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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #428
Evaluations of Four Training Models to Teach Behavioral Treatment Procedures to Direct Care Providers
Monday, May 26, 2014
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: Jennifer L. Austin (University of South Wales)

The limited availability of skilled behavior analysts hinders the delivery of effective assessment and treatment procedures to children who show severe behavior problems or skill deficits. In this symposium, four studies that evaluated the use of four training models to teach care providers how to implement behavioral assessment or treatment procedures will be presented. The participants in these studies include adults with autism spectrum disorder, parents of young children with severe behavior problems, and applied behavior analysis technicians. The training protocols include in-vivo instruction, a pyramid instruction protocol, a 40 hour E-Learning program and a web-based program that allowed behavior analysts to train parents on the use of behavioral treatment procedures from a remote location. Skill gains were measured through direct observation of the participants implementing the procedures with young children in two studies, and through tests and observations of the participants skills in the remaining two studies. In each study, the participants demonstrated acquisition of the behavioral assessment and/or treatment procedures. Taken together, the studies show the effectiveness of the training procedures in increasing the participants skills and the applicability of the procedures to specific settings.

Keyword(s): Autism, Remote Training, Training careproviders

Teaching Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Work with Children: Further Evaluation of a Vocational Training Program

MELISSA NISSEN (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Conrad Hillman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Molly Shireman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)

Adults with autism spectrum disorder who were interested in working with children participated in a pilot vocational training program. Training focused on implementing discrete-trial teaching with children with autism who exhibited problem behavior. Three men with no intellectual disabilities, aged 19 to 23 years, participated as the therapists, and four children diagnosed with autism, aged 4 to 6 years, participated as learners. We used behavioral skills training (e.g., written and verbal instruction, modeling, role play with feedback) to teach each therapist to conduct discrete-trial training with two children. Following the initial behavioral skills training, the participants worked directly with two children while receiving brief feedback. Generalization was assessed across untrained targets and children. Results indicated that all adult therapists quickly acquired discrete-trial training skills and that these skills generalized to untrained targets and novel children. Across all participants, the children with autism showed some acquisition in 14 of the 15 targeted skills.


Preliminary Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Web-based Program for Training Applied Behavior Analysis Technicians

KEVIN C. LUCZYNSKI (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Stephanie A. Hood (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Aaron D. Lesser (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Mychal Machado (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Autism is a debilitating condition affecting about 1 in 88 children. Research shows that Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions (EIBI) is effective when implemented by appropriately trained and supervised technicians. However, few, if any empirically supported programs are available for training technicians. We are conducting a randomized clinical trial to evaluate a 40-hour, web-based, E-Learning program for training ABA technicians in treatment protocols used in EIBI. The two primary dependent variables are the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Play Activities (BISPA) and the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Work Activities (BISWA). To date, eight participants have completed pretest and posttest assessments on these measures, four in the treatment group and four in the control group. Mean correct on the pretest and posttest for the treatment and control groups for the BISPA were 21.5%, 6.5%, 88.5%, and 11%, respectively. For the BISWA, they were 32.3%, 13.5%, 95.5%, and 20.8%, respectively. For both measures, a general linear model showed significant main and interaction effects indicating that the treatment group improved much more than the control group. Results provide strong preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of this program, which can be delivered to prospective ABA technicians anywhere in the world that has broadband Internet access.

Development and Evaluation of a Large-Scale Pyramidal Staff Training Program for Behavior Management
AUDREY H. SHIVERS (University of North Texas), Richard G. Smith (University of North Texas), Katy Atcheson (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Training and empirically evaluating caregivers’ implementation of behavior management skills is a particularly challenging task in large residential contexts. A pyramidal training approach provides an efficient and effective way to conduct such training. The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a large-scale pyramidal staff training program for behavior management skills. Direct support staff and behavior service professionals at a large state facility participated in this project. Pre and post-test probes were conducted utilizing role-play scenarios and checklists to evaluate the effectiveness of a training package consisting of video modeling, role-playing, and discussion to establish three specific behavior management skills with caregivers. In addition, the project sought to teach behavior service professionals the skills to administer the training package and directly assess caregivers’ implementation of behavior management procedures. A second training package comprised of video models, role-plays, and feedback was used to train behavior service professionals. The data showed improvements in the accuracy of both direct caregivers’ implementation of behavior management procedures and the behavior service professionals’ presentation and evaluation of training following the use of the training packages.

Training Parents to Conduct Functional Analyses and Functional Communication Training Via Telehealth

JOHN F. LEE (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa), Patrick Romani (The University of Iowa), Alyssa N. Suess (The University of Iowa), Kelly M. Schieltz (The University of Iowa), Scott D. Lindgren (The University of Iowa), Todd G. Kopelman (The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)

The lack of trained applied behavior analysts in rural settings is an obstacle to providing services to parents of children who show severe behavior problems. One way to address this problem is to provide direct training to parents through a web-based system such as Skype. In this study, parents with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who engaged in severe behavior problems were enrolled in the study. Parents were provided equipment to connect them with trained behavior analysts from the University of Iowa. Parents and behavior analysts interacted directly using videoconferencing software live during sessions. Parents conducted all functional analysis and treatment sessions with their child in their own homes while behavior analysts provided instruction and monitored the parent's performance. The results of the study show that the parents were able to successfully conduct the assessment and treatment sessions to reduce problem behavior. We will briefly describe treatment outcomes and compare them to previous in-home projects conducted without the use of telehealth technologies and then describe some of the unique applications of telehealth technology used to coach parents and record data. Interobserver agreement was assessed across 30% of sessions and averaged over 90%.




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