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 #259
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Compliance in Preschool-Age Children With and Without Autism
Sunday, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: AUT/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Amy Kenzer (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center)
CE Instructor: Amy Kenzer, Ph.D.

Noncompliance is commonly described as an individual not completing an instruction, and/or engaging in problem behaviors when presented with an instruction. Previous research on noncompliance within the preschool population focuses primarily on antecedent variables, guided compliance, differential reinforcement, and response effort. The presentations in this symposium will examine antecedent-based research that targets increased compliance using additional stimuli paired with differential reinforcement, in both typically developing preschoolers, and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first presentation will include research on increasing compliance in a three-year-old male with autism, during transitions within the classroom environment, using 2D no thank you cards. The second presentation will examine an intervention focused on rigidity during daily activities and transitions, using a My Way card system, for three children with autism. The third presentation will include research on increasing individual compliance through an independent group contingency within an inclusive classroom setting, utilizing bracelets. Results from all three interventions suggest that using antecedent-based strategies such as the addition of external stimuli, paired with differential reinforcement, is effective in increasing compliance within typically developing preschoolers, and those with ASD.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Differential Reinforcement, DRA, FCT

Incorporating a 'My Way' System to Increase Compliance in Three Children With Autism

AMANDA M. SUMNEY (Southwest Autism Research), Christine Wentz (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Rachel McIntosh (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)

Engaging in restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior is a core symptom associated with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis (DSM-V). This oftentimes results in inflexibility within daily routines, and impacts an individuals ability form meaningful social relationships. Therefore, in the current study, three preschool-age children with ASD received Functional Communication Training (FCT), along with a concurrent schedule of reinforcement to increase flexibility to changes within daily activities and transitions. Participants were initially taught to utilize a visual 2-D card system that allowed them to escape/avoid undesired activities or transitions. The use of a prize board was then embedded to increase motivation to comply within these daily activities or transitions. Results suggest this intervention produced an effective way to replace inappropriate behaviors associated with inflexibility and increase compliance within daily activities or transitions. Interventions that target increased compliance paired with lessening core symptoms of autism are critical in the successful development and maintenance of social relationships with others.

Utilizing Differential Reinforcement to Teach Functional Communication of Appropriate Refusals During Transitions
ALYSHA REED (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Rachel McIntosh (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Amanda M. Sumney (Southwest Autism Research)
Abstract: Variance in research findings suggests that children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s) have particular difficulties coordinating a vocal response, eye contact, and related communicative gestures (Carbone, O’Brien, Sweeney-Kerwin & Albert, 2013; Clifford & Dissanayke, 2008; Shumay & Wetherby, 2009). Teaching a child with autism to use functional communication provides the socially significant skills to get their needs and wants met. The current program looked to increase appropriate communicative behaviors in a 3-year-old male when asked to transition from one environment to another. When asked to transition, the client had the choice to appropriately transition and receive reinforcement, or exchange up to three “no thank you” cards. Once all three cards were used, the client was expected to independently transition, or would be prompted. Differential reinforcement was used if the client transitioned with minimal problem behaviors. Results suggest this program increased the client’s functional communication, while simultaneously increasing his ability to appropriately transition from one environment to another.
Addressing Classroom-Wide Variations in Child Behavior Through a “Silly Band” Reinforcement System
RACHEL MCINTOSH (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), Christine Wentz (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center)
Abstract: While the occurrence of problem behaviors within the context of preschool classroom settings are common, high rates of problem behaviors can result in reduced learning opportunities as instructors allocate more time to managing disruptive behaviors. This study examined the effectiveness of a group-wide reinforcement system in an inclusive classroom of 16 children; 6 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and 10 children who were typically developing. Children earned, “silly bands” for engaging in specific alternative behaviors that were taught during identified times throughout the day. The children later exchanged their silly bands for a pre-selected prize. Prior to implementing the DRA, frequency of problem behaviors ranged from 3 to 58 with an average of 21.56. Following implementation of the DRA, frequency of problem behaviors ranged from 3 to 31 with an average of 11.5. Results suggest that a DRA was effective at decreasing the overall frequency of problem behaviors across preschool students in the classroom, but further individualized, function-based interventions are warranted for some students in order to address their unique problem behavior(s).



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