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 #86
DDA Poster Session 1
Saturday, May 26, 2012
5:00 PM–7:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. The Use of Differential Reinforcement and Escape Contingencies in the Treatment of Food Refusal
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AMY J. DAVIES LACKEY (Manhattan Childrens Center), Karlee Miller (Manhattan Childrens Center), Nicole Herz (Florida Institute of Technology), Marisa Savard (Manhattan Childrens Center), Virginia S. Wong (Manhattan Childrens Center), Samantha M. Solow (Manhattan Childrens Center)
Abstract: Problem behavior related to feeding encompasses a variety of behaviors ranging from food refusal and selectivity to inadequate food intake related to deficits in self-feeding or other problem behaviors such as disruptive mealtime behaviors or rumination and vomiting. The prevalence of these problem behaviors is common in 3-10% typically developing children (Dahl & Sundelin, 1992), an even more common with children with developmental disabilities, ranging from 23-43% of the population (Crist et al., 1994). Treatment of problem behavior related to feeding most often involves multiple intervention procedures that are often combined in a treatment package including a combination of least intrusive interventions such as Premack, response prompts, planned ignoring or simple correction procedures (Riordan, Iwata, Finney, Wohl, & Stanley, 1984; Singer, Nofer, Benson-Szekely, & Brooks, 1991; Werle, Murphy, & Budd, 1993) and range to more intrusive interventions such as escape extinction, physical prompting and negative reinforcement. The use of negative reinforcement of acceptance/extinction of food refusal has been demonstrated to be both an effective and necessary component of the non-removal of spoon intervention (Cooper et al, 1995; Ahern et al, 1996) and has lead to successful intervention addressing problem behaviors related to feeding. The following investigation examined the use of negative reinforcement in the absence of physical guidance to accept the presented food to increase food acceptance and variety for three participants within a school setting. The study implemented a multiple baseline design across participants and included dependent measures of latency to bites, percentage of correct bites, number of bites accepted and collary behaviors associated with mealtime. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of negative reinforcement and a non-removal of the feeding implement in increasing food variety and consumption while maintaining low levels of problem behaviors during the feeding sessions.

Extension of Brief Experimental Analyses of Academics to an Individual With Severe Problem Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON SHANHOLTZER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), SungWoo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Jonathan Dean Schmidt (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nabil Mezhoudi (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Bailey Scherbak (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Brief experimental analyses are a useful tool for quickly evaluating intervention strategies for individuals with academic deficits (Daly, Witt, Martens, & Dool, 1997). However, there is a lack of research investigating this method with individuals with developmental disabilities who emit severe problem behavior to avoid such tasks. For the current study, 1 participant with an intellectual disability and autism was admitted to an inpatient unit for the assessment and treatment of severe aggressive and disruptive behavior. A functional analysis revealed the participants problem behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement; a demand latency assessment showed subtraction problems were highly aversive. A brief experimental analysis was conducted to assess the effects of 5 academic treatments on the individuals problem behavior and compliance when prompted to complete subtraction problems. The participant only refrained from emitting high rates of problem behavior when he had access to a number line. Treatment consisted of stimulus fading and differential reinforcement procedures to increase compliance and accuracy, while maintaining low rates of problem behavior. Results indicate that after becoming more accurate with subtraction, independent, correct responses increased and problem behavior decreased.


Reducing Rapid Eating in Adults With an Intellectual Disability

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
FRANCIA ECHEVERRIA (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)

Rapid eating is a frequent problem among individuals with developmental disabilities that can pose a threat to health. This study sought to reduce the rate of eating behaviors in2 adults diagnosed with moderate intellectual disability. Assessment of eating rate took place in the participants' group homes during lunch or dinner meals. Procedures included the use of vibrating pagers with verbal prompts, vibrating pagers alone, and verbal prompts alone to prompt eating (a bite every 15 sec) and prevent rapid eating behaviors. The procedures were evaluated in a reversal design embedded in a multiple baseline across participants design. Results demonstrated a clear reduction in rate of eating with the use of all3 procedures. The greatest reduction in eating rate occurred with the combination of the pager and verbal prompts


Using Simultaneous Prompting to Teach Independent Living and Leisure Skills to Adults With Severe Intellectual Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CHAD DOLLAR (Georgia State University), Laura D. Fredrick (Georgia State University), Paul A. Alberto (Georgia State University), Jaye K. Luke (Georgia State University)

The acquisition of independent living and leisure skills enables adults to experience an enhanced quality of life by increasing competence, self-reliance, and the development of autonomy. This study examined the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting to teach behavior chains (i.e., independent living and leisure skills) to adults with severe intellectual disabilities (SID) individually in their home environments. Participants included 2 adults with SID receiving services from a not-for-profit agency that provides community-based services and supports to persons with disabilities. The results of this study are the first to indicate the effectiveness of simultaneous prompting to teach independent living and leisure skills to adults with SID using a one-on-one format in their home environment. Both participants learned3 different skills within 12 to 28 sessions and maintained each skill 1, 2, and 4 weeks after mastery.


The Effects of Parent Implementation of Escape Extinction and Noncontingent Reinforcement on Food Refusal of a Two-Year-Old Boy With Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER MCCALL (Gonzaga Univeristy), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of escape extinction (EE) with noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) used to treat food refusal in a 2 year-old boy with pervasive developmental disorder. A functional analysis was conducted prior to intervention, which determined a tangible function for aberrant behavior and led to the intervention chosen - EE NCR. The use of escape extinction in combination with noncontingent reinforcement decreased the percentage of negative behavior during feeding sessions as well as increasing the acceptance of nonpreferred foods.


Impact of Density of Instruction on Number of Sessions to Mastery for Students With MOID

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA D. FREDRICK (Georgia State University), Jaye K. Luke (Georgia State University), Roberto Gama (Georgia State University), Chad Dollar (Georgia State University), Paul A. Alberto (Georgia State University)

Allocated time, instructional time, engaged time, and opportunities to respond are important to examine and refer to time within an individual instructional session. Equally important may be the density of instructionthat refers how close together sessions occur or how many times a week an instructional session is conducted. The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of density of instruction on the rate of learning. Participants were individuals with moderate intellectual disabilities (MOID) with 11 of them receiving sight-word instruction and 17 of them receiving phonics instruction as part of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant to create an integrated literacy curriculum. Across 1 school year students received sight-word instruction during an average of 3.6 sessions per week (range 2.5–4.5) while other students received phonics instruction during an average of 4.1 sessions per week (range 2.8–4.9). For both groups of students, as the number of instructional sessions per week increased, the number of sessions to mastery decreased. Although there has been much research and discussion about length of school day and how that time is spent, we could not find any prior research that reported on the impact of density of instruction.


Teaching a Child with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome to Independently Eat with a Fork

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNIE PARSELL (Organization for Research and Learning), Kristin Wilkinson Smith (Organization for Research and Learning), Teresa M. McCann (Private Practice)

Children with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome have difficulty acquiring and maintaining self-help skills, including the ability to eat without assistance. This poster will show the techniques used to teach an 8 year-old boy with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome to use a fork independently. A task analysis was first created to identify the critical steps in the fork spearing and eating sequence. Intervention was then systematically developed and delivered, specifically controlling for components to instruction that were challenging to the individual student: the type of food container, type of food, number of bites, frequency and type of prompting used, and teacher proximity. Programming also utilized meta-level measurement systems in the early stages of instruction to (1) ensure that the student demonstrated progress across longer periods of time, and (2) to determine the efficacy of error correction and prompting procedures utilized during instruction. The data is displayed on a Standard Celeration Chart, which enabled the teacher to carefully monitor progress and make changes as appropriate. Data show an increased number of steps in the task analysis performed independently, an increase in the number of total successful bites taken, and maintenance of the skill across time.

8. The Reliability and Validity of the Children Feeding Questionnaire Among Korean Parents
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HYE YEON SHIN (Yonsei University), Soohyun Shin (Yonsei University), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University)
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate the reliability and validity of CFQ(Children Feeding Questionnaire) and standardize the Korean version of CFQ. The data were collected via schools, daycare centers, and Internet.Seven hundredseventeenparents with typically developing children as well as 25 parents of children with autism completed the CFQ and K-CEBI(Korean-Child Eating Behavior Inventory) (358 boys, 359 girls, between age 2-11). The internal consistency of CFQ was acceptable (cronbach's alpha = .827) and the range of test-retest reliability was .421 to .906 (N = 43). The confirmatory factor analysis was conducted upon the findings from Birch et al., (2001) and fell in the acceptable ranges (NFI = .794, TLI = .783, CFI = .824 and RMSEA = .078). For the validity, some subscales of CFQ were highly correlated with few subscales of K-CEBI. Children with autism scored higher than normal children in CFQ. These results suggested that the factor structure of CFQ was appropriate to identify patterns of Korean parents' perception, concerns, attitudes, and practices when they feed their children. K-CFQ is a reliable and valid measure. The implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.
9. Treatment of Chronic Bruxism Using Free Access and Redirection With a Rubber Teether
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTIN M. DISCALFANI (The ELIJA School), Allison Schear (The ELIJA School), Megan McDonald (The ELIJA School), Sana L. Shadded (The ELIJA School)
Abstract: Chronic bruxism (i.e., teeth grinding, clenching) can result in joint pain and dysfunction, head and neck pain, tooth wear, erosion, damage to supporting structures, muscle spasm, and lead to expensive dental procedures (Pavone, 1985). Few empirical studies to date have examined the treatment of chronic bruxism (Lang et al., 2009). Bebko and Lennox (1988) used a procedurethat consisted of a vocal cue ("no grinding") plus physical cue (finger press on chin) contingent upon audible bruxism to successfully reduce rates in two male children diagnosed with autism. The purpose of the current study was to replicate this procedure with an eight-year-old female diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Results indicated that the vocal plus physical cue procedure used by Bebko and Lennox was unsuccessful at reducing rates of bruxism in this subject. Therefore, a procedure was implemented where the subject was given free access to a rubber teether and was redirected with the rubber teether upon the occurrence of audible bruxism. Results of an ABAB design indicated that this free access plus redirection procedure significantly reduced rates of bruxism to acceptable levels. Consistent with Lang et al. (2009), these findings suggest behavioral treatments may be effective for treating chronic bruxism.

Using Differential Reinforcement Procedures to Increase Tolerance for Change

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
COURTNEY BLOOM (Shabani Institute), Kim Zhu (Center for Behavior Analysis and Language Development), Robert-Ryan S. Pabico (Center for Behavior Analysis and Language Development), Daniel B. Shabani (California State University, Los Angeles)

The purpose of the current investigation was to use differential reinforcement procedures to increase tolerance for change and decrease disruptions and other aberrant behaviors associated with those changes. Paul, a 22-year-old male diagnosed with autism participated in the study. Paul exhibited qualitative impairments in verbal and nonverbal communication and had difficulties tolerating when things around the house or in his room were touched or moved by others. He spent a significant amount of his day making sure his belongings were perfectly organized and would become extremely agitated and upset when his things were tampered with. In order to increase tolerance, differential reinforcement procedures (i.e., DRA and DRO) were used to gradually increase compliance with therapists requests to temporarily touch and eventually move his belongings. High quality social praise was delivered for periods of tolerance (i.e., absence of problem behavior). Results indicated that across sessions over the course of several months, Paul began to slowly tolerate change around the house and his problem behaviors decreased. Subsequently, generalization of tolerance for change in community settings was evaluated.


Teaching Self-Employment Skills to Adults With Autism and Other Disabilities Within a Building-Wide Recycling Program

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
WESLEY H. DOTSON (Texas Tech University), David M. Richman (Texas Tech University), Layla Abby (Texas Tech University), Samuel Thompson (Texas Tech University)

There have been few studies exploring the ability of people with disabilities to run their own business, and none that report direct behavioral measures of outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the ability of 8 young adults with autism and other disabilities to learn skills related to running a recycling business. Skills were taught in three job areas (worker, supervisor, and office jobs), and a multiple-baseline-across-jobs design was used to evaluate the effects of teaching. After teaching, we used a multi-element design to evaluate the degree to which job skills generalized to the natural environment (working shifts maintaining a building-wide recycling program) under different conditions (working a shift alone versus working in pairs). All 8 participants showed improvements in the performance of all three sets of job skills following teaching. All 8 showed high levels of generalization of all three jobs to shifts worked in the natural environment when working in pairs, and 7 of 8 participants also showed high levels of generalization of all three skills when working alone on shifts. Results suggest that adults with disabilities can learn skills related to running their own business.

12. Application of a Social Stories(TM) Intervention to Improve Productivity of Adult Workers With Developmental Disabilities
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JEFFREY MICHAEL CHAN (Northern Illinois University), Lindsay Lambdin (Helping Hand for Relief and Development)
Abstract: Social Stories have widely been researched as an intervention for children with autism and related disabilities (Kokina & Lee, 2010). However, this method of intervention has infrequently been applied to older populations with disabilities other than autism. In the current study, Social Stories were used with 3 adults with developmental disabilities to increase their productivity in a sheltered work environment. Social Stories were read to the participants by a staff member at the beginning of the day. The stories included a description of the workers' environment, expectations of performance, and consequences for successful job completion. The dependent variable was the number of items manually constructed by each participant per 15 minute observation period. A multiple baseline across participants design was used. Although interrater reliability (38% of sessions) and treatment integrity (53% of sessions) were measured at 100%, results indicated no improvement in productivity for all participants. Discussion about the lack of behavior change includes: the intellectual functioning of participants may not have been adequate to comprehend the stories, the participants may not have been physically capable of producing high volumes of product, and inadequate reinforcement may have led to limited productivity.

Computer-Based Teaching of Kanji Reading and Writing in a Student With Developmental Disabilities

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HIROSHI SUGASAWARA (Tokiwa University)

Japanese has three characters that are Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Japanese students with developmental disabilities often show difficulties in reading and writing kanji characters. Many researchers argued that the matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure and constructed-response matching-to-sample (CRMTS) procedure was effective to construct the equivalence relations among the printed words, vocal responses, and pictures. After these trainings, many participants showed the transfer to other topographic responses such as reading and writing. In this study, a student with pervasive developmental disorder participated, who had difficulties for the reading and writing. We developed the computer-based MTS and CRMTS training programs. The student was required to select or construct the correct Kanji characters. As results, the student could read Kanji characters after MTS training, but could not write Kanji characters. After CRMTS training, the student could read and write Kanji characters. There results were discussed in terms of the equivalence relations.


Effects of a Shaping and Fading Program Across Dimensions/Response Classes on SIB and Verbal Behavior

Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
GREGORY R. MANCIL (University of Louisville), Stephen Foreman (Intervention Services)

A comprehensive shaping and fading program across behaviors and response classes was implemented with a 30-year old male without functional communication. He had a history of self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggression toward others (ATO), and self-gagging leading to hospitalization and institutionalization. A functional behavior assessment indicated his behaviors served multiple functions including access to attention/ tangibles, escape/ avoid demands and indicate pain (automatic reinforcement). The shaping program addressed communication and inclusion within group activities. Client had limited mobility (in a wheelchair and functional use of only one arm) and limited vision field, therefore, forced choice stimuli preference assessments were conducted to identify items to use in communication training. The shaping program for communication started with touching the palm of staffs hand to indicate wants and needs. This was shaped into functional use of a communication device along with pushing his wheel on his chair to indicate to leave an area or task, and turn his head to the side to refuse items. Inclusion within group activities included slowly introducing stimuli from the natural setting into training settings and decreasing distance between the client and the group activity. The shaping and fading program resulted in increased communication responses, decreased aberrant behaviors, and inclusion within group activities.


"Don't Eat That!" Using Latency of First Response to Understand and Treat Pica Behavior at an Intermediate Care Facility

Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
EDWARD D. PARKER (Bluegrass Oakwood)

This study investigated the effects of non-punitive-based interventions on the treatment of pica behavior of one 52-year-old male with profound mental retardation. We conducted a brief functional analysis, examining latency of first response and overall frequency of responses per session, and generalized the intervention to an adult day treatment setting at an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) for adults with MR/DD. A within-subject reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of a function-based non-punitive intervention. The results of this investigation suggest that (a) brief functional analysis, examining latency of first response is an effective way to empirically validate the functionality of potentially dangerous behavior at an ICF and (b) non-punitive interventions that are function based can be effective strategies in reducing occurrences of pica. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.




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