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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #25
CE Offered: BACB
Expanding the Role of Clinical Judgement During Function-Based Treatment Design
Friday, September 2, 2022
10:30 AM–12:20 PM
Meeting Level 1; Liffey Meeting 2
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Audrey N. Hoffmann (Utah Behavior Services)
CE Instructor: Joseph Michael Lambert, Ph.D.
Abstract: Function-based interventions entail more than the simple execution of pre-established protocols. More often than not, practitioners must attend to various sources of data while engaging in a highly individualized and iterative design process. This symposium was organized to highlight process variables. The first talk emphasizes the importance of incorporating endogenous implementers and endogenous settings into functional communication training by demonstrating that treatment effects are unlikely to generalize without this level of support. The second talk is translational in nature and explores the value of behavioral economics principles when predicting the circumstances under which extinction components might be contra-indicated in applied settings. The third talk displays a series of case studies in which socially invalid demonstrations of treatment effect were ameliorated through mixed methods data triangulation and problem solving. The final talk highlights a compelling method for using picture activity schedules to enhance the impact of function-based interventions. The symposium will culminate with a discussion of each study’s strengths and weaknesses and will highlight areas for future research and practical application.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience: The target audience of this symposium includes practitioners fluent with functional analysis and function-based intervention methodology.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Articulate limitations to the generality of treatment effects following FCT 2) Describe one potentially valid method for equating response rate during functional analysis with reinforcer value 3) Describe how mixed methods and data triangulation can contribute to socially valid treatment outcomes 4) Design function-based interventions which effectively incorporate the use of picture activity schedules
Exploring the Generality of Treatment Effects Following Functional Communication Training
MARGARET JANE MACDONALD (Vanderbilt University), Cassandra Standish (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a common intervention aimed to decrease problem behavior by teaching an alternative, functional communicative response. Notwithstanding, there are few studies evaluating the generalization of FCT or the specific programming needed to promote generalized results. The purpose of the current study was to answer the following questions: ((a) will FCT treatment effects established by one implementer in one training context generalize to a novel implementer in an untrained context? (b) in cases in which generalization of treatment effects does not occur following FCT, to what extent will a generalization training package (i.e., EO tolerance training, schedule leaning, multiple schedules, and sequential modification) promote generalization to a novel implementer in an untrained context? Results were idiosyncratic, with little to no generalization occurring across both problem behavior and manding across tiers. This indicates that there may be a need to directly train naturalistic interventionists in natural settings to ensure the treatment effects transfer the natural setting.
Quantifying Persistence in Extinction Through Progressive Ratio Functional Analysis
BAILEY COPELAND (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Olivia Pierce (Vanderbilt University), Jessica Lee Paranczak (Vanderbilt University), Margaret Jane Macdonald (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: In this study, we combined a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement with the methods of a standard functional analysis to confirm the functions of challenging behavior while simultaneously assessing the value of its maintaining reinforcers through breakpoint analysis. We then used this information, in conjunction with assessments quantifying parent tolerance of the collateral effects of extinction, to predict the probability of success of extinction, relative to an NCR control. In all cases, assessment outcomes were predictive of treatment outcomes. For parent-child dyads for whom extinction was initially contra-indicated, values-based augmental training purportedly increased parent willingness to implement it with fidelity until obtaining a therapeutic effect. Implications are discussed.
Revisiting the Validity of University-Based Practicum Tailored to Develop Expertise in Addressing Challenging Behavior
NEALETTA HOUCHINS-JUAREZ (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Amanda Sandstrom (Vanderbilt University), Robert Hodapp (Vanderbilt University), Bailey Copeland (Vanderbilt University), Jessica Lee Paranczak (Vanderbilt University), Margaret Jane Macdonald (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Stakeholder reports of the acceptability and impact of a service program’s goals, methods, and outcomes are critical variables which qualify and substantiate objectively measured empirical demonstrations of effect, protect said programs from rejection and sabotage, and represent a feature of behavior analysis which distinguishes applied from basic science. As a result, applied researchers have long encouraged practitioners to assess the ongoing viability and validity of their programming by recruiting subjective feedback (i.e., reports of acceptability and impact) from key stakeholders, to consider obtained data in relation to objective demonstrations of effect, and to react to this feedback with programmatic evolutions. As a case in point, the BAC was a university-based intensive practicum designed to imbue in masters- and doctoral-level scholars critical competencies associated with the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. Its mission was threefold (i.e., service, training, research) and entailed providing community members with no-cost access to intensive intervention for challenging behavior during three-month consultations which entailed 48 hours of direct client contact distributed across 12-weeks. The purpose of this talk is (1) to describe stakeholder knowledge of the BAC’s goals, methods, and outcomes, (2) to use stakeholder perspectives to contextualize and frame the BAC’s method and outcomes.

Application of Picture Activity Schedules Combined With Functional Communication Training to Reduce Challenging Behavior: Caregiver Training and Implementation

CASEY J. CLAY (Children's Hospital of Orange County), Eric Hideyuki Ishijima (Thomson Autism Center - CHOC Children's), Jasmine Poetry (Children's Hospital of Orange County), Rebecca Vigil (Children's Hospital of Orange County)

Visual schedules (e.g., picture activity books) have been widely used to teach individuals with autism how to independently engage in activities. However, few demonstrations exist involving visual schedules in treatment of challenging behavior, and to our knowledge, no examples exist in involving visual schedules in function-based reduction of challenging behavior. In this study researchers combined functional communication training (FCT) with visual activity schedules to reduce challenging behavior for two individuals with autism. For one participant, researchers used a visual schedule combined with FCT to address social-negatively maintained challenging behavior and, furthermore, trained his caregiver to also implement the intervention. For another participant, researchers conducted FCT to reduce social-positive maintained challenging behavior and used a picture activity schedule during tolerance training for periods when the functional communication response (FCR) was not available. For both participants, researchers found challenging behavior was reduced and acquisition of an FCR occurred at high levels.




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