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 #396
#396 Poster Session (DDA)
Monday, May 26, 2008
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
59. Treatment of Catatonic Behaviors in Two Children with Autism.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARIE ANDACHTER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sung Woo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Atasha Jackson (Kennedy Krieger Institute ), Kaitlin Coryat (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
Abstract: Catatonic behaviors interfere with daily activities such as walking, eating, and talking. When these catatonic behaviors go untreated, stiffness, posturing, waxy flexibility and rigidity occur, along with severe weight loss, depression, and lack of interaction with others. In the current investigation, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was evaluated as a treatment for catatonic behaviors in a 15-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl. A course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has caused impressive and prolonged relief of catatonic behaviors in both cases.
61. Decreasing Self-Injurious Behavior During Feeding for a Child with Developmental Disabilities and Visual Impairments.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREN LLOYD WITHHART (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Many challenges are faced when assessing and treating severe self-injurious behavior (SIB) in natural settings including controlling for extraneous variables, training multiple staff, and establishing treatment efficacy (Derby et al., 1992). These challenges were addressed in the current study wherein a feeding protocol was developed and evaluated for a child with profound developmental disabilities and visual impairments who exhibited high frequency SIB. Preference assessments (Paclawskyj & Vollmer, 1995) and a functional analysis (Iwata et al, 1982/1994) were conducted in the classroom setting, with school staff serving as therapists. Results of a functional analysis of SIB during meals indicated that SIB served to escape from demands (eating). School staff were trained to implement his feeding protocol during meals. Treatment efficacy was evaluated using an ABAB reversal design. Results indicated that escape extinction plus contingent reinforcement for independent bites decreased his SIB. Concomitant increases in food consumption and self-feeding skills were also noted. This study extends Piazza et al.’s (2003) research by including staff in programming, monitoring, and direct implementation of the feeding protocol. Interrater reliability was 100% across 60% of sessions.
62. Treatment of Disruptive Mealtime Behaviors.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA E. CHIRIGHIN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sung Woo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Amber E. Mendrez (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kimberly Strzegowski (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities often exhibit disruptive behaviors during mealtime (O’Brian et al., 1972). The current study utilized functional communication training (FCT) and response blocking to teach a 14-year-old child to appropriately request for a meal to be terminated and to decrease inappropriate mealtime behaviors, respectively. Experimental control was demonstrated using a multiple baseline across settings design. Treatment effects included the acquisition of a modification of the American Sign Language sign for “finished” and decreased rates of disruptive mealtime behaviors, such as tipping and spilling food on a plate following partial consumption. The results indicated that functional communication was most effective when paired with response blocking. Furthermore, these results extend findings on the effectiveness of FCT by demonstrating its utility at increasing appropriate mealtime behaviors.
63. An Intervention Based on a Functional Assessment for a Child with PDD-NOS and Aggressive Behaviors.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MIYUKI NOGUCHI (Miyazaki Women's Junior College), Fumiyuki Noro (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Abstract: In this study, we implemented an intervention based on functional assessment and examined the intervention’s effect on aggressive behaviors. The participant was a 7-year-old boy who was diagnosed as PDD-NOS. He had shown many aggressive behaviors. The results of the functional assessment led to the following Hypotheses: first, he exhibited aggressive behaviors to get attention from his classmates; second, he exhibited aggressive behaviors to get tangible items and situations he wanted. Based on these hypotheses, we implemented interventions using DRA and time-out. The participant showed more than 15 aggressive behaviors weekly in the baseline period, and 13 in the DRA period. When we implemented DRA and time-out, the number of aggressive behaviors gradually decreased. These results indicate that the intervention based on functional assessment is effective for a child with PDD-NOS and aggressive behaviors.
64. Application of Differential and Noncontingent Reinforcement to Increase Compliance with Wearing Assistive Devices.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SANDRA L. GINDER-SHAPIRO (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (The University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics), Tory J. Christensen (The University of Iowa), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Iowa), Jeffrey R. Luke (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Two children were evaluated for treatment of refusal to wear assistive devices (i.e. hearing aid and glasses). A preference assessment was conducted to determine high and low-preferred items for each child. High-preferred stimuli were then included in reinforcement-based procedures to increase compliance with the devices. For both participants, evaluation began with noncontingent access to preferred stimuli. This approach was successful with one of the two participants when the NCR component included toys and attention. Differential reinforcement for an alternative response (i.e., compliance) with escape extinction was implemented for the second participant. This strategy resulted in a successful increase in device compliance. Interobserver agreement was collected for at least 20% of the sessions and the mean agreement was no less than 80% across sessions.
65. Examining the Efficacy of Aripiprazole With and Without Behavioral Therapy on Reducing Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA M. SHULLEETA (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Dennis Dixon (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Recent research indicates that aripiprazole (Abilify) may be effective in the treatment of maladaptive behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, and disruptive behavior in individuals with pervasive developmental disabilities. Behavior interventions are also well known to afford significant problem behavior reduction in the same population. This retrospective case series reviews both the efficacy of aripiprazole alone and in combination with behavioral therapy in five children with pervasive developmental disabilities admitted to an inpatient unit for the treatment of severe proble behaviors. Daily rates of problem behavior were compared during three periods: (1) baseline without medication or behavioral intervention, (2) initiation of aripiprazole, and (3) aripiprazole with behavioral treatment. When aripiprazole was used alone, there was a 60-70% reduction in problem behavior for 2 individuals and 40% reduction in problem behavior for 3 individuals. However, when aripiprazole was combined with behavior treatment, there was an 80-100% reduction for 4 individuals and 60-70% reduction for one individual. These data suggest that when aripiprazole was used in combination with a behavioral treatment, more pronounced reductions in problem behavior were observed.
66. A Method for Assessing the Effects of Verbal Feedback and Reinforcement in Combination with Redirection Procedures on the Occurrence of Problem Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TENIEKA BLAND (Kennedy Krieger Instiute), Stephanie A. Contrucci Kuhn (Kennedy Krieger Instiute), Barbara Tomlian (Kennedy Krieger Instiute)
Abstract: Interventions that incorporate redirection to an alternative activity have been demonstrated to reduce problem behaviors in individuals with developmental disabilities (e.g., Ahearn et al, 2007). However, redirection alone may not be sufficient in reducing problem behavior. For example, Hagopian and Adelinis (2001) found that redirection initially elicited aggressive behavior; however when the redirection procedure was modified to include a reinforcement component the procedure resulted in increased effectiveness. In the current study, a series of assessments was conducted with a 19-year-old male in order to determine the effectiveness of three redirection procedures. The first procedure consisted of redirection alone, the second procedure consisted of redirection plus immediate verbal feedback (i.e., coaching), and the third procedure consisted of redirection plus immediate verbal feedback and reinforcement for on-task behavior. Results indicated that increased effectiveness was observed with the addition of verbal feedback and further improvements were observed with the addition of reinforcement. Reliability data were collected for one half of sessions and averaged above 98%.
67. Treatment of Dropping and Aggressive Behavior During Transitions.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JANIE E. WEBB (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that the use of competing stimuli, a transitional warning, and escape extinction were effective in increasing compliance with transitions in toddlers (Cote, Thompson, & Paige, 2005). The current study furthered this research by decreasing dropping and aggressive behavior during transitions when escape extinction cannot be implemented. The subject was a large 11-year-old male diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder and moderate mental retardation. The subject dropped to the floor during transitions and would aggress when the caregiver attempted to implement escape extinction. We compared the effects of an antecedent manipulation consisting of competing stimuli as well as DRA for compliance with the transition. These strategies, however, proved ineffective when implemented alone. Therefore, a brief punishment procedure was implemented contingent on dropping and aggressive behaviors. The combination of competing stimuli, DRA, and punishment proved to be effective in reducing dropping and aggressive behavior and increasing compliance during transitions. Interobserver agreement (IOA) data were collected for at least 33% of sessions and averaged above 80% for all responses.
68. Behavioral Intervention for Improving Gait of Persons with Acquired Brain Injury.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLIE J. HORNER-KING (Southern Illinois University), Adam D. Hahs (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Anita Daneshdoost (Southern Illinois University), Mary Ellen Garner (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Persons with brain injury often suffer from physical disabilities that limit movement from pre-injury levels of functioning. As a result, physical therapy is often needed yet is met with difficulty for the person with brain injury. Behavior analysis lends itself to the rehabilitation process by allowing for use of prompts and feedback to the individual that can allow for them to better self-manage their behavior. The present study explored who the use of a computerized gait mat coupled with verbal prompts and feedback could facilitate the post-injury recovery of individuals with difficulty walking. Using an ABAB reversal design we assessed the walking gait of three individuals with brain injury. Feedback and verbal prompts were provided to supplement the delayed feedback provided by a computerized gait mat, and this allowed for immediate correction of performance by the participant. Results suggest that changes in gait were more quickly obtained by the participants when prompts and feedback were in place. Implications for rapid rehabilitation for individuals with brain injury are presented.
70. Evaluation of Body-Pressure Intervention for Self-Injury in Autism.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ADAM H. DOUGHTY (College of Charleston), Shannon S. Doughty (Carolina Coast Behavioral Services)
Abstract: Weighted vests sometimes are recommended by occupational therapists, and other professionals who work with behavior analysts, to decrease inappropriate behavior (e.g., self-injury) in children with autism. If these claims were reliable, then the use of such vests would be a powerful and easily implemented intervention. However, the utility of using weighted vests as an intervention for problem behavior in autism has not been examined thoroughly in controlled research studies. We investigated the effects of a weighted vest on sensory-maintained self-injury in an adolescent with autism across various environmental conditions. In most conditions, the vest did not decrease self-injury. In conditions wherein the vest decreased self-injury, it was found that the effects were not due to the deep-pressure therapy per se.
71. The Effects of Wearing a Weighted Vest on Aggressive and Self-Injurious Behavior.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
WAYNE C. PIERSEL (Heartspring), Shelby Evans (Heartspring)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of wearing a weighted vest on the frequency of aggressive and self-injurious behavior. The participants were two males with diagnoses of autistic disorder and severe mental retardation. The weighted vest was utilized according to the ecommendations of an occupational therapist. The intended goal was to provide each participant with deep pressure. The rationale was that addressing the need for deep pressure would result in reductions in inappropriate behavior. The effects of wearing the weighted vests was evaluated using a ABAB design. No reductions in the two target behaviors were observed during the study. There were no recorded changes in other behaviors that were also recorded.
72. Behavior Analysts and the Ethics of Touch in Residential Facilities for Adults with Intellectual Disability.
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMES KUHAGEN (Northern Virginia Training Center)
Abstract: The physical experience of touch can impart powerful social and emotional messages. Behavior analysts working in residential facilities for adults with intellectual disability should carefully consider the ethical implication of touch when providing services to clients. The residential setting imposes multiple roles on behavior analysts. Ambiguity regarding proper boundaries results when clients with compromised intellectual ability encounter a clinician who serves multiple functions. It is the therapist’s responsibility to maintain appropriate role boundaries. The Association for Behavior Analysis International recommends that its members adhere to the code of ethics for their respective disciplines. Results from a survey of behavior analysts’ perception and practice of ethical behavior related to physical touch with adult clients having intellectual disability are presented. Conclusions suggest that touch is most likely to be used ethically by a conscientious therapist when it is planned, follows introspection of therapist motivation, and is used in a manner that teaches appropriate boundaries.
73. Function-Based Behavior Support for Students with Batten Disease.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT E. O'NEILL (University of Utah), Wendy Bills (Murray School District)
Abstract: Batten's Disease is a degenerative neurological disease resulting in gradual cognitive and behavioral declines, sensory impairments, and early death. In this study functional behavioral assessments were conducted to determine the function of problem behaviors. multicomponent behavioral support strategies were then implemented in a multiple baseline design across students. Results indicated substantial improvements in problem behaviors for some students with more mixed outcomes for others. Results are discussed with regard to the role of function-based supports for students with degenerative conditions.
74. The Development of Language of Children with Down’s Syndrome (DS).
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MILAGROS DAMIAN (University Autonomus of México; Campus Iztacala)
Abstract: The most important function of language in children with Down’ Syndrome is being able to communicate with others, express their wishes, feelings, tears, etc, by two ways: a very expressive and significant gesture (non verbal), and verbal way. This permits them to receive adequate information and correct message. The first step in the treatment was to establish pre linguistic basics: capacity for discriminate stimulus auditive and visuals: the second consisted of establishing the babbling; the third was to stable the expression organization and the fourth step was to practice acknowledgement on the immediate world; the fifth step was to acquire the symbolic value and pronunciation of the word. The Sixth step was the correction of oral- facial dysfunctions (Perera y Rondal 1997). Method: Participants: Two cases of DS were described. The first case was a boy, 68 ms age before the treatment; and 85 ms after the treatment. The second case was a girl, 28 ms age at the beginning, and when the treatment concluded she was 73 ms old. Socioeconomic level was medium-low for both cases. They had never attended to any psychological treatment. Instruments: Checklist on Psychological Development (Damián, 2003), and Table of obtained scores of this instrument. Material: mirror, balls, puzzles, stories, music, singing songs, drawings, etc. Location: Work spaces at the Clinic in the Campus. Treatment: a) First Evaluation Phase: the Checklist of psychological development in language and socialization area. b) Intervention Phase, consisted in training language and communication skills through games and activities with physical, verbal, sensorial, and tactile aids, based on imitation and performing tasks from easy to difficult complexity. c) Second Evaluation Phase same Checklist of psychological development in cognitive area was re-applied. Results and Conclusions: Data showed important quantitative and qualitative advances in the expressive, receptive language, and the socialization area in both children, after the intervention. Therefore, the procedure used was effective, since the children pronounced a word well, and spoke and reached appropriate communication skills.
75. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Promising Behavioral Intervention Strategies.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
AJEET S. CHARATE (Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies), Kimberly A. Shontz (Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies)
Abstract: To educate participants regarding the cause, diagnostic criteria, and life-long effects of (FASD) on the individual and their families. FAS is the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation and birth defects. FASD is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur when a fetus is exposed to alcohol. The effects include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The diagnosis of FASD is not widely known and many individuals are misdiagnosed with a mental illness, behavior disorder, or learning disability. General treatment strategies for working with individuals with FASD include promoting structure, predictability, and a monitored level of stimulation. Using multi-modality instruction is also important. Behavior analysis has been conspicuously absent in the literature for treatment of FASD. This is obviated by the very popular claim amongst the FASD professional community that people with this disorder “cannot learn from consequences.” This poster will present a broader understanding of the aforementioned diagnostic, demographic, and typical behavioral features of FASD, and will also discuss the effective use of consequences in a treatment milieu which utilizes Clinical Behavior Analysis interventions.
76. Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior Exhibited by Children Diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN ELIZABETH JANN (University of Maryland, Baltimore County/Kennedy Krieger Institute), Sung Woo Kahng (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Nicole Lynn Hausman (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University), Mandy M. Triggs (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: CHARGE syndrome is a genetic disorder defined as a non-random association of anomalies (Coloboma, Heart defect, Atresia choanae, retarded growth and development, Genital hypoplasia, Ear anomalies/deafness). Many children diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome engage in problem behaviors (e.g., self-injury, aggression, property destruction, tantrums, and noncompliance) that interfere with skill acquisition and social interaction. Treatment data are presented for three individuals diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome admitted to an inpatient facility for the treatment of problem behaviors. Client 1 engaged in self-injurious behavior (SIB), eye poking, aggression, disruption, and dropping which were found to be maintained automatically and by escape from demands. Treatment consisted of extinction, a token economy, functional communication, and noncontingent access to tangible items. Client 2 was an 11-year old male who engaged in SIB, aggression, disruption, g-tube pulling, and spitting to terminate adult attention as well as to escape demand situations. Treatment consisted of extinction, a token economy, and a levels treatment. Client 3 was a 9-year old girl who engaged in SIB and aggression to gain access to physical attention. Treatment consisted of extinction, DRA, response interruption, noncontingent attention, and functional communication. Individualized treatments for each client effectively reduced problem behaviors and increased appropriate alternative behaviors.
78. The Outcome of ABA Solution Program for the children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KENJI OKUDA (Ohka Gakuen University)
Abstract: The ABA Solution Program was introduced to not only Japan but also other foreign countries in the past five years. The outcome of our programs will be shown with long-term data. The data indicate that IQ or DQ score was increased, and CARS score was decreased in almost all participants. The contents of this program and outcome will be reviewed.
79. Relations between Behavioural Measures and Other Factors in Impulsivity in Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA CLAIRE BRADFORD (University of Plymouth), Phil Gee (University of Plymouth), Stephen Lea (University of Exeter)
Abstract: This study examined factors that related to impulsiveness in adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties. A simple computerised choice-task was designed in which different delays and outcome values were presented and subjective indifference points recorded. Data obtained using this task were compared with other measures relating to impulsiveness, including self-report scales, with classroom observations of impulsive behaviour, and with measures of reflection and mindfulness. The relationship between reflection and impulsiveness is not clear, but it might be expected that more reflective individuals are less impulsive. If this is the case, the possibility of increasing reflection through techniques such as mindfulness training may arise.
80. Emotion Recognition Accuracy and Fluency in Preschoolers with Developmental Delay.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREW M. DOWNS (Central Washington University), Kathryn Rau (Central Washington University), Elida Fernandez (Central Washington University)
Abstract: Facial emotion recognition is a basic skill that facilitates social and emotional competence, and children with developmental disabilities are at-risk for deficits in emotion recognition skill. This longitudinal study was designed to assess changes over time in emotion recognition accuracy, matching accuracy, and matching fluency across different emotions in young children with developmental delay. Participants were ten preschoolers with developmental delay. Five were randomly assigned to the experimental group and assessed at six evenly spaced time intervals over a six-month period, and five were assessed only at the beginning and end of the study. Participants in the experimental group generally showed improvements in recognition and matching accuracy across all four emotions (happy, sad, mad, and scared), but not in matching fluency. Significant variability in change over time across participants and across emotions was noted. Children in the control group did not show any consistent gains in recognition accuracy, matching accuracy, or fluency over the six-month time period. Results suggested that emotion recognition skills may develop fairly rapidly in children with developmental disabilities during the preschool years, and that such growth may be facilitated by exposure to regular performance assessments such as the one used in this study.



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