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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Invited Paper Session #201
CE Offered: BACB

Long-term Maintenance of Functional Communication Training

Sunday, May 25, 2008
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
International North
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: David P. Wacker, Ph.D.
Chair: Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Iowa)
DAVID P. WACKER (University of Iowa)
Dr. David P. Wacker is a Professor of Pediatrics and Special Education at The University of Iowa. He directs two outpatient clinic services for children and adults with disabilities who engage in severe problem behavior. He is the Principal Investigator on an NICHD-funded research project evaluating the long-term effectiveness of functional communication training in home settings. He previously served as the Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, as a standing panel reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, and as the President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He received the 2000 Applied Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research from the American Psychological Association's Division 25 and the 2002 Distinguished Research Award and 1987 National Educator of the Year Award from the Arc of the United States. In 2007, Dr. Wacker was named ABA International Fellow. Dr. Wacker has chaired well over 40 dissertations and his students have gone on to become outstanding clinicians and scientists, including several professors and Associate Editors for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

We have completed 4 years of a 5-year NIH-funded project that is evaluating long-term maintenance associated with functional communication training. Approximately 20 children have enrolled in the project. All children are 6 years of age or younger, have developmental disabilities, and display aberrant behavior such as self-injury. Parents conducted functional analysis and functional communication training session in their homes with weekly coaching from project investigators. Treatment sessions were videotaped and coded using a 6-sec partial-interval recording system. IOA was recorded for approximately 30% of all sessions. Treatment continued for up to 1 year for each participant. Throughout treatment, probes of aberrant behavior, manding, and task completion were conducted in which various components of the treatment package were removed (e.g., mand card) or changed (e.g., time in demands increased from 5 to 15 minutes). The purpose of these probes was to determine if aberrant behavior increased or adaptive behavior decreased when these components were altered. In this talk, I will present the results of these probes and will discuss the results relative to resurgence, maintenance, and response strength.




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