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 #533
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in the Assessment and Treatment of Challenging Behavior
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Continental B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark O'Reilly (University of Texas, Austin)
CE Instructor: Mark O'Reilly, Ph.D.

In this symposium we present recent research findings regarding the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. The symposium consists of four papers from major university-affiliated research and treatment centers. In the first presentation researchers from Vanderbilt University will summarize the findings regarding assessment and treatment from their recently-established outpatient clinics. The second and third presentations will be from the University of Minnesota and the University of Texas and will provide recent findings on the influence of motivating operations on both the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. Finally, researchers from the University of Idaho will tackle the controversial topic of sensory integration and provide functional assessment data on the use of weighted vests in the treatment of self-injury.

Treatment Outcome, Intervention Fidelity, and Operant Function Interactions in an Outpatient Clinic for Behavioral Problems.
NEALETTA HOUCHINS-JUAREZ (Tennessee Family Solutions), Craig H. Kennedy (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: The Behavior Analysis Clinic at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center provides services to children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities and problem behavior. Our service delivery goal is to establish long-term reductions in problem behavior within home settings using care providers as the primary interventionists. We will present data regarding treatment outcomes. The presentation will begin with a review of the intake and home-training procedures used in the clinic. Data will be presented showing inter-relations between treatment outcome, behavioral function, and intervention fidelity. Implications of our results will be discussed in relation to level of training intensity as it relates to behavioral function that may be required for sustained behavioral change in home settings.
Clarifying Ambiguous Functional Analysis Data via Inspection of Cumulative Data Displays.
TIMOTHY R. MOORE (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Frank J. Symons (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: A functional analysis of self-injury (eye-pressing) was conducted with a 20-month-old boy with traumatic brain injury. Results of the functional analysis were initially ambiguous, with SIB occurring during both EO and reinforcement portions of analog attention and tangible conditions. Cumulative record data indicated a higher rate of responding during sessions conducted by the child’s mother compared with sessions conducted by the therapist, suggesting the mother functioned as a discriminative stimulus for positive reinforcement. Functional communication training conducted by the child’s mother was evaluated using an ABA reversal design. SIB was reduced to zero and use of a vocal output device to request positive reinforcement was established during treatment sessions, with re-emergence of SIB during the return to baseline condition. Results are discussed in terms of alternative methods for interpreting ambiguous functional analysis data.
Discrepency in Functional Analysis Results across Settings: Implications for Intervention Design.
RUSSELL LANG (University of Texas, Austin), Mark O'Reilly (University of Texas, Austin), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Texas, Austin), Jeffrey Michael Chan (University of Texas, Austin), Mandy J. Rispoli (University of Texas, Austin), Tonya Nichole Davis (University of Texas, Austin), Paul D. Langthorne (Tizard Centre)
Abstract: A series of functional analyses were conducted with three children with developmental disabilities. For each child functional analysis findings were compared across settings. Discrepancies in functional analysis results were found in two of the children. For one of these children, the functional analyses were conducted on the playground and in the classroom. The playground assessment results indicated that adult attention was the most reinforcing maintaining consequence. The results of the classroom assessment suggested that access to toys was more reinforcing. Two interventions (an attention-based intervention and a tangible-based intervention) were designed based on the results from each of the assessment environments. These two interventions were then compared in both environments using an alternating treatment design. Results show that the attention-based intervention was more effective on the playground and the tangible-based intervention was more effective in the classroom. Findings are discussed in regards to the generalizability of functional analysis results across environments.
Effects of Weighted Vests on Problem Behavior during Functional Analysis.
SHAWN PATRICK QUIGLEY (Idaho State University), Lloyd D. Peterson (Idaho State University), Jessica E. Frieder (Idaho State University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Occupational therapists often recommend sensory integration therapies, such as brushing and weighted vests, as a method of managing problem behavior. However, there is little empirical research evaluating the effectiveness of such interventions. The present study evaluated the effects of sensory integration therapy (weighted vest) on problem behavior exhibited during functional analysis. First, a functional analysis was completed with no vest. This was then followed by another functional analysis wherein participants wore a weighted vest during some conditions but not others. Vest and no-vest sessions were counter balanced across time and functional analysis conditions. Results will be discussed in terms of the utility of weighted vests as a method of managing problem behavior.



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