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 #428
CE Offered: BACB
Parameters of Staff Training and Performance-Based Evaluations in Intensive Behavioral Intervention Programs for Children with Autism
Monday, May 28, 2007
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Elizabeth H
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Len Levin (Coyne & Associates, Inc.)
Discussant: Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
CE Instructor: Len Levin, Ph.D.

ABA-based treatment and education programs for children with autism frequently require staff to conduct highly structured, 1:1 intervention sessions. The staff that fill these positions are typically psychology undergraduates or B.A. level graduates, and many have not had formal training or coursework in behavior analysis or behavioral intervention techniques. Consequently, most ABA-based service providers develop and implement their own training protocols and performance-based evaluations to facilitate the acquisition of intervention skills in these entry-level, front-line staff. This symposium will discuss this critical issue of staff training and performance in ABA-based programs in home, school, and center-based settings. The presenters will emphasize performance-based criteria to assess skills in the areas of discrete-trial teaching; incidental teaching; mand training; teaching in dyads; fluency; and problem-solving via functional analyses. Training procedures will be described in detail, data on staff performance will be presented, and the implications of staff training and performance on the efficacy of intensive behavioral intervention will be discussed.

Training and Evaluating the Critical Treatment Skills of Interventionists in Home-Based, Intensive Behavioral Intervention Programs for Young Children with Autism.
LEN LEVIN (Coyne & Associates Inc.), Tiffany Bauer (Coyne & Associates Inc.), Jessica Ann Korneder (Coyne & Associates Inc.), Paul Coyne Coyne (Coyne & Associates Inc.), M. Alice Coyne (Coyne & Associates Inc.)
Abstract: In many areas of the country, public policy has created resources for young children with autism to receive intensive, home-based, early intervention treatment and education services that are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. This has created a new demand for “front line” interventionists to implement highly prescribed, behavioral techniques. Assuming that the intervention is overseen by a qualified behavior analyst, the efficacy of the intervention is still dependent on the home interventionist’s skills with respect to the execution of these techniques in the absence of continuous, on-site supervision. This presentation will review an intensive training protocol to facilitate the acquisition of these intervention skills, specifically the implementation of three different types of discrete-trial drills, and the implementation of incidental teaching-type strategies to promote spontaneous language. Performance-based data will be presented to assess the efficacy of the training protocol in facilitating the acquisition of these intervention skills.
Staff Training in a Center-Based Program: Ensuring Competency in Core Instructional Areas and Dyad Instruction.
MARY JANE WEISS (Rutgers University), Dania L. Matthews (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), Todd Frischmann (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Ensuring staff competency is a widespread concern for trainers and supervisors in ABA programs designed for children with autism. Ineffective instruction is a primary reason for the failure of students to progress. Staff members require specific performance-based criteria and feedback to effectively master instructional skills. As the teaching procedures within ABA multiply and become increasingly complex, the need for treatment integrity is even more critical. Core areas of instruction for students with autism requiring precision in implementation include discrete trial instruction, incidental teaching and other naturalistic teaching strategies, mand training, rate-building, classroom management, and dyad instruction. Dyad instruction is especially important in classrooms and in settings in which 1:1 instruction is not available or in which functioning with less staff support has been identified as a goal. In this presentation, treatment integrity targets for rate-building and dyad instruction will be discussed. Assessments for each of these areas will be shared, as well as data on their use.
Shaping Staff Repertoires Critical to Fully Competent Service Delivery.
MICHAEL FABRIZIO (Fabrizio/Moors Consulting)
Abstract: Regardless of the instructional arrangement selected, direct care staff members who implement behavior analytic services require at least three critical repertoires: verbal behavior about the service they deliver (talking about what they are doing), contingency-shaped behavior related to delivering the service (implementing prescribed procedures), and verbally mediated behavior related to decision making (using learner/client data to change procedures). This presentation will discuss the importance that shaping and maintaining these repertoires plays in the delivery of a range of behavior analytic teaching formats and will present example data and procedures for improving staff performance related to effective service delivery.



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