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 #474
#475 Poster Session (DDA)
Monday, May 26, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
73. Effectiveness of Matching to Sample Training on Teaching Value with the Use of Preferred Items.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KATHY JOHNSON (Gonzaga University), K. Mark Derby (Gonzaga University), Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University), Thomas Ford McLaughlin (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: In this study we hypothesized that with matching stimulus, preferred items, matched with a stimulus, coins with equivalent money values of dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, and penny, a child with developmental disabilities would learn the value of money, more or less. We also hypothesized that the child would generalize that value across pairings. After training, the child was able to determine more or less and generalize across all pairings.
74. Assessing the Effects of Corrective Reading Decoding Level B1.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NANCY MARCHAND-MARTELLA (Eastern Washington University), Ronald C. Martella (Eastern Washington University), James Peterson (Central Valley School District)
Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effectiveness of Corrective Reading Decoding Level B1 on the reading skills of a high school student with developmental disabilities. Pre- and posttest data were collected by administering five reading subtests under three reading clusters from the Woodcock Johnson III: Tests of Achievement as well as one supplemental subtest. Within-program assessments were also completed. Results showed that Corrective Reading Decoding B1 had an educationally significant impact on all three reading clusters as well as on four of the six reading subtests of the WJ III. The results of the within program assessments showed mastery of skills taught within the Corrective Reading Decoding B1 program. Implications for future research are discussed.
75. Compare the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Direct Instruction and Simultaneous Prompting Procedure on Teaching the Concepts.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
SEMIHA CELIK (Ilgi Private Special Education Center), Sezgin Vuran (Anadolu University Egitim Fakultesi)
Abstract: In this study, a parallel treatments design, which is one of the methods of the single-subject research model, was used to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of direct instruction and simultaneous prompting procedure on teaching the concepts of long, old, few and thick to students with intellectual disabilities. All sessions were conducted in a one-to-one teaching arrangement. Sessions were set up two days in a week, and one direct instruction session and one simultaneous prompting session were conducted each day during the intervention period. Daily probe sessions were conducted before every single daily training session. According to the effectiveness results of the study, both direct instruction and simultaneous prompting procedures were effective on 3 of the subjects, while direct instruction was effective on 1 of the subjects. As the two procedures were compared for the efficiency data, simultaneous prompting procedure was found more efficient than direct instruction in terms of the number of trials and incorrect. The subjects maintained the concepts presented to them during instruction and after the 11 mounts to the level of criterion. In this study, social validity data supported the results of the study.
76. Use of Videotaped Modeling to Teach Vocational Skills to Young Adults with Asperger’s.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KEITH D. ALLEN (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Dustin Wallace (Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome experience unemployment and underemployment because of difficulties responding appropriately to the social demands of the workplace. This investigation evaluated the use of videotaped modeling to teach social-vocational skills to individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. Participants were 5 young adults, ages 17-22, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Each participant attended a promotional event at a large discount store. Participants were asked to wear an inflatable costume as a part of the event to promote sales and new products. In a multiple baseline design across subjects, each participant was directly observed at the event wearing no costume, wearing a costume but without training, and then wearing the costume after watching a 5 minute videotape modeling of the social-vocational behaviors required of individuals wearing the costumes (e.g, waving, pointing, shaking hands, dancing, imitating, etc). Results reveal that the participants quickly acquired the targeted social-vocational skills after watching the videotaped model, that the participants and parents found the “job” to be highly rewarding, and that the employers rated the participant performances as competent. Implications are discussed.
77. The Effects of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
KAREN STONE (Southern Illinois University), Rocio Rosales (Southern Illinois University), Ruth Anne Rehfeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The effectiveness of behavioral skills training (BST) has been met with enduring success in teaching several skills. In this study, three individuals with no prior training in implementing the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) were trained in the first three phases of this technique using a BST package. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to evaluate the effectiveness of using a video, written and verbal instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback to teach these skills. Participants were provided with copies of relevant chapters of the PECS manual prior to conducting baseline sessions. Training sessions were conducted with a confederate learner, and followed up with generalization tests conducted with an adult with severe mental retardation. Results for all participants demonstrated significant improvements from baseline performance over a short period of training time.
78. Conditions Related to Simple Discrimination in a Man with Profound Multiple Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANNE K. STULL (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Kimberly D. Willis (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center), Martin Thomas Ivancic (J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center)
Abstract: A highly distractible 34-year-old man with profound multiple handicaps was assessed for his ability to discriminate during a simple discrimination task. His diagnoses included nonvocal, Angleman's Syndrome, recurrent essential tremors, seizures, and swallow deficits necessitating a gastric tube for nourishment. The task involved presenting two items (a toy block and egg) that were counterbalanced on his left and right sides. If he touched the targeted item, he received vocal and physical interaction previously identified as reinforcement for disruptive behavior. Although correct discriminations were negatively correlated with days during which he tremored most of the day, when he was not tremoring he failed to achieve training criterion even when sessions were adjusted to minimize activity following incorrect answers (trainers and materials briefly removed) or when consequence conditions for correct answers were maximized (auditory click or "tag" bridged response and social consequence). When the discrimination task (with tag) was switched to selecting a consistent side (regardless of object) rather than a consistent object (regardless of side), he was able to meet training criterion with few errors when the discrimination objects were placed on the right side, but no training criteria were reached when the objects were placed on the left side.
79. Using Video iPods® to Teach Functional Skills to Students with Special Needs.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSE W. JOHNSON (Northern Illinois University), Toni R. Van Laarhoven (Northern Illinois University), Katie Grider (Plainfield Consolidated Community School District), Kristin Grider (Plainfield Consolidated Community School District)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of using Video iPods® as an instructional tool to teach functional skills to students with developmental disabilities. Specifically, we were interested in determining if video iPods could be effective tools for increasing the independent functioning of students with developmental disabilities. We were also interested in determining if students with developmental disabilities could learn to use video iPods independently. Finally, we were interested in comparing the relative effectiveness video and pictures when displayed on a video iPod during instructional sessions. An alternating treatments design was used to assess the relative effectiveness of video vs. pictures when using video iPods to teach functional skills to students with developmental disabilities. Four high school students with developmental disabilities were each taught two functional skills while using a video iPod in a school setting. One skill was taught using a sequence of brief video segments modeling the successful performance of the target skill. A second skill was taught using a series of photographs of the skill being performed. Both video and pictures were displayed on an iPod during instructional sessions. All four students acquired both functional skills using an iPod during instruction. For two of the four students, video was more efficient than pictures; for the two remaining students, video and pictures were equally effective. In addition, three of the four students learned to operate the video iPods independently.
80. Functional Assessment of Learning Styles in Autism: Linking Assessment and Treatment.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA STEARNS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cathleen C. Piazza (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract: Conditional discriminations (e.g., if-then discriminations in which the correct response varies dependent on which sample stimulus is presented) are fundamental building blocks for the development of language and social skills, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have particular difficulty learning them (Sidman, 1994). Four function-based procedures for teaching conditional discriminations to individuals with ASD that have empirical support in the extant literature include: (a) using an empirically-identified reinforcer to increase motivation, (b) adding an extra-stimulus prompt to guide correct responding (i.e., errorless learning), (c) insuring that the individual is attending to the relevant characteristics of the sample or comparison stimuli through reinforcement of a differential observing response, and (d) repeatedly presenting each sample stimulus in isolation (i.e., in blocks of trials) until criterion-level performance is achieved. Although each of these procedures has been shown to be effective with at least some individuals with autism, it is not clear which procedure should be selected for an individual student with autism who fails to acquire conditional discriminations using typical training procedures. Therefore, an important next step in this line of research is to determine when these four specialized treatments should be used and with which participants. The purpose of the current project was to refine and validate a rapid assessment for (a) identifying the function of a child's poor performance on conditional discrimination tasks and (b) selecting the intervention from the four approaches described above that was functionally related to the child's performance.
81. The Effects of Speech Output on Graphic Symbol Combination Learning.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
RAVI NIGAM (Governors State University), Janice A. Grskovic (Indiana University Northwest), Jessie B. Grskovic (Indiana University Bloomington)
Abstract: Individuals using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems successfully learn to use graphic symbols for communication. With advancement in technology, individuals with severe expressive communication disabilities can use assistive devices that use speech synthesizers to provide speech output (SO). Synthetic speech has been shown to improve the learning of graphic symbols and may facilitate the expressive communication of AAC users. Empirical investigations have indicated that the use of synthetic speech results in efficient learning of single graphic symbols (Romski & Sevcik, 1996; Schepis & Reid, 1995; Schlosser, Belfiore, Nigam, Blischak, & Hetzroni, 1995). The efficacy of speech output in learning graphic symbol combinations is not yet known. This study investigated whether speech output (SO) enhanced the learning of graphic symbol combinations using an invented language. Using a single-subject alternating treatments design, five participants were taught modifier-object combinations of an invented language under speech output and no-speech output conditions (NSO). Each experimental condition had six modifier-object combinations. The efficacy of the treatment procedure was assessed with the percent correct during probe sessions, number of trials to criterion, and number of prompts during SO and SVO conditions. Implications of results for users of AAC are discussed.
82. A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Prompting Strategies in Teaching Self-Help Skills to Children With Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BRYAN F. FIRLEIN (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Denise Marzullo (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Patrick R. Progar (Caldwell College), Erin Bereheiko (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Elonda Jackson (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Sandra F. Kokolis (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Kate O'Brien (Bancroft NeuroHealth), Loyda Santiago (Bancroft NeuroHealth)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of least-to-most prompting strategies and most-to- least prompting strategies in teaching self-help skills to children with developmental disabilities. Least-to-most prompting strategies included hierarchical prompting with a verbal, model, and physical prompt. Most-to-least prompting strategies included graduated guidance of physical prompts and spatial fading. The participants included children with developmental disabilities living in an inpatient neurobehavioral stabilization unit. A multiple baseline across skills design was used and replicated across participants. Baseline data have been collected for one participant using least-to-most prompting strategies for tooth brushing and showering. Data collected during the treatment phase using most-to-least prompting strategies have yielded increased independence with both tooth brushing and showering. Data collection is ongoing for several other participants. Results indicate most-to-least prompting strategies reduced errors and promoted faster skill acquisition. Future research will attempt to replicate the effectiveness of most-to-least prompting strategies for additional participants, thereby allowing caregivers to use more effective techniques when teaching self-help skills.
83. Rapid Teaching of a Visual-Visual Non-Identity Matching Task.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
COLLEEN MARGARET ANNE MURPHY (University of Manitoba), Maria Figueroa (St. Amant Research Center/St. Cloud University), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba), Dickie C. T. Yu (University of Manitoba/St. Amant Research Centre)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) test assesses an individual’s ability to learn a simple imitation task and five two-choice discrimination tasks. These tasks, called levels, are hierarchically ordered in terms of difficulty. Research has shown that failed levels are difficult to teach using standard prompting and reinforcement, but have been taught using a multiple-component training package. ABLA level 5, an auditory-visual discrimination, has been found to be uninformative because most participants who pass level 5 also pass level 6. However, a visual-visual non-identity matching (VVNM) prototype task has been found to fall between ABLA levels 4 and 6 in the hierarchy. This study attempted to teach failed VVNM training tasks using two methods: (1) standard prompting and reinforcement (SPR) and (2) SPR with a within-stimulus prompt-fading component (SPRF) in a single-subject alternating-treatments design. Two individuals with developmental disabilities who had passed ABLA level 4, but had failed ABLA level 6 and the VVNM prototype task participated in the study. Fading materials were created using computer software. Although data collection is still ongoing, preliminary data indicate that participants learn a VVNM training task more quickly using the SPRF.
84. The Effectiveness of Using a Video iPod® as a Prompting Device in Employment Settings.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
TONI R. VAN LAARHOVEN (Northern Illinois University), Jesse W. Johnson (Northern Illinois University), Kristin Grider (Northern Illinois University), Katie Grider (Northern Illinois University ), Traci Van Laarhoven-Myers (Indian Prairie School District #204 )
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using a video iPod® as a prompting device for teaching three job-related tasks to a young man with developmental disabilities in a community-based employment setting. Effects of the prompting device were evaluated using a multiple probe across behaviors design. Results indicated that the introduction of the video iPod was associated with immediate and substantial gains in independent correct responding with an associated decrease in the number of prompts given from a job coach. In addition, the video iPod was used independently by the participant. Instructional implications and future research will be discussed.
85. Discrete Trial Training for Children with Mild Mental Retardation to Improve Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
NA-YOUNG SHIN (Yonsei University), Joo-hyun Kil (Yonsei University), Kyong-Mee Chung (Yonsei University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of discrete trial training (DTT) (Lovaas, 1987), which had been known to be effective as an early intervention for children with autism, to improve reading, writing and mathematic skills for a 7-year-old boy with mild mental retardation. DTT sessions were held 3 hours a day four times a week from Monday to Friday at his home by the treatment team. Upon his pre-treatment assessment results, the following three programs were developed. For the reading program, 140 Korean syllables were taught in a random order. For the writing program, words and sentences were randomly selected from 1st Grade textbook. The mathematics task was identification of a larger number in a pair (between 1 and 9), which is the requisite skill for learning numbers. Typical DTT format was used along with token system and extinction for problem behaviors. After 4 months of treatment, the participant mastered 140 Korean syllables and was able to copy approximately 90% of the words & sentences from the text book. In addition, he mastered the numbers between 1 and 9. Clinical and research implications were discussed along with practical issues.
86. Respondent-Type Procedure can Facilitate the Equivalence Relation of Literacy in Students with Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
HIROSHI SUGASAWARA (Keio University), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University)
Abstract: Students with developmental disabilities often have difficulty learning the systematic relations among syllables (auditory stimuli), characters (visual stimuli), and meanings (often visual stimuli) required for reading and writing. In behavior analysis, we use some procedures such as a simple discrimination, a matching to sample, and a constructional matching to sample to make equivalent relations. Recently, a new procedure called respondent-type procedure was established. In this procedure, the participant only observed some stimulus-pairs in a computer display. Although this procedure did not require specific overt responses, this procedure facilitated equivalence relation in infants and adults. We examined that the participants could write the unknown Kanji characters through the respondent-type procedure training. In this study, 6 students with developmental disabilities were participated. We constructed the stimulus-pairs, which consisted of Hiragana word stimuli and Kanji stimuli. After respondent type training, we tested whether students could write the Kanji characters or not. As a result, five students showed the kanji writing responses without direct writing training. The result is discussed in terms of the effect of the respondent-type procedure on the transfer of writing characters.
87. The Effects a Stimulus-Stimulus Pairing Procedure on the Improvement of Playing and Reading for a Child with Developmental Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CANDIDO PESSOA (Universidade de São Paulo), Cintia Guilhardi (Universidade de São Paulo/Gradual), Stephanny Maria Rampazo (Gradual), Claudia Romano (Gradual), Leila Bagaiolo (Universidade de São Paulo/Gradual)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to minimize stereotypy and passivity improving playing and reading for a Five-year-old male with developmental disabilities using a stimulus-stimulus pairing procedure. In a multiple baseline design, data for playing or reading and stereotypy and passivity were collected using continuous 5-second whole interval recordings in 5-minute baseline probe sessions. Social approval was pared with toys contingently with playing in a VI 2-second schedule for 20 train-test trials per session until criterion. After 8 train-test trial sessions, a new probe showed 5-second intervals with stereotypy decreasing from 56 to 27 intervals; with passivity increasing from 1 to 10; and with playing increasing from 3 to 27. Three new train-test trial sessions were conducted paring social approval and physical contact with an increased number of toys. Probe sessions showed an increase in stereotypy to 38 and playing with toys decreased to 5 intervals. After that, VI was increased to 4 seconds for two more train-test trial sessions. Probes showed an increase of playing to 35 and stereotypy decreased to 23. So far, results for reading do not show any important increase in the number of intervals in any probe sessions. To find out significant increases in number of playing intervals and decreases in stereotypy the intermittence of the VI schedule will continue to be enlarged.
88. Predicting Performance on Two-Choice and Three-Choice Discriminations with Persons with Severe Intellectual Disabilities.
Area: DDA; Domain: Basic Research
SANDRA SALEM (University of Manitoba), Toby L. Martin (University of Manitoba & St. Amant Research Center), Garry L. Martin (University of Manitoba), Dickie C. T. Yu (University of Manitoba & St. Amant Research Center)
Abstract: The Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA) test assesses a participants’ ability to perform several two-choice discriminations. I assessed the accuracy of the ABLA test for predicting three-choice discrimination performance. Fourteen adults with developmental delay (seven who scored at ABLA Level 2, a position discrimination, and seven who scored at ABLA Level 3, a visual discrimination) each received 6 three-choice discrimination tasks. Three “At” tasks corresponded to the person’s standard ABLA score (the highest level passed), and three “Above” tasks corresponded to the person’s first failed standard ABLA level. Participants passed significantly more three-choice tasks at their ABLA level than above their ABLA level. Level 2 participants did not pass significantly more At tasks than Level 3 participants.
89. Teaching Adults with Developmental Disabilities to Identify and Report Inappropriate Staff-to-Resident Interactions.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA R. BOLLMAN (Southern Illinois University), Paula K. Davis (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a behavioral skills training program designed to teach women with developmental disabilities living in a state-operated facility to identify and report physical and verbal maltreatment by caregivers. Three participants with mild mental retardation were first taught to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate staff behavior and provide the rationale during scheduled sessions in which hypothetical scenarios were presented via video. Participants were then taught to report inappropriate staff behavior through video modeling, role-plays, and performance feedback. Results revealed that all three participants acquired discrimination and reporting skills and maintained these skills at or above criterion at two and four-week follow-up.
90. Abuse and Intellectual Disabilities: A Literature Review.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
LINDSEY M. KANE (College of Charleston), Adam H. Doughty (College of Charleston)
Abstract: It repeatedly has been reported that individuals with intellectual disabilities are more likely to be abused (sexually, physically, and/or psychologically) than are individuals without such disabilities. Here, we report the results of a literature review on the topic of abuse and intellectual disabilities. Despite there being several studies involving the assessment of abuse-protection skills in this population, there are few empirical reports involving the training of such skills. There also is minimal work involving the assessment of maintenance of these skills following training. Importantly, there is little to no work involving the training of abuse-prevention skills in individuals with moderate, severe, or profound intellectual disabilities. We offer several future research directions in the area of abuse and intellectual disabilities.
91. The Effect of TV Removal on Staff to Client Interaction in an Adolescent Brain Injury Facility.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
BECKY L. NASTALLY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Katie Sedowski (Southern Illinois University), Sarah M. Dunkel-Jackson (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Krystal Qualls (Southern Illinois University), Michael Bordieri (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Using an ABAB design, we evaluated the effect of removing cable television on staff-to-client interactions in a facility for adolescents with brain injury. Participants in the study were life skills technicians (direct care staff) and adolescents living in the facility. In the baseline condition, the use of the television was open to staff and participants. During treatment, the experimenter disconnected the cable feeding television service to the facility without announcement to staff or residents. The frequency and quality of teaching interactions initiated by staff were recorded in all phases. The percentage of time clients were involved in purposeful activities as a result were also recorded. Results suggest that if organizations are striving for quality of interactions between clients and residents, certain environmental manipulations are necessary. Implications for promoting quality of care for individuals with disabilities will be presented.
92. Social Validity of Behavioral Treatments for Autism in an Episode of the Super Nanny.
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA G. VALDOVINOS (Drake University), Melissa J. King (Drake University)
Abstract: This study assesses the social validity of behavioral techniques (i.e., Pivotal Response Treatment) used with a child diagnosed with autism, on an episode of Supernanny (Frost, 2005). Social validity refers to the social importance and acceptability of a given intervention. 120 Drake undergraduates, enrolled in Introductory Psychology courses, volunteered for this study. All participants watched an edited version of Supernanny, which was presented in two ways. Some participants watched the episode the way it was filmed; the first half of the video did not contain any intervention, while the second half of the video showed the family receiving the behavioral intervention. Other participants viewed the episode in reverse order, watching first the second half of the video, followed by the first half. A questionnaire, measuring aspects of social validity, was filled out between the two video sections and again at the end of the entire video. On this 20-item questionnaire, students rated the acceptability of the family’s interactions with the child as well as the desirability and severity of the child’s behavior before and after behavioral techniques were applied. Results show that the acceptability and desirability of the child’s behavior increased after the treatment was implemented.



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