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 #303
CE Offered: BACB
Further Evolutions of Behavioral Treatment of Autism: Alternatives to Traditional Intervention Approaches
Sunday, May 28, 2017
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4A/B
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lauren Erion (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL))
CE Instructor: Kaitlin Ross, M.S.
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) remains the treatment of choice for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As ABA remains rooted to its scientific foundation and worldview, researchers in the field continue to explore variables that both evolve the technology and lead to, hopefully, better clinical outcomes. Examples of technological evolution are numerous. For example, functional assessment initially involved multiple sessions per function condition testing in an analog environment. This technology has evolved in many ways, including shorter duration sessions, fewer sessions, a focus on the natural environment of the individual being assessed, and more practical dependent measures (i.e., latency). Another example has been the shift from a focus on consequent intervention when dealing with problematic behavior, to one of antecedent focus. Behavior analysis remains vibrant and effective due to its predilection of self-analysis rooted in experimental data. This symposium will highlight recent advances in the field, in the areas of behavioral intervention and skill acquisition. The talks in this symposium will describe how advances in technology can add to the analysis of severe behavior problems and, when confronted with students who historically show difficulty learning in traditional behavioral formats, clinicians can more effectively ascertain behavioral methods that work with these idiosyncratic learners.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): adolescents, adults, autism, physiological variables

An Investigation of the Relationship Between Arousal and Problematic Behavior in Adolescents With Autism: Assessing Physiological Correlates

(Basic Research)
KAITLIN ROSS (MECA), Thomas L. Zane (Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences), Lauren Erion (Preparing Adolescents and Adults For Life (PAAL)), Daniel Albrand (Preparing Adolescents and Adults For Life (PAAL)), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Frank Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL))

Individuals with autism often display behaviors that interfere with learning, integration, and personal growth. Behavior analysis has developed numerous technologies to assess and intervene on these behaviors. However, a set of variables largely missed in current assessment protocols is an evaluation of physiological variables that might covary with, or be casually related to, the target behaviors. This study investigated the psycho-physiological status of individuals with autism who exhibited specific problem behaviors (self-injury and aggression); specifically looking at the relationship between these behaviors and heart rate. These individuals wore wireless smart devices (Mio Watch) continuously during school hours, across several days. Staff intervened per treatment protocols when targeted problem behaviors occurred. Heart rate data for the 5 minutes prior to and 5 minutes immediately after each behavioral incident was recorded, as well as heart rate during the incident. Data were plotted and analyzed in terms of the data noting any sort of physiological reactivity that could be related to either overarousal or underarousal theories currently explaining the relationship between problematic behavior and biological correlates. The data most often supported an overarousal explanation, suggesting that individuals engage in self-injury or aggression to reduce physiological tension or arousal states. The results will be discussed in terms of new approaches to the identification and treatment of serious maladaptive behaviors.

A Comparison of Discrete Trial, Transfer Trial, and Cold Probe Teaching Methods
(Applied Research)
HAZEL BAKER (Advances Learning Center and Endicott College)
Abstract: It is important for clinicians to quickly identify the best instructional method to teach individuals. The results of research comparing teaching methods is often idiosyncratic. The purpose of this case study was to determine which teaching method was the most efficient to teach foundational language skills to a learner who demonstrated difficulty learning via discrete trial instruction. One learner participated, aged 7 years, and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Her demonstrated skills fell in levels two and three on the VB-MAPP assessment. Listener responding, tacting actions, and intraverbal phrases were taught using discrete trial, transfer trial, and cold probe teaching methods. Targets from each skill were randomly assigned to a teaching method so methods could be compared across targets. An alternating treatments design was used to compare rates of acquisition across methods. Preliminary results showed that transfer trials was the most effective teaching method, followed by cold probes. This comparison of teaching strategies could serve as a model for clinicians in applied settings to compare and select how to best individualize teaching.

Doing More With Less: Innovative Ways of Teaching and Training via Technology

(Service Delivery)
ERIC SCHINDLEDECKER (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Jessica Zawacki (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Gloria M. Satriale (Preparing Adolescents and Adults for Life (PAAL)), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)

Behavior Analysts arrange antecedent and consequent variables to establish and maintain desired behavioral targets. Readily available technology can dramatically expand the possibilities for implementing these to more subtly and efficiently change behavior, both with students and the staff who work with students. Additionally, the use of technology can shift the perspective of the community during community based programming in helping to reduce the stigma associated with more traditional methods of prompting. This presentation demonstrates several different instructional protocols incorporating a variety of ubiquitous technologies (e.g., Bluetooth; FaceTime) in the training of skill acquisition of adolescents and adults with autism. In addition, the use of live-stream video in the training and supervision of staff working in community environments will be described and data provided showing how teletraining and support is effective in establishing and maintaining staff skills. This presentation will discuss potential clinical and research questions pertaining to the use of technology to provide traditional training.




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