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 #205
CE Offered: BACB
The Utility of New Technological Advances for Assessment and Curriculum in Enhancing Language Skills Within Human Service Agencies
Sunday, May 28, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Leah Verkuylen (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Brooke Diane Walker, M.S.

There are many factors to consider when making curriculum decisions within clinical and human service settings. Efficacy, ease of implementation, and empirical bases can be crucial for advancing language skills and increasing the adaptive behavioral repertoire of individuals. Assessing individual preference for possible reinforcers within a large-scale curriculum is also of consideration when undergoing program changes. While there are a number of assessments that are commonly used in human service settings, the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge (PEAK) Assessment and Curriculum Guide moves beyond just assessing skills. It additionally provides practitioners with a treatment guide. This symposium presents the utility of the PEAK curriculum in a human service agency, its efficacy, and implementation strategies. Additionally, this symposium will assess the utility of behavioral skills training for a system-wide roll out of PEAK within a different human service agency. Correlations of the PEAK assessments with full-scale intelligence tests will also be discussed. Finally, factors and implications of using preference assessments within the PEAK curriculum are also discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): BST, Human Service, PEAK, Preference Assessment

The Use of Behavioral Skills Training on a System-Wide Roll Out of PEAK in a Human Service Agency

JENNIFER MARTIN (JKP Analysts, LLC), Morgan Wicks (JKP Analysts, LLC), Joshua K. Pritchard (JKP Analysts, LLC)

Human service agencies that provide applied behavior analytic therapies are often looking for the most effective curriculum programming. With the relatively recent arrival of the empirically based assessment and treatment package, PEAK Relational Training System, human service agencies that desire to use cutting-edge technology are confronted with a difficult choice: Invest significant energy and capital into the adoption of a new system, or maintain the status quo. In this talk, we will examine the challenges and successes of an agency that chose to adopt a new system, and examined the impact of behavior skills training to teach their old and new behavior technicians how to implement the ABA-based services. The current presentation will address the challenges and limitations to system-wide roll-outs of new technologies. The impact of behavioral skills training on the implementation of PEAK by behavior technicians will also be discussed. Additionally, the presentation will explore whether each PEAK curriculum module is sufficiently independent from the need for behavioral skills training.

Factors that Influence Choice and Their Implications for Preference Assessments in PEAK
MICHAEL PALMER (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers), Michael Brooks (Central Michigan Univeristy; Central Autism Treatment Centers), Noell Jankowski (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers ), Christie L. Nutkins (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers ), Seth W. Whiting (Central Michigan University; Central Autism Treatment Centers )
Abstract: Preference assessments are a key tool for determining potential reinforcers, motivating work behavior, and promoting new behaviors.  In a curriculum such as PEAK, where many new skills are trained, finding effective reinforcers is paramount to success of the system. Preferences can change depending on several factors such as access duration following the choice, access to preferred items at other times of the day, or satiation when running learning trials and programs over the course of the curriculum. Additionally, preferences may need to be changed due to the cumulative effects of exposure to those preferred items over time (e.g., candy items). Beginning with baseline multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments, we examined participant choices. We then examined choices at different times of the day and when aspects of the preference assessments were manipulated such as reinforcer magnitude, array size, and arrangement of the array. Results suggest that choices in preference assessments may be biased based on each of these factors. The implications of these changes in choice during preference assessments while teaching the PEAK curriculum will be discussed.
An Investigation of the Validity of PEAK Transformation: An Assessment of Relational Responding, Normative Sampling, and IQ
BROOKE DIANE WALKER (Southern Illinois University), Liza Marquie (Transformation Learning Inc.), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Assessing higher-level verbal repertoires of individuals with autism and related intellectual disabilities is crucial due to the language and cognitive deficits experienced by this population as well as the need for valid assessment tools for data-driven and individualized treatment. In addition to, curricula or instructional protocols that produce changes toward improvement of language and cognitive skills are vital to the overall well being of these individuals. Several assessments and instructional guides are available to behavior analysts however few have demonstrated evidence of validity, reliability, and/or utility in its effectiveness in producing causal changes in higher-level cognition and adaptive ability. The presentation will present correlational data between PEAK-Transformation Pre-Assessment (PEAK-T-PA) with IQ (WISC-V) and adaptive behavior scales (Vineland-III); as well as provide preliminary normative sample data of PEAK-T-PA with neurotypical children and comparisons to same-age individuals with autism. Lastly, the presentation will include single subject investigations of implementation of PEAK-T protocols.



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