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


Effects of Antecedent Manipulations and Social Reinforcement to Increase Lateral Positioning in a Premature Infant with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Abstract

Recent research suggests supine positioning for sleeping infants is the safest position to prevent breathing related difficulties; however doing so can significantly increase obstruction in apneic infants resulting in decreased sleep quality. We implemented a multi-component treatment package compromised of antecedent interventions and parent-mediated social reinforcement to increase lateral positioning in a premature infant with obstructive sleep apnea. Results indicate that the intervention increased lateral positioning in the participant by over 80 % in the final phase of the study, indicating efficacy of the intervention. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Evaluating the Ability of the PBS Children’s Show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to Teach Skills to Two Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a children’s television show incorporating many elements of video modeling, an intervention that can teach skills to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This study evaluated the impact of watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes on the accurate performance of trying new foods and stopping play politely with two five-year-old children with ASD. Both children showed improved performance of skills only following exposure to episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, suggesting that watching episodes can help children with ASD learn specific skills.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Training Staff to Avoid Problem Behavior Related to Restricting Access to Preferred Activities

Abstract

Some training programs for staff working with individuals with intellectual disabilities fail to equip staff with the practical skills necessary to prevent behavioral episodes. The current research describes the results of a staff training program that, following traditional didactic training, used a card game followed by role-play training to increase staff competence in managing problem behavior. The card game and role-play training was based on behavioral episodes that had occurred previously in the research setting. Post-training observations showed that treatment integrity of trained staff improved.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Using Video Modeling with Voice-over Instruction to Train Public School Staff to Implement a Preference Assessment

Abstract

The identification of putative reinforcers is a critical component of programming for individuals with disabilities. A multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment is one option for identifying putative reinforcers; however, staff must be trained on the steps necessary to conduct the assessment for it to be useful in practice. This study examined the effectiveness of using video modeling with voice-over instruction (VMVO) to train two public school staff to conduct this assessment. Results demonstrate that VMVO was effective in training, producing generalized responding, maintenance, and high social validity ratings.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


A Comparison of Procedures for Teaching Receptive Labeling of Sight Words to a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

We compared the effectiveness and efficiency of a modified simple-conditional method and the conditional-only method for teaching receptive labeling of sight words. Jon, a 6-year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, participated. Across three comparative evaluations, the conditional-only method resulted in fewer sessions to mastery than a modified simple-conditional method. Textual responses emerged after Jon mastered the sight words as receptive labels. Practitioners should avoid teaching component simple discriminations as a strategy for facilitating conditional discrimination training in clinical practice.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Learner Preference Between Massed- and Alternating-Trial Sequencing when Teaching Stimulus Relations to Children with Autism

Abstract

Two children with autism were assessed for preference between intersession distribution of mastered and unknown instructional trials on a computerized matching-to-sample task consisting of 12 total learning opportunities. Choice responses yielded presentation of either massed-trial sequencing (six unknown/six mastered stimuli relations or vice-versa) or alternating-trial sequencing delivery (alternation of unknown and mastered stimuli relations) followed by reinforcement for correct responses. An extinction condition served as an experimental control. Both children demonstrated a preference for the alternating-trial sequencing condition, and implications for instructional programming and possible effects to delays to higher rates of reinforcement are discussed.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Maintaining Staff Performance Following a Training Intervention: Suggestions from a 30-Year Case Example

Abstract

A frequent challenge encountered by behavior analysts in human service agencies is maintaining effects of their training interventions with agency staff. A case example is provided to illustrate how effects of a staff training intervention initiated by a behavior analyst maintained for an extended period in a center-based program for adolescents and adults with severe disabilities. The process involved the behavior analyst working closely with the program supervisor and a professional staff member in a collaborative team approach to increase involvement of center participants in functional (vs. nonfunctional) educational tasks. Initially, the team jointly developed an intervention to increase staffs’ provision of functional tasks. The behavior analyst subsequently worked with the team members regarding how to implement the intervention by training their staff and providing feedback. The two team members then continued providing feedback during their respective supervisor tenures without continued presence of the behavior analyst. Results indicated that initial increases in participant involvement in functional tasks maintained during follow-up observations encompassing 30 years. Normative comparisons also showed that the levels were well above the level of functional task involvement in other center-based programs across that time period. Results are discussed regarding recommendations for behavior analysts to use a collaborative team approach with supervisors indigenous to an agency to help maintain staff behavior targeted for change by the behavior analysts.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Best Practices in Utilizing the Changing Criterion Design

Abstract

The changing criterion design (CCD) has been a recognized format of single-case research for four decades. Published examples of the CCD have been limited and the structure of the design used in the literature has varied to a degree that might engender confusion. This review examines the structure of CCD studies published to date to identify prior implementation practices and identify best practices for future use.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


An Intervention Featuring Public Posting and Graphical Feedback to Enhance the Performance of Competitive Dancers

Abstract

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.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


The Use of Evaluation in Treatment Programs for Children with Autism

Abstract

Program evaluation is the use of planned activities to monitor process, outcomes, and impact of a health program or intervention. The application of program evaluation to behavioral analytic treatment programs for children with autism is a useful and necessary activity to inform practitioners and other stakeholders of the efficacy of these programs and to promote adherence to best-practice treatments. A brief survey of behavioral providers in California and Texas and search of the behavioral literature suggest that the practice of program evaluation is underutilized among providers of behavioral services. Current organizational practices primarily involve reporting on individualized consumer goals. The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to evaluation processes and procedures to promote the implementation of some or all of these components. Areas discussed include defining the population served and program stakeholders, describing the program and intervention, selecting evaluation goals and objectives, ethical considerations, and reporting.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


Task as Reinforcer: a Reactive Alternative to Traditional Forms of Escape Extinction

Abstract

Inappropriate behaviors, ranging from passive resistance to physical aggression, property destruction, or self-injurious behavior frequently function for escape from or avoidance of non-preferred activities. Proactive procedures have been shown to be only moderately effective without the use of escape extinction, but escape extinction can produce negative side effects, and efforts have been made to find alternatives. The current study tested the efficacy of a reactive procedure that may serve as an alternative to traditional forms of escape extinction. In a multiple baseline across behavioral excesses, non-preferred activities, and participants, a timeout from the opportunity to work effectively reduced behavioral excesses and increased compliance with non-preferred activities. With one participant, a multiple baseline was implemented across instructional targets, resulting in an increased rate of skill acquisition after “wait outs” were introduced to each program.


Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm



Normative Emotional Responses to Behavior Analysis Jargon or How Not to Use Words to Win Friends and Influence People

Abstract

It has been suggested that non-experts regard the jargon of behavior analysis as abrasive, harsh, and unpleasant. If this is true, excessive reliance on jargon could interfere with the dissemination of effective services. To address this often discussed but rarely studied issue, we consulted a large, public domain list of English words that have been rated by members of the general public for the emotional reactions they evoke. Selected words that behavior analysts use as technical terms were compared to selected words that are commonly used to discuss general science, general clinical work, and behavioral assessment. There was a tendency for behavior analysis terms to register as more unpleasant than other kinds of professional terms and also as more unpleasant than English words generally. We suggest possible reasons for this finding, discuss its relevance to the challenge of deciding how to communicate with consumers who do not yet understand or value behavior analysis, and advocate for systematic research to guide the marketing of behavior analysis.


Sun, 26 Feb 2017, 4:00 pm


The Effects of an Auditory Matching iPad App on Three Preschoolers’ Echoic and Listener Responses

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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