No Less Worthy: Recommendations for Behavior Analysts Treating Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Dignity

Abstract

In this article, the authors offer recommendations for behavior analysts on how to treat adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with dignity. Initially, the importance of treating adults with disabilities with dignity is emphasized in terms of the impact on people with IDD, their family members, behavior analysts and other service providers, and the behavior analysis field in general. The recommendations are based primarily on the authors’ professional and personal experiences along with similar experiences of others involved either personally or professionally in the disability field. The focus is on ways in which behavior analysts speak and behave that reflect dignity versus the lack thereof as perceived by others and, where relevant, consensus opinion within the professional field of IDD. Ways for behavior analysts to acquire and maintain awareness of manners of speaking and behaving that reflect dignity within the local settings in which they work are also provided.


Sun, 17 Dec 2017, 4:00 pm


A Preliminary Analysis of Mastery Criterion Level: Effects on Response Maintenance

Abstract

Educators use a mastery criterion to evaluate skill acquisition programming for children with autism and other developmental disabilities; however, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no research evaluating how the mastery criterion level of accuracy affects the maintenance of those responses. This study investigated the effects of 3 skill acquisition mastery criterion levels (50%, 80%, and 90% accuracy) on response maintenance. Following mastery of a set of skills, maintenance was evaluated once a week for 3 to 4 weeks. Three elementary school–age children diagnosed with autism participated. Overall, the outcomes suggested that higher mastery criterion levels (90% correct) produced higher levels of maintenance responding. Additional research in this area is needed to clarify how different parameters of mastery criterion affect the generality of skills.


Mon, 4 Dec 2017, 4:00 pm


Developing Procedures to Improve Therapist–Child Rapport in Early Intervention

Abstract

Rapport is a primary component in the development of a therapeutic relationship between health-service professionals and clients. Presession pairing is a procedure often recommended in behavior analytic practice to build rapport with clients. However, many service providers may not exhibit presession pairing skills correctly or at a sufficient rate. The current study aimed to operationally define therapist behaviors that are indicative of presession pairing and to train direct care staff to implement said skills.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


Speak Up: Increasing Conversational Volume in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Deficits in social interactions are a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder. This study examined one relatively uncommon aspect of social interactions that has not received much attention from the literature: appropriate conversational volume. Conversational speech volume was measured using a commercially available application, and a package intervention was developed that consisted of feedback from the voice measuring application, signaling from a wrist bracelet, and differential reinforcement. The intervention was evaluated in an ABAB design and speaking at conversational volume was significantly increased when the intervention was in place and in probe conditions.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


Teacher-Conducted, Latency-Based Functional Analysis as Basis for Individualized Levels System in a Classroom Setting

Abstract

Latency-based functional analysis (FA) may be appropriate when stakeholders are concerned with safety or feasibility. We trained a first-year special education teacher to collect data while she implemented a latency-based FA and validated a function-based intervention. Treatment effects were generalized across paraeducators and were maintained during a 1-month follow-up.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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”.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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 

Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


The Use of Behavioral Skills Training to Teach Graph Analysis to Community Based Teachers

Abstract

In this study, the experimenter trained three teachers to implement data decision rules to detect when instructional changes should be made during the visual analysis of discrete-trial percentage graphs. The experimenter used a concurrent, multiple-baseline design across participants. The experimenter trained the teachers to follow decision-making rules using instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Following intervention, participants increased the percentage of correct data-based decisions and decreased the percentage of errors.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


Training Parents in Saudi Arabia to Implement Discrete Trial Teaching with their Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

The present study evaluates the effects of a behavioral skill training package on parent implementation of discrete trial teaching with their children with autism spectrum disorder. Three mothers of children with autism participated in the study. The training package improved implementation for all three of the mothers. Moreover, these improvements generalized to skills that were not taught during training, maintained during follow-up probes, and resulted in improvements in child behavior.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


A Clinic-Based Assessment for Evaluating Job-Related Social Skills in Adolescents and Adults with Autism

Abstract

Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties obtaining and maintaining employment, yet little research has evaluated methods for assessing and improving critical vocational skills. In this study, we evaluated an assessment of job-related social skills for individuals with ASD by arranging conditions that simulated on-the-job experiences in a clinic setting. The experimenter contrived situations to assess a variety of social skills, including asking for help, asking for more materials, and responding to corrective feedback. A total of eight individuals, aged 16 to 32 years, participated. Results suggested that the assessment was useful for identifying specific social skills that could be targeted for intervention to increase success in the work environment. These findings add to the current literature by demonstrating an objective method for assessing a variety of job-related social skills under controlled, naturalistic conditions.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Thu, 30 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm


Teaching Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Community-Based Navigation Skills to Take Public Transportation

Abstract

Facilitating the use of public transportation enhances opportunities for independent living and competitive, community-based employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Four young adults with IDD were taught through total-task chaining to use the Google Maps application, a self-prompting, visual navigation system, to take the bus to locations around a college campus and the community. Three of four participants learned to use Google Maps to independently navigate public transportation. Google Maps may be helpful in supporting independent travel, highlighting the importance of future research in teaching navigation skills.

  • Learning to independently use public transportation increases access to autonomous activities, such as opportunities to work and to attend postsecondary education programs on large college campuses.

  • Individuals with IDD can be taught through chaining procedures to use the Google Maps application to navigate public transportation.

  • Mobile map applications are an effective and functional modern tool that can be used to teach community navigation.


Sun, 12 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Thu, 31 Aug 2017, 5:00 pm


An Evaluation of Instructive Feedback to Teach Play Behavior to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Instructive feedback is used to expose learners to secondary targets during skill acquisition programs (Reichow & Wolery, in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 327–340, 2011; Werts, Wolery, Gast, & Holcombe, in Journal of Behavioral Education, 5, 55–75, 1995). Although unrelated feedback may have clinical utility in practice, very little research has evaluated unrelated instructive feedback, particularly for promoting play behavior (Colozzi, Ward, & Crotty, in Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 43, 226–248, 2008). The purpose of the study was to determine if play emerged after embedding instructive feedback during the consequence portion of discrete trial training to teach tacts. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare tact training with and without instructive feedback for play behaviors. Instructive feedback resulted in the emergence of play behaviors during tabletop instruction and a play area of a classroom. We discuss the results in terms of clinical practice and future research.


Thu, 31 Aug 2017, 5:00 pm



An Evaluation of Lag Schedules of Reinforcement During Functional Communication Training: Effects on Varied Mand Responding and Challenging Behavior

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of lag schedules of reinforcement during functional communication training (FCT) on the varied use of mands and challenging behavior by two individuals diagnosed with autism. Specifically, we compared the effects of Lag 0 and Lag 1 schedules of reinforcement during FCT. The results showed that each participant exhibited increases in varied mand responding during FCT with the Lag 1 schedule of reinforcement relative to Lag 0; challenging behavior remained low during both FCT lag conditions relative to baseline. Results are discussed in terms of treatment implications relating to FCT and the potential prevention and/or mitigation of clinical relapse during challenges to treatment.


Thu, 31 Aug 2017, 5:00 pm