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

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Symposium #39
CE Offered: BACB
Nuanced Treatments for Challenging Behavior
Saturday, May 25, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 103 C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Discussant: Adam M. Briggs (Eastern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Cody Morris, Ph.D.
Abstract: The treatment of challenging behavior requires nuanced strategies that adequately address clients’ idiosyncratic needs. A review conducted by Schlichenmeyer et al. (2013) identified 30+ idiosyncratic variables that affected the results of functional analyses. The prevalence of idiosyncratic variables affecting functional analysis outcomes indicates a need for research on the identification of effective treatments for challenging behavior maintained by idiosyncratic variables. The following symposium focuses on three assessments that were conducted to identify effective treatments for client-specific idiosyncratic variables. The first assessment targeted challenging behavior maintained by access to ritualistic behaviors when transitioning from high-to-low preferred activities. Treatment included the use of rules, differential reinforcement, and positive practice. A changing criterion design with an embedded reversal was used to measure treatment effects. The results indicated that the treatment effectively increased successful transitions without engaging in ritualistic or challenging behavior. The second assessment targeted challenging behavior maintained by denied access to mands. Treatment options included visual alternative choice boards and/or a distractor task. A multi-element design was used to compare treatment effects. The results indicated that the treatment, which included both a visual alternative choice board as well as a distractor task, was more effective than both denial alone and the use of a visual choice board alone. The third assessment targeted the identification of the preferred escape modality for challenging behavior maintained by access to escape. Treatment options included two forms of help, as well as one form of a break. A multi-element design was used to evaluate the three requests. The results indicated that both forms of help were associated with lower levels of challenging behavior compared to a request for a break from demands. Limitations and future directions will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Denied Access, Escape-Maintained Challenging-Behavior, Ritualistic Behavior
Target Audience: Clinicians within their first few years of clinical practice who provide services to individuals who engage in challenging behaviors maintained by idiosyncratic variables.
Learning Objectives: (1). Understanding how to use a changing criterion design to identify the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce challenging behavior maintained by access to rituals. (2). Identification of how to evaluate multiple treatments for treating challenging behavior maintained by denied access to mands. (3). Identification of how to evaluate multiple functional communication requests to reduce challenging behavior maintained by access to escape from demands.
 
Treatment for Challenging Behavior Related to Denied Access to Rituals
JACQUELINE WILSON (Salve Regina Uinversity), Jesse Perrin (Salve Regina University Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Abstract: Behavior analysts provide services to a broad range of clients, including individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Restrictive or repetitive behaviors, interests, and/or activities are one of the core symptoms of ASD. Interrupting rituals can provoke challenging behavior for some individuals. Thus, there is a need for effective behavioral treatments targeting the reduction of challenging behavior maintained by access to ritualistic behaviors. The purpose of this presentation is to summarize the relevant literature and discuss a case study describing the treatment of challenging behavior maintained by access to ritualistic behaviors. The participant of the case study was a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with ASD who engaged in aggression following denied access to ritualistic behaviors when transitioning from high to low-preferred activities. The treatment package consisted of rules, differential reinforcement, and positive practice. IOA was collected during 34% of trials with an agreement score of 100%. Results of this study suggest that the treatment package plus shaping was effective at reducing aggression and decreasing the occurrence of ritualistic behaviors. Implications for future research and practice will be discussed based on findings within the study. Keywords: ritualistic behaviors, treatment, autism, challenging behavior, changing criterions design
 
Redirecting Following Denied Access
JESSE PERRIN (Salve Regina University Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Caitlyn Federico (Salve Regina University ), Jacqueline Wilson (Salve Regina Uinversity), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Abstract: Tangible functions can be nuanced and controlled by idiosyncratic variables. Adult compliance with mands is one type of nuanced function related to an access to tangibles function where the client specifies an ever-changing tangible/activity they want an adult to provide. The participant of this study was a 13-year-old white male who engaged in aggression maintained by access to tangible items. A multi-element design was used to evaluate three interventions for denying a specific request from a client who engaged in challenging behavior related to adult compliance with mands that included an unavailability statement, an alternative option choice board, and a distractor task. The results of the study indicated that the distractor task with the alternative option choice board was the most effective intervention. IOA was collected for 79% of treatment analysis sessions using trial-by-trial agreement with an overall agreement of 100%. Keywords: Adult Compliance with Mands; Tangible Function; Distractor Task; Alternative Choice Board
 
Assessment of Multiple Functional Communication Requests for Escape Maintained Challenging Behavior
REBECCA WARD (Salve Regina University), Jacqueline Wilson (Salve Regina Uinversity), Jesse Perrin (Salve Regina University Pathways Strategic Teaching Center), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Abstract: Functional Communication Training is a differential reinforcement procedure that involves teaching an alternative response to access the same function as challenging behavior. Schlichenmeyer et al. (2013) identify several classes of motivating operations that influence impact escape maintained challenging behavior (e.g., task difficulty, preference for tasks, work requirements, instructional tone, prompting types, prompt timing, and wording of instruction). However, there is limited guidance on determining which specific topographies of escape from demands should be utilized in treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess three functional communication requests (FCRs) in the treatment of escape-maintained challenging behavior. The participant in this study was a nine-year-old Hispanic male who engaged in flopping and property destruction maintained by access to escape from demands. Two FCRs accessed assistance from the instructor, one in the form of reduction in demands and the other in the form of most-to-least prompting. The third FCR accessed a break from the demand, which lasted 30 seconds in duration. The three treatments were evaluated in a multi-element design with both FCRs for assistance having lower rates of challenging behavior compared to the FCR for break. IOA was collected for 38% of sessions, and agreement was 100%. Limitations and future directions will be discussed. Keywords: Functional Communication Training, Escape Maintained Challenging Behavior, Request for Assistance, Request for Break.
 
A Novel Use of a Concurrent Operant Assessment to Assess Severe Challenging Behavior
GRACE E SYLVESTER (Western Michigan University), Jessica Detrick (Western Michigan University ), Kelsey Stapleton (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the use of a concurrent operant assessment to evaluate the function of severe challenging behavior presented by a female adolescent diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and visual impairment. These assessments use a choice-making paradigm and are sometimes used as an alternative to functional analyses, especially when evoking and reinforcing challenging behavior can be dangerous. Typically, this assessment involves simultaneously presenting two or more stimuli and measuring time allocation to each option. This procedure most often involves separating a room into two separate areas, visually separating the physical space, and asking the client to go to their preferred area. However, for a client with visual impairments whose problem behavior includes refusing to move, such as with this client, accommodations to a concurrent operant assessment are required. We found limited to no research describing a concurrent operant assessment to address these needs. This case example describes how we successfully adapted this assessment using vocal-verbal prompts and participant responses. Results of the assessment suggested that the challenging behaviors were likely to be maintained by access to specific types of attention and that attention was likely a competing function to escaping from demands. Implications behavior treatment planning will be discussed.
 

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