The Effects of an Auditory Matching iPad App on Three Preschoolers’ Echoic and Listener Responses
We investigated the effects of an auditory match-to-sample protocol on three preschoolers’ accurate echoics to 100 English words and advanced listener responses. The protocol was presented by using an iPad app Sounds the same: an app to target listening and speaking clearly. We used a combination of a multiple probe design (for echoic responses) and a delayed multiple probe design (for advanced listener literacy responses) with a time-lagged baseline across participants to test the effectiveness of the protocol. The three participants ranged from 4 to 5 years old and were all diagnosed as preschoolers with disabilities. They were taught to discriminate between positive and negative exemplars of progressively more difficult sounds, words, and phases by matching the sample stimulus to the matching exemplar. Our data show that the mastery of the intervention resulted in increases in the accuracy of the participants’ articulation of their echoics, as well as their advanced listener repertoires as measured by the responses to spoken directions in the presence of visual distractors.
Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
Predicting the Effects of Interventions: A Tutorial on the Disequilibrium Model
The disequilibrium approach to reinforcement and punishment, derived from the probability-differential hypothesis and response deprivation hypothesis, provides a number of potentially useful mathematical models for practitioners. The disequilibrium approach and its accompanying models have proven effective in the prediction and control of behavior, yet they have not been fully espoused and integrated into clinical practice. The purpose of this tutorial is to detail the disequilibrium approach and adapt its mathematical models for use as a tool in applied settings. The disequilibrium models specify how to arrange contingencies and predict the effects of those contingencies. We aggregate these models, and provide them as a single tool, in the form of a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet that calculates the direction and magnitude of behavior change based on baseline measures and a practitioner’s choice of intervention parameters. How practitioners take baseline measures and select intervention parameters in accordance with disequilibrium models is explicated. The proposed tool can be accessed and downloaded for use at https://osf.io/knf7x/.
Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
Promoting Social Learning at Recess for Children with ASD and Related Social Challenges
The school playground provides an ideal opportunity for social inclusion; however, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often struggle to engage in appropriate social interactions in this unstructured environment. Thus, they may spend recess time alone. The FRIEND Playground Program is a structured, play-based intervention aimed at improving social interactions of children with ASD and other social challenges during recess. The current research study employed a multiple baseline across participant design to systematically evaluate whether this intervention yields increased social engagement and initiations with peers during recess. Seven participants with ASD or other social challenges received 20 min of direct intervention from trained playground facilitators during school recess each day. Results suggest that the FRIEND Playground Program produced meaningful increases in social engagement and social initiations from baseline among participants with ASD and other social challenges.
Tue, 14 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
A Clinic-Based Assessment for Evaluating Job-Related Social Skills in Adolescents and Adults with Autism
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.
Mon, 13 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
An Abbreviated Evaluation of the Efficiency of Listener and Tact Instruction for Children with Autism
We assessed the efficiency of tact and listener training for eight participants with autism spectrum disorder. Tact and listener probes were conducted in baseline for all target sets, and then tact training was initiated with one and listener training with another. Following mastery of one set, tact and listener probes were conducted with only the sets assigned to the same modality of training (i.e., sets 1, 3, and 5 for tact; sets 2, 4, and 6 for listener). Training and probes were repeated for all sets. The measures of efficiency included the number of skills mastered through direct training, the number of skills that emerged without training, the number of trials-to-criterion, and maintenance of skills. Clinical programming based on each participant’s results is discussed. For six participants, tact training was more efficient than listener training across multiple measures. For the remaining two participants, tact training and listener training were considered equivalent.
Sun, 12 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
An Evaluation of Lag Schedules of Reinforcement During Functional Communication Training: Effects on Varied Mand Responding and Challenging Behavior
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.
Fri, 10 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm
The Effects of Bug-in-Ear Coaching on Pre-Service Behavior Analysts’ Use of Functional Communication Training
Behavior analysts play an important role in supporting the behavior and learning of young children with disabilities in natural settings. However, there is very little research related specifically to developing the skills and competencies needed by pre-service behavior analysts. This study examined the effects of “bug-in-ear” (BIE) coaching on pre-service behavior analysts’ implementation of functional communication training with pre-school children with autism in their classrooms. BIE coaching was associated with increases in the rate of functional communication training trials each intern initiated per session and in the fidelity with which interns implemented functional communication training. Adults created more intentional opportunities for children to communicate, and adults provided more systematic instruction around those opportunities.
Mon, 23 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Developing Procedures to Improve Therapist–Child Rapport in Early Intervention
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.
Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Acquisition and Generalization of Complex Empathetic Responses Among Children with Autism
Empathy can be defined as a social interaction skill that consists of four components: (1) a statement voiced in the (2) appropriate intonation, accompanied by a (3) facial expression and (4) gesture that correspond to the affect of another individual. A multiple-baseline across response categories experimental design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a prompt sequence (video modeling, in vivo modeling, manual and verbal prompting) and reinforcement to increase the frequency of complex empathetic responding by four children with autism. The number of complex empathetic responses increased systematically with the successive introduction of the treatment package. Additionally, generalization was demonstrated to untaught stimuli and a novel adult. Responding maintained over time to varying degrees for all participants. The data illustrate that children with autism can be taught using modeling, prompting, and reinforcement to discriminate between categories of affective stimuli and differentially respond with complex empathetic responses.
Thu, 12 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Automating Phase Change Lines and Their Labels Using Microsoft Excel (R)
Many researchers have rallied against drawn in graphical elements and offered ways to avoid them, especially regarding the insertion of phase change lines (Deochand, Costello, & Fuqua, 2015; Dubuque, 2015; Vanselow & Bourret, 2012). However, few have offered a solution to automating the phase labels, which are often utilized in behavior analytic graphical displays (Deochand et al., 2015). Despite the fact that Microsoft Excel® is extensively utilized by behavior analysts, solutions to resolve issues in our graphing practices are not always apparent or user-friendly. Considering the insertion of phase change lines and their labels constitute a repetitious and laborious endeavor, any minimization in the steps to accomplish these graphical elements could offer substantial time-savings to the field. The purpose of this report is to provide an updated way (and templates in the supplemental materials) to add phase change lines with their respective labels, which stay embedded to the graph when they are moved or updated.
Wed, 11 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Speak Up: Increasing Conversational Volume in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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.
Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Training Parents in Saudi Arabia to Implement Discrete Trial Teaching with their Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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.
Mon, 9 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
An Intervention Featuring Public Posting and Graphical Feedback to Enhance the Performance of Competitive Dancers
This study evaluated an intervention package that used public posting and feedback to enhance dance movements for adolescent dancers on a competition team. Four dancers each performing two or three dance movements (a turn, kick, and/or leap) had their scores posted on a bulletin board at their studio. Dance movements were scored as a percentage correct by using a 14- to 16-step task analysis checklist. Intervention was evaluated in a multiple baseline across behavior design. The students received graphical feedback on their performance from the previous weeks and saw the scoring sheet that reviewed the incorrect and correct aspects of their performance. This study found that this treatment package including public posting and feedback enhanced each of the dance movements for all participants.
Wed, 4 Jan 2017, 4:00 pm
Application of a Pyramidal Training Model on the Implementation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis: a Partial Replication
We employed a pyramidal training model (PTM) to teach staff to correctly implement and collect data for trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) in simulated situations. First, we trained four behavioral consultants (BCs) in a group format, who each trained one behavior technician (BT) in an individual format. We utilized a non-concurrent multiple baseline design to evaluate the effect of the training. During generalization probes, participants implemented TBFA with a novel problem behavior. This study will contribute to the literature on teaching staff how to conduct TBFA. This study demonstrates the application of a two-level PTM. This study illustrates how agencies can utilize the Task Analysis Training Protocol within a PTM to train staff on implementation of TBFA.
Sun, 11 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm
Preliminary Evidence on the Efficacy of Mindfulness Combined with Traditional Classroom Management Strategies
The current case study combined mindfulness-based strategies with a classroom behavior management treatment package, to assist teachers with managing 3rd grade student behaviors. Two teachers (Classroom teacher and Specials teacher) and six students within the same classroom were observed using a 5-min momentary time sampling procedure. A delayed multiple baseline across settings (e.g., Classroom teacher, Specials teacher) design was used to assess student behaviors across baseline (A), classroom behavior management treatment package (CBM) (B), CBM plus mindfulness (C), and CBM plus mindfulness and self-monitoring (D). Behavioral treatment alone increased on-task behaviors for four of six (66%) students compared to baseline; however, five of six (83%) students increased and sustained high rates of on-task behaviors when mindfulness exercises were added to the behavior analytic techniques. These preliminary results support the combination of mindfulness-based strategies with traditional behavior analytic interventions for increasing student on-task behaviors in classroom settings.
Sun, 11 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm
A Preliminary Procedure for Teaching Children with Autism to Mand for Social Information
We used procedures established within the mands for information literature to teach two children with autism to mand for social information. Establishing operation trials were alternated with abolishing operation trials to verify the function of the responses as mands. Use of the acquired information was evaluated by examining responding to questions about their social partner. Both participants acquired mands for social information and showed generalization to novel social partners.
Thu, 8 Dec 2016, 4:00 pm
Refining Supervisory Practices in the Field of Behavior Analysis: Introduction to the Special Section on Supervision
The rapid growth in the number of behavior analysts and aspiring behavior analysts creates an imperative for effective and efficient supervisory practices. Many behavior analysts receive little to no explicit instruction and mentoring in supervision practices while they are in training themselves. Those behavior analysts may then be expected to provide supervision for a range of individuals soon after graduation and certification and throughout the remainder of their career. The papers included in this special issue offer guidance for establishing and maintaining supervisory relationships, understanding the importance of each of the ethical guidelines for supervision, structuring group supervision experiences, managing problems that can arise during the course of a supervisory relationship, and arranging models of supervision within human service organizations.
Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 4:00 pm
Examining the Effects of Video Modeling and Prompts to Teach Activities of Daily Living Skills
Video modeling has been shown to be effective in teaching a number of skills to learners diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this study, we taught two young men diagnosed with ASD three different activities of daily living skills (ADLS) using point-of-view video modeling. Results indicated that both participants met criterion for all ADLS. Participants did not maintain mastery criterion at a 1-month follow-up, but did score above baseline at maintenance with and without video modeling.
• Point-of-view video models may be an effective intervention to teach daily living skills.
• Video modeling with handheld portable devices (Apple iPod or iPad) can be just as effective as video modeling with stationary viewing devices (television or computer).
• The use of handheld portable devices (Apple iPod and iPad) makes video modeling accessible and possible in a wide variety of environments.
Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 4:00 pm
Evaluating the High-Probability Instructional Sequence to Increase the Acceptance of Foods with an Adolescent with Autism
This study evaluates the effectiveness of a variation of the high-probability (high-p) sequence involving bites of food as high-p tasks on the acceptance of low-probability (low-p) foods in an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder. After demonstrating the effectiveness of the high-p sequence using a reversal design, the participant’s mother implemented the intervention. Intervention effects were partially maintained during 7-month maintenance probes. Implications for research and practice are provided.
Wed, 30 Nov 2016, 4:00 pm