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 #451
Using an Evidence-Based Practice Decision Making Process to Bring Best Practices to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
Monday, May 26, 2008
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Williford B
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Trina D. Spencer (Utah State University)
Abstract: Evidence based practices need to align with the cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD) of the individuals we serve. This symposium presents a model for making decisions about appropriate practices for individual children and families. The first paper introduces evidence-based practices and the specific decision-making model applied in these papers. Two papers will address the following questions while demonstrating the process: How do practitioners select an appropriate form of alternative communication for individual students who present cultural and linguistic differences? Is choice making as an intervention validated by research and suitable for my students? The final paper presents ideas of how single subject design studies can allow for appropriate extension of findings to individuals who are not well represented in randomized control trials. Suggestions for merging evidence based practices with cultural and linguistic diversity are presented, as well as implications for research.
An Evidence-Based Practice Decision Making Process.
DOUGLAS B. PETERSEN (Utah State University), Trina D. Spencer (Utah State University), Erin Horrocks (Utah State University), Lee L. Mason (Utah State University)
Abstract: Evidence-based practices refer to assessments, interventions and other practices that are informed by quality research. Several organizations have developed or are developing guidelines by which research is evaluated. In this process, once each study is evaluated and judged appropriate for inclusion, a research synthesis is created for the identified intervention or practice. These syntheses and/or the level of evidence to support each practice are compiled in databases or some other form of dissemination medium. For the evidence to be useful, it must directly inform practitioners regarding what they can do to produce positive outcomes. The success of an evidence-based practice depends on its appropriateness for the individual of interest. It is possible that multiple practices have sufficient evidence to support their use. One practice may potentially be a more suitable match for a particular set of circumstances (i.e., child-family and practitioner-agency factors). How do practitioners implement evidence-based practice when a research synthesis is not available for the intervention in question? In addition to available evidence-based research syntheses, an evidence-based decision-making process can directly inform practitioners about what will work with individuals. This paper will address these issues and introduce a model for making evidence-based decisions.
Topography-Based or Selection-Based Communication: An Evidence-Based Decision Making Example.
TRINA D. SPENCER (Utah State University), Douglas B. Petersen (Utah State University)
Abstract: The importance of facilitating the development of functional communication for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is reasonably a high priority for practitioners and families. Often, due to the lack of oral language these children acquire, educational teams are faced with the task of selecting an appropriate augmentative and alternate communication (AAC) form. In order to answer the question, “Which AAC communication modality is the most appropriate for the child?” practitioners should rely on clinical judgment, the needs of children, and on external research evidence. Moreover, using practices that are supported by research will likely have the greatest impact. Evidence-based practices involve synthesizing research to inform practitioners, as well as integrating research evidence with individual child and agency factors. The current paper provides 3 case examples of how to apply an evidence-based decision-making process to select the most appropriate communication modality for individual children.
Decision Making: How to Incorporate Evidence Based Practices about Choice Making Interventions.
LEE L. MASON (Utah State University), Erin Horrocks (Utah State University)
Abstract: Behavioral interventions are used extensively in applied settings to treat problem behavior. However, with the wide array of behavioral interventions available to practitioners, utilizing interventions that are evidence-based is becoming increasingly important. Because research-based interventions will likely have the greatest impact on problem behavior, practitioners should base their decisions on existing evidence, An emphasis on the evidence-based decision-making process provides practitioners with a model for systematically collecting and reviewing research evidence and making informed decisions by integrating the best empirical evidence with student and family characteristics, personal experience, and agency factors. The current paper provides a case example of how to apply a systematic model of making an evidence-based decision regarding choice-making as an intervention to reduce problem behavior. This case example incorporates both research outcomes (external evidence) and individualized characteristics (internal evidence).
Merging Evidence Based Practices and Cultural and Linguistic Diversity.
ERIN HORROCKS (Utah State University), Douglas B. Petersen (Utah State University)
Abstract: Evidence based practices need to align with the cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD) of the individuals we serve. Some current systems of synthesizing research place randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) as the top level of evidence. Non-responders and CLD learners may be “lost” in the RCT analyses, and therefore, may be left out of the decision on what is considered to be evidence based. Other forms of evidence, such as single subject design studies may provide valuable evidence in terms of analyzing non-responders and outcomes for CLD participants. The current paper summarizes the evidence based decision-making process and highlights its inclusion of cultural and linguistic factors. Suggestions for merging evidence based practices with cultural and linguistic diversity are presented, as well as implications for research.



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