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 #417
Training in Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Monday, May 27, 2024
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon AB
Area: TBA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Angie Van Arsdale (University of Florida)
Discussant: Sarah D. Haney McDevitt (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Behavior-analytic interventions for feeding disorders are the most supported in the published literature, and professionals both within and outside of behavior analysis who work with children with feeding disorders would benefit from learning these procedures. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of specialized behavior-analytic feeding programs in the country, making access to in-vivo training difficult. One way to increase training opportunities is the use of computer-based instruction to teach behavior-analytic protocols in the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. The first presentation will cover teaching relevant skills included in a structured feeding assessment to occupational therapists using in-vivo training and to undergraduate behavior analysis students using computer-based instruction. Similarly, the second presentation will discuss the effects of interactive computer-based instruction to teach a behavior-analytic feeding protocol. The effects on procedural integrity of the different training modalities and their implications for teaching feeding protocols to various populations will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): computer based, pediatric feeding, training
Using Different Types of Instruction to Teach Undergraduate Students and Occupational Therapists How to Conduct Structured Mealtime Protocols
ANGIE VAN ARSDALE (University of Florida), Nicole Perrino (University of Florida, Florida Autism Center), Janelle Kirstie Bacotti (University of Miami), Lindsay Lloveras (University of Florida ), Kerri P. Peters (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Vivian F Ibanez (University of Florida)
Abstract: Intervention for pediatric feeding disorders involves numerous professionals with different backgrounds due to the complex and multifactorial etiology. For example, two such groups include occupational therapists (Reche-Olmedo et al., 2021) and students who may become Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) to deliver supervised behavior-analytic feeding services (Peterson et al., 2020). We were interested in teaching occupational therapists and undergraduate students enrolled in an ABA laboratory course about mealtime structure to support coordination of care and skill acquisition. Across both groups, our methods were like those of Ibañez et al. (2022) to teach skills specific to structured feeding protocols. For six occupational therapists, we conducted one day of didactic instruction and embedded a behavioral skills training section. Alternatively, for 13 undergraduate students, we used computer-based instruction through e-learning modules (e.g., Retzlaff et al., 2020) with in-vivo testing. Both types of training produced increases in procedural integrity and mostly positive acceptability of the training. We discuss implications for collaborative care and different training modalities in the context of pediatric feeding disorders, as well as directions for future research on training in this area.
An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training for the Staff Implementation of a Behavior-Analytic Feeding Protocol
EMILY SCIARRINO (Children’s Specialized Hospital), Jaime Crowley-Zalaket (Children's Specialized Hospital), Kathryn M. Peterson (Rutgers University and Children's Specialized Hospital), Christopher W Engler (Children's Specialized Hosptial)
Abstract: To implement behavior-analytic feeding procedures, staff must be trained by skilled and experienced clinicians to high levels of treatment integrity (Bachmeyer-Lee et al., 2020). Historically, this is done by using a training method known as behavioral skills training (Bachmeyer-Lee et al., 2020). However, Interactive Computer Training is a more recent training method that minimizes the need for an in-person trainer (Pollard et al., 2014). This training method combines self-instruction and the modeling component of behavioral skills training (Pollard et al., 2014). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of Interactive Computer Training to improve procedural fidelity when implementing a behavior-analytic feeding protocol. Procedural fidelity prior to and following the training modules was evaluated using a noncurrent-multiple baseline design across three participants. Adherence to the procedures increased for all three participants following exposure to the training modules. Feasibility of Interactive Computer Training within standard clinical practice will be discussed.



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