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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #181
CE Offered: BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis in Public Schools: Strategies for Academics, Severe Problem Behavior, and Sustainability
Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center 406/407
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Bradley Stevenson (University of North Carolina Charlotte)
Discussant: Charles L. Wood (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
CE Instructor: Bradley Stevenson, MTS
Abstract: TThe results from four studies are presented, each addressing a different challenge encountered in delivering behavior analytic services in public schools. The first presentation responds to the challenge teaching students written expression to students with developmental disabilities, a critical skill in academic settings that is often overlooked for individuals with developmental disabilities. This is done by presenting the effects of response prompting on complete sentence generation by students with intellectual disabilities. The second presentation attends to the challenge of teaching academic content to groups of students, presenting the effects of an intervention to teach science content to students with severe disabilities using systematic instruction. The third focuses on supporting students who exhibit dangerous behaviors, presenting the effects of a synthesized intervention on the severe problem behavior of students with autism. The final presentation addresses the issue of sustainability, presenting the effects of coaching on teacher fidelity when implementing tier 1 strategies. The session ends with the discussant drawing connections between the studies and stating the need for a comprehensive approach, including strategies to improve academics, problem behavior, and teacher’s capabilities, to fully realize the potential behavior analysis has to improve services in public schools.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Effects of Response Prompting on Sentence Generation by Students with Developmental Disabilities
ROBERT C. PENNINGTON (University of Louisville), Lindsay Hugg (Jefferson County Public Schools)
Abstract: Despite the critical role that written expression plays in educational settings, there is paucity of research on its instruction to children with intellectual disabilities. In this presentation we will describe a recent investigation where we sought to evaluate the effects of a response prompting procedure (constant time delay [CTD]) on the acquisition of sentence writing skills for three middle school students with moderate intellectual disability. Furthermore, we assessed the generalization of acquired writing skills to a different writing task (unstructured journal writing). We employed a multiple probe design in our analysis and the data suggest that all three participants acquired sentence targets. In addition, the participants demonstrated increased use of complete sentences during unstructured journal writing activities. At the conclusion of our presentation, we will discuss several observed patterns in student responding and some of the challenges related to conducting this investigation in a school setting with natural change agents.

Using Systematic Instruction to Teach Science to Students With Severe Disabilities

ANNA GREENE (Melmark New England)

Science content is still a commonly over-looked academic content area for students with severe disabilities despite recent research. The purpose of this study was to show that students with severe disabilities can learn science content in a whole group setting when taught using applied behavior analytic principles, such as prompting and fading techniques. Four elementary-aged students with severe disabilities between 1st and 5th grade were taught science content using group lessons and effects were measured by a multiple baseline design across units. Participants were taught content from three different units: Energy, weather, and plants; the science content selected aligned with Virginias Alternative Standards of Learning (ASOL) and helped complete two of the participants Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) portfolios. Each unit consisted of five vocabulary words and their definitions and three concept questions (i.e., key ideas of the unit). Science content was taught to all four participants in group lessons using systematic instruction utilizing errorless prompting methods such as constant time delay and activities that related to the unit content. Probe trials were used to determine baseline and intervention effects.


Effects of Function-Based Crisis Intervention on the Severe Problem Behavior of Students With Autism

BRADLEY STEVENSON (University of North Carolina Charlotte), Charles L. Wood (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

This study examined a way to blend the strengths of two approaches for addressing students problem behavior: function-based intervention and crisis intervention. This resulted in a model referred to as function-based crisis intervention (FBCI). Using a delayed multiple-probe design, results showed that FBCI reduced the severe problem behavior of three students with autism while maintaining safety for students and staff. Implications for future research and practice are discussed

Effects of Coaching on Teachers’ Implementation of Tier One School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Strategies
KERI STEVENSON BETHUNE (James Madison University)
Abstract: Fidelity of implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) procedures within schools is critical to the success of the program. Coaching has been suggested as one approach to helping ensure accuracy of implementation of SWPBIS plans. This study used a multiple baseline across participants design to examine the effects of coaching on elementary schools teachers’ implementation of Tier One SWPBIS with their general education students. After providing the coach with an initial training on the SWPBIS and coaching procedures, four elementary school teachers were provided with side-by-side coaching during whole-class group instruction. Results indicated that there was a functional relationship between coaching and improved SWPBIS fidelity scores. Implications for practice included the need to consider selecting an appropriate person to act as the coach, scheduling difficulties, and the inability to standardize the number of opportunities for teachers to demonstrate some of the skills based on variability in student performance. However, utilizing school personnel to act as SWPBIS coaches may be a viable option to build sustainability and integrity of SWPBIS procedures within schools.



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