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 #472
Supplemental Programs and Outcomes for Early Intervention for Children With Autism; Teaching and Generalizing Tolerance for Haircuts, Transitioning to Classrooms, and Social Games
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
301 (TCC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kellee Chi (California State University, Fresno)

The symposium is intended for those who work with young children with autism. Much work focuses on improving implementation and teaching techniques for behavioral intervention in programs that serve children with autism. Children that do well in early intervention are usually transitioned into school programs and participate more in the community and peer social settings. These new environments often present challenges that sometimes have not been targeted in early intervention programs. The transition into a public school classroom, getting a haircut and playing common games with others are issues that may occasion difficulty. In this presentation we will share four papers, three of which examine supplemental programs that expand on the fundamental teaching and intervention that an ABA early intervention program typically employ. The first paper will share data from a model classroom developed in a center setting designed to advance skills and generalization of skills for children who are transitioning back into regular education classrooms in public schools. The second paper will describe the use of contingent reinforcement to reduce problematic behavior during haircut routines. The third paper evaluates visual prompting for teaching play skills, specifically hide-and-seek for children with autism. The final paper in this symposium will present data for a university based center for five years of tracking trends and eventual placement outcomes in light of a number of variables including level of intensity and final placement upon graduation from the program.

Keyword(s): autism intervention

A Classroom Model for Children With ASD in a Center-based ABA Program: Aspects of Treatment and Outcome

ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (California State University, Fresno), Eduardo Avalos (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno), Marianne L. Jackson (California State University, Fresno)

One of the primary goals for children with ASD receiving early intensive ABA intervention is to acquire the skills necessary to learn and function within typical classroom settings. Designing a model classroom in a more restrictive environment may be beneficial to increasing generalization skills when transitioning children with ASD into a more typical setting. The purpose of this study was to design a model classroom for 14 children with ASD in a center-based program at a university setting. The staff was trained on prompting techniques and how to collect data during all classroom sessions. The dependent variables were group & individual responding. Frequency of disruptive behaviors was also measured. In general, preliminary data shows an upward trend in participants individual responding and a downward trend in participants disruptive behaviors, as the number of classroom sessions increased. Other aspects of classroom treatment and outcomes will be examined. Limitations and future research will also be discussed.


The Use of Contingent Reinforcement to Reduce Problematic Behavior During Haircut Routines in Children with Autism: A Center-based Model

HUGO CURIEL (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno)

Autistic Disorder is an early-childhood developmental disorder defined by significant impairments in the domains of social interactions, communication, and restricted or repetitive behaviors (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). The current prevalence of the disorder is estimated at an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States (Rice, 2009). A problematic behavior not exclusive to autism, but highly reported are temper tantrums. Temper tantrums are problematic, in that they can become harmful and often disrupt activities. Parents and service providers report problematic temper tantrums occurring during haircut routines. The parents of participants reported their inability of cutting their childs hair. While other parents were able to cut their childs hair, they often used restraining methods, resulting in aversive side effects. The purpose of this study was to reduce problematic behaviors during haircut routines, in children with a diagnosis of autism. The study used a non-concurrent changing criterion design. Preliminary findings suggest that contingent video viewing reduces problematic behavior.


The Use of Activity Schedules to Promote Social and On-task Behavior in Children With Autism During a Game of Hide and Seek

MATTHEW T. BRODHEAD (Utah State University), Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University), Joy S. Pollard (Utah State University)

This study examines whether or not activity schedules can promote social interactions and maintain on-task during a game of hide and seek in children with autism. An activity schedule contains a series of visual and textual cues that signal responses for the participant to engage in. Using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across dyads (groups of two students) design, social interactions and on-task behavior did not occur during baseline conditions. A schedule probe followed, which included the introduction of each participants activity schedule to test and see if the schedule itself, prior to teaching, would improve social behavior. After a schedule probe, teaching sessions were introduced and performance improved and all teaching prompts were faded. Once stable responding was reached for both participants, a series of re-sequencing and generalization phases were introduced to demonstrate experimental control of the activity schedule and to test the effects of the schedule on social interactions in novel environments. This study extends the research on activity schedules by expanding the utility of activity schedules to include peer-peer social interactions in play settings that utilize the immediate, natural environment.


Outcomes Data for Children With ASD or at High-Risk for Autism in a Center Based Program: Trends and Predictability

EDUARDO AVALOS (California State University, Fresno), Amanda N. Adams (California State University, Fresno), Mary Vongsackda (California State University, Fresno)

Predicting outcomes in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or at high risk for autism at different stages of programming and receiving different intensity levels of ABA therapy has much clinical relevance. A university center-based ABA early intervention program for children diagnosed with ASD or at high risk for autism has been running for five years. Different parameters and trends of outcomes data will be presented. Outcomes data and a number of therapeutic variables including level of intensity and final graduation program placement were compared and analyzed in order to learn more about how to better predict graduation outcomes. Data for 49 participants were compiled, analyzed, and summarized. Preliminary analysis shows a general negative correlation between learning acquisition rate and frequency of inappropriate behavior. Another significant finding is that children at a high risk for autism have a faster graduation rate compared to those diagnosed with ASD. Limitations and overall trends will also be discussed.




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