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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Poster Session #96L
DDA Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 25, 2024
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Diversity submission 112. An Online Training for Special Education Teachers to Implement Phonics Instruction Strategies
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
MAJED ALSHEHRI (Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract: Modern inclusive education prioritizes high-quality education for all students, especially those needing special schooling. Proficient reading is foundational for academic success and lifelong learning. This paper underscores the importance of training special education teachers in evidence-based reading interventions to enhance student outcomes. Such interventions, targeting specific reading problems, have become increasingly popular. The study outlines key components of comprehensive training courses for special education teachers on these interventions, discussing content selection, teaching methods, evaluation techniques, and ongoing professional growth. The benefits of this training for both teachers and students are explored. Trained teachers better understand reading challenges and can adapt interventions for individual students. Students benefit by receiving tailored instruction that boosts their reading comprehension, fluency, and also, overall academic engagement. In conclusion, to effectively address reading difficulties, it’s vital that special education teachers receive training in research-based reading strategies, leading to improved literacy and academic success for their students.
 
113. Retrospective Analyses of the Application of Transitivity to Preferences
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
PRERANA ATREYA (University of the Pacific), Tracy Argueta (University of the Pacific), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: A common method for identifying potential reinforcers is conducting a paired stimuli preference assessment (PSPA; Fisher et al., 1992). Although PSPAs produce more consistent results and clear hierarchies than other preference assessments, they are time consuming (DeLeon & Iwata, 1996) and, therefore, might not always be feasible. One way to potentially reduce the duration of PSPAs might be to decrease the total number of trials by applying the logic of transitivity (i.e., if a > b and b >c, then a > c) to preferences and excluding trials that test a > c relations. Thus, the current study is a retrospective analysis of PSPA datasets to determine the extent to which participants’ selections demonstrated transitivity. Specifically, we evaluated how often stimulus “a” was selected over stimulus “c” when: (a) stimulus “a” was selected over stimulus “b” and (b) stimulus “b” was selected over “c” during other trials. Preliminary data suggest that relative stimulus preferences can be transitive; however, the relation is imperfect and somewhat variable. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.
 
114. Visualize Success! The Effects of First-Person Point-of-View Video Modeling on Job-Related Skills
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALYVIA ANAPLE (Western Michigan University), Kayla Jenssen (University of North Alabama), Jessica E. Van Stratton (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract: Individuals with disabilities are underrepresented in the employment field (US Department of Labor, 2022). Video modeling is a strategy that can be used to teach job-related skills to this population (LeBlanc & Coates, 2003; Scott et al., 2019). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of first-person point-of-view (FPPOV) video models on job-related skills. A 25-year-old man diagnosed with Down syndrome was recruited from an employment training program to participate. Initial interviews were conducted with the participant and their primary caregiver to identify five target skills related to the participant’s goal of working in the food service industry. A multiple probe across skills design was used to examine the effects the FPPOV video models as a stand-alone intervention on the percentage of steps correctly completed. Skills were selected based on interviews with the participant, his caregiver, and his job skills coach and the ability to be seen from the first-person perspective. Sessions involved showing the video model and providing the participant with an opportunity to demonstrate the skill. No additional instruction or programmed feedback were provided. Results suggest video models alone were not effective. However, video prompting and antecedent instruction were promising alternatives.
 
115. Play Skills in Children With Prader-Willi Syndrome: A Survey of Caregivers
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY KRUKOWSKI (The Chicago School), Kasey Bedard (The Chicago School ), Annette Griffith (The Chicago School), Holly Barszcz (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare neurodevelopmental genetic disorder that is characterized by complex physical features, developmental and cognitive impairments, and various behavioral challenges (Cassidy et al., 2012; Schwartz et al., 2021). While literature on play skills in children with PWS is limited, there is preliminary evidence that children with PWS demonstrate deficits in play (Dimitropolous et al., 2019; Zyga et al., 2015). Engagement in play is associated with many areas of a child’s development (Ashiabi, 2007; Holmes et al., 2022). Seventy-one caregivers of children diagnosed with PWS completed a survey to examine caregiver perspectives on play abilities and the impact of challenges experienced by children with PWS on play skills. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that there is not one overarching deficit in play skills in children with PWS, but rather various difficulties with some children experiencing many and some experiencing few or none. Additionally, many caregivers reported that challenges associated with PWS including gross motor challenges, communication deficits, fine motor challenges, and getting easily tired impact engagement in play. These results denote the need for development and evaluation of play skills interventions that address the unique needs and of children with PWS.

 
116. Using Virtual and Augmented Reality to Teach Children on the Autism Spectrum With Intellectual Disabilities: A Scoping Review
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Emily Erb (Western University), GABRIELLE T. LEE (Western University)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract:

In recent years, both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology have shown great promise for the instruction of people on the autism spectrum by simulating real-world experiences in a safe and controlled environment. However, there are many reports of the failure of such research to include people on the autism spectrum who also have Intellectual Disability (ID). The present scoping review consists of 20 studies which utilized VR/AR to teach various skills to children and youth with comorbid autism and ID. Findings show that within the small number of eligible studies, a great deal of variation exists in essentially every intervention element (e.g., identification of ID, VR/AR equipment, target skills). Beyond increasing the quantity of VR/AR intervention research conducted on this population, the current review suggests the need for greater uniformity and consistency to improve research, practice, and the lives of those on the autism spectrum with ID who may benefit from such interventions.

 
117. Measuring the Feeling of Inclusion With Adults With Disabilities: A Mixed-Methods Approach
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATHERINE CANTRELL HOLLOWAY (University of Texas at San Antonio ), Felicia Castro-Villarreal (University of Texas at San Antonio), Sara Patton (Morgan's Multi-Assistance Center (The MAC) ), ME Cormier (Morgan's Multi-Assistance Center (The MAC) )
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Recent organizational and policy efforts have been directed at increasing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within our practices as behavior analysts. Specifically, our assessments and interventions are often designed to increase the opportunity for our clients to be included in their educational, vocational, and community settings. As such, the concept of inclusion serves as a key measure of social validity for behavior-analytic interventions. However, the feeling of inclusion experienced by our clients is not employed by our field to evaluate the impact of our programming. This research aimed to evaluate the feelings of inclusion experienced by adults with disabilities engaging in a pre-vocational service setting. No single measure of inclusion has been found to adequately measure all inclusion domains so researchers employed both a quantitative survey and a semi-structured interview to capture all aspects of inclusion. Eleven adults with disabilities have enrolled in the program and have completed The Social and Community Opportunities Profile (SCOPE), and the Brief Sense of Community Scale. Participants will complete a qualitative interview focused on experiences, feelings, and perceptions of social inclusion. Future research can further investigate the construct of inclusion as it applies to individuals with disabilities and the long-term impacts of “inclusive practices”.

 
118. Using Pyramidal Behavior Skills Training (BST) to Teach Self-Care Skills to Parents of Children With Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALANNA MORRISSEY (The Chicago School)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract:

Children with developmental disabilities are more likely to show delays in completing daily living skills independently (Chen et al., 2022). Having access to more trainings that focus on promoting children’s independence in self-care skills is socially significant for both children and caregivers as it improves their quality of life long-term, and reductions of parent stress (Zyga et al., 2019). The study will evaluate the effects of using remote pyramidal behavior skills training (PBST) to teach caregivers to teach, shape, and reinforce their child’s skill development on a self-care skill identified by parents. Data will be collected on caregiver skill acquisition, treatment integrity, and child skill acquisition. Full results of this study are pending December 2023 completion. Current baseline data indicates that Caregiver 1 maintained a low percentage of correct steps on task analysis development and both caregivers demonstrated less than 30% of correct steps in BST implementation. The child participant also could not demonstrate the self-care skill. Existing research supports PBST being used to train a variety of skills. As PBST uses a train the trainer format, this type of remote training opens the door to extend support networks for families without sacrificing training efficacy and fidelity.

 
119. Positive Interactions Rating Scales
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
ALANNA MORRISSEY (The Chicago School)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The Positive Interactions Rating Scales (PIRS) are a set of structured questions intended to be delivered in interview form that can be used to evaluate the quality and quantity of interactions between staff and clients with developmental disabilities. Positive staff to client interactions are imperative because not only do they reduce the likelihood that behaviors of concerns will occur, but they also allow staff valuable opportunities to get to know the specific needs of each client and allow them to respond in a person-centered and individualized way to those needs (Reinders et al., 2010). The PIRS was developed to evaluate the quality of staff to client interaction based on the following domains: communication, behavior, and support, each containing a series of sub-domains. Additionally, PIRS includes interviews across all domains from both the supervisor and client’s perspective. The PIRS was initially developed based on domains identified as important in existing literature (e.g. Simons et al., 2020, Vanono et al.,2013), followed by expert and practitioner review in a series of nominal focus groups. While a further examination of reliability and validity are needed, the PIRS presents a preliminary means of evaluating positive interactions to identify where further staff training may be needed.
 
120. Evaluation of Residential Services for Older Adults With Intellectual Disabilities/Developmental Disabilities Residing in the Community
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
TANYA HOUGH (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jack Spear (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract:

People with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities in the United States are living longer in recent decades. People 65 and older are in better health than previous decades due to more awareness of the beneficial effects of a healthy diet, preventative medical care, and physical exercise. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer as well. However, this presents challenges in meeting the needs of this population. This paper details the results of a survey developed to assess several areas of services, including social engagement, health-related services, group home environment, and staff training and development, were evaluated to identify areas in need of improvement. Participants consisted of 95 direct care staff working for a not-for-profit agency providing residential services to adults with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities. The results of the survey indicate that need for improving social engagement opportunities for older adults residing in the community and more training on working with older adults with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities for direct care staff in a residential setting. The goal of the current study was to examine residential services through the eyes of direct care staff to see if the increasing needs of older adults with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities are being met.

 
121. Brief Functional Analysis and Augmented Competitive Stimulus Assessment in Outpatient Treatment for Pica and Stereotypes: Preliminary Findings
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NICCOLÒ USL VARRUCCIU (Public Local Health, Bologna), Guido D'Angelo (DALLA LUNA - BARI), Maria Teresa Tolu (Public Local Health, Bologna), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Giulia Papa (Public Local Health, Bologna), Sara Del Grosso (Public Local Health, Bologna), Anna Di Santantonio (Public Local Health, Bologna), Rita Di sarro (Public Local Health, Bologna)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Pica is a dangerous form of self-injurious behavior consisting in eating nonedible stimuli and can cause serious damages to the individual wellbeing; at the same time, perversive forms of stereotypy can hinder individuals’ skill acquisition and the ability to interact with peers and adults. Pica and motor stereotypies are often observed in people with intellectual disability, interfering with the overall quality of life. Stereotypes and PICA assessment and treatment is well documented in US private settings; however, to our knowledge, there are no studies reporting effective treatments in the Italian Public Health System. The participant with severe autism and intellectual disability that took part in the study was referred to the service for pervasive stereotypes and PICA. A brief functional analysis with an extended no interaction condition was implemented according to the Slanzi et al. model (2022); afterwards, an augmented Competing Stimulus Assessment (A-CSA) was conducted. The A-CSA protocol included conditions where stimuli were made freely available, conditions where engagement with stimuli was prompted, conditions where engagement was prompted concurrently with response blocking of the stereotypes. The intervention consisted of weekly 90-minute individual sessions. Significant outcomes were reported for the participants in terms of reduction of Stereotypes, PICA and engagement with competitive stimuli, when a RIRD and prompted engagement were implemented with respect to a free access condition. These preliminary findings suggest that an outpatient model can be feasible and effective in the realm of public services, under specific conditions.
 
122. Jargon- and Non-Jargon-Based Treatment Acceptability Research Using Vignettes: A Potential Confound in Presentation Order
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Taylor Payne (National University), Ashley Mineau (St. Cloud State University), Andrea Sandoval (St. Cloud State University), Thomas S. Critchfield (Illinois State University), BENJAMIN N. WITTS (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract: Over the decades, behaviorists have occasionally attended to the potential role word choice plays in getting consumers to value and accept behavior-analytic interventions. Much of this work rests on vignette creation, a skillset that is not readily taught to behavior analysts. We set out to first analyze existing vignettes to uncover commonalities and disparities that might contribute to any observed effects. We found several imbalances between jargon and non-jargon comparison vignettes. A follow-up study experimentally manipulated two variables on a randomly selected vignette from the published literature; degree of jargon (or non-jargon) and whether the vignette contained a justification for the intervention. Eighty mothers of school-age children were presented with two vignettes (one jargon and one non-jargon, counterbalanced in presentation order). Results suggest that presentation order might create an order effect that can further drive results one way or the other, suggesting a possible route to engineering results to match expectations.
 
123. The Use of Alternative and Augmented Functional Communication in a Medically Complex Teen With Autism
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LEIGHANN MILINICH (Ochsner Hospital for Children Michael R. Boh Center), Emily Seals Mathis (Micheal R. Boh Center at Ochsner Hospital for Children), Sara Elisabeth Richardson (Ochsner Hospital for Children Michael R. Boh Center)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Autism is a complex diagnosis marked by deficits in communication, which can place individuals at a higher risk for engaging in challenging behaviors. Features of autism can be exacerbated by other medical complexities, such as visual/hearing impairments, chronic pain, mobility issues, and more increasing that risk of developing maladaptive behaviors. A vast amount of literature supports the use of Functional Communication Training (FCT) to reduce challenging behaviors by providing functional alternatives to problem behaviors. The present study evaluated the effects of FCT using a speech generating augmented communication device to decrease problematic behaviors (i.e., aggression, self-injury, and disruptive behaviors) and increase functional communication in a teen with various complexities, including a visual impairment, Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome (CFC) and Autism. Using a multiple baseline design, treatment was evaluated across tangible, demand, and divided attention contexts. Though the study is ongoing, FCT has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing challenging behaviors and increasing functional communication across all contexts. Further, this study provides support for navigating challenges in identifying the most appropriate modality of communication in medically complex teens who engage in high levels of challenging behaviors. This would suggest that the use of alternative augmented communication devices can serve individuals with various complexities.

 
Diversity submission 124. Increasing On-Task Behavior & Academic Engagement With Students With Attention Decifit Hyperactivity Disorder Using Self-Management Approaches in a General Education Classroom
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
WILLIAM J. SWEENEY (The University of South Dakota), Kelsi Burfeindt (Kinnunen) (University of South Dakota)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract:

With the increased prevalence of ADHD and concerns about students’ academic performance, intervention is necessary to increase students’ success in secondary school (Fried et al., 2016; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS, n.d.). Otero and Haut (2015) discuss the correlation between on-task behavior and academic achievement. Academic achievement is a predictor of high school completion; therefore, on-task behavior positively contributes to a student’s ability to finish high school. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a self-management strategy to increase on-task behavior in students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a general education classroom at the secondary education level. The interventions, including self-monitoring and self-evaluation, were expected to increase student on-task behavior in a language arts classroom with three students diagnosed with ADHD. The experimental design used for this study was ABAB reversal design. The implications were also discussed and indicated that the intervention was successful in increasing on-task behavior and academic engagement. Results of the study indicated the use of a self-management intervention is effective for improving on task behavior with individuals enrolled in special education with co-morbid ADHD in secondary general education classrooms.

 
125. Protective Procedures in Functional Analysis of Self-Injurious Behavior: A Scoping Review
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ZHIBO RONG (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Erik Bustamante (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Drew E. Piersma (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Savannah Tate (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nathalie Fernandez (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) is the gold standard assessment to determine causes of self-injurious behavior (SIB). Despite its efficacy, less than 17% of surveyed clinicians reported conducting FAs for more than half of their clients, sometimes discouraged by safety concerns (Roscoe et al., 2015). However, FAs can be safe when conducted under proper precautions (Kahng et al., 2015). Unfortunately, such precautions are often omitted in the literature. Between 1994–2008, only 19.8% of published studies that included FAs on SIB reported participant safeguards (Weeden et al., 2010). However, omission is not necessarily negligence. Since then, several FA safety modifications have been proposed (e.g., latency FA). To determine whether reporting practices have improved, we replicated Weeden et al. (2010) by reviewing (a) peer-reviewed studies published between 2009–2022, if (b) at least one FA targeted SIB of an individual with an intellectual or developmental disability, and if (c) the FA was original to the study. Of the nine specific protections reviewed by Weeden et al., we observed notable improvement in reporting for seven. We also extended Weeden et al. by expanding and categorizing the protective procedures. In total, 69.6% of included studies reported using at least one category of protection.
 
126. Correspondence Between Rate-Based and Latency-Based Competing Stimulus Assessments for Automatically Maintained Self-Injurious Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SABRINA OLIVERA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute; The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Drew E. Piersma (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Zhibo Rong (UF; UMBC; KKI), Lauren Leask (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sean Conor Madden (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract: A competing stimulus assessment (CSA) is an assessment designed to identify stimuli associated with clinically significant reductions in challenging behavior, presumably through reinforcer competition or substitution. Highly competitive stimuli are frequently used in the treatment of both automatically and socially maintained challenging behavior. Regardless of function, some topographies of behavior targeted in a CSA, particularly self-injurious behavior (SIB), may be dangerous and place an individual at risk for injury if they occur repeatedly throughout a session. Within functional analysis, modifications have been made to prioritize efficiency and safety. For example, in a latency-based functional analysis, session is terminated following the first instance of challenging behavior. One logical extension of this line of research may be to evaluate latency as the dependent variable in CSAs. Thus, the purpose of this study was to compare the findings of rate-based and latency-based CSAs in the treatment of automatically maintained SIB for two individuals. We completed two CSAs and then ranked the efficacy of stimuli according to the mean rate of SIB (rate-based CSA) and mean latency to the first instance of SIB (latency-based CSA). Rank-order correlation coefficients were moderate (0.47) to high (0.81). Brief treatment evaluations validated the outcomes of the CSAs.
 
127. Further Analysis of Problem Behavior Occasioned by Interruption of Free-Operant Behavior
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS (Kennedy Krieger), Emily Ann Chesbrough (Kennedy Krieger Institute), John Falligant (Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Guillermo Santamaria (Kennedy Krieger), Hannah Roth (University of Maryland Baltimore County; Kennedy Krieger)
Discussant: Matthew L. Edelstein (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Interruptions to ongoing activities are an inevitable fact of life that may present a particular challenge for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The present study replicates and extends prior work from Hagopian et al. (2007) involving the assessment and treatment of the problem behavior occasioned by interruptions of free-operant behavior in a 15-year-old female (Rose) with IDD in an inpatient setting. Our functional analysis (FA) results suggested that severe challenging behavior was maintained, in part, by negative reinforcement contingency associated with the termination of incompatible demands that interrupted free-operant activity. Based on these FA outcomes, treatment involved differential reinforcement for compliance with interruptive demands, as well as noncontingent access to periods of activity without interruption. To make the treatment more sustainable in the natural environment, a two-component multiple schedule was used to progressively increase the period of time in which ongoing activities would be interrupted with concomitant increases in the number of compliance responses required to earn reinforcement. We achieved clinically significant reductions in challenging behavior with relatively lean schedules of reinforcement required for long-term implementation in the community.
 
128. Increasing Tolerance for Medical Procedures: Graduated Exposure With Synchronous Reinforcement
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
EVAN BRIAN LOADHOLTZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Margaret E.W. Cavanaugh (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Michelle A. Frank-Crawford (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Zhibo Rong (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Mariatu Fornah (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Discussant: ASHLEY N. FIORILLI (Be Still Be Connected LLC)
Abstract:

Antihypertensive medications are used as an alternative to stimulants for many individuals with autism. The side effects of these medications include hypotension and bradycardia, necessitating routine blood pressure monitoring. Individuals with developmental disabilities may engage in avoidant behaviors during medical procedures, including the measurement of blood pressure. We implemented graduated exposure for a client diagnosed with autism and prescribed antihypertensive medication. We first identified seven steps to successfully complete measurement of his blood pressure. During baseline, the placement of a monitoring cuff (Step 5) occasioned avoidant behavior that interfered with measuring blood pressure. Differential reinforcement for completing all seven steps and synchronous reinforcement were both unsuccessful in improving performance. During gradated exposure with synchronous reinforcement, we increased tolerance by gradually introducing him to each step of the standard monitoring process while providing access to preferred food. At the conclusion of treatment, the participant tolerated routine blood pressure monitoring, even as the treatment components were faded. Moreover, an 11-month follow-up demonstrated sustained treatment effects, even in historically challenging contexts (i.e., medical room). The clinical implications for treatments targeting avoidance of medical procedures will be discussed.

 
 

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