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 #207
#209 Poster Session (DDA)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
71. The Use of Positive and Negative Reinforcement Contingencies to Increase Compliance.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TARA D. HARPER (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Tyree L. Starks (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Henry S. Roane (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Previous research (Lalli et al., 1999; Piazza et al., 1997) has used a combination of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies in the treatment of destructive behavior maintained by escape. Specifically, positive reinforcement (SR+) alone (Lalli et al.) or in combination with negative reinforcement (SR+/SR-; Piazza et al.) have both been demonstrated to be effective for reducing destructive behavior and increasing task compliance. However, such procedures have not been directly compared within participants. In the current investigation, SR+ or SR+/SR- conditions were implemented successively in a reversal design to evaluate the differential effectiveness of these procedures for increasing the compliance of a child with Down syndrome. Results demonstrated that the combined SR+/SR- contingencies (M = 83.4% compliance) produced greater increases in compliance than the SR+ contingency alone (M = 45.9% compliance). Across the analysis, reliability data were collected for 27% of sessions and averaged 95% for compliance. Following the initial treatment comparison, schedule thinning was conducted in which the participant eventually had to comply with 6 demands before the combined SR+/SR- reinforcer was delivered. Results will be discussed regarding the use of positive and negative reinforcement to increase compliance.
72. Using Differential Reinforcement Contingencies to Decrease Problem Behavior Associated with Low-Preference Task Engagement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JASON R. ZELENY (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Rebecca A. Veenstra (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kelly J. Bouxsein (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Henry S. Roane (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement contingencies may be an effective treatment component for decreasing problem behavior. In the current study, differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) or differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) procedures were implemented to decrease problem behavior during task completion. Participants were a 12-year-old female diagnosed with autism and a 15-year-old male diagnosed with Smith-Magenis syndrome. During baseline, both participants emitted higher rates of problem behavior when engaged in staff-selected low-preference tasks compared to high-preference task that they chose to engage with. During treatment, participants were provided access to their choice of a high-preference task contingent on engagement in a low-preference task. A combination of extinction and either DRO or DRL schedules were implemented with each participant respectively. Subsequently, delay fading was implemented to increase the DRO interval and DRL ratio up to a predetermined target (e.g., a 10-min DRO interval). For both participants, reliability data were collected on at least 20% of sessions and averaged over 80% for all dependent variables, and destructive behavior was reduced by over 90% relative to the pre-treatment baseline condition. Results are discussed in relation to using activity choice as reinforcement for decreasing problem behavior.
73. Effects of Continuous Reward and Extinction on Self-Injurious and Disruptive Behaviors During Free Play and Demand Conditions.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
YANIZ C. PADILLA DALMAU (The University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Jayme Mews (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Problem behavior was evaluated for a 4 year-old Latino boy diagnosed with autism who displayed self-injury (SIB) and disruptive behaviors (e.g., screaming). Three analyses were conducted to identify the function of problem behavior and to evaluate the effects of continuous reward (i.e., preferred toys, parent attention) and extinction (i.e., planned ignoring) on behavior. Inter-rater agreement was assessed across 30% of sessions in Analyses 2 and 3 and averaged 98%. A brief functional analysis (Analysis 1) was conducted in which self- injurious and disruptive behavior were evaluated during free play and demand conditions within a multielement design. Results suggested an escape function for problem behavior, although disruptive behavior also occurred during free play conditions. During Analysis 2, free play sessions were conducted, but received continuous access to preferred items and parent attention, and problem behavior was on extinction. Results showed a decreasing trend in SIB and near-zero levels of disruptive behaviors. Analysis 3 consisted of the functional analysis demand condition (SIB was reinforced with escape from demands), but the treatment package (continuous access to attention plus extinction for disruptive behavior) from Analysis 2 was implemented. Results showed a decreasing trend in disruptive behaviors and relatively low levels of SIB.
74. Concurrent Schedules of Negative Reinforcement: Behavior Change Without the Use of Extinction.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SHELLEY MULLEN (University of Oregon), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston, Clear Lake), Alice A. Keyl (Utah State University)
Abstract: In this study the effects of concurrent schedules of negative reinforcement for problem behavior and compliance with 1 child with autism were evaluated. Tasks were presented to the participant using a most-to-least prompting strategy. Compliance and problem behavior both resulted in a break on an FR 1 schedule. The duration of the breaks for compliance and problem behavior were systematically altered during different treatment conditions. Results indicated that compliance occurred at the highest rates when the duration of negative reinforcement was much longer (120-s) than the duration of negative reinforcement for problem behavior (10-s). These treatment effects were obtained without the use of extinction.
75. Graduated Prompting as an Idiosyncratic Abolishing Operation for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAREN RADER (Louisiana State University), Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University), Megan Kliebert (Louisiana State University), Christopher T. Roath (Louisiana State University)
Abstract: The establishing operation for escape-maintained problem behavior is maintained by graduated prompting (i.e., providing successively more intrusive prompts except following the occurrence of a target problem behavior) during the typical escape condition of a functional analysis. The current study provided a case example of a boy for whom graduate prompting eliminated (rather than maintained) the establishing operation for escape. Graduated prompting sessions were compared against sessions in which only vocal-prompts were provided on a matched, fixed-time schedule. Escape from instructions was delivered contingent upon disruptive behavior during both conditions. Problem behavior was observed exclusively during the vocal-prompts only condition. Based on this outcome, a treatment was implemented to teach the child to recruit assistance via an alternative vocal response. Interobserver agreement was collected during at least 25% of assessment and treatment sessions and averaged above 90% for all dependent measures. Implications for conducting functional analyses are discussed.
76. Combining Medication and Behavioral Procedures to Decrease Problem Behavior Maintained by Negative Reinforcement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
ERIC BOELTER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Individuals with intellectual deficits who engage in severe forms of problem behavior are often treated with a combination of psychopharmacological and behavioral treatments. In the current study, we combined medication and behavioral treatment to decrease problem behavior maintained by negative reinforcement engaged in by a boy diagnosed with mental retardation and ADHD. Two medications, Ritalin and Clonidine, were added to the treatment package, each at various dosages, to evaluate if behavior improved beyond that observed with the behavioral treatment alone. Results showed that Ritalin combined with the behavior treatment did not improve behavior more than the behavioral treatment alone, and at higher doses had a detrimental effect on the treatment. In contrast, Clonidine combined with the behavioral treatment resulted in substantial decreases in problem behavior and increases in compliance beyond that observed with the behavioral treatment alone.
77. Treatment of Compliance with High- and Low-Probability Tasks Using Non-Contingent Attention and Differential Reinforcement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE M. SWEENEY (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Stephanie A. Contrucci Kuhn (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Non-contingent reinforcement and increased reinforcement during demand situations have been shown to be effective at increasing compliance with both low-probability and high-probability academic tasks (Bullock & Normand, 2006; Call et al., 2004). However, in instances where a skill deficit is the underlying cause of noncompliance, additional treatment components may be necessary to increase compliance with low-probability tasks. In the current investigation, non-contingent reinforcement, differential reinforcement (DRA) and extinction were evaluated as a treatment for noncompliance and problem behaviors related to escape from academic tasks in a 16-year-old boy. High- and low-probability tasks were identified and evaluated separately in a multielement treatment evaluation. Periods of non-contingent attention were alternated with academic tasks during which differential reinforcement of compliance was implemented. Results indicated that NCR and extinction were effective in increasing compliance with high-probability tasks, while the addition of the DRA component was found to be essential in increasing compliance with low-probability tasks. Reliability data were collected for one half of sessions and averaged above 95%.
78. Concurrent vs. Multiple Schedule of Reinforcement for Treating High Rate of Self-Injury During Demand Situations.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NATALIE A. PARKS (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Heather Jennett (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Carolina F. Reyes (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Research has shown noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) as an effective treatment for problem behavior maintained by social or automatic reinforcement (Lalli, Casey, & Kates, 1997). However, NCR may have negative side effects (DeLeon, Williams, Gregory, & Hagopian, 2005) such as decreased compliance with demands (Sprague, Holland, & Thomas, 1997). In the current study, two schedules of reinforcement were compared using a mixed multielement and reversal design to determine the most effective method of implementing NCR during demand situations. A 6-year-old child diagnosed with Bardet-Biedl syndrome with high rates of self-injury participated. A competing stimulus assessment (Piazza, et al., 1996) was conducted and four toys were identified and used in all NCR conditions. During the concurrent schedule of reinforcement, NCR and reinforcement for compliance with demands (FR1) was available throughout work sessions. During the multiple schedule of reinforcement, an FR1 schedule of reinforcement was available during work sessions and NCR was available during breaks. Data suggested that using a multiple schedule of reinforcement reduced self-injury while maintaining compliance more effectively than a concurrent schedule of reinforcement. Results from the concurrent schedule of reinforcement suggest that using NCR during academic demands may compete not only with problem behavior, but also with compliance.
79. The Necessity of Extinction in the Treatment of Elopement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LILLIE WILSON (The Marcus Institute), Nathan Call (The Marcus Institute), Robert-Ryan S. Pabico (The Marcus Institute), Elizabeth C. King (The Marcus Institute)
Abstract: Elopement is a potentially dangerous behavior that is sometimes displayed by individuals with developmental disabilities. Previous studies implementing function-based treatments for elopement have included the use of extinction. However, extinction can be particularly difficult to implement with elopement. For example, an individual who elopes must be retrieved, which frequently involves the delivery of attention. Similarly, if an individual successfully elopes it can be difficult to retrieve them before they gain at least brief access to preferred items or activities. This study evaluated the necessity of extinction in the treatment of elopement. After a functional analysis (Piazza et al., 1997) demonstrated that elopement was maintained by access to tangible items, treatments were compared with and without the presence of extinction. In addition, interobserver agreement data were collected for at least 20% of sessions and always exceeded 80% agreement. Results suggested that extinction may be a necessary component for treatments of elopement to be effective.
80. Brief Treatment Evaluation of Elopement.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LAKAREN RICKMAN (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Jason M. Stricker (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Elopement is a potentially life-threatening behavior exhibited by some young children. To date, research on the assessment and treatment of elopement has been limited (Kodak, Grow, & Northrup, 2004; Tarbox, Wallace, & Williams, 2003; and Piazza, Hanley, Bowman, Ruyter, Lindauer, & Saiontz, 1997). The purpose of this study was to identify the effectiveness of one treatment, differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), for reducing elopement behaviors displayed by young children with developmental disabilities. Two case studies, one from a day treatment setting and one from an outpatient setting, will be presented. In each case, baseline data on latency to elopement were gathered. A differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) treatment was then implemented. The study design, results, and suggestions for future research will be discussed.
81. The Use of Competing Stimuli and Response Blocking to Decrease Mouthing.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER A. WRIGHT (University of Maryland, Baltimore County/Kennedy Krieger Institute), Danielle L. Gureghian (University of Maryland, Baltimore County/Kennedy Krieger Institute), Dipti Mudgal (The May Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Patricia F. Kurtz (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: There has been much research conducted evaluating treatments for mouthing (Vollmer, Marcus, & LeBlanc, 1994; Irvin, Thompson, Turner, & Williams, 2003; Simmons, Smith, & Kliethermes, 2003). However, limited research has been conducted on treatments that do not involve edible items as reinforcers. The present study demonstrates the effectiveness of competing stimuli and response blocking on decreasing hand and object mouthing. Competing stimuli have been defined as preferred stimuli that may compete with the reinforcer for problem behavior, but that do not reinforce that behavior (Fisher, Lindauer, Alterson, & Thompson, 1998). Competing stimuli and response blocking have been found to be effective in decreasing behaviors such as disruption (Fisher, et. al, 1998) and skin picking (Lane, Thompson, Reske, Gable, & Barton-Arwood, 2006). After conducting a functional analysis, a competing stimulus assessment was completed using the methods described in Piazza, et al, (1998). Using an ABAB design, a treatment package of competing stimuli and response blocking was evaluated. Following treatment, hand and object mouthing rates decreased to near-zero levels. Inter-rater reliability was collected for 87.63% of sessions, with an average exact agreement of 99.71% for hand mouthing and 91.55% for object mouthing.
82. Effects of Competing Stimuli on Problem Behavior Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement: An Outcomes Summary.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANURADHA DUTT (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), Kelly M. Vinquist (The University of Iowa), Jason M. Stricker (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (The University of Iowa), Jeffrey R. Luke (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: We evaluated the degree to which alternative stimuli can compete with problem behavior that is maintained by automatic reinforcement. We hypothesized that problem behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement vary on two important dimensions (a) the degree to which behavior persisted in the presence of alternative sources of stimulation and (b) the degree to which engagement in problem behavior was selected over gaining access to alternative stimuli. A series of assessments were conducted to identify three response patterns that would be prescriptive for developing individualized treatment packages. Three patterns occurred. Participants fitting Pattern 1 were assigned to treatment packages that included noncontingent access to highly preferred alternative stimuli. Participants fitting Pattern 2 received treatments in which access to preferred stimuli was contingent on the absence of problems. Participants fitting Pattern 3 received treatment packages that used sensory extinction procedures such as blocking, to reduce problem behavior. Results of this study indicated that treatment packages based on the results of the assessment were effective in reducing problem behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement for most participants. Interobserver agreement data were collected for 30% of the sessions and averaged above 90% for problem behavior. Findings detailing these summary outcomes will be presented.
83. An Analysis and Treatment of the Covariation of Chronic Thumb Sucking and Chronic Hair Pulling.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER M. DERDERIAN (The May Center for Education and Neurorehabilitation), Nicole Heal (The May Institute), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute)
Abstract: Response covariation is observed when changes in the frequency of one response are correlated with changes in the frequency of other responses (Balsam & Bondy, 1985). In the current study a 12-year-old girl with Cri du Chat Syndrome engaged in chronic bi-lateral thumb sucking and chronic hair pulling. Classroom data suggested that thumb sucking and hair pulling covaried, thus the purpose of the study was to directly assess the effects of thumb guards on thumb sucking and the indirect effects on hair pulling. Results of a functional analysis showed that the duration of thumb sucking was highest in low stimulation conditions suggesting that thumb sucking was maintained by automatic reinforcement. We then directly measured the effects of thumb guards on thumb sucking; while also indirectly assessing the effects on hair pulling within a multielement design. Implementation of the thumb guards decreased the duration of thumb sucking to low levels and eliminated untreated hair pulling. Interobserver agreement was assessed on 30% of all sessions and averaged above 80% on all measures.
84. A Functional Analysis and Function-Based Intervention for Tricholtillomania in an Adult with Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SYN MCDONALD (Columbus Organization), John M. Guercio (Missouri Department of Mental Health)
Abstract: Most of the research conducted on hair pulling has focused on treatment. Despite the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these treatments on hair pulling, very few have reportedly been based on a functional analysis. This may be because habit-based behaviors such as hair pulling are thought to be maintained by automatic reinforcement. Of these studies, only a small number of them investigated the function of hair pulling (Miltenberger, Long, Rapp, Lumley, & Elliot, 1998; Rapp, Miltenberger, Galensky, Ellingstron, & Long, 1999). One study investigated treatment based upon a functional analysis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the function of hair pulling in a 47-year-old female diagnosed with severe mental retardation in a habilitation setting and to design a function-based treatment. Frequency data on hair pulling were collected in 10-minute segments across the traditional functional analysis conditions of attention, escape, control, and alone. The resulting functional analysis data were then used to implement a treatment based upon the identified functions of the hair pulling determined through the functional assessment. Outcome data on the intervention as well as the functional analysis will be provided.
85. Helmet Fading and Splint Fading Assessments for an Individual Who Engages in Self-Injurious Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
R. SAMUEL CROMARTIE, IV (May South, Inc.), William A. Flood (May South, Inc.), John Mortensen (May South, Inc.)
Abstract: The initial treatment for an individual who wore a helmet and engaged in SIB in the form of ear gouging and head banging involved increasing duration of time out of helmet. When this treatment showed little success, the clinical team decided to implement a helmet fading program. An assessment was conducted to determine the rate of SIB in a variety of helmets in order to determine which helmet would be the best to use during the fading program. During the assessment, it was discovered that the individual was not engaging in SIB at his school. Teachers reported that they had used a splint fading procedure. A procedure similar to that used by Fisher et al. (1997) was implemented at the home and is ongoing. Baseline data for both assessments will be presented.
86. Evaluation of Extinction Procedure to Thumb Sucking in Childhood Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARÍA LUISA AVALOS LATORRE (Guadalajara University), María del Carmen Flores Sanchez (Enrique Díaz de León University), Martha Alejandra López de la Cerda (Enrique Díaz de León University), Aidee Monserrat Guerra Mariscal (Enrique Díaz de León University)
Abstract: Thumb sucking is a common childhood behavior in children aged 1 to 4 years; this behavior is generally not of concern, and most children cease sucking their thumb or fingers without intervention. However, some children do not stop without intervention, which can result in health problems if finger sucking continues past 4 years of age. The child may be at greater risk for dental malocclusion, digital eformities, and speech difficulties. Children of 3 or 4 years will participate. Thumb sucking is defined as the insertion of the thumb past the front teeth with the lips closed over the thumb. The fathers will complete a baseline registration of frequency, latency, consequent and preceding events of thumb sucking. Subsequently, the thumb will be bandaged during three weeks. Finally, we will retire the bandage and the fathers will do the same registration of the baseline. We expect thumb sucking elimination; we assume that the extinction procedure is more effective than negative enforcement procedure or punishment procedure due to that this behavior is maintained even in absence of any consequence.
88. A Comparison of Functional Communication Training Outcomes Across Participants from Different Diagnostic Categories.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN F. LEE (The University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: We compared baseline and treatment data across 11 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 7 children diagnosed with other genetic syndromes, and 18 children diagnosed with developmental delays only. Criteria for participation included diagnosed mild to moderate developmental delays, 2 to 6 years old, destructive behavior during a demand assessment condition, and functional communication training (FCT) for negative reinforcement. Functional analyses using multielement designs and matched treatment procedures were conducted in the children’s homes with parents serving as therapists. Procedures were videotaped for data collection and analysis. Interobserver agreement was assessed across 36% of sessions and averaged 96%. Mean level of destructive behavior at baseline was 10.5% (percentage of intervals) for the ASD group, 12.5% for the genetic syndromes group, and 14.96% for the developmental delay group. Mean level of destructive behavior during the final three FCT treatment probes was 0.87% for the ASD group, 1.19% for the genetic syndromes group, and 0.31% for the developmental delay group. Mean reduction of destructive behavior was 93% for the ASD group, 90.1% for the genetic syndromes group, and 97.9% for the developmental delay group. These results are discussed relative to the benefits of matching treatment to function rather than to diagnosis.
89. Assessment of Topographies of Manding During Functional Communication Training.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATHLEEN MACDONALD (Gonzaga University), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), K. Mark Derby (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: In this investigation a functional analysis was conducted across two settings for a young child with Smith-Magenis Syndrome. Following the functional analysis a mand analysis across three modalities (sign, microswitch, and picture card) was conducted during functional communication training. Interobserver agreement data were collected for over 30% of sessions and an index of over 80% was achieved. Results of the mand analysis showed that all three modes were effective in decreasing problem behavior. Given a choice the microswitch was selected over the picture card and sign. Results will be discussed in terms of preference for mands as it relates to history of reinforcement and response effort.
90. Evaluating Changes in Child and Parent Behavior During Functional Communication Training.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JAYME MEWS (The University of Iowa), Jay W. Harding (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), John F. Lee (The University of Iowa), James A. Hall (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate child and parent behavior during functional communication training (FCT). The participants were (a) 3 preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities who displayed destructive behavior and (b) their mothers. All assessment and FCT procedures were conducted by the children’s parents in their homes. Baseline and FCT conditions were evaluated within a reversal design. Inter-rater agreement was assessed across 30% of all sessions and averaged 97%. Baseline probes were conducted to measure the occurrence of escape-maintained destructive behavior. During this phase, the children were presented with a task every 30 seconds and destructive behavior was placed on extinction. During the FCT phase, the children were trained to comply with parent instructions and to request a break from tasks. Results showed that FCT was effective in decreasing destructive behavior across participants. Reductions in the children’s destructive behavior during FCT were correlated with reductions in negative parent behavior (e.g., reprimands). Overall, the parents demonstrated high and stable levels of positive behavior (e.g., praise) during baseline and FCT conditions. Results will be discussed with respect to parent and child interactions during FCT.
91. Evaluation of Maintenance During Functional Communication Training.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JAY W. HARDING (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), John F. Lee (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) has been shown to reduce destructive behavior via the contingent reinforcement of alternative communicative responses. We enrolled 22 children in a federally funded research project to investigate variables related to maintenance during FCT. Participants were young children, aged less than 6 years, with developmental disabilities, who displayed destructive behavior. All procedures were conducted by the children’s parents in their homes. IOA was assessed for 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%. During Phase 1, we conducted a functional analysis within a multielement design to identify participants whose destructive behavior was maintained by negative reinforcement. In Phase 2, we conducted baseline extinction probes. During Phase 3 (FCT), parents taught their children to comply with task requests and to mand for breaks. FCT and baseline conditions were repeated within a reversal design. During Phase 4, we manipulated the establishing operations and discriminative stimuli associated with 5 children’s FCT programs. These changes included increasing time in work, providing novel work tasks, and removing cues to mand. Results showed that these children maintained low levels of destructive behavior and high levels of task completion and continued to mand for reinforcement.
92. Investigating the Efficacy of the Picture Exchange Communication System in Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAREN STONE (Southern Illinois University), Rocio Rosales (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The intention of this study was to evaluate the application of the Picture Exchange Communication System and to examine its efficacy in developing the functional communication skills in three elderly individuals with developmental disabilities. Specifically, changes in eye contact and vocalizations made were examined over the course of PECS training, along with training time and percentage correct during training trial blocks. Results indicated two of the three participants were not able to meet criteria for Phase 3 (discrimination training) of PECS successfully. Identity matching assessments were then conducted which indicated that both participants lacked basic discrimination skills, which provided a hypothesis of why these two participants experienced difficulty in meeting the criteria for Phase 3 of PECS training. Moreover, this study provided a basis for further examination of the relationship between the necessity of prerequisite discrimination skills and successful PECS acquisition.
93. Assessment of Client Preference for Mode of Communication.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID M. WILSON (AdvoServ), Cheryl L. Ecott (AdvoServ), Sally Rader (AdvoServ of New Jersey), Tabitha Reed (AdvoServ of New Jersey), Cristina Ferlauto (AdvoServ of New Jersey)
Abstract: A client’s right to participate in their treatment planning, or choose among treatment alternatives, is an important consideration for behavior analysts. However, developmentally disabled individuals with speech and language deficits are often unable to communicate treatment preferences. Hanley, Piazza, Fisher, Contrucci, and Maglieri (1997) described a procedure during which clients selected among multiple treatment alternatives to reduce their destructive behavior. We used a similar procedure during which participants were presented with multiple communication alternatives (e.g., picture card vs. sign language) during a choice-assessment. Preference for a specific mode of communication was evaluated by comparing the relative levels of selection responses during the choice assessment. Preference for a mode of communication varied across participants. The results are discussed in terms client preference for a mode of communication, client participation in treatment planning, and assessing social validity.
94. Simplified Habit Reversal for Stuttering.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARK ADAMS (BEST Consulting, Inc.), Kathryne Balch (BEST Consulting, Inc.)
Abstract: A simplified Habit Reversal procedure was utilized to treat stuttering for a 16 year-old male. Treatment consisted of Awareness Training and a Competing Response reported in extant literature as incompatible with stuttering. During Awareness Training the subject simply needed to identify instances of stuttering. During the Competing Response training, diaphragm breathing and control of air flow during exhale were practiced. Rate of speech and rate of stuttering were analyzed during a reading condition and a conversation condition. Treatment involved reading and conversation periods in which the therapist had the subject stop and practice the competing response after each instance of stuttering. Rate of speech and rate of stuttering during baseline, three treatment sessions and follow-up will be presented.



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