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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #229
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advancements in Teaching Functional Living and Employment Skills for Neurotypical and Neurodiverse Learners
Sunday, May 28, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 1E/F
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: James Maraventano (Rutgers University)
CE Instructor: James Maraventano, Ed.D.
Abstract: As neurotypical and neurodiverse individuals age, it is crucial for caregivers and/or support service providers to routinely evaluate and program to teach skills of daily living. Preparing our learners to develop these skills is necessary to promote independence in their everyday lives. Further, as neurodiverse populations age out of their educational entitlements and into adult services, where resources are typically less robust, the importance of learning skills of independent living are amplified. Neurodiverse adults lacking repertoires of independent functional living skills are often reliant on others to complete said skills, which could adversely affect their dignity, ability to make choices, and right to privacy. Our three presentations intend to disseminate recent research in the teaching functional living skills to promote independence across the lifespan of individuals with autism. Emily Stevens study evaluated assessed the systematic introduction of treatment components for increasing sleep conducive behavior in children with autism in a residential setting. Carolina Arguello’s study evaluated the effectiveness of behavioral skills training, task analyses, and a rating scale for teaching post-bowel movement hygiene skills to neurotypical children. Courtney Butler’s study evaluated the effectiveness of a visual aid in promoting independence completing repetitive job tasks at community-based employment sites.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism/developmental disabilities, employment skills, functional skills, independent living
Target Audience: Development of program development for functional living skills and activities of daily livign; assessment and treatment of skills deficits; experimental design;
Learning Objectives: (1) Describe a variety of intervention components for decreasing latency to sleep onset and increasing duration of sleep-conducive behavior in individuals with ASD in a residential setting. (2) Describe how behavioral skills training can be an effective instructional strategy for improving hygiene skills (3) Implement and describe processes for developing and implementing instructional strategies and visual aids for improving independence in community-based settings

Effects of Visual Aids and Self-Management for Improving Independence at Jobsites for Adults With Autism

COURTNEY BUTLER (Rutgers University), James Maraventano (Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)

Few studies have evaluated methods to improve job-related skills in community-based settings for adults with autism. This dearth of literature could explain why poor outcomes are associated with employment for this population. Research suggests that upwards of 75% of adults with autism are unemployed (Howlin et al., 2004; Hurlbutt & Chalmers, 2002) and of those that are employed many are?underemployed, work fewer hours, switch jobs frequently,?and are paid less than their?neurotypical?counterparts. As resources in the form of funding and qualified staff to support positive employment outcomes are scarce (Gerhardt & Lainer, 2011), to assist this population to access their community and maintain gainful employment, there is a need to develop interventions to ensure they can self-manage the completion of work tasks as independently as possible. For the present investigation, we employed an alternating treatment with reversals design to compare the effectiveness of a visual aid (map outlining repetitive tasks to complete and path to follow) to traditional teaching strategies (verbally describing the skill, modeling, practicing, and providing performance-based feedback) for improving efficiency and completeness of repetitive work tasks at community-based jobsites. Results indicate that the use of a visual job aid improved independent performance of job tasks for study participants.

Treatment for Improving Sleep-Conducive Behavior: A Component Analysis
EMILY STEVENS (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Zoe A. Newman (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract: Sleep problems have been reported to occur in 50-80% of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Kotagal & Broomal, 2012). Poor sleep is often correlated with increases in challenging behavior (Goldman et al., 2011; Kennedy & Meyer, 1996) such as aggression (O’Reilly, 1995) and hyperactivity (Mazurek & Sohl, 2016). The purpose of the present study was to conduct a component analysis of common sleep-treatment interventions for two individuals with autism spectrum disorder living in a residential setting. We assessed the systematic introduction of treatment components including continuous white noise via a sound machine, bedtime fading, conducting a bedtime routine, and differential reinforcement. Dependent variables included sleep-conducive behavior and latency to sleep onset. Measurement was obtained via live data collectors and from a Fitbit Inspire 2 watch. These measurement systems were compared by conducting a Bland-Altman (REF) statistical analysis to determine their correspondence. An effective intervention was identified for both participants, and experimental control was established using a reversal design. The practical applications of a component analysis for sleep treatment for individuals with autism in a residential setting will be discussed.

Teaching Effective Post-Bowel Movement Hygiene

VALERIE MONICA COLANTUONO (A.J. Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University), Jessica Day-Watkins (Drexel University), April N. Kisamore (Hunter College), Frank R. Cicero (Seton Hall University), Carolina Arguello (Hunter College)

An extraordinarily important skill, while not glamorous, is toileting hygiene. Hygiene is an essential part of successfully using the toilet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and can directly improve social life as well. Research in post-bowel movement hygiene is minimal with just two research articles. The purpose of this study is to teach post-bowel movement hygiene (i.e., wiping) to neurotypical participants using behavior skills training (BST), a task analysis, and a Likert type cleanliness scale to assess clean versus soiled toilet paper. Within our BST procedure we used video models to teach participants these skills. We programmed for generalization across different simulated bowel movement consistencies during training. All participants acquired the post-bowel movement hygiene response and two of the three participants generalized and maintained the skill in the home setting. all participants generalized their new wiping repertoires with differing consistencies. Caregivers reported this to be an acceptable procedure to teach wiping skills. In addition, they reported they would be willing to use this teaching procedure again with their child.




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