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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #471
CE Offered: BACB
The Use of a Demand Fading Protocol to Establish Opportunities for Instruction and Decrease Aberrant Behavior in Three Students With Autism- Three Case Studies
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
305 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Adam S. Warman (The Faison School for Autism)
Discussant: Aurore M. Hutter (The Virginia Institute of Autism)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Braddock, M.Ed.

The use of demand fading has been demonstrated to be effective in the establishment of a successful instructional environment and the decrease of aberrant behavior in a number of previous studies. Presenters will discuss three case studies in which a demand fading procedure was utilized with students diagnosed with autism in a private day school in a metropolitan area serving approximately 100 students from a geographic area including both rural and urban students. Participants ranged in age from 9 to 18 years old and demonstrated a range of verbal behavior from pre-speaker to full speaker. Functional assessment results, both analogue and descriptive, were used to determine the function of the aberrant behavior and criterion referenced assessments were used to identify skill deficits. Data will be presented regarding learned unit presentation totals, occurrence of behavior targeted for decrease, functional assessment, and learned instructional skills. An analysis of each case will include educational histories, previous treatment approaches, operational definitions of behavior targeted for decrease and results and follow-up to the demand fading protocol.

Keyword(s): demand fading, private day

Demand Fading With an 18-Year-Old Student With Autism in a Life Skills Setting

JAMIE L. BLACKBURN (The Faison School for Autism), Adam S. Warman (The Faison School for Autism)

The case study involved an 18-year-old male diagnosed with autism and who received special education services under autism and a speech/language impairment. He was a speaker and emerging reader/writer and attended a private day school, where he was enrolled in a program focusing on vocational, community and daily living skills. A history of intense self-injurious and aggressive behavior had been the focus of a long-term intervention at the day school. Antecedent-behavior-consequence data collection, as well as teacher observation, both indicated multiple functions of the emitted challenging behaviors that were accordingly targeted for decrease. It had been determined that self-injury and aggression served the primary function of escape and a secondary function of attention. Based on this hypothesis, a demand fading protocol was implemented to decrease the occurrence of self-injurious and aggressive behaviors. A reversal was used to establish a functional relationship, and demands were then systematically removed and reintroduced. Following the reversal, a demand assessment was administered to determine the subject’s work preferences. The results from this assessment helped identify high probability programs to be utilized upon demand reintroduction.


Demand Fading With a 9-Year-Old With Autism Displaying Severe Self-Injurious Behavior

ELIZABETH BRADDOCK (The Faison School for Autism)

A 9-year-old girl diagnosed with autism and tuberous sclerosis presented with high levels of self-injurious behavior at a private day school for students with developmental disabilities. The behavior included head-banging on walls and floors, hand-to-head strikes, and head-to-knee strikes and resulted in significant tissue damage on a daily basis, both at home and in the school environment. A series of functional analyses were conducted and results indicated that self-injurious behavior was maintained by escape from instructional situations (negative reinforcement). Based on this hypothesis, a treatment consisting of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), escape extinction, and demand fading was introduced. Results showed decreases in self-injurious behavior to low levels and an increase in compliance with instruction. These results were maintained as demands increased across sessions, resulting in increased instructional opportunities as compared to pre-intervention levels. Procedures and parent training were designed to address the generalization of the behavior to the home environment.


Demand Fading With a 16-Year-Old Student With Autism and Down's Syndrome in a Life Skills Setting

AMANDA GARNER (The Faison School for Autism)

The participant is a 16-year-old male student who attends a private day school and has a diagnosis if Autism and Downs syndrome. Descriptive assessment data were collected and led to a hypothesis of negative reinforcement, in that the participant most often engages in problem behavior to avoid certain tasks and demands. It is also hypothesized that, secondarily, he engages in problem behavior to gain attention from others. Data were collected in this study on 2 types of problem behavior: noncompliance and aggression using operational definitions for both. Due to an increase in problem behavior and the participants medical condition, a procedure was put into place that faded demands placed on the student in the educational setting. After implementing the demand fading protocol, both aggression and noncompliance decreased and remained at low levels as instructional demands were faded back into the students schedule. The demand fading protocol additionally utilized a specified schedule of high and low probability demands as instructional opportunities were increased.




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