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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #339
CE Offered: BACB
Current Behavioral Research and Practice in Autism
Monday, May 28, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Elizabeth H
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Discussant: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
CE Instructor: Adel C. Najdowski, Ph.D.

Treatments based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been scientifically demonstrated to be the most effective option for young children with autism. However, more research is needed in order to identify the most effective procedures, both for the assessment and reduction of challenging behavior, as well as teaching adaptive behavior. This symposium includes three presentations on empirical research on a variety of topics in the assessment and treatment of the behavior of individuals with autism, covering topics such as toilet training, data collection of aquisition skills, and functional assessment. The symposium will be concluded with a discussion of the presentations.

Wearing a Diaper During Toilet Training: An Evaluation of the Effects on Children Diagnosed with Autism.
RACHEL S. F. TARBOX (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Melody Nabizadeh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), James Summers (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Urinary incontinence has been shown to be a pervasive problem in children with autism. Incontinence can affect a child both socially and in terms of risk of infectious diseases transmitted through bodily waste (Berk & Friman, 1990). Surveys have reported that anywhere from 50 -70% of all children with autism have difficulties with toileting (Whitely, 2004; Horvath, Papadimitriou, Rabsztyn, Drachenberg & Tildon, 1999). Recent research conducted with an adult with developmental disabilities demonstrated that wearing diapers may occasion urinary accidents (Tarbox, Williams & Friman, 2004). In the current investigation a reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of wearing a diaper during toilet training for two children diagnosed with autism. Results suggest that wearing a diaper may increase the likelihood of urinary incontinence. Moreover, successful voids increased during the course of evaluation. Treatment, follow-up, reliability and integrity data will be presented.
Comparing Indirect, Descriptive, and Experimental Functional Assessments in Children with Autism.
ARTHUR E. WILKE (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Adel C. Najdowski (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Current standards of practice in psychological and educational services dictate the need for ascertaining the function of challenging behaviors before treating them and for behavioral interventions to be based on the function of behavior. At least three broad categories of functional assessments have been developed, including indirect, descriptive, and experimental procedures. Although experimental functional analyses are common in empirical research on behavioral intervention, indirect and descriptive functional assessment procedures may be more commonly used in clinical and educational practice. Little research has systematically compared indirect, descriptive, and experimental functional assessments, let alone with participants within the autism population. The current study compares indirect, descriptive, and experimental functional assessments, across several children with autism, representing a range of ages and topographies of challenging behavior.
Electronic Data Collection for Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: An Analysis and Comparison of mTrial to Traditional Pen and Paper Methods of Data Collection.
SIENNA GREENER-WOOTEN (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Jonathan J. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Arthur E. Wilke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: There is considerable empirical evidence that demonstrates that early intensive behavior analytic intervention (also referred to as ABA) produces substantial improvements in young children with autism across a number of skill domains (cognitive functioning, language skills, academic performance, etc.). A central feature of this treatment approach is the reliance on continuous measurement of child performance during all treatment hours (20-40 hours per week) to ensure an objective and quantitative analysis of behavior. Data collection ensures that appropriate treatment decisions are being recommended for each individual child and that an evidence-based practice model is being followed at all times. Pen and paper data collection is the standard practice in service delivery agencies, however this format can be time consuming and costly. An alternative is to collect data via an electronic format, however little research has been done on electronic data collection in these settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether mTrial, a program that allows therapists to record, store, and report discrete trial and other behavior data for students on a Palm handheld, is effective in collecting and maintaining client data during intensive early intervention and to compare this system to traditional pen and paper data.



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