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 #38
CE Offered: BACB
Making Applied Behavior Analysis Available to Other Disciplines through Behavior Skills Training
Saturday, May 27, 2017
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 304
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital)
Discussant: Patrick C. Friman (Boys Town)
CE Instructor: John E. Staubitz, M.Ed.

One method of growing the practice of applied behavior analysis is to train practitioners who are responsible for assessing and treating individuals engaging in challenging behavior. Practitioners from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., psychology, social work, education) are expected to assess and treat individuals engaging in challenging behavior, but they may not have the skills to conduct an experimental analysis, the gold standard in behavior assessment. Training these practitioners to use experimental analyses is necessary if there isnt someone else (e.g., BCBA) with the expertise readily available. Presenters in this symposium have chosen to expand ABA practice by training school-based and community-based practitioners to conduct behavior assessments. Three talks (Staubitz et al., Rios et al., Graber et al.) will discuss training models they employed to successfully teach practitioners preference assessments and/or experimental analyses. All three groups utilized telehealth technology in various ways to support their training. Carrion et al. studied the impact of training school-based behavior teams to conduct assessments that were traditionally reserved for a clinical setting has on clinical practices. Together, the four talks, serve as an example for the understanding the main benefit of sharing ABA with other disciplines: Creating ABA availability for those in need.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Skills Training, Telehealth

Training School-Based Consultants to Conduct Data-Based Functional Assessments

JOHN E. STAUBITZ (TRIAD, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center), Lauren A. Weaver (Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectr), Verity Rodrigues (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), A. Pablo Juárez (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Even when practitioners understand the importance of function-based interventions for challenging behaviors, their skill and confidence deficits may prevent them from incorporating valid data within the Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) they are required to develop and implement. The Tennessee Department of Education contracted with board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) from Vanderbilts Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) to pilot a program training 8 school-based consultants (e.g. school psychology, special education) to improve the quality of their FBAs for students. TRIAD BCBAs conducted behavioral skills training using a combination of live and telepresence support to teach trainees how to plan, conduct, and analyze preference assessments and descriptive assessments, and to synthesize assessment results into a valid and complete FBA. This presentation will include data reflecting consistent, marked improvements in trainee knowledge and self-assessment of their skills over the course of the project, along with rising procedural fidelity, inter-observer agreement, and accuracy for assessments and reports generated. These findings suggest that these training procedures are likely to result in improved FBAs conducted by school-based consultants, and include several practical implications.

Effects of a Remote Behavioral Skills Training Package on Staff Performance in Conducting Functional Analyses
DENICE RIOS (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Renee Wiskirchen (Western Michigan University), Yannick Andrew Schenk (Kennedy Krieger Institue), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The present study sought to extend the current literature on utilizing behavioral skills training (BST) to teach practitioners how to implement functional analyses (FA). Using a multiple baseline design across participants, this study measured the effects of using a remote BST package on accurate implementation of FA procedures. Specifically, we used the latest HIPAA-secure teleconsultation technology and BST to train 10 practitioners who had limited formal training in FA methodologies. Each participant experienced four phases, which included baseline (only instructions with simulated clients), BST (instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback with simulated clients), post training probes (probes with simulated clients), and in-situ probes (probes with actual clients). All participants increased their performance in conducting FAs during the remote BST phase. Seven out ten participants maintained their performance at or above mastery criterion during post-training probes with simulated clients and during in-situ probes with actual clients. These results suggest that the use of remote technology for training purposes could be a cost-effective and feasible solution to increase the quality of services and number of trained professionals in underserved rural areas.

Teleconsultation in a State-Wide Training Project for School Teams

JESSICA GRABER (University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Adam Weaver (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Denise White-Staecker (Heartland Area Education Agency), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)

The Iowa Department of Education contracted behavior analysts from the Center for Disabilities and Development to provide hands-on training to behavior specialists working with students who display challenging behavior in schools. Training focused on preference assessments, concurrent operants assessments, antecedent analyses, and functional analyses. To date, this Challenging Behavior Service (CBS) has trained 33 individuals to an independent level in these skills. During training sessions, CBS trainers and trainees worked directly with students referred for challenging behavior. Based on operationalized levels of independence, trainees progressed through two phases of training: skill-building and maintenance. In skill-building, trainers modeled skills and gradually faded support as trainees showed increasing independence. In maintenance, trainees demonstrated their continued independence with the target skills. Over the course of the project, several challenges emerged, including student reactivity and high costs of travel for training. This presentation will describe how we utilized telehealth to overcome these challenges, including a case example from each phase of training. In skill-building, telehealth was used during a school-based assessment to reduce student reactivity, by allowing observers to take data from another classroom. In maintenance, telehealth was used to reduce costs associated with travel and to increase the validity of assessing trainee independence.

Increasing the Presence of School-Based Behavior Analysts in Iowa: How it Affects our Clinics
DEVA CARRION (University of Iowa), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Julianne St. John (University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Denise Allison (Child Health Specialty Clinics )
Abstract: The Behavioral Analysis Services at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) include clinical and outreach services for the assessment and intervention of challenging behavior. Clinical services include single appointment evaluations or evaluations that span up to 10 days. Outreach services include training school-based challenging behavior teams (CBT) to independently conduct experimental analyses. This training has been supported through a contract between the Iowa Department of Education and CDD and is known as the Challenging Behavior Service since fall 2009. Trainees began reaching graduation criteria in winter 2011. Students referred to the CBT vary in complexity (e.g., intensity of challenging behavior, communication abilities), and sometimes the most challenging students may be referred to clinical services at CDD. We are investigating whether the increase of CBTs has had an effect on clinical practice and the collaboration between school teams and clinic staff by reviewing patient records from 2009, 2012, and 2015. Preliminary analyses indicate an increase of school involvement during clinic assessments, including school members attending appointments, conducting sessions, and participating in consultation. Data also indicate an increase in the average number of general behavioral strategies recommended to patients, which may indicate an increase in the complexity of clinic cases.



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