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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Symposium #257
CE Offered: BACB
Staff Training and Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 25, 2008
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Stevens 2
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Peter Sturmey (Queens College, City University of New York)
Discussant: Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center, Ltd.)
CE Instructor: Peter Sturmey, Ph.D.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) depends crucially on dissemination of effective behavioral technology to routine caregivers such as parents, staff, teachers and human service supervisors. Thus, ABA must address teaching skills to routine service providers and disseminating effective practices across entire services. This symposium exemplifies this effort. The first paper reports the effects of behavioral skills training which incorporated the use of general case training into role place on parent acquisition and generalization of discrete trial teaching skills and the effects on child responses. The second paper reports the effects of using instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback to teach various staff to use incidental teaching and its effects on the frequency of mands in children with autism. The final paper reports the effects of discontinuing restrictive behavioral procedures at a state facility for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

The Effects of General-Case Training and Behavioral Skills Training on the Generalization of Parents’ Use of Discrete-Trial Teaching.
JOHN CLAUDE WARD-HORNER (Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York), Peter Sturmey (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: One concern with training individuals in discrete-trial teaching (DTT) is the generalization of skills to non-trained-teaching situations. This study employed behavioral skills and general-case training to train three parents to conduct DTT. A multiple baseline across participants experimental design was used to assess the effects of parent training on the generalization of parents’ DTT performance to non-trained programs. Following training, all parents generalized DTT. Implications of programming for generalization and the effects of parent training on child performance are discussed.
The Effects of a Behavioral Skills Training Package on Teacher Implementation of a Manding Procedure in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
DARLENE NIGRO (Queens College, The City University of New York), Peter Sturmey (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: A “mand” may be defined as a verbal operant in which the response is reinforced by a characteristic consequence. Manding is a good first behavior to teach because manding does not depend on social behavior as a secondary reinforcer. It is important that staff receive training using empirically tested procedures to make meaningful changes in children’s language repertoires. Experimenters have shown that a behavioral skills training package is an effective way to train teachers. In the present study, the experimenter used a multiple baseline design to analyze the effects of a on the number of correct steps performed by the teachers and the number of mands and prompt level at which each child’s mands occurred. The training protocol increased the number of correct steps performed by two of the three staff members and increased the children’s unprompted mands for reinforcers. Therapist and child performance generalized across locations. Behavioral skills training is an effective way to train staff to teach children with an autism spectrum disorder to mand.
Effects of Discontinuing Negative Punishment Procedures Among Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Individuals.
JOHN J. POKRZYWINSKI (Woodward Resource Center), Louis Veneziano (Woodward Resource Center), Cynthia Sparrow (Woodward Resource Center), Don Lehman (Woodward Resource Center), William F. Steffen (Woodward Resource Center)
Abstract: Punishment is defined as a consequence following an operant response that decreases the likelihood of that response occurring in the future. A substantial body of research has indicated that the use of punishment procedures can be extremely effective in reducing problematic behaviors displayed by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, the use of punishment procedures is controversial. Some have gone so far as to state that punishment procedures may violate the rights of the person being treated. The general consensus in the fields of applied behavior analysis and developmental disabilities is that punishment procedures are not encouraged. This paper examines the effects of discontinuing response cost and time-out; two commonly used negative punishment procedures, at a state-operated residential treatment facility for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The practical and theoretical implications of discontinuing these negative punishment procedures, especially as they relate to restraint usage, are discussed.



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