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 #298
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluation of Three Comprehensive Training Models for Staff Working With Students With Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 28, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ethan S. Long (Virginia Institute of Autism)
Discussant: Coby J. Lund (Integrated Behavioral Solutions, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Ethan S. Long, Ph.D.

Enhancing the abilities of the persons directly responsible for implementing evidence-based teaching and clinical practices, such as those based on the principles of behavior analysis, are constant issues for many autism and related developmental disability service agencies. Research questions remain regarding effective practices for documenting, informing, and ultimately creating sustainable training models for the front line implementers of such evidence-based practices. This symposium will describe 3 models of staff training employed by 3 geographically different service providers committed to employing evidence-based practices. Measures of training effectiveness, efficiency, and implementation process will be highlighted as well as how resulting data was utilized to enhance front line and supervisory staff performance.

Keyword(s): autism, staff training

Utilizing a Multimodal Competency Based Training Package at the Virginia Institute of Autism to Increase Effective Implementation of Evidence-based Teaching and Clinical Practices

CRESSE MORRELL (Virginia Institute of Autism), Aurore M. Hutter (Virginia Institute of Autism), Ethan S. Long (Virginia Institute of Autism)

Data will be presented on the effectiveness of a competency based training package designed for teaching staff working with children with autism. Participants in the study are 34 direct teaching staff and 6 supervisory staff at a private, not-for-profit school serving students with autism. The beginning training package was conducted across the course of a 3-month period for all staff. This training consisted of independent completion of 11 video modules along with guided notes for each module that were used to determine staff's verbal behavior specific to basic behavioral practices. Quizzes on each topic served as a further assessment of staff's comprehension of basic principles. Large group staff trainings relevant to each video module were employed using a behavioral skills training package consisting of instructions, modeling, rehearsal and feedback. Three subsequent proficiency checks conducted by supervisory staff were performed during intervention sessions. Follow-up data will be collected at 3-month intervals. The intermediate training package will be implemented at the conclusion of the beginning training package. This package will focus on developing staff's skills replicating and extending current research. Data on effectiveness and efficiency of both components of the training package will be presented. Treatment data on the beginning component of the training package has been collected for approximately 2 months.


The Classroom Achievement Project-An Experimental Analysis of a Comprehensive staff Training Package

MICHELLE A. HICKMAN (Summit Educational Resources), Vicki Madaus Knapp (Summit Educational Resources), Jennifer Toomey (Summit Educational Resources), Stephen R. Anderson (Summit Educational Resources), Amy Jablonski (Summit Educational Resources), Kathleen B. Honer (Summit Educational Resources)

Research has long supported the use of intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism; however there is a lack of evidence for the effectiveness of similar programming for school-age students. This study seeks to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive staff training package on the implementation of behavioral intervention and student outcomes. Participants in the study are 20 elementary teachers and aides, and 81 students (ages 5-11) at a private, not-for-profit school serving students with developmental disabilities. Prior to intervention all students were assessed using standardized and nonstandardized instruments to determine current levels of functioning. Baseline data were collected in each classroom on several measures including: student and staff engagement, communication, and evaluations of instructional and behavior change plans and implementation. Training includes direct instruction (lecture, modeling, role playing, etc), intensive in-classroom support, and assessment of skill mastery. The intervention is being evaluated using a multiple baseline across groups of classrooms design. Following the 3-week training period, data collection will continue in each classroom and additional individualized training will be provided as needed. At the time of submission baseline data have been collected in all classrooms for at least two weeks and the first classrooms are in training.


Maintaining Effective Teaching Behavior of Direct Service Staff

KRISTI L. MILLER (Therapeutic Pathways)

Every agency that serves children with autism contends with the issue of staff training. In order to be competent at delivering behavioral intervention, staff members are trained to present effective environmental arrangements and discriminative stimuli and consequences for correct and incorrect responses that facilitate the acquisition of appropriate behavior and reduction of problem behavior.

In a review of literature, Leblanc et al. (2005) found common threads across effective staff training protocols; 1. training should be practical and efficient, 2. training should be viewed favorably by staff, and 3. competencies should be maintained long-term (Ducharme & Feldman, 1992; Ivancic, Reid, Iwata, Faw, & Page, 1981; Parsons & Reid, 1995; Shore, Iwata, Vollmer, Lerman, & Zarcone, 1995). Given the financial cost of staff training and cost to the child when intervention time is not maximized, it is important for agencies to develop effective protocols that efficiently and effectively train and maintain staff performance.

The following presentation will focus on a set of staff training procedures used to maintain competent performance across time with direct service staff who passed their basic competency evaluation. The package involved differential reinforcement for the ongoing exhibition of mastered skill sets, covert evaluation, individualized retraining and ongoing feedback across 9 staff members. Checks for maintenance were conducted at one month intervals across four months. Results indicate effectiveness for skill maintenance. Data will be presented to support reliability, practicality and social validity.




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