability Integrated Program, Mental Health Dept., Public Local Health Unit, Bologna), Niccolò USL Varrucciu (Public Local Health, Bologna), Ingrid Bonsi (Cadiai Cooperativa Sociale), Giulia Papa (Cadiai Cooperativa Sociale), Guido D'Angelo (DALLA LUNA - BARI)
Discussant: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
Abstract:

Outpatient treatment of problem behavior in public health system can be challenging, requiring the integration of medical, clinical, and behavior-analytic professional skills. The present case study describes a possible course of action when functional analysis results seem inconclusive or unstable, requiring further efforts in order to highlight possible underlying variables. An adolescent with autism and intellectual disability was referred for aggression, Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIBs) and screaming. Despite the implementation of a functional analysis and a treatment based intervention, outcomes were unstable, suggesting the need of further assessment and of a medical consultation. For this reason, three different functional analyses were carried out and a different pattern of data emerged each time. Namely, problem behavior was not observed in the first analysis, while access to rituals and attention were identified as most likely functions, respectively in the second and third functional analysis. Also, a psychopathological assessment was completed. The pharmacological treatment was changed, coherently with the psychopathological diagnosis. At the same time, the behavioral treatment was adjusted. This led to a significant improvement of the treatment outcomes, in terms of a dramatic reduction (0% per session) of problem behavior and increase of alternative responses (i.e, manding). This case study represents a preliminary effort to adopt an interdisciplinary approach in the outpatient treatment of problem behavior in public healthcare system.

 
Diversity submission 164. Between a Rock and a Soft Place: Examining a Parent Education Program for Cultural Relevance
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARATESSA MEANS (University of San Francisco)
Discussant: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
Abstract: This poster presents the findings of a qualitative study on the perspectives of Mexican American parents of children with Autism. The study is based on document analysis of an evidence-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) parent education curriculum followed by a focus group discussion with three mothers of children with Autism. The analysis is based on the Ecological Validity Framework (EVF), which is used to find congruence between the cultural properties of a therapeutic intervention and those of the population served. The results of the study confirm that Mexican American families have had mixed experiences with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs. The results suggest that there is much to do in order to bring cultural relevance to ABA parent education programs. Finally, results also indicate a need for cultural competence in educators and clinicians in order to support children with Autism and improve their family quality of life.
 
166. Functional Behaviour Assessment and Functional Communication Training to Reduce Challenging and Self Injurious Behaviour
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RHYS JONES (Jigsaw CABAS school ), Ellie Tidy (Jigsaw CABAS School ), Maria Rossi (Jigsaw CABAS School ), Hannah Burcombe (Jigsaw CABAS School )
Discussant: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
Abstract: Behaviour that challenges (BTC) and self-injurious behaviour (SIB) are more likely to occur in children that are diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), compared to typically developing children (Rzepecka, McKenzie, McClure & Murphy, 2011; Minshawi et al., 2014). The present research used an ABC design to evaluate the effectiveness of a Functional Behaviour Assessment and Functional Communication Training (FCT), in order to reduce a participant’s BTC and SIB. The participant attended a CABAS® day school and was 15 years of age at the start of the study. For baseline data, the number of BTC and SIB was recorded daily. Prior to the start of the study staff were provided with a study session on how to run a Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) and completed the Functional Assessment Screening Tool (FAST) and Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) to assess the function of the behaviours. Results of the study suggested that the function of the participant’s SIB and BTC was sensory and researchers then used FCT to teach the participant to mand for deep pressure, or ‘squeezes’ with a PEC. Overall the results of the study showed a reduction in the amount of SIB and BTC the participant emitted throughout the school day.
 
170. Use of Noncontingent Reinforcement with Complimentary Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior to Address Aggression in Autistic Children
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DOMINIK LIA KELLER (The May Institute), Shannon Marie Dieringer (Ball State University), David E. McIntoch (Ball State University), Maria Hernandez (Ball State University), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Andrew Sodawasser (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
Abstract:

This study evaluated the effectiveness of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to reduce aggression in Autistic children. The study also investigated how NCR may effectively schedule thin while still maintaining low levels of aggression. Aggression is a behavior that impacts 53% of Autistic individuals and decreases their quality of life (Fitzpatrick et al., 2016; Mazurek et al., 2013). Preference assessments were conducted to ensure appropriate reinforcers were utilized for the functional analyses. Additionally, a functional analysis was conducted with participants to assess the function of their aggression. Following the assessments, baseline levels of aggression were established, and NCR was implemented. NCR resulted in significant reduction in both participants. Schedule thinning was then initiated. Although differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) was hypothesized to be necessary to maintain low levels of aggression during schedule thinning, neither participant met the criteria for DRA to be used. This study extended the research by showing the effectiveness of NCR and maintain the reduction as schedule thinning occurred, making it a feasible treatment for clinical use. Suggestions for future investigations on the use of NCR in clinical practice, the social validity of NCR, and the impact DRA may have when combined with NCR are discussed.

 
 

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