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.


First Annual Autism Conference; Boston, MA; 2007

Program by Day for Friday, February 2, 2007

Manage My Personal Schedule


Poster Session #1
Opening Reception and International Poster Session
Friday, February 2, 2007
7:00 PM–10:30 PM
Back Bay BCD
1. The Effects of Video Modeling and Self-Monitoring of Teacher Behavior on Student Learning.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LINA SLIM-TOPDJIAN (A Step Ahead Program, LLC), Sudha Ramaswamy (A Step Ahead Program, LLC)
Abstract: This study tests the effects of a treatment package consisting of video modeling and self-monitoring procedure on student learning. The independent variable, the video modeling and self-monitoring procedure, consisted of teachers observing their own behaviors and recording the occurrences and non-occurrences of components of the interlocking three-term contingency. Two dependent variables were measured: the number of instructional trials delivered per classroom daily as well as the ratio of the number of criteria attained to the number of instructional trials delivered per class. The study implemented a multiple baseline design across teachers, wherein three teachers from the classroom were participants. The findings show a functional relationship between the video modeling/self-monitoring procedure and student learning across the teachers.
2. Use of Visual Systems in Home Programs for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MARIANNE L. BERNALDO (ACES), Nicole Luke (ACES), Nicole L. Wichern-Frank (ACES)
Abstract: Research on the use of visual systems in intervention programs for children with autism has been hampered by the fact that visual systems are often used as part of a “package” of treatment. This has prevented clear evidence of its efficacy as a useful tool for teaching children on the autism spectrum. This poster reports the results of use of a visual system with five children receiving intensive in-home intervention programs.
3. Changes in Tutor Performance as a Result of Supervisor Feedback and Its Effect on Student Performance.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRIAN MOLL (ACES), Nicole L. Wichern-Frank (ACES)
Abstract: Six tutors were selected to participate in a study investigating the types of supervisory feedback typically provided in an in-home intervention program and its effectiveness in changing tutor behavior to improve their teaching of students with autism. Several types of feedback were identified, compared, and utilized in a changing design in an effort to identify the most effective strategies to use when teaching staff to work with children in a therapeutic intervention program.
4. Effects of Differential Reinforcement of Low Rates of Behavior and Differential Reinforcement of Other Rates of Behavior on Interfering Behaviors in Two Adolescent Males.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER RODZINAK (Allegheny College), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Does Differential Reinforcement of Low rates of behavior (DRL or IRT>T) and Direct Reinforcement of Other rates of behavior (DRO) decrease the frequency and amount of interfering behaviors? The present research examined two Caucasian males ranging from 16 to18 years old that have been diagnosed with autism. Both are non-verbal and exhibit various types of interfering behaviors. Data were collected in both an educational and a residential setting. Baseline data were taken for each interfering behavior one month prior to the implementation of the DRL or DRO for each student in both settings. After the implementation of the DRL or DRO, both participants were closely monitored in both settings and the frequency of behavior was recorded and graphed. After the implementation of the DRL, the rates of each student’s interfering behavior significantly decreased. After the implementation of the DRO however, there was only a slight decrease in the rates of the interfering behaviors.
5. Using PROMPT Therapy and Discrete Trial Teaching to Increase Speech Production Skills to an Adult Diagnosed with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MEREDITH S. NEEDELMAN (Association for Metroarea Autistic Children)
Abstract: Speech production skills of people with autism are often delayed or delayed or disordered. This can significantly impact an individual's ability to interact with caregivers, instructors, and/or peers. A model of speech therapy using PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) within an applied behavior analytic framework was used to increase articulation and expressive language skills of an autistic male in his day habilitation program. This model is described including measures to generalize skills to peers and caregivers. Conclusions and future directions are discussed.
6. The Little Tree Learning Center: Development and Progress of a Preschool and In-Home Treatment Program.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLEY HAYS SMITH (Auburn University/The Little Tree Learning Center), Holly Rogers (The Little Tree Learning Center ), Robert A. Babcock (The Learning Tree, Inc.)
Abstract: The Little Tree Learning Center (a program of The Learning Tree, Inc.), is a newly developed preschool and in-home based early intensive behavioral intervention program for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Located in Auburn, Alabama, and a practicum placement for the Master’s program in applied behavior analysis in developmental disabilities at Auburn University, The Little Tree is the first program of its kind in the state. Children enrolled at The Little Tree attend 20 hours per week, receive up to 10 hours a week of in-home services, and families are required to participate in parent/treatment team training. Student’s treatment goals are selected based on the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) and a variety of other behavior analytic assessment tools. Specific intervention and teaching techniques are selected from the broad array available in the applied behavior analysis research literature for children with ASD. ABLLS assessment data show that students made consistent progress during The Little Tree’s startup year. Single subject data illustrate examples of programming, data collection, and progress on individual target behaviors for several students.
7. Improving Linguistic and Social Competence through Explicit Grammar Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
KATHARINE BEALS (Autism Language Therapies), Felicia Hurewitz (Univeristy of Delaware )
Abstract: GrammarTrainer is an innovative linguistic software program that teaches high-functioning autistic children to construct sentences of increasing grammatical complexity. It requires learners to actively construct phrases and sentences, word by word, and provides principled linguistic feedback that demonstrates how to self-correct ungrammatical or inappropriate utterances. We compare this pedagogy with methods used by other software programs that aim to teach language to children with autism, including Laureate System’s MicroLADS and LinguiSystems NoGlamour Grammar. These alternatives require only passive clicking on the right answer, and provide no linguistic feedback. Pre-intervention assessment of these instructional strategies (n=24, children 7-19 with an ASD diagnosis) indicates that many autistic children are able to passively click on correct answers while still failing to actively construct grammatically and pragmatically appropriate responses. Pilot efficacy results will be presented. Two submodules are currently being assessed using a single subject design: The PhraseTrainer, which teaches simple phrases and sentences involving adjectives and prepositions, and the QuestionTrainer, which teaches grammatical and pragmatically correct WH-questions. Initial results (n=5) suggest that the program is efficacious. We conclude by discussing research on the connection between grammatical competence and social reasoning, in particular, de Villiers and de Villiers (2003) and Hale and Tager-Flusberg (2003).
8. Scholar Inclusion Experience of Autistic Children Based on Positive Behavior Interview (PBI).
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NUBIA PATRICIA ACOSTA ZAMBRANO (Avante Foundation), Olga L. Maciado (Avante Foundation), Andres P. Forero (Avante Foundation)
Abstract: The goal of this work is to promote the scholastic integration program of seven children between four and 13 years old, diagnosed with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The children were initially involved into an integral therapeutic program in Avante Foundation, where they attain the basic repertories needed to functionally interact in a normal education environment. A school in Bogota, Colombia was selected to implement an integration program. During the first phase, an instructional program in autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and scholastic integrations topics was developed with teachers; during the second phase a sensibility program was developed with 120 parents and 60 classmates. In the last phase, autistic children were situated into classrooms according to their chronological age and their functional level. During the phases of the project, the whole academic community was involved, taking into account an ecological approach. Records, observations, and interviews were included to collect data in an objective manner; the process was based on the positive behavior interview model, which showed the effectiveness of the applied model in our culture in the Avante Foundation.
9. Intervention Model with Software and Hardware to Develop Abilities and Basic Process in Autistic Children.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JUAN CARLOS MONTAÑEZ ALVAREZ (Avante Foundation), Andres P. Forero (Avante Foundation), Nubia Patricia Acosta Zambrano (Avante Foundation)
Abstract: This model develops the abilities and basic process in autistic children with assisted computer systems to prove its objective utility in therapeutical treatment. This design consists of a hardware device, working as a communication interface between a PC and the autistic child; an ergonomic keyboard with big, colorful, and exchangeable keys with specific symbols; and a software program designed with several computer program languages, which has high-quality in graphic design and 2- and 3D animation, as well as virtual therapeutics, intelligent demos, etc. This contributes to the acquisition and development of social and language abilities, and basic cognitive processes such as attention, memory, and association. The software allows one to see personalized results such as difficulty level, timing, selected objects, or stimuli. Data can be recorded by the software into a variables correlation. This intervention model is being used in the program for autistic children of the Avante Foundation in Bogota, Colombia.
10. The Functional Analysis of Non-Compliance during Discrete Trial Instruction.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER ANN ZONA (The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute), Robert Gulick (The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute), Phillip J. Belfiore (Mercyhurst College), Danielle Lynn Cotterill (Mercyhurst College), Tara C. Williams (Mercyhurst College)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine how social mediation - i.e., the provision or removal of various forms of adult attention - affects student responding during discrete trial instruction. The phenomenon of slow responding or “noncompliance” during discrete trial instruction, while frequently observed in clinical settings, has rarely been the subject of applied research. Using an alternating treatment design, the present study employed a modified analogue functional analysis to determine functional relations between four common maintaining variables and the response fluency of four children diagnosed with autism. Analogue sessions were designed to manipulate 1) consequent positive verbal attention in the form of verbal encouragement, 2) consequent negative verbal attention in the form of an informational “no”, 3) consequent positive physical attention in the form of physical prompting, and 4) the consequent removal of verbal and physical attention in the form of a brief time-out. A fifth analogue served as a control wherein the isolated manipulation of these four variables did not occur. Relatively clear differentiation in the data between the control and the other four analogues was seen with three of the four subjects. This would suggest that the protocol may be an effective means of determining the function of an individual child’s non-compliance.
11. Decreasing “Lying” by Teaching “Accurate Reporting” in an 11-Year-Old Boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROBERT K. ROSS (BEACON Services), Bobby Hermisch (Judge Baker-Manville School )
Abstract: The inability or unwillingness for a child to tell the “truth” is a concern for many parents. These problem behaviors are commonly labeled as “lying,” “fibbing,” inability to “face reality,” or memory processing difficulties. From a behavior analytic perspective, these descriptions lack the specificity required for measurement and intervention design. Lying is more precisely described as “inaccurately retelling or describing behaviors a child has observed or participated in.” Many psychologists report that children lie to escape aversive consequences, boost self-esteem, or reconstruct reality. Numerous interventions have been designed to address this childhood lying, including punishment, cognitive therapy, and self-esteem building activities. These procedures are primarily consequence-oriented, and applied after the occurrence of the target behavior. Data on the effectiveness of these approaches are limited. The current study reinforces the performance of consistent and accurately verbal descriptions of previously occurred events. The present study uses an errorless shaping procedure to systematically shape and reinforce accurate verbal descriptions.
12. Results of a Caregiver Conducted Functional Analysis in a Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DAVID M. CORCORAN (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: A functional (experimental) analysis was used to assess the inappropriate touching of a three-and-a-half-year-old child diagnosed with autism (Iwata, et al., 1982/1994). The analysis evaluated inappropriate touching behaviors under four analogue conditions. Results suggested inappropriate touching was primarily maintained by socially mediated positive reinforcement. Inappropriate touching or attempts were partially maintained by sensory stimulation. Results from the study indicate that caregivers can be trained to conduct assessments to identify behavioral function and design functionally based treatment.
13. Using Pyramidal Training to Teach Parents and Non-Parental Primary Caregivers to Implement Individualized Treatments: A Replication.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CAROL DEPEDRO (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: This study replicated Kuhn, Lerman, & Vorndran (2003) by utilizing pyramidal training with parents and non-parental caregivers. Two non-parental primary caregivers first were taught to implement individualized treatments that were designed on the basis of the results of a functional analysis conducted by the non-parental primary caregivers. The non-parental primary caregivers were then taught to instruct the parents of the children to implement the treatments. The results showed that non-parental primary caregivers acquired both the ability to correctly implement the interventions as well as effectively teach the parents to implement the interventions. These results suggest that Pyramidal Training was effective in increasing the non-parental primary caregivers’ and the parents’ implementation of the treatments as evidenced by the reduction in frequency of the targeted behaviors from baseline after treatment. These results expand the work of Kuhn, et al. (2003), by showing that non-parental primary caregivers can efficiently be taught to train parents in natural environments.
14. Acquisition of a Multiple Step Pretend Play Routine Using a Picture Activity Schedule.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOSEPH M. VEDORA (BEACON Services), Sean Anglin (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Activity schedules have been used effectively to teach a variety of skills to children diagnosed with autism and development disabilities (MacDuff, Krantz, and McClannahan, 1993; Byran & Gast, 2000). The acquisition of schedule-following skills enabled many children with developmental disabilities to learn multi-step routines, independently change activities, and increase sustained on-task engagement in the absence of immediate supervision or caregiver prompts. In addition, ongoing activity schedules have enabled the introduction of new forms of behavior (e.g., eating new food items (Kelm & Vedora, 2005)). The study describes teaching a sequence of steps of a play activity using photographic activity schedules with the goal to establish a “play” routine. The child used materials in a manner consistent with an established play routine. In the study, the child would “pretend” that new materials were the same materials as ones in the established routine. If the child engaged in the previously taught play routine with the new materials, the child could be described as “pretending.”
15. Using Photographic Activity Schedules to Teach a Child with Autism Table Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SEAN ANGLIN (BEACON Services), Erin Burke (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Two participants diagnosed with autism were taught to set three table settings using picture activity schedules. The picture activity schedule included Mayer Johnson icons that depicted items to be retrieved and the number of items necessary. During baseline phase a least to most prompt (verbal, gestural, physical) hierarchy was used to teach the skill. During the activity schedule condition the participants were physically prompted to complete the step if they did not initiate the step. Experimenters faded prompting and proximity when the participants exhibited independent responding. Baseline conditions revealed low levels of accurate responding. Upon implementation of the activity schedule, the participants quickly acquired the skills. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess the generality of the teaching procedure.
16. Using Signal Training to Decrease Anticipatory Responses in Discrete Trial Instruction.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ANN FILER (BEACON Services), Robert K. Ross (BEACON Services)
Abstract: Many children with autism and language-based learning challenges demonstrate anticipatory responding (engaging in a response prior to the instruction being presented or completed). The failure to attend to the entire instruction and respond after directions to do so may increase the probability of incorrect responses. In addition, the teacher’s intervention when anticipatory responses occur (verbal correction, and/or redirection) may produce frustration, and lead to problem behavior. The failure to respond and attend to instruction will almost certainly affect the rate of acquisition of the targeted skill. The current study specifically correlated rates of anticipatory responding with rates of errors and then introduced Signal Training (commonly used in Direct Instruction) to establish the skill of waiting for the entire instruction prior to responding. Signal training involved teaching the student to respond only after the signal to do so had been given. The results showed that decreased anticipatory responses are correlated with lower error rates and improved on-task behavior.
17. Expanding Play Skills for a Two-Year-Old Boy with Autism via Picture Activity Schedules.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Abstract: Photographic activity schedules have been used to increase on-task behavior of children with autism. We taught a two-year-old child with autism to follow photographic activity schedules. Results indicated that the photographic activity schedules led to an increase in on-task behavior. Additionally, the schedule-following repertoire enabled this child to engage in appropriate play and independently change activities without prompts from adults.
18. Behavioral Treatment of Food Refusal at an Outpatient Hospital Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NICOLE M CARLISLE (William Beaumont Hospital - CARE Program), Ivy M. Chong Crane (William Beaumont Hospital - CARE Program)
Abstract: Previous research on pediatric food refusal has shown that treatment packages based on behavioral interventions (i.e., operant conditioning) are effective in the treatment of feeding disorders. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of reinforcement-based procedures and escape-extinction (such as nonremoval of spoon and physical guidance) to increase and maintain food consumption (e.g., Kahng, Tarbox, & Wilke, 2001; Piazza, Patel, Gulotta, Sevin, & Layer, 2003; Piazza, et al., 2003). However, patients are typically admitted to an inpatient program in which meals are provided five to eight sessions per day for an extended period of time. The current investigation sought to replicate previous results in an outpatient treatment program. Additionally, the current treatment procedure extended previous research by including generalization of treatment gains into the home environment. Data are presented for two patients.
19. Functional Assessment to Assess “Sexual Behavior” in a Three-Year-Old Male with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KIMBERLEY L. M. ZONNEVELD (Florida Institute of Technology), Jeana L. Koerber (Western Michigan University), Ivy M. Chong Crane (Beaumont Hospitals)
Abstract: Functional assessments were conducted to identify maintaining variables of the inappropriate sexual behavior (i.e., masturbation) exhibited by a three-year-old male diagnosed with autism. Informant assessment information was gathered from direct care staff and the child’s mother. The descriptive assessment (conditional probabilities) was conducted in the clinical setting (i.e., the classroom) as well as in the home. Both assessments inferred that the inappropriate sexual behavior might be multiply controlled. However, the results from both assessments were undifferentiated. Next, an experimental functional analysis was conducted. The results indicated that the target behavior was maintained by escape from task-demands. Based on the results of the functional analysis, an effective treatment was designed using functional communication training and response blocking. The treatment was first successfully implemented in an analogue setting and was then systematically transferred into the natural environment (i.e., the classroom), where the rate of the problem behavior remained at a low and stable level.
20. The Effects of a DRO in Reducing Stereotypy in a Child with High-Functioning Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA C. RODRIGUEZ (Behavioral Concepts Inc.)
Abstract: This study assessed the effects of a DRO in reducing stereotypy in a seven-year-old male student with high-functioning autism. The participant exhibited high rates of hand flapping and tapping behavior which interfered with his attending and was stigmatizing at times. A multiple baseline study was conducted to reduce this behavior. The settings were: first grade classroom, during classroom-wide instruction; first grade classroom, during one-to-one instruction separate from the group; and the student’s home, during one-to-one instruction after school. The treatment consisted of a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO) whereby the student received tokens consisting of his favorite cartoon characters contingent on quiet hands and traded them in for a preferred edible when he earned a pre-determined amount of tokens. The study took place over four months. The results were significant in reducing rates of tapping in all settings. Parent, teacher, and self-reporting by the student increased the social validity of this study. As rates of stereotypy decreased in the student, rates of attending were also noted to have increased.
21. Addressing Language Delays by Targeting Language-Universal Semantic Relations.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SHELDON WAGNER (Behavioral Development & Educational Services), Lucie Dufresne (Behavioral Development & Educational Services), Lynne M. Guilmette (Behavioral Development & Educational Services), Karen K. Butler (Behavioral Development & Educational Services)
Abstract: Developmental psycholinguists have identified similarities in the early language of children at the one-and two-word stages. These similarities are reflected in the semantic relations that early language appears to instantiate. The earliest semantic relations have to do with “negation,” “recurrence,” “notice,” and “non-existence.” A few other semantic relations emerge at the two-word stage and are the first evidence of grammar, which is the sine qua non of human language and is both qualitatively distinct and developmentally superior to “communication.” There is evidence that children of many other languages share this very specific developmental trajectory. Some researchers have claimed that there is a universal two-word grammar common to most - perhaps all - human languages. It is tempting to hypothesize that a language intervention program based on these early semantic relations and targeting children at the non-word and one-word stage (i.e., one stage below the one and two-word stage) will be effective in significantly increasing the rate of receptive and expressive language development of these children. Indeed, if the rate of language acquisition is not increased, than this and most other language interventions are elementally flawed.
23. Comparing the Effects of Independent Play Skills Training and Positive Teacher Interaction on Stereotypic Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHEILA M. JODLOWSKI (Bronxville Schools), Ana C. Madeira (Bronxville Schools)
Abstract: An alternating treatments design was used to examine the effects of two treatments on a student’s stereotypic behavior. Treatment One consisted of positive reinforcement in the form of an edible or tangible reinforcer upon the completion of five consecutive occurrences of appropriate play behavior (e.g., puzzles, beads, cars, blocks). A variety of materials were used. Sessions were 20 minutes in length. In Treatment Two, for every 10 seconds of quiet hands, the student received 10 seconds of teacher praise and interaction (e.g., tickles, jumping, rubbing of head, hugging). These sessions were also 20 minutes in duration. Treatments were randomized from session to session. A frequency count of stereotypic behavior was recorded. Behavior was defined as tapping of chest, arms, legs, floor, or toys/objects. One occurrence was defined as starting when one tap was seen and stopping when there were three seconds of no tapping. During baseline, the behavior had a mean of 351 occurrences with an ascending trend. Treatment One had a mean of 25.6 occurrences. Treatment Two had a mean of 47.3 occurrences. Combined totals show a descending trend in treatment phases.
24. Training Spontaneous Eye Contact: Beyond “Look at Me”.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANA C. MADEIRA (College of New Rochelle), Sheila M. Jodlowski (Bronxville Schools)
Abstract: Instructors used toys to motivate the student to engage in eye contact. Before the student could play with the toy, eye contact needed to be sustained for a predetermined length of time. The term, “Let’s trade” was used to indicate the instructor wanted to trade toys with the student. Bringing the student’s hand to the instructor’s eyes was an effective prompt to facilitate eye contact. Baseline for eye contact was near zero levels. During phase 1 of the treatment, the student maintained eye contact for one second with a mean of 67.8% correct responding. In phase 2, the student increased the duration of the response to two seconds and had a mean of 78.3% correct responding. Phase 3 removed the prompt and the student had a mean of 85% of correct responding. Phase 4 increased the duration of the response to three seconds without prompting and the student had a mean of 100% correct responding.
25. Functional Assessment and Self-Management to Improve School Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WILLIAM ANTHONY JENKINS (California State University, Los Angeles), Jennifer B.G. Symon (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: Many children with autism engage in challenging behaviors, including aggression, self-injury, and severe tantrums that interfere with educational and adaptive behavior instruction in educational settings. Self-management strategies that include self-recording and self-reinforcement have been shown to reduce target behaviors in clinical settings and more research is needed to demonstrate the effects of this approach in educational settings. A functional assessment was conducted to determine the function of the behavior for each participant and then a self-management program was designed to teach replacement behaviors to meet the student’s needs. Through a multiple-baseline design, this study examined the effects of self-management strategies to reduce the occurrence of disruptive target behaviors (e.g., aggression, non-compliance) of three students with autism. Results show that following the self-management intervention, participanting students decreased intervals of disruptive behavior and increased desired replacement behaviors in classroom and school settings.
26. Increasing Functional Conversation Skills in a Young Boy with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANET A. BUTZ (CARE), Craig W. Butz (Odyssey Charter School), Chris Holcomb (Odyssey Charter School), Elaine Mastracchio (Odyssey Charter School)
Abstract: The presenters will explain an intervention with a six-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder. The subject attends second-grade general education classes for most of his school day with some pull-out resource room support in Math. The goal was to increase the use of functional language in interactions with school peers. The target behavior to be replaced was the use of non-functional phrases, specifically, “I’m sorry,” when interacting with peers. A functional behavior analysis was conducted to determine the purpose of the behavior (attention and positive interaction with peers) and potential reinforcers were identified using a parent reinforcement survey and a forced-choice reinforcer identification model. The student’s mother will also be attending and be available to discuss the results of the intervention.
27. Using Interactive Video to Support Families of Young Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIELLE LISO (Celeste Foundation), Jeffrey F. Hine (Celeste Foundation), Katrina M. Wilburn-Beckhom (Celeste Foundation)
Abstract: This poster describes a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Services, linking families of young children with autism and a wide range of professionals via interactive telehealth technology. Enabling families to receive live in-home support three to seven times per week, the system helps professionals provide additional training and immediate feedback to the families from remote locations. A description of the ABA-based, individualized training curriculum and the telehealth service delivery model will be presented. In addition, data on child behavior change, parent accuracy of implementation, quality of life, parenting stress, and parent/professional satisfaction with the technology will be presented. Implications for future research and the generalized application of this service delivery model to support both caregivers and providers will also be discussed.
28. An Evaluation of Speech Generating Devices as a Communicative Mode for Persons with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MAUREEN M. SCHEPIS (Center for Early Communication & Learning)
Abstract: The results of a series of multiple probe design studies will be presented to evaluate the effects of teaching persons with autism to use speech generating devices (SGDs), including a relatively new technology that utilizes dynamic display capability. Results of the studies will include a demonstration of systematic teaching approaches including didactic training methods and naturalistic teaching. The effectiveness of these strategies in teaching individuals to express a variety of communicative functions will also be demonstrated. The effects of SGD use on other communicative behaviors (e.g., vocalizations, words, and gestures) will be reported. Additionally, the effects of SGD use on the communicative interactions by support personnel with participants will be presented. Communication partner preferences related to the use of various AAC modes by persons with autism will be presented. Results will be discussed in terms of the impact of SGD use on the spontaneous communication of persons with autism as well as the impact on the duration of communication exchanges. Results of the studies will be discussed in relation to future benefits and research directions related to communication issues for persons with autism.
29. Using the High-p Request Sequence to Increase Compliance: A Failure to Replicate.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MARC J LANOVAZ (Centre de Readaptation Lisette-Dupras & St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: When physical prompting is used to increase compliance, children with autism may avoid the prompting procedure by exhibiting aggressive behaviours. The high-p request sequence (HPRS) offers an alternative to treatments that use physical prompting such as escape extinction and physical guidance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the HPRS would be effective in increasing compliance in a high-functioning five-year-old boy with autism. Results indicated that the HPRS procedure was ineffective in increasing compliance. The failure of the HPRS in changing the child’s behaviour may be explained by the low-p requests functioning as abolishing operations, the role of the HPRS as a discriminative stimulus, the level of functioning of the participant, and the differential response effort required to complete the low-p requests. Implications for future research and for the selection of effective treatment strategies to increase compliance in children with autism are discussed.
30. Creating an Evidence-Based Autism Program: A Review of Recommended Practices versus Currently Utilized Practices.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
ROBYN CONLEY DOWNS (Children's Village), Andrew M. Downs (Central Washington University)
Abstract: To guide the development of an evidence-based early intervention autism spectrum disorder program in an underserved community in Washington State, the research literature regarding recommended practices was reviewed and synthesized. Additionally, surveys were sent to 27 publicly funded autism-specific programs in Oregon and Washington. The surveys were designed to obtain information related to practices and program development issues. Descriptive data are reported regarding eligibility, wait time, intensity of services, theoretical approaches, instructional methods, access to typically developing peers, positive behavioral support, personnel, family involvement, transition issues, outcome measurement, and funding. Results indicated a wide variation in practices and the existence of practices not recommended in the literature. The results provide an excellent picture of practices currently utilized by early intervention programs in the Northwest. For example, of the 18 programs surveyed, four reported using applied behavior analytic approaches exclusively, 13 reported using a blend of approaches that included applied behavior analysis, and one program reported not using applied behavior analytic techniques. Survey and literature review results are synthesized and discussed in the context of developing a comprehensive early intervention program for children with autism spectrum disorder.
31. Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists (HANDS) in Autism: Year Two Training Evaluation.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
NAOMI SWIEZY (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Melissa L. Maynard (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Patricia A. Korzekwa (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Stacie L. Pozdol (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Kara Hume (Indiana University ), Megan N. Grothe (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Gary Miller (Riley Hospital for Children)
Abstract: The mission of HANDS in Autism (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) is to provide practical and applicable information to a variety of caregivers from an ABA-based framework and to provide an option for training that promotes practical learning opportunities through an innovative and intensive hands-on and coaching experience. Following an initial training, participants were asked to provide daily feedback on several aspects of the training, including rating the thoroughness of information presented, the materials provided, and the hands-on experiences. Both strengths and weaknesses were analyzed with emphasis on program adaptation for future trainings. Results of the evaluations as well as future adaptations to the program will be presented.
32. Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists (HANDS) in Autism: Year Two Training Outcomes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
PATRICIA A. KORZEKWA (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Naomi Swiezy (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Melissa L. Maynard (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Stacie L. Pozdol (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Kara Hume (Indiana University ), Megan N. Grothe (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), Gary Miller (Riley Hospital for Children)
Abstract: The mission of HANDS in Autism (Helping Answer Needs by Developing Specialists in Autism) is to provide practical and applicable information to a variety of caregivers from an ABA-based framework and to provide an option for training that promotes practical learning opportunities through an innovative and intensive hands-on and coaching experience. Participants were rated on the following qualitative measures collected both before and after training: sample IEP or BIP evaluation, classroom structure (using photographs), and application of strategies for persons on the autism spectrum. Results regarding change in quality of factors measured will be presented.
33. Caregiver Burden Experiences after Receiving a Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MELISSA L. MAYNARD (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley), John H. McGrew (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis), Naomi Swiezy (Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley)
Abstract: The aim of this study is to provide information on the process and impact of receiving a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in one’s child on burden. Primary caregivers of children recently diagnosed with an ASD were asked to report on several variables thought to influence positive and negative outcomes associated with care giving and based on the double ABCX model of family adaptation: severity of autistic symptoms, additional life demands, locus of control, social support, appraisal, and coping strategies. Additionally, burden was measured across three domains: individual, marriage/relationship, and family burden. Caregivers reported on these variables within six months of receiving a diagnosis in their child. Results regarding the experience of burden across domains as well as information on the process of receiving a diagnosis will be discussed.
34. Reducing Automatically Reinforced Aberrant Behaviors in a Child with Autism, Using Positive Reinforcement of Appropriate Behavior: A Case Study.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MANUELA FERNANDEZ-VUELTA VUELTA (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Gladys Williams (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Monica Rodriguez Mori (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Jaqueline Marilac Madeira (Universidad de Oviedo, Spain)
Abstract: Many children with autism display atypical or aberrant behaviors. These behaviors are often maintained by automatic reinforcement, hence the difficulty to treat them. The purpose of this study was to see the effect of a positive interaction in an eight-year-old non-vocal child with autism who displayed spitting, regurgitating, and vomiting throughout the day. The intervention consisted of reinforcing one minute whole intervals of appropriate behavior during the entire work time in the classroom. During the intervention, the aberrant behaviors were ignored. The data showed that the intervention was effective, reducing all three behaviors to zero levels.
35. Teaching Visual Discriminations Using the Combined Blocking Procedure: An Analysis of the Learning Process.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIE W. KELLER (Applied Behavioral Consultant Services), Manuela Fernandez Vuelta (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Gladys Williams (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Monica Rodriguez Mori (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL)
Abstract: Some children with autism have difficulty learning auditory and visual discriminations with standard procedures. We used the combined blocking procedure, derived from basic research, to teach a three-year-old non-vocal child with autism to match (a) related objects (i.e., match shoe and sock), (b) pictures with the related objects, and (c) written words to objects. As the child acquired new discriminations, he required less and less trials to learn, thus demonstrating the learning set effect.
36. An Analysis of Basic Skills Necessary to Learn Discriminations with the Combined Blocking Procedure.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MONICA RODRIGUEZ MORI (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Gladys Williams (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL), Manuela Fernandez Vuelta (El Centro para la Investigación y Enseñanza de Lenguaje, SL)
Abstract: The combined blocking procedure has been demonstrated as effective in teaching conditional discriminations to normal developing children as well as children with autism and other learning difficulties. Despite its efficacy, we have not yet studied the basic skills the child must have in order to benefit from this intervention. In this study, we analyzed the skills that a nine-year-old child with autism had in two separate instances of the intervention. In the first when he did not acquire the discrimination and in the second when he acquired it (with the combined blocking procedure). The analysis of both situations clarifies the pre-requisite skills of a child to acquire conditional discriminations.
37. Understanding Generalization: A Comparative Analysis of Multiple Exemplar Training, Indiscriminable Contingency Training, and Reinforced Generalization Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
GINA T. CHANG (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: The present study compared three teaching approaches that are designed specifically to promote generalization. The three generalization promoting procedures were multiple exemplar training, indiscriminable contingency training, and reinforced generalization training. Few studies have attempted to understand the role that these different strategies play in promoting generalization, and none have compared strategies across children. This study measured generalization as the transfer of the use of the acquired behavior into a natural environment. A multiple baseline design across and within participants and an alternating treatment design were used to compare which strategy was most effective in promoting generalization. Target behaviors were defined for four children with autism. Results indicated that for the children who met criterion for learning the new behaviors, all training conditions promoted at least partial generalization. In terms of the comparative analysis of generalization facilitation techniques, results indicated that multiple exemplar training yielded the highest rate of generalization, while reinforced generalization was the least effect strategy for promoting generalization.
38. A Comparison of Steps to Social Success (SSS) and Social Stories for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SABRINA D. DANESHVAR (Autism Spectrum Therapies), Debra L. Berry (Claremont Graduate University), Marjorie H. Charlop (Claremont McKenna College)
Abstract: Social Stories (Gray & Garand, 1993) is a widely used social skills program for children with autism, despite little empirical validation. Despite the name “social” stories, few studies have addressed teaching social skills, rather than reducing maladaptive behaviors (i.e., tantrums, off-task behavior). In this study, an alternative social skills program, Steps to Social Success (SSS), was created to teach social behaviors to children with autism, capitalizing on their strengths and including facilitators for motivation, generalization, and maintenance. An alternating treatments design with a multiple baseline design across children was used to empirically assess and compare the effectiveness of Social Stories and the SSS program in teaching social skills to four children with autism. Results found that SSS was effective whereas Social Stories was not. Results also showed greater ancillary increases in spontaneous social behavior and decreases in inappropriate behavior in the SSS condition. Interobserver agreement was greater than 80%. Results are discussed in terms of how children with autism learn best and the importance of scientific study of commonly used treatment techniques.
39. Does the Quality and Quantity of Speech Improve with Access to a Functional Communication System?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHERYL FLORES (Schertz-Cibolo Universal City Independent School District), Ceri Edwards (Schertz-Cibolo Universal City Independent School District)
Abstract: This session will provide follow-up data to an alternating treatments design study conducted in an elementary classroom serving students with autism in a public school setting. Three students were exposed to an alternating treatment condition during an individualized snack for a total of sixteen five-minute sessions. The first condition involved looking at the quantity as well as the quality of speech produced by each student when allowed only to use their speech skills. The second alternating condition involved looking at the quantity and quality of verbal speech produced when allowed access to a functional communication system paired with verbal skills. Preliminary results indicate that under both conditions the quantity or amount of speech produced did not change. However, under the second condition when allowed access to their functional communication system, all three participants increased their overall quality or type of speech used during the individualized snack time. The research study will be replicated during the fall of 2006 to determine if the quality and quantity of speech produced by the participants varies when conducted during an individualized snack session versus another type of highly structured activity such as academic work or when conducted in a group setting.
40. Teaching a Non-Vocal Verbal Student Advanced Alternative Communicative Repertoires.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CAROL A. FIORILE (Columbia University Teachers College), Lina Gilic (Columbia University Teachers College), Josephine Barletta (Columbia University Teacher's College)
Abstract: Individuals with limited vocal verbal repertoires often have difficulty developing behaviors that function to evoke reinforcing responses from the listener community. Many of these individuals learn alternative communication systems that provide the non-vocal speaker with limited speaker functions. This study sought to provide a systematic protocol for teaching a non-vocal nine-year-old boy with ASD to engage in a range of advanced speaker behavior using an electronic device. Details of each phase of instruction are presented, and data are presented showing pre-intervention and post-intervention speaker repertoires.
41. Occupational Therapy Incorporating Animals with Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STAN WILLENBRING (Dabney S. Lancaster Community College), Mona J. Sams (Mona's Ark), Elizabeth E. Van Voorhees (Central State Hospital)
Abstract: This investigation compared language use and social interaction in children with autism receiving two form of occupational therapy: occupational therapy using standard techniques, and occupational therapy incorporating animals (including llamas, dogs, and rabbits). Therapeutic activities in both the standard sessions and in the sessions incorporating animals were geared toward facilitating sensory integration, language use, sensory skills, and motor skills. Twenty-two children between the ages of seven and 13 received both forms of therapy in a school-based occupational therapy program for children with autism. During each session, individual children were observed by trained research assistants, and each instance of language use and social interaction was recorded. Results indicated that the children engaged in significantly greater use of language (t(21) = 2.18; p < 0.05), and significantly greater social interaction (t(21) = 4.21; p < 0.01) in the occupational therapy sessions incorporating animals than in the occupational therapy sessions using exclusively standard techniques. Findings are discussed in the context of recent research, primarily in the field of applied behavior analysis, which has highlighted the importance of enhancing the motivation of children with autism to engage actively in therapeutic and learning processes.
42. Psychometric Properties of Commonly-Used Instruments for Assessing Autism, and Their Correspondence with the DSM-IV.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
LESLIE R. LESKO (Sussex Consortium, Cape Henlopen School District), Peter J. Doehring (Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Researchers have relied on a range of instruments and procedures for establishing the diagnosis of autism for children who have participated in intervention studies. Yet these instruments vary widely in their standardization, and in the degree to which they correspond with the DSM-IV. As a result, we may sometimes question the diagnosis of research participants, have difficulty comparing results across studies using different diagnostic procedures, and lack confidence when seeking to predict intervention outcomes for other children with autism. We analyze instruments most commonly used to establish diagnosis by presenting a comparative summary of their psychometric properties, and determining the relative weight each instrument places on each of the three axes of the DSM (e.g., social, communication, interests/behaviors). We then report the extent to which individual items from these instruments map onto the specific criteria referenced in the DSM-IV, based on blind ratings of these items by experienced psychologists. Using these findings, we discuss the factors that researchers should consider when choosing a diagnostic protocol, and the implications of these factors and choices for the interpretation of the results and their generalization to other children.
43. How are Diagnosis and Cognitive Status Reported in Autism Intervention Studies Published in JABA?
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
PETER J. DOEHRING (Delaware Autism Program), Laura A. Donnelly (Delaware Autism Program), Brianne Bray (Delaware Autism Program), Kristin Myers (Delaware Autism Program)
Abstract: Chronological and mental age are amongst the most reliable predictors of the long-term intervention outcomes for young children with autism, whereas changes in diagnosis appear to be related to the initial severity of the autistic spectrum disorder. As a result, standards of practices have increasingly emphasized the need for valid assessment protocols. In this study, we examined all of the articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis from 2000 to 2005 that sought to demonstrate an intervention outcome for children with autism. With respect to both diagnostic and cognitive status, we first considered whether researchers implemented their own protocol or relied on assessments provided by referring clinicians. For studies employing a pre-defined protocol, we report the measures most often used, and the extent to which the researchers qualify the results in the light of the participants’ status, or the limitation(s) of the protocol. In general, we find that practices varied considerably across the studies reviewed. As a result, it may be difficult to replicate some results across studies and in the clinic. We conclude by outlining recommendations for future practice.
44. Reinforcement Rate on Spontaneous Social Initiations of Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
VINCA RIVIERE (Development - Autism), Jean-Claude Darcheville (University of Lille)
Abstract: Social skills priming was used to increase the spontaneous social initiations of three children with autism. In the training sessions, experimenters prompted and reinforced social behavior (e.g. smiling, verbal initiations, touching peer and looking to the peer). The rate of reinforcement during the priming sessions varied. The effects of manipulation on the rate of spontaneous social initiations during the subsequent activity were measured. Spontaneous initiations were more frequent after high rates of reinforcement than after low rates of reinforcement. The relation between high-p procedures and priming procedure are discussed.
45. Applicability of a Brief Functional Assessment of Self-Injurious Behaviors for Use in a Residential Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNY E. TUZIKOW (Devereux Kanner Center)
Abstract: Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness and applicability of functional analyses in the assessment of self-injurious behaviors (Iwata & Worsdell, 2005; Northup, et al., 1991; Patel, et al., 1999). These studies have several limitations, one being the length of time needed to conduct the assessments. Since the origination of functional analyses, researchers have attempted to modify them to meet the practical needs of practitioners for use in treatment facilities. The current study examines the utility of a brief functional analysis of self-injurious behaviors for four individuals living in a residential treatment facility. Individuals ranged between the ages of 11 and 20 years old and were all diagnosed with autism disorder and mental retardation (moderate to severe). Conclusions from the functional analyses are compared to the conclusions of indirect assessments and direct observations. The results of the study indicated that the functional analyses confirmed the functions of the participants’ self-injurious behaviors in one out of the four cases and found that one participant’s self-injurious behaviors could be due to a function that was not reported in the indirect assessments. Strengths and weaknesses of using brief functional analyses in a residential treatment facility are discussed.
46. Comparison of Analogue and Discrete Trial Methodologies for Functional Analysis.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KAREN L. LENARD (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Mark J. Palmieri (Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Analogue functional analysis is considered to be the most accurate procedure for determining the function of maladaptive behavior (Hanley, et al., 2003). However, the time and expertise required to conduct functional analyses has made their use in public schools prohibitive. As a result, brief models of functional analysis have emerged. One such model was proposed by Sigafoos and Saggers (1995). In their study, the researchers used two-minute functional analysis conditions (one minute test, one minute control) to determine the behavioral functional analysis of maladaptive behavior for two students. The current investigation sought to compare traditional models of analogue functional analysis (e.g., Iwata, et al., 1982/1994) and a brief naturalistic discrete-trial model of functional analysis similar to procedures used by Sigafoos and Saggers (1995). Two students, ages eight and nine, were included in the current evaluation. Both students were exposed to traditional analogue and to the brief discrete trial methodologies. Results indicate that there was correspondence across models for both students. In addition, the discrete trial procedure took considerably less time than the traditional FA procedures (a 76.77% and 87.41% reduction in session time). Results are discussed in terms of compliance with the IDEA Amendments of 1997 and social validity.
47. A Behavior Analytic Account of Stimulus Overselectivity and Evidence-Based Instructional Interventions.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
DEIRDRE LEE FITZGERALD (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Abstract: Stimulus over selectivity, or the responsiveness of learners with autism to select components of a complex stimulus, has generated significant attention for decades. Empirical findings indicate that learners with autism are capable of forming discriminations to complex operants and are further capable of generalization of this learning to untrained contexts. These findings indicate that the restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviors characteristic of autism, and inherent in its identification, are malleable with well-designed instruction. Data on empirically supported best practices in instructional design that address the tendency of learners with autism to form discriminations based on certain dimensions of a complex stimulus, to have those discriminations governed by tight stimulus control, and to have prior learning potentially block the development of targeted skills will be presented. Specific antecedent interventions that have been shown to increase the success of learners with autism will be outlined to guide the development of efficient and effective learning programs with learners with autism. Finally, a nomenclature for the discussion of stimulus over selectivity that adheres to the principles and assumptions of applied behavior analysis will be presented to further advance the design of teaching and learning programs.
48. BAAM Website Behavioral Video Clips and Other Information to Teach Skills Using ABA Techniques.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEATHER M. ANSON (Eastern Michigan University), Jennifer Bullock (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Professionals worldwide are actively establishing behaviorally-based treatment programming for children with autism spectrum disorders. Unfortunately, due to lack of staff in many areas, services cannot meet demand. In response, professionals have implemented parent training models ranging from eight-hour parent-training workshops to directive parent-training programs lasting several months. Parents, then, substitute for the missing staff or psychologists. Varied levels of success have resulted from these approaches. Uncertainty about effectiveness calls for research on best training practices for parents. We are creating a web page providing video clips and other information to teach skills using applied behavior analysis techniques. Each video will be accompanied by a caption explaining the background of the child in the video, the teaching sequence of the skills shown, specific techniques within the video to look for, and the current status of the child. Feedback collected from site users will serve as preliminary data on the usefulness of the Web page.
49. Apples to Apples? A Comparison of ABA-Based Curriculum Sequences for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
JOHN C. BARNARD (Educational Services Unit & Temple University), Christina M. Peters (Temple University), Betsy Wurstner (Temple University), Saul Axelrod (Temple University), Philip N. Hineline (Temple University)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been recognized as an effective intervention strategy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and it provides the conceptual foundation for effective early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI). Not the same as the more general term “early intervention,” EIBI is a specialized approach requiring the application of many behavior analytic teaching strategies, a comprehensive curriculum protocol, and careful program sequencing. Variations of EIBI, however, are frequently categorized on the basis of selected instructional and curricular emphases and then labeled and advocated as separate and distinct intervention approaches. But how different are these EIBI approaches? A graphic representation of data regarding the curriculum sequences of a small sample of students will be compared in order to identify similarities and differences between interventions commonly labeled as either “verbal behavior” or “discrete trial.”
50. Neurobehavioral Effects of a Gluten and Casein Free Diet on a Young Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ROSALIE J. BYRD (Emerge, PC and St. Cloud State), Helena Huckabee (Emerge, PC and University of Denver)
Abstract: Children with autism often present with gastrointestinal problems comorbid with their characteristic impairments in communication and social reciprocity. Anecdotal reports of improvement coincident with implementation of a gluten and casein free (GCF) diet abound. While improvement in G/I symptoms could logically follow removal of poorly metabolized substances, functionally related enhancement of communication or adaptive skills is less plausible. To determine the presence and strength of any functional relationship between neurobehavioral skills and implementation of a GCF diet, a single subject, reversal design was used with a three-year-old girl with autism. Numerous neurobehavioral skills were assessed across the experiment to permit wide consideration of effects related to various brain structures. Raters of dependent variables were blind to timing and phase of experiment. Good interrater reliability was established. Results are discussed with respect to treatment recommendations and generalizability to other children.
51. Central West Preschool Autism Services: Parent Coach Model of Service
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PAULINE EATON (Erinoak), Pamela H. Lawryn (Preschool Autism Services - Peel), Suzette A. Henry (Preschool Autism Services - Peel)
Abstract: Central West Preschool Autism Services (CWPAS) provides leadership and assumes responsibility for encouraging active parental involvement in their child’s learning. Current evidence continues to support that the most improved gains are made with children who receive 25-40 hours of IBI treatment per week (Lovaas, 1987; McEachin, Smith, & Lovaas, 1993; Sallows & Graupner, 2005). The only and most practical way for some children in CWPAS to reach their clinical goals sooner is to provide parents with the tools, knowledge, and supports to make up the therapeutic hours offered by our service. CWPAS initiated a pilot project, creating a Parent Coach Model that involves parents directly in their child’s IBI sessions. A team of 15 instructor therapists received training on coaching skills and coaching model to prepare them for their changing role. This pilot service was offered to fifteen families and a pre-survey was completed to gather data on various qualitative measures including knowledge of IBI teaching techniques, confidence in managing challenging behaviours, stress levels, and the child’s use of functional communication, among others. Parent coach sessions are being provided each week during one of the child’s regular IBI sessions. Content of coaching sessions is individualized based on the child and parent’s goals and documented in a Parent Coach Plan. A post-survey will capture data to complete this pilot project at the end of the three-month period and will be ready for presentation at this poster session.
52. Central West Preschool Autism Services: The Parent Learning Journey Series.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
TAMMY COUTURE (Erinoak Preschool Autism Services), Pauline Eaton (Erinoak), Jackie Gorven (Erinoak), Heidi Olsen (Erinoak)
Abstract: Research indicates substantial gains are made with children when parents are actively involved in their child’s learning (Lovaas, Keogel, Simmons, & Long, 1973; Shore, Iwata, Lerman, & Shirley, 1994; Wahler, 1969; Weinberg, 1999). With the goal of increasing parent involvement in their child’s learning, Central West Preschool Autism Services (CWPAS) created, marketed, and delivered a six-workshop curriculum for parents whose children are involved with CWPAS (wait list, in service, and recently discharged from service). The revised parent training strategy has resulted in a two-fold increase in parent participation, i.e., more than 150 family members have participated in this Learning Journey since September 2005. In addition, parent pre- and post-surveys showed significant increase in their knowledge, confidence, and skill in interacting with their child in a successful manner. Parents were provided with full written materials of the curriculum, video examples, and interactive scenarios to further enhance their learning. Next steps include the development of workshop content in various formats to reach parents unable to attend the in-class series, including the production of a DVD, and expanded handouts. It is also our goal to translate the curriculum into different languages to meet our clients’ diverse needs.
53. An Application of Competing Stimulus Assessment to Decreasing Rates of Self-Injurious and Crying Behavior in a Nine-Year-Old Male with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KIMBERLY OERTEL (The Faison School for Autism), Tiffanie N. Ellis (The Faison School for Autism), Daniel J. Irwin (The Faison School for Autism), Anna M. Young (The Faison School for Autism)
Abstract: As documented in literature, a competing stimulus assessment has been used to develop interventions to address a variety of behaviors including self-stimulatory behavior, physical aggression, self-injury, and functional communication in children diagnosed with autism. During competing stimulus assessment, a systematic way of identifying stimuli that successfully competes with the reinforcers that maintain disruptive behavior is implemented. In the present study, a functional behavior analysis, which incorporated assessment of potentially competing stimuli, was conducted with a nine-year-old male diagnosed with autism. Prior to initiating the assessment, the participant was observed to exhibit high rates of self-injury and loud vocalizations in the context of transitioning to and from vehicles, as well as during vehicle rides. During the functional behavior analysis, the participant was exposed to the tangible, ignore, and attention conditions. The tangible condition incorporated a three-minute exposure to selected tangible items, with each item presented one at a time. The sessions were conducted inside a stationary vehicle. Following the assessment, which identified the competing stimulus, a multiple baseline across settings (i.e., school vehicle and parent’s vehicle) was used to compare rates of target behaviors in the presence and absence of the competing stimulus. Results revealed that the participant’s target behaviors decreased in the setting that was paired with presentation of identified competing stimulus.
54. Does Need Predict Service Allocation?
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAUREL MAUCH (California State University, Los Angeles and FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.), Jennifer L. Harris (FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.)
Abstract: Treatment outcomes vary among children receiving intensive ABA intervention. Intensity of intervention has consistently been associated with positive outcome. Although numerous studies suggest that high intensity (25+ hours per week) is crucial to outcome, many children diagnosed are receiving far less intensive services. This archival study of 79 ASD children receiving ABA intervention examined the potential correlates to service hour allocation with the hypothesis that intensity of intervention would be based upon the severity of presenting symptoms at intake. Specifically, an inverse relationship between child pathology and intensity of treatment was predicted. Contrary to our hypothesis, results indicate that no correlation was found between entry functioning and hours of treatment received. This finding suggests that funding (inferred from intensity) was not systematically allocated based on need and therefore implies that funding is provided based upon factors unrelated to the child. Future research is warranted.
55. Parents and Educators Designing and Implementing Behavioral Interventions.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
MICHELLE LAROCQUE (Florida Atlantic University), Sharon Darling (Florida Atlantic University )
Abstract: Participants will learn how children and their families were chosen to participate in this project examining the effects of collaborative planning and implementation of functional behavioral assessments and implementation of behavioral intervention plans. Participants will briefly hear the results of this study which indicated that (a) parents and teachers could agree on two priority school behaviors for intervention, (b) parents and teachers reliably completed functional behavioral assessments and teachers implemented the resulting behavioral intervention plans with a high degree of fidelity; and (c) the collaborative teaming process and access to research and training positively influenced parents perceptions of their own competence. Presenters will then share the strategies used for promoting true collaboration and honoring family’s choices and preferences; specific strategies for families who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will be presented. Methods will also be provided for using good working relationships as the medium for effective intervention. Additionally, methods will be discussed for designing interventions based on clinical research that have applications for practitioners, theorists and families, so that effective linkages between theory to practice can be made. Resources will be provided that identify sources of information on positive behavioral support.
56. The Effects of Motor Echoic Sign Language Training within the Context of a Motivating Operation.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
KARELIX ALICEA (Florida International University)
Abstract: The significant effects that echoic, mand, and sign language training procedures have on the acquisition of verbal behavior have been widely demonstrated when employed individually. It still remains, however, that more efficient treatment strategies are still needed in building a functional repertoire of verbal behavior within the developmentally delayed population. The goal of this study was to combine all three treatment strategies into one treatment intervention in order to investigate the joint effects they may have on verbal behavior. A total of seven developmentally delayed participants took part in the study. Treatment intervention totaled one hour per day for five days per week until a mastery criterion for motor echoic behavior was achieved. Despite the fact that only motor echoic behavior was targeted for skill acquisition, significant increases in spontaneous motor mands were noted in all participants. Additionally, six out of the seven participants also demonstrated significant gains in vocal echoic and spontaneous vocal mand repertoires. This research suggests that, in comparison to conventional treatment strategies, motor echoic sign language training within the context of a motivating operation (MO) may provide more efficient results in teaching functional language repertoires to developmentally delayed children.
57. The KIHd System: Testing Teacher Perceptions and Data Driven Decisions for Students with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI J GRAFF (George Mason University), Michael M. Behrmann (George Mason University), Shuangbao Wang (George Mason University), Yoosun Chung (George Mason University )
Abstract: This poster will discuss the initial investigation and findings of teacher usage with the Kellar Instructional Handheld Data (KIHd) System in a metropolitan school where discrete trail teaching is employed with students on the autism spectrum. This study is part of a two-year United States Department of Education Stepping Stones of Technology grant. A mixed methodology was implemented for a twelve-week period to ascertain information in three main areas: data-driven decisions, teacher planning, and technology adoption. The first component tested the effectiveness of how teachers made data-driven decisions and, given different parameters, determined if those decisions remained constant. The second component looked at teacher use of planning and provided insight to other activities that were previously prohibited due to a lack of time. The third component evaluated teachers’ perceptions about a one touch data collection system in regard to technology adoption. Analysis of the study with quantitative data focused on teachers viewing patterns and preferences of the graphs. Qualitative data provided teacher information about perceptions of the KIHd System. Conclusions will be discussed in regard to overall effective technology usage and future research with the possible concentration on specific interventions.
58. Evaluating the Use of Selectively Archived Video Recordings for Functional Behavior Assessment in Schools.
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
GILLIAN R. HAYES (Georgia Institute of Technology), Juane Heflin (Georgia State University), Gregory Abowd (Georgia Institute of Technology), Lamar Gardere (Caring Technologies, Inc. ), Carina M. De Fazio (Cobb County School District), Celeste Pittman (Georgia Institute of Technology ), Nikta Pirouz (Georgia Institute of Technology ), Sharjeel Hooda (Georgia Institute of Technology )
Abstract: Identifying behavioral function can lead to development of more effective interventions. Teachers conduct functional behavior assessments (FBA) in schools, but the task load of recording the data manually and the challenge of accurately identifying antecedents and consequences while interacting with students often result in imperfect information capture. New software, CareLog, allows teachers more easily to conduct FBAs and enhances the capture of relevant information. We compared traditional and technology-augmented FBA processes and outcomes for children with autism and behavior disorders. Four teachers from a behavior center in the public school system each identified two children with severe behaviors. They conducted one FBA with traditional methods and one using CareLog. Experts in FBA then clinically verified the teachers’ hypotheses of each child’s behavior. We measured efficiency in making this determination in terms of time and number of incidents not recorded or recorded in error. Each teacher’s subjective task load (cognitive and physical) was compared between the two methods. Findings support the idea that teachers can successfully identify functions of behavior in their classrooms. Furthermore, use of software and selective video recording to augment the process can ease the data collection burden and enhance teachers’ abilities to analyze collected data.
59. Abaris: Technology to Support Collaboration and Decision Making for Discrete Trial Training.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIE A. KIENTZ (Georgia Institute of Technology), Gregory Abowd (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Decisions about the care of children with autism can often be a difficult process, as much of the data collected is subjective in nature and often is collected independently by multiple caregivers. To aid this process, we have developed a computing technology system, called Abaris, which helps caregivers collect and analyze data for discrete trial training therapy. Abaris uses digital pen and paper and a camera to help therapists automatically record videos of therapy sessions and capture data points. It also provides an interface that automatically creates graphs and provides easy access to additional session data, such as individual prompts for trials and relevant moments in the video stream. We analyzed Abaris over a four-month period in the home of one child with autism and his team of DTT therapists. Results show that therapists were able to quickly adopt the system for all sessions. They used the graphing and video interface in six team meetings to enrich discussion and help make decisions about the child’s progress in therapy. We found that Abaris helped increase the level of collaboration amongst caregivers and increased the use of more objective evidence (such as videos and data sheets) in the decision making process.
60. Teaching Play Skills to Young Children with Autism: Discrete Trial Training versus Video Modeling.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NICOLE J. HENRIKSEN (Grand Valley State University), Jamie S. Owen-DeSchryver (Grand Valley State University), Amy L. Matthews (Grand Valley State University), Jill Meiste (Grand Valley State University)
Abstract: Extensive research has found interventions based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to be effective for teaching children with autism. This study was designed to compare the efficacy of two behavioral interventions: discrete trial training (DTT) and video modeling (VM). The participants were two boys with autism who attended self-contained preschool classrooms. For both children, two equivalent play targets were selected from three different domains (play interactions, play sequences, and play statements). Baseline data were collected and the targets for each domain were randomly assigned to either the DTT or VM condition. Rates of skill acquisition for these targets were then compared. After an adequate trial period, if the child did not acquire the skill or showed inconsistent performance, the target was assigned to the other condition. Results indicated that the effectiveness of DTT and VM varied depending on the child’s unique interests, strengths, weaknesses, and other potential mediating factors. The study is being extended to include other children with the intent of gathering information about individual child characteristics that can be used to help determine the relative effectiveness of these interventions for teaching different skills.
61. Classroom-Based Antecedent Analysis for Disruptive Behavior in Schools.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER E. COPELAND (Grant Wood Area Education Agency), Brenda J. Engebretson (University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (University of Iowa)
Abstract: With the intent to improve on-task behavior among students with disruptive behavior at a public school, personnel from a behavior disorder program were trained to implement a classroom-based antecedent analysis. A four-phase experiment was used as treatment for two students. The first participant was referred to the study due to characteristics of an autism spectrum disorder that interrupted daily functioning. The second participant was referred to the study due to a long history of emotional disturbances. In phase one, the lead teacher and support staff conducted a preference assessment and a directive assessment. In phase two, a multi-element design was used to conduct an antecedent analysis to determine effective teaching techniques and interventions. In phase three, a reversal design was used to show the effects of functional communication training. In phase four, follow-up probes were taken to determine if previously learned skills were able to be generalized across activities and people. Results showed that after training the students to use functional communication to solicit effective instructional antecedents from their teachers, on-task behavior improved. A multiple baseline demonstrated that communication training also produced improvements in task completion and task quality.
62. An Intervention Accomplishing Independent Toileting over an Extended Period of Time with a Young Adult with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Living in a Residential Placement.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
PATRICIA C. PURVIS (Heartspring)
Abstract: Independent toileting is an important developmental accomplishment that significantly impacts community participation for young adults with autism. W. is a 20-year-old residential student at Heartspring in Wichita, Kansas. At his enrollment in 2001, he was not bladder or bowel trained. He has the diagnosis of autism and a limited expressive vocabulary. Bowel training was complicated by comorbid anxiety and stool withholding resulting in elimination occurring only after W. had relaxed or after he had gone to bed. Approximately one year ago, W. had met the IEP goal of having one or fewer bladder or bowel accidents in a six-week period of time. The adapted protocol over a three year period utilized techniques outlined by Azrin and Foxx (1971), scheduled toilet sits, social stories describing skills being introduced and reinforcers used, pairing the “sign” for toilet with the action, and reinforcement for “dry pant” and successful voiding. Behavior was shaped by first reinforcing successful toilet sits to eventually reinforcing successful toileting as a result of self-initiation. Data has been collected daily. This single subject report on a young autistic adult suggests that toilet training may be accomplished over an extended period of time by incorporating a consistent toileting protocol within a resident’s total program.
63. An Unsuccessful Attempt to Decrease Prompt Dependence in an Adolescent with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WAYNE C. PIERSEL (Heartspring), Lindsay Randle (Heartspring), Kim Bray-Thomas (Heartspring)
Abstract: Individuals with developmental disabilities are often unable to communicate their needs in traditional ways. They also typically need more intense and individually developed instructional programs. More intense instructional programs that involve progression through small steps increase the risk of “Prompt Dependence.” Using a multiple baseline across three settings, this study attempted to reduce “verbal prompt dependence” in a 20-year-old male with autism. This individual readily complied with verbal prompts to initiate or stop an activity. However, he required verbal prompts at each distinct step in an activity (get in line, get your tray, put food on your tray, go to table, sit down, pick up for, eat, etc.). Attempts to wait the student out during known routines without verbal prompts were unsuccessful. Three procedures were attempted including: a) utilizing words printed on two inch squares, b) utilizing an FM system with staff giving verbal instructions while out of sight, and c) a pager worn by the student. All procedures were unsuccessful. Implications are discussed in defining and addressing prompt dependence.
64. Effectiveness of Picture Schedules and Transition Boards in Decreasing Inappropriate Behavior in Individuals with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
WAYNE C. PIERSEL (Heartspring)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a picture schedule and use of a transition board (mini picture schedule when out of area) on the inappropriate behavior of an adolescent with autism. Using a multiple baseline across settings and a reversal design, the results demonstrated that the use of a transition board substantially reduced the frequency of inappropriate behavior. The use of the picture schedule was also effective in reducing inappropriate behavior. The effectiveness of the transition board may have been due to easing the effect of transitioning from one location to another. Other transitional and visual supports will be discussed.
65. The Use of a Self-Monitoring DRO to Reduce Delayed Echolalia in an Elementary School Child with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
SCOTT A. RODERICK (Hebron Board of Education)
Abstract: The present study tested the effects of a self-monitoring program targeting the reduction of delayed echolalia with a student with autism. The participant was an 11-year old male, who emitted high rates of delayed echolalia that interfered with his academic and social functioning. At baseline, the participant was averaging 48 occurrences of delayed echolalia per school day. A self-monitoring DRO was implemented to decrease the participant’s delayed echolalia. This consisted of self-monitoring training with shared adult control, which was faded systematically over time. As the student became more proficient, shared adult control was eliminated and the participant was self-monitoring his behavior without direct adult supervision or prompting. As a result of this program, the participant’s delayed echolalia was reduced to zero levels. Two and four month follow-ups were conducted after the participant transitioned to a new school setting; his delayed echolalia continued to be eliminated during the school day.
66. Increasing the Fluency of Paraprofessional Teaching Skills.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANICE R. BOLTON (Horace Mann Educational Associates), Michele D. Mayer (Horace Mann Educational Associates)
Abstract: Research indicates that intensive behavioral treatment programs are a promising intervention for children with autism. These treatment programs are characterized by the provision of concentrated individual instruction within each treatment session so that the child receives a density of learning opportunities. Frequently, programs offering these services rely upon paraprofessional staff to provide direct instruction under the oversight of a supervising clinician. As many paraprofessionals have little to no formal education in the implementation of behavioral treatment, it is vital that they be effectively trained. To assure that the paraprofessional is able to provide the intensity of instruction required, it is important that training packages address both accuracy and fluency of teaching skills. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a brief staff training aimed at teaching fluent implementation of discrete trial teaching. A training package using a practice-to-fluency aim, along with specific performance feedback, was implemented in an analogue setting, and found to produce an increase in fluency in the treatment setting. The addition of a self-monitoring intervention in the treatment setting further improved the fluency of discrete trial presentation.
67. An Evaluation of Two Discrete Trial Instruction Methods on the Acquisition Rate of a Young Deaf Boy with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
STACEY CONSIDINE (Horace Mann Educational Associates), Sandra M. Beaton-Small (Horace Mann Educational Associates)
Abstract: Providers of early, intensive, discrete trial instruction programs with young children with autism strive to create effective programs that are individualized to meet each client’s learning style and educational needs. In our agency, the most commonly used data system and teaching strategy used is trial-by-trial data. In the current study, this approach was initially utilized to teach a young deaf boy diagnosed with autism. Little is known about the incidence and prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Easterbrooks and Handley (2006) argue that teachers of students who are DHH should utilize applied behavior analysis when intervening with children with dual diagnoses of hearing loss and ASD. When using the trial-by-trial format, initial progress was inconsistent and slow. Based on data collection and direct observation, the treatment team then implemented a “probe” data collection system and teaching strategy. Therefore, our purpose is to compare the effectiveness of a trial-by-trial format versus “probe” data collection on rate of acquisition of targets. An AB design across educational programs will be used to compare the effectiveness of the teaching strategies. Data will be collected on the acquisition rate and maintenance of targets across settings.
68. Behavioral Intervention Based on Ecological Inventory to Self-Injury of a Person with Autism in Home-Setting.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
SHINZO ISAWA (Hyogo University of Teacher Education), Hironubu Shimoda (Bunkyo University)
Abstract: Based on functional assessment of self-injury, such as functional analysis in training setting, Motivation Assessment Scale, interview and observation in home setting, and ecological inventory (e.g., the map of home, life schedule, needs of subject’s mother), behavioral intervention was conducted for a person with autism in home setting. The subject was a person with autism, visual impairment, severe mental retardation, and behavioral disorders (e.g., self-injury and aggressive behavior). Targeted alternative behaviors were teaching the leisure skill of playing percussion instruments (e.g., a drum, a pair of maracas, a tambourine) to music for physical stimulation and intercom skill (pushing an intercom button to call his mother) for attention and demand, such as, when a cassette stopped, he demanded music. The targeted alternative behaviors were acquired and frequency and continuance of self-injury were decreased. It was determined that support adapted for the home context was effective.
69. Developing Friendship Skills: An Analysis of Interventions for Young Children with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
KARLA J. DOEPKE (Illinois State University), Daniel Mark Fienup (Illinois State University), Katherine Gioia (Illinois State University ), Lee Affrunti (Illinois State University )
Abstract: Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is primarily a social disorder (Klin, Volkmar & Sparrow, 2000) characterized by qualitative, pervasive impairments in social interaction and narrow, repetitive patterns of interests (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994). While elementary school-aged children with AS often cannot be distinguished from their peers in terms of academic progress, they can easily be spotted in social situations as “different.” Though children with AS may desire social interactions with others, they lack the skills to successfully negotiate peer relationships (Attwood, 2000; Davies, Bishop, Manstead, & Tantum, 1994; Myles & Simpson, 2002). To date, there is limited research addressing effective interventions for improving the social competence of young children with AS and, unfortunately, a growing body of evidence that many children with AS become adolescents and young adults who exhibit extreme deficits in social skills, and concomitant problems with sustained employment and psychiatric difficulties (Gustein & Whitney, 2002). This poster will present data from two years of group social skills interventions with children with AS. Although numerous interventions have been attempted, change has been most effective when visual strategies have been employed. Other common elements of effective treatments will be discussed and challenges of generalization will be explored.
70. The Ivymount Autism Program: An Evidence-Based Model to Teach Students with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
TAMARA J. MARDER (Ivymount School), Susan E. Holt (Ivymount School), Amanda E. Beattie (Ivymount School), Carolyn A. Clark (The Ivymount Autism Program), Meghan E. Hoffman (Ivymount School), Jennie Kampf (Ivymount School)
Abstract: The Ivymount School Autism Program is a staff-intensive school program designed for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. This 11-month program utilizes applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodology with one-to-one, two-to-one, and small group instruction. Each student is provided with individualized instructional programs within the following content areas; expressive and receptive communication, daily living, social skills, motor skills, recreational/leisure, functional academics, vocational skills, and school/community participation. In addition to increasing skill acquisition, students are provided with highly individualized behavior reduction programs when challenging behaviors interfere with learning, are socially stigmatizing, or pose danger to self or others. In order to extend educational services beyond the center-based model, support services for families have been established and include: a proactive generalization program, parent training, workshops, and discussion groups. In addition to the educational services provided, the Ivymount Autism Program has established an intensive training model that prepares staff to be effective instructors within the field of autism and ABA. The poster will focus on a description of the program components and evidence-based practices as well as reporting on outcome measures associated with service delivery.
71. Social Communication Skill Intervention for Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
EUN JUNG SEO (JinJu International University, South Korea)
Abstract: Children with autism typically display great difficulties in social communication skills, causing poor social interactions. Limited or nonexistent social communication skills such as deficits in eye contact, lack of turn taking skills, problems with speech, communication, and limited use of appropriate gestures are also common in students with autism (Nelson, & Wright, 2000; Weiss, & Harris, 2001; Wert & Neisworth, 2003). Common examples of poor social communication skills are also delayed, restricted, repetitive, or unusual responses to stimuli, such as squealing, hitting, pushing, screaming, and hand flapping. Such inappropriate social interactions often deter other children from beginning or maintaining communication and friendships with children with autism. Thus, an important goal of increasing social communication skills for children with autism is to teach both nonverbal and verbal social communication skills in order to decrease the problems often produced by social avoidance or awkwardness. In previous studies, one effective strategy to assist young children with autism in learning social communication skills was a form of visual support that allowed individuals to observe socially appropriate behaviors in the pictures, cartoons, and line drawing cards. Therefore, a visual support program was developed to improve basic classroom survival social skills such as turn taking, sharing, and asking for help for the three young children with autism in the study. As the children increased their skills, inappropriate social interactions with peers presenting as a lack of social skills were replaced with appropriate social interactions. The study also evaluated the efficacy of the visual support program for three target behaviors and extended previous findings by assessing their initiations and responses of the behaviors.
72. The Effectiveness of the Addition of a Hand-Paddle Sensor to an Ongoing Treatment Package to Decrease the Frequency of Hand/Finger Play during the Academic Day in a Boy with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
STEFFANIE R. KOUE (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Sinead Wood (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), Robert Von Heyn (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: A 15-year-old male student from the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC), with a long history of exhibiting hand/finger play behaviors, has become unresponsive to his current treatment package to address this behavior. The ongoing treatment package included the use of a DRO contract for engaging in behavior other than hand/finger play, plus a token fine procedure when hand/finger play was observed. This poster will examine the effectiveness of the addition of a hand-paddle sensor device to reduce the frequency of hand play/finger play during academics. A hand-paddle device will be used with the student’s hand that is not working on academics. When the student lifts his hand from the device it will emit a sound. This sound will serve two purposes: 1) it will notify staff to give the student a verbal “no” paired with a token fine and 2) the sound may come to serve as a discriminative stimulus for placing his hand flat on the hand-paddle again. Thus, the hand-paddle sensor should enhance the ongoing treatment package, by providing consistent, immediate and automatic consequences to the student for removing his hand from the paddle, as well as to staff members.
73. Training “Initiating Joint Attention” in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
NOZOMI NAOI (Keio University, Japan), Jun'ichi Yamamoto (Keio University, Japan)
Abstract: The present study aimed to examine the variables for initiating joint attention (IJA) in children with autism. IJA is defined as a child’s use of eye contact and/or pointing to initiate coordinated attention with another individual, and the child’s behavior is maintained not by attaining an object but by social reinforcement. In baseline, the target objects (dolls and sound toys) were presented in a location where the child could see the objects but the adult could not, and the emergence of IJA was assessed. Dependent variables were 1) target detection, 2) eye contact with the adult, 3) eye alternation between the target and the adult, and 4) pointing. In baseline, children with autism showed some of IJA skills, however, no children initiated pointing. In training, the establishing operation for IJA was manipulated by using each child’s preferred logos, cartoon characters, and animals as targets of joint attention. A multiple-baseline design was implemented to evaluate intervention effects. The results demonstrated that by using a child’s preferred objects as the target, more frequent and higher joint attention behaviors were emitted following training. The present study suggests that difficulties of IJA in children with autism could be partly explained by restricted interests.
74. The Clinical Utility of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule in the Diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
KAREN GRANT (Pacific University), Darryn M. Sikora (OHSU-CDRC), Susan Li (Pacific University ), Jay Thomas (Pacific University )
Abstract: The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a semi-structured, standardized, play-based assessment measure used to aid the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate how a group of individuals with Asperger’s Disorder scored on the ADOS compared to groups of individuals with autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and mental retardation. Significant differences were found between the Asperger’s Disorder and mental retardation groups in the Communication domain. Significant differences were also found between the mental retardation and PDD-NOS groups in the Social Interaction domain. No significant differences were found between diagnostic groups in the Imagination or the Stereotyped Behaviors and Restricted Interests domains. Significant differences on individual items within each domain were also found among all diagnostic groups. Non-significant scoring differences of note were found to exist between Asperger’s and autistic disorders for specific behaviors. However, no clinically unique pattern of scores was discovered for the Asperger’s Disorder group. This study is the first to investigate the clinical utility of the ADOS in the diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder. Findings from this study support assumptions made by the authors of the ADOS regarding how individuals with Asperger’s Disorder are likely to score.
75. Utilizing Social Stories to Decrease Task Avoidant Behavior while Monitoring Anxiety Levels in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ALEXANDRA DEGEORGE (Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus), David L. Roll (Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus)
Abstract: This study utilized a multiple baseline design across two participants to evaluate the effectiveness of a Social Story intended to decrease maladaptive behavior in the home setting. In particular, this study was designed to reduce escape/avoidant behavior related to task demands in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Participants’ parents were an integral part of the project, completing the intervention on a daily basis. Target behaviors were monitored with sessions 2-3 times each week. All sessions were videotaped and IOA was completed for 36% of sessions. A secondary focus included the conceptualization that anxiety may be functioning as a setting event and may increase the likelihood of the occurrence of maladaptive behaviors. Anxiety measures were utilized pre- and post-intervention to ascertain correlational aspects of these constructs. Results indicate that Social Stories, even when read less than one time per day, are effective in reducing task-avoidant maladaptive behaviors to near zero levels. Anxiety data reflect no correlation with the decrease in maladaptive behavior. It may be that the measures of anxiety did not effectively capture this construct. Conclusions discuss hypotheses on the effectiveness of Social Stories with varying target behaviors and strategies to improve assessment of anxiety in this population.
76. Effective Behavior Analytic Treatment of Children with Developmental Disabilities and Severe Problem Behavior: The Impact on Parental Stress.
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
BRIAN GOLDBERG (The Autism Help Center), David L. Roll (Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus), Theodosia R. Paclawskyj (The Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: The relationship between parental stress and problem behavior was examined as it relates to the treatment of children with developmental disabilities. Parents of children (n = 28) with developmental disabilities and severe problem behavior reported clinically significant levels of stress on the total stress composite, the parent-child dysfunctional interaction subscale, and the difficult child subscale of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) prior to treatment. When an individualized treatment followed by parent training was successful, there were reductions on the Total Stress composite along with the parental distress and the difficult child subscales of the PSI. As child problem behavior decreased, there were concurrent reductions on the difficult child subscale. The study supports the idea that a successful child-based treatment with a parent-training component reduces parental stress and there is evidence that this reduction is directly related to reductions in child problem behavior. Implications for maintaining behavior gains over time by directly addressing parental stress are discussed.
78. An Evaluation of Backward Chaining Procedure During Instructional Trials.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTOPHER A. TULLIS (Marcus Institute), Catherine Trapani (Marcus Institute), Tiffany Kodak (Louisiana State University), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Institute and Emory University)
Abstract: Limited research exists on the evaluation of backward chaining procedures, with some notable exceptions (e.g., treating feeding disorders, Piazza, Farrell, & Amari, 1996; increasing independent walking skills, Gruber, Reeser, & Reid, 1997). However, backward chaining procedures have not been evaluated as a method for increasing acquisition of imitation skills. Imitation skills are considered a prerequisite for a variety of academic and social skills. Thus, identifying an effective prompting procedure to teach imitation skills has implications for instructional methodology. In the present investigation, following two participants’ failure to acquire imitation skills during a treatment including a three-step prompting procedure, backward chaining was implemented. Results indicated the backward chaining procedure was an effective treatment for increasing imitation skills for both participants.
79. Using Direct Instruction Formats to Teach Basic Motor Skills to Preschoolers with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JULIANA MONTANA (Marcus Institute), Jicel Mariete Castro (Marcus Institute), Catherine Trapani (Marcus Institute)
Abstract: Motor skill deficits are widely reported in children with autism. However, few empirical studies have examined the effect of sensory integration and occupational therapy on the development of motor skills in this population. This is important, as there is some evidence to support a relationship between the development of motor skills and the emergence of social and communication skills (Hill, 1999). The purpose of this study is to document the effect of teaching motor skills using direct instruction formats and to assess the concurrent development of social and communication skills in preschoolers with autism. Ten motor skills common to early childhood assessment measures were selected for instruction. Baseline measures included direct observation of the target skills and the administration of the Child Development Inventory (Ireton, 1992) and Gross Motor Section of the Early Inventory of Development (Brigance, 1983). Direct observations of the motor skills were recorded during baseline and during direct instruction in two settings. Observations of social and communication skills were also recorded. Post-test administration of standardized measures was also conducted. Additionally, generalization measures will be collected in home and school settings. Data will be presented for seven students participating in the study.
81. Teaching “Yes” and “No” Responses across Functional Operant Classes.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
M. ALICE SHILLINGSBURG (Marcus Institute), Michael E. Kelley (Marcus Institute and Emory University), Melissa Ross Brown (Marcus Institute), Henry S. Roane (Marcus Institute and Emory University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Skinner (1957) described several elementary verbal operants including mands, tacts, intraverbals, and echoics. According to Skinner, responses of the same topography may be functionally independent. That is, a response may not generalize across functions (e.g., a child may mand “water” when deprived of liquid but may not tact “water” when shown a glass of water) without explicit training. Previous research has supported Skinner’s assertion of functional independence (e.g., Hall & Sundberg, 1987; Lamarre & Holland, 1985) and suggests that specific programming must be incorporated in order to achieve generalization across verbal operants (e.g., Sigafoos, Reichle, & Doss, 1990). In the current study, we examined the independence of the same form of a response under varying conditions (i.e., tact and intraverbal) in a multiple baseline design with a young child diagnosed with autism. During baseline, the participant did not consistently respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ under tact or intraverbal conditions. Following tact-teaching sessions, levels of both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ increased in the tact but not the intraverbal condition. Usage of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as an intraverbal only emerged following intraverbal training. These results support Skinner’s theory of independence of verbal operants and previous research on training functional verbal behavior.
82. Identifying Effective Prompting Strategies for Preschoolers with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JICEL MARIETE CASTRO (Marcus Institute), Juliana Montana (Marcus Institute), Catherine Trapani (Marcus Institute)
Abstract: Individualizing instructional programs is essential to teaching children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Assessments of cognitive ability, achievement, and behavior are often included in preparation for planning individual family service plans. Similarly, preference assessments are often conducted in order to determine the most powerful reinforcers for a child. Although prompting strategies are widely incorporated in teaching children with autism, assessments of the efficacy of the different prompting strategies for individual children are not typically conducted. Prompting strategies provide extra cues to reduce the number of errors during training, increase the number of correct responses, and enable children to contact reinforcement for correct responding. As importantly, they ensure that the least amount of necessary assistance is provided so that prompt-dependence is discouraged. Identifying the most efficient instructional strategies is essential for young children because of the vast number of skill sets and information they need to acquire. This study will evaluate the effect of various prompting strategies (e.g., three-step, overcorrection, stimulus shaping, and identity-matching) in order to determine which strategy is most effective in teaching acquisition tasks to individual preschoolers participating in a private early intervention program. Results of the strategy assessment will be reviewed.
83. Further Evaluation of Emerging Speech in Children with Developmental Disabilities: Assessment and Training of Verbal Behavior.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL E. KELLEY (Marcus Institute and Emory University), M. Alice Shillingsburg (Marcus Institute), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)
Abstract: Although experimental analysis methodologies (e.g., Iwata, et al., 1994) have been useful for identifying the function of a wide variety of target behaviors (Hanley, et al., 2003), only recently have such procedures been applied to verbal operants (Lerman, et al., 2005). In the current study, we replicated and extended the methodology developed by Lerman, et al. by basing language intervention on the results of an assessment of verbal behavior. Participants were four children diagnosed with developmental disabilities who engaged in limited vocal behavior. In Experiment 1, the function of vocal behavior was assessed by exposing target vocal responses to experimental analyses. In Experiment 2, three participants’ vocal responses were first assessed across two verbal operants under baseline conditions. Subsequent training included procedures for assessing and producing generalization across verbal operants. Results indicated that a) experimental analysis procedures were generally useful for guiding intervention development and b) generalization across verbal operants occurred across some, but not all, vocal responses.
84. The Effects of Video Modeling on Social Responses.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
LAURA BUTLER (May Institute)
Abstract: The present study was designed to test the effects of a video model on both the increase of appropriate social responses and the decrease of problem behavior. The extension of the application of video modeling may demonstrate an increase in its range of utility from deficit social and play behavior to inappropriate social responding and the problem behaviors that may result. A multiple baseline design across three participants was used. Multiple scripts were designed for each child based on current English language arts goals on the child’s individualized education program. Video modeling consisted of each child watching a videotape of models engaging in reciprocal conversation. The results of the present study suggest that video modeling is not only an effective intervention for increasing appropriate social responses but is also an effective means for decreasing high rates of problem behavior during social initiations. Importantly, all three participants generalized these skills across different persons and settings.
85. Functional Analysis and Intervention for Post-Meal Ruminating in Children with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JAMES K. LUISELLI (The May Institute), Elizabeth Lyons (The May Institute), Hanna C. Rue (The May Institute), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (The May Institute)
Abstract: Ruminating is a serious disorder displayed by some children with autism. The behavior is associated with malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, and other medical complications. This research addressed post-meal ruminating in two children with autism. Both children participated in a pre-intervention functional analysis and the results suggested ruminating was automatically reinforced. Subsequent intervention evaluations were conducted with the children based on the functional analysis outcomes. For one child, intervention compared the noncontingent presentation of two types of food and two types of liquid as “supplemental feeding” strategies. As compared to a baseline condition, ruminating was reduced to near-zero occurrence when the child was given access to fruit juice liquid but not water; both types of food also reduced ruminating. For the second child, three types of oral stimulation (food, liquid, “chew toy”) were compared, and all three conditions eliminated ruminating relative to baseline. These studies demonstrated that providing children with noncontingent access to various forms of oral stimulation may be an effective antecedent intervention for post-meal ruminating. The studies also illustrate the clinical utility of functional analysis in formulating an intervention plan.
86. Communication Based Intervention for Aggression for Two Boys with Autism.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JANE I. CARLSON (The May Institute), Laura Butler (The May Institute), Nicholas J. Golden (The May Institute)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) is a frequently used differential reinforcement based treatment package that is directly based on the results of a functional analysis (Carr & Durand, 1985). FCT involves teaching the client to emit an appropriate communicative response that produces access to the reinforcer that is responsible for maintenance of problem behavior (Hagopian, Fisher, Sullivan, Acquisto, & LeBlanc 1998). FCT is often used in combination with other treatment packages to include extinction (Shukla & Albin 1996), extinction and punishment (Hagopian, et al.), and establishing operations (Brown, et al. 2000). This case study was designed to evaluate the effects of functional communication training on problem behavior in two children with autism. Problem behavior consisted of intense aggression for both participants. Using a break card, participant 1 was allocated a five minute walk (VR3) from class with a five demand delay and participant 2 was allocated a one minute break (FR1) from work with instructional fading. The results of this study revealed that functional communication training was an effective means for reducing high rates of aggression.
87. Increasing Consumption of Non-Preferred Foods Using Positive Reinforcement Interventions, Including a Modified Mystery Motivator System: Maintenance of Increases at Follow-Up.
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
JOSEPH GENTRY (The May Institute)
Abstract: This case study evaluated the effectiveness of a positive reinforcement program using a changing criterion design that included a modified Mystery Motivator system, behavioral momentum, and a differential reinforcement of alternative (DRA) behavior schedule. Increases in consumption occurred immediately with the implementation of the modified Mystery Motivator system and use of positive reinforcement in the form of finishing preferred foods as well as playing with preferred toys after successful mealtimes. Results suggest that the reinforcement uncertainty and variable ratio of reinforcement of the Mystery Motivator may be an interesting way to increase food consumption in children with developmental disabilities. Follow-up data collected to investigate maintenance issues are also discussed.



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