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 #195
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Assessment in Early Intensive Behvioral Intervention Programs
Sunday, May 27, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
LL02 (TCC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Adel C. Najdowski, Ph.D.

Assessment of childrens skill repertoires in early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programs is typically conducted for the purpose of developing a unique, individualized curriculum program for each child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Assessment facilitates the identification of each childs strengths and needs, in an effort to maximize learning gains in areas of importance and relevance to a childs daily life. This symposium explores the traditional role of assessment in treatment planning (papers 1 3) as well as presenting a nontraditional and more novel use of skill assessment for the purpose of behavioral phenotyping (paper 4). Specifically, the first paper discusses the key factors related to linking assessment to curriculum design, the second paper provides a literature review of assessments and curricula used in EIBI programs, the third paper investigates the agreement between two commonly used assessments in EIBI programs (VB-MAPP and the ABLLS-R), and the final paper explores the use of skill assessment for behavioral phenotyping in children with ASD.

Keyword(s): assessment, behavioral phenotyping, curriculum design

Linking Assessment to Curriculum Design in EIBI Programs for Children With ASD

ADEL C. NAJDOWSKI (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Evelyn R. Gould (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Taira Lanagan (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Michele R. Bishop (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)

One of the key features of an EIBI program for children with ASD is an individualized and comprehensive curriculum (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1999; Hancock, Cautilli, Rosenwasser, & Clark, 2000; Lovaas, 2003). Designing such a curriculum is a multi-step process, beginning with assessment and interpreting the results of assessment and ending with matching lessons to the child�s individual needs identified by assessment. This process also involves consideration of many other factors including: the child�s age and level of functioning, goals of the child�s caregivers, the number of hours of intervention planned, and goals that there is funding to support, to name a few. This paper will outline the process of linking assessment to curriculum design while also considering all of these important factors.


A Review of Assessment Instruments and Curricula used in the Education and Treatment of Children With ASD

EVELYN R. GOULD (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Dennis Dixon (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)

Systematic assessment plays a critical role in treatment-planning and outcome evaluation of children with autism and a unique, comprehensive treatment curriculum is a key component of effective EIBI programs (REF). A large proportion of national education and treatment centers for persons with ASD, including those providing applied behavior analysis (ABA)-based services, show a relatively high percentage of agreement on the assessment instruments they routinely use. However, there appears to be great variability in the curricula used by different providers (Love et al., 2009). Variability in curricula may be one possible factor in outcome differences. In this paper, a variety of commonly used assessments and published curricula are reviewed and evaluated in terms of their utility for designing comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programs for children with ASD. The assessments and curricula found to be most useful for this purpose are reported. A general critique regarding the available pool of assessment tools and curricula is provided.


Agreement on Targets Between the VB-MAPP and the ABLLS-R

Roy Tonnesen (Pedagogisk Psykologisk Tjeneste), Hege Aarlie (Centre for Early Intervention), Kim Henrik Liland (Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis), Elisabeth Ulvestad (Center for Early Intervention), SIGMUND ELDEVIK (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)

Suggested targets for intervention from two of the most widely used instruments for assessing skills in children with autism - the VB-MAPP and the ABLLS-R - were compared. Nine children with autism, at various levels of functioning were assessed at the same time with both instruments. On the basis of the scores obtained, the three next recommended targets in each skill domain were compared between the instruments. Agreement between assessments was judged on four levels and was relatively low, except on the most general levels.


Behavioral Phenotyping of ASD Through Detailed Behavior Assessment

DENNIS DIXON (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)

Through the use of highly detailed skill assessment, behavioral phenotyping of Autism Spectrum Disorder is possible. This talk explored the potential that fine-grain data analysis offers for understanding complex relationships among treatment variables, client population needs analysis, and predicting treatment outcomes. Exploratory analyses from a dataset of over 1500 participants with ASD are presented.




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