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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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details


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Symposium #195
CE Offered: BACB
Happy, Relaxed, and Eating: Bringing the Joy Back Into Mealtime
Sunday, May 26, 2024
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 103 A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Farris (Monadnock Behavioral Consultants)
Discussant: Mahshid Ghaemmaghami (FTF Behavioral Consulting)
CE Instructor: Mahshid Ghaemmaghami, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Food selectivity is prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Volkert et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this is not a transient concern and can potentially lead to nutritional deficiencies and health concerns in the population later in life. Furthermore, selective eating can lead to increased display of behavioral concerns when caregivers attempt to shift from the individual’s restricted meal repertoire to a more balanced and healthy diet. This symposium will discuss the replication of Gover et al. (2023) using shaping, choice, and synthesized reinforcement procedures to increase the healthy food repertoires of individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities in different settings that include: clinic, public school, and residential care. In addition, opportunities to assess assent from the participating will be emphasized. Opportunities and challenges in all settings will be discussed by the presenters. Maintenance and generalization of new food repertoires as well as current limitations and areas of future research will also be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): feeding intervention, food selectivity
Target Audience:

Target audience should possess a solid understanding of shaping, chaining, and reinforcement principles. In addition, audience should be familiar with preference assessments and functional analyses

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. describe interventions that currently exist in the literature to treat food selectivity 2. describe the interventions of shaping, chaining, and synthesized reinforcement as it relates to increasing the food repertoire of those with selective eating 3. describe procedures needed to conduct both a descriptive assessment and functional analysis for food-related challenging behavior
 

An Application of Feeding Treatment Incorporating Choice and Assent

SAMANTHA A DEVOE (The Autism Community Therapists )
Abstract:

Feeding related issues are commonly presented by individuals with Autism (Volkert et al., 2021). Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions have been shown to be effective in treating food-related challenges; however, only a few peer-reviewed studies have described methods for incorporating assent and choice. A recent study by Gover et al., (2023) demonstrated positive therapeutic outcomes for three participants while incorporating choice and assent. This clinical demonstration is a systematic replication of the Gover et al., (2023) study with one participant diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After conducting a pre-treatment assessment and collaboration meeting with caregivers treatment ensued. Treatment consisted of differential reinforcement of successive approximations to eating targeted foods during mealtime and incorporated choice during each trial. At the end of treatment, the participant consumed five new foods in the context of mealtime. In this presentation, we will elaborate on the clinical decision-making regarding treatment components and will discuss coordination of care tactics that ultimately led to the participant consuming a wider variety of foods.

 

An Application of Food Selectivity Treatment Using the Enhanced Choice Model, Honoring Learner Choice and Assent

JENNIFER FARRIS (Sprout, MBC)
Abstract:

Food selectivity is prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Volkert et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this selective eating profile can lead to negative health and behavioral concerns in this population, especially when there is a strong negative behavioral history surrounding mealtime with caregivers. The current demonstration sought to replicate Gover et al. 2023 to increase the variety of foods consumed by a pre-adolescent child with a history of severe problem behavior and inappropriate mealtime behavior in the clinic setting. Treatment began after 9 months of working with this learner in a clinic environment. The foods were initially selected by the parent as relevant to their quality of life with support from the behavior analyst. By the end of treatment, the learner was eating 3 new foods. This demonstration utilized strong rapport with the analyst, shaping, choice, and synthesized reinforcement without the use of escape extinction in order to increase the food repertoire.

 

An Application of Food Selectivity Treatment Using Rapport, Choice, and Assent

JONICA TEBO (St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES)
Abstract:

Food selectivity is prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Volkert et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this can lead to health and behavioral concerns in this population, especially when there is a strong behavioral history surrounding mealtime. The current demonstration sought to replicate Gover et al. 2023 to increase the variety of food consumption in a pre-adolescent child with a history of severe problem behavior and inappropriate mealtime behavior in the school setting. Treatment began after one year of Skill-Based Treatment (SBT), a parent interview, and a preference assessment was conducted with the child. The foods were initially selected by the parent, and then were adjusted as the child voiced their choice of foods to eat. This demonstration utilized strong rapport, shaping, choice, and synthesized reinforcement without the use of escape extinction in order to increase the food repertoire. Results were generalized to the home setting and foods targeted during intervention became preferred foods to consume at home with caregivers

 

Using Shaping, Choice, and Synthesized Reinforcement in to Increase the Food Repertoire of 3 Adolescents and Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder

MARA VANDERZELL (Upstate Caring Partners)
Abstract:

Food selectivity is highly prevalent in individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Volkert et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this can potentially lead to negative health outcomes (e.g, obesity) and nutritional deficiencies in the population. Furthermore, selective eating can also lead to increased behavioral concerns when caregivers attempt to shift from the individual’s more restricted meal repertoire to a well balanced and healthy diet. Specifically, in the literature, there is limited research regarding increasing food repertoires of adolescents with longer learning histories of food selectivity and more severe forms of problem behavior. The current study aimed to replicate Gover et al. 2023 to increase the healthy food repertoire of three adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and generalize those gains to a group residential setting through the use of shaping, choice, synthesized reinforcement, and without escape extinction. In addition, the presenter will discuss food preferences that emerged and were honored during treatment.

 

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