Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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 #272
Projects from the Frontline: Training Transitional Skills Across the Lifespan for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Sunday, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2B
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Austin Seabert (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Peck, M.A.

Individuals with developmental disabilities (DD)often experience an increased need for instruction on transitional skills across their overall lifespan (The North Carolina Institute of Medicine, 2009). These skills often include independence in activities of daily living (ADLs), vocational skills, and complex social skills. The acquisition of these skills often leads to an increased quality of life, but due to the individualization required for training these types of skills, they can often be difficult to address. As such, this symposium will address issues in training three significant life skills. The first presentation will discuss a systematic replication of toilet training as conducted by LeBlanc et al. (2005). Recommendations for practice, and common oversights in the toilet training literature will be examined. The second presentation will address training vocational and job-related social skills. Considerations for training, and suggestions for future research will be highlighted. The final presentation will tackle issues related to sexuality. Methods for training healthy and safe sexual behaviors for individuals with DD will be discussed. Each author will emphasize overall implications of training these skills throughout development.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Developmental Disabilities, Sexuality, Social Skills, Transition Skills

Toilet Training Children With Developmental Disabilities: Procedural Changes and Generalization of Bowel Movements

(Applied Research)
Rebecca Kolb (Western Michigan University), REBECCA RENEE WISKIRCHEN (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)

The importance of independent toileting skills cannot be overstated due to the vast benefits for clients and all those involved in their care. Improvements in quality of life include increased sanitation and comfort, substantial monetary gain, and greater access to various services and settings. Toilet training usually involves a sit schedule, increased fluids, reinforcement, urine alarms, positive practice, and functional communication training. While many studies have utilized a combination of these procedures, methods of implementation have varied. Furthermore, few studies have reported generalization to bowel movements. The current study examined the effects of a toilet training procedure (LeBlanc et al. 2005) on five developmentally-disabled children, using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. Moreover, the current study also examined the potential for generalization effects to bowel movements, which is rarely addressed in the literature. Results will be presented as well as a discussion on data based procedural changes and solutions to practical barriers.


Sexuality and Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: Not Just a Synonym for Abstinence

(Service Delivery)
KIMBERLY PECK (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

A commonly-faced, but sometimes disregarded and understudied issue for individuals with developmental disabilities is sexuality (Realmuto & Ruble, 1999). As such, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities often mistake or ignore social cues in their environment, inhibiting their ability to appropriately navigate sexual interactions. These deficits in healthy sexual habits can lead to abuse, criminal consequences, and decreased quality of life (Swango-Wilson, 2010). A better understanding of sexuality will help individuals to increase confidence, independence, and optimize the quality of their sexual/social interactions. Thus, behavior analysts practicing in a variety of environments, should be vigilant to the most effective, empirically-validated, and contextually-relevant approaches to teaching individuals about their own sexuality in relation to the world around them. The current presentation will discuss practical considerations for comprehensive sex education, training healthy sexual habits, and pursuing sexual relationships. Further, this talk will highlight resources and recommendations for training, successful strategies, and areas for future research.


Now Hiring: Practical Tips for Obtaining and Maintaining Paid Employment for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

(Service Delivery)
KAYLA JENSSEN (Western Michigan University), Kimberly Peck (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

Despite a growing emphasis in autism-related services, a greater focus is needed on job-related skills training. Individuals with disabilities often struggle with social and other job-related skills, which may impact their marketability when applying for employment positions (Tomblin & Haring, 2000). Therefore, community-based transition programs and employment preparation need to be emphasized (Allen et al., 2010). In collaboration with a local intermediate school district, a Midwestern university developed the PROMOTES (Providing Realistic Opportunities to Mentor On-site Training for Employment Skills) Employment Project to support individuals with developmental disabilities, ages 16 and older, who are seeking or have obtained paid employment. Following year one of the PROMOTES Employment Project, the authors have identified a number of practical “do’s and don’ts” for clinicians seeking to prepare individuals with developmental disabilities for employment. Successful strategies and interventions identified during year one of PROMOTES will be examined in relation to the existing literature-base for employment-related skills training and instruction for individuals with developmental disabilities. Recommendations for job-related social skills and vocational training, implications for practice, and suggested research topics for job-related skills training will also be discussed for young adults with autism and developmental disabilities.




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