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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Program by Continuing Education Events: Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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Symposium #473
CE Offered: BACB
International Symposium - Basic, Applied and Translational Research on Conditioning and Derived Relational Responding: Treatment Implications
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Del Mar AB
Area: EAB/CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Simon Dymond (University of Wales, Swansea)
CE Instructor: Simon Dymond, Ph.D.

Findings from basic, applied, and translational research on conditioning and derived relational responding are presented. The first presentation describes a novel paradigm to investigate interoceptive conditioning, with implications for panic disorder. The second presentation describes researcn derived transfer of evaluative learning, with implications for generalised anxiety disorder. The third presentation describes a translational research model of derived avoidance behavior, with implications for anxiety and phobias. The final presentation outlines multiple-exemplar training strategies to facilitate derived relational responding, with implications for intellectual interevention.

Experimental Evaluation of the Interoceptive Conditioning Account of Panic Disorder: Surprising Results with Applied Implications.
DEAN ACHESON (University of Albany), John P. Forsyth (University at Albany, State University of New York)
Abstract: The modern learning theory account of panic disorder (Bouton, Mineka & Barlow, 2001) suggests that fear of bodily cues is acquired and maintained via a learned respondent relation between benign bodily sensations and full blown fearful responding (i.e., a panic attack). Thereafter, bodily cues function to elicit panic attacks, and are thus responded to fearfully. This phenomenon is known as interoceptive conditioning. Despite the role afforded interoceptive fear conditioning in etiologic accounts of panic disorder, there are no good experimental demonstrations of such learning in humans. This presentation will detail a series of experiments evaluating the interoceptive fear learning account using 20% carbon dioxide enriched air (CO2) as an interoceptive CS (i.e., physiologically inert 5-s exposures) and US (i.e., physiologically prepotent 15-s exposures) in a healthy human sample. The results of these studies, involving several different contingency arrangements and psychophysiological response domains, were surprising in showing that random / unpaired contingencies yielded the most robust fear learning; learning that was also highly resistant to extinction. These findings, in turn, will be discussed in the context of contemporary learning accounts of panic pathology, with implications for the design of prevention and treatment programs.
Transfer of Self-Efficacy Function after Evaluative Learning: Clinical Implications.
CHARLOTTE N. DACK (University of Wales, Swansea), Phil Reed (University of Wales, Swansea), Louise A. Mchugh (University of Wales, Swansea)
Abstract: Experiment 1 examined whether self-efficacy functions related to performance on two different reinforcement schedules (i.e., DRL and DRH) would transfer via derived relations. Participants (n = 16) were first trained and tested for two 3-member classes (A1-B1-C1 and A2-B2-C2). The first two members of each group (i.e., A and B) were nonsense words, while the third member was an affective word: 'good' for C1, and 'bad' for C2. They also completed an evaluative conditioning task and a transfer of evaluative function test. It was found that the DRH schedule produced significantly higher self-efficacy ratings than the DRL schedule. A transfer of stimulus properties emerged between the stimulus class members. The coloured circle that signalled high rate behaviour (DRH) and high self-efficacy was selected in the presence of stimuli associated with 'good', and the coloured circle that signalled low rate behaviour (DRL) and low self-efficacy was selected in the presence of stimuli associated with'bad'. Experiment 2 and 3 replicated these findings but controlled for the rate of reinforcement and rate of responding. Implications for understanding the development of generalised problems seen in anxiety and depressive disorders are discussed.
Derived Transformation of Avoidance Response Functions: Implications for Clinically Significant Fear and Avoidance.
SIMON DYMOND (University of Wales, Swansea), Bryan T. Roche (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), John P. Forsyth (University at Albany, State University of New York), Robert Whelan (University College Dublin), Julia Rhoden (University of Wales, Swansea)
Abstract: Three experiments were conducted in order to test a translational research model of derived avoidance based on the transformation of avoidance response functions in accordance with same and opposite relational frames. Using the Relational Completion Procedure, participants were first exposed to non-arbitrary and arbitrary relational training and testing in order to establish Same and Opposite relations between non-word stimuli. The training tasks were; Same-A1-B1, Same-A1-C1, Opposite-A1-B2, Opposite-A1-C2. Next, in an avoidance conditioning procedure, B1 signaled a simple avoidance response. Participants who showed conditioned avoidance also showed derived avoidance to C1 in the absence of a direct aversive history with C1. Participants who were not exposed to relational training and testing did not show derived avoidance. Experiment 2 showed that this effect was not a by-product of instructional control, and Experiment 3 demonstrated a more complex pattern of transformation. Implications of the translational model for understanding clinically significant fear and avoidance behaviors are discussed.
Improving Relational Skills in Adults and Children Using Multiple Exemplar Training.
SARAH N. O'CONNOR (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Denis P. O'Hora (University of Ulster)
Abstract: The current paper will outline the findings of two experiments designed to test the utility of multiple exemplar relational training as a means of improving arbitrarily applicable relational responding in both adults and children. Six experimental adult subjects were exposed to intensive multiple exemplar training for Same/Opposite responding using novel stimulus sets. This involved providing feedback and reinforcement for correct responding on a trial-to-trial basis during relational tests which were administered only once per stimulus set. All subjects showed modest improvements in Same/Opposite relational responding across novel stimulus sets and all reached the mastery criterion within 10 exposures to relational training/testing. A further six adult subjects did not receive multiple exemplar training, but were exposed to successive relational tests for Same and Opposite using novel stimulus sets. Only two of these subjects reached the mastery criterion on a novel stimulus set. Similar results were obtained using a group of 8-12 year old children. These results seem to suggest that relational skills can be generalised to novel stimulus sets and this has implications for the development of applied interventions for intellectual deficit.
Symposium #475
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Treatment in Home Settings
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Emma AB
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
CE Instructor: Bryan J. Davey, Ph.D.

Applied Behavior Analysis in home settings typically involves the application of data-based instructional or skill acquisition procedures such as discrete trials training. However, increasingly, referrals are made for behavior reduction. This symposium highlights advancements in functional analysis and behavioral interventions within home settings. One paper will present data on the use of a punishment procedure used following functional analysis when the identified reinforcer, attention from a young child, could not be controlled due to development and age limitations. The second paper will present data and discussion on a child failing to acquire a communicative response in FCT after her aggression was determined to have been maintained by attention. Several different approaches in the FCT training process will be included. The third paper will present a case example of home consultation for multiple referrals from the goal setting meeting through implementation of compliance training, FCT, and skill acquisition programs in a 7-year-old boy with autism. The final paper will present functional analysis and treatment analysis data in the home settings following similar analyses in the school setting. The reduction of SIB in a 6-year-old girl with autism will be presented from both settings.

Decreasing Attention-Maintained Aggression in a Child with Autism Using Punishment.
MICHAEL M. MUELLER (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Christine Palkovic (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Amanda J. Mann (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) that included functional analysis determined that the aggression of a 4-year-old boy was maintained by the attention of his 3-year-old brother also diagnosed with autism. When the attention of the brother could not be reliably controlled (i.e., systematically withheld or delivered) a punisher assessment compared several potential punishment procedures. The most aversive procedure was identified as a basket hold. The basket hold was used on a high preference behavior to test its punishing effects and then implemented to decrease aggression. The use of positive reinforcement and punishment after functional analyses will be discussed.
Failure to Acquire Communicative Responses during FCT when Reducing Attention-Maintained Aggression.
AMANDA J. MANN (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Bryan J. Davey (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: Many studies have demonstrated that functional communication training (FCT) is an effective treatment in reducing problematic behaviors and in shaping an alternative (communicative) response. Although research has demonstrated the efficacy of FCT as a treatment with a variety of behaviors maintained by social consequences, few studies have systematically evaluated failure to acquire the alternative response. In the current study, a functional analysis identified attention as the maintaining variable for aggressive behavior. FCT to teach a communication behavior was attempted using several different training meethods. We will discuss failure to acquire the alternative response during FCT. In addition, this study will present variations in training the alternative response and how these training methods may affect the acquisition of the desired response, and how the quality of attention maintaining the problem behavior may affect the success of a function based treatment for attention maintained behavior.
A Case Example of Home Consultation to Reduce Multiple Problem Behaviors.
BRYAN J. DAVEY (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Meaghan Timko (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: In home consultation, it is common for parents to have multi0le concerns. In the present case example, data will be provided on a home consultation that reduced multiple forms of problem behavior. The presentation will begin with the results of a goal setting meeting to prioritize service provision. Data will be presented from each of the assessments and interventions during the consultation process that addressed aggression, noncompliance, and turn taking behaviors. Aggression was addressed through FCT and generalization to the parents. Noncompliance was addressed with Effective Instruction Delivery and systematic prompting; Turn taking was addressed via positive reinforcement for appropriate turn taking and game playing behaviors.
Generalization of Functional Analysis and Effective Treatment of SIB from School to Home Settings.
CHRISTINE PALKOVIC (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: SIB often occurs across multiple environments. However, it cannot be assumed that behavioral function remains constant across those different settings. As such, effective treatment choices demand individualized assessments. When SIB occurs at very high levels, brief generalization analyses can take place in the generalization setting to limit intentionally reinforcing high rates of SIB. When results are similar across settings, brief treatment evaluation of generalized interventions can shorten evaluation duration and quicken the speed with which effective treatments are implemented across settings. The current study is a case example in which functional analysis results demonstrated attention and tangible reinforcement function in a 7-year-old girl with autism in a public school classroom. Brief treatment evaluations determined that a treatment using NCR attention, access to preferred items, and extinction was effective in eliminating SIB maintained by attention. FCT to request preferred tangibles was effective in eliminating SIB maintained by access to tangible items. Following these evaluations in the school setting, brief functional analysis and brief treatment evaluation of the same treatments were used in the home. Behavioral function across settings was the same and the same treatments were used in the school and home environments to eliminate high rates of SIB.
Symposium #479
CE Offered: BACB
Thinking Outside the Prompt: Innovative Teaching and Prompting Strategies for Students with Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Madeleine AB
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Martineau, Other

Chronic prompt dependency is a common obstacle to mastering skills for many students with autism. The inability to respond in the absence of a prompt often requires the teacher to "go back to the drawing board" so to speak, undoing weeks or months of teaching. There is a strong research base for strategies such as visual, physical, or positional prompts in teaching children with autism, but a lack of sufficient research regarding what to do when these popular strategies fail. Multiple baseline and changing criterion designs were used to evaluate the efficacy of several prompting strategies not widely explored in the literature, such as shaping acoustic properties of stimuli or using vocal responses to prompt receptive language. Participants were adolescent boys with autism who repeatedly failed to acquire a variety of skills when taught using conventional prompting methods. Data show that altering the topography of the prompts themselves (rather than changing the fading procedure) was effective in teaching these students receptive language skills, matching skills, intraverbal responses, and appropriate transition behavior. In each case the alternative prompt was successfully faded to allow independent responding to occur, breaking the pattern of chronic prompt dependency previously displayed by these students.

Using a Vocal-Textual Response as a Priming Technique for Receptive Language Tasks.
JESSICA ST. PIERRE (Nashoba Learning Group), Tara L. Montoure (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group), Jessica Slaton (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Receptive language tasks are typically taught using gestural or positional prompts to assist the student in pointing to the correct item. Matching a written text to an object is generally taught only after the student is able to receptively identify the object. However, for some students who experience multiple treatment failures in acquiring receptive language skills, a “reverse” teaching sequence of establishing text-to-object matching first can facilitate acquisition of receptive language. A 15 year old boy with autism who failed to acquire receptive identification of objects through direct teaching was taught to match written texts to objects as an intermediate step (though he could not receptively identify the objects or texts). A multiple baseline design was used across three different sets of three objects each. Data show that matching the object to a text and reading the text out loud was an effective priming technique for establishing correct responding in receptive language trials. This technique was systematically faded, allowing independent responses to occur without any priming. The end result was mastery of several skills through one teaching program: text to object matching and vice versa, reading texts out loud, and receptive object identification.
Acoustic Stimulus Shaping to Prompt Intraverbal Responses.
TARA L. MONTOURE (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Within-stimulus prompts generally alter some visual aspect of the stimulus (such as size or color) so that the target stimulus itself serves as a prompt for correct responding. It is also possible, however, to create a within-stimulus prompt by altering an acoustic property of the stimulus. Changing the volume, tone, or speed of an auditory stimulus can assist the student in producing or selecting a specific desired response. For children with autism who have poor visual discrimination skills, this type of within-stimulus prompt may be preferable to other prompts that rely on visual discrimination. The random assignment of a high- or low-pitched tone to different vocal antecedents was used as a prompt to teach a 12 year old boy with autism intraverbal responses. The acoustic prompt was then faded until the vocal antecedents were delivered in normal conversational tones. A multiple baseline design was used across 3 different responses to establish correct responding with an acoustically altered stimulus. A changing criterion design was then used to systematically fade the tone of the stimulus back to a natural conversational sound. Data show that this prompt was effective in establishing intraverbal responses in a student for whom all previous attempts had failed.
Discriminating in “Continuous” and “Discontinuous” Stimulus Fields.
JESSICA SLATON (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: A “continuous” field is one wherein all stimuli are presented on the same flat, 2-dimensional surface (such as a book with many words on each page, or a picture with multiple items in the picture). A “discontinuous” field is one wherein each stimulus is its own separate entity (such as two separate flash cards, each with a printed word). The ability to discriminate between stimuli in a continuous field is a critical skill, as many stimulus fields are continuous (words on a page, numbers on a microwave, and icons on a computer screen). Correct matching and visual discrimination in a discontinuous field does not automatically generalize to a continuous field. A 14 year old boy with autism who possessed strong matching skills in discontinuous fields only was taught to also discriminate among stimuli in a continuous field, allowing him to acquire new skills or generalize previously learned skills that required the use of continuous fields. A changing criterion design was used to shape a discontinuous field of numbers (ten separate number cards) into a continuous field (all ten numbers on one card), to facilitate use of the microwave, copy machine, and other appliances that require the use of a keypad.
Using Behavioral Momentum to Prompt Transitions.
TARA L. MONTOURE (Nashoba Learning Group), Elizabeth Martineau (Nashoba Learning Group)
Abstract: Transitioning from one activity to another frequently occasions inappropriate responses such as screaming, flopping, aggression or bolting in students with autism. The use of a warning to signal the transition is a successful antecedent intervention for preventing these behaviors in many students, but can sometimes act as a discriminative stimulus that evokes tantrum behaviors prior to transitioning. An 11 year old boy with autism who displayed flopping, aggression and other inappropriate responses during transitions was engaged in a series of behavioral momentum trials prior to each transition, in place of a warning. A changing criterion design was used to systematically fade the number of trials delivered while still maintaining appropriate transition behavior. Data show that the implementation and systematic reduction of behavioral momentum trials was successful in reducing inappropriate transition behaviors to near-zero levels. The use of a warning to signal transitions was then successfully re-introduced to bring appropriate transition behavior under control of the natural language typically used by parents, babysitters, teachers, and other members of the community.
Invited Paper Session #481
CE Offered: BACB

Precision Teaching for Students and Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Autism: Wheres the Data?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Douglas A
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Marlene Cohen, Ed.D.
Chair: Alison L. Moors (Private Practice)
MARLENE COHEN (Rutgers University)
Dr. Marlene Cohen, Ed.D., BCBA is a Research Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Director of Adult and Transitional Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, and part-time instructor at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and is a board certified behavior analyst. Dr. Cohen has over 25 years of experience with students and adults with autism in both private and public settings. Currently, Dr. Cohen is the President and co-founder of the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis. She has presented at both national and international conferences on a variety of applied behavior analysis topics.

A frequent criticism of precision teaching in the field of applied behavior analysis is that this method of instruction has not undergone the rigors of empirical research. There is a growing interest, in particular, about the potential effects achieved by precision teaching with frequency building procedures with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). At present, there are no widely available empirical reports of precision teaching with frequency building procedures with students and adults with ASD. The limited research documenting the significant benefit of this teaching strategy has implications for education and the field of applied behavior analysis. Marlene Cohen and her colleagues at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University have conducted three years of empirical research in precision teaching with frequency building with older learners with ASD. Specifically, their research has addressed the impact of precision teaching with frequency building procedures for the Big 6 plus 6 motor skills on the functional skills of adolescents and adults with autism receiving applied behavior analysis treatment. They have also evaluated the impact of frequency building for component language skills on the conversation complexity of an adult with autism. Current research focuses on the selection of aims for this population and evaluating which aims will produce the most efficient results. While a modest beginning, the empirical evidence suggesting that precision teaching is both efficient and effective with adolescents and adults with ASD has important implications. Dr. Cohens research uses single subject designs to assess the impact of precision teaching with individuals with ASD. Dr. Cohen will address the need for additional research examining other empirical questions regarding precision teaching with this population, and will offer suggestions for further research.

Symposium #485
CE Offered: BACB
Application of Behavior Analysis at the Program-Wide Level
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Emma C
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Paula Ribeiro Braga-Kenyon, M.S.

A hallmark of behavior analysis is a focus of intervention at the level of the individual. Interventions occurring at the organizational or facility-wide level may have significant effects at the level of individual clients and Staff. The presentations in this symposium all represent behavior analytic work with implications for application at the program-wide level.

Effects of a Unit-Wide Special Activity Program on Maladaptive Behavior.
KIMBERLY SLOMAN (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida)
Abstract: We evaluated the effects of a unit-wide special activity program on the occurrence of maladaptive behavior in offenders with developmental disabilities. During the program, residents could earn access to the special activity contingent upon the absence of maladaptive behavior for the week prior to the activity. The special activity was a catered lunch, music, and conversation with staff members. We alternated the weeks that the program was in place and compared rates of maladaptive behavior during the special activity weeks to non-special activity control weeks. The results showed lower levels of maladaptive behavior during the weeks that the program was in place. Factors influencing program efficacy as well as the cost effectiveness of the program will be discussed.
A Method for Obtaining Interobserver Agreement on Data Collected Daily over Twelve-Hour Periods.
JILL MARIE HARPER (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Myrna E. Libby (New England Center for Children), Sorrel Ryan (New England Center for Children), Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children), Stacie Bancroft (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: xii. Interobserver agreement is a typical requirement for the publication of data and has become a hallmark of behavior analytic research in which the data collection is not automated. Interobserver agreement can be thought of as adding to the believability of the data and placing interobserver agreement requirements on clinical data may have several benefits including identifying problems with response definitions, data collection methods, and staff data collection training. In the present study, a system for obtaining interobserver agreement on data collected daily, over twelve-hour periods at a residential school for children diagnosed with developmental disabilities was evaluated. Following implementation of the interobserver agreement data collection system, methods for increasing the amount of time in which interobserver agreement data were obtained were examined.
Reliability Assessment of Protective Hold Implementation.
AVA E. KLEINMANN (The May Institute), Gary M. Pace (The May Institute)
Abstract: Many human services and behavioral healthcare organizations rely on data collection to evaluate outcome. For data to be interpretable it must be recorded reliably. Reliability, or interobserver agreement (IOA), refers to the consistency of measurement over time. The importance of IOA assessment when collecting and evaluating data is heightened when considering extraordinary, and sometimes controversial, interventions. For example, protective holding (therapeutic restraint) may be required for some consumers who present with challenging behaviors (e.g., aggression, SIB). Given the restrictiveness and inherent risks in this type of procedure, reliable data recording of protective holding is a necessity in order to document effectiveness and justify continued implementation. To date, no published protocols exist to address this clinical need at the systems level. The present study designed and implemented a systems protocol for recording IOA data for protective holding across an entire educational program. Results indicated that the protocol yielded valuable clinical data with a minimal investment of staff resources. The findings will be discussed in the context of best practices in behavior analysis including the use of these data as an index of accountability, as an approach towards risk management, and as a clinical tool at a number of levels.
Evaluation of a Negative Reinforcement-Based Treatment for Increasing Independent Transitioning Using Data Collected by Direct-Care Staff.
PAULA RIBEIRO BRAGA-KENYON (New England Center for Children), Allen J. Karsina (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Interobserver agreement is rarely obtained for data collected by direct-care staff in clinical settings. The present study provides an illustrative example of the use of a data collection procedure that required multiple staff to agree on the report of each recorded episode in evaluating a behavioral intervention. A negative reinforcement-based treatment package was used with a 10 year-old participant who was diagnosed with autism and had a history of difficult transitions to and from the school bus. Preference assessments did not yield any effective reinforcers for walking to and from the school bus. A functional analysis of the participant’s aggression indicated that escape from demands functioned as a reinforcer for aggressive behavior. Access to escape from demands was used to reinforce independent transitioning in an ABAB design. Results indicated that using escape from demands to reinforce independent walking to and from the school bus was effective.
Symposium #486
CE Offered: BACB
Applying Behavior Analysis to Group-Based Interventions
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
America's Cup AB
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon)
CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.

Recently, increased attention has been directed at analysis of effects of secondary level or targeted group interventions with students who require additional social behavioral and/or academic support. Although these interventions have been demonstrated to be effective in some situations, more research is needed. This symposium addresses this need by examining further variables that affect outcomes of secondary interventions. In sum, studies to be presented suggest that secondary level interventions play a critical role in preventing the development of more serious problem behavior in schools. In the first presentation, Rodriguez and colleagues present data from First Steps to Success, a secondary intervention designed for children who begin school exhibiting antisocial behavior. Rodriguez et al. present data useful for identifying variables affecting the success of the program and for identifying students likely toand not torespond to the intervention. The second presentation by Fairbanks et al focuses on data obtained from a response to interventions model of behavior support, summarizing results of three studies conducted across multiple elementary classrooms. In this study, students first received a general, classroom restructuring intervention. Students who were not successful received progressively more individualized and intensive interventions. Fairbanks et al. will discuss how such a tailored model of interventions requires fewer resources from a school and may lead to improved student outcomes. The third presentation, by MacLeod, et al presents the results of secondary level intervention, the Behavior Education Program (BEP) in two parts: Part 1 is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the BEP with approximately 37 elementary school children exhibiting behavioral challenges in school. Part 2 examines the effectiveness of function-based interventions with a subset of the students who did not respond to the BEP. The final presentation is by Kauffman et al., and evaluates effectiveness and stimulus fading in a secondary level intervention similar to the BEP, Check n Check out. Although there is a growing research base supporting the efficacy of this intervention, further examination of maintenance of effects is needed. This study looks at maintenance over time and evaluates as well effects of removing intervention components systematically.

An Evaluation of Variables Affecting the Success of First Steps to Success.
BILLIE JO RODRIGUEZ (University of Oregon), Deborah Russell (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon), Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)
Abstract: First Steps for Success is a “packaged” targeted intervention designed for children who begin school exhibiting signs of antisocial behavior. It is considered a packaged intervention because it consists of multiple components implemented in a standard format for all participating children. First Steps for Success may be used with children in grades k-3, but is used most often in in kindergarten and first grade. The intervention occurs primarily at school; initially a trained consultant works closely with the student, providing frequent feedback on the student’s behavior. The goal of this phase is to (a) bring student behavior under the antecedent control of a “red/green” card used to provide feedback, and (b) bring appropriate responding under control of reinforcement contingencies. When the student is successful in this phase, the consultant gradually transfers stimulus control to the teacher and the program systematically is faded until the student is responding to the same contingencies maintaining other student’s appropriate behavior. First Steps has been found to be successful with approximately 65% of students with whom it is applied. In this presentation we will present data evaluating variables that may contribute to successful and nonsuccessful outcomes including the function of the child’s behavior and fidelity of implementation.
Integrating Levels of Behavior Support in the Classroom.
SARAH A. FAIRBANKS (University of Connecticut), George Sugai (University of Connecticut), Brandi M. Simonsen (Spectrum Center), Diane Marie Myers (University of Connecticut)
Abstract: This presentation will describe a social behavior response to intervention model of behavior support, by summarizing the results of three interconnected studies conducted across multiple elementary classrooms. The first study is an evaluation of classroom behavior management, specifically, establishing, explicitly teaching, posting and reinforcing classroom expectations across target students and comparison peers. The second study is an evaluation of a check-in and check-out intervention implemented across participants who were non-responsive to the classroom management intervention. The third study is an evaluation of the impact of implementing function-based behavior interventions across participants who were less responsive to the check-in check-out intervention. Results and implications for future research and practice, with regard to response to intervention systems at the classroom level, will be discussed (note. This study will be conducted over the next few months to fulfill requirements for a doctoral degree).
Examining the Combined Effects of Secondary Level Interventions and Individualized Function-Based Support Strategies.
KATHERINE SANDRA MACLEOD (University of Utah), Leanne Hawken (University of Utah), Robert E. O'Neill (University of Utah)
Abstract: This session will examine the results of secondary level intervention, the Behavior Education Program (BEP) in two parts: Part 1 is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the BEP among approximately 37 elementary school children. Part 2 examines the effectiveness of function-based interventions with a sample of the students who have not been successful with the BEP. have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing problem behaviors among students who are not responding to school wide interventions. However, recent research has suggested that not all students are successful in secondary level interventions, in part due to maintaining functions of their problem behavior. It is proposed that functional assessment, a technology used to identify factors maintaining problem behavior, would be helpful in clarifying if the BEP is differentially effective depending on the function of the problem behavior. This would assist in identifying students who may benefit most from participation in the BEP. In addition, functional assessment may also benefit students who are not successful in the BEP by assisting in the development of an effective behavior intervention plan.
Evaluation of Stimulus Fading in a Secondary Intervention.
AMY L. KAUFFMAN (University of Oregon), Cynthia M. Anderson (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Check in Check out (CICO) is a targeted group intervention that is designed to provide behavioral support for students who are at-risk for developing serious behavior problems. This intervention is designed to be efficient in delivery and cost effective so that multiple students may receive support. Check in Check out includes: a daily “check in” and “check out” with a school staff member, daily teacher feedback, a home-school component, and a reward system for desired behavior. Although there is a growing research base supporting the efficacy of this program, no studies have examined maintenance of reductions in problem behavior upon fading. The present study examines (1) if a functional relation exists between CICO and reductions in problem behavior, and (2) which components of CICO can be successfully faded with reductions in problem behavior maintaining. In addition, this study examines if teacher attention predicts successful fading of CICO. Clinical and conceptual implications of these results, methodological limitations, and future research directions will be discussed.
Symposium #487
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Preference and Reinforcer Assessment Methods with Varying Populations
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Ford AB
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tracey Toran (New England Center for Children)
Discussant: Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Richard B. Graff, M.S.

This symposium presents research on comparing different types of preference assessments in varying populations. In the first study, verbal and tangible paired-stimulus preference assessments were compared in 4 preschoolers with autism. In the tangible assessment, on each trial 2 stimuli were placed in front of the participant. In the verbal assessment, participants were asked, Do you want x or y. The two assessments identified the same most- and least-preferred item for only 2 of 4 participants, suggesting that verbal assessments may not reliably identify reinforcers for young children with autism. In the second study, preference assessments were conducted using differing stimulus modalities (pictures, written words, and spoken words) with 9 typically-developing elementary students. Results indicated that assessments using pictures and written words most closely approximated results from tangible assessments, and vocal stimuli least approximated results using tangible stimuli. In the third study, paired-stimulus and multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were conducted across a large number of participants to determine how often preference assessments were associated with problem behavior. Results indicated that different types of assessments were associated with varying amounts of challenging behavior. Results from all studies add to the literature on accurately identifying reinforcers in various populations.

Using Preference Assessments to Evaluate the Correspondence between “Saying” and “Doing” in Preschoolers with ASDs.
THERESA CERRONE (New England Center for Children), Amy D. Lipcon (New England Center for Children), Danielle Vigeant (New England Center for Children), Richard B. Graff (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Although a great deal of research has been published on identifying reinforcers for individuals with developmental disabilities, the extent to which preschool children with autism can identify their own reinforcers has rarely been explored. In this study, verbal and tangible paired-stimulus preference assessments were compared in 4 preschoolers with autism. In the tangible assessment, on each trial 2 stimuli were placed in front of the participant. In the verbal assessment, on each trial participants were asked, “Do you want x or y”. For both assessments, the percentage of opportunities each stimulus was chosen or named was calculated, and preference hierarchies were developed. A second observer independently collected data on 50% of trials on both assessments. For all participants, interobserver agreement was above 98% for the stimulus chosen or named. The two assessments identified the same most- and least-preferred item for only 2 of 4 participants; for these participants, reinforcer assessments demonstrated that high-preference items functioned more effectively as reinforcers than low-preference items. These results suggest that verbal preference assessments may be reliable predictors of reinforcers for some, but not all, young children with autism.
Alternative Preference Assessment Methods for Elementary School Students.
CLAIRE C ST. PETER (West Virginia University), Elizabeth S. Athens (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
Abstract: Common stimulus preference assessments may have limitations with typically-developing elementary school students. In particular, assessments may involve lengthy periods of time or consumption of large amounts of edible items. We assessed the possibility of using other stimulus modalities (pictures, written words, and spoken words) during preference assessments. Nine typically-developing elementary students participated. To determine the reliability of comparisons over time, we first assessed test-retest with paired choice (PC) and multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) assessments, using edible items. Test-retest results were acceptable for 5 of the 9 participants. Acceptable test-retest was necessary for the comparison of alternative stimulus modalities because comparisons across stimulus types would not be valid if divergent outcomes were obtained using the edible item. For these 5 participants, consistent test-retest allowed more confident comparisons between the alternative stimulus modalities and actual item assessments. During alternative assessments, participant preference was determined by their selection of pictures, written words, or spoken words corresponding to the actual items. Overall, results from pictorial stimuli most closely approximated results using actual stimuli and vocal stimuli least approximated results using actual stimuli. Alternative stimulus modalities might be viable for preference assessments with typically-developing students, particularly when limitations of item-based assessments are a concern.
A Comparison of Stimulus Preference Assessments for Participants Who Exhibit Problem Behavior.
JESSICA J. ALVERSON (New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (New England Center for Children), Timothy Piskura (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: When conducting stimulus preference assessments, dependent variables of interest often include differential approach responding, assessment duration, and preference stability. A dependent variable that has received little attention is participants’ problem behavior associated with different assessment methods. During Study 1, we conducted two commonly used preference assessment methods, the paired-stimulus (PS) and multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) methods across a large number of participants to determine how often preference assessments were associated with problem behavior. During Study 2, functional analyses were conducted with a subset of participants from Study 1 who exhibited problem behavior during preference assessments. Following this, repeated preference assessments, including the PS, MSWO, and response restriction (RR) methods, were conducted to identify whether different methods were more or less likely to occasion problem behavior. Based on the outcomes, further data analyses or treatment assessments were conducted to identify the antecedent event associated with problem behavior or to identify a treatment that could be used in conjunction with preference assessments.
Symposium #489
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Treatment in School Settings
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Emma AB
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Discussant: T. Steuart Watson (Miami University)
CE Instructor: Michael M. Mueller, Ph.D.

This symposium will present papers on advancement of school-based functional analysis and treatment studies. Increasingly, behavior analysts rely on experimental methodologies to elucidate the reinforcing effects of multiple potential variables that occur simultaneously in classroom settings. One paper will present functional analysis and treatment of escape and attention maintained aggression. Using DNRA, the student increased rate of academic problem completion as aggression was eliminated. The second paper will present data on multiple functional and follow-up functional analyses in which SIB was found to be evoke by simultaneously touching the child and interrupting ongoing activities and reinforced by continued access to those activities. The third paper will present two case examples of how a Direct Behavioral Consultation (DBC) Model was applied to behavioral referrals for severe behaviors in a classroom setting. The examples will present the DBC model from FBA, functional analysis, preference assessments, controlled treatment evaluations, and generalization of treatment to multiple teachers and multiple settings. Follow-up data are also presented.

Using Within- and Across-Session DNRA to Decrease Aggression and Increase Problem Completion in a Classroom Setting.
AJAMU NKOSI (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Bryan J. Davey (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: A functional analysis demonstrated that the aggression of a 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome was maintained by escape from academic tasks and social attention. Providing 20-s breaks contingent on an increasing schedule of problem completion was used to decrease aggression and increase problem completion during 5-min work activities that were presented before 5-min breaks. Within-session breaks were faded out until the child worked for 5-min. Session length was then faded from 5 to 10 min so that the child ultimately worked for 10 min to access a 5 min between session break.
Functional Analysis and Treatment of SIB Occasioned by Requests to Stop an Ongoing Activity while Being Touched.
BRYAN J. DAVEY (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Michael M. Mueller (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Christina Palermo (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of SIB exhibited by students with developmental disabilities in public school settings presents a special challenge for behavioral consultants. Due to the potential for harm to the child as well as the potential for other children to model these dangerous behaviors analogue settings are often used to ensure safety and limit disruption to other students. Once analyses are completed including an analysis of treatment options, the treatment can then be used within the classroom to assess generalization of treatment effects to the natural environment with the teacher utilizing the intervention. In this study functional analyses and treatment analyses were conducted in an analogue setting in a public school. Following treatment analysis the teacher was trained to implement the intervention in the natural environment. Data were collected to show generalization of treatment effects. For this study, a functional analysis was conducted on a student who frequently exhibited SIB of multiple topographies within the classroom setting. Analogue functional analysis outcomes revealed high rates of SIB were maintained by access to ongoing activities. Follow-up analyses were conducted to isolate the variables within this session. These analyses included and evaluation of do versus don’t requests and the occurrence of touch versus no touch accompanying the interruption. A follow-up analysis showed that the child exhibited SIB during the interrupt sessions only when he was given a demand to stop an ongoing activity while being physically touched. Treatment analysis revealed that the presentation of a preferred edible item simultaneously while the demand, with physical touch, was presented. Results indicated this treatment resulted in significant reductions of the child SIB and that the treatment effects were consistent when evaluated in the classroom setting.
Using Direct Behavioral Consultation to Reduce Severe Problem Behavior: Two Comprehensive Case Examples in Public Schools.
MICHAEL M. MUELLER (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Ajamu Nkosi (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.), Bryan J. Davey (Southern Behavioral Group, Inc.)
Abstract: The problem of demonstrating the efficacy of behavioral interventions in reducing severe problem behavior poses a unique challenge to behavior analysts in general but particularly to those working as behavioral consultants in public school settings. In school settings behavioral consultants are often challenged to not only “prove” that their recommendations will be effective in treating a particular problem behavior but also to demonstrate that their recommendations are capable of being implemented by school staff. This study describes and presents two comprehensive Direct Behavioral Consultative examples for assessing, treating, and training others to implement treatments for severe problem behavior in a school setting. The self-injurious and aggressive behaviors of a 14-year-old female student diagnosed with autism were first assessed utilizing both indirect and direct functional behavior assessment procedures including functional analysis. Following the functional behavior assessment procedures, both a preference assessment and brief treatment analysis were conducted in an analogue setting to test the efficacy of a treatment intervention based on the function of the student’s problem behaviors. Finally, the treatment analysis was extended to the student’s natural classroom environment using a behavioral consultant, the student’s paraprofessional and teacher as direct therapists for all experimental sessions. The results of the treatment analysis in the student’s natural classroom environment, as displayed in a multiple baseline design, showed a significant decrease in the student’s problem behaviors with generalization across three individuals.
Symposium #490
CE Offered: BACB
Stimulus Control Issues in Visually Mediated Instruction for People with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Ford C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Discussant: Joseph M. Vedora (BEACON Services)
CE Instructor: Robert K. Ross, M.S.

Many individuals with autism and or developmental disabilities present with strengths in learning skills and behavior when the instruction is supported with visual materials, particularly when compared to verbal cues alone. This symposium will highlight how control of adaptive responses can be effectively established using visual supports and then control of those responses can be transferred to other more natural environmental stimuli. Three case examples will be presented emphasizing the careful establishment of stimulus control and then the systematic transfer of that control.

The Use of Visual Supports to Reduce the Rates of Excessive Question Asking in an Adult Day Treatment Facility.
Abstract: A 29-year-old adult diagnosed with mild mental retardation and obsessive-compulsive disorder was referred for behavioral treatment due to excessive question asking. The individual exhibited minimal sustained object manipulation with vocational materials, eloped from training settings, and asked staff members questions/expressed concerns for an average duration of 15-minutes per episode. A “hassle” log was introduced so the individual could write down his questions and the problems encountered on a daily basis. He was reinforced at the end of the day for bringing his hassle logs to his support coordinator to discuss for the final 10-minutes of the day. As a result, vocational interaction with materials significantly increased and elopement behavior significantly decreased.
Use of Activity Schedules to Teach Acceptance of the Word “No”.
Abstract: Children with autism frequently demonstrate difficulty with change in routine and being denied access to preferred items or activities. This behavior negatively affects the child and family’s daily social interaction and often limits the child’s access to the larger community. Research suggests that children with autism benefit from visually based instruction. In addition, visual supports can be effective in decreasing disruptive behavior by reducing the intensity of the attention provided. This study utilized an activity schedule with an embedded token system to reduce the tantrum behavior of one boy with autism that resulted when the children were told denied access to a preferred activity or a change in routine.
Increasing Food Acceptance in a Child with Autism Using Visual Activity Schedules.
Abstract: Many children with autism demonstrate limited or significantly restricted food repertoires. Approaches to increase the variety and volume of intake often focus on escape-extinction procedures. These approaches have been shown to be effective, however for many parents, clinicians and children, the intrusive nature of the procedure and the physical process of implementation, make their use unacceptable or non-preferred. Photographic activity schedules have been used to increase independent behavior, play skills, and completion of academic tasks. This presentation will describe the incorporation of an eating activity into a photographic activity schedule and the subsequent insertion of non-preferred foods. The data related to acquisition of non-preferred foods will be reviewed. The presentation will also show video clips of the acceptance of novel and previously non-preferred foods in a child with autism.
Symposium #493
CE Offered: BACB
Using Learning Data to Improve the Design of Learning Programs
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Madeleine AB
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Guy S. Bruce (Appealing Solutions, LLC)
CE Instructor: Guy S. Bruce, Ed.D.

Behavior Analysis is defined by its pragmatic approach to understanding and changing human behavior. The application of behavior analysis to the design of learning programs means that designers collect data on the learning produced by their programs and use those data to develop programs that improve that learning. Three case studies describing how learning data were collected and used to improve the design of a learning program will be presented.

Teaching Parents of Children with Autism about Behavioral Intervention via On-Line Instruction: Using Learning Data to Evaluate and Improve Course Design.
RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Charles Hamad (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Carol Curtin (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Parents of children newly diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) need clear and accurate information in areas that include behavioral intervention. Frequently the internet proves an efficient means to that end, but that depends on the quality and presentation (instructional design) of the information. This paper describes the development and evaluation of an online course designed to introduce parents of children with ASD to the nature and types of research-supported behavioral interventions (Educating Parents: Behavioral Intervention in Autism, NIMH, 1R41MH071130-01, R. Fleming, PI). Focus groups with parents (n=16) and professionals (n=8), combined with other needs analysis procedures, provided useful advance information on content and design. Written content was developed, supported by brief video clips of behavioral instruction, among other design features. Twenty-one (21) parents then participated in a field evaluation of the course, providing us with demographic, pre-/post-test (learning) and satisfaction data. These data, particularly learning data, were analyzed to revise the course and guide a subsequent Phase II grant proposal. Field test results, evaluation procedures and revisions are presented and discussed.
Computer-Aided Personalized System of Instruction: Teaching and Research.
JOSEPH J. PEAR (University of Manitoba), Kirsten M. Wirth (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Computer-Aided Personalized System of Instruction (CAPSI) is an online teaching method that emphasizes written answers to questions. Students in CAPSI-taught courses write more and receive more feedback than possible in traditional courses. A unique archiving feature facilitates research on a number of issues of central importance to education. This presentation will discuss CAPSI-research findings with regard to developing higher-order thinking, the effects of feedback on student performance, the effects of peer reviewing (a central and unique feature of CAPSI) on the learning of the reviewers, improving the accuracy and quality of peer reviewing, the effectiveness of feedback on student performance as learners and as peer reviewers, procrastination and ways to reduce it.
Using Learning Efficiency Data to Improve the Design and Implementation of Learning Programs for Children with Autism.
GUY S. BRUCE (Appealing Solutions, LLC), Donald J. McCary (St. Louis Special School District), James Keefe (Warren Achievement Center)
Abstract: Teachers of children with Autism collected data to evaluate the learning efficiency of their existing programs for teaching functional communication skills such as manding. Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of improvement in a targeted skill produced in the amount of time the learner has spent interacting with a learning program. These data were graphed on a standard learning efficiency chart, allowing the teachers and their supervisors to evaluate current learning efficiencies by comparing their slopes to the slope of the learning efficiency criterion line. The teachers and their supervisors then made changes in the design and implementation of their learning programs that were not producing the desired learning efficiencies and collected additional learning efficiency data to evaluate whether changes in the learning program improved learning efficiencies.
Invited Panel #494
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis Values as Identified and Exemplified in Organizational Behavior Management, Education, and Science
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Douglas A
Area: CSE; Domain: Theory
Chair: Janet Ellis (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Janet Ellis, Ph.D.
Panelists: MARIA E. MALOTT (ABAI), SAUL AXELROD (Temple University), CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)

Our discipline has been criticized as too focused on data and paying little attention to values that define our culture as human beings. Values are an inherent part of basic science, education, and organizational behavior management. Our methodologies, our analyses, and our approach to dealing with the contingencies we face when working in schools and in organizations, and conducting research projects are discussed in this panel. This panel will present the challenges as well as the strategies that are/could be implemented to ensure that in each of these areas behavior analysis can meet the societal challenges we face as we make our contributions to the betterment of the general culture.

Dr. Maria E. Malott received her Ph.D. in applied behavior analysis from Western Michigan University in 1987. She was Vice President of Manufacturing for a plastic production company in the Midwestern United States and worked in process improvement and organizational management for nearly two decades in a variety of industries, including service, manufacturing, retail, education, and government. She created and managed her own consulting firm for 14 years doing organizational management work in public administration, the private sector, and for educational systems in several Latin-American countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru and Venezuela.
SAUL AXELROD (Temple University)
Dr. Saul Axelrod is Professor of Education at Temple University. He received his doctorate from Florida State University and was postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Kansas. His major interests include applying behavior analysis principles to the problems of managing classrooms, increasing the academic development of children of poverty, decreasing the self-injurious and aggressive behavior of people with severe handicaps, and disseminating effective educational technologies for children with autism. Dr. Axelrod has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Behavioral Education, Child and Family Behavior Therapy, and Behavior Modification. He is author of numerous journal articles. He is an author or editor of Behavior Modification for the Classroom Teacher, Behavior Analysis and Treatment, How to Use Group Contingencies, and the How to Improve Classroom Behavior Series. He is cofounder of the Delaware Valley Association for Behavior Analysis. In 2006, Dr. Axelrod was the first recipient of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Michael Hemingway Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis.
CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Dr. Carol Pilgrim received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1987 with a specialization in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She is currently Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she has been honored with a Distinguished Teaching Professorship (1994-1997), the North Carolina Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award (2003), and the Faculty Scholarship Award (2000). She received the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award and the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award in 1992, and the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) Student Committee Outstanding Mentor Award in 2006. Her research contributions include both basic and applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis in human operant behavior, relational stimulus control, and the early detection of breast cancer. Dr. Pilgrim has served as Editor of The Behavior Analyst, Associate Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst, Co-Editor of the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, and as a member of the editorial boards of these and several other journals. She has served as President of the Association for Behavior Analysis, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, and the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis. Additionally, she has been Member-at-Large of the Executive Council of ABA and Division 25, and member of the Boards of Directors of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Invited Paper Session #495
CE Offered: BACB

Language Acquisition: Three Popular Myths Debunked

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Douglas B
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Ted Schoneberger, Ph.D.
Chair: Sam Leigland (Gonzaga University)
TED SCHONEBERGER (Stanislaus County Office of Education, Modesto, CA)
Ted G. Schoneberger has had 25 years of experience providing behavioral interventions to "special needs" clients. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and currently employed as a behavior specialist for Stanislaus County Office of Education (Modesto, CA). He served for 16 years as a member of the adjunct faculty at California State University, Stanislaus, teaching courses in the Psychology Department and the Advanced Studies in Education Department. He has published papers and given presentations on theoretical and applied issues within behavior analysis. Specifically, with respect to the subject of language, he has published papers: (a) detailing Chomsky's departure from cognitivism, (b) reviewing arguments countering the Poverty of the Stimulus argument, and (c) most recently, critiquing selected autism treatment research (the latter appearing in the on-line Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis). He served for years as a board member of the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis (now Cal-ABA) and is a past president of that organization. He also played a prominent role in bringing board certification of behavior analysts to California. He helped found the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology, and serves as a member of the editorial board of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.

A number of myths have been promulgated within the language acquisition literature. Of these myths, three have had a particularly deleterious effect on attempts to promote a behavior analytic approach to language acquisition. These myths are: Myth#1: Brown and Hanlon (1970), in their classic study, claimed that they were offering evidence that parents do not reinforce their children's grammatical utterances. This myth appears in the published works of psycholinguists, developmental psychologists, and even some behavior analysts. Myth#2: In his paper "Language Identification in the Limit," Gold (1967) proved that, without negative evidence (e.g., corrective feedback), a child cannot acquire a language. As with Myth#1, this second myth is widely and frequently cited. Myth#3: There is a single, valid definition of "verbal behavior." This myth is at the heart of the current call by proponents of relational frame theory to replace Skinner's definition with one they propose. In this paper, arguments and supporting evidence will be offered for rejecting these three myths.

Invited Paper Session #502
CE Offered: BACB

The Art of Functionally-Driven Therapeutic Interventions for High Maintenance Children

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Douglas A
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Teodoro Ayllon, Ph.D.
Chair: Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
TEODORO AYLLON (Behavioral Consultant)
Dr. Teodoro Ayllon has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families. He lectures on a therapeutic approach that regards problematic behavior, largely as a child’s effort to deal with, and control, his social environment. As it happens, the typical parental efforts to deal with problematic behavior have unintended consequences that tend to maintain negative patterns of behavior. Therefore, the treatment strategy is to replace ineffective parental practices with practices that encourage a child to seek positive experiences with his family. Dr. Ayllon is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Georgia, and maintains a private practice in Atlanta. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston in Texas. Dr. Ayllon is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and holds Board Certification, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology (ABPP). Over the years, Dr. Ayllon has served as a consultant to psychiatric hospitals, prison systems, schools, as well as private organizations and state and federal agencies. He has published over 80 scientific articles, and four books on therapeutic methods involving the emotional and behavioral problems of adults, teenagers, and children. They include, Ayllon & Azrin, The Token Economy: A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation, 1968; Ayllon, Milan, Roberts, & McKee, Correctional Rehabilitation and Management: A Psychological Approach, 1979; Ayllon & Freed, Stopping Baby’s Colic, 1989; Ayllon, T., How to Use Token Economy and Point Systems, 1999 (2nd Ed.).

Todays children confront parents with daily problematic behaviors involving repetitive inattention, forgetting, and manipulative clinging, whining, and emotional meltdowns. In addition, their communication with parents is often emotionally-laden involving back-talking, defiance, and in-your-face, confrontational, argumentative, and disrespectful interactions. Problematic children have low frustration, are oppositional, moody, and pay little attention to rules. While parents favor reasoning and logic in talking to a problematic child, he is impervious to such efforts. Instead, his learning style favors hands-on rather than word-oriented experiences. He needs concrete, reality-based experiences because he learns through active, two-way interaction with his parents. As it happens, parental responses to problematic behavior have unintended consequences that tend to maintain it. The focus of this workshop is two fold: first, to increase the clinical practitioners effectiveness by including a behavioral systems framework that looks at problematic behavior. The second objective is to familiarize the practitioner with the art of designing therapeutic interventions that respect the parents socio-cultural expectations and motivate them to collaborate and serve as the behavior change agents par excellence. Case studies illustrating functionally-driven strategies and tactics will be included in the workshop.

Panel #504
CE Offered: BACB
Caring Kids Preschool Project
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
America's Cup AB
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Lova C. Teixeira, M.S.
Chair: Andrea Duroy (California State University, Stanislaus)
LOVA C. TEIXEIRA (Private Consulting and Caring Kids Project)
MONICA ADRIAN (Caring Kids Project)
KYMBERLY DOANE (California State University, Stanislaus and Caring Kids Project)
WILLIAM F. POTTER (California State University, Stanislaus and Caring Kids Project)

The Caring Kids project is designed to provide services to preschool children with classroom skill deficits, or behavioral problems. The project will be described and data shared.

Symposium #505
CE Offered: BACB
Measuring Change: Assessment Issues in the Treatment of Autism
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Mohsen AB
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Discussant: Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Gerald E. Harris, Ph.D.

Demonstrating reliable improvement in children with Autism as a result of behavioral intervention is crucial to advancing the science of ABA. Scientific and accurate representation of treatment benefits is necessary to show others the value of ABA for this population. The 3 presentations in this symposium present data that increases the psychometric knowledge, and thus the utility, of the most widely used measures of intelligence and behavior problems in the autistic population. Data were collected from comprehensive assessments of a large sample of children diagnosed with autistic disorder as they participated in behavioral treatment programs. Sample sizes for the data analytic procedures are thus much larger than usually seen in this area. The first presentation examines change scores on the most popular comprehensive intelligence test, the WPPSI-III, in terms of reduction in variability across cognitive skills. The second presentation looks at a beginning large scale normative base for the WPPSI-III for children with autism. The third presentation investigates the interobserver agreement for an efficient behavior report instrument, the CBCL, for this special population. Together, these presentations advance our ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of behavioral interventions.

ABA Treatment Outcome for Children with Autism: Is Cognitive Variability Reduced?
GERALD E. HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Wendy J. Neely (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: Children with Autism are often characterized by wide variability across skill areas. Diagnostically, and in treatment literature, this issue is often cited (e.g., “splinter skills” or “using the child’s strengths to improve their deficit areas”) but research has not directly looked at this phenomenon. This presentation uses data from a large sample of children with autism to address questions in this area. Are children with autism, as a group, more variable in their cognitive skills than typically developing children? If so, does ABA intervention decrease the variability? Pre-treatment and post-treatment cognitive test data from 95 young children participating in long-term behavioral treatment programs are examined using current research statistical procedures to assess change over time as well as changes in variability across subtests. Findings support the common assumption that children with autism do exhibit increased cognitive variability, or scatter, and that ABA treatment can reduce this scatter to some degree. Implications for diagnostic and treatment outcome interpretations are discussed.
Normative Data on the WPPSI-III Intelligence Test for Children with Autism.
WENDY J. NEELY (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project), Glen O. Sallows (Wisconsin Early Autism Project), Tamlynn Dianne Graupner (Wisconsin Early Autism Project)
Abstract: Assessment of cognitive abilities of children with autism is crucial to planning, monitoring, and evaluating behavioral interventions. Little is known about the psychometrics of the most widely used intelligence test, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – 3rd Ed., for this population. Wechsler published a study in the WPPSI-III Technical Manual (The Psychological Corporation, 2002) addressing the utility of the WPPSI-III for this special population. However, several significant methodological problems are noted in that study, including a very small sample (n = 21), and restrictions of age and I.Q., as well as unknown test administration and scoring procedures for the data provided by an independent third party examiner. In the present study, data from standard initial administrations of the WPPSI-III to a much larger sample of children (n = 270) diagnosed with autism was analyzed and the results compared to the findings from the Wechsler study. Significant differences were found in means and distributions of subtest and composite area standard scores. Scores for lower functioning (I.Q. < 60) children with autism, in particular, were very different. These results provide a foundation for full development of a set of norms for use with the WPPSI-III with children with autism.
Behavior Reports: Interobserver Agreement of Parents of Children with Autism.
GERI MARIA HARRIS (Texas Young Autism Project), Gerald E. Harris (Texas Young Autism Project)
Abstract: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is one of the most widely used measures of child behavior, yet little is known about its psychometric properties in relation to children with autism. This study examined the level of inter-parental agreement on the CBCL in the autistic population. Levels of inter-parental agreement in the autistic population were then compared with the levels of inter-parental agreement in other populations, such as typically developing children and children in high-risk families. Results for a sample of 165 mother-father pairs show that parents of children with autism overall exhibit a high level of inter-observer agreement. Agreement at the total problem behavior, internalizing, externalizing, and item level was computed and compared to inter-observer agreement of parents of typically developing children and other special child populations reported in published literature.
Invited Tutorial #508
CE Offered: BACB
Tutorial: Preparing Teachers for Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis in General Education and Special Education Settings
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Douglas B
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Dolleen-Day Keohane, Ph.D.
Chair: Pamela G. Osnes (Behavior Analysts, Inc.)
Presenting Authors: : DOLLEEN-DAY KEOHANE (Columbia University Teachers College & CABAS)

Applied behavior analysis provides a framework through which evidence-based procedures can be designed, measured, and replicated to assure the effectiveness of teaching for typically developing and at risk students in general education, and students with disabilities in inclusion and special education classrooms. CABAS International research and development programs and the programs in applied behavior analysis at Columbia University Teachers College provide research-based graduate level training for teacher mentors, teachers, teacher assistants, researchers, and parents. The training consists of the completion of Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) modules based on increasing levels of verbal complexity and provides complete accountability through a systems-wide summary of data. Teachers complete a minimum of 30 modules (Teacher I, II, and Master Teacher), which include multiple exemplars of the vocabulary of the science and research-based approaches to best practices and problem solving. Mentor-supervisors complete three additional ranks (Assistant, Associate, and Senior Behavior Analyst) focused on research-based outcomes that produce significant contributions to practice. Teacher-mentors and teachers continually work toward mastery of skills related to professional performance and student acquisition. The CABAS Professional Advisory Board assures the quality of programs and training through Board Certification of credentials and provides university affiliation for all CABAS Certified Programs.

DOLLEEN-DAY KEOHANE (Columbia University Teachers College & CABAS)
Dr. Dolleen-Day Keohane is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Columbia University Teachers College and a Senior CABAS Consultant. She holds a CABAS Senior Behavior Analyst Rank as well as a CABAS Assistant Research Scientist Rank. She arranges and supervises teaching/research internships for student teacher interns, teachers, and teacher-mentors in the Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis program at Teachers College as part of a two-year Master’s degree program leading to certification in regular and special education. She consults to school districts and publicly funded private schools with CABAS model classrooms in the United States, and CABAS research and development model schools in England and Ireland. She has published articles in a variety of journals related to teacher preparation, problem solving using a verbally governed algorithm, organizational behavior management approaches to teacher preparation and educational systems, measuring acquisition and performance in educational settings, designing research and development model schools for children with autism and related communication disabilities as well as typically developing children, the acquisition of verbal developmental capabilities by children with and without disabilities. Dr. Keohane has also co-authored chapters and is co-author on a text book (in press) related to teaching as applied behavior analysis.
Panel #509
CE Offered: BACB
Untangling the Web: Further Discussions on a Science of Behavior and Complex Behavioral Phenomena
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Del Mar AB
Area: TPC/VRB; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Janet S. Twyman, Ph.D.
Chair: Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
DAVID C. PALMER (Smith College)
HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles)
GREG STIKELEATHER (P.E.E.R. International)

This panel will consist of a dialogue concerned with peeling back the layers of complex environment-behavior relationships to determine what a science of behavior can tell us about how such relationships occur. Among the phenomena addressed will be memory, problem-solving, rule-following, function-altering operations, verbally-mediated events, cascades of imagery, and verbal composition.? Such phenomenon cannot be analyzed as simple responses under the control of a discriminative stimulus or setting, nor can they be adequately understood at a molar level. Rather, this panel will discuss these problems as programs of behavior under multiple control of both environmental antecedents and other behavior; stimulus control in such cases can be thought of as a web of concurrent influences. Behavior analysis gives us the tools to untangle the web, strand by often covert strand, without appealing the to the mind and internal "causes" such as thinking, perception, memory, and morality, suggesting a truly radical behaviorism.




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Modifed by Eddie Soh