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 #471
#472 International Poster Session (AUT)
Monday, May 26, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
1. Using Video Simulation of Social Situation to Help Social Happiness for Children with ASD.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JEONGIL KIM (Daegu Cyber University, South Korea), Yunhee Shin (Daegu University, South Korea), Mihyang Choi (Daegu University, South Korea), Eun-Jung Lee (Daegu University, South Korea), Jung Hee Park (Daegu University, South Korea), Kyung Hee Kang (Daegu University, South Korea), Min Kyoung Cho (Daegu University, South Korea), Won Ok Gu (Daegu University, South Korea)
Abstract: The present study examined the effect of utilizing a video simulation of social situation to help children with autism spectrum disorders to have social happiness. Five boys with autism, in the range of 6–7 years old, who were reported as showing qualitative deficits in socialization and social skill deficits. Using a mixed experimental design of a multiple baseline design and an alternative-treatments design, each subject's social contexts and detailed situations were simulated and modeled on a video for the subject. The study had outcomes that the intervention improved appropriate social skills and social adaptiveness with all the subjects. Also, the intervention was a cost-effective and time-saving tool compared with other interventions for children with autism.
2. Step-Wise Parent Training to Generalize Feeding Treatment Gains to Caregivers.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TAIRA LANAGAN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), John Galle (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Parent training is an important component in pediatric feeding programs. Given the implications of inadequate parent training, research concentrating on the stimulus generalization of behaviors learned with therapists to environments including parents is warranted. Parent training using the written protocol, verbal instruction, modeling by therapist, rehearsal and post-session feedback has shown to produce high levels of treatment integrity (Mueller, et al., 2003). The purpose of the current study was to generalize feeding behaviors learned with a clinical team to the client’s parent. The child’s feeding protocol was broken down into stepped components which designated parent and therapist feeding responsibilities. As the parent reached mastery criterion for each step, her required responsibilities in the feeding treatment increased as therapists’ responsibilities decreased. Results indicate that although the parents delivered prompts and consequences consistent with the training protocol, the client’s behavior established with the therapists did not immediately generalize with the parents. Inter-observer agreement was collected during this evaluation.
3. A Further Comparison of Contingent versus Non-contingent Reinforcement Delivery.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAUL A. NIESEN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), David E. Kuhn (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Schedules of reinforcement delivery are crucial towards the success of function-based interventions. Contingent delivery (e.g., FCT) and non-contingent delivery (e.g., NCR) are commonly employed schedules in applied settings. A primary difference between the two schedules is control over reinforcement delivery. Some research has demonstrated that control is not critical (Kahng et al., 1997), while other research has shown that control is preferred (Hanley et al., 1997). In the current study, contingent delivery of reinforcement within a comprehensive communication-based intervention was compared to a yoked non-contingent schedule with a 12-year-old male diagnosed with autism. During the initial phase of the analysis, the time of presentation and specific item presented in the non-contingent condition was yoked to the item requested and the time of the request in the preceding contingent delivery condition. In the contingent delivery condition, the participant used a communication system (i.e., Print & Communicate) to request both edible items and leisure activities. High rates of problem behavior were observed in the non-contingent delivery condition when compared to the contingent delivery condition, suggesting control over reinforcer delivery was important for this individual. Interobserver agreement (IOA) data were collected for at least 33% of sessions and averaged above 80% for all responses.
4. Increasing Acceptance Using Differential Reinforcement Across Multiple Foods.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOHN GALLE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Feeding disorders, characterized by inadequate food or liquid consumption and extreme selectivity, are seen in a significant proportion of children with developmental disabilities (Munk 1994). Differential reinforcement and escape extinction are two common interventions that have been proven to be effective in increasing food acceptance (Coe et al, 1997, Patel et al., 2002, Piazza et al., 2003). In the current investigation, a treatment package of differential reinforcement and escape extinction was implemented in a multiple baseline design across foods to increase acceptance in a child with a pediatric feeding disorder. Results indicate that the treatment package was needed to increase acceptance to very high levels for all foods. However, some amount of generalization across foods was able to be seen before the treatment package was implemented. Data were collected on acceptance and swallowing. Inter-observer data was collected during this evaluation.
5. Decreasing Inappropriate Mealtime Behaviors through Competing Non-Contingent Reinforcement.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ARTHUR E. WILKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Katharine Gutshall (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), John Galle (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Inappropriate behaviors during mealtimes are often associated with children with feeding disorders (Munk 1994). Even if food acceptance is no longer an issue, behaviors such as banging on the table, taking food off of the fork and standing up in the chair cause parents significant stress and limit the places the child would be welcome to eat. The use of non-contingent competing stimuli have been shown to reduce other inappropriate behaviors such as pica (Piazza et al, 1998, 2002, Roane et al, 2003). The purpose of the current treatment was to decrease the rate of inappropriate behaviors during a meal in a child with a pediatric feeding disorder. Competing stimuli were matched to assumed sensory input that the inappropriate behavior produced. Data were collected on the frequency of inappropriate behaviors during each meal, as well as independent eating. Results demonstrated that the child’s inappropriate behaviors decreased significantly with non-continent reinforcement. Interobserver data was collected during this evaluation.
6. Feeding Problems in Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Literature.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SOYEON KANG (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Feeding problems resulting in serious health issues have been one of the challenges for parents and teachers of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; Kerwin, Eicher, & Gelsinger, 2005; Legge, 2002; Raiten & Massaro, 1986). Therefore, effective intervention for this issue is getting attention. This paper reviews 13 studies examining the interventions for feeding problems in children with ASD from birth to eight years old, published in peer reviewed journals between 1997 and 2007. The procedures of the interventions have been classified into three categories: (a) antecedent manipulations, (b) combined consequences, and (c) multicomponent intervention. The findings of the studies suggested that the three types of intervention procedures were effective for feeding problems of children with ASD. The findings are discussed in relation to intervention context, implementation of functional behavioral assessment, and social validity. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
7. A Comparison of Simultaneous and Consecutive Electronic Media Reinforcement for Reducing Food Selectivity.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KELI A. KROK (May Institute), Erica R. Webster (May Institute), Shannon Kay (May Institute)
Abstract: This study examined the effects of two reinforcement procedures on the food selectivity of a 10-year-old boy with autism. An alternating treatments design was used to compare procedures for reintroducing foods that had once been consumed by the child, but were currently refused. At baseline, the child refused to consume the foods, then, the foods were introduced using a shaping/changing criterion procedure. For two of the foods, the child was reinforced with the movie after making contact with or consuming the food item depending on the criterion; for the other two foods the child was reinforced with the movie during the time that he made contact with or was actively consuming the foods. Dependent measures included both trials to criterion and frequency of problem behaviors including vomiting.
8. Increasing Play Initiations by Embedding them within a Photographic Activity Schedule.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH KINGERY (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Photographic activity schedules have been an effective tool for teaching independent play, academics, and self-help skills. More recently, the use of photographic activity schedules in developing social skills with children with disabilities has been examined. The present study employed the use of photographic activity schedules to teach three children with autism spectrum disorders to initiate play with peers. All three children had large verbal and play repertoires, but did not initiate with peers. A multiple probe across subjects design was employed across five phases. Initial baseline data on play initiations was taken both during free play in the natural environment and with the initial presentation of a photographic activity schedule. After training, frequency of play initiations was assessed in the classroom, with and without a schedule. Results suggest that photographic activity schedules may be an effective tool for teaching play initiations. These results also extend the literature on teaching children with autism to interact socially with their peers.
9. Increasing the Eating of Non-Preferred/Novel Foods in a 2.5-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GILAH HABER (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Many children with autism eat a limited repertoire of food and often resist trying novel foods. The present study examined the effectiveness of embedding a pictorial representation of an eating routine into a visual activity schedule to increase the intake of non-preferred and novel foods. The procedure involved creating an activity schedule where the activities consisted of non-preferred and novel foods embedded between two preferred foods, with the final preferred food also serving as reinforcer for completion of the whole schedule. The present study used an errorless procedure to systematically shape and reinforce independent food consumption. The results demonstrate that the child was able to increase acceptance of both novel and previously non-preferred food items.
10. Negative Reinforcement (Escape) and Token Economy.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANE MORTON (Marcus Autism Center), William G. Sharp (Marcus Autism Center), David L. Jaquess (Marcus Autism Center), Philip Cook (Marcus Autism Center), Brian M. Hinchcliffe (Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Previous research has suggested that one function of inappropriate mealtime behaviors is to provide escape from the meal setting (O’Brien, Repp, Williams, & Christophersen, 1991). Treatments based on escape from aversive stimuli (e.g., spoon presentation) during meals have been demonstrated to be an effective means to increase appropriate mealtime behaviors (Ahearn, et al., 1996). Previous studies have also used escape from the meal itself as a means to increase rate of acceptance (Kahng, Boscoe, & Byrne, 2003). However, this line of research has not focused on behaviors that follow acceptance which contribute to the duration of a meal, such as mouth cleans. Using a changing criterion design, the current study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention that used negative reinforcement (i.e., escape from meal) and a token economy to decrease the latency to clean mouth and meal duration. Results indicated latency to clean mouth gradually decreased from 108 seconds to less than 30 seconds, while the number of target bites systematically increased from 5 to 20 bites. Data support the use of negative reinforcement and token economy to reinforce appropriate mealtime behaviors such as mouth cleans. Follow-up data are reported as well.
11. The Use of Siblings as Establishing Operations in Feeding Refusal Programs for Two Children.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CYNTHIA R. BLACKLEDGE (Lizard Children's Center/UHS Schools), Michelle A. Furminger (Lizard Children's Center), Elizabeth Watson (Lizard Children's Centre)
Abstract: Feeding refusal, both food and liquid, has been investigated more thoroughly over the past twenty years. Previous research suggests that positive reinforcement alone is insufficient for increasing consumption, and that escape extinction often is necessary to increase and maintain food acceptance. NCR may decrease inappropriate behavior for some participants in feeding programs. In this present study two children, ages 4 and 7 years, were participating in feeding refusal programs with the goal of establishing flexibility in their eating and drinking repertoires. Escape extinction with NCR was implemented. Due to the challenging behaviors observed with each child and the concerns of program implementation with family members, an additional component, each child’s sibling joining the program and functioning as an establishing operation, was added to the intervention. The number of food items, the variety of food items and the rate of mastery for food items with each child increased. In addition, challenging behaviours decreased.
12. Treatment Outcome after Admission to an Interdisciplinary Feeding Disorders Program: Comparison of Children with and without Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PETER GIROLAMI (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Rinita Laud Roberts Laud (Louisiana State University/Kennedy Krieger Institute), Aaron D. Lesser (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Tina R. Goldsmith (Western Michigan University), James H. Boscoe (Columbus Organization), Charles S. Gulotta (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Recent research has focused on the differences between children with autism and other subgroups of children with feeding disorders. For example, studies have demonstrated that children with autism tend to be more selective, consume narrower diets, and exhibit highly idiosyncratic eating behavior than other children with feeding issues. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical outcomes of a six-year sample (N=32) of children diagnosed with autism after receiving intensive behavioral treatment for feeding disorders. Outcomes for these children were compared with outcomes of a group of children (n=32) without autism matched on several variables (e.g., age, gender, admission date). Differences in topography of food refusal, treatment(s) implemented, success of treatment (e.g., increased consumption, greater variety/texture, decreased problem behavior during meals, weight gain, parent satisfaction), and maintenance of treatment gains at follow-up are discussed.
13. Use of Power Cards with a Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI HAGEN (Gonzaga University), Laura A. Swanson (Gonzaga University), K. Mark Derby (Gonzaga University), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), Thomas Ford McLaughlin (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have deficits in understanding social cues and effectively using social skills to interact with others. Some common intervention programs that address deficits are visual supports, scripted speech, and social stories. These interventions have been found to be highly successful in increasing social verbal initiations in children with ASD. Visually cued instruction involves the use of pictographic and written language as an instructional support in structured and natural learning contexts. For example, using scripts has been found to be an effective way to increase communicative initiations between developmentally delayed children and their peers. In addition, social stories have been shown to support individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Social stories are homemade pictographic/written short stories that describe social situations, dictate social responses, and explain social perspectives The intervention termed “Power Cards” use the elements of visual cues, scripted speech, and social stories with preferred self-initiated topics. Specifically, the Power Card serves as a visual aid that incorporates the child’s special interest in teaching appropriate social interactions. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate a functional relationship between the Power Card intervention and social initiation by two students with high functioning autism.
14. Can Children with Autism Learn to Protect Themselves From the Lures of Strangers?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NURGUL AKMANOGLU (Anadolu Üniversitesi), Elif Tekin-Iftar (Anadolu Üniversitesi)
Abstract: The present study was designed to investigate the effects of instructional package consisting of video modeling and community-based teaching arrangement with graduated guidance on teaching children with autism to protect themselves from the lures of strangers. The maintenance and generalization effects of the instructional package were also examined in the study. Furthermore, parents’ opinion regarding the social validity of the study was investigated. A multiple probe design with probe trials across subjects was used in the study. Two males and a female student with autism whose ages were between 7–11 participated into the study. The findings of the study showed that all students learned to protect themselves from the lures of strangers, and maintained the acquired skill 1, 2, and 4 weeks after training and generalized the acquired skills across different settings and persons. Furthermore, it was evident that social validity findings were positive overall in the study. The recommendations for further research will be shared with the audience based on the findings of the study.
15. Play and Joint Attending in Autism: Does a Social Communication Intervention Have an Effect?
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
JENNIFER A. LONCOLA WALBERG (DePaul University), Lesley Craig-Unkefer (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Examining the effect of a social communication intervention on six young urban children with autism, this poster describes changes to play and joint attention. Five boys and one girl, with an age range of six to eight years and a diagnosis of autism, participated in the study. Children were recruited from a Chicago Public School and four of the six children were of minority decent. A single-subject, multiple baseline design was used to determine whether a plan-play-report intervention which targeted social-communication skills was also effective in increasing complexity of play. Unique because twchildren with autism were paired together and received intervention at the same time, results indicated that the intervention was successful in increasing peer-directed commenting, language complexity and diversity, and reducing some inappropriate language. Additionally, the method of providing intervention to two children with autism at the same time resulted in gains for both children. This poster explores the success of th intervention in changing play behaviors which are often notably absent in children with autism. Further this poster looks at pre- and post-intervention levels of joint attending.
16. Teaching Initiation of Conversation to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA BUDZINSKA (Institute for Child Development in Gdansk), Marta Wojcik (Institute for Child Development), Iwona Ruta-Sominka (Institute for Child Development)
Abstract: The study shows the use of script and script fading procedure in teaching initiation of conversation to two four - year old boys with autism. Initiation of conversation was defined as showing an object to the teacher, looking at the person and saying the name of activity or object. A multiple probe design across materials was used to assess the effects of script, script fading and prompting procedures.
17. Use of a Visual Activity Schedule to Promote Interactive Play in Children with ASD.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KATIE H. ARTIANO (BEACON Services), Ann Filer (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Many children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) do not readily acquire play skills. While a wide variety of interventions have been shown to result in the acquisition of these skills, often meaningful interaction may be absent. The current study expanded on the use of activity schedules (McClannahan & Krantz,1999) by using a modified activity schedule format to support interactive activity (social engagement) rather than independent activity. Two children with ASD were taught to make statements, ask questions, and answer questions in the context of a visual activity schedule. The results show that after instruction via the modified activity schedules, the participants generalized these skills to classroom activities where the schedule was neither trained nor present.
18. Use of a Conversation Box to Increase Social/Verbal Interaction in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AMIE HAEGLE (BEACON Services), Ann Filer (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: The spontaneous production of social language is a challenge for many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Ricks & Wing, 1975). Visual supports have been shown to facilitate language production in children with ASD (Sarokoff, Taylor, Poulson, 2001). The current study assessed the effects of a conversation box to support production of social language as well as responses (question asking and answering) to the social bids in two children with ASD. When criterion for learning was met, generalization of social verbal interaction was assessed with untrained topics of conversation, novel peers, and other settings. The results indicated that both prompted and unprompted speech increased as well as generalized to novel contexts when specific strategies were used. This study supports the use of an easily implemented strategy that proved to be as a rapid and effective procedure for teaching complex verbal skills such as conversational speech.
19. Teaching Tone of Voice Discrimination to a 7-Year-Old with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
KARA BERNIER (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Individuals can be taught to discriminate volumes that are soft and loud (Linwood, 2006). Expressive vocal language can vary in pitch from very low to extremely high. Some children who acquire vocal production abilities demonstrate difficul modulating volume and pitch in certain settings. The purpose of this study was to determine if a 7-year-old boy with PDD-NOS could learn to discriminate different voice volumes and pitches in specific environments. The discriminations were taught using visual cues representing a targeted volume and pitch. When the student provided an approximate match of the desired volume and pitch, he was reinforced. Once the child had acquired the ability to correctly match volume and pitch to the specified visual cue, the visual cues were introduced in the targeted settings. The cues were provided on a fixed interval schedule in an effort to support correct volume and pitch as well as increasing vocal production in these settings. The procedure resulted in an increase in the frequency of appropriate volume and pitch speech sounds, a decrease in non-desired volumes and pitches and a collateral benefit of increased interaction with peers due to increased intelligibility.
20. Improving Social Skills for Children with PDD and their Typical Peers in a Reverse Integration Preschool Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA STUART (Weymouth Public Schools), Kim Klemek (BEACON Services), Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
Abstract: A common approach for improving social skills for children with PDD is to increase their opportunities to interact with typically developing peers. In public schools, this frequently entails integrating children with PDD into general education settings or including typical peers in special education settings. In the present study, several interventions designed to promote socials skills in three children with PDD were evaluated. During Experiment 1 a reversal design was used to compare the effects of the presence of typical peers in the classroom with and without contingent reinforcement. In Experiment 2, a multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of a social skills training program for children with PDD. Results of Experiment 1 suggested that reinforcement alone was not sufficient to improve social skills for the students with PDD. Results of Experiment 2 indicated that the treatment package resulted in increased initiating and responding by the children with PDD. Implications for providing social skills training for children with PDD within an integrated setting are discussed.
21. The Use of Thematic Scripts to Decrease Verbal Perseverations and Increase Conversation Skills in an Individual with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HESTER BEKISZ (The Genesis School), Piera Interdonati (The Genesis School), Michelle Nucci (The Genesis School), Mary Bainor (The Genesis School), Mary Ellen McDonald (Eden II Programs/The Genesis School)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects of the use of thematic scripts in a conversation book to decrease verbal perseverations and to increase on topic conversation skills in a male adolescent student diagnosed with autism. The book contained a number of thematic scripts about multiple preferred topics. During baseline, the student selected both a topic and a teacher with whom he would like to talk. The conversation book was not available. Topic maintenance, mean length of utterance (MLU) and verbal perseverations were recorded during baseline. During the treatment condition, the student was provided the conversation book in a setting outside of his regular classroom and practiced the scripts with a staff member who was not a member of his classroom. He selected a topic and then used scripts from the book to have a conversation with the staff member. The staff member reciprocated conversation after the script was read by the participant. Generalization of these skills to the classroom with novel adults was also recorded. Results indicated that there was a systematic increase observed in a number of conversational skills after implementation of the conversation book, as well as a decrease in verbal perseverations.
22. A Comparison of the Use of Visual Cues and Video Modeling to Increase Social Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY LOOKNER (BEACON Services), Amy Muehlberger (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: The use of visual cues (text prompts combine with a picture) was compared with a video modeling procedure to increase social behavior (initiation of greetings) in a 4-year-old boy with autism. The procedures were compared using an alternate treatments design. During the visual cueing sessions, a visual sentence strip with the word "Hi" and a photograph of a familiar person was placed in front of the participant one at a time paired with a verbal greeting. In the video modeling sessions, the participant watched a video of a different familiar person saying, "Hi___ (participant's name)”. The number of trials to mastery criterion for greetings in each condition was compared. The results suggest that both procedures were effective in supporting the acquisition of greetings.
23. Video Modeling Procedures to Increase Food Acceptance in a Young Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEFANIE ALLEN (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Video modeling is a simple, inexpensive, effective technique to teach children with disabilities a variety of skills. Video modeling has been used to teach pretend play skills, toileting routines, and literacy skills. This study evaluated the use of a video modeling procedure to increase food acceptance in one child at home. Prior to intervention, the participant only ate chips, grilled cheese, and French fries. The participant also had a history of gagging at the sight, taste, and smell of all other foods. The participant was exposed to a video that showed the experimenter eating a particular food. When the video ended the participant was told "it is time to eat your banana." The banana was already placed on the table in the same room the video was being viewed. The procedure was successful in increasing the number of food items eaten without gagging. These findings suggest that video modeling may be an effective technique for increasing food acceptance in some children with autism.
24. Teaching Functional Gesture Use to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JAMIE WALDVOGEL (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), John D Hoch (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), Jacqueline M. Harth (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), James E. O'Neill (Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.), Nancy G. Schussler (Behavioral Dimensions - MPLS)
Abstract: Although impairment in gesture use has been recognized as a core deficit in Autism Spectrum Disorders, few studies have systematically evaluated whether children with autism can be taught the use of communicative gestures through discrete trials procedures. This study uses a multiple baseline across gestures design replicated with N=3 participants to determine whether gestures can be taught using a standard discrete trials approach. Further, the study examines whether sequential modification of the discriminative stimulus that evokes the gesture may increase generalization. Child learning was examined using visual analysis augmented by two other commonly used indices of multiple baseline performance: Percentage of Non-Overlapping Data (PND) and Percentage of Non-Zero Data (PNZD). Results showed that all three participants learned some basic communicative gestures and quickly learned to generalize the gestures to novel prompts and in some cases novel therapists. Results are discussed in terms of functional communication training theoretical approach in which gestures provide a lower response effort method to request items and assistance from caregivers that may compete with problem behavior.
25. The Effects of Multiple-Exemplar Instruction on the Acquisition of Empathy.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE A. PIECHOWICZ (Columbia University Teachers College), Tracy Reilly-Lawson (Columbia University Teachers College)
Abstract: This study tested the effects of multiple-exemplar instruction implemented to teach empathy. Five elementary- school-aged children, aged nine and ten, diagnosed with developmental disabilities participated in this study. The study was a time-lag multiple-probe design. The participants responded to 3 questions: “What happened?” “How does the person feel?” and “What could you do to help?” Pre-probes were conducted on student responses to these questions to pictures and real-life situations. Intervention consisted of rotating responses to these questions in instructional sessions to 4 sets of 5 pictures. The results showed a significant increase in correct responses to empathy questions.
26. Statistical Comparison of Three Effect Sizes of Peer-Mediated Interventions for Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JIE ZHANG (Tennessee Technological University), John J. Wheeler (Tennessee Technological University), George Chitiyo (Tennessee Technological University)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster presentation is to investigate the differences among three effect sizes of peer-mediated interventions for promoting social interactions among young children from birth to 8-year-old diagnosed with autism. A meta-analysis using single-subject studies was conducted. A total number of 45 studies from 19 journals between 1977 and 2006 were analyzed for calculation of effect sizes. The regression-based method (Allison & Gorman, 1993) and another two non-regression methods including percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) and d (Gierick, 1984) were used to calculate the effect sizes for each study. The overall intervention effect sizes between the intervention phase and baseline, the overall follow-up effect sizes between the follow-up phase and baseline, the overall generalization effect sizes between the generalization phase and baseline, and the intervention effect sizes due to different intervention types were conducted using each of the three methods for statistical comparison. Pearson’s correlations were calculated between each of the PND, d, and the regression-based effect sizes in order to determine the degree of relationship.
27. Generalization Effects of Social Story Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER ABRAHAM (The University of Southern Mississippi), Britney Mauldin (The University of Southern Mississippi), Heather Sterling-Turner (University of Southern Mississippi)
Abstract: Social Stories™ (Gray, 2004) is a relatively new intervention designed to reduce inappropriate behaviors in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. While there are only a few well-designed studies, there is preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of Social Stories. However, this intervention has typically been implemented in one target setting. As a result, there are no data to support whether or not the effects of Social Stories will generalize to other settings. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of Social Stories in improving the social skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorders while systematically programming for and assessing generalization.
28. Teaching Foundational Perspective-Taking to Children with Autism Using Relational Frame Theory.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EVELYN R. GOULD (Centre for Early Autism Treatment), Stephen J Noone (University of Wales, Bangor)
Abstract: An inability to take the perspective of another appears to lie at the root of the social and communicative difficulties in children with autism. However, few research findings have been clearly translated into effective clinical interventions. A Relational Frame Theory (RFT) account may provide a promising alternative to the traditional “Theory of Mind” (ToM) approach. A procedure adapted from RFT, was used to teach gaze-following in three autistic children, aged 2 to 5 years. This is thought to be an early constituent behaviour of broader perspective-taking skills. A multiple baseline across participants evaluated its effectiveness. All children failed to demonstrate gaze-following during baseline. Intervention resulted in two participants demonstrating match-to- sample relations indicative of following eye- and face-gaze, and the third demonstrating gains after an additional error-correction procedure was introduced. Generalisation of skills to a more natural environment was limited for all participants. The mixed results observed across participants highlight the complexity of developing effective interventions. Findings must be interpreted with caution, however, the study may provide a starting point for new insights and the development of effective perspective-taking interventions for children with autism.
29. Teaching Employability Skills to Individuals with Autism: A Synthesis of the Literature.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KYLE BENNETT (Florida Atlantic University), Charles Dukes (Florida Atlantic University)
Abstract: A systematic review of the literature was conducted from 1990 to 2007. A general search was conducted of databases using specific search terms (see below). Databases included, ERIC: FirstSearch, Education Full Text: H. W. Wilson, and PsychINFO. Common key words were used to identify possible intervention studies for analysis. These keywords and phrases included: employment/employability, training and employment/employability, training and vocational, teaching and employment/employability, teaching and vocational, video prompting and adolescent/adult, video modeling and adolescent/adult, static picture and adolescent/adult, audio recording and adolescent/adult. In addition, specific journals were selected for “hand searches.” Each journal selected has been known to publish intervention studies and/or program descriptions focusing on individuals with autism and related disabilities. All issues of seven journals known to report intervention studies and program descriptions were searched from 1990 or the first year of publication to the year 2007. These journals included: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Focus on Autism and Related Disabilities, Behavior Modification, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. There were two goals of the review: (a) identify evidence-based interventions used to teach employability skills to individuals with ASD (secondary and post-secondary) and (b) identify program descriptions in the literature that reported outcome data. The investigators developed an original coding instrument and subsequently analyzed intervention studies meeting specific criteria. Results of the review indicate that very few studies are currently available in the literature. These studies are reviewed, and implications of the gaps in literature are discussed.
30. Increasing Accuracy with Vocational Tasks: Using a Stimulus Prompt to Teach Numeral to Quantity Correspondence.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
BARBARA HOFFMANN (Alpine Learning Group), Melissa Kahn (Alpine Learning Group), Caroline Elizabeth LaMere (Alpine Leaning Group), Katherine T. Redden (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: Adolescents with autism may have limited opportunities for vocational activities due to the lack of prerequisites of certain academic skills. For example, an inability to match quantity to numeral can prohibit a learner from participating in tasks that require him to attend to amounts of items (e.g., restocking supplies). A reversal design was used to investigate the use of a tally counter as a stimulus prompt to teach three adolescents with autism to match quantity to numeral when getting a designated number of items during vocational tasks. During baseline, each learner was presented with a box of items (e.g., spoons), a numeral card, and an instruction to get the amount and place the items in a bin. During intervention, learners used a tally counter to “mark” each item as they placed it in the bin, and continue until the number on the tally counter matched the number on the card. Results indicated that use of the tally counter enabled participants to accurately match quantities to larger numerals when completing vocational tasks.
31. Teaching Adolescents with Autism to Mand for Materials During Vocational Tasks.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KARISSA MASUICCA (Alpine Learning Group), Laura Jane Tolve (Alpine Learning Group), Erin B. Richard (Alpine Learning Group), Hannah Hoch (Alpine Learning Group), Bridget A. Taylor (Alpine Learning Group)
Abstract: An important employment goal for individuals with autism is to utilize natural supports (e.g., coworkers) found at the job site. A necessary step in reaching that goal is to teach adolescent learners to approach job supervisors for assistance, such as when the learner does not have enough of a material to complete the assigned task. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an audiotaped prompt to teach learners with autism to ask for more materials during vocational tasks. The participants were four adolescents with autism who attended a behaviorally-based school program for learners with autism. Graduated guidance was used to teach the participants to approach an adult. An audiotaped stimulus was used to prompt learners to ask for more materials when the materials ran out while completing a vocational task. The audiotaped prompt was eventually faded. A multiple baseline design was used across four learners. Results indicated that after intervention, learners were more likely to independently approach an adult and request assistance. Interobserver agreement data were collected during 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%. Results are discussed in terms of future research for increasing learners’ independence in job settings.
33. Training "Advanced" Tact for Children with Developmental Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
YUNO TAKEUCHI (Keio University), Hiroshi Sugasawara (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: One of the characteristics of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) is said to be detail-captured cognitive style. But few studies investigated this tendency in quality of tact, in fact they make mention only about details of a picture or not. The present study investigated (1) whether there are any differences between students with ASD and typically-developed in the frequency of detail tact, and (2) the effects of tact training with story-mapping procedure, teaching strategies of tact to children with ASD. Three students with ASD aged 5-8 years and three MA-matched typically-developed children participated in this study. In assessment, participants were required to describe two pictures freely for evaluation of quantity and quality of tact. As the intervention participants were trained with story-mapping procedure, they were required to sort cards of description of the training picture according to the strategy, from global to local and from up to down, and read them. As a result, students in ASD group describe more detail in pre-assessment. After intervention, students showed better performance for not only the training picture but also the never-trained picture. The results suggest that story-mapping procedure is effective to teach advanced tact skills to children with developmental disorders.
34. Teaching Students the Value of a Buck: An Application of the Matching Law.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VALERIE A. EVANS (Devereux C.A.R.E.S.), Virginia Plum (Devereux C.A.R.E.S.)
Abstract: The matching law (Herrstein, 1961) has been validated as an effective teaching tool for students with developmental disabilities (i.e., Hoch, et al, 2002; Mace, Mauro, Boyajian, & Eckert, 1997). This study applied the matching law to teach adolescents with autism the value of money, an important skill for the transition to adulthood. All participants were students at a private school for autism. For each trial, participants were presented with a list of work task choices, each with a different whole dollar pay assignment. Upon completion of a chosen work task, participants were paid in dollars and then provided with the opportunity to buy a reinforcer of their choice. Reinforcers were assigned prices based on a preference assessment conducted prior to the study. Highly preferred reinforcers were assigned high dollar prices and less preferred reinforcers cost the least. A number line was used to count out the dollar bills and visually mediated the relationship between earnings and spending. As students learned to discriminate higher-paying jobs, dollars and differential pricing assignments were adopted as a token economy used throughout the school day for vocational work tasks and community-based instruction. Results will be presented and implications will be discussed.
35. A Comparison of Two Backward Chaining Procedures to Teach Independent Play Skills.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DANIEL B. SHABANI (Shabani Institute), Ashley Smeester (Shabani Institute)
Abstract: Independent play and social behavior are important parts of early intervention programs given that one of the most significant aspects of autism involves deficits in social development. The purpose of the current investigation was to evaluate two variations of a backward chaining procedure to teach independent play skills (i.e., completing a puzzle). The first condition set a time requirement for completion of each backward chaining step. The second condition required that a specific percentage of the puzzle be completed before additional pieces were removed. Both procedures resulted in participants learning to complete a puzzle. Implications for early intervention programs will be discussed.
36. Enhancing Attention to Stimuli to Facilitate Conditional Discrimination.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
AARON J. FISCHER (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Melissa N. Hale (University of Miami), Jennifer Stella Durocher (University of Miami), Michael Alessandri (University of Miami)
Abstract: Applied clinical work has shown that attending to relevant stimuli is oftentimes a difficult skill for learners with developmental disabilities, and can interfere with the acquisition of conditional discriminations. While observing and attending behavior are considered necessary for discrimination learning, strategies to improve attending are somewhat limited. The present study evaluated the effects of an intervention to increase attending, as a means for improving receptive identification discrimination of picture cards. Using an ABA design, the participant was required, in the intervention phase, to engage in a more effortful response resulting in improved performance during conditional discrimination training. Results from the present study showed that reinforcement contingencies alone were not sufficient to increase attending behavior and that requiring the participant to engage in a more effortful response improved performance during the conditional discrimination task. These preliminary data showed that increasing the response effort may have played a role in the emergence of attending behavior during a conditional discrimination task.
37. Teaching a Child with Autism to Describe Features of Objects.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN BERGSTROM (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: One skill that some children with autism lack is the ability to talk about and describe their environment. This poster will describe a method used to teach children with autism to describe objects. One child with a diagnosis of autism was included in this study. A multiple baseline design across targets was used. The child was presented with 1 of 3 pictures in a discrete trial training (DTT) format, and asked to “tell about it”. A most-to-least prompting procedure was used to teach descriptors for each target. Effects of the teaching procedures are discussed.
38. Assessing for Generalization from Receptive Preposition Training to Expressive Preposition Tacting in a Young Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SUSIE BALASANYAN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: “Receptive” and “expressive” language training is a core component of early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism and prepositions are a common content area targeted. However, little previous research has evaluated procedures for teaching prepositions to children with autism. Further, little is known about the relation between receptive and expressive language and few studies have evaluated it in children with autism. In this study, we taught receptive prepositions to a young child with autism and assessed for generalization to tacting of the same prepositions. Generalization to tacting did not occur and direct training was required to establish tacts. Results suggest that training in receptive responding may not lead to emergence of untrained tacts and that these two repertoires may be functionally independent, at least in early learners.
39. A Comparison of Discrete Trial and Fluency Training to Teach Sight Words.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICKIE LAU (California State University, Los Angeles; Autism Behavior Consultants), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles), Helen Donnelly (Autism Behavior Consultants ), Heather Unger (Autism Behavior Consultants), Carolyn Leigh Zemlick (Behavioral Building Blocks, Inc. (B3) & California State University, Los Angeles), Marissa R. Martinez (California State University, Los Angeles), Veronica Oneto (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether children with autism have a higher acquisition and retention rate of sight words when Discrete Trial Training (DTT) or Fluency Training (FT) is utilized. Three elementary aged students, previously diagnosed with autism, were taught to expressively label sight words using a DTT format and a FT format. A standard multielement with a multiple baseline across participants was used to compare treatment effects. A comparison per treatment of the total number of sight words learned (acquisition) were contrasted between DTT and FT. To assess retention, a between-treatments comparison of the total number of sight words retained at 5 days, 10 days, and 15 days post intervention were conducted. Results are discussed with respect to the benefits of improving acquisition rates and retention of sight words for children with autism.
40. Comparing the Effects of Single- and Multiple-Target Trials in Teaching Skills to Children Diagnosed with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTINA VARGO (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Nicholas Vanselow (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire), Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
Abstract: Children with autism generally have difficulty communicating with others. Therapists working with these children must decide how to most effectively teach verbal behavior. This research focuses on two teaching procedures. The first is to teach one target until mastery before beginning a second target. The second is to teach multiple targets at the same time. The two procedures will be compared in an experimental single-subject design. Results will suggest differences between procedures regarding errors during teaching, training time, the number of trials, generalization, and maintenance.
41. Comparing Verbal, Textual and Auditory Cues to Increase Social Language in an 11 Year Old with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHANIE BEARD (BEACON Services), David M. Corcoran (BEACON Services)
Abstract: The subject of this study was an 11-year-old boy with a diagnosis of autism who inconsistently responded to social solicitations (e.g. “Hi, how are you today?” or “What did you do in gym today?”) from adults and peers. In addition he virtually never independently initiated social interactions. Three different topographies of prompting social language were compared: textual prompts, verbal prompts and a combination auditory-visual prompt (a talking picture book). The dependent measures for solicited social interactions were correct responding (verbal response matching prompts), number of trials to fade prompts, and unprompted social language and interactions. Social interactions were taught with a variety of both adults and peers and in two settings (home and school). Data will be presented comparing correct responding, trials to criterion (fading of prompts), unsolicited social interactions and comparisons between peers and adults and home and school settings.
43. Comparison of Progressive Time Delay and Errorless Teaching.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIN LESLEY MCCOLE (Vanderbilt University), Erin M. Elfers (Vanderbilt University), Mark Wolery (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: The effectiveness and efficiency of a progressive time-delay and errorless teaching procedure are being compared. Four preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders participated. Target skills were receptive (1 participant) and expressive (2 participants) identification of object labels, and spelling words using a keyboard (1 participant). An adapted alternating treatments design is being used. For each participant, one set of target behaviors was taught with a progressive time-delay procedure; and a second equally difficult set of target ehaviors was taught using an errorless teaching procedure. A third behavior set was identified and probed before and after instruction to detect maturation and history threats. The design includes four sequentially implemented phases: (a) initial probe condition (pre-test/baseline), (b) comparison of the two instructional procedures in alternating daily sessions, (c) a post-test probe condition, and (d) maintenance condition. Efficiency is being measured by number of minutes of instruction, trials, sessions to criterion; and the number and percentage of instructor and participant errors. Two participants are completed and two are being taught. Preliminary results indicate both procedures were effective and small differences exist on efficiency measures. Findings will be discussed in terms of selecting instructional strategies.
44. Behavioral Interventions for Improving Accuracy of Response in Academic Tasks for Adolescent with Autism and Developmental Disability.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIRK CHANG (Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13), Lacey R. Bailey (Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13), Jonathan W. Ivy (Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13), James Nicholson Meindl (Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13), Kathryn M Peterson (Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13)
Abstract: Making errors is a part of the learning process. In fact, errors provide learners with feedback and learning opportunities to rectify their incorrect responses. Upon the discovery of an error, a typical learner would be able to independently generate methods to help retain the correct information and respond accurately to the same problem/question in the future. However, it is rather difficult for persons with autism and developmental disability to apply the same ability to acquire skills and/or information. This poster examines the effectiveness of two error-correcting interventions in improving the accuracy of response in academic tasks in an autistic support classroom. The result of the comparative analysis will determine which intervention is more effective.
45. Using Principles of Behavior Analysis to Teach Students with Autism to use AAC.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
LINDSAY RANDLE (Heartspring)
Abstract: Behavior and communication go hand in hand for many students with ASD. If a functional communication system can be created, the frequency of behavior often decreases and the occurrence of appropriate behavior increases. By applying ABA strategies and procedures, you can teach students to use a functional communication system rather than engaging in maladaptive behaviors throughout their day to express themselves. How can a communication system be created for a student that engages in behaviors most of his day? What kind of skills can be probed and tools used to help decide which AAC avenue to take? What happens to the communication system when the behaviors improve? These questions will be answered using examples, data, and case studies of students ages 5–21 with a diagnosis of autism and other multiple disabilities.
46. Aggression and Self-Injury: Snapshots of a Successful Intervention.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES NICHOLSON MEINDL (Intermediate Unit #13)
Abstract: The severe aggressive and self-injurious behaviors of a deaf preteen boy with autism were successfully treated within a special education context. The author will select periods of time from the intervention and examine in-depth the factors related to the overall and ongoing success. Specific procedures and their effects on behavior will be identified, as will seemingly unexplainable changes in behavior.
47. System Changes to Teach a 7-Year-Old Boy with Autism in his Home School.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE L. BANK (Developmental Behavioral Health, Inc.), David B. Hatfield (Developmental Behavioral Health, Inc.)
Abstract: A third party provider was hired by a public school in rural eastern Colorado to consult on the special education program provided to a 7-year-old student with autism. Through observation and interview, key program deficits were identified including no prompt fading, no approximations accepted, preferred objects provided following inappropriate responses and withheld following correct responses, teaching targets lacking mastery of prerequisite skills, and no agreement of mastered performance between school and home. System changes include, but are not limited to job-aid data sheets, an IEP progression data system, in-house skill acquisition and behavior reduction monitoring, cooperative data-based weekly staffing. System samples and progress data will be reported.



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