The Virginia Applied Behavior Analysis Consortium: Preparing Behavior Analysts Using a Collaborative Model

Abstract

The development and the evolution of the Virginia Applied Behavior Analysis Consortium, a collaborative project between four institutions of higher education in the state of Virginia, are described. The main goal of the program is to address the shortage of certified behavior analysts by preparing special education teachers and autism specialists to implement effective behavior-analytic interventions in natural environments. In this article, we briefly discuss the history and the purpose of the program, its components, the evolution of the program, the advantages and outcomes of a collaborative model, and future directions for improvement.


Wed, 24 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Using Video to Bridge the Gap Between Problem Behavior and a Delayed Time-out Procedure

Abstract

Treatment plans focused on problem behavior often include punishment contingencies to decrease problem behavior. Immediate punishers are typically more effective than delayed punishers, but immediate delivery of a punisher is not always possible. Strategies need to be developed to increase the suppressive effects of delayed punishers. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of a treatment package involving replaying a video recording of problem behavior immediately before delivering a 15 min delayed time-out. This treatment package may prove to be an accessible and inexpensive strategy when using delayed punishers.


Mon, 22 May 2017, 5:00 pm


A Response to Papatola and Lustig’s Paper on Navigating a Managed Care Peer Review: Guidance for Clinicians Using Applied Behavior Analysis in the Treatment of Children on the Autism Spectrum

Abstract

In their 2016 article, “Navigating a Managed Care Peer Review: Guidance for Clinicians Using Applied Behavior Analysis [ABA] in the Treatment of Children on the Autism Spectrum,” Papatola and Lustig provide an overview of the managed care process, discuss the medical necessity of ABA, and offer guidance to clinicians on how to navigate the managed care peer review process. Given that the authors are employed by a large international health insurance carrier and conduct peer reviews on behalf of that organization, this response seeks to provide guidance from both the clinical and public policy perspectives that reflect best practices in the field of autism treatment. This response is not written with the intention of providing or replacing legal advice; rather, this paper offers health care providers of ABA an essential understanding of some of the laws that govern and support their efforts to secure medically necessary treatment and the mechanisms in place with which to challenge decisions by managed care organizations, health plans, and health insurance issuers that may be contrary to best practices. Finally, suggestions are offered on how to navigate a peer review to ensure optimal outcomes and, when necessary, to lay the groundwork to overturn a funding source decision that does not reflect best practices or the standard of care in ABA-based autism treatment.


Sun, 21 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Measuring Adherence to a Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention: Is Program Adherence Related to Excessive Gestational Weight Gain?

Abstract

To identify adherence required to achieve target health outcome(s) in nutrition and/or exercise interventions, a measurement tool that tracks objective and self-reported measures of adherence is necessary. The purpose of this study was to design an adherence measurement tool and test it retrospectively on the Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP; Ruchat et al., Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(8), 1419–1426, 2012; Mottola et al., Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(2), 265–272, 2010), designed to prevent excessive gestational weight gain (EGWG). The tool was based on the goals of the NELIP and included a grading system for each behavior (exercise and nutrition). It was used to determine whether adherence scores could differentiate excessive versus acceptable weight gain during pregnancy across pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) categories. Results showed irrespective of pre-pregnancy BMI, women with acceptable weight gain had significantly higher adherence (p 

Tue, 16 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Practice Recommendations for Addressing Problem Behaviors in Siblings with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display an increased prevalence of problem behavior, relative to the typically developing population. Given the heritability of ASD and its growing prevalence, clinicians who implement behavioral treatments are likely to encounter families with siblings with ASD who exhibit problem behavior. Thus, there is a need for guidance for treatment of problem behavior for these families. This paper presents strategies for conducting behavioral assessments, developing treatments for problem behaviors, caregiver training, and generalization strategies when there are multiple affected children in one family. A case study is presented to illustrate the key clinical decisions made to increase the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome for these families.


Tue, 16 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Systematic Review of Functional Analysis and Treatment of Elopement (2000–2015)

Abstract

Elopement is a dangerous behavior that is emitted by a large proportion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Functional analysis and function-based treatments are critical in identifying maintaining reinforcers and decreasing elopement. The purpose of this review was to identify recent trends in the functional analysis and treatment of elopement, as well as determine the efficacy (standardized mean differences) of recent treatments. Over half of subjects’ elopement was maintained by social positive reinforcement, while only 25% of subjects’ elopement was maintained by social negative reinforcement. Elopement was rarely maintained by automatic reinforcement, and none of the studies in the current review evaluated treatments to address automatically maintained elopement. Functional communication training was the most common intervention regardless of function. Results are discussed in terms of clinical implications and directions for future research.


Tue, 16 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Utilizing PEAK Relational Training System to Teach Visual, Gustatory, and Auditory Relations to Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Abstract

Two multiple baseline designs were conducted across participants to determine if the promoting the emergence of advanced knowledge (PEAK) equivalence module was an effective tool in teaching adults with autism relationships between stimuli. More specifically, a transitivity program utilizing the gustatory sensory modality was implemented. Stimuli were selected and probed initially preceding the training. First, gustatory stimuli to a visual picture were trained. Then, a visual picture to a spoken word was trained. Finally, once mastery criterion was reached, each participant’s responding was tested to determine whether there were derived relations following training. Results showed that all three participants reached mastery criterion in training sessions and were able to derive new relations without direct training.


Mon, 15 May 2017, 5:00 pm


An Evaluation of Differential Observing Responses During Receptive Label Training

Abstract

The current study compared the use of a differential observing response (DOR) during receptive label training to a condition without the DOR. We extended the research on DORs used during receptive label training by using them with progressive prompt delay procedures and assessing responding following mastery without the DOR. Results indicated that both participants performed better in the DOR condition during the first comparison, but results were less clear in the second comparison.


Sun, 23 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


The Effects of Advance Notice on Problem Behavior Occasioned by Interruptions of an Ongoing Activity in a Young Girl with Autism

Abstract

The current study describes a trial-based functional analysis of problem behavior conducted in a home setting for a 7-year-old girl with autism. Problem behavior was occasioned by interruptions to an ongoing activity. Advance notice, in the form of a 2-min warning, and the sound of a timer were used to signal termination of a current activity and were effective at reducing problem behavior along with increasing compliance to the interruptive demands. A trial-based functional analysis, which are not common in the applied literature, was conducted in a home setting for young girl with autism, using antecedent and consequence modifications described by Hagopian, Bruzek, Bowman, and Jennett (2007), identified the variables that occasioned and maintained problem behavior were interruptions to an ongoing activity followed by regaining uninterrupted access to the previous activity. Mixed findings have been reported regarding the effectiveness of advance notice for decreasing problem behavior. Results of the current study show that an advance notice treatment package was effective for a child with autism; no escape extinction was necessary. Interruptions are part of everyday life and tolerating these changes is critical for habilitation for individuals with autism.


Thu, 20 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Some Tools for Carrying Out a Proposed Process for Supervising Experience Hours for Aspiring Board Certified Behavior Analysts ®

Abstract

While task clarification, goal setting, feedback, and behavioral skills training (BST) are well-supported methods for performance improvement, there is no standardized approach to supervising aspiring Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®) that specifies how such practices should be used within a comprehensive supervision system, namely for supervising those who are still accruing experience hours for the purpose of becoming board certified. This article outlines a systematic approach to BCBA supervision and provides a set of tools that supervisors can use to ensure that they are engaging in empirically based supervision practices.


Thu, 13 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Video Modeling Training Effects on Types of Attention Delivered by Educational Care-Providers

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of abbreviated (i.e., one-session) video modeling on delivery of student-preferred attention by educational care-providers. The video depicted a novel care-provider interacting with and delivering attention to the student. Within a concurrent multiple baseline design, video modeling increased delivery of the targeted attention for all participants as well as their delivery of another type of attention that was not trained although these effects were variable within and between care-providers. We discuss the clinical and training implications from these findings.


Thu, 6 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude and Quality on Preference for Response-Reinforcer Arrangements in Young Children with Autism

Abstract

The present study evaluated the effects of reinforcer magnitude and quality on preference for continuous and discontinuous arrangements. Two preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated in the study. Both participants initially preferred a discontinuous arrangement when choice options included the same quality and magnitude reinforcers; however, magnitude and quality manipulations resulted in a change in preference for continuous arrangements.


Thu, 6 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


A Survey-Based Method to Evaluate Optimal Treatment Selection for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior

Abstract

Geiger, Carr, and LeBlanc (2010) developed a decision-making model for escape-maintained problem behavior that could be used to guide the course of treatment selection. We used a digital survey to evaluate the model’s potential usefulness. We presented novice and expert practitioners’ written hypothetical scenarios and asked them to determine the optimal treatment in a given situation. Some participants were given the model, whereas others were instructed to use their best clinical judgment. Using logistic regression analyses, the general findings for our scenarios were the following: (a) experts without the aid of a decision model had better odds of selecting the optimal treatment than novices without the decision model, (b) experts with the decision model did not have greater odds of selecting optimal treatment than experts without the model, and (c) novices with the decision model did not have better odds of selecting the optimal treatment than novices without the decision model.


Thu, 6 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Using Multiple Exemplar Training to Teach Empathy Skills to Children with Autism

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to use multiple exemplar training to teach empathetic responding to two children with autism. Three emotions—happiness, frustration and sadness/pain—were chosen for this purpose. Treatment consisted of verbal prompting and reinforcement of empathetic responses. Four experimenter-defined categories with discriminative stimuli were used for each emotion. The multiple exemplar component of the model consisted of teaching responses in the presence of several discriminative stimuli drawn from the predefined categories for each emotion delivered by two persons across two environments. Results were evaluated using a multiple baseline design across behaviours and indicate a systematic increase in responses with the introduction of treatment across each category for both participants. Generalization of responses from training to non-training stimuli in both participants was observed during probe trials and was maintained during follow-up probes.


Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


A Comparison of Math Cover, Copy, Compare Intervention Procedures for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Cover, Copy, Compare (CCC) and Copy, Cover, Compare (MCCC) procedures are effective interventions for improving math fluency. However, there is a gap in literature exploring the use of these interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The purpose of the current study was to compare the use of CCC and MCCC for children with ASD using a multi-component single-case experimental design. The results showed no notable difference between the interventions. Implications and limitations, particularly surrounding experimental control, are discussed in detail.


Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Ethical Considerations for Interdisciplinary Collaboration with Prescribing Professionals

Abstract

Behavior analysts often work as part of an interdisciplinary team, and different team members may prescribe different interventions for a single client. One such intervention that is commonly encountered is a change in medication. Changes in medication regimens have the potential to alter behavior in a number of ways. As such, it is important for all team members to be aware of every intervention and to consider how different interventions may interact with each other. These facts make regular and clear communication among team members vital for treatment success. While working as part of an interdisciplinary team, behavior analysts must abide by their ethics code, which sometimes means advocating for their client with the rest of the team. This article will review some possible implications of medicinal interventions, potential ethical issues that can arise, and a case study from the authors’ experience. Finally, the authors propose a decision-making tree that can aid in determining the best course of action when a team member proposes an intervention in addition to, or concurrent with, interventions proposed by the behavior analyst.


Tue, 4 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm


Treating Food Approval-Seeking Behavior: One Bite at a Time

Abstract

The prevalence of feeding problems in children with autism is high. The current investigation was a treatment of a unique presentation of food-related prompt dependence with a 6-year-old boy with autism who was reliant upon approval from adults for consumption of every bite of food. Instructions were used to establish independent eating, in which the number of bites specified in the instruction was systematically increased. Independent bites increased from a baseline level of 0.67% to a final phase level of almost 100%, and the instruction was faded to “eat your lunch”.


Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 5:00 pm



Reduction of Rapid Eating in an Adolescent Female with Autism

Abstract

Rapid eating, a potentially dangerous and socially inappropriate behavior, has received relatively little attention in the literature. This study sought to extend the research in this area by further evaluating the effectiveness of a vibrating pager combined with a rule for increasing inter-response time between bites in one adolescent female diagnosed with autism. Results indicated that inter-response time increased from baseline only after a vocal prompt to “wait” was introduced across clinic and home settings. Implications for promoting autonomy in individuals with developmental disabilities are discussed.

  • This antecedent-based intervention can easily be generalized to caregivers

  • The unobtrusive nature of the intervention allows for implementation in inclusive settings

  • There are implications for promoting social skills in naturalistic environments

  • The intervention can promote independence through teaching self-management


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Blurred Lines: Ethical Implications of Social Media for Behavior Analysts

Abstract

Social networking has a long list of advantages: it enables access to a large group of people that would otherwise not be geographically convenient or possible to connect with; it reaches several different generations, particularly younger ones, which are not typically involved in discussion of current events; and these sites allow a cost effective, immediate, and interactive way to engage with others. With the vast number of individuals who use social media sites as a way to connect with others, it may not be possible to completely abstain from discussions and interactions on social media that pertain to our professional practice. This is all the more reason that behavior analysts attend to the contingencies specific to these tools. This paper discusses potential ethical situations that may arise and offers a review of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) guidelines pertaining to social networking, as well as provides suggestions for avoiding or resolving potential violations relating to online social behavior.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm