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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #393
CE Offered: BACB
Procedural Refinements for Improving the Quality of Training Across Professional and Non-Professional Populations
Monday, May 27, 2024
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 103 C
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Robert LaRue (Rutgers University)
Discussant: Michael E. Kelley (University of Michigan Medical School)
CE Instructor: Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D.

The effectiveness of behavioral programming is largely dependent upon a behavior analyst's ability to effectively train the people who will be responsible for implementing the protocols. As such, it is incumbent upon behavior analysts to become effective trainers for people in the field (e.g., behavior analysts-in-training) as well as non-behavioral implementers (e.g., parents, untrained paraprofessionals). Fortunately, a substantial literature base exists documenting effective training strategies. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) incorporates the use of specific strategies, such as instructions, modeling/role-playing, and performance feedback, to provide high-quality training. While a strong literature base exists on the topic, there remain important areas in need of extension and refinement. The current symposium will cover several important aspects of effective training, including the use of BST to decrease reactivity and improve treatment integrity in staff members (Reyes), using online BST training to teach paraprofessionals behavior analytic interventions for use in classrooms (English), using BST to teach adult program staff to implement trial-based FAs (Budge), and disseminating behavior analytic content to non-behavioral professionals (Lerman). Dr. Michael Kelley will serve as discussant and provide comments at the end of the symposium.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, dissemination, training
Target Audience:

Attendees should have some familiarity with Behavioral Skills Training

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe BST and feedback as an intervention to improve treatment integrity 2. Describe how the use of pyramidal training and BST can be used to efficiently train staff 3. Describe a three-tier model for training remotely, identify challenges to training teachers remotely, and state the social validity outcomes of a remote training. 4. Describe the seven-step blueprint for success in disseminating our technologies to nonbehavioral professionals.
An Evaluation of Staff Management Strategies to Minimize Reactivity in Treatment Integrity of Intervention Implementers
CLAUDIA REYES (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Rasha Baruni (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate reactivity to observation by collecting treatment integrity data in observer present and observer absent conditions and increase treatment integrity in observer absent conditions by delivering feedback to participants following observer absent observation sessions. All three participants showed reactivity to observation in baseline, with better performance while the observer was present, and the two who received feedback in observer present conditions only improved performance when the observer was present. Therefore, we implemented feedback in the observer absent condition showed increased treatment integrity when observer was absent. The third participant, who responded above criterion in the observer present condition during baseline, went straight into feedback in the observer absent condition and also showed improved performance in this condition. The results of this study show that reactivity to observation is an ongoing concern in managing staff behavior and that feedback should be delivered in all contexts in which treatment integrity is expected of implementers.

Training Practitioners to Conduct Trial Based Functional Analysis With Adults With Autism Using Pyramidal Behavior Skills Training

JENNA BUDGE (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University), James Maraventano (Rutgers University), Angela O'Donnell (Rutgers University), Judith Harrison (Rutgers University), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University), Courtney Butler (Rutgers University), Samantha Van Dean (Rutgers University)

As the rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increase, so does the need to provide high-quality and empirically validated supports across the lifespan. Despite most of an individual’s life taking place in adulthood, it is well-documented that the supports and services for adults with ASD are severely lacking. This is evidenced by outcomes indicating that many adults on the spectrum are unemployed, underemployed, or do not have appropriate services. Challenging behavior is one of the most significant barriers to accessing community participation and employment. Individuals who present with challenging behavior require empirically validated methods that lead to function-based treatment. Trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) is a method of determining the function of behavior that is well-suited to community settings. However, adult services often lack the resources and qualified staff required to conduct specialized assessments. There is a need for empirically validated training methodologies coupled with strategies that reduce resources to improve the outcomes for adults with ASD. The purpose of the current study is to determine if a functional relation exists between: pyramidal Behavior Skills Training (BST) on the training of TBFA conducted by graduate students for center-employed job coaches and the accuracy of implementation of TBFA conducted by job coaches.

A Remote Multi-Tiered Training Model Serving Educators Across Texas School Districts: A Pilot Program
CHARITY ENGLISH (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Amy Richardson (University of Houston - Clear Lake)
Abstract: Federal laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) require school staff to utilize evidence-based strategies in public schools; however, accessible training on such methodologies is difficult to receive due to barriers such as time constraints and location. To bridge the gap, we piloted a remote three-tiered training model incorporating group and individualized trainings targeted at many rural and underserved areas of Texas. School staff attended a virtual Tier 1 group training that introduced general applied behavior analysis (ABA) approaches relevant to the classroom. A subset of trainees proceeded to individualized in-depth Tier 2 trainings on specialized topics of their choice. Finally, a portion of the graduates from Tier 2 progressed to Tier 3 where they learned to train and transfer new skills to their on-campus colleagues by utilizing Behavioral Skills Training (BST). A secondary training was created to instruct paraprofessionals in the areas of behavior reduction and skill acquisition. Program implementation, participation outcomes, and social validity measures will be discussed in this presentation.
A Recommended Blueprint for Disseminating Behavior-Analytic Technologies to Nonbehavioral Professionals
DOROTHEA C. LERMAN (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have a long history of training nonbehavioral professionals to implement behavior-analytic procedures. However, the most effective interventions and training modalities are often the least efficient, which may prohibit the dissemination of our science to large numbers of professionals and encourage trainers to rely on largely ineffective approaches. Drawing on her experiences with educators, law enforcement officers, and health care providers, the presenter will describe a tentative seven-step blueprint for success in disseminating our technologies to nonbehavioral professionals. In particular, behavior analysts are more likely to be successful when they add value to the nonbehavioral professionals’ existing systems of training, service delivery, and outcomes. To do so, the behavior analyst should learn as much as possible about the profession; help the professionals achieve desired goals; remain flexible in their approaches; consider modifying typical best practices; retain and integrate current practices of the profession; conduct single-subject pilot studies prior to scaling up; and help the profession sustain the dissemination activities. The presenter will conclude with directions for future research.



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