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 #363
CE Offered: BACB
Can't We All Just Get Along? Collaborating with Ancillary Therapies to Provide Effective Services
Monday, May 28, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Annie AB
Area: DDA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lauren M. Frederick (Melmark)
Discussant: Terry J. Page (AdvoServ)
CE Instructor: Lauren M. Frederick, M.A.

Behavior analysts are frequently part of an interdisciplinary treatment team; quality programming for students requires that behavior analysts work effectively with other disciplines, which are likely to present vastly different approaches. This symposium presents data on interventions combining behavior analytic principles and strategies employed by speech and occupational therapists. The first study uses multi-element designs to assess the effects of various sensory stimulation protocols on two students challenging behaviors. The second study, conducted by a behavior analyst and speech therapist, uses a multiple baseline across settings to assess the effects of functional communication training on the aggressive and self-injurious behaviors of an 11-year-old boy. The effects of this intervention on his overall language acquisition rate will also be discussed. The final study will present data to be collected on the food refusal and selectivity of a young man with autism. Interventions from behavior analytic and speech pathology literature were combined; data on the effects of two phases of the intervention will be collected and evaluated in a changing criterion design. Collaborating with other disciplines can result in empirical and creative interventions.

An Empirical Evaluation of Sensory Stimulation Interventions.
JUAN-CARLOS LOPEZ (Melmark), Brigid Carbo (Melmark), Mark Streeter (Melmark), Tara Bernard (Melmark)
Abstract: Behavior analysts typically eschew invalidated sensory integration therapies. However, a successful collaboration between behavior analysts and occupational therapists can result in an empirical evaluation of these protocols. This study will investigate the effectiveness of various sensory stimulation protocols on the challenging behaviors of two students. First, using a counter balanced multi-element design, the effects of two types of sensory stimulation protocols on the reduction of lip biting for an adolescent with autism and severe mental retardation will be evaluated. Preliminary data show that sensory stimulation on the form of gentle rubbing of the participant’s arms and hands significantly reduces his rate of lip biting. Data will be collected on the long-term effects of the more effective protocol by comparing the rate of lip biting during the 10-minute intervals immediately before and immediately after the implementation of the sensory protocol, using a pre-post intervention design. The second study assesses the effects of sensory stimulation protocols on the stereotypy of a 16-year-old male. Baseline measures, using partial interval data collection, indicate that stereotypy ranges from 75%-100% of intervals. A multi-element design will evaluate four sensory stimulation protocols. Further implications of working as part of an interdisciplinary team will be discussed.
Behavior Analysis and Speech Therapy: Language Acquisition Goals and Challenging Behaviors.
BRENDA DOUGHERTY (Melmark), Melissa Stone (Melmark), Lauren M. Frederick (Melmark)
Abstract: Functional communication training has received a great deal of attention in the field of behavior analysis. However, the rationales and methods of increasing communication frequently differ between behavior analysts and speech therapists. This study presents the results of a functional behavior assessment and intervention of aggression and self-injury of an 11-year-old boy with autism and severe mental retardation. A behavior support plan consisting of noncontingent attention and a de-escalation protocol as well as picture communication system training represent baseline conditions. The results from the functional behavior assessment will be used to implement functional communication training. The addition of a functionally equivalent communicative response to the behavior support plan will be evaluated with a multiple baseline across conditions design. In addition, ongoing data collection by the speech therapist on number of requests and acquired pictures will be presented. The correlation between overall language acquisition, functionally equivalent communication, and the reduction of challenging behaviors will be discussed.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Food Selectivity and Refusal.
CATHLEEN M. ALBERTSON (Melmark), Cynthia Hoyle (Melmark), Andrew Winston (Melmark), Brian Garozzo (Melmark)
Abstract: Evaluating and treating an individual with disabilities’ eating problems typically requires input from many professionals, such as doctors, nutritionists, behavior analysts, and speech pathologists. While behavior analytic research provides effective interventions for eating problems, a speech pathologist can provide valuable input on the oral-motor functioning of an individual. This study examines an intervention, derived from a combination of behavior analytic and speech pathology research, on the food selectivity and refusal of a 20-year-old male with autism. In the first phase of the study, the student is negatively reinforced for tolerating (defined as not pushing the food away or exhibiting disruptive behavior) a non-preferred food in close proximity to preferred foods. Both proximity and duration are manipulated using a changing criterion design. In the second phase of the study, data will be collected and a changing criterion design will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of preferred foods as positive reinforcement for the intake of non-preferred foods. A multidisciplinary approach to eating problems can result in empirical assessments and interventions that address complex causes and potential concomitant issues.



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