BAAM 2017 Convention Program
This program is tentative and subject to change.
Please contact BAAM if you find errors or omissions.

 

See Compact BAAM Schedule (without Abstracts)

 

Thursday Keynote

 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Ballroom  (2nd Floor)

 

David H. Freedman
Contributing editor at The Atlantic, and at Inc. Magazine.

 

Society's Uneasy Relationship with Behavior Analysis

 

Behavior analysis often achieves astonishing outcomes in children and adults with autism and many other developmental disorders, as well as helping people with an array of challenging problems in any number of domains. And yet the attitudes of parents, professionals, journalists and other influencers in society toward behavior analysis are frequently characterized by ignorance, indifference, and even open hostility. Why does such an effective, helpful and strongly evidence-based field have this sort of public image problem? In fact, there are clear reasons why behavior analysis sometimes struggles to get the attention and appreciation it deserves. Some of these reputational challenges might be difficult to overcome, but understanding them is surely a good first step.

 

Thursday Breakout Sessions

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m  Auditorium (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Using Interrupted Behavior Chains, or "Blocked Response" Conditioned Establishing Operations to Teach Mands to Early Learners with Autism. Genae A. Hall (Behavior Analysis and Intervention Services)

 

Several studies on teaching mands or "requests" to learners with language delays successfully used what Hunt & Goetz (1988) called the "interrupted behavior chain strategy." A study conducted in 1979 and published in 1987 by G. Hall & M. Sundberg used this strategy, along with 10 studies conducted from 1985 through June 2000 (Carter & Grunsell, 2001). More recently, Petursdottir et al. (2005), Rosales & Rehfeldt (2007), Lechago et al. (2010), Finn et al. (2012), Albert et al. (2012) and Hall, Elia & M. Sundberg (2016) used interrupted behavior chains to establish mands and assess and/or establish transfer between tacts and mands, or vice versa. Thus, a sizable literature exists documenting the effectiveness of the behavior chain interruption strategy in establishing mands. Further, this has been viewed as a robust strategy to enhance motivation and contrive opportunities to teach mands. Carter & Grunsell (2001) noted that "most, if not all of the interruption strategies described in the behavior chain interruption literature "could be conceptualized as blocked response CEOs", as described by Michael (1988). The blocked response CEO appears to include a transitive CEO (Michael, 1993) paired with an absent or blocked SD for the next chain step, and may be viewed as a "problem situation," as summarized by Skinner (1953) in Science and Human Behavior. As such, it may evoke precurrent problem-solving behaviors (including mands) that eventually yield an SD for the solution response. Although it may initially seem straightforward to establish simple behavior chains and interrupt them (i.e., present a blocked response CEO), the chain must be interrupted in such a way that the learner is genuinely motivated to mand in the probe interval. Otherwise, mands may falsely appear to be absent from the learner's repertoire. It appears that a chain may be interrupted in at least 4 ways: First, the learner stops performing the chain independently, at the point where the missing item is usually accessed. He or she scans for the item, but does not reach for it because it is missing. Second, the learner may stop the chain independently after emitting precurrent problem-solving behaviors such as attempting to complete the chain in an incorrect order without the missing item. Third, the trainer interrupts self-stimulatory behavior that seems to momentarily compete with the learner's motivation to complete the chain. Fourth, the trainer physically blocks the learner's attempt to access reinforcement without the missing item. For trainers to implement chain interruption effectively, they must learn to implement the procedure in slightly different ways, depending on the circumstances. This presentation will illustrate how this may be accomplished, using a number of session videos of early learners with autism.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Supervising Ethically: A Clinician's Model For Supervision and Training of Practicum Students. Michelle Fuhr (University Pediatrician's Autism Center), Krista Clancy (University Pediatrician's Autism Center)

 

As the number of clients with Autism Spectrum Disorders increase, and more states accept legislature for Behavior Analysis service coverage, the need for BCBA's, RBT's and BCaBA's also increases. Presently, passing an exam and completion of field experience hours are the only standardized measures for competency at each of these levels. As a supervisor for BCBA and BCaBA practicum students as well as RBT candidates, it is imperative to identify and define the skills that need to be taught at each of these levels and the spectrum of knowledge that is expected for each of these roles. In addition, as a practicum supervisor, competency-based skills assessments should be developed and implemented to determine mastery of such skills. Behavior Analysis Certification Board ethical guidelines define obligations to appropriate, competency-based supervision. Putting guidelines into practice through education and interactive activities will be the primary focus of this presentation. Behavior Analysis Certification Board ethical guidelines do not include criteria for determining when a Board Certified Behavior Analyst has met criteria for providing adequate supervision. Therefore, discussion will entail supervisors "readiness" to be a practicum supervisor including competency-based assessment criteria for potential supervisors and ongoing evaluation of student performance as criteria for supervisor assessment.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom  B (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Applications of Behavior Analysis in School Settings: Focus on Academic Interventions for Students with Disabilities. Andrew J. Bulla (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Sarah Schmitt (Western Michigan University)

 

The current presentation highlights the applications of behavior analysis in school settings. Specifically, this symposium will discuss a collaborative effort between a mid-western university and a local intermediate school district. First, an overview of how behavior analysis can be applied in school settings will be given. Next, several strategies and tips for how to effectively implement evidence based educational methods (e.g., Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching) in special education classroom settings will be discussed. Lastly, behavior management systems to promote active engagement and manage disruptive behaviors will be highlighted.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 310A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Behavior Analytic Pragmatism. Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

 

In recent years, many behavior analysts have suggested that the truth criterion for analytic and explanatory concepts in Skinner's radical behaviorism and other forms of behavioristic psychology such as RFT involves pragmatic considerations, such as the degree to which the concept occasions successful working or effective action, commonly measured as prediction and control. The current presentation further examines the compatibility between pragmatism and radical behaviorism in scientific epistemology and practice.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m 310B
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Medicaid Autism Program Update.
Brie Elsasser (MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section), Lisa Grost,(MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section), Kara Hart (MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section)

 

In December 2015, the expanded policy for Michigan Medicaid Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services was approved by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, effective for Jan.1, 2016, allowing ABA services for individuals up to age 21 who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and meet medical necessity requirements. In 2016, the number of individuals receiving ABA services via Michigan Medicaid more than doubled. This presentation will include a brief overview of the Michigan Medicaid policy related to ABA services, provider capacity and related training needs, service delivery, areas of focus related to working with school-aged youth and young adults, the importance of coordination with other services and collaboration across service providers, and the necessity of appropriate and individualized crisis response.

 

Lunch (On your own)

 

•1:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Auditorium (2 BACB Type II CEUs)

"Fix My Child!": Practical Strategies For Improving Parent Involvement and Compliance With Treatment. Michelle Fuhr (University Pediatrician's Autism Center), Christine Kessler (Centria Healthcare), Meghan Perrault

 

Parent involvement, resistance, and barriers to follow-though are challenges that BCBA clinicians frequently encounter. Current ABA research supports Behavior Skills Training for ABA education and training, but is limited in research for parent behavior change, involvement, and decreasing resistance. Supplementary evidenced-based strategies designed to increase engagement and decrease resistance will be explored, displayed and practiced. Participants will be involved in active learning through behavior skills training on such supplementary strategies. The Behavior Analysis underpinnings of these strategies will be identified and upheld.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom A  (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Toilet Training Children with Developmental Disabilities: Procedural Changes and Generalization of Bowel Movements. Rebecca Kolb (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Wiskirchen (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University)

 

The importance of independent toileting skills cannot be overstated due to the vast benefits for clients and all those involved in their care. Improvements in quality of life include increased sanitation and comfort, substantial monetary gain, and greater access to various services and settings. Toilet training usually involves a sit schedule, increased fluids, reinforcement, urine alarms, positive practice, and functional communication training. While many studies have utilized a combination of these procedures, methods of implementation have varied. Furthermore, few studies have reported generalization to bowel movements. The current study examined the effects of a toilet training procedure (LeBlanc et al. 2005) on five developmentally-disabled children, using a non-concurrent multiple baseline design. Moreover, the current study also examined the potential for generalization effects to bowel movements, which is rarely addressed in the literature.  Results will be presented as well as a discussion on data based procedural changes and solutions to practical barriers.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Room 310B (1 BACB Type II CEU)
A Behavior Analytic Understanding of Projective Testing: From Skinner to Rorschach. Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

Projective tests have taken a variety of forms throughout the history of psychology. Before clinical and theoretical applications, humans have likely been responding creatively to ambiguous stimuli for as long as we have engaged in verbal behavior. We know logically that there are no meaningful forms in clouds or inkblots, yet we find it easy to respond to them in interesting ways. Do our responses to inkblots reveal hidden wishes or past trauma? Can an improvised story evoked by a picture of people tell us something about our personality? Does how we order picture cards tell us if we are schizophrenic? This talk will examine a variety of projective tests, including B. F. Skinner's own verbal summator. A brief description of each test will be presented, accompanied by the research and practice scope of these tests. Additionally, their common conceptual implications, along with more common everyday examples of our responses to ambiguous stimuli will be highlighted. Possible future directions for behavior analytic research into projective testing will be suggested, as well as providing a conceptually systematic way of how we might regard projective tests in psychology.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Room 310A
Michigan Behavior Analysis Licensure Update. James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Room 310B (Multi-paper session) (1 BACB Type II CEU)

The Effect of Functional Behavior Assessment on School Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Single-Case Research. Teryn Bruni (University of Michigan Health System), Michael Hixson (Central Michigan University), Daniel Drevon (Central Michigan University), Robert Wyse (Central Michigan University)

 

Increasingly schools are using function-based assessment in the design of classroom interventions in both general education and special education settings. Research examining the use of function-based assessment is mixed when comparing interventions preceded by a functional behavior assessment (FBA) to those without an FBA. The purpose of this study was to provide a quantitative review of school-based behavior reduction interventions and some ancillary variables that may modulate the effectiveness of those interventions. Tau-U, an effect size statistic for single case designs that takes into account level and trend, was calculated across studies, allowing for examination of several moderator variables including type of FBA method used. Moderate intervention effects were found across all studies with a small yet insignificant difference between function and non-function based interventions. The largest difference in a moderator variable was intervention setting, with studies conducted in the natural environment producing larger effects than those in pull-out settings. Possible explanations for these findings, limitations of the study, and areas of future research are discussed.

 

Survey of Needs for BCBA Supervisors. Katie Lynn Garza (Western Michigan University), Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University), Emily G. Jackson (Western Michigan University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)

 

Five hundred fifty-five Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) with supervision experience began, and 375 BCBAs finished a survey designed to gather information about their supervision practices. Participants were asked about their level of experience in the field and with supervision, their assessment processes, barriers to assessment, and use of behavioral skills training (BST). For each item on the BACB Fourth Edition Task List, participants were asked whether BST is an appropriate training methodology, whether it would be helpful to have materials to facilitate teaching the skill, and how often they need to provide extra coaching on the skill. The majority of participants reported using assessment methodologies, the most common of which was direct observation. Most participants also reported using BST as part of supervision and indicated that it is appropriate for teaching most items on the Task List. Responses also indicated that additional training materials would be helpful for all items on the Task List.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20  p.m Room Ballroom A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Structured Parent Training Using a Bug-in-the-Ear Device. Lesly Hendershot (Beaumont Children's Hospital, Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center), Jacqueline White (Beaumont Children's Hospital, Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center), Haley Bruce (Beaumont Children's Hospital, Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center)

 

A growing body of literature is demonstrating the effectiveness of specific parent training protocols in the treatment of children with ASD. Other training programs that expand beyond the diagnosis of ASD and the field of ABA have demonstrated strong support for structured parent and teacher training using "bug-in-the-ear" devices (e.g., Dufrene et al. 2014; Eyberg et al. 2001; Labrot et al. 2016; McKinney et al 2014). This session will briefly review past research, and then focus on the implementation of this approach in an EIBI program for children with ASD. Case examples will be presented to demonstrate how "bug-in-the-ear" coaching can be used across different skill-sets such as mand and compliance training, as well as feeding intervention.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m Ballroom B (2 BACB Type II CEU)
Improving Large-Scale Evaluations of ABA Efficacy. Roger Bass (Independent consultant)

 

Funding recommendations for ABA services often pivot on large-scale evaluations of research. How and why this is done, its implications for representations of ABA, and the research evaluation process used by Wisconsin’s State Department of Human Services Treatment Intervention Assessment Committee (TIAC) will be discussed. In addition, a spreadsheet for evaluating and graphically summarizing group and single case research will be presented.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Room 310A
We're Not Too Cool for School: How to Establish and Maintain School- and Community-Based Practicums.

 

Chair: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)

Discussant: Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

Panelists: Michael P. Kranak (Western Michigan University), Cody A. Morris  (Western Michigan University), Rebecca L. Kolb (Western Michigan University), Kimberly M. Peck (Western Michigan University), Andrew J. Bulla  (Western Michigan University), Kayla J. Jenssen (Western Michigan University)

 

In order to deliver services to clients and the serve the community at large, it is imperative for behavior analysts to develop collaborative partnerships with various entities such as school districts, community mental health agencies, departments in higher education, and private clinics or programs. Moreover, collaborating and creating practicum sites with those agencies can serve as valuable placements for training opportunities for individuals receiving learning applied  training in behavior analysis. However, developing these partnerships and collaborations is not always easy, and there can be many obstacles to address along the way. This panel discussion will discuss and present strategies for effective partnership and practicum development on behalf of several different practicums through their various stages of their existence, as well as share experiences resolving various obstacles and hurdles faced during creation and maintaining of the partnerships. Audience members will also have an opportunity to pose questions to the panelists regarding any presentation material or issues they are facing themselves.

 

 

Friday Keynote

 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Ballroom  (2nd Floor)
(1 BACB Type II CEU)

 

Janet S. Twyman, Ph.D., BCBA, NYSLBA
Associate Prof. of Pediatrics/UMass Medical School

Director of Innovation & Technology/Center for Innovations in Learning

 

 

Dr. Twyman is a noted proponent of effective instruction and using technology to produce individual and system change. A career educator, she has been a preschool and elementary school teacher, a principal and administrator, and university professor. A sought after speaker nationally and internationally, Dr. Twyman has presented on leveraging new technologies for diverse learners and settings at the United Nations. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (chairing the Education Group) and PEER International (assisting township schools in Port Elizabeth, South Africa).  In 2007-08 she served as President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and in 2014 was named an ABAI Fellow. Formerly the Vice President of Instructional Development, Research, & Implementation at Headsprout, Dr. Twyman is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School/Shriver Center. She is also the Director of Innovation & Technology for the U.S. Dept. of Education funded Center on Innovations in Learning, working with state education departments across the nation. She has published and presented widely on instructional design, evidence-based innovations in education, and the systems that produce meaningful difference in learners’ lives, and in 2015 received the Wing Award for her work in Evidence-based Education.

 

 

Friday Breakout Sessions

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 p.m Auditorium (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Using an Inter-Professional Education Model to Disseminate Information About ABA to Medical School Residents - Changing Perspectives About Working with Behavior Analysts. Krista Clancy (University Pediatricians Autism Center/WSU), Michelle Fuhr (University Pediatricians Autism Center/WSU)

 

One of the many barriers to treatment in ABA is the perception that lay people and other professionals have regarding our treatment. Not all professionals who are in a position to refer clients for services understand the benefits of ABA, commitment needed by the families, range of clinical populations that can benefit from ABA services, and how to navigate the system to get clients into treatment in a reasonable time frame. Clients and their families report difficulties with access to treatment, a misunderstanding by other professionals about ABA and how it can help them, and poor coordination of care among the professionals they are working with. As Behavior Analysts, we must develop relationships with others in the field who are most likely to refer clients to our services in order to help them better understand the rationale and science behind our treatment. This presentation will describe the process of the development and implementation of a unique training program on ASD and ABA offered at a center-based ABA treatment facility in combination with the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. This InterProfessional Education (IPE) training model is currently used to train medical residents and students from a variety of training programs within the university. The training model targets early screening, diagnosis, and ABA referrals for autism. The presentation will focus on the collaborative role of a behavior analysis in the IPE model, sustainability of the program, and outcome data obtained from the training.

 

11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom A (1 BACB Type II CEU)
Behavior Support Plans: Developing a Template and Writing Comprehensive Plans.

 

Chair &  Discussant: Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

Panelists: Cody Morris (Western Michigan University), Alissa Conway (Western Michigan University), Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)

 

Behavior analysts are ethically required to conduct assessments and develop function based interventions based on these assessments (BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code, 2014; Baer, Wolf, Risley, 1968). The interventions must be written comprehensively and clearly into an accessible document, known as a behavior support plan or behavior intervention plan. Individuals creating these plans must first be able to identify the proper components of a behavior plan (Horner, Sugai, Todd & Lewis-Palmer, 2000; Kroeger & Phillips, 2007; McVilly, Webber, Sharp & Paris, 2013; Vollmer, Iwata, Zarcone & Rodgers, 1992) and then have an organized way to communicate these components. The current panel discussion will address necessary components of behavior support plans based on current research as well as Michigan state regulations.  This will lead into a discussion on how a behavior support plan template was created along with a rubric to ensure all components are inclusive and comprehensive.  Discussion will center around ways to utilize the template and rubric and how this may help across settings behavior analysts and other professionals encounter.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom  B (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Applications of Behavior Analysis in School Settings: Focus on Academic Interventions for Students with Disabilities. Andrew J. Bulla (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Sarah Schmitt (Western Michigan University)

 

The current presentation highlights the applications of behavior analysis in school settings. Specifically, this symposium will discuss a collaborative effort between a mid-western university and a local intermediate school district. First, an overview of how behavior analysis can be applied in school settings will be given. Next, several strategies and tips for how to effectively implement evidence based educational methods (e.g., Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching) in special education classroom settings will be discussed. Lastly, behavior management systems to promote active engagement and manage disruptive behaviors will be highlighted.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 310A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Behavior Analytic Pragmatism. Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

 

In recent years, many behavior analysts have suggested that the truth criterion for analytic and explanatory concepts in Skinner's radical behaviorism and other forms of behavioristic psychology such as RFT involves pragmatic considerations, such as the degree to which the concept occasions successful working or effective action, commonly measured as prediction and control. The current presentation further examines the compatibility between pragmatism and radical behaviorism in scientific epistemology and practice.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 310B  
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Medicaid Autism Program Update.
Brie Elsasser (MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section), Lisa Grost,(MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section), Kara Hart (MDHHS: Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Section)

 

In December 2015, the expanded policy for Michigan Medicaid Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services was approved by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, effective for Jan.1, 2016, allowing ABA services for individuals up to age 21 who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and meet medical necessity requirements. In 2016, the number of individuals receiving ABA services via Michigan Medicaid more than doubled. This presentation will include a brief overview of the Michigan Medicaid policy related to ABA services, provider capacity and related training needs, service delivery, areas of focus related to working with school-aged youth and young adults, the importance of coordination with other services and collaboration across service providers, and the necessity of appropriate and individualized crisis response.

 

•11:00 p.m. - 11:50 p.m 352 (Multi-Paper Session)

Autism and Positive Medical Care Experiences: Barriers, Facilitators, and Implications for Treatment. Shelby Wilson (Eastern Michigan University), Catherine Peterson (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Children with autism and their families face many challenges in their everyday lives that most typical families do not. One specific situation that may pose more difficulties for these families than for others is attending a medical appointment. Because many children with ASD have other special health care needs, they often attend more medical care visits than typical children (e.g., Schieve et al., 2012), thereby creating more opportunities for negative experiences. A scoping review was utilized to investigate the experiences of children with ASD and their families in medical care settings. While a primary care visit may be a rather unremarkable event for many families, results of this review revealed that there are a number of barriers (e.g., child communication deficits) that can prevent families of children with ASD from having positive experiences during primary care and other medical care visits. Factors that can act as facilitators (e.g., preparation before visit) of positive experiences were also identified. This presentation will briefly explain the methodology and advantages of conducting a scoping review. Both clinicians and researchers may find this method of review to be useful in their work. The various challenges experienced by families as well as the facilitators of positive encounters that parents have experienced and suggested will also be discussed. Fortunately, many of the facilitators identified are related to modifiable parent and child behavior. Therefore, understanding and anticipating difficulties that clients and their families experience in medical settings may be an important component of child treatment and parent training.

 

The Case for a Behavioral Analysis of Syntax. Robert Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

 

Syntax, the ordering of responses in sentences and phrases, is regular. Linguists have often explained syntactic regularity as the product of rules, and some linguists have held that rules were based on specifically human innate capacities. Much of the linguistic research in the U.S. during the last half of the Twentieth Century was devoted to characterizing these capacities, but the successive theories that have been proposed have been disproven. This suggests that if the orderliness of syntax is not due to innate capacities, it must be learned. Most of the accounts of language learning that have been put forward by linguists are associative in nature, and none have been informed by behavioral principles. This paper will propose that so-called syntactic structures can be accounted for as the response products of operant contingencies specific to individual verbal communities. Examples of phrasal organization and structural recursion for English will be provided. This approach offers an explanation of language organization from behavioral first principles, and opens a new area of research in the analysis of verbal behavior.

 

Lunch (On Your Own)
(BATS REUNION-BALLROOM A, Noon-1:15)

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m  Auditorium (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Using Interrupted Behavior Chains, or "Blocked Response" Conditioned Establishing Operations to Teach Mands to Early Learners with Autism. Genae A. Hall (Behavior Analysis and Intervention Services)

 

Several studies on teaching mands or "requests" to learners with language delays successfully used what Hunt & Goetz (1988) called the "interrupted behavior chain strategy." A study conducted in 1979 and published in 1987 by G. Hall & M. Sundberg used this strategy, along with 10 studies conducted from 1985 through June 2000 (Carter & Grunsell, 2001). More recently, Petursdottir et al. (2005), Rosales & Rehfeldt (2007), Lechago et al. (2010), Finn et al. (2012), Albert et al. (2012) and Hall, Elia & M. Sundberg (2016) used interrupted behavior chains to establish mands and assess and/or establish transfer between tacts and mands, or vice versa. Thus, a sizable literature exists documenting the effectiveness of the behavior chain interruption strategy in establishing mands. Further, this has been viewed as a robust strategy to enhance motivation and contrive opportunities to teach mands. Carter & Grunsell (2001) noted that "most, if not all of the interruption strategies described in the behavior chain interruption literature "could be conceptualized as blocked response CEOs", as described by Michael (1988). The blocked response CEO appears to include a transitive CEO (Michael, 1993) paired with an absent or blocked SD for the next chain step, and may be viewed as a "problem situation," as summarized by Skinner (1953) in Science and Human Behavior. As such, it may evoke precurrent problem-solving behaviors (including mands) that eventually yield an SD for the solution response. Although it may initially seem straightforward to establish simple behavior chains and interrupt them (i.e., present a blocked response CEO), the chain must be interrupted in such a way that the learner is genuinely motivated to mand in the probe interval. Otherwise, mands may falsely appear to be absent from the learner's repertoire. It appears that a chain may be interrupted in at least 4 ways: First, the learner stops performing the chain independently, at the point where the missing item is usually accessed. He or she scans for the item, but does not reach for it because it is missing. Second, the learner may stop the chain independently after emitting precurrent problem-solving behaviors such as attempting to complete the chain in an incorrect order without the missing item. Third, the trainer interrupts self-stimulatory behavior that seems to momentarily compete with the learner's motivation to complete the chain. Fourth, the trainer physically blocks the learner's attempt to access reinforcement without the missing item. For trainers to implement chain interruption effectively, they must learn to implement the procedure in slightly different ways, depending on the circumstances. This presentation will illustrate how this may be accomplished, using a number of session videos of early learners with autism.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Summer Transition Program: Preparing Students with ASD for a Successful Transition from High School to College. Kourtney Bakalyar (Western Michigan University), Kayla Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Jessica Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

The Autism Services Center (ASC) at Western Michigan University provides supports for college students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ASC partnered with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) to create the Summer Transition Program for high school students with ASD to address barriers for young adults with ASD who desire a job or to attend a university. The goal of this program was to provide the instruction on the social, communication, study, organization, and independent living skills needed for a successful transition to college or employment, through a variety of on-campus experiences.

 

Six students participated in the program this summer, which included taking a 3-credit Western Michigan University course, participating in a College Experience Course, working in paid on-campus employment positions while receiving job coaching to development employment skills, and living in the residence hall for the duration of the seven-week session.

Services provided by the program were based in an explicit instruction model, which provided students with multiple opportunities to view models, practice and receive feedback on their skills to become successful in educational and employment settings.

 

One of the main goals of the program was a focus on students' classroom performance. Video modeling was used as an instructional tool to promote skill acquisition within this setting. Data on classroom performance before and after third-person video modeling was measured, graphed and will be presented. Additionally, students, their parents, schools, and MRS counselors received feedback on the participants' readiness for higher education. A discussion of limitations and next steps will be included.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom B (1 BACB Type II CEU)
A Behavior Analytic Understanding of Projective Testing: From Skinner to Rorschach. Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

Projective tests have taken a variety of forms throughout the history of psychology. Before clinical and theoretical applications, humans have likely been responding creatively to ambiguous stimuli for as long as we have engaged in verbal behavior. We know logically that there are no meaningful forms in clouds or inkblots, yet we find it easy to respond to them in interesting ways. Do our responses to inkblots reveal hidden wishes or past trauma? Can an improvised story evoked by a picture of people tell us something about our personality? Does how we order picture cards tell us if we are schizophrenic? This talk will examine a variety of projective tests, including B. F. Skinner's own verbal summator. A brief description of each test will be presented, accompanied by the research and practice scope of these tests. Additionally, their common conceptual implications, along with more common everyday examples of our responses to ambiguous stimuli will be highlighted. Possible future directions for behavior analytic research into projective testing will be suggested, as well as providing a conceptually systematic way of how we might regard projective tests in psychology.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Room 352
Michigan Behavior Analysis Licensure Update. James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University, Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Auditorum

How to Get Into Graduate School. Caitlyn Sorensen (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Advice and information on getting into graduate school.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Ballroom A (1 BACB Type II CEU)

Behavior Analysis in the Real World Setting: Terminology, Ethics, and Application.

 

Chair: Sean Field (Western Michigan University)

Discussant: Steve Sparks (Western Michigan University)

 

Behavior analysts often face a variety of challenges when transitioning from their training programs. These challenges can often include working in a novel capacity such as an administrator, dealing with billing and insurance regulations, and working with professionals outside that of the typical training program environment. Specifically related to issues surrounding working with other professionals behavior analysts may be asked to communicate novel or new programming recommendations to those unfamiliar with the language or practice of behavior analysis. This presentation will provide two talks aimed at addressing the barriers that may occur for new or even seasoned behavior analysts and provide recommendations towards addressing these issues.

 

Communicating Behavior Analytic Interventions and their Acceptability. Steven P. Sparks (Western Michigan University), Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

Behavior analysts working in community settings with other professionals often find themselves misunderstood. Aside from issues this creates disseminating our science to non-behavior analysts, problems can arise when our behavior plans are reviewed by other professionals. In community mental health settings, multi-disciplinary committees are often responsible for reviewing plans, including behavior assessment and treatment reports written by behavior analysts. The current study sent surveys to community mental health professionals and asked them to rate the acceptability of technical terms for behavior analytic interventions in hypothetical behavior plans versus descriptions of those same interventions described without the use of behavior analytic terminology.

 

The Role of Punishment in Practice: Ethics and Application. Sean Field (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)

 

The goal of this presentation is to outline the issues behavior analysts, including clinicians, behavior analysts in training, as well as behavior analysts responsible for education and training of future clinicians and care providers, may face in the use of punishment procedures. Additionally, recommendations for navigating these dilemmas will be outlined. Finally, a call to action for the field is defined in an effort to suggest how behavior analysts may effectively apply all relevant science to assure clients receive the most effective and evidence based interventions.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Ballroom B

Limited Language Proficiency Suppresses Verbal Fluency and Auditory Attention, but Not Working Memory Performance. A Study in Cross-Cultural Neuropsychology. Jessica Hurtubise (University of Windsor), Jordan Charles (University of Windsor), Abigail McDermott (University of Windsor), Anca Enache (University of Windsor), Meriam Issa (University of Windsor), Laszlo Erdodi (University of Windsor)

 

 The Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Third Edition and two verbal fluency measures (animals and emotions) were administered in both English and Arabic to a sample of 79 healthy bilinguals in counterbalanced order, either at the beginning or the end of a brief battery of neuropsychological tests. As expected, when the verbal fluency tasks were administered in the dominant language, participants did significantly better (d: 1.07-1.55, large effects). Mean scores were in the clinically impaired range when the tests were administered in the non-dominant language. At Time 1, participants who were administered Digits Forward in their dominant language outperformed those who were given the test in their non-dominant language (d: .50-.74, medium-large effects). No significant different was found on Digits Backward. At Time 2, the language dominance effects increased on both Digits Forward (d: 1.12-1.24, large effects) and Digits Backward (d: .58-.69, medium-large effects). Results suggest that the effect of language proficiency varies across tests. Paradoxically, the task with higher cognitive demand was more robust to the deleterious effect of limited language skills. There were no practice effects if the test was administered in the non-dominant language at Time 2. Verbal fluency tests should not be interpreted as evidence of impairment in clinical setting if they were administered in the non-dominant language. Digit Span Backward scores are relatively well-preserved even when the test was administered in the non-dominant language. The implications of the findings to clinical neuropsychology will be discussed.

 

•2:30-3:20 p.m. Room 300

Job and Practicum Fair

 

BAAM's annual Job and Practicum Fair will feature presentations by local and regional organizations and agencies that hire behavior analysts and sponsor practicum opportunities. Following the formal presentations, job seekers may meet with representatives of the agencies and organizations.

 

3-Hour Workshops

 

•Thursday  1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m Room 300 (3 BACB Type II CEUs)

Acting Out: Learning BACB Ethics and Problem-Solving Strategies through Interactive Team-based Learning. Wayne Fuqua, Ph.D., BCBA-D (Western Michigan University)

 

 Workshop cost: $40

 

This workshop is designed primarily for practitioners who have some familiarity with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) and wish to improve their skills to (a) identify and analyze ethical challenges, (b) develop strategies to resolve ethical challenges, (c) refine their skills to tactfully and effectively resolve ethical challenges, and (d) obtain CEUs in the ethics domain as required for BACB recertification. Others, including licensed psychologists, who are interested in applying BACB ethical guidelines to real-world ethical challenges in practice and research are also encouraged to attend. Participants should be prepared to describe and discuss real world ethics cases in a manner that protects the identity of those individuals involved in the ethics cases.

 

Objectives:   At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) identify and analyze ethical challenges; (2) identify and troubleshoot strategies to resolve ethical challenges; (3) refine their skills to tactfully and effectively resolve ethical challenges, (4) identify team based learning strategies that can be used to promote BACB ethics in work and educational settings.

 

Activities: This workshop will include very limited lecture content. Emphasis will be placed on small group activities and discussion, role plays, guided practice and fluency building exercises.

 

Audience: Intermediate level. This workshop assumes some familiarity with the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB)

 

•Friday  1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m Room 204 (3 BACB Type II CEUs)

A Practitioner’s Guide to Building a Customized Electronic Data Collection System Using Microsoft Excel. Cody Morris (Western Michigan University)

 

Workshop cost: $50

 

Electronic data collection is increasing in popularity within the practice of applied behavior analysis. With the growing use of paperless data collection systems, the skills to create or customize electronic data collection systems may be very beneficial to practitioners. This workshop will teach a simple skill set that will allow any practitioner to turn a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into a functioning and mobile electronic data collection system. Components of this training will include how to (a) create a basic electronic data collection table with dropdown menus and autofill features, (b) create a timestamp for all data entered, and (c) create automatically graphing displays of data. In addition, security and compliance to regulations will be discussed. While participants do not need familiarity with Microsoft Excel to benefit from this workshop, a basic understanding of behavior analytic data collection procedures would be helpful.

 

 

Posters

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

(Rooms 310A & B)

 

Academic Literacy Lab (ALL) Graduate Program at Western Michigan University. Denise Ross (Western Michigan University)

 

Academic Literacy Lab (ALL) Graduate Program at Western Michigan University. Denise Ross (Western Michigan University), Garrett Warrilow (Western Michigan University), Gaige Johnson (Western Michigan University), Margo Uwayo (Western Michigan University), Brandi Fontenot (Western Michigan University), Mya Hernandez (Western Michigan University), Sarah Byrne (Western Michigan University), Ariana McClellan (Western Michigan University)

 

The Academic Literacy Lab tests and applies evidence-based interventions that can improve the academic and social outcomes of students who are at-risk for learning challenges. ALL students are trained as practitioners and researchers to use behavior analysis in preschool, elementary, and secondary school settings that serve students with and without disabilities. Students in the program receive certification in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and complete the necessary coursework to become proficient Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in two years.

 

Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS). Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan Univeristy)

 

 The students in the Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) program are trained as practitioners and complete coursework to become competent Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) in two years. Throughout the program our students acquire a solid foundation in the principles and concepts of behavior analysis through completion of two practical MA projects rather than an MA thesis. Our students also attain early, intensive, behavioral intervention skills, supervision experience, and time management skills.

 

Boot Camp Model: High-Intensity, Early Intervention Treatment Package for a Low-Performing Preschool Student with Autism. Taylor Clements (Western Michigan University), Hannah Betz (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Many children with developmental delays have been successful using discrete trial training (DTT) (Lovaas, 1987); however this intervention style is not effective for some children (Lovaas, 1987; Sallows & Graupner, 2005). This study piloted a classroom model that focused on the child's response to a given intervention when teaching skills necessary for academic progress. These required skills include eye contact and responding to name, imitation, manding, and receptive language. The participant was selected based on low rates of skill acquisition with DTT intervention with introductory-trained technicians, but demonstrated increased rates of skill acquisition when working with highly-trained technicians delivering high-intensity, high-fidelity DTT instruction. Changing the intervention based on the child's performance is the core of Response to Intervention and has been successful in general education settings (McMaster & Wagner, 2007). The participant's support coordinator made changes to the course of intervention based on their progress from session-to-session. Intervention methods, including shaping within DTT and naturalistic teaching were used in this study. Baseline was collected and compared to intervention data to determine if interventions were successful. Intervention supports were faded out systematically, allowing the child to return to a less-restrictive DTT setting. Identifying and teaching skills necessary for academic progress has enabled the participant to progress in skill acquisition outside of the model. The findings of this pilot study indicate the necessity of observing the child's response to a given intervention and making adjustments accordingly.

 

A Case Study: Functional Daily Living Skills and Academic Skills for Individualized Treatment. Emma Sipila (Western Michigan University), Michael Roeser (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty mastering self-care skills (Jasmin et al., 2009). Additionally, they may have limitations in imitation skills, difficulties in eye-contact, language delay, the use of appropriate language skills, and using gestures (Wert & Neisworth, 2003). However, teaching academic skills and functional skills for daily living are important since these skills contribute to the long-term goal of education for individuals with developmental disabilities (Batu et al., 2004). A five-year-old receiving Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) services was given one year to remain in their current EIBI classroom until a new classroom placement was made. At the beginning of the study, the participant had limited skills in their repertoire (eye contact, few visual perceptual skills, and few gross motor movement skills), a score of six on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), and several basic classroom curricula (matching, motor imitation, Icon Exchange, and receptive identification) had been tried, but were unsuccessful. The goal of this case study was to determine and work on a combination of functional daily living skills (ADLs) and academic skills that needed to be targeted for the student to be most successful in their future placement. This study used a single-subject AB research design and consisted of teaching prerequisite skills, working on behavioral cusps, and the simultaneous training of ADLs and academics. This paper will provide an overview of the individualization of all functional daily living skills and academic skills provided to the participant and the results achieved.

 

Changing a Paraprofessional's Praise Rate in the Classroom. Amanda L. Thornton (Western Michigan University), Andrew J. Bulla (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

A teacher's use of praise is beneficial for students as it provides encouragement, helps build self-esteem, builds a close student-teacher relationship, and reduces the amount of disruptive behavior in the classroom (Brophy, 1981; Alber & Heward, 1997). In the current study, praise rates of one paraprofessional who worked primarily in general and special education settings for students with autism spectrum disorder in an elementary school were measured. The teacher approached the researcher due to a concern of low praise rates coming from the paraprofessional in the classroom. A reversal design was used for this study to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Baseline measures indicated that the paraprofessional's praise was occurring at very low rates. During intervention, a MotivAiderÆ was used to prompt the paraprofessional to deliver praise to the students for engaging in appropriate behaviors. Results of the intervention, barriers to implementation, and areas of future research will be discussed.

 

Comparison of Heart Rate to Other Indicators of Anxiety. Jason Majchrzak (Henry Ford Health Systems), Leslie Scobie (Henry Ford Health Systems), Bryan Davey (Highland Behavioral Health)

 

Anxiety has been operationally defined in behavioral analysis as an SD indicating an aversive event may lead to either a behavioral activation or suppression in individuals with anxiety. While these behavioral indicators are observable, mental health practitioners have historically relied on self-report of distress (e.g. subjective units of distress) or physiological markers to indicate an evoked SD. While research shows physiological markers can indicate the presence of an SD, minimal-to-no formal research is found comparing self-report to the use of behavioral indicators for anxiety. Our goal was to compare both self-report and behavioral indicators to the empirically established use of heart rate as an indicator of an evoked SD in patients with anxiety.

 

Comparison of Sex Education Programs for Developmentally Disabled and Neurotypical Populations. Christopher Schrimscher (Eastern Michigan University), Ashley Vernier (Eastern Michigan University), Caitlyn Upton (Eastern Michigan University), Jennifer Battles (Eastern Michigan Univerisity), Tamara Loverich (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Sex education in America remains a controversial topic and each state has different programs to address sex and its various components to youth in schools across America. Most programs range from abstinence-only programs to more comprehensive sex education programs. In public schools across targeted specifically for mainstream neurotypical adolescents. When sex education is only available for mainstream individuals, individuals that aren't mainstream have limited access to sex education. This poster will be a qualitative comparison of sex education programs for neurotypical youth and those with developmental disorders. A thorough literature review will be conducted and the content and delivery of programs will be compared to the two groups. Based on these analyses, conclusions will be drawn and recommendations for research and practice developed.

 

Decreasing Problem Behavior by Teaching Waiting and Accepting "No." Liz Sutton (Western Michigan University), Liz Carey (Western Michigan University), Sydney Harbaugh (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this study was to decrease problem behavior by teaching a child with autism to wait for a preferred item and accept "no" for an answer. According to McGreevy, Fry, & Cornwall (2012), waiting and accepting "no" are two important skills. If a child doesn't have these skills, they will exhibit problem behavior. This study used a changing-criterion research design, by increasing the amount of time the child was required to wait in each phase. Results of the study will be detailed in the poster session.

 

Discrimination Training and Differential Reinforcement as an Intervention for Nonfunctional Vocalizations. Lauren Phillips (Judson Center), Jasmine Waston (Judson Center), Maija Reisterer (Judson Center), Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center)

 

The present study examined a treatment package as an intervention for non-functional vocalizations in a six-year-old child with autism. The package was replicated from a study by Laprime and Dittrich (2014). The intervention included discrimination training using wrist bands and a social story to teach the child when it is not appropriate to engage in non-functional vocalizations, as well as differential reinforcement with response cost during work. These interventions were used in expectation of decreasing non-functional vocalizations in the child. All interventions were implemented in an ABA clinic that the child has been attending for two years.

 

Do Pigeons Learn About Repeating Series of Inter-Reinforcement Intervals?: A Direct Replication of the Classic Research. Naomi J. Evans (Central Michigan University), Eric J. French (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

 

The foundational research in operant behavior exclusively employed electro-mechanical relay equipment to arrange contingencies of reinforcement. Variable interval (VI) schedules were programmed using a punched-tape reader that arranged a fixed series of inter-reinforcer intervals. The series was repeated throughout each session and across the study. This repetition possibly undermines the original goal of constructing prediction-proof reinforcement schedules; however, it is unknown whether this feature affected behavior. The present study was conducted to determine whether a repeated loop of inter-reinforcer intervals would exert control over key pecking in pigeons. Key pecking was reinforced according to a VI 180-s schedule, which consisted of 15 intervals (ranging from 5 to 560 s) generated using the Catania and Reynolds (1968) algorithm. The series of 15 intervals was repeated a maximum of three times per session. Steady state was reached after approximately 40 sessions.  Multiple analyses were conducted in the hopes to discover evidence of signatures in behavior that, if present, would indicate sensitivity to the repetitive nature of the VI schedule. No such signatures were discovered. Next, the VI 180 s was modified to try and establish control by repetition (the number if intervals were reduced to 5); however null results were obtained again. Our results suggest that the repetitive nature of the inter-reinforcer intervals of VI schedules used in the classic pigeon studies likely did not influence their outcomes.

 

Does Executive Dysfunction Link Behavioral Variability and Depression? A Replication and Extension. Ted Allaire (Eastern Michigan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Behaving in a variable or unpredictable manner may sometimes be adaptive (Neuringer, 2002). Indeed, reduced behavioral variability has been associated with autism spectrum disorders and depression. Despite this evidence, it is not clear whether measures of operant variability correlate with other measures of novel or variable behavior or with general problem-solving abilities. The current study replicates prior work on operant variability (Hopkinson & Neuringer, 2003) and extends it to examine the relationship between operant variability and performance on common neuropsychological measures, including: The Test of Memory Malingering; Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; Rey Complex Figure Test; Trail Making Test; Ruff Figural Fluency Task; and the Modified Six Elements Test. Six participants were recruited from undergraduate classes at a Midwestern university. They individually attended one, two-hour session, during which they provided information about demographic information and psychosocial status and completed a computerized task assessing operant variability, using a reversal design. In the baseline and return to baseline conditions, reinforcers, in the form of points, were delivered non-contingently. In the variability condition, points were delivered on a percentile schedule. The current study partially replicated the results of Hopkinson and Neuringer (2003). In particular, behavioral variability increased when delivery of reinforcement shifts from a non-contingent schedule to a percentile schedule contingent on variable responding. Notably, in the return-to-baseline condition behavioral variability decreases but not to baseline levels. There was no clear correlation between performance on the behavioral variability task and other cognitive measures. The implications and limitations of the study will be discussed.

 

Education to Employment: A Summary of the PROMOTES Employment Project After Year One. Kayla Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Kimberly Peck (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Patrick Wieszciecinski (Western Michigan University)

 

 Individuals with disabilities often struggle with social and other job-related skills, which may impact their marketability when applying for employment positions (Tomblin & Haring, 2000). In an already competitive job market, individuals with developmental disabilities are severely underemployed (Hartman, 2009). In collaboration with a local intermediate school district, a Midwestern university developed the PROMOTES (Providing Realistic Opportunities to Mentor On-site Training for Employment Skills) Employment Project to service these needs.

 

The PROMOTES program is based in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and supports the development of vocational and job-related social skills relevant to success in the workforce. This year, eight young adults diagnosed with autism participated in the program and received job-related, best-practice training and instruction. On-going training was rooted in the Behavioral Skills Training (BST) framework, and included instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Additional instructional strategies were utilized on an individualized basis, and included fluency drills for specific job-related tasks, video modeling, and self-monitoring techniques. Employment data for PROMOTES participants (i.e. number of applications filed, call backs, interviews, and job offers) and social acceptability measures for participants and staff members were collected. Discussion will focus on strengths of the program and areas for future development.

 

The Effects of a Changing Criteria Schedule of Reinforcement on Increasing Employee Attendance. Victoria I. Cummings (The Children's Center of Wayne County), Kristen Cyrul (The Children's Center of Wayne County)

 

Behavior Technicians have a great deal of responsibilities in center-based ABA settings. Being on-time for their scheduled sessions allows for materials to be prepped, client workstations to be set up appropriately, and data sheets to be set up properly. The current research tested the effects on a group contingency and changing criteria design on increasing the timeliness of Behavior Technicians in a center-based ABA setting. Results indicated that the interventions implemented successfully increased timeliness by 40% or more.

 

The Effects of Electronic Data Collection, Immediate Graphic Feedback, and Automated Scheduled Prompts on Data Collection Adherence. Cody Morris (Western Michigan University), Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University)

 

While data are essential to behavior analysis, collecting the type of data that behavior analysts often require can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. There have been many attempts to reduce the amount of time and effort required to collect behavioral data; most recently research in this area has been focused on computerized or electronic ways to do this. While electronic data collection seems to be gaining popularity within applied behavior analysis, many obstacles still exist. The purpose of this project was to design a data collection system that was cost-efficient, adaptable, easy to use, and effective at increasing data collection adherence. This study used a customized data spreadsheet with embedded immediate graphic feedback using the Microsoft ExcelÆ app and automatic scheduled prompts using a calendar app. This study used an A-B design to examine the effects of an electronic data sheet, immediate graphic feedback, and automated scheduled prompts on data collection adherence

 

The Effects of Verbal Replacements, Social Skills Training, and Role-Playing on Increasing Appropriate Social Greetings in a Child Diagnosed with Autism. Rebecca Taylor (The Children's Center of Wayne County)

 

Minimal research exists regarding specific verbal replacement behaviors. Most of the research suggests teaching replacement behaviors through FCT training, extinction, and over-correction procedures (Carr & Durand, 1985). Research suggests that if the problem behavior likely serves a social function (escape or attention), one appropriate alternative would be teaching some form of assistance (Carr & Durand, 1985). The literature also suggests that combining interventions may increase response diversity (Napolitano, Smith, Zarcone, Goodkin, & McAdam, 2010). Children diagnosed with autism oftentimes exhibit social skill deficits (Napolitano, Smith, Zarcone, Goodkin, & McAdam, 2010). The rationale for the current study was to increase functional, socially-appropriate responses when the participant was greeted by both known and novel individuals.

 

Establishing Social Praise as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism. Michael Tomak (Western Michigan University), Margaret Wright (Western Michigan University), Sydney Harbaugh (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Praise and attention seem to naturally acquire reinforcing properties for children, often functioning as a reinforcer for them to learn and maintain a majority of the behaviors that they engage in. While theoretically, establishing attention and praise should be fairly simple, most research has been inconsistent in finding successful results when attempting to do so with children diagnosed with autism. When comparing the efficacy of a stimulus pairing procedure versus an SD procedure, it was found that the SD procedures had better results in establishing learned reinforcers, but those results were not consistent across all subjects (Holth et al., 2009). This study will consist of three experiments in which the end goal, will be to establish praise statements as learned reinforcers for a 5-year-old girl diagnosed with autism. Experiment 1 will use a shaping procedure and reinforcement of spontaneous eye contact to increase spontaneous eye contact as well as eye contact following the removal of a reinforcer. Experiment 2 will use a pairing and differential reinforcement procedure to increase responding to her name. Following these two experiments, Experiment 3 will replicate what is referred to as the SD procedure from Holth et al. in order to establish praise statements as discriminative stimuli for access to unlearned reinforcers. Following all 3 experiments, the participant showed an increase in skill acquisition using praise and attention as the sole reinforcer. While considering that a success, skill acquisition is still occurring at a higher rate using primary reinforcers showing that praise and attention are still not functioning as powerful reinforcers as other unlearned reinforcers. With the success of this experiment, our participant will be better able to learn and maintain skills in both, a discrete trial training and natural setting. It may also further our knowledge of how to best establish learned reinforcers for children diagnosed with autism.

 

Examinations of Differences Between PEAK Scoring System The Typical Percent Correct Scoring System. Brian Davis (Central Michigan University), Michael Brooks (Central Michigan University), Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University)

 

Common measures of response accuracy, such as percent correct responses, are often simple and easy to train and implement, but fail to reveal smaller but important advances in learning. The scoring system of the PEAK Relational Training System allows for tracking of prompt level and may be more sensitive to progress with little added effort. The goal of the current study was to demonstrate the increased utility of the PEAK scoring system over the common percent correct scoring system. Study 1 assessed the reliability of the PEAK scoring system by examining inter-observer agreement on PEAK scores following minimal training of the observers. Study 2 examined differences in the judgements of programs by clinicians following visual inspection of graphs generated using the PEAK system and the percent correct system. Finally, study 3 involved examining the usefulness of the PEAK system in depicting acquisition of new skills by collecting data on the acquisition of a new behavioral skill program with both the PEAK scoring system and the common percent correct system, and comparing the graphs of the resulting data. Results from our studies suggest that the use of the PEAK scoring system offers considerable benefits over the typical percent correct scoring system.

 

Experiential Avoidance in Parenting and Miscarried Helping in Caregivers of Pediatric Cancer Patients:  How Well Do Psychometrics of the PAAQ and HHI Hold Up? Casiana Warfield (Eastern Michigan University), Kristina Brookshire (Eastern Michigan University), Leah McDiarmid (Eastern Michigan University), Rachel Kentor (Eastern Michigan University), Megan N. Perez (Oklahoma State University), Lauren Ostarello (Eastern Michigan University), Michelle Byrd (Eastern Michigan University), Kristen Kullgren (University of Michigan)

 

 Experiential avoidance in parenting, indicated by higher Parental Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (PAAQ; Cheron et al., 2009) scores reflects parental avoidance of children’s negative emotional experiences and predicts poorer psychosocial outcome in general clinical and pediatric samples. Miscarried helping, indicated by higher Helping for Health Inventory (HHI; Harris et al., 2008) scores reflects how ineffective communication from well-intentioned parents of children with chronic diseases become barriers to treatment. As the PAAQ and HHI have not been validated in pediatric oncology, the purpose of this investigation was to evaluate scale psychometrics within a larger study of parent-child communication. Caregivers (n=161, mean age=41.3, 86.4% female) of children with cancer (mean age = 8.8, 57.7% male) completed an electronic survey. Mean oncology PAAQ was comparable to child anxiety PAAQ (Cheron, 2009), yet significantly higher than non-clinical samples (p<.01, Moyer, 2015). PAAQ item-total correlations (-.002-.42) were weak, and internal consistency (&#945;=.59) was poor, poorer than in child anxiety samples (&#945;=.65; Cheron, 2009). In contrast, mean HHI was lower than among caregivers of children with diabetes (p<.001, Harris, 2008; p<.001, Duke, 2016 pre- and post-intervention), and chronic pain (p<.001, Fales, 2014). HHI item total correlations were .12-.49 and internal consistency was acceptable (&#945;=.71) in our sample, though less robust than in diabetes (&#945;=.81-.83; Harris, 2008; Duke, 2016) and chronic pain samples (&#945;=.83; Fales, 2014). Findings suggest the PAAQ is not as psychometrically sound as the HHI in families of child cancer patients.  Further psychometric study of the PAAQ in larger oncology samples is warranted.

 

Explicit Programming for Icon Rings: Visual-Based Direction Following. Chelsea Doty (Western Michigan University), Samantha Borowski (Western Michigan University), Justin J. Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this study was to conduct explicit programming on icon rings. Icon rings were used as visual aids that could have been used with children with autism. They were created to be presented when a child was given a specific instruction such as "sit down" or "stand up" or when they were about to complete a transition to another setting. The icon rings were not being presented in baseline. Some past research has aimed to train visual cues as a prompting technique for verbal instruction; however, the current study focussed on training the icons so they could be used when the tutors provided instructions to the children (Chesnut, Williamson, & Morrow, 2003). The study used a multiple-probe across behaviors (e.g., sit, stand, and walk) design. The intervention involved using a least-to-most prompting procedure to train each icon. We worked with two students in this study.They included two 3-year old children with autism. The results indicated that both children were able to correctly respond to each icon when presented. The children became more successful in their classroom by following instructions independently when an icon was presented. A discussion of troubleshooting processes and directions for future research are presented.

 

Extinction Contingencies to Increase Eye Contact and Vocalizations When Manding. Katelyn Buchholz (Western Michigan University), Taylor Festerman (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the present study was to increase eye contact and vocalizations for students diagnosed with autism through differential reinforcement in the context of mading. Mand training is often one of the first targets for early intervention programs for children diagnosed with autism, and research has demonstrated that differentially reinforcing eye contact and vocalizations in the context of mands can be an effective teaching strategy (Carbone & Sweeney-Kerwin, 2013; Plavnick & Ferreri, 2012; Valentino et al., 2011). This intervention was chosen for both participants due to a lack of eye contact and appropriate speech sound vocalizations. An ABC design was used to first teach participants to request items in their environment by pointing. Once the participants were reliably manding, differential reinforcement was used to increase eye contact, and finally vocalizations were increased in the context of the established mands. Secondary measures were collected on attending to procedure materials and orienting towards instructors while engaged in discrete trial training (DTT). This study contributes to the development of knowledge of behavior analysis by extending eye contact and vocalizations research to children who do not have already established vocal mand repertoires. Methods used for teaching eye contact and vocalizations will be discussed, and changes in eye contact, vocalizations, and attending to procedure materials and instructors will be examined. This research contributes to the literature on differential reinforcement, and adds support to research showing the important benefits of targeting mand training in early intervention programs.

 

An Evaluation of a Preparatory System for Transitioning: A Replication. Naomi Magnotte (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a most-to-least prompting strategy to teach the use of visual activity schedules (VAS) to children with autism in an early intensive behavioral intervention classroom using an AB design. Individuals diagnosed with autism often have difficulty acquiring lengthy response chains, learning how to follow a schedule, and fail to engage in a response without a verbal or physical prompts from another person (Macduff et. al., 1993). Steps for using the VAS were defined in a task analysis and prompt levels were systematically faded for each step. A correct response was defined as engaging in the response either independently or not needing a more intrusive prompt level than what was prescribed for the phase of the intervention. The EIBI classroom did not have an established method for teaching the use of VAS prior to the study. Participants were transitioning to a less-intrusive classroom in which they used VAS, but had not been exposed to them yet. This study contributed to research on teaching this skill using a most-to-least prompting strategy, as opposed to graduated guidance (Bryan & Gast, 2000; MacDuff, Krantz, & McClannaham, 1993; Pierce, Spriggs, Gast, & Luscre, 2013). Results indicated that most-to-least prompting was a valid method for teaching the independent use of VAS. Future research should measure on-task and on-schedule behaviors after or while teaching VAS with a most-to-least prompting strategy.

 

Increasing Appropriate Mealtime Behavior. Danielle Prentice (Western Michigan University), Sydney Harbaugh (Western Michigan University), Kelly Kohler (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the present study was to increase appropriate mealtime behaviors while also teaching alternative responses for inappropriate behaviors. Previous research by Piazza et al. (2003) stated that, "the complications from feeding problems range from mild (e.g., missed meals) to severe (e.g., malnourishment, lack of growth, or failure to thrive).” Volkert and Vaz (2010) found a number of different treatment packages to be successful in increasing consumption, one of which included stimulus fading. The target behaviors we aimed to increase included the acceptance and consumption of target foods and the proper use of age appropriate utensils and drink ware. Acceptance and consumption was increased using a fading procedure. A shaping intervention was used to increase appropriate Utensil and drink ware use. We also aimed to teach alternative responses for the inappropriate behaviors of throwing food, placing food outside of the provided container, and whining or any form of self-injurious behavior (SIB). The proper disposal of foods into a provided container was trained using positive reinforcement and least intrusive prompting methods. Whining and SIB were monitored and subsequently reduced with the previously described fading procedure for target foods. All procedures described utilized a changing criterion design. Results of the study will be detailed in the poster presentation.

 

Improving Vocal Verbal Skills and Functional Direction Following. Tristen L. Jessup, (Western Michigan University), Alexa Hill (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this research project was to assist children with limited echoic repertoires and lack of generalized instructional control to improve their communication skills and academic success. The procedures developed assisted with acquisition of generalized echoic skills, new functional direction skills, and improved spontaneous and independent vocal verbal mands. Speaker immersion training, involving contrived motivating operations in general activities, has shown success in improving the rate of spontaneous and independent vocal verbal mands for children with developmental disabilities. This project involved a modified approach to speaker immersion using functional directions from the subject's classroom activities. The child used in this study was 4-years-old, diagnosed with a language delay, and received ongoing behavioral services as part of a preschool ABA classroom. The experimenter utilized a simple baseline multi-element design for the purposes of this study. The procedures involved training generalized echoic responses related to directions given during classroom activities, discrete training of the directions themselves, and then the implementation of a speaker immersion procedure involving a response-chain interruption and echoic prompt to teach vocal mands. Bringing the student's direction following under appropriate stimulus control will make it more likely that he will respond appropriately to instructions in future academic settings. Generalized echoics, direction following, and vocal mands will improve his communication and general developmental success especially when transitioning to less-restrictive academic settings. Project results will be presented after the project is finalized.

 

Increasing Vocal Verbal Skills and Increasing Functional Independence in the Classroom. Ariana Yoder (Western Michigan University), Elisabeth Coffel (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this project is to increase functional independence in the classroom and simultaneously increase vocal verbal skills in a child with autism by using the Kaufman Word Shell Flashcards and a visual activity schedule that incorporates a choice component. Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) fail to develop language skills (Carbone, 2012) and although no published study has been conducted using the Kaufman Word Shells to increase vocal behavior in a child with autism, Vincent Carbone has reported success with this method (2012). The Kaufman Word Shell Flashcards break down full words into small approximations and through shaping, these approximations are gradually increased in difficulty until the full word is targeted (Kaufman, n.d). Additionally, daily activity schedules and the implementation of choice into the child's everyday environment has been shown to decrease problem behaviors and increase functional independence (Pierce & Spriggs, 2013). The participant in this study has been unable to progress to the next stage of his education due to high rates of problem behavior and a lack of functional communication skills. Increasing both communication and functional independence will help this child progress to a kindergarten classroom and will ultimately help to bridge the gap between his current skill level and the skill level of his typically developing peers. Results of the study will be discussed.

 

Increasing Independent Vocal Mands in Children with Autism Using In Vivo Mand Training. Leah Trombley (Western Michigan University), Katherine Mahaffy (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of the present study is to increase the frequency and complexity of vocal mands independently produced by children with autism. It is common for children with autism and other developmental disabilities to show deficits in communication, such as a mand repertoire. Skinner (1957), identified in his analysis of verbal behavior, that the mand is the most advantageous verbal operant for speakers while being exclusively under the control of motivating operations. The study was conducted with a three-year-old boy diagnosed with autism who was receiving early intensive behavioral intervention. Although he had a vocal imitative repertoire, he was not consistently producing independent vocal mands for items he wanted. Finding motivation for items within the classroom environment had always been difficult. However, he showed high motivation for food items offered during meals. This study used a single-subject research design to assess the effects of an in vivo mand training procedure that included a vocal prompt fading procedure to acquire independent vocal mands, as well as a target behavior criterion change to expand the vocal mand. While the study is currently in progress, we expect to see an increase in vocal mands emitted by the student. This study will provide additional research in the area of vocal mand training for children with autism.

 

Increasing Shared Attention in Children with Developmental Delays. Jessica VandenBoom (Western Michigan University), Shelby Esman (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to present with deficits in joint attention (JA; Carpenter, Pennington, & Rogers, 2002). JA involves two response classes, including responding to JA (RJA; i.e., responding to other people's mands for attention), and JA initiation (JAI; i.e., manding for attention from others). Despite the prevalence of this deficit, there is little published research targeting RJA or JAI repertoires with young, nonverbal children with ASD. Whalen and Schreibman (2003) evaluated prompt fading and positive reinforcement techniques to teach JA behaviors, however performance data during training were excluded from publication. The current study assessed the effects of similar prompt fading and positive social reinforcement contingencies on RJA with nonverbal children, ages 3-5, diagnosed with ASD. RJA was defined as shifting gaze to an indicated object, and back to the initiator, within 10 seconds of a bid for JA. RJA was followed by social attention from the adult. The initiation involved the adult acquiring eye contact, then shifting their own gaze, pointing to an object, and saying, "look." This discriminative stimulus was initially accompanied by additional prompts, including moving the object into the participant's line of sight, moving the participant's hand toward the object, or tapping on the object. After training, each participant independently responded to bids for joint attention in the classroom environment. Evaluating an intervention to improve RJA in children diagnosed with ASD may result in an empirically-validated intervention which can be implemented with more individuals in need.

 

Increasing Vocalizations and Establishing Echoic Stimulus Control. Shannon Rupnow (Western Michigan University), Logan Wurster (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Verbal behavior is important for children with developmental disabilities because it can lead to social interactions and communication with peers (Barton & Wolery, 2010). Children with autism or developmental disabilities often have difficulties with social interactions or communication with peers due to a deficit in vocal-verbal behavior. Verbal Behavior is an important skill for children with developmental disabilities to acquire. Among the difficulties that children display, establishing an echoic repertoire can be one of those areas that children tend to have difficulties in. An echoic repertoire permits a learner to imitate virtually any vocal model, which is crucial in the acquisition of vocal-verbal behavior. The purpose of this study was to shape an echoic repertoire in children with autism who did not demonstrate echoics during baseline or had limited appropriate speech sounds. The study started by reinforcing any functional sounds emitted, excluding non-speech sounds (e.g., screaming, grunting). The next phase utilized differential reinforcement and shaping to increase the variability in the sounds being emitted. Once variability had been established, the next phase used an echoic protocol to establish auditory stimulus control. The protocol involved targeting high rate sounds from the previous phases of the intervention. The results hope to show an increase in appropriate vocalizations and acquisition of an echoic repertoire. While there is vast research in other areas of acquiring verbal behavior, few studies focus on children who are not displaying consistent speech sounds.

 

Increasing Listener Comprehension Skills for a Child with Autism. Jessica M. Russell (Western Michigan University), Dana E Schwartz (Western Michigan University), Sydney M. Harbaugh (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of the present study was to increase listener comprehension in a child with autism by answering various "wh" questions after hearing a story or after watching various videos. Comprehension is an important prerequisite skill for communication and maintaining conversations. This study used a single subject research design to assess the effects of responding to various "wh" questions regarding short stories and videos on listener comprehension. The "wh" question procedure included both inferential and factual questions. Results will be detailed at the poster session.

 

Increasing Toileting Initiation and Toileting Independence for a Child with Autism. Karyn Joshua (Western Michigan University), Kristianna Ferrier (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Research has indicated toilet training to be one of the most important goals for many caregivers, yet toilet training goals are not always targeted at appropriate ages for individuals with developmental disabilities (Chung 2007). If an individual is not successfully toilet trained, they lose the opportunity to live an independent and successful life (Kroeger and Sorenson-Burnworth 2009). The goal of this research project was to decrease the instances of voiding accidents and increase the instances of independently initiating the toileting routine in a child with autism enrolled in an early intensive behavior intervention classroom setting. This study evaluated a scheduled sitting routine combined with the use of an underwear alarm that alerted the trainer of voiding accidents. An AB design was used to determine intervention effectiveness and to compare the frequency of accidents and bathroom initiations. This research hopes to show a decrease in voiding accidents and an increase in toileting initiation and may be vital to the acceptance of a classroom-wide toileting protocol for other students in the child's classroom who are not currently working on toilet training goals nor making progress. In addition, this project adds to the body of research on the effects of using an underwear alarm combined with a scheduled sitting protocol designed for a public school setting.

 

The JOY Program: A 12 week Behaviorally Based Parent Participation Model for Families of Children with Autism. Stephen Lyons (Healing Haven), Jamie McGillivary (Healing Haven), Lori Warner (Healing Haven)

 

Parent participation is key to a comprehensive behavioral program and positive outcomes for children with autism (Schultz, Schmidt, & Stichter, 2011). Although several parent training programs exist to explain basic concepts didactically, few focus on modelling and explaining the specifics of behavioral analytic methodology while engaging parents as active participants in therapy (Anan, Warner, McGillivary, Chong, & Hines, 2008) Early and intensive intervention is stressed for children, yet fewer clinicians recognize the need for early intervention for parental coping skills. Some of these skills include understanding the function of behavior, confidence in behavior management, skills to increase functional communication and social interactions, and skills to manage stressors associated with raising a differently-abled child (Mori, Ujiie, Smith, & Howlin, 2009). Our 12-week intensive parent participation program requires parents to overlap and intervene alongside a skilled behavioral technician and BCBA in both clinical and natural environments. Parents also receive weekly sessions of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to address individual needs and develop their psychological flexibility skills (Brassell et al., 2016) outside of their child's therapy. Measurable gains for children are noted through the Mullen Scales of Early Learning, with parental psychological flexibility skills increasing over the course of treatment.

 

Learning Colors Incidentally in an Art Room. Lyndsay Williams (Western Michigan University), Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), Jessica Frieder (Western Michigan University)

 

Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) is documented throughout the literature as the leading treatment for children with autism. While skill acquisition is efficiently taught through discrete trials, one potential disadvantage of EIBI centers is they lack a typical environment and activities as seen in normalized preschool or kindergarten classrooms which may minimize Natural Environment Teaching (NET). Previous research indicates that a successful transition from EIBI to a more normalized learning environment would need to include materials and demands similar to typical learning environments (Bailey & McWilliam, 1990). After hearing colors labeled in the context of an art project, using no programmed reinforcement, children with autism learned to tact those colors. We conducted a multiple baseline across colors in three different settings without programmed consequences with two children with autism in an early intervention center setting. Results suggest EIBI centers may benefit by including activities typical of early elementary school classrooms.

 

Let's Make Friends: Incidental Skill Acquisition during Group Instruction. Shayna Bedy (Judson Center), Julie Verstraete (Judson Center), Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center), Shelley Liquia (Judson Center), Emily Besecker (Judson Center)

 

The purpose of this study was to teach social skills incidentally to children with autism spectrum disorder participating in group instruction that is loosely based on Direct Instruction principles. This is in partnership with another study, "Wait For My Signal: Skill Acquisition Using Direct Instruction Principles," which focuses on the group instruction structure. Previous research indicates that teaching students with autism spectrum disorder in a small group is effective with academic skills and enhances incidental social interactions (Ledford & Wehby, 2015). The current study resulted in similar findings in that incidental social skills were acquired, including peer imitation, attending to peers, and responding to peer requests across generalized settings. The findings of this study demonstrate that Direct Instruction-based principles in a group also results in incidental skill acquisition.

 

Modified Intensive Toilet Training Protocol For A Child Diagnosed With ASD and Other Diagnoses. Katie Mattox (Building Bridges Therapy Center), Madison Myers (Building Bridges Therapy Center)

 

Following an unsuccessful toilet training based on procedures from Azrin and Foxx (1971), a modified version of this intervention was used to achieve urinary continence with one individual diagnosed with autism and several physical impairments. The toilet training procedure was modified several times based on the child's progress and was conducted across home, school, and other therapy settings by parents, therapists, and school staff. Diapers continued to be utilized while in a vehicle and during some activities. This child achieved urinary continence while in underwear and made significant improvements with bowel movement training. The clinical decision making process is discussed, and recommendations are provided for clinicians targeting toileting skills with individuals with multiple diagnoses.

 

Multiple Baseline of Behavior Skills Training Across Staff for the Implementation of Antecedent Interventions. Kirsten M. Rudd (Judson Center), Jared Coffin (Judson Center), Alyssa Desai (Judson Center), Elitca Murray (Judson Center), Michael Hough (Judson Center), Jacob Papazian (Judson Center), Emily Besecker (Judson Center)

 

Behavior Skills Training (BST) is a chaining instructional method consisting of four steps; instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback (Didden, Korzilius, Palmen 2010, Miltenberger 2012). According to Didden et al. (2010), BST has been shown to increase the implementation of antecedent interventions, and awareness of learning opportunities in the natural environment. There is little evidence supporting that BST generalizes across students once training has completed (Didden et al., 2010). The present study is a multiple-baseline determine the validity of BST across settings. Participants involved four behavior tutors employed at an outpatient clinic. These individuals were chosen to participate based on supervisor evaluations falling below clinic standards. Applying the skills learned in the BST modules, staff demonstrated a reduction in verbal prompts, and an increase in the use of antecedent interventions across students.

 

A Naturalistic Manding Procedure for a Child with Autism. Kelsey Hunter (Western Michigan University), Alyssa Uher (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University), Kelsey A Hunter (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this study was to increase the number of independent mands and decrease the occurrence of problem behavior emitted by a child with autism. Previous research has shown that escape maintained problem behavior can be decreased through the use of Functional Communication Training (FCT) (Geiger, Carr & LeBlanc, 2010). This study sought to add to the manding literature by providing additional evidence for the effectiveness of naturalistic teaching procedures. The procedure used in this intervention utilized within-session prompt fading to teach vocal mands for preferred items and activities within a classroom. The participant selected for this intervention was selected due to the occurrence of escape maintained problem behavior and also displayed a strong echoic repertoire. The child initiated the procedure when they indicated preference for an item or activity through pointing or by selecting an item when offered a choice. Once the child indicated their preference for an item or activity the child was immediately provided an echoic prompt for the name of the item or activity. The echoic prompt was systematically faded until the child was given the opportunity to independently mand for the item. The results are expected to show an increase of independent manding emitted by a child with autism.

 

Pellet Type as a Conditional Stimulus in Rats. Molly M. Conway (Central Michigan University), Eric J. French (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

 

Previous research in our lab found no evidence for any difference in the reinforcing effectiveness of various flavored food pellets commercially available for rodent research. The current experiment was designed to determine whether rats can actually discriminate between grain pellets with and without added chocolate flavoring.  This was accomplished by arranging a conditional discrimination procedure in which reinforcement was contingent upon a left or right lever press that in turn was conditional upon the pellet type received at the beginning of the trial. At the start of a trial, five lever presses on the center lever produced a single pellet (either grain or grain with chocolate flavoring; probability = 0.5). One second later, the two stimulus lights illuminated above the left and right levers. Correct responses were defined as a single left lever press if a chocolate pellet was delivered and a right lever press if a grain pellet was delivered.  A correct response immediately produced both a chocolate and grain pellet. The pellet deliveries were then followed by an 18-s inter-trial interval (ITI) in which all stimuli were extinguished. An incorrect response only produced a 20-s ITI. The data are still preliminary, but three of the four rats have achieved high accuracy (> 80% correct) within 10 days of training.  These early results suggest that the pellets compared in the present study indeed seem to be discriminable.

 

The Random Stimulus Design: Utility When Combined With the PEAK Curriculum and Tips for Practitioners. Michael Brooks (Central Michigan University), Rebecca Jokinen (Central Michigan University), Brian Davis (Central Michigan University), Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University), Christie Nutkins (Central Michigan University)

 

The PEAK curriculum for academic and verbal skills has demonstrated numerous benefits for children with autism. However, similar to other behavioral assessments, the number of stimuli trained does not imply concept mastery of the underlying skill and individual judgment is subject to bias. Combining the PEAK curriculum with an experimental design that incorporates assessments of generalization and concept mastery, such as the random stimulus design, may provide a better measure of skill acquisition. In the present study, we demonstrate the utility of combining the random stimulus experimental design with the PEAK curriculum in several human subjects diagnosed with autism. In the random stimulus design, groups of probe stimuli were presented without reinforcement or error correction as a baseline, and were alternated with groups of training stimuli which were presented with reinforcement for correct responses and error correction for incorrect responses. Response accuracy during probe sessions was low and all three groups of training stimuli were mastered (two consecutive sessions scoring 80% or higher) within ten sessions. One group of probe stimuli was then trained to criterion, requiring comparatively few sessions; thus indicating a faster learning rate than the previous training groups and suggesting mastery of the overall concept. The benefits of the random stimulus design in autism practice with the PEAK curriculum including avoiding repeated exposure of stimuli, replicating teaching effects, and objectively judging concept mastery are discussed.

 

Relational Frustration Predicts Reports of Externalizing Behaviors in Middle Childhood. Leah McDiarmid (Eastern Michigan University), Kayla Rinna (Eastern Michigan University), Carol R. Freedman-Doan (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Introduction: Externalizing behavior in childhood can be persistent and predict poorer outcomes, such as academic achievement later in life (Owens & Shaw, 2003). Research has indicated that externalizing behavior can affect, and be affected by the parent-child relationship (Roskam, Meunier, & Stievenart, 2011). The purpose of the current study was to assess how relational frustration, an aspect of the parent-child relationship is related to parent reports of externalizing behaviors, beyond reports of hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

 

Method: The sample consisted of parents of 90 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age (M=10.43 SD=1.44). Parents evaluated their relationships with their children using the Parent Relationship Questionnaire (PRQ; Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2006). The Conners 3 Report (C3-T; Conners, 2008) and Behavior Assessment System for Children or Adolescents (BASC-2; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2006) were used to assess hyperactivity/impulsivity and externalizing behaviors, respectively.

 

Results: A hierarchical regression analysis was conducted. The first model controlled for hyperactive and impulsive behaviors and accounted for a significant proportion of variance in parent reports of externalizing behaviors (R2 =.57, p <.001). With the addition of relational frustration, model two accounted for significantly more variance in reported child externalizing behavior problems (R2 change =.21, p <.001).

 

Conclusion: Current findings demonstrate relational frustration significantly predicts reports of externalizing behavior after accounting for the impact of hyperactive and impulsive behavior. This relationship suggests that addressing relational frustration in the parent-child relationship could be beneficial for assessment of and intervention on externalizing behavior in children.

 

Relationship Between Scholarship Amount and Hours Dedicated in College Students Measured Using A Cost/Demand Curve Framework. Matthew J. Dwyer (Eastern Michigan University), Lauren M. Ostarello (Eastern Michigan University), Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Behavioral economics research has demonstrated that cost/demand analysis can be used to determine the strength of particular reinforcers, and the effects of changes in price/cost of a reinforcer on choice behavior in human and animal populations. As part of larger project, a questionnaire was developed to assess the number of hours elite student scholars and athletes would work for a university scholarship valued at different monetary levels of tuition coverage. A cost/demand model was applied to visually explore how well this approach translates to this population.

 

Satisfaction vs. Efficacy: Assessing the Efficacy and Acceptability of a Behavioral Skills Training (BST) on Proactive Communication Strategies. Anna Brenner (Western Michigan University), Lilith Reuter-Yuill (Western Michigan University), Brian MacNeill (Western Michigan University), Sandra Garcia, MA (Western Michigan University), Jonathan Baker, (Western Michigan University)

 

Behavioral skills training (BST) is an empirically supported alternative to traditional, eclectic training techniques (Parsons, Rollyson, & Reid, 2012). Although there is a heavy emphasis on empiricism in behavior analysis, there is a dearth of studies that have explored the efficacy of these trainings using direct in-vivo observation methods (Fetherston & Sturmey, 2013; Palmen, Didden, & Korzilius, 2010). FOCUSED (Haynes, 2014; Ripich, Wykle, & Niles, 1995) training is an example of a direct in-vivo observation and is a behavioral skills training package designed to teach proactive communication techniques. The purposes of the present study are to 1) evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of the FOCUSED (Haynes, 2014; Ripich, Wykle, & Niles, 1995) training on increasing the verbal skills (i.e., written pre-test/post-test) and performance skills (i.e., in-vivo observation) of direct care staff employed at a community aging services day program, and 2) compare verbal and performance skills to acceptability measures. Results and implications will be discussed.

 

A Shaping Procedure Across Response Topographies. Jasmine Watson (Judson Center), Stephanie Hankins (Judson Center), Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center), Maija Reisterer (Judson Center), Emily Besecker (Judson Center)

 

Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities often have difficulties acquiring new skills with traditional teaching methods. To aid in the learning process, prompts are used to ensure that the individual is responding correctly and reinforcement delivered following the response. However, if the learner still does not acquire the skill independently, the therapist must closely examine the procedure to identify the problem and find a solution. Previous research has examined the effects of within stimulus prompts, physical prompts, gestural prompts, and overcorrection with positive results (Schreibman, 1975). All of the aforementioned prompts and procedures have been implemented with this learner, but were not successful. Upon further observation and assessment, it was determined that the learner was able to respond independently and correctly for many of the skills being taught, but correct responding was only observed if stimuli were presented in an upright position held in the therapists' hands. The focus of the present study will investigate a shaping procedure of holding stimuli in an upright position in therapists' hands to the desired end result of placement on the table. If an error occurs throughout the teaching process, an overcorrection protocol will be implemented.

 

Shaping Vocalizations and Establishing Echoic Stimulus Control in Children with Autism. Kelsey Turnquist (Western Michigan University), Taylor Raaymakers (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Children with autism show a variety of deficits in many areas. Typically, these children are able to progress through a Discrete Trial Training Curriculum (DTT) with ease. However, there are a percentage of children who struggle with this curriculum, one of those areas being in language acquisition. "One of the most challenging tasks in establishing functional verbal repertoires in autistic and other language-delayed children is teaching vocal imitation to children who have no speech and no ability to imitate" (Drash, High, & Tudor, 1999, pg. 29). As a result, these children struggle with communicating their wants and needs and living an independent lifestyle. The current study aimed to replicate Joseph Shane's Dissertation (Western Michigan University, 2016) by shaping vocalizations in children with autism and establishing echoic stimulus control. The study was comprised of three phasesóthe first two phases being a free operant phase in which any instances of vocalizations were reinforced. The third phase, which contained additional subphases, introduced an echoic prompt, using the most common targets heard in the first two phases. Results hope to show that the participant, a three-year-old male diagnosed with autism, was able to acquire a generalized echoic repertoire with the help of the intervention.

 

Teaching Functional Direction Following in a Group Setting. Sarah Fulcher (Western Michigan University), Breanna Burns (Western Michigan University), Katherine Mahaffy (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this study was to investigate acquisition of functional direction following through video modeling. Following directions is a skill children will need in their everyday life. Many children with autism master simple auditory discrimination procedures in a discrete-trial setting with targets including "touch nose" and "arms up", but do not rapidly acquire simple directions in a small group instruction setting when given instructions like "sit down" or "hang up backpack". Previous studies have demonstrated success teaching other daily living skills through video modeling (Wu, Cannella-Malone, Wheaton, & Tullis, 2016). This study was conducted using a simple baseline design. We selected participants who acquired simple auditory discrimination procedures in the discrete-trial classroom, but had not acquired simple directions in a group setting. We initially tested children's response to target functional directions, then taught those directions using peer video modeling. We tested for the acquisition of target directions in a one-on-one setting as well as the generalization of targeted directions to a group setting. This will be beneficial to children because they can see a short video model of a behavior and then generalize that behavior to other settings. This is also beneficial because it supports current research that video modeling is an effective way to teach children with autism. This study is in progress and results are pending further investigation.

 

Teaching a Child Diagnosed With Autism to Tolerate Physical Contact. Phylicia Ruso (Western Michigan University), Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The present study aimed to increase tolerating physical contact in a child diagnosed with autism during procedures, activities of daily living, and social play. After assessing six different types of prompt levels (shoulder, bicep, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand-over-hand) any resistance was defined as whining, crying, and pulling the arm back away from the prompter. The child is a four-year-old boy who had been in the discrete trial training classroom for 2 years prior to the intervention. The existing literature addressing tolerating physical contact or desentizing physical contact is limited, however, some studies have shown that using shaping and contact desensitization to be effective in tolerating physical contact (Cuvo et. al, 2010). The interventions used in this study included contact desentization and shaping. The six different prompt levels were assessed during baseline. Once the child met compliance criterion with one prompt level, we moved onto the next until the child complied with hand-over-hand prompting without resistance. Sessions were conducted in the child's school in three locations: in a leisure area outside of the classroom, at the table inside the classroom, and inside the child's work environment. Results will be discussed in the poster presentation.

 

Teaching Reciprocal Conversations using Video Modeling to a Child Diagnosed with ASD. Katie Mattox (Building Bridges Therapy Center), Kelsey Ruffin (Building Bridges Therapy Center)

 

Communication is one of the core deficits of ASD and is an essential skill in learning about and forming relationships. Video modeling was used as the intervention to teach a child to engage in reciprocal conversations. Baseline data shows that this child had extremely limited reciprocal conversational skills. Three scripts were taught during the intervention phase and video modeling was shown to be an effective intervention with this child. Additionally, these reciprocal conversations have maintained over time and have generalized across people and settings.

 

Teaching Play Skills Using Video Modeling. Avery Blackburn (Western Michigan University), Katherine Mahaffy (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the present study was to increase appropriate play skills in a child with autism. Pretend play usually develops early in typically developing children, however, this skill can fail to emerge in children with autism. Previous studies have suggested that video modeling is an effective method of instruction for addressing a wide range of skill deficits, including play skills (Boudreau & D'Entremont, 2010; Fragale, 2014; MacDonald et al., 2005). The intervention utilized video modeling to increase play skills using a single-subject design. Scripted play scenarios were videotaped using peer models and were shown to the participant via an iPad. During training sessions, the child viewed the videotaped scenario two times and was then given access to the toy set with no further prompting or reinforcement. This study contributed to the development of the participant's future by increasing the child's play repertoire, a prerequisite skill for reciprocal pretend play. In addition, the study contributed to the inquiry of video modeling as a modality for teaching play skills. In the future it would be important to extend this type of teaching to other functional skills for community engagement and play. The current study is still in progress and results are pending further investigation.

 

Teaching a Scanning Response to a Child Diagnosed with Autism. Autumn Lucero (Western Michigan University), Katherine Burnham (Western Michigan University), Katherine Mahaffy (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the current study was to teach a child to visually scan objects or pictures in their environment. Previous research has looked at specific visual tracking patterns in children with autism pertaining to disengagement and circumscribed attention (Landry & Bryson, 2004; Sasson, Turner-Brown, Holtzclaw, Lam, & Bodfish, 2008). The procedure used in this intervention suggests a way to teach the skill of scanning with regards to a matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure. Children were selected from a discrete-trial classroom based on the lack of scanning during a MTS procedure and failure to acquire the skill of matching objects or pictures. The goal of the scan training was for the child to visually scan pictures on the desk from left-to-right or right-to-left when given the SD "look." When given 3 picture cards on the desk and the SD to "look," the target response was visually scanning across all 3 cards. The tracking response was established using a prescribed prompt of visually tracking across the 3 cards with an edible, tangible, finger point and independently. Once the child scanned across the 3 picture cards independently for 3 consecutive days at eighty percent or better, the MTS procedure was reintroduced and accurate responses during the procedure were record. The procedure is still in progress for both children in the study. This research can help future research determine alternative ways to establish a scanning response.

 

The Use of a Mirror While Teaching Gross Motor Imitation Skills to Children with Autism Using Most-to-Least Within-Session Prompt Fading. Nicholas Ostosh (Western Michigan University), Giulia Avelar (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Many children with autism fail to develop imitation skills, which appears to be a trait specific to the autism diagnosis (Vivanti, Nadig, Ozonoff, & Rogers, 2008). Most-to-least (MTL) within-session prompt fading has shown to be effective in teaching imitation with few errors during training (Libby et al., 2008). The use of a mirror while teaching imitation has also shown to be an effective tool capable of speeding up acquisition of the skill (Miller, Rodriguez, and Rourke, 2015). The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of MTL within-session prompt fading while teaching imitation with and without a mirror present. We compared the number of sessions required to acquire imitative responses for different sets of imitation targets to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. The participants were two students enrolled in an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classroom who failed to acquire imitation using a procedure that utilized least-to-most error correction. A multiple baseline across sets of behaviors with alternating conditions (mirror and no mirror) was used to assess the effects of our intervention. Results are expected to show that rate of acquisition of imitative responses was quicker when using MTL within-session prompt fading in front of a mirror as opposed to the absence of one. These data will hopefully result in further progress of effective methods of teaching imitation to this target population.

 

The Use of Oral-Facial Imitation Training to Facilitate Echoic Responding. Rita M. Pruzansky (Western Michigan University), Guadalupe A. Batlle (Western Michigan University), Katherine A. Mahaffy (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the study was to investigate the use of oral-motor imitation training to increase speech production in a 4-year-old girl who demonstrated generalized imitation but had a limited echoic repertoire. Research in speech-language pathology recommends the training of speech-related motor responses for increasing speech, though many interventions employ the use of non-speech motor movements (Lof, 2006). There is currently only one other study that applies the principles of ABA to teach oral-facial imitation for the purpose of facilitating speech production (Garner, 2011). It was found that training oral-motor responses affect fluency in echoic responses for young children with autism. The current study employed a multiple baseline across targets design. Target oral-motor responses were chosen based on the child's initial performance on a probe of early and intermediate sounds that were typically trained in the classroom. Chosen sounds were those that the child did not reliably imitate, and for which related oral-motor responses could easily be taught. Oral motor responses were taught using a facial imitation task during which the experimenter presented a facial response that resembled the oral-motor response required for a target speech sound. Echoic probes were conducted before and after each facial imitation training session to determine the effect of training on the child's echoic repertoire. The intervention described in the study may be used for children with autism in a discrete-trial setting who have an imitative repertoire but are not acquiring speech. The current study is still in progress, and results are pending further investigation.

 

Using Functional Communication Training to Decrease Self-Injurious Behavior. Sally Weigandt (Western Michigan University), Brittany Cross (Western Michigan University), Kelly Kohler (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

This study aimed to decrease the rate of self-injurious behavior through the use of functional communication training (FCT) with extinction. Previous to this study, the participant was able to mand for two items independently, water and bottle. Also, tThe participant also had a history of head banging, while and hitting her arms, legs, and butt on or against hard surfaces. A brief functional analysis was conducted using a multi-element design to identify the variable responsible for maintaining the participant's self-injury (Iwata, 2015). The FCT training sessions were similar to the procedures described in a study by Hagopian et al. (1998). FCT has been widely researched, showing positive effects for multiple participants in various settings with a wide range of problem behaviors (Durrand & Carr, 1991, Kurtz et al., 2003, Groskreutz et al., 2014, Hagopian et al., 1998). We expect to see an increase in the frequency of spontaneous mands as well as a decrease in the rate of self-injurious behavior, as a result of this intervention.

 

Using a Treatment Package in a Classroom Setting to Reduce Problem Behavior and Increase Classroom Independence. Kaley Barnes (Western Michigan University), Gabryela Machado (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott, Ph.D., (Western Michigan University)

 

The present study aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of creating function-based treatments to reduce problem behavior and increase functional communication in children with autism. The participant was a four-year-old boy who had been receiving discrete trial training in a public school setting for 2 years. His problem behaviors consisted of eloping, flopping on the ground, running away from adults, as well as aggression. A trial-based functional assessment was conducted during his typical classroom routine to identify the function of the problem behavior. Previous literature suggested that the use of a trial-based assessment is less time consuming as well as less intrusive (Bloom, et.al., 2011). The participant was exposed to 2-minute control conditions, as well as 2-minute test conditions. Data were collected on the occurrences of problem behavior. A treatment package was implemented to reduce the problematic behaviors and to increase the use of classroom supports for his next academic environment. The treatment package consisted of an activity schedule and functional communication training. Results will be discussed in the poster presentation.

 

Using a Transfer Trial to Fade Prompts that Reliably Evoke the Correct Response. Benjamin Lowe (Western Michigan University), Zachary Husak (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this project was to increase independent responding in children with autism to enhance the student's receptive language skills through the use of an error-correction procedure. This project implemented an error-correction procedure to assess whether there may be a more efficient way to teach receptive language. This error-correction procedure utilizes a technique known as the transfer trial. This allows the student an additional opportunity to practice the correct response after making an error. The transfer trial repeats the trial but provides a less invasive prompt than the one used to occasion the behavior in the initial trial. The students following an incorrect response, were prompted using most-to-least prompting. The students were then presented with a high-probability (high-p) request known as the distractor trial. The students were again presented with the initial target request after the distractor trial. One student was involved and a single-subject research design was used in this study. The error-correction procedure was used during the student's receptive-identification procedure. The student ran this procedure for ten trials each day. Previously the student had ran sixty, ten-trial sessions and had not mastered one target object. The intervention is currently in progress for the student so there are no results to discuss. More research is needed to identify students who would benefit from this type of error-correction procedure (Rodgers & Iwata, 1991; Plaisance, Lerman, Laudont, & Wu, 2016; Turan, Moroz, & Croteau, 2012). This research could help future practitioners to identify students who would benefit from this type of error-correction procedure.

 

Using FCT within an EIBI Pre-School Classroom. Kayla Curry (Western Michigan University), Demetrius Harvell (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this study was to utilize Functional Communication Training (FCT). In addition, this study compared the reduction of problem behavior to an increase in independent mands and on-task behaviors. The procedure used in this intervention has worked in similar situations to reduce escape behavior and increased on-task behavior using FCT, extinction, and response chaining (Lalli, Casey, & Kates, 1995). A simple baseline design was used in this study and targeted several areas including manding and problem behavior. The goals for the procedure were to teach functional alternatives for problem behavior, increase mands, and to increase time on-task in the classroom. This was accomplished by teaching mands through a vocal manding procedure and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Targets were chosen based on the student's behavior before the onset of intervention. This research can teach children with autism functional alternatives to access the stimuli maintaining the problem behavior, increase their independent communication, and complete tasks.

 

Telehealth in the Provision of Service Delivery in Mental and Behavioral Health: A Systematic Review. Andrea Layne Miller (Western Michigan University), Zachary M. Husak (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University)

 

As the number of individuals in need of services increases, so does the need for trained professionals. Meeting the demand for services is especially challenging in rural areas due to low availability of service providers. Telehealth is a method of providing services using remote technology. In rural areas, where behavior analysts are in short supply, it can be the solution to close the gap in service provision. The purpose of this review is to examine telehealth service delivery, recommend telehealth strategies for behavior analysts, and identify areas that would warrant future research. To do this, we conducted a systematic keyword search on three electronic databases and reviewed a total of 55 articles in terms of participant characteristics, services provided, variables measured, technology used, security of technology, and effectiveness of telehealth interventions. Overall, this poster will describe our findings and their implications on behavior analytic services as a telehealth initiative. Additionally, we will discuss how our results can inform future behavior analytic research in this area.

 

Wait For My Signal: Group Skill Acquisition Using Direct Instruction Principles. Audrey Torma (Judson Center), Melissa Wilson (Judson Center), Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center), Shelley Liquia (Judson Center), Emily Besecker (Judson Center)

 

The purpose of this study was to facilitate skill acquisition for children with autism spectrum disorder in a group setting utilizing principles loosely based on Direct Instruction. Research has found that Direct Instruction in the classroom has yielded effective and efficient skill acquisition, in addition to maintaining skills over time (Botts, Losardo, Tillery & Werts, 2014). Furthermore, a structured Direct Instruction methodology promotes rapid acquisition of skills due to its repetitive nature (Hicks et al., 2011). Participants were ten boys in Judson Center's ABA services, ages 3 to 8 with autism spectrum disorder. Basic pre-academic skills had met mastery criteria in the 1:1 setting, but not yet generalized to a group setting. Once mastery criteria was reached for these group skills, a second group was started targeting specific, novel academic goals. The findings of this study indicate that Direct Instruction principles aid in children with autism spectrum disorder acquiring skills in a group.

 

Within-Session Progressive Gestural-Prompt Delay to Teach Receptive Identification. Keili Scott (Western Michigan University), Breanne Stiemsma (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of this project was to establish receptive identification in children in the preschool classroom so that they are able to acquire other necessary skills and transition to a less-restrictive classroom environment. A secondary measure was to determine if within-session progressive gestural-prompt (WSPGP) delay is more efficient and effective than least-to-most prompting in teaching receptive identification of stimuli. Previous research has shown that using a conditional-only method with a WSPGP delay is an efficient and effective way of teaching receptive identification (Vedora & Grandelski, 2015). The participant in this project was having difficulty acquiring receptive identification. A single-subject AB design was used in this project. Baseline data were collected on the receptive identification of three novel stimuli. WSPGP delay was used after baseline was conducted. The intervention is still in progress for the participant in this project. Sessions to criterion from the original classroom procedure, which used least-to-most prompting, will be compared with the sessions to criterion from WSPGP delay procedure after the participant meets mastery criteria.

 

Western Michigan University Graduate Programs in Behavior Analysis. Cynthia J Pietras (Western Michigan University), Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University)

 

 

 

 

Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan, Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197