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 #489
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Treatment in School Settings
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Emma AB
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Discussant: T. Steuart Watson (Miami University)
CE Instructor: Michael M. Mueller, Ph.D.

This symposium will present papers on advancement of school-based functional analysis and treatment studies. Increasingly, behavior analysts rely on experimental methodologies to elucidate the reinforcing effects of multiple potential variables that occur simultaneously in classroom settings. One paper will present functional analysis and treatment of escape and attention maintained aggression. Using DNRA, the student increased rate of academic problem completion as aggression was eliminated. The second paper will present data on multiple functional and follow-up functional analyses in which SIB was found to be evoke by simultaneously touching the child and interrupting ongoing activities and reinforced by continued access to those activities. The third paper will present two case examples of how a Direct Behavioral Consultation (DBC) Model was applied to behavioral referrals for severe behaviors in a classroom setting. The examples will present the DBC model from FBA, functional analysis, preference assessments, controlled treatment evaluations, and generalization of treatment to multiple teachers and multiple settings. Follow-up data are also presented.

Using Within- and Across-Session DNRA to Decrease Aggression and Increase Problem Completion in a Classroom Setting.
AJAMU NKOSI (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Bryan J. Davey (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: A functional analysis demonstrated that the aggression of a 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome was maintained by escape from academic tasks and social attention. Providing 20-s breaks contingent on an increasing schedule of problem completion was used to decrease aggression and increase problem completion during 5-min work activities that were presented before 5-min breaks. Within-session breaks were faded out until the child worked for 5-min. Session length was then faded from 5 to 10 min so that the child ultimately worked for 10 min to access a 5 min between session break.
Functional Analysis and Treatment of SIB Occasioned by Requests to Stop an Ongoing Activity while Being Touched.
BRYAN J. DAVEY (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Christina Palermo (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of SIB exhibited by students with developmental disabilities in public school settings presents a special challenge for behavioral consultants. Due to the potential for harm to the child as well as the potential for other children to model these dangerous behaviors analogue settings are often used to ensure safety and limit disruption to other students. Once analyses are completed including an analysis of treatment options, the treatment can then be used within the classroom to assess generalization of treatment effects to the natural environment with the teacher utilizing the intervention. In this study functional analyses and treatment analyses were conducted in an analogue setting in a public school. Following treatment analysis the teacher was trained to implement the intervention in the natural environment. Data were collected to show generalization of treatment effects. For this study, a functional analysis was conducted on a student who frequently exhibited SIB of multiple topographies within the classroom setting. Analogue functional analysis outcomes revealed high rates of SIB were maintained by access to ongoing activities. Follow-up analyses were conducted to isolate the variables within this session. These analyses included and evaluation of do versus don’t requests and the occurrence of touch versus no touch accompanying the interruption. A follow-up analysis showed that the child exhibited SIB during the interrupt sessions only when he was given a demand to stop an ongoing activity while being physically touched. Treatment analysis revealed that the presentation of a preferred edible item simultaneously while the demand, with physical touch, was presented. Results indicated this treatment resulted in significant reductions of the child SIB and that the treatment effects were consistent when evaluated in the classroom setting.
Using Direct Behavioral Consultation to Reduce Severe Problem Behavior: Two Comprehensive Case Examples in Public Schools.
MICHAEL M. MUELLER (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Bryan J. Davey (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: The problem of demonstrating the efficacy of behavioral interventions in reducing severe problem behavior poses a unique challenge to behavior analysts in general but particularly to those working as behavioral consultants in public school settings. In school settings behavioral consultants are often challenged to not only “prove” that their recommendations will be effective in treating a particular problem behavior but also to demonstrate that their recommendations are capable of being implemented by school staff. This study describes and presents two comprehensive Direct Behavioral Consultative examples for assessing, treating, and training others to implement treatments for severe problem behavior in a school setting. The self-injurious and aggressive behaviors of a 14-year-old female student diagnosed with autism were first assessed utilizing both indirect and direct functional behavior assessment procedures including functional analysis. Following the functional behavior assessment procedures, both a preference assessment and brief treatment analysis were conducted in an analogue setting to test the efficacy of a treatment intervention based on the function of the student’s problem behaviors. Finally, the treatment analysis was extended to the student’s natural classroom environment using a behavioral consultant, the student’s paraprofessional and teacher as direct therapists for all experimental sessions. The results of the treatment analysis in the student’s natural classroom environment, as displayed in a multiple baseline design, showed a significant decrease in the student’s problem behaviors with generalization across three individuals.



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