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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Poster Session #186
EDC Poster Session 2
Sunday, May 27, 2012
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)

CANCELED: Embedded Early Literacy and Oral Language Interventions for Kindergarten Students at Risk for Reading Failure

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ALLISON KRETLOW (James Madison University)

Students who are at risk for reading failure often have deficits in oral language and early literacy skills; however, most empirical research on literacy interventions only addresses reading skills. In addition, many early literacy skills can seem abstract to students who have low receptive and expressive vocabulary. This study used a multiple baseline across participants design to examine the impact of an embedded oral language and phonemic awareness intervention on the literacy and vocabulary skills of kindergarten students who were well below grade level benchmark. During baseline, students received only phonemic awareness instruction using discrete trial training. During intervention, students were first taught to use oral language skills plus picture cues to describe target words using discrete trial training. Then, students were taught the phonemic awareness skills associated with the target words. Instruction in both conditions was provided daily, one-on-one by a general education teacher. Participants were three students with low oral language and literacy skills, including an English Language Learner, a student with a significant language disorder, and a student with a developmental delay. Results demonstrated a functional relationship between embedded oral language and phonemic awareness instruction and improved early literacy and oral language skills as measured by the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), although the change in level and trend was not as pronounced for the student with significant language disorder.


In-Classroom Coaching Using a Bug-in-the-Ear Communication System to Improve Teacher Interactions in Managing the Behavior Challenges of Preschoolers

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TREVOR STOKES (James Madison University), Chelsea Rainear (James Madison University), Kara Devers (James Madison University), Karen Budd (DePaul University)

Teacher Child Interaction Training (TCIT) is a school-based universal prevention program in which teachers are taught to use basic principles of applied behavior analysis in the classroom to prevent and reduce problem behaviors in young children. This research was conducted in an elementary school in Virginia. Five female teachers and instructional assistants from two preschool classrooms participated. Each class had 18–20 students, ranging in age from3 to 5 years old. English was the second language for over 90% of the students, with Spanish being the primary language spoken. Two observers in each classroom recorded samples of teacher and child behaviors in 10-second intervals on a randomized schedule, four mornings each week. The intervention was implemented in a multiple baseline across classrooms design. Teachers attended2 3-hour workshops highlighting child-directed interaction (CDI), which included the provision of positive consequences only, and then teacher-directed interaction (TDI) one month later, which included attention to discipline procedures for compliance and listening as well as a brief sit and watch procedure for serious disruptive behavior. Subsequently, each teacher received 20 minutes of individualized coaching one or two mornings a week, using a "bug-in-the-ear" system during regular classroom activities. The multiple baseline design with the sequential introduction of the CDI procedures to the teachers across treatment conditions showed that the frequencies of Labeled Praise, Unlabeled Praise, Behavior Descriptions and Reflections were consistently low during stable baselines. During intervention there was a substantial increase in overall positive behaviors. In addition, Noncompliance to commands and No Answers to questions were variable and high in frequency during baseline. During the intervention, these maladaptive responses to commands and questions decreased in a manner consistent with the multiple baseline design. Child disruptive behaviors of destruction, aggression, and yelling also decreased.


Teach Me to Read: Matrix Training of Decoding Skills with Elementary Students With Autism Who Have Reading Delays

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MADOKA ITOI (Spectrum Behavioral Solutions), Rebecca Eslinger (Spectrum Behavioral Solutions)

Decoding is a critical skill that precedes acquisition of many other skills and concepts. However, many students with autism experience delays in this skill. Although there are instructional strategies available to teach decoding to individuals who exhibit delays in reading, further research is needed to identify instructional strategies that teach all the necessary skills in a efficient manner so that children with language delays can meet the standards of their same-age peers as quickly as possible (Axe & Sainato, 2010). The current study utilizes a matrix training technique to teach consonants and vowels (e.g., ee, s, l, cl) to 4 elementary students with autism who have limited decoding skills. Using a multi-probe design, we examine if untrained re-combinations of consonant-vowel structure (e.g., feel, sneer, etc.) will emerge without direct teaching. The current study extends existing research by using Headsprout(R) Early Reading Program, a computer-based reading program designed to build early reading skills. Implications for practice and areas for further research will be discussed.


The Effects of Tutor Training on the Acquisition of the Observational Learning Capability for Two Elementary Students

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA LIU (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jinhyeok Choi (Teachers College, Columbia Universty), Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)

We examined the effects of training two students diagnosed with autism to tutor their peers using the Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy observation procedure (TPRA) as base of assessment on the acquisition of the observational learning repertoire using a delayed multiple probe across participants design. The dependent variables were the correct responses to observational learning probes in which the target participants observed direct learn units to their peers and then were probed for the correct responses to the indirect learn units. The independent variable was the mastery of tutor training as assessed through the TPRA. Results showed that the numbers of correct responses to indirect learn units increased following tutor training for both students and one student achieved the observational learning repertoire. Additionally the number of echoic responses by the target participants of their peers responses also increased.


The Effects of Conditioning 2D Print Stimuli as a Reinforcer in Elementary Aged Students Diagnosed With an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Matthew Howarth (Teachers College, Columbia University), EMILIA CLANCY (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)

We tested the effects of the acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for 2-dimensional print stimuli on learn units to criteria using a delayed multiple probe design. We selected 3 elementary aged males diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder from a self-contained classroom that applies behavioral methods to all instruction. The dependent variable was mean learn units to criteria across programs that require print observation. The independent variable was the acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for 2-dimensional print stimuli through a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure. The results of this study demonstrated a functional relation between the acquisition of conditioned reinforcement for 2-dimensional print stimuli and a decrease in participants' learn units to criteria.


Simultaneous Prompting Procedure: Efficient and Effective for Children With Disabilities Within an Inclusive, General Education, High School Classroom Setting

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KIM M. HINKSON LEE (University of Kentucky)

Simultaneous prompting procedure (SPP) has been shown to be efficient and effective when implemented to teach new skills to students with and without disabilities. SPP has produced high rates of acquisition of target information, increased levels of generalization, and extensive periods of maintenance in a variety of settings both within and outside the general education classroom and in various groupings, including one-on-one and small group. SPP has also shown a potential for increasing acquisition of incidental and observational learning. This study applies SPP within an inclusive, general education, high school classroom setting, of students with and without disabilities. This study will employ an alternating treatments design (A-B-C-B-C-B-C). The significance of this research application of this research-evidenced simultaneous prompting procedure is presented, as well as its potential effectiveness when extended to the inclusive, general education, high school setting. Implications on classroom practice and suggestions for future research are also discussed.


Pre-Teaching of a Chained Task Using Simultaneous Prompting to Develop Writing Skills and Increase Task Engagement of Students With EBD and ADHD

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
TINA HUDSON (University of Kentucky), Kim M. Hinkson Lee (University of Kentucky), Belva C. Collins (University of Kentucky)

High-stakes testing and increased accountability measures have become common components of educational reform that now require the participation of students with disabilities, creating the need for teachers in both regular and special education classrooms to identify and implement evidenced based practices to increase student access to the core curriculum. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and (Emotional Behavior Disorders) EBD often struggle in the area of written expression, and require special strategies that help them to facilitate and organize thoughts in order to present them in a manner that is coherent and legible. The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of a simultaneous prompting as a strategy to teach the steps needed to complete a paragraph prior to daily writing instruction, as well as to study its effects on the level of academic engagement of 4 students who have been identified with either ADHD or EBD. The authors used a multiple probe design across students to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Results indicate that all 4 of the students acquired, maintained, and generalized the targeted skills presented during training sessions as well as increased levels of academic engagement during writing class.


CANCELED: Evaluating 5s and 1s Response Intervals Using Computer-Based Flash Cards: Holding Learning Time Constant to Precisely Measure Learning Rates

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RICHARD A. SAUDARGAS (University of Tennessee), Jared Yaw (University of Tennessee), Christopher Skinner (University of Tennessee), Kristin Maurer (University of Tennessee)

When students struggle with phonemic approaches to reading, educator may want to attempt to enhance their ability to read commonly used words. We used modified adapted alternating treatments designs were used to evaluate two (1-s and 5-s response intervals) computer-based flashcard sight-word reading interventions in two students with LD and one with ID. Instructional time was held constant (3 min per session) across both the 1-s and 5-s procedures; consequently, students complete six learning trials per word during each 1-s sessions but only two trials per word during each 5-s session. For each student, time series graphs showed similar gains in sight-word mastery rates across both the 1-s and 5-s interventions. Approximately 12 weeks later, maintenance phase data showed that these students maintained 44%-80% of the words, with more 1-s words maintained than 5-s words. However, increases in sight-word reading as the maintenance progressed and during a brief post-maintenance treatment phase (i.e., each word presented one time per session) showed rapid re-learning that caused the discrepancy between the two sets of words read correctly to wane. Discussion focuses on measuring learning rates, learning trial quality, re-learning, and the pitfalls of measuring maintenance in a dichotomous manner.


A Comparison of Primary and Secondary Languages Within Functional Communication Training for Preschoolers With Disabilities Who Are English Language Learners

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JOAN SCHUMANN (University of Utah), Robert E. O'Neill (University of Utah), Susan Johnston (University of Utah)

Prior research supports the use of functional communication training (FCT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to reduce problem behavior and increase appropriate communication in young children with disabilities. Despite an increase of empirical support for these interventions, research on these strategies among English language learners (ELL) is significantly lacking within the literature. This study involved3 preschool children with developmental disabilities who were English language learners. Three questions were examined: (a) the effectiveness of FCT, (b) the comparative efficiency of acquiring AAC in English and Spanish, and (c) possible language preferences among preschool-aged ELL students with communication delays. The results indicated that FCT was effective in increasing communication and decreasing problem behavior for all3 participants, with1 participant demonstrating a preference for English,1 demonstrating a preference for Spanish, and the third demonstrating no clear preference. Practical implications are discussed in addition to potential directions for research related to ELL student populations with disabilities.


Evaluating Programs for English Skills Development in Elementary School Students

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Betsabe Roman Gonzalez (University of Veracruz), MARCO WILFREDO SALAS-MARTINEZ (University of Veracruz), Sebastian Figueroa Rodriguez (University of Veracruz), Esperanza Ferrant-Jimenez (University of Veracruz), Martin Luis Ortiz Bueno (University of Veracruz)

The Secretariat of Public Education of Mexico (SEP), will implement a program for teaching English in elementary school students, however it is unknown which method would be effective in their learnig. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of SEP English program and Foreing Language in Elementary School (FLES) (Lipton, 1998), on the development of basic concepts of English in children in second grade. All this through a Design with Pre-test and Post-test, with three random groups and Counterbalanced Design with one group with Pre and Post-tests. Participants were 15 children of both sexes, of the second grade of three different elementary schools, which were randomly assigned to two experimental and one control groups. The teaching materials used were: Material Programmed with the program of "Articulate" and not programmed on skills Basic and Course material prepared by teachers of English, Material for "Semaphore of Behavior". The results of the statistical test "C" Dunnett showed that students in the FLES program had a greater percentage of english skills development, than those in the SEP program and those who did not participate in any program.


Extending Behavior Analysis to the General Education Classroom

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Kaycee Bennett (University of Nevada, Reno), Elizabeth Sexton (Washoe County School District), BENJAMIN N. WITTS (University of Nevada, Reno), Erin M. Carr (University of Nevada, Reno), Robert M. Schienle (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)

This classroom intervention was designed to provide added support to a large rural school district's Social Intervention Program (SIP). SIP is a "levels system" whereby students with learning and behavior problems move through a series of remedial stages culminating in their return full-time to the regular education classroom. The added support to SIP centered on a token economy whereby students earned extra points and privileges for a broader range of academic behaviors. The students identified as SIP students, at the secondary level, do not spend the same amount of time the SIP classroom as they do at the elementary level. It became apparent that the schools needed to extend the environment of the SIP classroom into some of the general education classrooms in order to set students up to succeed. In addition to effectively managing and promoting academic achievement in the SIP classroom, the intervention successfully trained SIP teachers and staff how to apply a host of behavior analytic principles and practices in their classrooms and with their students.


Contingent Praise Can Maintain On-Task Behavior During Engagement in Academic Tasks Requiring More Response Effort

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RYOJI NISHIYAMA (Kwansei Gakuin University), Junko Tanaka-Matsumi (Kwansei Gakuin University)

In a class or tutorial setting, children's on-task behavior decreases when engaging in a taskthat requires more response effort to complete problems, even if they can perform it accurately (Skinner, 1998). However, our previous study demonstrated that contingent praise counteracts this negative effect of response effort (Nishiyama & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2011). The present study examined whether on-task behavior can be maintained without praise after a sufficient number of intervention trials, using additional reversals from baseline during intervention phase. A 9 year-old boy with difficulty in math participated in the present study. The child engaged in previously determined less-effort and more-effort math computation tasks for1 minute. We defined response effort by the amount of time for solving a single problem. First, during an assessment phase (trials 1–18), we examined the functional relationship between response effort and on-task behavior during engagement in these tasks. Second, using a reversal design (trials 19–72), we examined the effect of contingent praise on on-task behavior during engagement in a more-effort task. Results showed on-task behavior decreased when the child engaged in more-effort task but contingent praise for working on problems improved it. Moreover, after a certain number of intervention trials, on-task behavior could be maintained without praise as the child produced correct responses and the speed of accurate responding increased gradually.

13. Behavior and Homework Tracking Intervention to Increase Academics and Improve Challenging Behaviors
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RICK SHAW (Behavior Issues), Heidi Maurer (KentWood High School)
Abstract: An academic and behvior plan was implemented for high school students who were struggling academically and behaviorially at school. The plan include a check in with each teacher at the end of class time. The students were responsilbe for writing down thier assignments, homework, and upcoming projects. The teachers rated the students on a scale of 1-5 for target behaviors, such as, on-task and nondisruptive behaviors and gave the students verbal feedback.

CANCELED: Constructional Student Mentoring: The Role of Contingency Analysis in Achieving Academic Success and Obtaining the Life You Desire

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY KELLY (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), Lars Inge Halvorsen (University of North Texas), Michelle Lamancusa (University of North Texas), Timothy Allen Liden (University of North Texas), Joshua A. Levine (University of Waikato), Eleni Canisz (University of North Texas), Chinedu P. Eni (University of North Texas)

Constructional Student Mentoring (CSM) is a program offered by the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas under the direction of Dr. J. Rosales-Ruiz in collaboration with College of Public Affairs and Community Service (PACS) Advising Office. CSM is based on the work of Dr. Israel Goldiamond, Robert Mager and Robert Epsiein. The program is tailored to meet the current needs of students falling short of their academic obligations. CSM is student-centered and designed to aid students in identifying and targeting the areas of their lives that are inhibiting them from meeting their personal and academic goals. In short, this program affords students the opportunity to turn around their academic position, and focus on their individual personal and academic goals while completing their coursework and following graduation. Aggregate data from the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years demonstrates an improved academic performance following exposure to the CSM program. Anecdotally, data collected during individual student meetings seemed to suggest that the repertoire of the entering freshman may not support the demands of higher education (i.e., time management, planning and prioritizing). Through the process of identifying personal goals and systematically working to achieve those goals, the students who participated in CSM were able to refine their ability to identify the contingencies operating on their behavior and begin engineering an environment that allowed them to gain and maintain control over their life, progress and ultimate success.


Effective Reading Instruction for Young Children With Autism

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
GILLIAN BRUNDAGE (Northwest Autism Center), Shira A. Ackerman (Northwest Autism Center)

Previous studies have shown that individuals with autism may depend on rote memorization and recognize words based on shape or pattern rather than using phonological strategies to read words (Frith, 1985). The current study describes the design, implementation, and outcomes of a direct instruction reading program for 3-and 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders. The study was conducted with 2 participants with autism and 2 nondisabled participants. The program used for this study is a modification and extension of the DISTAR reading program that emphasizes phonological awareness, whole word recognition, and comprehension (Bruner, 1986). The 2 participants with autism spectrum disorder took longer to complete lessons due to increased need for repetition. However, after the study was completed the final probe demonstrated higher correct responses on reading full sentences than the nondisabled participants. This study demonstrates that a direct instruction reading program is useful for young children on the autism spectrum and their nondisabled peers.


A Preliminary Analysis of Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans Conducted by School-based Teams

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES J. FOX (East Tennessee State University), Leia D. Blevins (East Tennessee State Univ.), Ashley Hansen (East Tennesse State University), Heather Boreing (East Tennessee State University), Megan Barrow (East Tennessee State University)

This presentation reports the preliminary analysis of 26 functional assessments and behavior intervention plans developed by school-based teams. Data analyses included the age, grade, and type of disabilities, functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures used, time to complete an FBA, and behavior internvention plan (BIP) recommendations. These cases were also compared to those developed by a university-based team of professionals. Only 26 (45%) of 58 cases were complete (interviewand FBA report). Of those cases: (1) most were elementaryand PreK grade levels, (2) reported 1–5 challenging behaviors (Mean = 3.4) most were externalizing forms of behavior; (3) most reported 1 or more interviewsand 5 to 23 direct ABC observations (Mean = 9.75); (4) few (23%) reported using behavior situation ratings scales or scatterplots (11.5%); and, (5) averaged about 30 days from initial referral tofirst interview (Mean = 32.75 days, range -1 to 126 days) and about 3 ½months (Mean = 116 days, range 23 to 727 days) to complete the FBA. These data are similar to those of the university-based teams except that while the school teams appeared to initiate the FBA process sooner the university-based teams were slightly quicker in completing the FBA. Implications for research and FBA team training were discussed.


Teaching by the Numbers: How to Use Data in the Classroom

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY NOEL FRAME (University of Memphis), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis), James Nicholson Meindl (The University of Memphis)

In 2004 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized and includes6 core concepts; along with this law the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has 12 special educational ethical principles. Among these principles includes "using evidence, instructional data, research and professional knowledge to inform practice" (CEC, 2010). While there are numerous books and articles citing the need for data collection and analysis within the classroom (Hess, 2009; Johnson, 2002; Matthews, Trimble,& Gay, 2008; Morrison, 2008; What Works Clearing House, 2009) there are no step-by-step instructions to teach these skills to the educators in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to develop an instructional method to teach educators how to organize, display, and interpret student data within their classrooms.


The Effect of Contrasting Analogies on Understanding of and Reasoning About Natural Selection

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MELINDA SOTA (Florida State University)

Analogies play significant roles in communication as well as in problem solving and model building in science domains. Analogies have also been incorporated into several different instructional strategies most notably in science domains where the concepts and principles to be learned are abstract or complex. Although several instructional models for teaching with analogies have been developed, the role of non-examples or contrasting analogies has not been incorporated into instructional models. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of contrasting analogies on learning and conceptual change. Specifically, this study investigated the effect of instruction including refutational contrasting analogies (situations which are analogous to common misconceptions) on understanding of and reasoning about natural selection. Instruction including refutational contrasting analogies was compared to instruction incorporating non-refutational contrasting analogies (analogies which are neither analogous to natural selection or a common misconception of natural selection) and no contrasting analogies. Although there were no differences between groups on either understanding of or reasoning about natural selection as measured by the posttests, there were significant differences between groups on the analogy portion of the instructional materials, with the refutational contrasting analogies group answering fewer questions correctly than the non-refutational contrasting analogies group.


Comparison of Teaching Using Single Target Presentation Versus Progressive Target Presentation in an Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MAURA STACK-ODEN (ABA Services of the Front Range)

This poster describes a comparison of two teaching procedures: single target presentation and progressive target presentation in an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder. In single target presentation, a single target was presented for 10 trials per day until mastery was achieved at 80% for three consecutive days. In progressive target presentation successive targets were presented following the first independent response. A target was considered mastered when performed independently three different days. Initial results indicate that targets taught using progressive target presentation were mastered in fewer days than targets taught using single target presentation. In addition, targets taught using progressive target presentation maintained for a greater length of time without daily probes than targets taught using single target presentation. Only targets that has prerequisite skills as previous targets were used in this phase of the study. Phase two includes an examination of whether this teaching procedure is effective when teaching nonsuccessive targets as well as the effects on generalization when teaching using the two procedures.

20. Creating a District-wide Model to Support the Use of Effective Behavior Interventions
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
BAILEY WILCOX (Oregon State University), Angus Kittelman (Oregon State University), Teri Lewis (Oregon State University)
Abstract: In 1978 Wolf provided the field with a metric for measuring the social importance of our efforts. We should consider the social significance of our goals, the social appropriateness of our procedures and the the social importance of our procedures. These tenets are echoed in the evidence-based practices (EBPs) approach that pairs EBPs with professional judgment and client values. This poster will present a district-wide model intended to assist school personnel in identifying and implementing EBP behavior interventions across all schools within a medium sized district in the Pacific NW. Information about the district demographics and discipline systems will be provided. Additionally, both process and outcome measures of the district-wide behavior cadre will be presented as a possible systems approach to supporting the behavioral needs of staff, students and their families. The model represents a collaborative effort between the district, the regional technical assistance agency and the local university. Successes, challenges and next steps for the second year of implementation that focus on both implementation fidelity and sustainability will be presented.
21. A Function-based Assessment of Virtual Learning Environments for Training Pre-Service Teachers
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
LEE L. MASON (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Peter Blair (Utah State University), Nancy Glomb (Utah State University)
Abstract: This study takes a new twist on functional assessment interviews by employing qualitative research methods to determine how virtual learning environments function for pre-service special education teachers enrolled in a distance teacher education program. The individualized education program is a critical component of providing special education services to children with disabilities, outlining the services and modifications that will be provided to help them make progress towards the general curriculum. While simulations have been shown to be an effective means of teaching special education policies and procedures, this can be challenging when working with distance students. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine how virtual simulations function to train pre-service teachers learning to conduct IEP team meetings. Seven pre-service special education teachers enrolled in a mild/moderate distance degree and licensure program participated in this research. Through multiple case study analysis, this study examined the specific behaviors emitted by each participant throughout these simulated meetings, as well as the antecedent stimuli and consequences controlling these behaviors. Results indicate that virtual simulations serve a variety of functions for training teachers to work on a collaborative team.



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