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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #92
#92 Poster Session (AUT)
Saturday, May 24, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
1. Effectiveness of a Behavioral Intervention Program for Children.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TERESA BALAWEJDER (St. Joseph's University), Lauren Spera (Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners), Halina Dziewolska (Private Practice/Behavior Analyst Online), Joseph D. Cautilli (Children Crisis Treatment Center/St. Joseph's University)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a variety of psycho-social difficulties characterized by lack of peer interaction, communication skill deficits, problems ransitioning, and perseveration issues. These problems lead to continuing difficulty through the life span. Efficacy data for applied behavior analysis continues to emerge as a treatment option, however, little in the lines of effectiveness data has emerged. Behavior Analysis and Therapy Partners (BATP) uses a variety of behavior analytic methods to intervene with children with ASD to rectify the above stated deficits as well as emerging problem behaviors. BATP is a home- and school-based program provided through the behavioral health system in Pennsylvania. As part of our intake process, we use a multitude of assessment instruments such as the Vineland, Child Behavior Checklist, and the Grisham and Elliot Social Rating Scale. Currently this data is being analyzed for 30 children aged 3–15 currently in the program to determine the number of children who make clinically significant progress using the reliable change index. We will be reporting the outcomes for BATP children. In addition, we will report patterns which lead to predicting which children do well and which children do less well in behavioral interventions.
2. A University-Based Program for Training Parents of Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEROME D. ULMAN (Ball State University), Joel A. Martin (Ball State University), Tersa L. Laking (Ball State University), David E. McIntoch (Ball State University)
Abstract: In a free, semester-long, university-based program for parents of children with autism, an instructor and 2 graduate assistants introduced 9 participants to functional behavioral assessment, behavioral measurement, problem-solving, graphing data, behavior management, visual supports, discrete trials training, and verbal behavior training. Two-hour meetings were held weekly. Once the parents learned to measure the target behaviors each had selected, the meetings began with data sharing. Just prior to the group meeting, parents were prompted by email to submit the data they had collected that week. Using Keynote presentation software, each parent’s data were graphed and subsequently presented to the group with a data projector. The staff and parents reviewed each behavior-change project and participated in group problem-solving—supporting each participant’s efforts in improving the targeted behavior. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to teaching the parents new behavioral skills and specialized techniques for children with autism. Examples of parent projects: reducing the proportion of time talking about basketball [an obsessive interest] to total conversation time; reducing the frequency of verbally and physically aggressive acts with self-ratings of anger levels and special rewards for withdrawing from peers confrontations; and the effects of picture-exchange procedures on the frequency of manding responses.
3. Planning and Implementing an Interdisciplinary Early Intervention Program for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ROBYN CONLEY DOWNS (Central Washington University), Cindy K. Carroll (Children's Village)
Abstract: As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder continues to rise, many school districts and early intervention providers are struggling to provide appropriate services. A primary challenge to offering suitable services is the lack of training and assistance available to teachers and other providers. The Children’s Village Collaborative Classroom (CVCC) was created to help local school districts provide research-based interventions centered on principles of applied behavior analysis to students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. A collaborative relationship between Central Washington University and Children’s Village, the CVCC project examines the process of partnering with local school districts and other agencies to provide research-based services for students with autism spectrum disorder. The mission of the CVCC is to provide such interventions in an interdisciplinary environment that serves as a training resource for future and current teachers, professionals, and families. The CVCC mission and core values are outlined. Planning and implementation challenges are discussed. Suggestions and implications for establishing similar programs are summarized.
4. Identifying the Active Ingredients in Intensive Behavioural Intervention Programs for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE L. KOUDYS (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Abstract: Research demonstrates that a subset of children with autism show significant improvements following Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), while other children demonstrate more modest gains. Given the heterogeneity of the population, variable outcomes are not unexpected. This variability is likely attributable to a combination of child, family and treatment characteristics, the impact of which remain poorly understood. Although several child and family characteristics have been linked to best outcome, research on treatment variables has focused nearly exclusively on quantitative treatment aspects, such as treatment intensity and duration. Little exploration into qualitative treatment variables associated with best outcome has occurred. Despite the lack of systematic review, several variables are commonly accepted as integral to effective behavioural programming, including highly-trained/well-supervised staff and a curriculum that is comprehensive and developmental in sequence. However, more research needs to be done to precisely identify the “active ingredients” of treatment. This poster presents the findings from an exhaustive review of the IBI literature, including a systematic analysis of efficacy and effectiveness studies conducted in the past 20 years. Treatment variables or “active ingredients” associated with best outcome are identified, as well as variables linked to less-than-optimal outcome, and recommendations for future treatment and research discussed.
5. Data-Based Consultation: Integrated Sites at Behavior Analysts, Inc.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KOJI TAKESHIMA (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Melissa Brown (Behavoir Analysts, Inc.), Michael Edmondson (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Heather E. Finn (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Holli Helen Henningsen Jerdes (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Nissa Intarachote (Behavior Analysts Inc.), Sara L. Kuperstein (Behavior Analysts, Inc.), Pamela G. Osnes (Behavior Analysts, Inc.)
Abstract: Consultation services provide challenges for data collection due to the diversity of the consumers and settings served. This poster will describe the data collection efforts at a public agency that provides consultation services to families of children with autism and school districts who serve these children. Data will be presented for services provided in the agency’s Clinic Classrooms, Learner Profiles, and START services for parent education, and to in-home providers and to individuals who seek behavior analysis and verbal behavior services.
6. Manipulation of Motivating Operations to Enhance Discrimination Training with Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RACHEL KAYE (BEACON Services), David Robert Dilley (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Recent research has suggested that functional communication training is most effective in the presence of establishing or motivating operations (Brown, Wacker, Derby, Peck, Richman, Sasso, Knutson, & Harding, 2000). The present study manipulated different motivating operations, such as satiation, to determine if such effects would enhance discrimination training of various picture icons for a young child diagnosed with autism. Since the participant frequently requested food items instead of a break icon when presented with demands, it was hypothesized that requests for food actually served to avoid or escape demands. During treatment, the participant was provided free access to food to encourage satiation. Next, demands were presented and the student was taught to exchange the break icon to access a break. Results indicated that manipulating motivating operations facilitated the participant’s discrimination between the food and break icons.
7. Impact of ABA Instructional Intensity in Preschool Children Diagnosed with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEVEN WOOLF (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Parents, educators, and other professionals have become concerned about the rising prevalence of autism and the services/treatments for those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Few other medical or neuro-developmental conditions have been as fraught with controversial and unsupported treatments as ASD. The purpose of this study is to compare treatment data using the Preschool Adaptive Behavior Assessment Scale—2nd Edition (ABAS-II) of 200 preschool children diagnosed with ASD categorized according to weekly ABA treatment hours. Results indicate the most significant treatment gains for children receiving the highest intensity of weekly ABA treatment hours when compared to the medium- and low-intensity treatment groups. As a secondary outcome, the study also revealed that ABA treatment resulted in significant increases in areas related to functional academics and communication skills. Overall, the data suggest that early and highly intensive ABA weekly treatment hours result in significant gains when compared to medium- or low-intensity weekly treatment hours.
8. "Throw in Everything But the Kitchen Sink!" A Data Review of Effective Tactics for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TIFFANIE N. ELLIS (The Faison School for Autism), Amanda Laz (The Faison School for Autism), Kimberly Oertel (The Faison School for Autism), Eli T. Newcomb (The Faison School for Autism), Nathan Habel (The Faison School for Autism), Jennifer N. Gentry (The Faison School for Autism), Sasha Yazdgerdi (The Faison School for Autism), Nikki Wilson (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: The Faison School for Autism is a publicly-funded private school located in Richmond, Virginia, dedicated to serving children diagnosed with various developmental disabilities. The Faison School encompasses Early Intervention, School-Age, and Life Skills Programs, which utilize evidence-based instruction and behavior- analytic research in developing academic goals and behavior treatment plans. The data-driven system of instruction allows student progress to be continuously reviewed and evaluated to determine if interventions are effective and if or when changes are necessary. This poster includes various data-based procedures implemented at the Faison School, demonstrating the methodology, procedure, and results of each tactic. Procedures that will be presented include strategies to evoke the capacity for sameness, the effects of competing stimuli assessment on the occurrence of self-injurious behavior, differential reinforcement of other behavior, using peer-interactive activity schedules to promote parallel and/or interactive play, speaker immersion, and the effects of establishing operations on individual programming.
9. The Effects of a Skill-Based Social-Skills Training Program for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANGELA F. SMITH (Alpine Learning Group), Danielle Spinnato (DMS Behavioral Interventions), Andrea E. Gonzalez (Caldwell College), Olga M. Smilon (Alpine Learning Group), Hannah Hoch (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: With early intensive behavioral intervention, children with autism can make great improvements in their language and adaptive skill Appropriate social skills, however, may prove more challenging to acquire. This poster outlines an ABA-based social-skills training program which targets specific social skills to be taught during small group instruction across a twenty week period. A pre- and post-test measure assessing social behavior will also be presented to determine the effectiveness of this social skills training program. Case studies will be presented to illustrate the effects of the social skills training model.
10. Parent Coaching for Families on the Waitlist: Parent and Child Outcomes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ARCHANA RAJ (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Jackie Gorven (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Rebecca S. McEachern (CW AIS, ErinOakKids), Melissa I. Huddart-Samchek (CW AIS, ErinOakKids)
Abstract: In February 2007, Central West Autism Intervention Services (CW AIS) initiated a parent coaching pilot involving 12 families currently waitlisted for intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) services. This pilot ran until August 2007. Parent training has been shown to influence the larger family system with its potential to reduce parental stress (Koegel et al., 1996). The effect of parent coaching on parental stress while waiting to receive IBI will be presented through an analysis of pre-post scores on the Parenting Stress Index Short Form (Abidin, 1995). It has been noted (Koegel et al., 1982) that parents who participate in parent training programs report more optimism about their ability to influence their child’s development. The impact of parent coaching on parental perception of efficacy will be studied and presented through a pre-post parent survey. This survey involves a rating scale where parents rate their perceived efficacy in managing challenging behaviours, enhancing self-help skills, utilizing the basic principles of ABA, etc. The impact of parent coaching on child’s interactions with the parent will be reported using data from direct observations of parent-child interactions. As waitlists for IBI services for children with autism continue to grow, there is a need for innovative ways to address the needs of children and their families while waiting for services. Also, long-term follow-up studies could be undertaken to track the learning trajectories of the children once they come into service.
11. Outcomes of Behavioural Treatment at a Centre Combined with Mainstream Placement for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALISON SHARLAND (Highfield Centre), Sigmund Eldevik (Highfield Centre), J. Carl Hughes (University of Wales)
Abstract: A new model of provision has been developed for children with autism at Highfield Centre which combines behavioural intervention at the centre with part-time placement in preschool or school (depending on the child's age). The Highfield Centre trains and certifies all staff involved in treatment. The children typically follow ca 40 hours a week , and it is individually determined how much time should be spent on working with targets in school and at the centre each week. Effects of this model were evaluated using a pre-post test design. Participants were four children who had been diagnosed with autism and attended Highfield Centre. Outcome data after one year of treatment are presented.
12. R.E.A.C.H.: A Transdisciplinary Public School Early Intervention Program for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARY D. SALMON (Columbus R.E.A.C.H. Program)
Abstract: R.E.A.C.H. is a comprehensive public school program based on best practices for students with autism. Through collaboration and expanding roles across service boundaries, children and families benefit from integrated services. Environments are designed to foster optimal growth across domains by capitalizing on students’ strengths while supporting the unique learning and behavior challenges of individuals with ASD. Carryover between school and home is an important part of this program. Parents benefit from frequent home visits, parent training, and assistance with implementing IEP goals in the home.
13. An Exploratory Outcome Study of Intensive Behavioral Intervention on Children and their Parents.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNICK LEBEAU (CRDI-ME), Annie Durand (CRDI-ME), Martine Michaud (CRDI-ME)
Abstract: The CRDI-ME is a public health and social services agency operating on the southern suburb of Montreal. Its mission is to provide developmental, rehabilitation, and social integration services to persons with intellectual disabilities and pervasive developmental disorders, as well as support services for their families. The centre has been offering Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) services to toddlers and preschoolers (generally between the ages of two and five) with autism spectrum disorders since 2003. These services mainly include discrete trial training and incidental teaching based programs, and support to families and daycare centres. This outcome study examines the progress made by the children (n = 33) as measured by the Psychoeducational Profile-Revised (PEP-R), as well as the results obtained from the parents on the Parental Stress Index (n = 28) before and after their child’s IBI treatment. Some children received between 15 and 20 hours of direct intervention per week (n = 24), while others were enrolled for 7 to 10 hours per week (n = 9). These results are compared with those obtained by children whose parents received one hour of educator support per week (n = 8). Although exploratory, these results highlight the importance of the intensity and duration of the treatment. Furthermore, the results suggest a positive impact on the stress level of the parents, particularly the mothers. The CRDI-ME pursues its research, examining the impact of the number of hours of intervention, the duration of the service and the precocity of the programs, as well as the possible identification of predictive data on the efficiency of treatments.
14. Evaluating Outcomes of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders through Data-Based Decision Making.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KELLY L. HYDE (Accountability Solutions, LLC), Kathy L. Gould (Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project)
Abstract: This poster session will provide information and data to support the efficacy of the Focus Family Support for Autism Spectrum Disorders (FFSASD) of the Illinois Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders Training and Technical Assistance Proje (IATTAP), a technical assistance center of the Illinois State Board of Education. This program employs an applied evaluation method that emphasizes user-friendly, data-driven decision making to improve outcomes for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In FY 2006-2007 school year, IATTAP provided supports and services to 46 families with children with ASD throughout the state of Illinois through its FFSASD process, a combination of positive behavior supports and family-centered planning. Of the 46 families, 35 were enrolled in the SIMEO (Systematic Information Management of Educational Outcomes) online evaluation system for extensive tracking of demographic, educational and behavioral outcomes. Findings will be presented from the repeated measures applied evaluation process and how these data are used by the Focus Family Facilitators to drive decision making and change in-team meetings with families of children with ASD. FY2007 Evaluation-finding areas include general- and specifically-targeted behavioral functioning, classroom behavioral functioning, training in the home, school and community, family quality of life and individual family stressors.
15. The Effects of Chelation on Individual Therapy Data: Two Case Studies.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA L. OLIVE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Scott Braud (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: Biomedical interventions for children with autism have become more common. Biomedical intervention may include diet modifications, the addition of nutritional supplements, and chelation therapy. Chelation therapy is the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. Seventy-five percent of families who tried chelation therapy reported that their children respond positively. However, clinical data may suggest otherwise. Therefore, individual therapy data for two children with autism were analyzed before and after chelation therapy. Both children were receiving a minimum of 10 hours of ABA therapy per week. Data for targeted instructional behaviors (e.g., skill acquisition) and targeted challenging behaviors will be presented.
16. An Evaluation of the Effects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on the Behavior of a Young Female with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUZANNAH J. FERRAIOLI (Rutgers University), Ryan Madigan (Rutgers University), David Kieval (Rutgers University), Nathan Lambright (Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Rutgers University), Meredith Bamond (Rutgers University), Mary Jane Weiss (Rutgers University), Robert LaRue (Rutgers University, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center)
Abstract: In recent years, several non-behavioral treatments for autism have emerged. Many of these interventions persist in the absence of any empirical data to support (or contraindicate) their use. In addition, few empirical procedures have been proposed to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions. One such non-behavioral intervention is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. There have been several anecdotal reports that hyperbaric chambers may improve the symptoms of autism, however, the empirical data to support its use is sparse. In the current investigation, the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on communication, eye contact, stereotypy, and on task behavior were evaluated in the context of a reversal design (one week on, one week off over the course of eight weeks). The results indicated that the hyperbaric oxygen appeared to have no effect on any of the core symptoms of autism for this participant. Results are discussed in terms of the need for critical evaluation of non traditional treatments for autism and the need for individualized assessments to determine if different learners respond differently to these treatments.
17. Tracking Individual Outcomes Through a Statewide Family-Focus Project.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STACEY BOCK (Illinois State University), Nichelle A. Kempel (Illinois State University)
Abstract: The Illinois Autism/PDD Training and Technical Assistance Project, an Illinois State Board of Education initiative, provides services and supports to families and schools to facilitate change in the lives of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. The purpose of this poster presentation is to overview the process of systematic, outcomes-based intervention planning as it relates to this state-wide, family-focused project. More specifically, to overview the data system and the process for decision making and program planning. Teams are formed with school, family and community members using the MAPS and PATH processes. From these person-centered approaches an action plan is developed and implemented based upon the baseline assessment of the child and family needs. Data are collected at 89 day intervals on multiple variables including risk factors, behavioral intensity, family stressors and individual educational outcomes. These variables include the domains of the home, school and community settings. The overall goal of this data-driven decision-making process is to build a system of support that thoughtfully and systematically addresses the individual child and family needs.
18. Predictors of Curriculum Progress in Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism: Building from Single-Subject Data to Group Analyses.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN D HOCH (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), Jacqueline M. Harth (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), James E. O'Neill (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), Nancy G. Schussler (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.)
Abstract: Intensive Behavioral Intervention language programs rely on individual data for clinical decision making, but rarely build from single-subject data to identify traits that predict response to intervention. This study used frequency counts of programs completed at six month intervals from N=45 clients to determine whether the rate of learning remained stable. Through Linear Mixed Modeling statistical procedures, the relative importance of child learning patterns and trait variables on this rate of progress was examined. Trait moderator variables included age at program entry, initial language ability, and diagnostic variables. Clients were categorized into those who had completed the language program successfully (graduates), those currently in the language program, and those who had moved into a transitional life-skills program. Of clinical interest, results showed that progress was stable over time for all groups which may aid in prediction of individual learning trajectories. Additionally, age at program entry was not a significant predictor of progress. Clinical utility of the findings and questions for future outcomes research are discussed.
19. Social Outcome Model for Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARILYN K. BONEM (Eastern Michigan University), Renee Lajiness-O'Neil (Eastern Michigan University), Zina A. Eluri (Eastern Michigan University), Christopher E. Lothamer (Eastern Michigan University), Britta L. Fiksdal (Eastern Michigan University), Tamara L. Pawich (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: The behavior analytic literature contains ample evidence that any behavior associated with autism can be changed, although there are obvious limitations to the extent that change can be accomplished. However, to date, there is limited empirical evidence as to which behaviors, if changed, would lead to the most significant social success. The current model attempts to define social success by identifying a set of socially valid outcomes which include friendships, participation in community recreational events, levels of environmental restriction and independence, and other indicators of social inclusion and engagement and to present limited evidence currently available as to which behaviors are most predictive of social success, as defined. The model also postulates that social opportunity variables correlated with both behaviors related to autism and social success outcomes might provide the link in determining which behaviors are most important to change. Existing research presenting correlations between behavior symptoms and social opportunity (e.g. peer perception) and between social opportunities and social outcomes will be presented. Implications of the model for future research will be presented. Although not part of the current presentation, eventually the hope is to incorporate predictions from the neuropsychological literature as to which behaviors are most conducive to change.
20. The Use of a Standardized Assessment to Evaluate Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment Programs.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUMMER FERRERI (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Thomas Saad (Michigan State University)
Abstract: This research project aimed to assess the skill acquisition of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using a standardized assessment tool across different treatment approaches to help identify the most efficacious interventions and alleviate confusion regarding the most effective treatment approaches for families, educators, and the community at large. Data will be shared on the skill acquisition of children with ASD using the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised across a variety of educational programs providing services to children with ASD.
21. The Impact of Care-Provider Positive Behavioural Support Training on Behavioural Treatment for Individuals with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ROSEMARY A. CONDILLAC (Brock University), Lisa K. Maire (Brock University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University), David C. Factor (TRE-ADD Program, Thistletown Regional Centre)
Abstract: A positive behavioural support training package (Reid, Parsons, Rotholz, Morris, & Braswell, 2004) was implemented as a catalyst for change in a service utilizing highly intrusive procedures to treat individuals with autism and serious challenging behaviour. Training emphasized the development of support plans to increase the use of antecedent based strategies and functional skill development. Approximately 100 staff members were trained. All staff met the learning requirements and demonstrated target skills with clients, using a mastery model. This poster will describe the impact of training on behavioural treatment plans for 15 adults with autism in residential care and 20 children and youth with autism in day treatment. Impact on client treatment was measured prior to and one year following training using the following measures. The Current Management Strategies Index (Feldman, Atkinson, Foti-Gervais, & Condillac, 2004) was used to collect information on the number and type of formal and informal interventions in place for the residential clients, and the level of intrusiveness of those plans. Incident reports were used to examine changes in the topography of the behaviour and the use of treatment strategies for all clients. Third, client care plans were examined for notable changes to the client’s daily activities and treatment goals.
22. A Practical Application: Employing ABA Methodology in an Inner-City Public School Autism Program.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ALYSSA WARSHAY (Central Michigan University), Christie L. Nutkins (Grand Rapids Public Schools), Paulette Komor (Grand Rapids Public Schools), Jennifer L. Wilson (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: A poverty stricken, inner-city public school district recently piloted three self-contained autism classrooms that strictly adhere to the principles of applied behavior analysis for instruction and for behavior management. In addition to the instructional gains made by these students, this poster will provide background information related to the decision to change the program philosophy, the training of staff, the challenges faced with implementation, and plans for future program improvement. The progress individual students have made in this program will also be compared to the gains made in previous years in programs that utilized different teaching strategies.
23. Teaching an Adolescent with Autism How to Independently Brush His Teeth Through Analogue Instruction, Picture Sequencing and Differential Reinforcement.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LORENZ NEUWIRTH (Eden II Programs), Lauren A. Mahoney (Eden II Programs), Frank R. Cicero (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: In addition to academic deficits, children with autism frequently have a difficult time learning basic daily living skills. Deficits in self care significantly impact on an individual’s independence, quality of life and health. The current study investigated the effect of a behavioral teaching package on the acquisition of tooth brushing in an adolescent with autism. Teaching sessions took place in the participant’s group home, where he has resided for over the past 5 years. At the time of the study, tooth brushing had been a goal with little success. The current study used a multielement treatment design consisting of three treatments across ten task analysis steps. The first treatment consisted of analogue teaching sessions using modeling, graduated guidance and discrete trial instruction. Upon mastery, a picture-sequencing component was introduced into regularly-scheduled daily brushings. Finally, a differential reinforcement token system was included in order to increase motivation and maintenance. Data show a steady increase in skill acquisition as well as an increase in rate of mastery between task analysis steps. Data will be discussed in terms of their impact in teaching self-care skills. Issues with teaching within a residential program will also be highlighted.
24. Eight-month Follow-up of a Pedestrian Training Program on a Five Years Old Autistic Child.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA GAUCHER (Université du Québec à Montréal), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal), Rafael Daigneault (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Abstract: Adaptive skills are those implicated in using whatever capacities the individual possesses to function adequately in his environment. These skills are especially important to individuals with autism and related conditions because they constitute the main contributing factor to the individual’s ability to function independently and efficiently in society, more than cognitive level (Liss et al., 2001). They are also strongly linked with prognosis (Gillham, Carter, Volkmar, & Sparrow, 2000). A pedestrian training program was used to teach security skills to a 5-year-old autistic child. During the intervention condition, the subject was submitted to a continuous reinforcement program of using an appropriate crosswalk in his natural environment. Average skills improved from 3.33% at baseline to 83% after training, in the intervention condition. Average skills were maintained at 96.67% for the two week follow-up and at 71.67% at the eight month follow-up.
25. Teaching a Visually Impaired Preschooler Diagnosed with Autism to Wear Glasses.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
IAN M. SANTUS (Beaumont Hospitals, CARE Program), Ivy M. Chong Crane (Beaumont Hospitals, HOPE Center)
Abstract: The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 10 million people in the United States are visually impaired. Visual impairment is a term experts use to describe any kind of vision loss, whether it's someone who cannot see at all or someone who has partial vision loss. However, visual problems can often be easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. A prompting and differential reinforcement procedure was used to teach a preschooler diagnosed with autism to increase the duration in which he would wear his glasses. Initially, presentation of the glasses evoked a high rate of negative vocalizations and self-injurious behavior. During the training condition, prompting, response blocking and differential reinforcement were used to gradually increase the duration of glasses on from 0 seconds to 3-hours. Additional generalization trials showed that the duration of glasses on increased in the presence of novel stimuli, in novel settings (public school setting, home), and with novel instructors.
26. Video Modeling and Early Intervention.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MIKE CARPENTER (Nyansa Learning Corporation), Hsiaoying Chen (Nyansa Learning Corporation), Xeres Delmendo (Nyansa Learning Corporation)
Abstract: Video modeling has been demonstrated as an effective teaching tool for children with autism (Charlop-Christy, Le, & Freeman, 2000). The present study assessed the use of video modeling in promoting play skills in young children with autism. We also assessed the use of video as an effective reinforcer. In study one, we used a multiple baseline design across two children to examine the use of video modeling in promoting simple play acts. Results indicated that one child displayed acquisition of the target behavior and one child did not. The child that did not display acquisition of the target behavior with video modeling was able to acquire the behavior using video as a reinforcer. In study two, we used a multiple baseline design across two children and within child to examine the efficacy of video modeling in promoting two-step play acts. Results indicated that both children displayed increased play skills following video modeling. One child met criterion for both target play skills. The other child met criterion for one of the two target skills. Discussion will include the rate of acquisition as related to motor requirements of the task as well as the complexity of the video model.
27. Intensive Toilet Training with Autistic Students.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHELLE HARRINGTON (Judge Rotenberg Center), Jill Hunt (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: In this study, we examine the use of an entire room dedicated to toilet training. Students using this room have various diagnoses to include mental retardation and autism. This room allows students to be no more than 8 feet away from the toilet at from 9am to 7pm, while continuing to work on various academic tasks. Students receive 1-1 instruction, while gradually decreasing the time spent on the toilet throughout the day and increasing the time spent off of the toilet throughout the day. We will discuss various methods used to encourage voiding in the toilet, data collection methods, fading students back to a regular classroom environment and how long it took to toilet train these students using this room.
28. Teaching Rejecting Behavior using Wrong-Items Embedded to Missing-Item Format for an Individual with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HAYOUNG CHOI (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: For last 30 years, research has largely focused on teaching only “requesting” behavior, rarely has teaching communicative rejecting been attempted. One 20-year-old male with autism and severe mental retardation participated in this case study. For training, three activities were identified by his parent: making a puzzle, playing solitaire soft on his laptop, and listening to a CD. Given that he was nonverbal; pictures taken by digital camera were used to request and re-request the missing item. In the first phase, using a “least-to-most” prompt, the participant was taught requesting behavior by pointing to the picture of the missing item. In the second phase, when the participant requested the missing item, the wrong item was given so that the participant would reject the wrong item and re-request the needed item. Using the “least-to-most” prompt and time-delay procedure, the participant acquired rejecting and re-requesting behavior. Newly acquired requesting and rejecting/re-requesting behavior were generalized to untrained items.
29. Safety and Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of the Behavior Analytic Literature.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACK SCOTT (Florida Atlantic University), Bairbre Flood (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: Children, adolescents and adults with ASD characteristically fail to adequately attend to their personal safety. Compounding the challenges are high intensity and high rate noncompliance on the part of some persons with ASD and the tendency to wander or elope by others. Drowning and near-drowning as well as traffic-related accidents constitute an unfortunately high percentage of accidental deaths and serious injuries for this population. This poster reports the results of an examination of the behavior analytic literature on and directly related to issues of safety for persons with ASD. Behavioral safety skills training for persons with ASD is also examined. The analysis includes the following journals: Behavior Modification, Behavior Therapy, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Child and Family Behavior Therapy, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry and the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. While some ASD-specific challenges are adequately addressed in the literature, many significant problem areas remain unreported and apparently unaddressed.
30. An Examination of the Effects of a Self-Monitoring Procedure on Appropriate and Inappropriate Behaviors of a Young Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AINSLEY MCPHERSON (University of Nevada, Reno), Jennifer A. Castellanos (University of Nevada, Reno), Katie Rossi (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This case study was designed to teach a young child with autism to self-monitor appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, including peer initiations, vocal stereotypy and toe-walking. The purpose was to increase social interactions and reduce problem behaviors that interfere with these interactions by enhancing the child’s ability to identify and monitor his own behavior. Furthermore, the effect of this procedure on the occurrences of these behaviors was examined to determine if appropriate behaviors increase and inappropriate behaviors decrease as a function of learning to label these behaviors correctly.
31. The Effect of Self-Management Training on the Effect of Social Behavior for Children with Asperger’s.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YU-CHING CHIANG (National Changhua University Of Education), Hua Feng (National Changhua University Of Education), Chu-fang Du (National Changhua University Of Education)
Abstract: This study investigated the efficacy of self-management training on the social behaviors for primary school children with Asperger’s. Two primary school children with Asperger’s participated in this study. A multiple-probes design across behaviors of single-subject experimental design was implemented. The independent variable was self-management training. The dependent variables were (1) to follow teacher’s verbal direction, (2) to know and follow classroom rules, and (3) to ask permission to use another’s property. Feedback from parents and teachers was for social validity. The consequences of the study were as follows: self-management training (1) increases the percentage of responses to follow teacher’s verbal direction, (2) increases the percentage of knowing and following classroom rules, (3) increases the percentage of asking permission to use another’s property. Parents’ and teachers’ interviews showed positive changes of primary school children with Asperger’s.
32. Use of Script Fading to Teach Conversation Exchanges.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VIRGINIA S. WONG (Hawthorne Country Day School), Amy J. Davies Lackey (Hawthorne Country Day School), Tomiko Lyons (Hawthorne Country Day School)
Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to test the use of script fading to teach conversation exchanges. A multiple baseline across participants was used to assess the effects of script fading to teach children to initiate and ask questions while playing a board game. The participants seldom initiated to peers. However, all had previously acquired some functional expressive language and would initiate with teachers. The script was systematically faded from end to beginning. After scripts were faded, initiations and questions generalized to different board games that had not been taught. The script-fading procedure enabled the students to converse with each other for 3 or more exchanges.
33. Increasing Spontaneous Peer Initiations in a Young Child with Autism Using Textual Prompts.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY BENNETT GOLOMB (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Increasing conversational behavior is a major focus of treatment of children and adults with autism. Textual and tactile prompts are useful tools in teaching older students to converse with disabled and typically developing peers. This study investigates the effectiveness of using textual prompts to increase spontaneous initiations to play games of a 4-year-old child with autism with typically developing peers. A multiple baseline design across stimuli was used. Initial training with textual prompts was implemented in the child’s home with one peer. Prompts were systematically faded throughout the procedure. Data and implications will be reviewed.
34. Teaching Children with Autism When Requests will be Honored.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES W. HALLE (University of Illinois), David M. Richman (University of Illinois), Jessica Zanton (University of Illinois)
Abstract: We taught two young children with autism the "meaning" of 2 cues—red and green. We began with a baseline phase in which we observed how the children, seated at a table, requested preferred items when they were not immediately accessible, but were available. Instruction was introduced across three preferred items. When a child withheld requests in the presence of the red card and made requests in the presence of the green card for Item #1, we introduced instruction with Item #2. Likewise, we waited for acquisition of the red/green discrimination, prior to introducing instruction with Item #3. We employed a multiple baseline design across items, replicated across children. A unique feature of the study is the assessment of the newly acquired stimulus control (i.e., red = no reinforcement for requesting; green = immediate reinforcement for requesting) from a highly controlled context (sitting at table with researcher) to naturally occurring occasions (e.g., requesting mom’s attention when she’s on the phone) that were the original impetus for the study. These occasions were probed intermittently throughout the study to determine spillover from the table-top instruction. Finally, we introduced instruction in staggered, multiple baseline fashion in the naturalistic occasions.
35. Influence of an Early Intensive Behavior Intervention on Individual Behavior Profiles of Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAIKO MIYAZAKI (Nakayoshi Kids Station), Yoshiaki Nakano (Nakayoshi Kids Station), Takahiro Yamamoto (Nakayoshi Kids Station), Akiko Kato (Nakayoshi Kids Station)
Abstract: We developed a behavior observation system and used it to assess the effects of early intensive behavioral intervention on individual behavior profiles of young children with autism. Five children with autism or PDD- NOS participated in the treatment. They were randomly assigned to either an intensive treatment group (30–40 hours a week behavioral intervention) or a consultation group (three-hour consultation, twice a month). Behavior profile observations were conducted at intake, sixth months, and one year later during the treatment. Each observation session consisted of 30 minutes duration and of four conditions: (1) the child played freely, and his mother did not interact with him; (2) the mother played with her child and tried to have him comply with her requests; (3) the mother played with her child and attempted to elicit language from him; and (4) the mother and her child played freely. We used a 30-second partial-interval recording procedure to assess the presence of their five behavior profiles. The behavior profile consisted of toy or social play, avoidance from persons, self-stimulation, sounds classified as words or sentences, and sounds which could not be classified as words or sentences. Results showed changes in the quantities of the five behaviors for each child.
36. Promoting Wellness in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JULIA BARNES (Institute for Child Development, Binghamton University), Stephanie Lockshin (Institute for Child Development)
Abstract: Teaching parents of children with special needs how to cope more effectively with daily stressors is important not only to increase their own well-being, but also to increase their ability to address the needs of their child and other familmembers. Teaching strategies to decrease physiological arousal while increasing a sense of relaxation begins with helping parents distinguish recreational activities from relaxation methods. The aim of this poster is to describe how a relaxation component of a parent-wellness program was implemented at the Institute for Child Development, Binghamton, NY. Discussion will focus on the specific strategies and skill sequences covered in the program. Relevant literature will also be reviewed.
37. Effects of Sibling-Implemented Natural Environment Training (NET).
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARA CZEKALSKI (University of North Texas), Nicole Zeug (University of North Texas), Jessica Leslie Broome (University of North Texas), Shahla S. Ala'i-Rosales (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Training siblings as change agents can be beneficial to both the child with autism and the typically developing sibling. There are a number of examples of successful sibling training programs (e.g., Cash & Evans,1975; Celiberti & Harris, 1993; Schreibman, O’Neill, & Koegel, 1983). The present study trained siblings to implement naturalistic behavioral teaching techniques (e.g., how to arrange environment, present models, and how to identify and deliver response specific reinforcers). Measures included: close proximity, toy engagement, conventional play, cooperative play, social approaches and happiness. A multiple baseline across sibling activities was used to evaluate the effects of the training. The study is in progress.
38. Enhancing ABA Therapy: A Support Intervention for Parents.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ERICA WAGNER (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Christoph Leonhard (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Research shows that parenting a child with Autism impacts parental depression and anxiety (Benson, 2006; Schwichtenberg & Porhlmann, 2007; Sharpley, Bitsika, & Efremidis, 1997), increases parental aggravation when special services are needed (Schieve, Blumberg, Rice, Visser, & Boyle, 2006), and exacerbates parental stress (Smith, Oliver, & Innocenti, 2001; Montes & Halterman, 2007). Consequently, there is a strong need for the development of emotion-focused as well as instrumental coping to deal with such stressors. Utilizing intervention options that address related skills is imperative to foster a healthy family environment. Typical Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programming pays little attention to parents’ emotional and behavioral health related to coping skills in raising a child with autism. Research in the area of parental stress and coping skills focuses on other at-risk, family-related issues such as adolescent addiction and delinquency using the Family Check-Up (FCU; Dishion & Kavanaugh, 2005). This brief, motivational intervention is modeled after the Drinkers Check-Up (Miller & Rollnik, 1991) and aids in decreasing parental stress and heightening coping skills. The current program introduces an adapted form of the Family Check-Up tailored to increasing instrumental and emotion-focused coping in parents of children with Autism, thus providing an ancillary support intervention for families receiving traditional Applied Behavior Analysis services.
39. The Impact of a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder on Marital Relationships.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SARAH N VERLEE (Western Michigan University), Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Several studies provide support for the notion that parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience greater levels of stress than parents of typically developing children and children with other disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome; Burrell, Thompson, & Sexton, 1994; Gray, 2002). In addition to increased stress levels, having a child with an ASD may also lead to negative impacts on marital adjustment (Higgins, Bailey, & Pearce, 2005) but only a few studies have examined this impact. Previous studies have sampled intact marital dyads resulting in a lack of information regarding the impact of a child with an ASD on divorced parents and the degree to which stress related to parenting a child with an ASD may have contributed to the decision to divorce. This study uses an internet-based survey to examine the effects of having a child with an ASD on marital relationships and in parents’ decisions to remain in their marriages or pursue divorce. Participants consist of biological fathers and mothers of children with ASDs who are in intact marital relationships or are divorced. The results will inform clinicians providing services for parents of children with ASDs. Data collection is ongoing.
40. Siblings of Individuals with Autism: Perceptions of the Sibling Experience, Psychological Functioning and the Developmental Tasks of Young Adulthood.
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
MEGAN P. MARTINS (University of Colorado Health Sciences Center)
Abstract: Previous research has suggested siblings of individuals with autism are at risk for adjustment problems during childhood and it is important to explore whether adult siblings are at increased risk for similar problems. The present study asked 25 young adult siblings of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and 25 control siblings of individuals without a chronic disability or illness to complete measures relevant to the overall functioning of a young adult. These included assessments of family functioning, career development, evidence of psychological distress, and perceptions of the sibling’s impact on their family. Overall, findings supported the hypothesis that ASD siblings differ from control siblings particularly in the areas of family functioning, career goals, and perceptions of the impact of their sibling on their experiences with their family. Specifically, ASD siblings were more likely to report a less-positive attachment to their parents, more likely to indicate their sibling impacted their development and career aspirations, more likely to report the desire to pursue a service career, and more likely to report negative childhood experiences due to their sibling. Recommendations and directions for future research on siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorders will be discussed.
41. Modification of Environmental Variables to Increase Engagement in the Classroom for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JACQUELYN M. MACDONALD (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), James W. Jackson (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Susan Szekely (Illinois Center for Autism)
Abstract: Implementing behavioral treatments in a classroom setting creates difficulties for staff to maintain a high level of educational content along with the efficacy of the treatment itself. When behavioral change can be achieved through manipulation of simple environmental variables (staff positioning, seating arrangements, order of task presentation), such difficulties can be decreased or avoided altogether. We conducted a multiple baseline design across classrooms examining the engagement with an educational item, positive engagement with staff, and out- of-seat behavior. Our results suggested that simple environmental variables can decrease the amount of behavioral treatments needed and increase appropriate engagement within the classroom.



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