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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Paper Session #501
Teaching Life Skills to Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monday, May 29, 2017
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Dianne Zeigler (Temple University)

Teaching Adolescents With Autism to Order in a Fast Food Restaurant Using Least to Most Prompting

Domain: Applied Research
DIANNE ZEIGLER (Temple University), Shana E. Hornstein (Temple University), Amanda Guld Fisher (Temple University)

This study examined the effects of using least to most prompting to teach individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability to order independently at a fast food restaurant. Four male students ages 11-17 were enrolled in this study. Each student has a dual diagnosis with a primary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with a secondary diagnosis of intellectual disability. Baseline data were collected across three fast food restaurants, on steps completed independently of a task analysis. Following the baseline phase, training was conducted in all three restaurants until students reached mastery criterion. Probe data were collected on percent of steps of the task analysis between training at each restaurant. Following completion of the study, social validity data were taken. A multiple probe design across restaurants was used to analyze progress. Results indicate that community based instruction, using a least to most prompting hierarchy, was effective in teaching students with intellectual disability and autism to order food at a fast food restaurant.

Teaching Daily Living Skills to Individuals With Autism: A Comparison of Two Instructional Methods
Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER WERTALIK (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience impairments in daily living skills, hindering the level of independence achieved in adulthood. Considering activities of daily living comprise a skill area critical to enhancing independence, utilizing effective and efficient instructional methods to teach daily living skills proves essential for individuals with ASD. Current research has examined the effects of video modeling (VM) and TAGteach for teaching daily living skills to individuals with ASD (Wertalik & Kubina, manuscript submitted for publication). Using an alternating treatments design, the experimenters compared the short-term effects of VM and TAGteach to teach daily living skills (i.e., applying deodorant, face washing, teeth brushing) to three adolescents with ASD. Results indicated that short-term instruction using both VM and TAGteach produced accelerated effects when compared to baseline. Although TAGteach produced improvements in performance, VM delivered consistent and productive changes for all three participants. Additionally, experimenters systematically replicated and extended the initial findings. The results yielded similar outcomes in that VM was more effective than TAGteach in teaching daily living skills for all three participants.

Component Analysis of a Feeding Intervention With Siblings as Peer Models for Children With Autism

Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER SKINNER (University of Kansas ), James A. Sherman (The University of Kansas), Jan B. Sheldon (University of Kansas)

Prevalence of feeding problems in children with autism has been estimated to be as high as 90% (Kodak & Piazza, 2008). This can cause serious malnutrition, stress on the child and family, and limit a family's ability to engage in activities. Various intervention methods have been used effectively to increase food consumption. Among these methods are differential reinforcement (DR) and peer modeling (PM). Two studies have been conducted that assessed the effects of PM and DR and resulted in increases in food consumption (Greer et al., 1991; Sira & Fryling, 2012). However, both studies introduced DR and PM simultaneously. The purpose of the current study was to assess the differential effects of DR and PM on the eating behavior of two preschoolers with autism who engaged in food selectivity. To encourage generalization to the home environment, peer models in this study were the participants siblings. A multi-element design was used to evaluate the separate effects of each component, followed by a multiple baseline across food groups to evaluate the combined effects. Results thus far have indicated that both components are differentially effective in increasing certain food groups, but that other food groups require a combination of components to increase consumption.


Treating Sleep Disturbance in Children With Autism: An Investigation Into Primary and Secondary Outcomes

Domain: Applied Research
LAURIE MCLAY (University of Canterbury), Karyn France (University of Canterbury), Neville Morris Blampied (University of Canterbury), Jacqui Knight (University of Canterbury), Brent Hastie (University of Canterbury), Jenna van Deurs (University of Canterbury), Jolene Hunter (University of Canterbury)

There is a high prevalence of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Sleep problems can adversely affect daytime functioning, family functioning, and parental wellbeing, and are unlikely to abate without treatment. In treating sleep disturbance, where multiple, individual variables influence behaviour, strong connections between assessment and treatment are necessary. One approach to forging such connections is Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA). This presentation will present data from a series of single-case design studies that explored: (1) the effects of individualized, parent-implemented, behaviourally-based interventions for sleep disturbance, predicated on the results of FBA; (2) the effect of interventions for sleep interfering vocal stereotypy; (3) the maintenance of treatment effects over time; and (4) the secondary effects of improved sleep on childrens daytime behaviour, and parental wellbeing. Each study included children with ASD, who were between 3-16 years of age. Preliminary research findings demonstrate a reduction in sleep problems following treatment. These gains were maintained over time. The resolution of sleep problems also resulted in improved daytime behavior and parent wellbeing. The implications of these findings for research, and clinical practice will be discussed.




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