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 #543
CE Offered: BACB
Beyond Autism and Developmental Disabilities: Expanding the Role of Behavior Analysts in Schools
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Williford A
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Steven Woolf (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Steven Woolf (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.

The symposium presents three cases of students referred in public schools for emotional problems resulting in a lack of sustained curriculum engagement. Additionally, these students exhibited challenging behaviors considered to be disruptive to the overall learning environment. All students were served in typical elementary schools and scored with in the average to above average range on standardized IQ tests. Traditionally, these types of cases were referred to a school counselor or psychologist for psychodynamic treatment. The symposium presents the applied findings and impact of behavior analysts designing interventions for behaviors defined as emotional.

Use of a Hassle Log for Reducing Escape Maintained Behavior.
Abstract: An 11-year-old male was referred for aggression towards others, elopement, and a general lack of academically engaged time. The student was diagnosed with an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Following a Functional Behavioral Assessment, the student’s challenging behaviors appeared to be maintained by a combination of escape from instructional engagement and adult attention in the form of empathic statements. Treatment acceptability on the part of school staff was initially very low for behaviorally based treatments. Following the implementation of a “hassle log” and teacher redirection training, significant improvements were observed in the rates of acceleration behavior (academic engagement) and reductions in the rates of deceleration behavior (aggression and elopement). The presenter will exhibit data related to treatment acceptability, challenging behaviors, and academic engagement.
The Use of a Multi-component Treatment Package to Reduce “Emotional Behavior” in Public School Classroom.
Abstract: A 5 year-old male was referred for aggression towards others and tantrum behavior. The student presented with a language delay but did not carry a formal diagnosis. However, his teacher and school psychologist expressed concerns regarding emotional problems resulting from his parents’ divorce. A Functional Behavior Assessment suggested that problem behaviors were maintained by attention from adults. A multi-component treatment package consisting of a token system, extinction, and time-out was implemented. Results indicated a decrease in problem behaviors and suggested that behavioral interventions may successfully treat “emotional problems”.
Use of a Token Economy, Non-Contingent Reinforcement and Time Out for Reducing Attention Maintained Behavior.
Abstract: A 4-year-old female student was referred for aggression towards others, screaming-type tantrums, elopement, and non-compliance with instruction. The student was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and “emotional problems” resulting from neglect as an infant and toddler and the sudden appearance of her birth father while in the process of being adopted by another family member (her uncle). A Functional Behavior Assessment revealed that the target behaviors appeared to be maintained by both adult and peer attention in the form of verbal reprimands from teachers, and a variety of reactions from peers (including crying, and complaining to teachers). A multi-component intervention that included a token economy, non-contingent attention on a variable schedule and an exclusionary time out was implemented. In addition staffing patterns, environmental modifications and training for classroom staff were part of the intervention plan. Following intervention aggression tantrums, and elopement were reduced and on-task behavior (academic engagement) and 1st request compliance were increased.



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