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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Poster Session #253
Sunday, May 28, 2017
12:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D
Chair: Robert K. Ross (Beacon ABA Services)
109. Individualized Levels System to Address Multiply Controlled Challenging Behavior
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE ROGERS (Vanderbilt University ), Nealetta Houchins-Juarez (Vanderbilt University), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University), Caitlyn Majeika (Vanderbilt University), Elizabeth Fuller (Vanderbilt University), Savannah Tate (Vanderbilt University), Emily Conley (Vanderbilt University)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Although function-based interventions allow behavior analysts to more easily and quickly reduce rates of severe challenging behavior than non-function based interventions, it is not readily apparent how practitioners can synthesis function-based components into a single intervention when problem behavior is multiply controlled. For example, it can be difficult to ascertain which specific establishing operation might be operating on challenging behavior at any given moment in naturalistic contexts; making extinction (for example) particularly challenging to implement. One solution may be to design multi-component interventions based on the results functional analysis that consider and control for the effects of fluctuations across all relevant motivation operations. In our study, we designed an individualized levels system for a 6-year old girl diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She was referred to an outpatient behavior clinic for tantrums that included property destruction, verbal and physical aggression, and elopement. The levels system incorporated differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, differential reinforcement of other behavior, noncontingent escape, positive punishment, and negative punishment into a single intervention. Results of intervention showed an immediate reduction in rates of problem behavior following implementation; as well as immediate increases in compliance. Treatment effects generalized across therapists and contexts.
110. Using a Manualized Approach to Treating Elopement in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
LAUREN WITHHART (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Mindy Schiethauer (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine), Nathan Call (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine), Joanna Lomas Mevers (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Emory University School of Medicine), Clarissa Priore (Marcus Autism Center; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are much more likely to wander or run away from supervision than their typically developing peers, a behavior referred to as elopement. Elopement has a significant negative impact on the family of a child with ASD, and the behavior itself can be life threatening due to dangers including traffic and drowning. This has led to elopement being singled out by the interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) as a problem in need of significant focus by researchers (Anderson et. al., 2012). Treatment studies that currently exist targeting elopement are single-subject evaluations of behavioral interventions. Such treatments have shown promising results, but are also individualized and intensive, requiring significant resources and expertise to implement. The presented study evaluated the efficacy and efficiency of using a manualized approach to assessing and treatment elopement. The intervention employs a modular format starting with a functional analysis and proceeding to a standardized intervention tailored based on the results of the assessment. It also includes a universal component that addresses the safety concerns that are common with elopement. This modular approach to treating elopement leads to a reduced risk of harm from elopement and decreased parent stress related to elopement. Data from a pilot randomized clinical trial (N=24), including within subject data, suggest that the treatment resulted in improvements in elopement and related variables.
111. Assessment and Treatment of Ritualistic Behavior in an Adult Residential Setting
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
DANIEL LOCKE (Bancroft ), Guirline Derilus (Bancroft), Victor Chin (Bancroft), Javid Rahaman (Bancroft), Jessica Hiller (Bancroft), paige santhin (Bancroft)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Ritualistic behavior is often observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and presents an obstacle when developing treatment. A limited body of research has demonstrated the relationship between blocking ritualistic behavior and more intense forms of problem behavior such as aggression (Hagopian & Adelinis, 2001) (Murphy, MacDonald, Hall, Oliver, 2000), self-injurious behavior (Leon, Lazarchick, Rooker, & Deleon, 2013), and destructive behavior (Kuhn, Hardesty, & Sweeney, 2009). Functional Communication Training (FCT) is a well-established intervention to reduce problem behavior through teaching replacement skills (Carr & Durand, 1985) (Durand & Carr, 1991); however, it can be difficult or unethical to implement FCT as the only means of treatment when ritualistic behavior is not socially acceptable. The present study focuses on the challenging behavior of adults in a residential setting, and aims to address limitations of current research regarding assessment and treatment procedures when FCT and extinction are not viable options due to the intensity of aggression associated with ritualistic behavior.
112. Effects of Behavioral Skills TRAINING (BST) on Learning to Code Behavioral Data
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
VICTOR CHIN (Rowan University), Emily Rae Connovich (Rowan University), Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University), Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Observing and coding behavioral data is a critical skill for behavior analysts to master in their professional training. A limited body of research exists exploring the differential effectiveness of various training packages for teaching objective coding. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) has had success in a teaching a wide array of behavior including gun-play prevention in children (Kelso et. al, 2007) and the implementation of discrete-trial teaching (Sarokoff & Sturmey, 2004). The present study explored the use of BST in training three graduate students of behavior analysis to code behavioral data from video recorded assessments using coding software (Noldus Observer XT). Videos from a 20-25 minute standardized language sample of a child between the ages of 2-5 were obtained from a larger treatment outcome study of early behavior analytic interventions for autism. Observers were trained to code behavioral data across a series of response classes using a group training model and Behavioral Skills Training. Introduction of the trainings staggered across response classes in a multiple-probe design. Participant performance was evaluated by calculating inter-observer agreement to an observation with established accuracy. Results indicate that BST is more effective and efficient than standard group training in teaching accurate data collection.
113. Saving the Best for Last in MSWO Preference Assessments
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
TANVI PENDHARKAR (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Andrew Nuzzolilli (New England Center for Children), Stefanie Upshaw (The New England Center for Children & Western New England University)
Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Preference assessments are designed to assess the reinforcing effects of stimuli. Concurrent schedules are frequently used to assess preference because they are useful for detecting differences in the relative reinforcing efficacy of stimuli. In this study, we highlight cases in which responding on MSWO assessments, however, occurs in a “save the best for last” pattern. In this study, the results of a paired-stimulus preference assessment (PSPA) are compared to results of a multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment for the same set of stimuli for across three sets of preference assessments. In all three sets, the items that were chosen first in the MSWO yielded a low percent selection in the PSPA. Interobserver agreement data for the preference assessments were collected for 45 percent of sessions with 100 percent agreement.
114. The Use of Additional Assessment to Identify Specific Reinforcing Characteristic of an Identified Function
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Erin Casey (Bancroft), Patrick Thulen (Bancroft), Sean Smith (Bancroft), Tracy L. Kettering (Bancroft), KARISHA BRISTOW (Bancroft)
Discussant: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (Achievement by Design)

The standard functional analysis methodology (Iwata et al 1982/1994) is an effective tool for identifying the maintaining variables for problem behavior. However, additional assessments may be required to determine the specific reinforcing qualities of an identified reinforcer to inform the development of an effective function-based treatment. Previous research examined different types specific sensory components for automatically maintained behavior (Patel et al 2000) and treatment based on matched stimulation (Piazza et al., 2000). Kodak and colleagues (2007) evaluated various forms of attention as maintaining reinforcers for problem behavior. In the current study an initial functional analysis of aggressive behavior identified attention as a maintaining function. An additional assessment was conducted to examine the specific reinforcing characteristics of different types of attention. The assessment successfully identified a specific form of physical attention as the maintaining reinforcer for aggressive behavior. Matched stimuli were assessed for possible treatment components to compete with the sensory aspect of the physical attention. This study will also discuss the results implication for the development of a function-based treatment for aggressive behavior.

115. Including Edible and Non-Edible Items in Pretask Choice Preference Assessments for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Discussant: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (Achievement by Design)
Abstract: A number of studies have demonstrated that individuals with developmental disabilities are more likely to select edible items over non-edible items in formal preference assessments such as multiple-stimulus-without-replacement. However, this phenomenon has not been examined with pretask choice preference assessments. Due to time constraints in typical practice, pretask choice preference assessments are often used in place of formal preference assessments. The purpose of this ongoing study is to determine whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are also more likely to select edible items in pretask choice preference assessments. The pretask choice preference assessments consist of presenting one edible and one non-edible item and instructing the participant to choose one. Data have been collected on the percentage of edible selection during intervention sessions for three children, ages 2.5, 5, and 10, all diagnosed with ASD. Preliminary data suggest significant individual differences in the percentage of edible selection as well as session-to-session variability within participants. Data for additional participants will be included in the study, as well as discussion of ethical considerations for using edible reinforcers.
116. Wandering Behavior and Dementia: A Temporal Analysis
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
SHANNON BIAGI (Florida Tech and ABA Technologies, Inc.), Diana C. Carlos (Florida Institute of Technology), Andrew Buchanan (Florida Institute of Technology), Ada C. Harvey (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (Achievement by Design)
Abstract: Wandering behavior of elderly individuals with dementia is highly troublesome. In addition to being highly stressful for caregivers and loved ones, wandering behaviors of the elderly have been linked to increased fall risk, weight loss, earlier institutionalization, and even death (Kibayashi and Shojo, 2003). Pharmacological interventions are often used to mitigate some of these behaviors, but often medications increase fall risks, therby making these behaviors even more dangerous (Meguro et al, 2004). Behavior analysts can be of great assistance to analyzing, treating, and preventing wandering behaviors. The purpose of this study was to better define a possible temporal relation between wandering in the context of subjective reports of "sundowning syndrome" in individuals with Alzheimers-related dementia, through the utilization of a scatterplot system that includes data collection by time of day.
117. A Comparison of Combined and Sequential Learning Channel Training Procedures on Foreign Language Translation of Graduate Students
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
DON TOGADE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (Upswing Advocates; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (Achievement by Design)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to explore the possibility that fluency in foreign language translation can be attained using a modified version of a SAFMEDS (Say All Fast a Minute Every Day Shuffled) procedure. Participants of the study were four female graduate students recruited from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The current study also investigated the effects on the rates of acquisition of foreign language translation of four participants by exposing them to two treatment conditions of teaching combined learning channels (SeeSay and HearSay), and sequentially teaching the learning channels (SeeSay, HearSay). The study also explored which treatment conditions produce more derived, symmetrical relations through the use of stimulus equivalence probes. Lastly, the study also explored which treatment condition produce better performance outcomes during tests of retention, endurance, stability, application, and adduction (RESAA). Results suggest that three out of the four participants have reached performance aim within fewer sessions in the sequential condition than in the combined. In addition, all participants performed better on the test of stimulus equivalence in the combined condition than in the sequential condition. Lastly, during the RESAA testing, participants who met performance aim in the sequential condition also scored higher in retention testing in sequential condition than in the combined treatment condition.
118. Enhancing Engagement in Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Natural Settings Using Mobile Devices
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ISABELA ZAINE (University of São Paulo), Kamila Rodrigues (University of São Paulo), Alex Orlando (University of São Paulo), Bruna da Cunha (University of São Paulo), Caio Viel (University of São Paulo), Olibário Neto (University of São Paulo), Yuri Magagnatto (University of São Paulo), Maria Pimentel (University of São Paulo)
Discussant: Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald (Achievement by Design)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involve one-on-one or group interaction with a trained behavior analyst in structured situations. Although, parental participation is crucial to register valuable data, and to support generalization and maintenance of clinically relevant behaviors in natural settings. They are often encouraged to perform certain activities with their children at home, though verbal instruction does not always suffice. Aiming to increase engagement in therapeutic activities in natural settings, and taking advantage of the pervasiveness of smartphones, we developed a free system - Experience Sampling and Programmed Intervention Method (ESPIM) - that allows therapists to program and monitor remote data collection and interventions to be performed by parents or other caregivers. The system supports multimedia data formats (text, video, audio, images), and allows the therapist to set reminders of activities and to trigger a series of activities over time (e.g. 3 times a day for a week). For example, the therapist can program for parents to: 1. Watch a video model of an activity; 2. Video-record the child performing the activity; 3. Register difficulties in performing the activity. All interactions with the system are made through a smartphone and are immediately available to the therapist, allowing more immediate feedback, performance correction and reprogramming of activities when necessary. Our hypothesis is that incorporating the system in the therapy will improve intervention results, increase engagement and generalization of target behaviors to natural settings. This hypothesis will be tested in the upcoming months using a multiple baseline across subjects design with five children with ASD undergoing ABA therapy in a specialized educational center.
119. A Review of Survey Data Assessing ABA Training and Practices in School Settings in Pennsylvania
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
ERIC JOSEPH BIENIEK (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania), Mike Monfore (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Andrew R. Kieta (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This poster presentation will examine the state of current practices and opinions of professionals recognized as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Teachers of Students having exceptionalities working specifically school based settings. Responses will be collected from a regional sample of professionals recognized as BCBAs and fellow educators working in schools using Applied Behavior Analytic Practices. These professionals should be trained and utilize sound applied behavioral principles and evidenced based interventions, given the continued push for inclusion for all exceptional learners .This survey will attempt to collect data on the state of ABA service delivery in these settings. Respondents were more specifically queried on the types of interventions most frequently used in their professional experiences and where ABA practices are most commonly used. Other questions included: What areas of intervention did professionals receive most or least formal training? What was the amount of formal training they experienced and what types of training platforms used for instructional delivery? Participants will also identify both professional and environmental barriers experienced in the delivery of ABA services as well as receiving quality ABA training. Comparisons across participant responses will be analyzed based on professional roles, training, years of experience, etc. Finally, recommendations to increase effectiveness of future professional development and training experiences will be provided.



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