BAAM 2018 Convention Schedule
This listing is tentative and subject to change.
Please contact BAAM if you find errors or omissions.

 

 

Thursday Morning Keynote

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

 

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz
University of North Texas

 

Behavioral Cusps: Twenty Years Later

 

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and Donald Baer first wrote about the concept of behavioral cusps in 1996. However, it wasn’t until the publication of a JABA article the next year (Rosales-Ruiz & Baer 1997) and a follow-up article by Bosch and Fuqua (2001) of Western Michigan University that the idea begins to spread throughout behavior analysis. A behavioral cusp is a special type of behavior change because it brings the organism in contact with new contingencies that have even more far-reaching consequences. The concept of the cusp has been both theoretically and pragmatically useful for the field of behavior analysis. In practice, the concept of the cusp helps guide the selection of target behaviors. In theory, it contributes significantly to our understanding of the way that behavior changes. This presentation will illustrate the concept of the cusp and distinguish it from other types of behavior change, such as generativity, and types of behavior, such as pivotal behaviors. It will also highlight some of the developments that have helped advance the concept of the cusp over the last 20 years, and discuss the theoretical importance of the cusp concept.

 

About Dr. Rosales-Ruiz

 

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an associate professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Behavior Analysis. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995, under the mentorship of two pioneers in the field of behavior analysis, Donald M. Baer and Ogden R. Lindsley. Jesús is one of the few scientists in the world studying animal training from both the theoretical and applied perspectives. He, along with his students, has greatly contributed to the understanding of the science and practice of animal training. Jesús also studies the antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, rule-governed behavior and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. He has also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Processes, and PLOS ONE. Jesús is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

 

Thursday Breakout Sessions

 

 

•10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom A

An International Perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavior Analysis: Views from Iraq, Sudan, and Canada.

 

Chair: Angela Capuano (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

 

Panelists: Angela Capuano (University of Michigan-Dearborn), Zahra Al-Sayag (University of Michigan-Dearborn), Ismael Eltayuddin (University of Michigan-Dearborn), & R. Marc Crundwell (Greater Essex County District School Board)

 

This panel will bring an international perspective to the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the availability and use of Applied Behavior Analysis in treatment. The panel will begin with a discussion on the international availability of applied behavior analysis and training programs, followed by a discussion of different cultural perspectives. One panelist will present her findings from a community based project in Iraq to educate families on applied behavior analysis and the treatment of ASD. Many families in Iraq were unaware that treatment for ASD existed. Another panelist will discuss cultural perspectives from Sudan and how this impacts treatment decisions. A third panelist will focus on service provision and availability in Canada. In Canada diagnostic and intervention services for children with Autism are the responsibility of each province. As in many countries around the world, there are significant differences in the services provided in each province for children with Autism, as well as the amount of funding that is provided to address the needs of children with Autism. In the majority of provinces, there is a focus on early assessment and intervention although issues with wait times are significant. This panel will contribute to the 2018 BAAM conference by broadening attendees' ideas about applied behavior analysis and to help them understand how cultural context can shape the treatment and viewpoints of ASD.

 

•10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m 310B
Let's Get to Work: ABA Approaches to Teaching Employment Skills.

 

Chair: Erin Sorenson (Western Michigan University)

Discussant: Caroline Gorman (Oakland University)

 

Young adults and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) face particular challenges related to finding and maintaining employment.  Employment challenges can be present due to individuals’ significant social and perceptual deficits including problems understanding social cues, understanding emotions, inflexibility with change, and difficulty adapting to new tasks and routines (Muller, Schuler, Burton, & Yates, 2003). Furthermore, many young adults find themselves unprepared to transition into competitive employment after formal education (Hartman, 2009). Several instructional strategies have been utilized for teaching these transition-related skills, including self-monitoring (Rusch & Dattilo, 2012), Behavioral Skills Training (BST), and video-based procedures such as video modeling and video prompting (Seaman & Malone, 2016; Gardner & Wolfe, 2015). This symposium will examine both a research study and a program evaluation focused on the utility of these instructional tools for teaching daily living, pre-employment, and job-related social skills for young adults and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Varied changes in performance levels will be discussed in relation to each of these strategies with the inclusion of a variety of training features.

 

The Effects of First-Person Point-of-View Video Modeling as a Strategy for Teaching Job-Related Social Skills. Kayla J. Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Kimberly M. Peck (Western Michigan University), & Sean Field (Summit Pointe)

 

Despite a growing emphasis on autism-related services, many young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are underemployed and unprepared for employment (Hartman, 2009). Social skill deficits are reported as the reason for 90% of employment loss (Murray & Doren, 2013), and nine of 10 reasons applicants are rejected during a job interview (Elsknin & Elsknin, 1991). One instructional method that has been used to teach social skills is video modeling. Past research on first-person point-of-view (FPPOV) video modeling (shown from the perspective of the performer) has demonstrated changes in behavior only when FPPOV video models are combined with additional intervention. This presentation will focus on a study conducted to examine the effectiveness of FPPOV video models as a stand-alone instructional tool for job-related social skills for four young adults diagnosed with ASD, ages 18 to 26. Results suggest that FPPOV video models alone were not effective for teaching job-related social skills until embedded in the Behavioral Skills Training (BST) package or after the addition of enhanced video features. This presentation serves as an extension of the video modeling literature and will present additional avenues for continued research on behavior-based instructional tools for job-related social skills.

 

Self Monitoring Pre-Employment Skills: A Program Evaluation. Jessica Korneder (Oakland University), & Kristin L. Rohrbeck (Oakland University)

 

An estimated 50,000 adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) turn eighteen annually in the United States, but they are unfortunately unprepared to engage in typical independent adult lifestyles when they graduate, including maintaining employment (Roux, Shattuck, Cooper, Anderson, Wagner, & Narendorf, 2013). Research shows that at least 35% of these young adults with Autism do not have jobs or receive postgraduate education after leaving high school (Shattuck, Narendorf, Cooper, Sterzing, Wagner, and Taylor, 2012). The ASD population has the worst employment outcomes of any group with disabilities: individuals on the spectrum who are employed tend to earn less, work less, and change jobs more often than their counterparts who do not have Autism (Hagner, Kurtz, Cloutier, Arakelian, Brucker, & May, 2012; Roux, et al., 2013).

 

The current program evaluation is aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive employment skills training program for adults with ASD. Teaching strategies evaluated include self-monitoring and feedback. Adults with ASD were evaluated by momentary time sampling, percentage of opportunities, and self-monitoring. Soft skills monitored include staying engaged, following directions, self-advocating, respectfulness, independence, peer interactions, assertiveness, and risk-taking. This program evaluation will assess participants growth in self-regulation techniques and increases in socially appropriate behaviors to increase successful pre-employment skills.

 

•10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Auditorium

Creating, Evaluating, and Maintaining a Supervision System for Infrequently Used but Essential BCBA Skills.

 

Panelists: Alissa Conway (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Western Michigan University), & Nathan VanderWeele (Kalamazoo Autism Center)

 

Behavior analysts are ethically obligated to provide effective supervision and training for supervisees (Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, 2014). It may be difficult in some applied settings to train essential, but infrequently used skills, for supervisees, to meet our ethical training requirements. This may require Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to set up a system for ongoing training and evaluation in areas specific to their service delivery model. To address the current topic, the presenters have designed a system to train graduate students in a consultative model to provide training and evaluation of essential, but infrequently used, behavior analytic skills before practicing independently. The presenters will outline the process for creating such a system, implementing and evaluating the system, as well as how to maintain the system.

 

•10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m 310A
A Single-Session of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Health-Related Behavior Change.

 

Chair: Olivia Gratz, BCBA (Western Michigan University)

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified tobacco use, physical activity, alcohol consumption, nutrition, and sleep as five key health-related behavior domains for chronic disease prevention. Only a minority of the population meet recommended guidelines across all domains. To impact population health, it is important to develop interventions that can be simultaneously focused, flexible, efficient, and efficacious. This symposium will discuss the initial efficacy of a single ACT session targeting health-related behavior change using an open clinical trial. In addition we will provide the structure and application of the protocol used, illustrated through the presentation of four cases (three successes and one failure) who received the intervention as part of this clinical outcome study. Lastly, we will take a closer look into the dependent variable, the health-related behavior survey, that was developed using survey questions from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), The Center for Disease and Control Monitoring, and the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise questionnaire survey in order to assess participants' monthly use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, as well as their level of exercise, eating habits, and sleep habits.

 

Description and Case Examples. Monica Barreto (Western Michigan University ), & Scott Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

 

Many who might benefit from behavioral health services do not receive them. In order to reach people at the scale that is needed to impact population health requires the development and testing of brief interventions. A reasonable place to begin is streamlining existing evidence-based interventions. The current paper describes a one-session (60 minute) acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) protocol for health-related behaviors (i.e., tobacco use, physical activity, alcohol consumption, nutrition, and sleep) identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as key for chronic disease prevention. After describing the structure of the protocol, its application is illustrated through the presentation of four cases (three successes and one failure) who received the intervention as part of a clinical outcome study. The case examples demonstrate that our ACT protocol might provide a useful organizational structure for brief applications thereby providing a model of deli

very that could be relatively broad in its reach.

 

An Open Clinical Trial. Monica Barreto (Western Michigan University), & Scott Gaynor (Western Michigan University )

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified tobacco use, physical activity, alcohol consumption, nutrition, and sleep as five key health-related behavior domains for chronic disease prevention. Only a minority of the population meet recommended guidelines across all domains. To impact population health, it is important to develop interventions that can be simultaneously focused, flexible, efficient, and efficacious. Toward this end, we examined the initial efficacy of a single ACT session targeting health-related behavior change. Using an open clinical trial design, 40 collegians (Mage = 20.95 [3.29], 90% female, 60% white) chose one of the five health-related domains to target and received the ACT session. Within-group analyses suggested an immediate post-session increase in confidence in making a change. At the 30-day follow-up, participants reported a significant and specific increase in actions taken toward the value of self-care. Moreover, the largest significant changes, and increases in satisfaction, were reported with respect to the targeted domain. Reduced but substantial change, and increased satisfaction, was also reported in domains that were functionally related to the target, while no changes in behavior or satisfaction were reported in functionally unrelated domains. The evaluation of ACT as a brief intervention is still in its preliminary stage. These initial results are promising and set the stage for subsequent studies.

 

Benchmark Against Normative Data. Thi Tran (Western Michigan University), Monica Barreto (Western Michigan University ), & Scott Gaynor (Western Michigan University )

 

College campuses are doing their best to help reduce and address the prevalence of drinking and risky sexual behaviors among students, but while doing so, few are addressing the health-related risk factors associated with chronic illness such as smoking, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating habits. The current study seeks to effectively measure health related behaviors including tobacco use, alcohol use, marijuana use, exercise, eating habits, and sleep and provide further evidence for an effective assessment tool. The wider scope of the assessment tool is to measure health-related risk factors for chronic illnesses in a single assessment tool versus individual assessments per health-related behavior, as it currently exists. There is lack of a universal assessment tool measuring the previously mentioned areas of health that can be used in settings such as medical clinics, research facilities, and primary care. Access to such an assessment tool can allow providers to gather important health-related information in a time-efficient manner. The survey was developed using survey questions from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), The Center for Disease and Control Monitoring, and the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise questionnaire survey in order to assess participants' monthly use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, as well as their level of exercise, eating habits, and sleep habits. Overall, the efficacy of the measurement tool, as a brief health-related behavior assessment, is still in its preliminary stage; this study will provide the field with information related to the efficacy of this assessment tool and the value it provides to health-care professionals and health-care assessments.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballroom B

How Do Untrained (and Sometimes Arbitrary) Relational Responses Emerge: A Conceptual Discussion of Relational Frame Theory (RFT).

 

Chair: Marissa Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

Panelists: Michael A. Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Matthew Campbell (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Olivia Gratz (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Carrie L. Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

This panel is the product of a subject that echoed through the hallways of our office intermittently for months, and can likely be heard in other behavior analytic communities with regularity: What is a relational frame? How does relational responding emerge? What is Relational Frame Theory's (RFT) place in our field, and why is it important?

 

Four behavior analysts with varied backgrounds discuss their personal views of RFT and relational responding under the influence of Hayes's interpretation of RFT; Skinner's interpretation of verbal behavior; Palmer's critiques of RFT and discussions concerning covert verbal behavior; and Sidman's stimulus equivalence research. Each presenter will give an analysis of what they believe to be key points to facilitate the discussion of RFT and relational responding, then will open the floor to audience input.

 

Lunch (on your own)

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom A
Third-Grade Reading Legislation (House Bill 4822): Implications and Opportunities for Behavior Analysts Working in Michigan's School Districts. Sonia M. Lewis (Lewis Learning Systems)

 

Reading research indicates that 90-95% of all students can achieve literacy levels at or approaching grade level. Furthermore, we have research telling us what evidence-based practices will produce better reading outcomes for learners. Yet, nearly half of American fourth graders have not achieved a minimal level of reading fluency and only 44% of Michigan's 3rd grade students in 2017 were proficient on the ELA M-STEP (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress). House Bill 4822, known as the Third-Grade Reading Legislation, was recently signed into law to specifically address the reading skills of Michigan's youth and has served as a catalyst for needed change in reading instruction across our state. However, knowing what works and creating new laws does not guarantee improved student learning outcomes. The gap from research to practice needs to be filled by high quality implementation, or a "specified set of activities designed to put into practice an activity or program." To accomplish this, high-fidelity practitioner behavior must be created and supported. This is an opportune time for behavior analysts to use the principles of our science to help create, strengthen, and support hospitable environments in school districts where strong leadership, solid organizational structures, and educators with the necessary competencies to deliver evidenced-based practices becomes routine practice. This presentation will describe how to get started and scale up supporting school districts in this endeavor, as well as show how these efforts are improving teacher instruction and learner reading outcomes in several schools.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom B

The Training Curriculum for Supervisors of ABA Technicians in Autism Programs. Breanne Hartley (LittleStar)

 

The Training Curriculum for Supervisors of ABA Technicians in Autism Programs is designed to train supervisors and aspiring supervisors in evidence-based methods of supervising staff who provide ABA (applied behavior analysis) services for people with autism. The content is based on over four decades of ABA research and application on staff training and supervision as well as the authors' hands-on experience. The content includes critical supervision knowledge and skills coinciding with the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB©) task list for effective supervision, and provides the BACBís required eight hours of supervision training. The curriculum is performance and competency-based, requiring trainees to meet classroom and on-the-job criteria to successfully complete the training. The Curriculum content is relevant for supervisors of staff providing ABA services across a variety of settings, including center-based programs, homes, schools, and clinics.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Auditorium
Avoidance in Behavior Theory. Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

 

Theoretical discussions of avoidance typically focus on (a) the function of a putative warning stimulus and (b) the appropriate way to specify the reinforcing consequence. Many researchers and theorists subscribe to a molecular two-process theory, where the warning stimulus is assumed to elicit classically conditioned fear as a motivating condition (process #1), and reinforcement consists of the escape from or at least reduction of the conditioned fear through an instrumental response that terminates the warning stimulus and concomitantly avoids the unconditioned negative reinforcer (process #2). Other researchers and theorists subscribe to a molar one-process theory, where the warning stimulus is simply discriminative and reinforcement consists of simply a reduction in the frequency of the unconditioned negative reinforcer in the post-response period. This presentation reviews basic methods and issues in the study of avoidance, then a series of experiments that address the merits of each account. Finally, a slightly different one process approach based on (a) a symmetrical interpretation of the law of effect and (b) delay discounting is offered as an alternative to the standard accounts.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m 310A
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Primary Care: Practical Applications and Incorporation into Family Medicine Residency Training curricula. Jennifer D. Kowalkowski (Beaumont Health), & Samantha Engels (Beaumont Health)

 

The evidence-based applications of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have been well documented across a wide range of clinical and nonclinical populations and settings (Smout, Hayes, Atkins, Klausen, & Duguid, 2012). Despite the primary care setting being referred to as the "de facto mental health system," (Kessler & Stafford, 2008) less of the literature base has focused on the utility of ACT in primary care offices and the use of these approaches by anyone other than a behavioral health clinician is nearly nonexistent in that setting. This paper will review some of the clinical applications in primary care (Robinson, Gould, Strosahl, 2011) and provide examples and guidance on the use of contextual interviews, cognitive defusion, values clarification, and other useful tools in brief patient encounters. Finally, the paper will conclude with insightful perspectives on training as a novice in ACT and the utility of contextualism as case conceptualization from a resident physician in family medicine. The future applications for primary care providers and suggestions for incorporating these clinical skills into medical training curriculums will be detailed.

 

•1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom A

An Examination of Behavior Analysts' Treatment Selection Behavior for Escape-Maintained Problem Behavior. Rebecca Eldridge (Western Michigan University), & Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University)

 

The advent of functional analysis procedures has helped identify reinforcers for problem behavior; however, the behavior analyst is then faced with the task of selecting an appropriate treatment for problem behavior. When selecting treatments, in addition to behavioral function, behavior analysts also need to consider contextual variables, such as current client repertoires, setting conditions, time and resources of current caregivers, as well as client and caregiver goals (Benazzi, Horner, & Good, 2006). Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) must consider these factors when developing treatment according to their ethical code (Behavior Analyst Certification Board [BACB]'s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code [PECC], 2015). However, it is unclear how behavior analysts approach selecting among these treatment variables when designing treatment plans. In recent years, researchers (Geiger, Carr, & LeBlanc, 2010) have developed tools, specifically decision trees, to guide practitioners in considering treatment variables (i.e., context) when designing function-based treatments. However, the effects of these decision trees on treatment selection are unknown. The present study examined how junior behavior analysts approach treatment selection for problem behavior through three separate but related studies. Specifically, this study evaluated the topography of "think-aloud" verbal behavior displayed by novice behavior analysts when designing a behavior intervention plan, as well as the effects of providing a decision tree on their verbal behavior and the appropriateness of treatment selection behavior in novice behavior analysts. Results could not confirm a clear effect of the decision tree on treatment selection behavior, although the content of the vignettes and participant learning histories may have affected behavior more than the presence or absence of the decision tree. Limitations and future implications are discussed.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m 310A
Practical Tips for Establishing and Maintaining Relationships with Employers When Providing Job-Related Supports. Kayla J. Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), & Erin L. Sorenson (Western Michigan University)

 

Individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and developmental disabilities often struggle with deficits in social and other job-related skills, which may impact their marketability when applying for employment positions (Tomblin & Haring, 2000). A review of employment services suggests that job coaching and behavior-based training strategies are essential for attaining successful employment outcomes (Westbrook et al., 2012). Particularly within employment settings, identifying how to most effectively provide on-site supports using methods that are acceptable to employers and the hiring organization is critical. This presentation will discuss several practical "dos and don'ts" for professionals on how to successfully establish and maintain relationships with employers when providing job-related supports, including suggestions for building trust, developing accommodations, and setting goals. In addition, a case example will be used to highlight considerations for data collection and behavior-reduction strategies when applied for individuals serving in paid employment positions.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m 310B
Predictors of Burnout Among Behavior Technicians: Personal and Organizational Level Factors. Shelby Wilson (Eastern Michigan University), Kirsten Rudd (Wayne State University), & Thomas Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Burnout, or physical and emotional exhaustion and disengagement from work (Demerouti, Mostert, & Bakker, 2010), is a common, negative experience among many employees, including mental workers and behavioral service providers (e.g., Ashtari, Farhady, & Khodaee, 2009). This is especially true for behavior technicians and special education teachers (e,g., Griffith, Barbakou, & Hastings, 2014). However, little research has examined predictors of burnout specifically in behavior technicians (BT's), individuals who provide ABA services to clients under the supervision of a BCBA or BCaBA. Given high rates of turnover among BT's, identifying factors contributing to BT burnout could be beneficial for improving agency retention rates. The current study examined predictors of burnout in a sample of 62 BT's recruited via email and social media. Participants completed questionnaires about personal factors (i.e., health, burnout) and factors related to their current BT positions (i.e., job characteristics, supervisor practices, child problem behavior). Results revealed that client problem behaviors were not associated with BT burnout. Supervisor practices, having regularly scheduled breaks, and BT emotional and physical health were found to be significantly associated with burnout. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that greater emotional problems and not having regularly scheduled breaks significantly predicted higher levels of burnout. Results suggest that some variables contributing to burnout are factors that organizations can intervene on. For example, scheduling regular breaks for BT's and promoting employee wellbeing by offering resources such as Employee Assistance Programs may help with alleviating burnout. Other implications will be discussed.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Ballroom A
Ethics and Non-Evidence Based Therapies: How to Respond to Caregivers' Request and Inquiries.

 

Chair: Angela Capuano (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

Panelists: Kim Killu (University of Michigan-Dearborn), Danielle DeLong (Harbor), & Angela Capuano (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

 

There are many options available to families for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Though many of these are well-established, evidence-based therapies, many therapies and treatments without empirical support exist and are readily available. Many of these approaches are very attractive to families living with ASD, and as such, practitioners of evidence-based therapies are often met with requests and inquiries to use them. There is clear direction in the Behavior Analyst Certification Boardź Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2016) with respect to responsibilities relating to the use of non-evidence-based treatments. This paper will provide a framework, guided by Kay (2016), on how to use the principles of applied behavior analysis to guide practitioners on how to respond to requests to employ approaches lacking empirical evidence. In addition, guidance from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2016) will be covered. Suggestions on how to use applied behavior analysis to collect data on the use of these practices and how to present these to families and caregivers will also be presented.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Auditorium
Troubleshooting Technology.

 

Chair: Cody Morris (Western Michigan University)

 

Panelists: Cody Morris (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Kolb (Western Michigan University), & Denice Rios (Western Michigan University)

 

Technology is a tool that can be used to provide access to or improve behavior analytic services. As advancements in technology occur, the technological resources for behavior analysts improve and open new doors. Teleconsultation, electronic data collection, and simulations are just a few of the technological avenues that are available to behavior analysts. While this growth is exciting, there are occasionally growing pains when implementing new technologies. Clinicians beginning or looking to begin the use of new technology to assist in behavior analytic services often encounter unplanned issues such as connectivity problems, privacy concerns, low-quality resources, and many more. Although difficulties in technology can sometimes be discouraging for clinicians trying to provide high quality services, planning for these difficulties can drastically minimize the setbacks. The purpose of this panel is to discuss issues encountered when beginning to use technology and the remedies for resolving them. The presenters will specifically discuss their experiences with telecommunication, electronic data collection, and Teachlive simulation technologies.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m 310A

ABA in the Healthcare Ecosystem: Relationships with the Pediatric Community. Steven Merahn (Chief Medical Officer, Centria Autism Services)

 

Applied Behavior Analysis as a discipline has evolved a professional identity independent from the primary communities where it is practiced: Healthcare and Education. In those communities of practice, the primary association with ABA in is in the context of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but there is limited understanding of the underlying principles of ABA, ABA as differentiated from other non-medical therapies for ASD, nor the full scope of potential indications for ABA in those communities. This presentation explores the cultural, disciplinary, regulatory, research and sustainability challenges that behavior analysis faces at the interface with healthcare in general and the pediatric community specifically. The paper will integrate pediatric, educational, and behavior analytic literature with real-world examples to illustrate the potential challenges to integrated care (including but not limited to frameworks for care planning, and conflicts between best practices and the concept of 'medical necessity') and make specific programmatic and policy recommendations to improve the understanding of the value of ABA in the evolution of the healthcare and educational systems in the United States.

 

•3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Ballroom B
Examining a Six-Session Version of the Evidence-Based UCLA PEERS Program Social Skills Training for Adolescents. Megan C. Pejsa-Reitz (Eastern Michigan University), Morgan Wright (Eastern Michigan University), Ellen Hart (Eastern Michigan University), Alix McLaughlin (Eastern Michigan University), & Renee Lajiness-O'Neill (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Social deficits occur in adolescents with a variety of clinical presentations, including autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (Nijmeijer et al., 2008; Spence, 2003). The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS), is an empirically supported, 14-week group intervention aimed at improving peer relationships in adolescents (Laugeson & Frankel, 2010). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a modified, six-week PEERS group intervention using the following modules with five male adolescents (ages 12-16): Introduction/Trading Information, Two-Way Conversations, Choosing Appropriate Friends, Entering Conversation, Exiting Conversation, Teasing and Embarrassing Feedback, Handling Disagreements, and Graduation/Termination. Parents and adolescents completed pre- and post-group assessments, including: Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS; Greshman & Elliott, 2008), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS; Constantino & Gruber, 2012), Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, Second Edition (MASC-2; March, 2013), and Children's Depression Inventory, Second Edition (CDI-2; Kovacs, 1992). Reliable change indices (RCI) were computed using methods recommended by Jacobson and Truax (1991) to evaluate changes post-intervention within and across group members. Reliable changes and trends toward improvement were indicated across participants on parent reports of social functioning and problem behaviors (measured by the SRS and SSIS). Trends toward improvement were observed on the self-reported SSIS social skills domain for participants that completed the measure. Trends toward improvement were observed for some participants on parent and self-reports of depression (CDI-2) and anxiety (MASC-2). The findings suggest that a modified, 6-week social skills program using the PEERS curriculum can facilitate improvement in social functioning

 

•3:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m Ballroom B
Evaluating the Impact of Simply Social Curriculum Based on PEERS Social Skills Model. Mallory Godin (Michigan State University), Richard Price (Michigan State University), Marisa Fisher (Michigan State University), Connie Sung (Michigan State University), Stacie Rulison (Simply Social), & Brandy Goodwin Kreisler (Simply Social)

 

Individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, (ASD), often have difficulties with social interactions. These social interactions can range from initiating an individual or group conversation to trading information when actively engaged in a conversation. Acquiring the skills necessary to engage in social interactions with others fosters the opportunity for individuals with ASD to form meaningful relationships in personal and professional settings. A quasi-experimental design was used to assess the acquisition of social interaction skills for eight participants, aged 14-17 yrs, in an after-school behavioral-based social skills program developed from the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) model. Skills in the following three social domains were assessed: entering a conversation; trading information; and exiting a conversation. Prior to the start of the program, participants first completed a video-based assessment in which they viewed 10 social scenarios and were asked to determine whether the social behavior depicted in the scenario was appropriate or inappropriate. Next, they were asked to determine, through a multiple-choice format, what behavior should come next in the social scenario. Finally, participants completed a role play within each of the three social domains and behaviors were coded for appropriate responses. Assessments will be repeated mid-intervention (week 7) and post-intervention (week 14). Pre-intervention data are currently being coded. Current results indicate that participants are able to discriminate appropriate from inappropriate social interactions and answer what comes next in social scenarios, but are unable to appropriately perform the three social interactions through role play

 

•3:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m Auditorium

A Behavioral Interpretation of Cognitive Screening Instruments Used in Aging Primary Care. Brian MacNeill (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

The number of individuals with dementia is large and growing in the United States. Cognitive screening instruments are a common tool used to identify individuals with impairments and track the progression of those impairments. These instruments typically assess deficits using a structural (e.g., focusing on cognitive domains) rather than functional interpretation (e.g., focusing on stimulus-response relations). This paper provides a functional analysis of cognitive screening instruments, followed by guidelines for how behavior analysts can interpret and use assessment results for treatment planning and research. In this paper, we review (a) common cognitive screeners used in primary care settings (b) identify and categorize cognitive domains assessed (c) interpret those domains from a behavior analytic perspective and (d) provide recommendations for those providing services in the area of gerontology. The benefits of a behavioral interpretation for those administering cognitive screeners and future directions regarding the role of behavior analysis in the development and refinement of assessments in the area of neurocognitive disorder are discussed.

 

•3:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m 310A
Achieving Optimal Outcomes for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Centria Model. Steven Merahn (Chief Medical Officer, Centria Autism Services), & James Macon (Regional Clinical Director, Centria Autism Services)

 

The concept of Optimal Outcomes for Autism Spectrum Disorder is controversial and has been variously defined based on scores on diagnostic tests; normalized benchmarks on developmental or educational assessments or a "rare but real" phenomenon of recovery. This paper, presented by a pediatrician and BCBA, offers a universal clinical operating model designed to improve our capacity to offer all children with ASD the 'Optimal Outcome' for every childhood: the opportunity to have the best developmental experience possible, acquire the skills to succeed in the world on their own terms and pursue their interests, goals and dreams. Centered on a solid foundation of standards and evidence from Behavior Analysis, but incorporating best practices for care delivery design and quality improvement from pediatrics, geriatrics and early childhood education, the model provides a set of principles which define and shape clinical operations, both at the system-level and the person-level, and uses principles of interaction design to manage the child and families journey from pre-diagnosis through care planning, adherence to plan, and a sustained therapeutic alliance.

 

 

 

Friday Opening Session

 

•9:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m Ballrooms A & B

Behavior Analysis and Climate Change

 

Chair & Discussant: R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)

 

Evidence of climate change is abundant and persuasive, from rising global temperatures, to shrinking snow cover and sea ice, to the increasing frequency and intensity of weather events related to climate change. Evidence that human activities, especially the emission of greenhouse gases, are important contributors to global warming is also persuasive. The founding principles of applied behavior analysis emphasis the importance of behavioral issues that are important to society and the development of effective strategies to manage behaviors that improve quality of life. It is difficult to imagine a behavioral challenge with more far-reaching consequences than climate change yet behavior analysts have been relatively slow to adopt climate change as a focus of research and theory. In this symposium, we will review some of the conceptual and practical contributions, both at the individual and systems level, that behavior analysts (and other social scientists and policy makers) can make to developing an effective strategy and research agenda to address climate change.

 

Understanding Climate Change Denial and Inaction: Does Behavior Analysis Have Anything to Add? Cynthia Pietras (Western Michigan University)

 

A growing proportion of Americans are acknowledging the danger posed by a warming climate, few are worried that climate change will threaten them personally, and few are taking direct action. Scholars from various disciplines have explored the psychological processes -- including verbal processes -- that contribute to climate change denial and inaction, and at least three books have been recently published on the topic (Marshall's Don't even think about it: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change, Stoknes' What we think about when we try not to think about global warming, and Hoffman's How culture shapes the climate change debate). These works examine reasons for climate inaction/denial from an eclectic perspective (e.g., cognitive, social, and evolutionary psychology) and offer suggestions for how to change people's opinions and induce sustainable actions. Some behavior analysts have researched ways to increase sustainable behavior, but such efforts have been relatively limited. Furthermore, behavior analysts have offered little in the way of conceptual analyses of verbal behavior related to climate change. The purpose of this talk is to review these books with the goal of identifying ways in which behavior analysis might contribute to this discussion.

 

Can Games Save the World from Global Warming? John Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, LLC)

 

The United Nation's 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2014 that global warming due to increases in greenhouse gases (GHG) caused largely by human activities threatens world populations and requires immediate world action (IPPC, 2014). The report recommended several governmental adaptation and mitigation policies, e.g., building seawalls, reducing GHG. Most world governments have responded positively, whereas the US government has done little and recently denied the existence of any danger. Several books have described this inaction in cognitive terms suggesting ways to change one's thinking so that people can make more appropriate responses to global warming. An alternate approach is to change behavior directly. Behavior analysis has been quite successful at changing behavior irrespective of verbal behavior. This talk will consider the behavior analytic use of current technology, specifically, gamification to change behavior with respect to cli

mate warming. Recently an increasing number of apps and serious games have been developed to change health and fitness behaviors and to teach language (e.g., Fitbit, Duolingo). However, few apps have been developed to save the planet from GHG. We will suggest possible independent variables needed for such an app and dependent variables recommendations to reduce GHG (Hawken, 2008).

 

Behavioral Economic Intervention to Address Global Climate Change. Anthony DeFulio (Western Michigan University)

 

Global climate change has become the central focus of environmental conservatism because it is an existential threat to humanity caused by the actions of humans. Because human action is directly responsible for climate change, the problem is by definition behavioral. Because of the global scale of the problem, and the involvement of industry, the problem is also necessarily economic. Thus, the field of behavioral economics, which combines the fields of economics and psychology, is of clear relevance to the problem of global climate change. This presentation will include (1) an explanation of the two uses of the term behavioral economics, (2) a basic overview of behavioral economics as construed by the vast majority of behavioral scientists, social scientists, and policy makers, (3) a brief survey of the contributions of behavioral economists to the problem of climate change and (4) suggestions for how behavior analysis can make better contact with the field of behavioral economics, in order to aid the latter in its efforts to address global climate change.

 

Influencing Cultural Selection: Evidence-based Policy and Behavior Analysis. Brandon Martinez-Onstott (Western Michigan University)

 

Why should Behavior Analysts get involved in changing policy, creating evidence-based policy, and how does policy influence responding of both the individual and the group? Our society evolves when social values and corresponding response patterns, contribute to the success of the practicing group in solving its problems (Skinner, 1981). Evidence-based policy, is policy that is empirically supported, and is also sensitive to social concerns. How better to improve society, then to influence policy through applied behavior analytic research, and evidence-based practice? Better applications, it is hoped, will lead to a better state of society, to whatever extent the behavior of its members can contribute to the goodness of a society (Baer, Wolf, Risley, 1968). Climate change is a real problem that needs all scientists to contribute to forming policy that best supports our culture's survival. It is hypothesized that policy restricts responding of the group and potentiates certain response classes, likened to that of an instructional stimulus SDi, increasing the probability of certain responses occurring within the context of an individual analysis of behavior. By changing the environment in which our culture responds in, through the establishment of evidence-based policy, behavior analysts may have a significant impact on the survival of our culture and our species.

 

•10:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Auditorium
Assessment and Treatment Through the Lifespan.

 

Chair: Sean Field (Summit Pointe)

Discussant: Mindy Newhouse-Oisten (Western Michigan University)

 

As the field of Behavior Analysis continues to expand its presence and role with regard to treatment for individuals with autism practitioners face new challenges. These include identifying relevant and functional skills for programming, utilizing resources within and outside the field of behavior analysis to inform treatment, and participation with practitioners that have histories of service other than that of early intervention. This symposium will seek to provide a summary of assessment and treatment options and issues across the lifespan for individuals with autism.

 

Interpreting Diagnostic Reports from a Behavioral Perspective: How Can This Influence Your Assessment? Mindy K. Newhouse (Western Michigan University)

 

Behavior analysts often have much information about a client when they first receive a referral, such as intake paperwork and diagnostic reports. Often, however, this information is not presented in precise behavioral terminology. This presentation will review how to interpret diagnostic reports in a way that will make the information more useful for the behavior analyst, and will discuss how information available in such reports can inform the selection of an appropriate skills assessment.

 

Assessment and Treatment of Autism During Adolescents: Expectations, Applications, and Barriers. Sean P. Field (Summit Pointe)

 

With the expansion of ABA benefits to individuals beyond the age of six, practitioners face new challenges in the assessment and treatment of autism. Specifically, an increased reliance on the use of assessments used outside of typical behavior analytic training environments and the identification of skills and targets within developmental frameworks other than those of the early milestones of development. This talk will seek to provide practitioners with an understanding of developmental expectations of customers in adolescence. Additionally, a review of assessments and tools that are available for the assessment and identification of targets to assist their customers. Finally, barriers relating to the development and implementation of programming for adolescent customers will be discussed with recommendations towards overcoming common barriers.

 

Behavior Analytic Treatments for Older Adults With Disabilities In An Adult Day Services Program. Brian MacNeill (Western Michigan University)

 

The number of older adults with disabilities is large and growing in the United States. One aspect of care for the aging population includes adult day services programs. These programs focus on maintaining and improving skills of participants while postponing out-of-home nursing home care. This paper provides information on how behavioral interventions have been incorporated in an adult day services program to support the overall goal of maintaining independence. In this paper, we review (a) steps taken to integrate behavioral services into an adult day services program and (b) treatment planning and functional life skills goals. The benefits of a behavioral approach to treatment in aging services and the role of a behavior analyst in aging settings are discussed.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m 310A
Relational Autoclitics of Order and English Verbs. Robert Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

 

In English, the effects on listeners evoked by verbs are due largely to the relational autoclitic of order in which they are emitted. This is because the positions of tact and intraverbal responses that comprise relational autoclitics of order are themselves stimuli that evoke relations between the action or state named by the verb and the entities named by the co-occurring responses. English has a relatively small number relational autoclitics of order in which verbs occur. These account for the types of clauses in the language, e.g., intransitive, transitive, ditransitive, etc., and the supposed classes of verbs that occur within them. The traditional labelling of verbs as transitive, intransitive, etc., can therefore be abandoned. Furthermore, use of the relational autoclitic of order in this analysis has implications for Skinner's autoclitic frame. Skinner's examples of autoclitic frames typically specified a particular response in combination ('framed) with a less restricted class of responses. This describes a relational autoclitic of order with one or more of its response positions specified, and the remaining positions open. Autoclitic frames can be interpreted as partially specified relational autoclitics of order.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Ballrooms A & B

How Do Rules Really Govern Behavior and Why Should You Give a Damn. Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Many natural contingencies fail to control our behavior as we wish they would, not because the consequence is too delayed, but because the consequence of each instance of that behavior is too improbable or too small and of only cumulative significance. However, effective performance management contingencies can be implemented resulting in effective, desirable rule-governed behavior. And we can better understand why those rule-governed contingencies work, if we can give up our Watsonian fear of private events, i.e., if Watson's disciples will stop loudly clanging a metal bar behind us every time we do a little introspective behavior analysis. We will discuss:

 

1. The basic behavioral processes underlying rule-governed behavior, with the help of private events

2. Why we procrastinate and can't get our act together

3. Why SQAB doesn't get it and aversive control is our friend

4. How we can save the day with the three-contingency model of performance management

5. How we can apply the three-con model to OBM, higher ed, and other exciting places.

 

•11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 310A
IFSP and IEP Considerations for Students with ASD Receiving Insurance-Based Treatment and Intervention (June 2017 Ed.):  A Guidance Document by the MAASE ASD Community of Practice.  Sharon LaPointe (MAASE ASD CoP Member), Kelly Rogers (START; MAASE ASD CoP Member); Morgan VanDenBerg (Autism Behavioral and Early Childhood Specialist with MDHHS Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration.

 

The Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE) Autism Spectrum Community of Practice originally published the Guidance Document in 2013 to address special education questions/issues arising in the wake of initial implementation of private and public autism insurance benefits. The 2nd edition reflects the advantages of having “more experience under our belts.”  The panel will introduce the two main topics of the Guidance Document:   1.) the significance of what it means to “supplement but not supplant” special education entitlements; and 2.) the value of learning about and comparing the referral, evaluation ,eligibility and intervention plan requirements of early intervention services, special education, school based health services, private insurance benefits, and Medicaid benefits as we collectively search for more efficient and powerful ways of collaborating to increase the intensity of intervention for the student with ASD.

 

Lunch (on your own)
BATs Reunion (Ballrooms A & B)

 

•12:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m Room TBA
Close (Members-Only) Meeting: BAAM MIAutismSIG for Professional Behavior Analysts: Closed Meeting on Bi-Annual Meeting to Discuss Issues and Priorities of the Group.

 

Chair: Conny Raaymakers (Developmental Enhancement Behavioral Health), & Morgan VanDenBerg (MDHHS)

 

The goal of the Professional Behavior Analyst SIG of the Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan (BAAM) is to disseminate information to Autism practitioners in the state of Michigan regarding insurance reform, licensure rules and regulations, and various other funding and state initiatives that affect professional behavior analysts.

 

The goal of meeting to continue to address outlined priorities, learn more about current work, discuss upcoming licensure, and key areas of concern to address in order to support our field and professionals working in Michigan.

 

 

•1:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom B

Behavioral Gerontology Applications from Basic to Applied Research in Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorder.

 

Chair: Minyoung Kim (Western Michigan University)

 

The research in behavioral gerontology is a small but important line of behavior-analytic research. A growing aging population with growing prevalence of diagnosed neurocognitive disorder means that this line of research is essential, and will help to identify the role that applied behavior analysis can play in treatment of behaviors associated with neurocognitive disorder. Successful treatment should result in increased quality of life for older adults diagnosed with the disorder. This symposium will include three talks across a range of topics including: Topic 1: Mand training for an older adults with a communication deficit Topic 2: Behavioral Assessment and Treatment for Improving Adherence to Congestive Heart Failure Medications Topic 3: Reducing inappropriate spitting in an older adult with vascular dementia

 

Verbal Behavior Assessment and Intervention for an Older Adult with Neurocognitive Impairment. Andrea Perez (Western Michigan University), Sandra Garcia (Western Michigan University), Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University), & Janet S. Hahn (Western Michigan University)

 

Older adults diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder often have difficulties with communication. There is a growing literature base that is applying Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior to remediate communication deficits among older adults with neurocognitive disorders. Previously, researchers have evaluated intervention strategies aimed at teaching this population picture-based (Trahan,Donaldson, McNabney, and Kahng, 2014) as well as vocal mands (Oleson & Baker, 2014). The efficacy of such training is likely predicated on identifying an existing repertoire or teaching a new repertoire to engage in the mand response. In the current study, we, sought to teach mands to an older adult with neurocognitive disorder. He was diagnosed as deaf, but had never been taught sign language. Additionally, he was reported to have no communicative responses as a result of a traumatic brain injury. During this presentation, we will discuss and review data on the assessment process that helped identified repertoires that we could then use for mand training. This presentation will also focus on the clinical implications for verbal behavior assessments that can inform interventions for older adults with neurocognitive disorders.

 

Behavioral Assessment and Treatment for Improving Adherence to Congestive Heart Failure Medications. Jordan D. Bailey (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition that affects millions of older adults and comes with significant cost to the individual in terms of symptoms and mortality, and also negative financial impact to the healthcare system. The costs to the individual and healthcare system are largely preventable, as the cause of worsening symptoms and re-hospitalizations is often due to a lack of medication adherence (i.e., how closely an individual's medication-taking behavior matches that of the prescribed regimen; WHO, 2003). A behavioral account for the lack of medication adherence is possible through functional assessment. In the current study, participant's behavior will be assessed using a functional assessment, and interventions applied to increase medication adherence.

 

Reducing Inappropriate Spitting in an Older Adult with Vascular Dementia. Sandra Garcia (Western Michigan University), Andrea Perez (Western Michigan University), Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University), & Janet Hahn (Western Michigan University)

 

In the presence of neurocognitive impairment, older adults often engage in behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD; verbal or physical aggression, wandering). To address these behaviors, researchers have implemented behavioral interventions to reduce BPSD (Baker, Hanley, & Mathew, 2006; Buchanan & Fisher, 2002); however, no study has implemented an intervention to reduce inappropriate spitting. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to reduce the frequency of spitting on the floor during meals. The participant was a 74-year old male diagnosed with vascular dementia and as deaf. Results from an antecedent functional analysis demonstrated a higher rate of spitting per minute when the participant had access to food and drink in the dining room. The effects of the intervention were evaluated using a reversal design. During this presentation, we will discuss the results and the clinical implications of this study.

 

•1:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m Ballroom B
Traumatic Brain Injury 101: An Introduction to Brain Injury and Behavior. Jennifer D'Angela (Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.), & Lamar Habern (Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.)

 

Traumatic brain injury impacts 1.7 Million people per year and can result in behavioral excesses and deficits. While literature on the use of ABA to address traumatic brain injury sequelae is limited, ABA techniques can be used as part of an effective treatment plan. An introduction to traumatic brain injury will be provided as well as an overview of behavioral techniques that can be used with traumatic brain injury survivors.

 

•1:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m Auditorium
Teaching Early Learner Skills to Improve Imitation in Children with ASD. Michelle Fuhr (University Pediatricians Autism Center), Stephanie Yee (University Pediatricians Autism Center), & Adrienne Bradley (University Pediatricians Autism Center)

 

Imitation is often one of the first skills taught in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention programs. Imitation skills are essential in enhancing play and leisure skills, and activities of daily living. However, some clients may not have the basic attending skills necessary to readily acquire imitation skills, where they lack auditory and visual attending to stimuli within the environment. Auditory and visual attending skills must be specifically incorporated into ABA programming in order for clients to be successful in learning imitation skills. Examining developmental milestones and attending skills will contribute to assessing therapeutic goals and enhance programming. Additionally, it will identify what prerequisite skills are needed for children who are not readily learning basic ABA programming. The purpose of this presentation is to look at these developmental milestones as well as the techniques for the development of imitation skills in clients where traditional methods are not effective. Case studies will be reviewed in which the client exhibited skill deficits in imitation, with little to no progress made when taught in traditional discrete trial methods. After implementation of programming that evaluated prerequisite attending skills, clients were able to make marked improvement to their ability to acquire imitation skills.

 

•1:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m Room 352

Teaching Children with Autism to Intraverbally Respond after Playing Bingo. Kate B. LaLonde (Michigan State University), Laura J. West (Michigan State University), Cora Santman (Michigan State University), & Shantinique Jones (Michigan State University)

 

Individuals with autism often have difficulty acquiring a functional intraverbal repertoire despite having other language skills (e.g., mand, tact, listener response). Intraverbals are difficult to acquire because the verbal discriminative stimuli usually contain multiple parts, occur rapidly and are fleeting (Sundberg & Sundberg, 2011). Common teaching procedures include presenting a verbal discriminative stimulus and subsequently presenting a verbal model. Using verbal prompts has several limitations including participants echoing parts of the discriminative stimulus and faulty stimulus control. A teaching procedure that may mitigate these limitations include teaching participants to make a selection response in the presence of a verbal discriminative stimulus and later assessing for emergent intraverbals. The present study taught children to play Bingo. The experimenter asked an intraverbal question (e.g., "When do you wear shorts?") and taught children to place a chip on the correct location on the Bingo Board. After children had demonstrated mastery of the selection response, the same questions were asked without the Bingo board present. The study used a multiple probe across sets design to evaluate if teaching the selection response led to emergent intraverbals. All participants demonstrated emergent intraverbal responding. Discussion of using listener response procedures to teach additional intraverbals is further discussed.

 

•2:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m Ballroom A

Reinforcement Considerations when Working with Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorders.

 

Chair: Emily Norton (Western Michigan University)

 

Recently, researchers have begun looking at skill acquisition and activity engagement procedures with older adults with neurocognitive disorder. An important underlying aspect of such work is to ensure that the stimuli that are being used are functioning as reinforcers. This symposium will present three papers looking at varying aspects of reinforcing properties of stimuli. The first paper will discuss considerations for stimuli selection. The second paper will discuss the impact of motivating operations on preferences. The last paper will discuss the impact of stimulus control, extinction and non-contingent reinforcement.

 

Considerations for Stimuli Selection to Inform Preference Assessments in Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorders. Andrea Perez (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

Current research on preference assessments with older adults appears to involve the arbitrary selection of items informed by some "activity based assessments." This is problematic because this may lead to the selection of items that result in false positive and false negative reinforcers, which can lead to poor programming. Therefore, the purpose of this study is two-fold. The first purpose was to evaluate the potential influence of incorporating stimuli from multiple classes into a single array may have on preference results, and a second purpose was to evaluate the utility of a new assessment tool in selecting stimuli to inform preference assessments and programming.

 

The Effects of Motivating Operations on Preference Among Older Adults with Neurocognitive Disorders. Sandra Garcia (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

In the behavioral gerontology literature, stimulus preference assessments have identified preferred stimuli that can be used to promote activity engagement (LeBlanc, Cherup, Feliciano, & Sidener, 2006; Raetz, LeBlanc, Baker, & Hilton, 2013), reduce depression and agitation (Feliciano, Steers, Elite-Marcandonatou, McLane, & Areán, 2009), and increase responding during a task when access to a preferred item was contingent on responding (Ortega, Iwata, Nogales-González, & Frades, 2012). These studies were novel in applying a technology that was previously developed and used with individuals with developmental disabilities to older adults with cognitive impairment. However, these studies did not examine the effects of motivating operations on the results of preference assessments. Thus, the purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of deprivation and satiation on the results of stimulus preference assessments, engagement analyses, and reinforcer assessments among older adults with neurocognitive impairment.

 

The Effects of Reinforcement and Extinction on Responding by Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment. Jordan Bailey (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan University)

 

The effects of extinction have been demonstrated in community dwelling older adults (Plaud, Plaud, & Duvillard, 1999), but to date, the effects of extinction have not been empirically demonstrated for older adults with neurocognitive disorder. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine whether withdrawal of a reinforcer from a previously reinforced behavior would result in behavior change for this population. Preferred stimuli (pictures) were identified prior to implementation through use of a preference assessment followed by reinforcer assessment. The effects of the schedules were assessed with a computer program on a tablet PC. Conditions were signaled by the presentation of various shapes along with the buttons. The effects of reinforcement were compared with extinction and/or non-contingent reinforcement schedules. The experimental arrangement consisted of a presentation of two buttons that (a) would activate a preferred picture; (b) produce nothing (in the extinction condition); or (c) produced nothing (but pictures were available on a time-based schedule). These data will be discussed with respect to the implications for both basic and applied research. This study is a replication of a previous study conducted by Baker, Seefeldt, Hathaway, Fairchild, Hood, Beattie, and Ringdahl (2013).

 

•2:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m Ballroom B

Using the Assessment of Functional Living Skills™ to Assess Skill Acquisition of Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in a Vocational Transition Program. Marisa Fisher (Michigan State University), Richard Price (Michigan State University), & Abbie Marsh (Michigan State Univeristy)

 

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) must acquire specific independent living skills to ensure a successful transition from secondary to post-secondary or vocational settings. Several school-to-work transition programs have been developed, but little research has examined how these programs impact skill acquisition. Assessments can be used to track skill acquisition to help ensure successful transition. In the current study, The Assessment of Functional and Living Skills (AFLS) was used to assess the skills of 14 students with IDD (ages 18-26) in the domains of Community Participation, Functional Independence, and Vocation. Data were collected at the start of the school-to-work transition program and will again be collected at the completion of the program to assess skill acquisition. The utility of this assessment, as well as the acquisition of skills for successful transition into independent living will be discussed. Preliminary results indicate that using assessment tools, such as the AFLS, is essential to not only track skill acquisition but to also aide in curriculum development to supports individuals with IDD as they prepare to transition out of the school system and into community settings.

 

 

•2:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m Auditorium
Implementing a Social Skills Day Camp for Children with High-Functioning Autism. Stephanie A. Proudfoot (Logan Community Resources, Inc.)

 

Summer vacation is an ideal time to work intensively on social skills, and demand for short-term, intensive, low-cost options is high among parents and teachers alike. However, options beyond full-time, center-based, early intervention ABA can be difficult to find. Organizations may be reluctant to provide this service due to staffing shortages, lack of other resources, uncertain funding, and unfamiliarity with high-level social skills programming. This presentation summarizes four years of social skills summer day camps for older children with high-functioning autism. Participant and setting characteristics, structure of the camps, ABA interventions for both group-level and individual target behaviors, and reward systems are reviewed, along with some challenges and triumphs encountered through the years. Specifically, applications of the Teaching Interaction Procedure (Phillips et al., 1974; Taubman, Leaf, & McEachin, 2011) and currency-based token economies (Payne, 1975; Myles et al., 1992) will be discussed as they relate to the target population and setting.

 

•2:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m Room 352

Additional Considerations for Analyzing Sources of Stimulus Control Within Verbal Operants. Lilith Reuter-Yuill (Western Michigan University), & Jonathan Baker (Western Michigan Universty)

 

The effectiveness of intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) over other common treatment approaches is well documented for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Howard, 2005; Howard, Stanislaw, Green, Sparkman, & Cohen, 2014; Lovaas, 1987;) positioning applied behavior analysis as the "treatment of choice" for this population. For early learners, language habilitation remains a high priority of treatment, and the benefit of the verbal behavior approach is becoming well recognized with growing empirical support (Luke & Carr, 2015). Evidence for the substantial contribution of the field to improved clinical outcomes is compelling but success is not certain. Putative predictors of success are still unknown (Vivanti, Prior, Williams, & Dissanayake, 2014), and clinicians are tasked with the responsibility to design effective programming for non-responders. This presentation will discuss clinical examples of learner profiles that may not lead to successful intervention in the absence of additional assessment. Areas of focus for analyzing sources of stimulus control will be presented, and implications for learner outcomes as well as enhancing our understanding of verbal behavior will be discussed.

 

•2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m Room 301

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

 

Advice and information on getting into graduate school.

 

 

3-Hour Workshops

 

•Thursday, 1:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m Room 320

Behavioral Activation for (Adolescent) Depression. Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University), Alison Delizza (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Rausch (Western Michigan University), Monica Barreto (Western Michigan University), Christopher (Andy) Briggs (Western Michigan University)

 

Workshop cost: $50

Workshop attendance limit: 50

 

From a behavioral perspective, depression is a summary label for a set of responses emitted in a context, not an internal (neurobiological or psychological) defect within a person. As such, depressive symptoms should be treatable by changing environment-behavior interactions and the context in which they occur. Behavioral activation (BA) is a well-developed approach to treating depressive symptoms in adults with an emerging literature for adolescents. The goal of BA is to promote contact with positive reinforcement by engaging clients in focused activation strategies to counter passive avoidance/withdrawal and to increase goal-directed and values-guided behavior. The workshop will review the major components of BA, including: 1) the rationale and model of depression, 2) mood and activity monitoring, 3) conducting a values assessment and 4) scheduling pleasurable, mastery-related, and values-based activities. The skills taught will be applicable to both adult and adolescent clients, but with primary exemplars coming from the latter. From a behavioral perspective, depression is a summary label for a set of responses emitted in a context, not an internal (neurobiological or psychological) defect within a person. As such, depressive symptoms should be treatable by changing environment-behavior interactions and the context in which they occur. Behavioral activation (BA) is a well-developed approach to treating depressive symptoms in adults with an emerging literature for adolescents. The goal of BA is to promote contact with positive reinforcement by engaging clients in focused activation strategies to counter passive avoidance/withdrawal and to increase goal-directed and values-guided behavior. The workshop will review the major components of BA, including: 1) the rationale and model of depression, 2) mood and activity monitoring, 3) conducting a values assessment and 4) scheduling pleasurable, mastery-related, and values-based activities. The skills taught will be applicable to both adult and adolescent clients, but with primary exemplars coming from the latter.

 

 

•Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 320

Functional Communication Training. Cody Morris (Western Michigan University), Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Kolb (Western Michigan University), Denice Rios (Western Michigan University), Rebecca Eldridge (Western Michigan University), Michael Kranak (Western Michigan University), Marissa Allen (Western Michigan University), Ian McElfish (Western Michigan University), Nicole Hollins (Western Michigan University), and Kelsey Webster (Western Michigan University).

 

Workshop cost: $50

Workshop materials cost: $0

Workshop attendance limit: 25

 

Individuals with developmental disabilities often experience communication challenges that lead to the use of severe problem behaviors in order to get their needs met. Functional communication training (FCT) is a commonly used and research-based intervention for individuals with developmental disabilities who engage in problem behaviors. FCT involves teaching individuals a functionally alternative and socially significant communication response to replace problem behavior. Given the prevalence of individuals with developmental disabilities that experience communication challenges, it is essential that applied behavior analysts have knowledge and skills to implement FCT strategies. Using Functional Communication Training for Problem Behavior by Joe Reichle and David P. Wacker as guide, this workshop will provide attendees with critical information about FCT. Information presented in the workshop will include 1) how to assess communicative functions, 2) how to select communicative alternatives, 3) suggestions of antecedent-focused interventions that should be used in conjunction with FCT, 4) suggestions of requests that should be taught that include protest, break, help, and other specific requests, and 5) how to write FCT into behavior support plans.

 

 

•Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room 301
 
How to Avoid a "Train" Wreck. Amy B. McComas, EdD, BCBA (Great Heights ABA)

 

Workshop cost: $50

Workshop attendance limit: 20

 

Behavior analysts have an ethical responsibility to transfer technology. Do we also feel a responsibility to move beyond lecture to present the information on the technology we are transferring? Do we understand the potential implications if we do not train others well? This presentation will discuss common staff/caregiver training methods and concerns with each, as well as review a behavior skills training approach to transferring technology. The importance of creativity in training will be explored, as well as ways to apply creative approaches to the behavior skills training approach to staff/caregiver training. Ways to increase creative skills to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in training will also be reviewed. Participants will be able to:

 

1) explain what the research identifies as the appropriate use of common training approaches,
2) define behavior skills training,
3) identify creative training approaches that can be used with a behavior skills training approach,
4) identify ways to strengthen creative skills,
5) create a personal plan for enhancing training delivery.

 

And, we will have fun accomplishing these objectives together! A variety of creative teaching modalities will be used to engage participants, demonstrate the concepts being discussed, and give participants the opportunity to explore their own creativity. Behavior analysts have an ethical responsibility to transfer technology. Do we also feel a responsibility to move beyond lecture to present the information on the technology we are transferring? Do we understand the potential implications if we do not train others well? This presentation will discuss common staff/caregiver training methods and concerns with each, as well as review a behavior skills training approach to transferring technology. The importance of creativity in training will be explored, as well as ways to apply creative approaches to the behavior skills training approach to staff/caregiver training. Ways to increase creative skills to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in training will also be reviewed. Participants will be able to 1) explain what the research identifies as the appropriate use of common training approaches, 2) define behavior skills training, 3) identify creative training approaches that can be used with a behavior skills training approach, 4) identify ways to strengthen creative skills, 5) create a personal plan for enhancing training delivery.  And, we will have fun accomplishing these objectives together! A variety of creative teaching modalities will be used to engage participants, demonstrate the concepts being discussed, and give participants the opportunity to explore their own creativity.

 

•Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m Room TBA

Part One*: A Functional Assessment of Problem Behavior: The "How" and "Why" of the Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA). Michael Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Carrie L. Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Marissa B. Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

*This is part one of a an optional two-part workshop. Those planning to attend the aftenoon workshop, "A New Model of Function-Based Treatment," should consider also attending this workshop.

 

Workshop cost: $40

Workshop attendance limit: No Limit

 

Problem behavior is prevalent among populations that behavior analysts encounter in clinical settings. Behavioral excesses may interfere with an individual's ability to: form meaningful social relationships; achieve success in educational placements; and/or be accepted into vocational programs. The Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA, Hanley et al., 2014) captures naturally occurring contingencies uncovered through a caregiver interview. This information is used to design individualized test and control contingencies, which when implemented, produce strong functional control over problem behavior. This process has given behavior analysts a functional analysis method that can be used efficiently and efficaciously in various settings, and is one that sets up a functional communication treatment shown to be highly effective in both decreasing rates of problem behavior, and increasing levels of socially meaningful behavior. The current presentation will focus on the functional analysis portion of the IISCA process.

 

This workshop will use a combination of interactive lecture, role play, and behavioral skills training to teach participants to harness this new technology for their use in clinical settings for children with developmental disabilities. Participants will learn about A) the pros and cons of various functional assessment methods; B) the rationale for conducting an IISCA, including the history of functional analysis methodology that led to the creation of the IISCA; C) how to design and conduct the IISCA test and control conditions; D) how to troubleshoot the IISCA process; and E) how to discuss the IISCA process and results with parents and teachers. Problem behavior is prevalent among populations that behavior analysts encounter in clinical settings. Behavioral excesses may interfere with an individual's ability to: form meaningful social relationships; achieve success in educational placements; and/or be accepted into vocational programs. The Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis (IISCA, Hanley et al., 2014) captures naturally occurring contingencies uncovered through a caregiver interview. This information is used to design individualized test and control contingencies, which when implemented, produce strong functional control over problem behavior. This process has given behavior analysts a functional analysis method that can be used efficiently and efficaciously in various settings, and is one that sets up a functional communication treatment shown to be highly effective in both decreasing rates of problem behavior, and increasing levels of socially meaningful behavior. The current presentation will focus on the functional analysis portion of the IISCA process.

 

This workshop will use a combination of interactive lecture, role play, and behavioral skills training to teach participants to harness this new technology for their use in clinical settings for children with developmental disabilities. Participants will learn about A) the pros and cons of various functional assessment methods; B) the rationale for conducting an IISCA, including the history of functional analysis methodology that led to the creation of the IISCA; C) how to design and conduct the IISCA test and control conditions; D) how to troubleshoot the IISCA process; and E) how to discuss the IISCA process and results with parents and teachers.

 

•Friday, 12:30 p.m. - 3:20 a.m Room TBA

Part Two*: A New Model of Function-Based Treatment for Problem Behavior: Contingency-Based Progressive Delay as Informed by the IISCA*. Michael A. Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Carrie L. Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Marissa B. Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

*This is part two of a an optional two-part workshop. Those planning to attend this workshop, should consider also attending the corresponding morning workshop: "A Functional Assessment of Problem Behavior."

 

Workshop cost: 40

Workshop attendance limit: No Limit

*Enrollment in the "'How' and 'Why' of Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis" Workshop is recommended in conjunction with this workshop, but is not required for participation.

 

The culmination of over 40 years of functional analysis and functional communication training literature suggests that one of the most efficacious approaches to treating problem behavior maintained by social consequences is to teach and strengthen a functional replacement for that behavior. Although behavior analysts have been successful at decreasing problem behavior to levels significantly lower than baseline, the struggle to completely eliminate problem behavior is real. That said, reductions of problem behavior to zero levels is often necessary in order to maximize socially meaningful outcomes. The contingency-based progressive delay (CBPD) treatment uses the synthesized contingencies from the natural environment, as informed by the IISCA, to teach functionally equivalent responses that eliminate the need for problem behavior in a socially valid way. A notable advantage to using the IISCA method is its ability to directly prescribe treatment. The current presentation will focus on the treatment portion of the IICSA process.

 

This workshop will use a combination of interactive lecture, role play, and behavioral skills training to teach participants to use CBPD in their clinical practice to free their clients from problem behavior, while maximizing opportunities to achieve instructional control, and teach communication, tolerance, and compliance. Our objective for this workshop will be to understand: A) what the CBPD procedure consists of; B) the rationale for the CBPD treatment; C) how to design the treatment based on the IISCA results; D) how to conduct the CBPD treatment; E) how to troubleshoot the CBPD process, including individualization to your client's needs; and F) how to use this treatment with flexibility (e.g., to address stereotypy). The culmination of over 40 years of functional analysis and functional communication training literature suggests that one of the most efficacious approaches to treating problem behavior maintained by social consequences is to teach and strengthen a functional replacement for that behavior. Although behavior analysts have been successful at decreasing problem behavior to levels significantly lower than baseline, the struggle to completely eliminate problem behavior is real. That said, reductions of problem behavior to zero levels is often necessary in order to maximize socially meaningful outcomes. The contingency-based progressive delay (CBPD) treatment uses the synthesized contingencies from the natural environment, as informed by the IISCA, to teach functionally equivalent responses that eliminate the need for problem behavior in a socially valid way. A notable advantage to using the IISCA method is its ability to directly prescribe treatment. The current presentation will focus on the treatment portion of the IICSA process.

 

This workshop will use a combination of interactive lecture, role play, and behavioral skills training to teach participants to use CBPD in their clinical practice to free their clients from problem behavior, while maximizing opportunities to achieve instructional control, and teach communication, tolerance, and compliance. Our objective for this workshop will be to understand: A) what the CBPD procedure consists of; B) the rationale for the CBPD treatment; C) how to design the treatment based on the IISCA results; D) how to conduct the CBPD treatment; E) how to troubleshoot the CBPD process, including individualization to your client's needs; and F) how to use this treatment with flexibility (e.g., to address stereotypy).

 

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), & Sarah Pichler (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.

 

Assessing Techniques for Teaching Mathematics to an Adolescent with Autism. Michael Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Christina O'Brien (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Carrie Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

We used an adapted alternating treatment design for an 11 year-old boy with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in which five different targets from the same program area (i.e., single digit multiplication) were assigned quasi-randomly to four different conditions. The order of the conditions was randomized at the beginning of each teaching day, and within each condition, the order of targets was randomized. Following the completion of the condition for each of the targets, the participant was quizzed by the technician with flashcards twice through each of the five targets, giving us a 10-trial test score for each condition, which we used for our visual analysis and mastery criteria. Results and implications are discussed.

 

An Assessment of Differential Reinforcement Procedures to Promote Skill Acquisition with a Child with Autism. Olivia Robertson (Western Michigan University), Guadalupe Adelina Batlle Rodriguez (Western Michigan University), Blaire Michelin (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Prompt dependency is a barrier often encountered in teaching new skills to children with autism and other disabilities (Cividini-Motta & Hhearn, 2013). Once a new skill is taught with the use of prompting, fading out such prompts is often unsuccessful. Differential reinforcement procedures can be used to efficiently promote the transfer of stimulus control from prompts to more appropriate discriminative stimuli (Johnson, Vladescu, Kodak, & Sidener, 2017). Studies have shown that effective ways to structure such differential reinforcement arrangements may vary across participants (Johnson, Vladescu, Kodak, & Sidener, 2017). This indicates the importance of developing a method for selecting client-specific differential reinforcement arrangements. The purpose of this study was to conduct an assessment of three differential reinforcement arrangements and their effects on facilitating skill acquisition with a child with autism.

 

A Case Study to Reduce Self-Injury. Jocelyn Sarno (Western Michigan University), Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the results from a single-participant case study. The participant is a 3-year-old child in an ECSE classroom receiving early behavioral intervention in a one-on-one discrete trial setting. The participant has demonstrated problem behavior, a lack of important developmental skills, and a communication delay. He is considered a Tier 3b student due to the special interventions necessary for his success. Receptive identification was taught using transfer trials, problem behavior protocols are being put in place to reduce multiple behaviors, and toilet training will be implemented. He is also a participant in an additional study for transition-related problem behavior. Results of the transfer trials showed an increase in his receptive language skills. He is also displaying expressive language skill development as well. The goal is to decrease his problem behaviors and prepare him to transition to the next classroom.

 

Cognitive Profiles Associated with a History of Complex Psychological Trauma. Christina Sirianni (University of Windsor), Nora McVinnie (University of Windsor), Anca Enache (University of Windsor), Charlotte Maytham (University of Windsor), Tanja Spasojevic (University of Windsor), Alexa Dunn (University of Windsor), Carly Charron (University of Windsor), & Laszlo Erdodi (University of Windsor)

 

Neurocognitive profiles associated with a broad range of medical and psychological disorders have long been studied by clinical researchers. The cumulative evidence suggests that most common psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety) have subtle effects on neuropsychological test performance, but do not affect the overall validity of the assessment. Meanwhile, recent investigations reveal that psychological problems (depression, anxiety, somatic concerns) negatively affect performance on cognitive testing. One potential explanation for this phenomenon is "psychogenic interference", which refers to acute emotional distress that disrupts an examinee's ability to demonstrate their best performance during cognitive testing. The etiology of this phenomenon may be related to adverse life events. Minimal research currently exists which assesses the long-term effects of complex, unresolved psychological trauma due to childhood neglect or abuse (emotional, physical, sexual) as well as chronic exposure to adverse events as an adult (rape, war, domestic violence). This project is based on a subset of a large consecutive sequence of adults, medically referred for neuropsychological assessment, who reported a history of complex psychological trauma. This study focuses on the pattern of performance during cognitive testing and self-reported symptoms, both at the group level and by conducting within-subject ipsative analyses.

 

Comparison of Variable-time and Fixed-time Schedules to Increase Client Time at Table. Robert D Wyse (Central Michigan University), Jenna M. Carlesimo (Central Michigan University), Charles J. Sims (Central Michigan University), & Christie L. Nutkins (Central Michigan University)

 

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different time schedules for sitting at table and engagement in program activities. The client was an 8-year-old male diagnosed with comorbid developmental disorders and received treatment in a clinical setting. The client had received approximately 1.5 months of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services and had begun engaging in high probability behaviors while sitting at the table during the onset of this study. The hypothesis was that a variable time (VT) schedule would result in more time spent at the table, fewer mands for break, shorter duration to sit at the table upon request, and a lower frequency of problem behavior compared to a fixed time (FT) schedule. The hypothesis was tested with an alternating treatments design in which the time demands in the VT and FT schedules were rapidly increasing. These time schedules were targeted in this study to determine the most effective means to increase the client's time at table. Ease of clinician implementation, client response, and additional implications are discussed.

 

Concurrent Operant Treatment Assessment for an Adolescent with Autism. Matthew Campbell (Braintrust Behavioral Health), & Marissa Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health)

 

An overview of a concurrent operant treatment assessment for a 17 year-old individual with multiple diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe aggression and property destruction. The treatment assessment was based on the results of the open-ended interview. An experimental FA was not conducted due to the severity of the problem behavior (e.g., threatening caregivers with a knife) and size of the individual. The hypothesized function of problem behavior was escape from demands to access highly preferred activities and adult attention. During the treatment assessment, the client was periodically presented with choice options throughout each session. The client could choose between: (Options 1-2) participating in academic programs for some duration and then have access to reinforcers for a respective duration, (Options 3-4) engaging in functional communication to extend play or delay engagement in academic programs, or (Option 5) engage in defined negative behaviors. As the data show, the client allocated most of his choice responses to options that involved completing academic work and receiving periods of reinforcement (i.e. Options 1-2), which corresponds to an increase in the amount of time spent completing academic tasks and a decrease in the frequency of problem behavior. There were also a significant number of "No Choice" selections, in which the client did not respond to the SD to make a choice.

 

Demonstrating the Utility of the Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis. Marissa Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Michael Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Carrie Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Alissa DeNato (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Matthew Campbell (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

Four children with autism between the ages of 4 and 7 receiving in-home ABA services participated. All clients displayed problem behavior that interfered with learning progress during sessions. Problem behaviors consistented of yelling/screaming, self-injury, physical aggression, and property destruction. For all clients, the removal of preferred activities/tangibles and the presentation of demands reliably evoked problem behavior. As a result, we contrived teaching conditions that captured the motivative variables identified in the analyses. This is important for the design of treatment in that we use these same conditions, conditions in which motivation is high, to teach the functional communication response (FCR).

 

Developmental Trajectories in Bases Rate of Failure on Performance Validity Tests. Nora McVinnie (University of Windsor), Christina Sirianni (University of Windsor), & Laszlo Erdodi (University of Windsor)

 

A basic assumption underlying neuropsychological assessment is that examinees are willing and able to demonstrate their highest, or at least typical, ability level. It has long been known that clinical judgment alone (i.e., a combination of intuition and behavioral observation) is insufficient to differentiate valid and invalid response sets. Professional organizations issue guidelines that recommend the routine use of multiple performance validity tests (PVTs) in adults to provide objective, empirical estimates of test taking effort and thus, establish the credibility of a given neurocognitive profile. The downward extension of instruments developed for adults to children is complicated by developmental trends. Cognitive abilities assumed to be intact in adults despite well- documented neurological deficits (simple attention, basic vocabulary, literacy and numeracy, recognition memory) change significantly between age 6 and 16 even in healthy children. Therefore, age could be a significant confound in PVT outcomes in pediatrics. Base rates of failure were examined in three well-established stand-alone PVTs across age groups bands spanning from 7 to 19, in a large mixed clinical sample of youth referred for neuropsychological assessment. Implications to performance validity assessment in general and pediatric neuropsychology specifically are discussed.

 

Early Intervention Toilet Training with Restricted Hours. Jared Coffin MA (Judson Center), Shelley Liquia (Judson Center), Sarah Brown (Judson Center), Christa Shurter (Judson Center), & Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center)

 

The purpose of this study was to identify an effective toilet training procedure for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ages 3 to 6 attending only 15 to 20 hours of ABA per week. Much of the research involving toilet training individuals with autism has required 40 hours per week or more of participation (Cocchiola et al., 2012, Azrin and Foxx, 1971, LeBlanc et al., 2005). Not all individuals are able to attend more than 15-20 hours of ABA therapy per week due to insurance restrictions, parent preferences, or other reasons. Participants in this study consisted of 3 boys and 1 girl who demonstrated toileting readiness skills such as sitting for 3 minutes on the toilet, engaging in joint attention, and staying dry for 2 hours in a diaper or pull-up. A procedure was developed utilizing seven major principles from Azrin & Foxx (1971), Cocchiola et al. (2012), LeBlanc et al. (2005), Greer et al. (2016), & Smeets et al. (1985). These principles included wearing underwear, a "sit schedule," systematic fluid intake, isolated reinforcement for successful voids, error correction for accidents, proximity of bathroom, and a prompting procedure to request the toilet. All participants met mastery criteria, which included voiding on the toileting at least once per session and staying dry in underwear throughout the session for two consecutive weeks. Some participants have also generalized this skill to other settings such as school, home, and community. Future directions will focus on training parents in this procedure and teaching clients to initiate toileting requests independently.

 

The Effect of Language Proficiency on Cognitive Performance during Neuropsychological Testing. Anca Enache (University of Windsor), Sami Ali (University of Windsor), Jordan Charles (University of Windsor), Jasmine Dhuga (University of Windsor), Laszlo Erdodi (University of Windsor), & Kelly An (University of Windsor)

 

Being a native speaker of the language in which the test is administered is a fundamental assumption in neuropsychological assessment. As the population of North America becomes more linguistically diverse due to immigration, it is estimated that one out of every five Americans and Canadians is a non-native speaker of English. Research on the effects of limited English proficiency (LEP) is scarce considering the prevalence of the issue. This study was designed to compare the test scores of healthy undergraduate student volunteers evaluated for research purposes across a wide range of neurocognitive tests with various levels of verbal mediation. Half of the sample (n = 25) consisted of native speakers of English, and the other half had LEP (n = 25). The implications of the findings to psychometrics, clinical assessment and academic accommodations are discussed.

 

Effects of an Observational Learning Game on Acquisition of Novel Responses of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lauren Whalen (Building Bridges), & Leslie Janz (Building Bridges)

 

We tested the effects of an observational learning intervention using a peer-yoked contingency to induce observationally learning in a group. The participants included 5 children aged 4-6 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The dependent variables were the number of correct responses and trials to mastery of new tact or receptive identification responses after observing another learner receive direct instruction of the target response. We conducted pre and post intervention probes of the target responses. Results demonstrated that novel receptive identification and tact responses emerged as a function of the peer-yoked contingency intervention and maintenance of responses remained during post intervention probe sessions.

 

Effects of High-Probability Request Sequence Topographies on Mealtime Compliance for a Child with Food Refusal. Daniel Moreno (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Kasey Weston (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Brian Davis (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

The use of high-probability request sequences has been shown to increase compliance and engagement in low-probability responses across academic targets and with other behaviors such as taking bites of less-preferred foods. However, little research has been conducted on how the topography of the high-p behaviors influence the likelihood of compliance with lower probability requests. The present study compared the effects of high-p request sequences including similar topography (taking bites of high-probability food items) and dissimilar topography (gross motor behaviors) on food selectivity. A four-year old boy with autism receiving intensive services two days per week with a history of food refusal and extensive meal durations participated. In baseline, the participant required between 9 and 34 minutes to complete snack time by consuming five bites of foods identified as low-p items (muffins and cereal pieces). Phase two of the study utilized alternating treatments that compared the effectiveness of high-p gross motor sequences and high-p food sequences. Results suggest both high-p topographies successfully reduced snack time delays and increased food acceptance, and that higher rates of eating maintained when the intervention was faded out.

 

Effects of Non-Essential Features on Preference in Multiple Stimulus without Replacement Preference Assessments. Hannah Tilton (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Marcel Kirberg (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

Multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments are a brief and efficient way to identify stimuli that may function as reinforcers. MSWO preference assessments yield a hierarchy of preference as each stimulus is being selected in the presence of others. However, non-essential features such as appearance may affect choices resulting in inaccurate preference hierarchies. The present study examined differences in preferences for edible reinforcers based on differences in visual presentation. Three participants with autism aged 5-12 completed five MSWO trials in which presentation of drinks colored blue, green, red, purple, and orange were presented in clear cups with the boxes indicating the flavor behind each cup. Next, we put the drinks in orange, black, green, or purple cups and ran similar MSWO trials with the boxes placed behind the cups, thus changing the appearance of each drink. Preliminary results suggest that despite no change in flavor, how the item looks in a preference assessment might results in differences in response allocation. Implications for preference assessments in clinical settings will be discussed.

 

Effects of Technology Advancement on Information Security & Privacy of Individuals with Autism. Tasfia Bari (Eastern Michigan University), & Bilquis Ferdousi (Eastern Michigan University)

 

With rapid advancement of technology people's privacy and information security is in challenge. This is more serious for people with cognitive disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). ASD is diagnosed as disorders that may affect an individual's social, communication and cognitive abilities. It is very important to create awareness on how technology is placing disable people in serious risk by compromising their information security and violating privacy. This poster presentation will focus on the effect of technology on information security that can place people with ASD in harmful situations. The presentation will also focus on how to minimize the threat to their information security and privacy in their daily lives including situations where they receive therapy, health-care services and social assistance.

 

The Effects of Traditional Prompting Methods on Yoga-Related Motor Skill Acquisition in ASD. Morgan Wright (Eastern Michigan University), Amber Schmitt (Eastern Michigan University), & Jin Bo (Eastern Michigan University)

 

Fifty to 100% of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience difficulties with motor skills. Motor deficits can affect children's abilities to participate in physical activity and may also reduce opportunities for social engagement. Previous reports suggest that yoga may be an effective medium for improving motor skills in this population; however, instructional methods have been inconsistent or inadequately described. The present study used an AB design to implement an in-home yoga intervention and to examine its effects on the yoga-related motor performance of four adolescents with ASD. Yoga poses were instructed using behavior analytic prompting methods (e.g., imitation, visual cues). Differential performance of yoga poses was systematically measured through video-coding by trained, independent raters. Visual analysis of the data suggests that traditional prompting methods were ineffective for instructing yoga pose performance and that extraneous variables controlled participants' effort and performance throughout the intervention phase. As a result, it is necessary to consider this population's responsiveness to various feedback modes when selecting instructional approaches for motor performance.

 

Effects of White noise on Attention In College Students With ADHD. Brian Davis (Central Michigan University ), & Carl Johnson (Central Michigan University )

 

The most common treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) currently is stimulant medication. Medications can have side effects and are not always effective. White noise is an alternative to medication for children diagnosed with ADHD to decrease off-task behavior in classrooms. Continuous white noise was used in this study to examine off-task behavior in college students diagnosed with ADHD. In a single-subject reversal design two students performed an academic task while listening to no noise or 75 dB white noise through headphones for 15 minutes sessions. Results indicated a moderate decrease in off-task behavior for one participant and a negligible change in the other. Being that the nature of the intervention is simple to implement and creates no known adverse effects, white noise is worth exploring for reduction of off-task behavior in college students with ADHD.

 

From Tiers to Triumph: A Tiered Intervention Package for Staff Performance Improvement. Elise Hester (Judson Center), Alison Maloney (Judson Center), Dana Milliman (Judson Center), & Sarah Bretz (Judson Center)

 

Treatment fidelity is the degree to which an intervention is implemented as designed. It is an integral component to behavior analytic research and treatment. High measures of treatment fidelity yield productive results, low measures are problematic. Zoder-Martell et al (2013) reported that graphed performance feedback combined with verbal feedback yielded slightly higher results of performance integrity than graphed performance feedback alone. The aim of this study was to measure the effects of a tiered intervention package that incorporates behavioral skills training (BST), self-monitoring checklists, and individualized reinforcement on staff treatment fidelity. The goal of this intervention is to create long lasting improvements in the behavior of staff that are consistently performing below set standards and are at risk of termination. This treatment package will serve as a means to correct problematic behaviors as well as increase and maintain satisfactory performance levels.

 

Functional Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior: Discussing the Interview Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis and Related Critiques. Michael Fantetti, MS, BCBA (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Marissa Allen, MS, BCBA (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

The IISCA has only a single test condition and a single control condition. It is designed around a detailed, open-ended interview with caregivers in order to capture contingencies how they occur in the natural environment. It does not use generic contingencies to understand function. By using a single test condition and a single control condition, it is often more individualized, and the argument can be made that it demonstrates greater control than the standard functional analysis.

 

Going Off Script: Use of Behavior Interventions to Reduce Scripting in a Teenage Boy with ASD. Danielle Piggott (Central Autism Treatment Center), Molly Conway (Central Autism Treatment Center), Annemarie Brenner (Central Autism Treatment Center), Christie Nutkins (Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

 Many children with ASD engage in scripting behavior that impacts meaningful communication with others. A previous case study by Silla-Zaleski and Vesloski (2010) found that scripting could be reduced by using differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), behavior momentum, and self-regulation. This procedure was slightly modified by including DRO through verbal and edible reinforcement and a one minute self-regulation interval implemented five times every hour, while excluding the behavior momentum component from the original study. This was implemented with a thirteen-year-old boy with autism who engaged in high rates of scripting. The participant’s scripting was defined topographically as vocalizing words and/or phrases previously heard or read in videos, TV shows, commercials, internet postings, or social media. Treatment significantly decreased rates of scripting. In the three months following initial implementation of treatment, scripting was decreased to one third of the previous frequency. Follow up probes have found that scripting has been decreased to one tenth of the initial frequency.

 

The Impact of a Transfer-Trial Sequence on the Rate of Skill Acquisition for a Child with a Learning Delay. Carly Schroeder-MacKay (Western Michigan University), Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

We used a transfer-trial sequence and errorless instruction to teach a student a variety of pre-school-readiness skills. This program was the first of its kind in the student's early childhood special education classroom, which traditionally uses least-to-most Discrete-Trial Training (DTT) procedures. We hypothesized that the transfer-trial program would be a better alternative for early learners, as it reduces the amount of errors made during teaching trials and increases the student's engagement with the correct response. This method was particularly successful with a four-year-old boy with a history of trauma, which presented as a learning delay, possibly because it resulted in less error correction and increased learning opportunities throughout his sessions. We compared rates of skill acquisition from historical data when least-to-most prompting was used to the rate of skill acquisition once transfer trials were implemented. The student demonstrated an increased rate of skill acquisition related to labeling, identification, and direction following after we implemented the transfer-trial program.

 

Improving Selection of Training Stimuli in Advanced PEAK-DT Programs with Multiple Exemplars. Marcel Kirberg (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Daniel Moreno (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Molly Conway (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

PEAK Relational Training System assessments and curricula are designed to be easily accessible by anyone, but programs with more advanced or less commonly applied verbal behavior concepts may be problematic for non-expert personnel. On advanced PEAK-DT programs, behavior technicians, parents, or other service implementers may choose inappropriate stimuli for training, or fail to insert stimuli at all. Three participants (2 female, 1 male; aged 21-23) working in an autism clinic demonstrated 100% accuracy in selecting appropriate stimuli to train on PEAK programs such as tacting animals and colors. However, accuracy of stimuli selected on more advanced programs (e.g., programs for metaphorical emotions, autoclitics, metonymical tacts) averaged 37% across participants in baseline conditions. In multiple baselines across two advanced PEAK programs, each participant received lists of additional multiple exemplars of appropriate stimuli to target in training. Provision of additional exemplars resulted in 93-100% accuracy across all targeted programs. Generalization probes verified participants could successfully generate additional appropriate novel stimuli for training. Results suggest that PEAK users may wish to keep records of stimuli used for programs to increase future accuracy and ease of implementation in more challenging programs.

 

Increasing Daily Physical Activity Engagement Among Adults with Mental Health Diagnoses. Kimberly M. Peck (Western Michigan University), Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), & Haley C. Hughes (Western Michigan University)

 

The sedentary lifestyle of adults with mental-health needs poses a great threat to their physical health. Oviedo, Travier, and Guerra-Balic (2017) assert that only about 10% of individuals with mental health diagnoses meet the daily recommended amount of physical activity for wellness. As such, there is a great need to identify interventions that target increased physical activity, specifically for these populations. The current study sought to extend the available literature by replicating a previous intervention of goal-setting and contingent incentives (LaLonde et al., 2014) to increase the daily steps of six individuals diagnosed with some type of mental health disability. All participants were receiving consultative behavior analytic services, and had been identified as needing an increase in physical activity (i.e., due to immediate health concerns from obesity or other health deficits, or needs for increased activity engagement). Participants, age range 25-80, were each given Fitbit tracking device, and tools to assist with tracking steps and preserving the Fitbit. After a baseline period with no goal in place, researchers set a goal based on each individual average steps per day during baseline. Intervention consisted of setting a daily step goal across a consecutive number of days, and then providing a reward and increasing the goal by ten percent each time it was met. Results showed that the majority of participants were able to double their average steps per week from baseline during the course of the study.

 

Listener Discrimination with an Orient-to-Name Procedure. Neil Jones (Western Michigan University), Aubrey Rolston (Western Michigan University), Alyssa Jewett (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

 Building a listener responding repertoire is vital for learning, the acquisition of language and numerous other skills. The present study aims to implement an orient to name procedure to help strengthen listener responding by pairing the student names with reinforcers to condition their names as a reinforcer. The current study is a non-concurrent multiple-baseline design across participants for students that do not currently possess the skill of attending to their name. It is anticipated that with utilizing this procedure, relatively few name pairings and acquisition trials of attending to their own name with different tutors and environments will cause the participants to both acquire and generalize the skill of attending to their name. Responding to one's own name is vital for attending to one's own environment, allowing for more learning opportunities, quicker skill acquisition and minimizing safety concerns.

 

Mand for Attention. Felicia Piette (Western Michigan University), Abigail Trot (Western Michigan University), Michael Tomak (Western Michigan University), & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

At a young age, children begin to learn how to request attention from others. The ability to request and receive attention, is a very effective reinforcer for young children. Children with autism struggle to acquire socially appropriate ways to communicate their needs effectively. Due to their communication deficit, many children engage in inappropriate behaviors to receive attention from others. A single subject study was conducted on a preschool aged child with autism using Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors (DRA). The goal was to increase appropriate mands for attention while extinguishing inappropriate mands. Staff were trained to identify when the child displayed motivation to gain attention from someone in their environment. When inappropriate mands for attention occurred, staff provided a physical prompt to tap the person to gain their attention. The prompts were then faded using a progressive time delay. It is expected that the use of a DRA procedure with a progressive time delay will increase appropriate mands for attention while extinguishing inappropriate mands. The results of this study are yet to be determined.

 

Modified Intensive Toilet Training Protocol For A Child Diagnosed With Autism - Replication. Katie Mattox (Building Bridges Therapy Center), & Leah Bousamra (Building Bridges Therapy Center)

 

A modified version of toilet training based on procedures from Azrin and Foxx (1971) was used to achieve urinary continence with one individual diagnosed with autism. The toilet training procedure was a close replication of a lesser intrusive and effective toilet training method that was also a modified version of the procedure from Azrin and Foxx (1971). The toilet training procedure was introduced once identified prerequisite skills were obtained, was modified based on the child's progress, and was conducted at a center-based ABA program and at home. The toilet training protocols across settings were significantly different and results show how intensive training in one setting was effective with generalization in another setting with non-intensive support.

 

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 based on the child's progress and was conducted across home, school, and other settings by parents, therapists, and school staff. This child achieved urinary continence while in underwear and made significant improvements with bowel movement training. The clinical decision-making process and a comparison between the modified toilet training protocol to Azrin and Foxx (1971) will be discussed. Authors will provide recommendations for clinicians targeting toileting skills with individuals with multiple diagnoses, as well as guidance for future research.

 

Modifying a Functional Analysis When Inconclusive Results are Present. Angeline Gehle (Oakland University), & Jessica Korneder (Oakland University)

 

A functional analysis was conducted on arm flapping with a child diagnosed with autism as described by Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman and Richman (1982/1994). The original results were inconclusive. Subsequently, a modified functional analysis was conducted containing stimuli that evoked the highest percentages of stereotypic behavior during the initial functional analysis conditions. We compared the stimuli in two conditions: a true alone and modified alone using a reversal design. This resulted in the child engaging in more arm flapping in the modified alone with higher preferred stimuli compared to nonpreferred stimuli. The results will inform interventions to reduce arm flapping.

 

New Model of Function-Based Treatment for Problem Behavior: Contingency-Based Progressive Delay as Informed by the IISCA. Marissa Allen (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Michael Fantetti (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Carrie Coleman (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Alissa DeNato (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Allison Berry (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), Kelsey Rothermel (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC), & Matthew Campbell (Braintrust Behavioral Health, LLC)

 

Contingency-Based Delay describes a procedure that includes demands contingencies throughout the delay period. This is in contrast with delay tolerance procedures based on the amount of time the participant waits prior to the delivery of the desired consequence. Specifically, for our procedure we used the contingency-based progressive delay (CBPD), a procedure in which you gradually increase the number of demands systematically in order to increase the amount of time that the child experiences delay for their desired consequence. Two children with autism who engaged in problem behavior maintained by escape from demands and access to preferred activities/tangibles received this treatment. Results and implications are discussed.

 

Title TBD. Richard Price (Michigan State University), Marisa Fisher (Michigan State University), Abbie Marsh (Michigan State Univeristy), Blair Dammerman,(Michigan State University), Ben Strong (Michigan State Univeristy), Brenna Mae (Michigan State Univeristy), Kaitlyn Taylor (Michigan State Univeristy), & Michelle Moreno (Michigan State Univeristy)

 

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often have difficulties developing independent living skills, including navigating their community. Acquiring the skills to use GPS-based mobile applications to navigate the community could enhance opportunities to live independently and to obtain competitive, community-based employment. A multiple baseline design was used to teach seven adults with IDD, ages 18-26, to use Google Maps to navigate their community. Specifically, Google Maps was used to teach walking navigation and public transit (e.g., the bus) navigation in a community setting. Two phases of instruction were implemented. Total task training was first used to teach walking navigation. Once participants reached criterion of 100% independence for two consecutive sessions, total task training was used to teach navigation on a public transit system. In baseline, participants were unable to use Google Maps to follow walking directions or public transit directions. To date, all participants have reached mastery criterion for walking directions and 4 have reached mastery for public transit training. Data are being collected on skill generalization to novel locations. These results provide evidence for the utility of using a GPS-based mobile application to teach navigation skills to young adults with IDD.

 

Reducing Disruptive Vocalizations of a Young Adult with ASD in the Workplace. Erin Sorenson (Western Michigan University), Kayla Jenssen (Western Michigan University), Jessica Frieder (Western Michigan University), Rachel Popp (Western Michigan University), & Erin Sorenson (Western Michigan University)

 

When compared to developmental disability groups, the rate of unemployment is highest for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at 48% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Obtaining employment is essential as it provides opportunities for financial security, integration into society, increased independence, and meaningful social relationships (Roux, 2015). Often, patterns of unusual or repetitive behaviors commonly associated with ASD present challenges for the individual and others in the work-environment (i.e. coworkers, supervisors, customers) when disruptive or inappropriate. This presentation reviews a case example for a young adult diagnosed with ASD employed in an office setting, where behavior reduction strategies were applied to disruptive vocalizations (i.e. self-talk, imitative responses) that served as a barrier to long-term employment. A variety of behavior-based strategies (non-contingent scheduled breaks, modified awareness training, rule rehearsal, self-monitoring and goal setting) were implemented to reduce both the frequency and intensity (decibel level) of vocalizations. Each intervention was tailored to maintain the highest degree of normalization for the work environment. Following a scheduled rule-rehearsal procedure and the use a self-monitoring system embedded within a program-wide incentive program, disruptive vocalizations dropped to near-zero rates and have maintained across three months. Additional maintenance data will be taken and discussed.

 

Reduction in Vocal Stereotypy Using an Overcorrection Procedure. Angeline Gehle (Building Bridges Therapy Center), & Kristina Alitawai (Building Bridges Therapy Center)

 

Initial attempts to target a reduction of vocal stereotypy in a child diagnosed with Autism using Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) and Differential Reinforcement were ineffective. The subsequent implementation of an overcorrection procedure (as described by Anderson and Lee [2011]) successfully reduced rates of vocal stereotypy by an average frequency of 31. Further, the addition of a signaled conditioned stimulus further reduced the rate of vocal stereotypy across multiple settings. Although not directly targeted by the intervention, a reduction in motor stereotypy was also observed across settings and reductions in both topographies were maintained after the intervention was implemented.

 

Sequential Presentation of Pringles with Imitation. Marquin Evans (Western Michigan University), Clare Christe (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott(Western Michigan University)

 

West Campus is a learning center that offers behavioral services to children that have been diagnosed and placed on the autism spectrum. Some children at West Campus have a select few reinforcers that they are motivated by, as opposed to being motivated for an array of different reinforcers. Reinforcer selectivity can be problematic because the natural environment doesn't allow for such particularity, but food selectivity presents an even bigger problem. On top of minimizing reinforcement opportunities, food selectivity can present more serious health risks if the child is not consuming food from all necessary food groups (Piazza, 2002). Sequential modification enhances stimulus generalization and that was the goal of this intervention (Baer & Stokes, 1977). This was done through a blending technique where small bits of jalapeno flavored Pringles and other less preferred edibles were mixed and presented together. The ratio of presenting the highly preferred edible with the less preferred edibles started with mostly highly preferred edibles (10% less preferred, 90% highly preferred) and faded slowly until it was entirely the less preferred edible. Data for imitation, which was the targeted procedure, maintained throughout the entire intervention. Through the intervention, the reinforcer value of the highly preferred edibles generalized to the other less preferred edibles.

 

Simultaneous Food Presentation to Increase Variety and Decrease Problem Behavior. Katie Cummings, (Spark Center for Autism, LLC), Victoria Urikh, (Spark Center for Autism, LLC), & Laura Plassey (Spark Center for Autism, LLC)

 

Food selectivity is a common concern for families with children with autism spectrum disorders. Increasing the variety of foods accepted can positively impact the health of a client, and decrease the stress often associated with mealtimes for children who engage in problem behavior during food presentations. The current study evaluates the effects of simultaneous food presentation to introduce new foods into the daily diet of a child with ASD, as well as decreasing self-injurous behavior in the form of head banging when presented with new and non-preferred foods.

 

Suboptimal Choice in Children with Autism: Translations from Basic Science. Molly Conway (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), Annemarie Brenner (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

Basic animal research in choice has shown clear biases toward response options resulting in suboptimal low-rate, high magnitude reinforcement over more optimal response options with consistent, lower magnitude reinforcement when the outcomes are signaled. The present study tested this paradigm in the treatment of three participants (aged 3-18) diagnosed with autism. After completing requirements for reinforcement during a treatment task, participants chose between two cards with arbitrary shapes signaling either optimal (100% chance to earn 50% reinforcement magnitude) or suboptimal function-based reinforcement (80% chance to earn 10% reinforcement or 20% chance to earn 100% reinforcement), and colors as a terminal link. Participants were run on a multiple baseline with a reversal of reinforcement outcome contingencies to account for bias. Preliminary results suggest participants' choices closely mirror the choice models of non-human subjects: choices are biased toward suboptimal choice, extending basic research to this population. Implications for practice and translational science are discussed.

 

Teaching 2D Matching by Fading 3D Objects to Children with Autism. Kristi Dumas (Western Michigan University), Aubrey Rolston (Western Michigan University), Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Many children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate difficulty making conditional discriminations (e.g., matching, identifying objects, sorting, etc.) necessary for more complex skills, making them common targets for early intervention (Green, 2001). The current study taught two children to match 2D pictures after previous attempts were unsuccessful. After the children could match at least five objects reliably and accurately, we assessed generalization across novel objects, instructors, and settings. Next, we introduced one picture to the comparison array of objects while simultaneously removing one object and continued in this fashion until the array contained only pictures. Once they were matching the initial target pictures reliably and accurately, we increased the number of pictures in the array, removed supplemental materials (e.g. bins or trifolds), assessed generalization across novel pictures, and increased the complexity of the pictures to be matched.

 

Teaching Children with Autism to Respond to the Instructions "Stop", "Wait", and "Come Here." Lily Heitz (Western Michigan University), Jonathan Micel (Western Michigan University), Michael Toma (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

Individuals with autism have difficulty with listener responding skills. These skills are critical for classroom instructions, but even more so for the student's safety and parents' peace of mind. A child missing listener responding skills can be very dangerous in everyday situations. Children must be able to respond to the instructions "stop," wait," and "come here" when walking out of the grocery store into the parking lot with traffic. Without these three listener responding skills parents might even feel uncomfortable taking children to many public settings that hold similar dangers. In this intervention, the listener responding skills "stop," "wait," and "come here" will be taught to a high mastery-criterion so that responses will be dependable in times of safety. At the beginning of the procedure, instructions will be given one foot (or arm reach away) from childnotice and extinction. This is so we can prompt the targets until they are mastered gradually fading out the tutor's prompts. Then, the duration of waiting will be increased gradually resulting in the skill to be more functional. Once these listener responding targets are faded from full physical prompts to independence, at a distance of one foot, the targets will be presented at a slowly increasing distance from student. We are increasing the distance, so the target behaviors are functional outside of the classroom/booth. This study is currently in progress. The participants' performance during baseline was below mastery criteria, and it's anticipated that participants will consistently score 90% or above on all treatment phases.

 

Teaching Eye Contact to Children with Autism. Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

We used a shaping procedure to teach three preschool-age children to make eye contact with the instructor during breaks in instruction after increasing the duration of eye contact to 3 s. After the initial intervention, we decreased the frequency of reinforcement while training for generalization across therapists and locations. All three children acquired quick and sustained eye contact, which maintained up to 2 months and transferred across a variety of therapists and locations without the need for prompting.

 

Teaching Pre-Tranisitionary Skills Necessary to Entering a Preschool Classroom. Sarah Phillips (Western Michigan University), Justin Daigle (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

KRESA's West Campus Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) classroom provides behavior analytic treatment for children ages 2-5 diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Children in our classroom will eventually transition to a group skills room, preschool, or Woodsedge, a special education school. The present study takes into consideration the acquisition of pre-transitionary skills that a student needs in order to transition to a less intrusive classroom.

The present study focuses on teaching listener responding and receptive identification, more specifically hand raising and identifying one's own name. Hand raising is taught in the group room during choice time. Students are given the opportunity to choose a song or letter of the alphabet to sing. The student must raise their hand in order to make a choice. Identifying one's name is taught in the booth and then generalized to other areas of the classroom including the locker, table, and chairs.

 

Teaching Transition Behavior in a School Setting. Kohei Togashi (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

The goal of the intervention was to teach appropriate transition behavior while reducing problem behavior during transitions in a school setting. A 3-year-old student who engaged in flopping in an early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) classroom participated in this study. Advanced notice and extinction were used during transitions throughout the student's day. The result indicated that the intervention was effective, and the rate of flopping remained low after the student had moved a different, less restrictive class room.

 

Training Object Permanence Skills in the PEAK Relational Training System. Annemarie Brenner (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

Object permanence, or responding to stimuli out of view, represents a commonly delayed milestone in individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The present study examined the effectiveness of PEAK-D 3A: Object Permanence in establishing this repertoire in three students diagnosed with autism. One male and two females (aged 9-12) participated. During baseline, researchers showed a neutral item and placed it underneath one of three opaque cups and asked the participant to find it after moving the cups one, two, or zero times. All participants demonstrated low accuracy. Next, the neutral item was switched to an edible reinforcer. In a multiple baseline across participants, all three participants mastered object permanence and continued to respond with high accuracy when the reinforcer was again replaced with a neutral object. These results suggest that PEAK methods are adequate for training object permanence skills and add additional support for the importance

 of the role of reinforcement in this developmental milestone.

 

Using Modified Direct Instruction Procedures to Prepare Students for Transition into Classroom Settings. John Leither (Judson Center), Jessica Pavela (Judson Center), Lauren Schuld (Judson Center), Ashley Pierson (Judson Center), Sarah Gulino (Judson Center), & Kelsey Murphy (Judson Center)

 

Group Instruction is an expansion and continuation of a previous research project at our clinic. Loosely based on principles of direct instruction, the goal of the project is to to create a clinic-wide curriculum for learners to join when they are ready to begin a transition into the school environment. Students are divided into two groups based on different inclusion criteria. Group 2 inclusion criteria are the ability to attend to a teacher for 5 seconds or more, the ability to sit in their seat for at least one minute, and the ability to make a vocal approximations of words. Intended for younger students preparing for transition to elementary school, the target skills for group 1 include participation in group activities, appropriate transitions between classrooms, raising hand to answer questions, appropriate independent work behavior, and appropriate social group behavior. Group Instruction lasts for 1 hour, during which a single teacher provides instruction to the entire group. One to Three support staff are present for data collection and minimal prompting if required. All lead staff attended a 1 hour training session in which group instruction procedures were taught. Support staff were trained on how to collect data in a 15 minute training session prior to their attending of group instruction. IOA data is collected as interval by interval IOA for 20% of all sessions.

 

The Use of Reinforcement on Staff Performance to Increase Daily Cleaning Compeletion in the EIBI Program at The Children's Center. Rebeca Taylor (The Children's Center), Tyler Dykes (The Children's Center), Stanley Mackey (The Children's Center), & Mallory Steele (The Children's Center)

 

Minimal research exists regarding staff motivation to provide cleanliness environments for daily intensive EIBI services. The EIBI program at The Children's Center is the most intensive program that the agency offers to the families of Wayne County. Staff in the EIBI program are asked to ensure that the program is cleansed daily to provide purity environments for the children and families. The study began in July 2016 and is currently being implemented in the EIBI program with positive effects. The study has shown a positive correlation with increased client attendance when staff cleaned additional work environments at 80% or higher each week. The rationale for the current study was to increase staff performance using reinforcement in order to provide immaculateness environments for children and families.

 

Using Functional Communication Training to Reduce Escape-Maintained Problem Behaviors In a Child With An Early Childhood Developmental Delay. Julie Young (Western Michigan University), Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott, (Western Michigan University), & Kelly Kohler (Western Michigan University)

 

Functional Communication Training (FCT) is a procedure commonly used to assist children who have acquired maladaptive behaviors by training adaptive, functional communication to replace those behaviors Carr & Durand, 1985). Jaden was a student in an early intensive behavioral intervention classroom (EIBI) who was referred to us because of a communication delay and problem behaviors consisting of eloping, screaming, head-banging, biting, kicking, and flopping. We determined that these challenging behaviors were maintained by escape from and avoidance of demands, therefore we implemented an FCT protocol to teach him an appropriate response (i.e., exchanging an icon) to request a break or to delay instruction. We used prompting and prompt fading to teach the exchange of two icons (I.e., break, wait) and provided differential reinforcement for independent exchanges. Once independent exchanges occurred reliably, we decreased the frequency of reinforcement by introducing an activity schedule and visual prompt to indicate when reinforcement would and would not be available.

 

Using Modified Direct Instruction Techniques to Teach Advanced Social Skills. Jessica Pavela (The Judson Center), John Leither (The Judson Center), Lauren Schuld (The Judson Center), Ashley Pierson (The Judson Center), Sarah Gulino (The Judson Center), & Kelsey Murphy (The Judson Center)

 

Group Instruction is an expansion and continuation of a previous research project at our clinic. Loosely based on principles of direct instruction, the goal of the program is to create a clinic wide curriculum for learners to join when they are ready to begin a transition into the school environment. Inclusion criteria requirements for this group are the client must attend a school setting at least 3 times per week, must have basic communication skills, and limited challenging behaviors . Group 3 is an expansion of our other center wide program Group 2, in which treatment goals are more focused on classroom readiness and appropriate social and conversation skills with peers. While Group 2 focuses on the prerequisite classroom readiness skills. Specifically, target skills for Group 3 include, participation in group activities, independent work, contextually related conversations, and conversations with a peer. Group Instruction sessions are an hour in duration with seven participants ages 8-14. During group there is one lead staff providing directions and reinforcement, and facilitating the group. There are also 4-6 support staff present for data collection purposes, as well as providing minimal L-M physical prompting as necessary. All lead staff attended a one-hour training session in which Group Instruction procedures were taught. Support staff also attended a 30-minute training session prior to attending Group Instruction, in which they learned our data collection procedures. Interval by interval Interobserver Agreement data were collected for 20% of all sessions.

 

Using Transfer Trials to Teach Receptive Language Skills to Children with Autism. Aubrey Rolston (Western Michigan University), Kristi Dumas (Western Michigan University), Amelia Fonger (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 

A common focus of many early intervention programs is to teach children to respond appropriately to auditory stimuli. This ensures children can respond to their environment, and do not miss out on important learning opportunities (Grow & LeBlanc, 2013). However, most of the current research involves teaching auditory-visual discrimination (e.g., "touch book"), requiring the individual to both listen and look for the correct comparison stimulus. In the current study, we taught a 3-year-old child with a minimal attending repertoire to respond appropriately to one-step vocal instructions using a most-to-least (MTL) prompting strategy with a, transfer-trial sequence as means for error correction. Using transfer trials allowed us to provide more opportunities for independent responding throughout the day. Following mastery of the targeted instructions, we assessed generalization across a variety of environments and instructors to ensure that the child could respond appropriately outside of our teaching sessions.

 

Utilizing OBM Contingencies to Increase Program Completion in a Clinic Setting. Jessica Biggs (Spark Center for Autism, LLC), Daniel Simpson (Spark Center for Autism, LLC), Elizabeth Tosto (Spark Center for Autis, LLC), Reena Naami (Spark Center for Autism, LLC), & Victoria Schmidt(Spark Center for Autism, LLC)

 

In a small ABA clinic setting, employees are expected to complete a specified number of programs as written in client treatment plans during each ABA session. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of organizational behavior management contingencies to improve individual staff and group performance on increasing program completion.

 

What's the Function? Using a Trial Based Functional Analysis in a Clinical Setting. Katelyn Hannivan (Judson Center), Emily Wilcox (Judson Center), Audrey Torma (Judson Center), & Melissa Wilson (Judson Center)

 

The purpose of this study was to test environmental variables that influence disruptive behaviors and to determine the maintaining function of those behaviors. Instead of following a traditional Functional Analysis (FA) format, a Trial Based FA was used due to the severity of the challenging behaviors. According to Bloom, Carreau, Fritz, Iwata, and Roscoe (2011), a Trial Based FA can be an effective tool when there are not enough resources or time to perform a traditional analysis. Participants of this study included four males and one female aged 7-18. All participants were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and engage in high severity challenging behavior. Results of the FA were then used to inform treatment and generate function-based behavior interventions. Across all participants, challenging behavior decreased after the intervention was implemented.

 

Words Mean Something: Assessing Parents' Attitudes Toward Behavioral Terminology. Morgan Titus (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center), & Seth Whiting (Central Michigan University & Central Autism Treatment Center)

 

Providing services to clients with autism is not the only responsibility that clinicians have when conducting treatment. Being able to communicate with the client's caregivers about problem behaviors and treatment status is a key factor in creating success. However, terminology used in behavior analysis may be confusing or intimidating to parents of children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to examine parents' attitudes toward scientific language related to behavior analysis. To examine this, we surveyed parents of children with autism and asked them to rate their level of comfort in response to seven sets of matched statements that contain scientific terminology (e.g., functional control), semi-scientific terminology (e.g., relationships among events), and layman terminology (e.g., events go together). Results showed layman terminology ranked most comfortable across all statement triplets, and scientific terminology consistently ranked lowest. Our results suggest that clinician-caregiver communication needs to be more adaptive for parents who may not comprehend behavior analysis terminology to ensure the execution of effective services.

 

Zones of Regulations Social Group for Elementary-Aged Boys. Kayley Sanger (University of Cincinnati)

 

Four second-grade boys were referred by their teacher for behaviors regarding lack of emotional regulation leading to an increase of problem behaviors within the classroom. The goal of this group was to increase the students' awareness of emotions and teach skills to self-regulate. Self-regulation encompasses a broad construct incorporating the skills involved in controlling, directing, and planning emotions, cognitions, and behavior (Baumeister & Vohs, 2004). Inability to self-regulate has been linked with effective classroom behavior and high achievement and in contrast, poor self-regulation forecasts future problems in school (Blair, 2002). The social skills group used a modified curriculum based from Zones of Regulation (Kuypers, 2011) in addition, to a classroom check-in component to increase generalization and practice opportunities. The classroom component was also built into current reinforcement protocol of classroom. The research was an A/B design comparing two environments. One student had a second phase of more intensified intervention (A/B/C design). Data indicated moderate to high effect sizes, per Cohen's d, in target variables of concern for each participant.

 

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