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BAAM 2012
Convention Schedule
(Subject to modification)


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  Posters | Thursday Workshops | Friday Workshops

Regular Registration | Student Registration

BACB CEUs will be available for most sessions at no extra cost!
(Sessions will be designated for CEUs as approvals are received. More added daily)

Important Note to BAAM presenters

BAAM can supply a digital LCD projector. BAAM cannot supply laptops. Please bring your own laptop and appropriate adaptors if you are going to use a digital projector. Please bring a backup copy of your presentation on a disk-key or CD. Test everything. Macintosh users, bring your projector adaptor.

Because certain projectors sometimes do not work with certain computers, it is BAAM's strong recommendation that you bring your own tested projector and computer combination.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

8:00-9:00 a.m. Registration (Open all day) Room 350

Note: Refreshments will be available during registration. Free for convention registrants.

Keynote Speaker

W. David Pierce

"Activity Anorexia: Participation of Neuroendocrine Responses in Food-Related Contingencies"

1.0 BACB Type-II CEU

W. David Pierce
University of Alberta

9:00 - 10:15 am
Ballroom A

What is "activity anorexia?" It is an imbalance between food intake and general activity. More activity can make you less hungry. Decreased food intake can increase your general activity. If you combine the two, and don't have limits on either, you can get caught in a dangerous loop in which you gradually eat less while exercising more. Activity anorexia is the result. Activity anorexia accounts for the majority of anorexia in humans. The phenomenon has been known since the 1960s, but through the efforts of Pierce and his colleagues, it is just now being recognized as a critical element of anorexia treatment in humans.

Thursday Breakout Sessions

10:30-11:20 pm Room 330  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Obesity Prevalence and Weight Management Strategies for African-American Urban Adolescents.
Lisa M. Todd (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Kathryn E. Brogan (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Sylvie Naar-King (Wayne State University School of Medicine) & Deborah A. Ellis (Wayne State University School of Medicine)

The FIT Families program is a weight loss intervention study for obese African-American urban adolescents and their primary caregivers. Community health workers (CHWs) are the primary interventionists on a multidisciplinary team. The 6-month weight management program is designed to meet individual family needs in the areas of motivation for behavior change, education, skills acquisition, skills practice, and contingency management. This project is particularly timely given the rapidly increasing obesity prevalence, disproportionately affected demographic groups, and expert recommendations for multidisciplinary prevention and intervention approaches. In this presentation, three topics on obesity management will be discussed. First, obesity trends in the United States will be presented. Next, the 2007 Expert Committee recommendations on child and adolescent overweight and obesity will be presented and discussed (Barlow, 2007). Last, the FIT Families program components and research design will be discussed with reference to the Expert Committee recommendations.

10:30-11:20 pm Room 320 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Methodological Behaviorism as a Radical Behaviorist Views It.
Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

This review examines the historical and conceptual background to methodological behaviorism.  It argues that methodological behaviorism is the name for a strongly prescriptive orientation to psychological science.  The first and original feature of methodological behaviorism is that psychologists should only deploy those “psychological” terms and concepts in their theories and explanations that are based on observable stimuli and behavior.  A second feature is that psychologists should adhere to particular research and explanatory practices.  We analyze methodological behaviorism from the standpoint of Skinner’s radical behaviorism, and conclude that methodological behaviorism is ironically closely tied to mentalism.

10:30-11:50 pm Room 352 1.5 BACB Type-II CEUs
Symposium:  Topics and Research in Problem Solving

Chair:  John W. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI)
Discussant:     Scott Gaynor (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI)

This symposium presents two experimental discussing a behavioral account of problem solving where the emission of a precurrent response increases the probability of a response that is scheduled for reinforcement. In both studies, mediating verbal behavior may have allowed access to already-established repertoires. The investigation by Esch and Esch used a verbal rehearsal procedure during a delay-to-respond to increase correct stimulus selection when shown an array of numerals in a problem-solving joint control task. Preliminary results show that participants correctly selected numerals when instructed to rehearse them during a delay. Sundberg et al. present the results of a study comparing performances of individuals defined as either high-verbal or low-verbal on a matching-to-sample task. Results indicated that performance deteriorated when rehearsal (i.e., covert verbal behavior) was disrupted, thus preventing the establishment of joint control over the selection response. The discussant, Dr. Scott Gaynor, will offer remarks regarding these papers.

Assessing and Training Pre-Current Responses to Increase Performance on a Verbal Problem-Solving Task. John W.  Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI) & Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI)

Much complex behavior requires probing established verbal and non-verbal repertoires to present (access?) stimuli that will evoke a response that currently is unable to be emitted in the absence of those stimuli (Skinner, 1957). This study follows previous research findings (Esch et al., 2010) showing that, for some individuals, a self-echoic response after a correct echoic response is weakened when a delay-to-respond is imposed. Such discrepancies between echoic and self-echoic behavior may be predictive of deficits in verbal problem solving.  Following echoic and self-echoic assessments, participants were asked to find the correct numeric sequence when shown 4 quadrants of various numeric sequences on a problem-solving joint control task (Lowenkron, 1998). In an ABCBC experimental design, participants were asked to find the correct sequence under 3 conditions: (a) instruction and sequence presented simultaneously, (b) sequence presentation delayed by 5 seconds and (c) instructed echoic and self-echoic rehearsal provided during a 5-second delay to presentation. We discuss the results of this study as it relates to teaching selection-based problem-solving skills and a descriptive autoclitic.

The Role of Multiple Control and Covert Verbal Behavior in Matching-to-Sample Research. Carl T. Sundberg (Behavior Analysis Center for Autism, Fishers, IN), Mark L. Sundberg (Sundberg and Associates, Concord, CA) & Jack Michael (Western Michigan University)

There is a sizeable body of basic behavioral research that employs matching-to-sample (MTS) preparations with verbal adults as participants. The goal of much of this research involves the study of complex behavioral relations (e.g., problem solving, emerging behavior, equivalence, relational frames).  The current empirical investigation examines the role of multiple control and covert verbal behavior in high-verbal participants (college students) and low-verbal participants (adults with severe to moderate developmental disabilities). The data demonstrate that additional independent variables are responsible for the comparison stimulus selection behavior for the high-verbal participants. These variables primarily involve covert verbal behavior that occurs for verbal participants between the presentation of sample stimuli and the selection of a comparison stimulus.  The covert verbal behavior then provides multiple sources of stimulus control in the form of joint control over selection behavior (Lowenkron, 1992).  When the covert verbal behavior is disrupted, joint multiple control becomes hard to establish and performance clearly deteriorates. The implications of these results on current experimental practice and claims regarding emerging behavior are discussed.

10:30-11:50 pm Room 301 1.5 BACB Type-II CEUs
Symposium: The Adaptable Token System

Chair:  Krista Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)
Michelle Fuhr (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

A token system uses points or tokens, which the client acquires for meeting an agreed-upon goal. After reaching a predetermined amount, tokens are then “cashed in” for more highly preferred rewards. Such a reward system is often underused for the various populations (that, not which) which it can serve in the behavioral, educational, and medical fields. Presenters will discuss benefits and considerations for token economy implementation as supported by relevant literature including strategies for modifying the system based on the needs of the client. Barriers to successful implementation of a token economy will be examined, with tips and techniques to overcome these barriers being provided. Procedural guidelines for successful implementation, thinning, and removal of the token system will be explored. Additionally, considerations and implications of both group and individual-based contingencies in a classroom or group setting in will be discussed. Case studies will be included to demonstrate essential skills and concepts.

Our Life is a Token System. Ashley Nowak (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

Token economies are used to provide affordable, reusable, and easily accessible reinforcement in a behavior change procedure, but they are often ineffective and challenging to implement. What are the considerations that make a token system effective or ineffective and what changes that can be made to increase the effectiveness?  What are the pros and cons to using a token system, and what skills should the client possess before implementing a token system? What are some techniques for choosing an effective reinforcer and pairing it successfully? These concepts will be explored and related to situations that are faced in everyday life.

 Adaptable Token System. Krista Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

Why doesn’t my token system work?! My client can’t be on a token system forever! Why doesn’t my client like the tokens?! How often do I reinforce my client?! All people need various levels of reinforcement to effectively change their behavior. As progress is made, the level of reinforcement will need to change to accommodate to learning and what level of reinforcement occurs in the natural environment. Changes in reinforcement may cause problematic behavior to return to baseline and learned behavior to regress. Learning how to assess your client and their needed schedule of reinforcement will be the target of this paper as well as how to modify that schedule when progress occurs, or doesn’t occur. Data interpretation in the form of case studies will be examined to demonstrate these concepts.

 The Dynamic Token System. Michelle Fuhr (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

Token systems are a dynamic tool that can be used with clients of various skill levels and clients with various concerns. Behavior reduction and skill development are only two of the commonly used targets for token systems. A token system is a great way to give your client reinforcement without having to provide them with a tangible or edible for each instance of the target behavior. Token systems can be used to help your clients adhere to recommended behavioral or medical treatment and be a tool for data collection. Discussion will also entail using token systems in a classroom or group-based learning setting and considerations for using the token system with the whole group versus only the target individual. Case studies will examine the real-life application of these considerations.

10:30-11:50 am Room 300
Symposium: Novel Methodological Directions for Behavior Analytic Research and Intervention.

Chair:  Matthew Jameson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant:  Amy Naugle (Western Michigan University)

The unifying theme of the papers presented in this symposium is methodological innovation that may merit broader dissemination within the field, both in research and applied settings. The first describes the design and evaluation of an intervention intended to improve research participants' understanding of consent documents so as to ensure that participants are fully informed before agreeing to participate. The second paper describes an innovative method to test the product usability (i.e., to aid in identifying programming errors, discontinuities, and similar "glitches") of electronically delivered psychotherapy programs. The system uses an iterative process to identify and resolve errors in the program and was piloted on a computerized intervention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), leading to improvements on a rating scale of user satisfaction completed by trained undergraduate research assistants. The third and final paper describes the creation of an observational coding system designed to measure clinician adherence to a behavioral activation (BA) protocol for depression. Using videotapes of clinicians performing BA before and after receiving training, the authors tested a simplified checklist of major protocol elements using trained undergraduate coders. The use of undergraduate coders was intended to reduce costs, compared to readily available, validated observational coding systems designed to be administered by experienced clinicians. Such a system may be useful for assessing the effectiveness of training studies, treatment integrity in outcome trials, and for providing feedback to clinicians.

Testing a Procedure to Promote Participant Understanding of Informed Consent Documents. Michael Reynolds (Western Michigan University) & Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University)

Research has documented deficiencies in the informed consent process of human subjects research protocols. Several studies have shown that research participants who have consented to participate in a study often have limited comprehension of the information presented in the informed consent process. Without comprehension of the details of an informed consent process, it can be argued that the process of consent is not truly “informed” in many current informed consent protocols. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of two informed consent procedures on participant understanding of a research protocol. A secondary purpose of this study was to assess beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscientific phenomena, as well as the impact of a critical information checklist on the believability of medical claims.

Computer Based Exposure Therapy Program for PTSD. Kellie Reynolds (Western Michigan University) & C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

The mental health literature indicates that the individuals who need evidence based psychological treatments the most tend to be those that have the least economic means to access such services. With increasing need for services based upon projected estimates of the global burden of mood and anxiety disorders, community mental health providers have limited means of assisting those who cannot afford services. Computerized interventions have been identified as an emerging alternative to standard face-to-face psychological treatments. Yet, there is currently a lack of reported systematic research on the development process of computer based mental health interventions. The current investigation sought to empirically test and further refine a computer based exposure therapy program that targets PTSD. The process used for these purposes was validation testing. This process entailed an iterative assessment of the frequency of errors in a “test-revise-retest” fashion, and analyzed the program's sequential and overall usability prior to future testing of treatment efficacy. Results of a system usability scale indicated that product usability (PU) testers rated higher user satisfaction with increasing iterations. Chi square analyses indicated that the frequency of unique errors became significantly less as PU testers completed each successive iteration.  These particular findings indicate the importance of using an iterative process that tracks the location of errors, and measures the usability of the computer program. This particular study may serve as a template for future studies that seek to complete validation testing for computerized treatments.

Developing and Testing of an Observational Coding System to Measure Adherence to a Behavioral Activation Protocol. Matthew Jameson (Western Michigan University), Suzanne Decker (Yale University School of Medicine) & Amy Naugle (Western Michigan University)

Observational coding systems for constructs like treatment adherence have a variety of practical uses, including measuring the effectiveness of training interventions and may also be useful for providing feedback in the context of graduate training programs and for providing therapist feedback in the course of consultation (see: Decker, Jameson, & Naugle, 2011). However, observational coding systems have only been developed for a limited range of treatment protocols, and are typically intended to be scored by coders with high levels of expertise (e.g. clinicians at the master's or doctoral levels) with concomitant practical barriers. This paper describes a recently piloted observational coding system designed to capture variation in clinician adherence to a behavioral activation protocol in which clinicians were trained during a previous study (the second author's doctoral dissertation). The coding system was designed for parsimony and reliability, and was tested using a group of undergraduate research assistant coders. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC's) for the coding items varied widely, demonstrating the promise of a simple, efficient, coding system that can be scored by undergraduates, but also underscoring the need to further develop such a system before release. The author will describe the items that achieved at least adequate reliability, and future directions to improve reliability of the current system, and eventually to expand it to include other protocol elements that have been included in behavioral activation protocols, but not captured in the current system.

11:30-11:50 am Room 330
Preservice Teachers’ Dispositions Towards Behavioral Interventions for LGBT Youth Victims of Bullying. William Milburn (Eastern Michigan University) & John Palladino (Eastern Michigan University)

The research project that constitutes this presentation offers a unique contribution to the literature and academy that has otherwise not appeared: The degree to which preservice teachers agree with reported findings in the LGBT youth literature. Our study was based on the assumption that pre-service teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions relative to this topic might influence their forthcoming behavioral interventions in the field. If so, then pre-service preparation programs need to understand pre-service teachers’ insights and respond with training and curriculum enhancements that would best prepare them to address the inevitable reality of LGBT bullying in K-12 settings. This presentation will include an overview of our statistical findings that we will complement with conversational discussion points that will help audience members know how past school-based interventions and practices on behalf of LGBT students might perpetuate or change as the next generation of teachers enters the classroom.

11:30-11:50 am Room 320
Morphological Typology and Response Topography.
Robert J. Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

Linguists have long had an interest in classifying the “types” of languages they study.  One of the most salient traits that linguists use to identify language types is the way the morphemes of a language interact with each other.  Morphemes are the minimal units of a language that have a meaning or grammatical function (i.e., simple words, affixes, and roots).  In behavior-analytic terms, morphemes are the basic response classes used by members of the verbal community, and their interactions, broadly speaking, are intraverbal responses.  This paper will consider the classic types of morphological interaction proposed by linguists, and interpret them behavior analytically.  Specifically, the implications for intraverbal responding in the so-called isolating, agglutinative, synthetic, and polysynthetic languages will be discussed.  Studies of this sort can lead to better descriptions of verbal response topographies, and better techniques for teaching languages.

Noon - 1:30 pm Lunch Period
(On your own--many selections on the first floor of the Student Center)

1:30-2:20 pm Room 320  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
A Practical Application of a Treatment Procedural Scoring Method to Treatment Integrity.  Libby Caswell (Disability and Autism Services of Indiana), Sheila Habarad (The Behavior Analysis Center for Autism) & Melissa Harness (Disability and Autism Services of Indiana)

Recent work conducted by Drs. Barbara and John Esch suggests that treatment integrity can be improved through the use of a teaching competencies tool with video analysis. The purpose of this project was to improve the treatment integrity of ABA therapy provided by teaching therapists how to analyze their performance. Participants had minimal applied background in Applied Behavior Analysis. Baseline data were collected on a one-minute video during a therapy session for each participant. The learn units observed were studied, graded on a teaching competencies worksheet, and then therapists graphed their performance. Each intervention was specifically designed for the therapist’s deficiencies, yet all interventions focused on errorless teaching, error correction, prompt fading, and differential reinforcement. We anticipate treatment integrity will be increased through the use of the teaching competencies tool with video analysis. Additionally, the Standard Celeration Chart was used to display the rate of learn units.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 301
Panel Disussion  Eating and Addiction Among Weight Loss Surgery Patients: Can Behavioral Economic Theory Shed Light on the Association?
Karen K. Saules (Eastern Michigan University), Summar Reslan (Eastern Michigan University), Ashley Wiedemann (Eastern Michigan University) & Shannon Clark (Eastern Michigan University)

 Chair:  Karen K. Saules (Eastern Michigan University)

Weight loss surgery (WLS) is rapidly gaining acceptance among the morbidly obese population.  Following WLS, patients lose, on average, 65% of excess body weight (Buchwald, 2005).  Unfortunately, however, not all post-bariatric outcomes are favorable. In addition to the potential for weight regain (Sjöström et al., 2004), we recently reported on the overrepresentation of bariatric patients in a substance abuse detoxification/rehabilitation program (Saules et al., 2010).  To date, this overrepresentation is poorly understood, but one hypothesis is that a subset of WLS patients may “transfer” their addiction to food to substance abuse when overconsumption of food is no longer an option. Research from our lab suggests that 40-66% of those who encounter drug and alcohol problems after bariatric surgery are individuals who have no prior history of problematic substance use (Ivezaj, 2011; Wiedemann et al., 2010).  That is, they are not relapsing to a prior substance use disorder, but, rather, developing a substance use disorder de novo at a time in life (i.e., middle age) when this is not a common phenomenon. Therefore, it is important to identify those at high risk for post-surgical substance use disorders and to advance our understanding of why some WLS patients experience this unfortunate outcome. Towards this end, we have used qualitative methods to analyze interview data from post-bariatric patients in a substance abuse detoxification/rehabilitation program (Ivezaj et al., 2010).  With regard to their perceptions about the development of their drug and alcohol problems, 75% of patients felt that some form of unresolved psychological problem was a contributor, and 85% believed that because they could no longer cope through eating, they substituted with drugs/alcohol. Interestingly, however, in a study using a community sample of post-bariatric patients, we did not find support for the notion of “addiction transfer” when using the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS; Gearhardt, Corbin & Brownell, 2009) as an indicator of pre-surgical “food addiction.”  The YFAS conceptualizes “food addiction” in accordance with DSM-IV “dependence” criteria.  Thus, if “addiction transfer” is operating, it may be through some other mechanism. We propose that behavioral economic theory may advance our understanding of “addiction transfer” among post-bariatric patients.  In brief, behavioral economic indicators of the reinforcing value of food, pre-surgically, may be harbingers of the likelihood of “addiction transfer,” post-surgically. We will present (1) an overview of our work to date, (2) our preliminary data on validation of a behavioral economic choice model to study the relative reinforcing value of food among non-WLS patients and (3) a smaller sample of WLS patients, and (4) preliminary findings of an online survey evaluating the relationship of post-surgical food reinforcement, delay discounting, and disordered eating behavior to post-WLS outcomes, both with respect to weight loss and the development of substance abuse.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 352  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Symposium: Use of Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Social Skills in Various Educational Settings

Chair:    Yannick Schenk (Western Michigan University)
Discussant:    Lloyd D. Peterson, Ed.D., BCBA-D (Compass, LLC, Schoolcraft, MI)

This symposium will consist of two presentations that will describe experimental studies of two different evidence-based practices used to teach students with and without disabilities social skills in different educational settings. First, Elian Aljadeff-Abergel will present a classwide peer-tutoring (CWPT) study implemented in the physical education setting to third grade at-risk students. In her presentation Elian will discuss the benefits of CWPT to teach students social skills while improving academic-psychomotor learning. Results of this study suggest that while the teacher provides feedback on students‚ social behavior, and students receive feedback from their peer on their psychomotor performance ˆ both social and psychomotor skills improve.  Second, Jessica Frieder will present an empirical investigation on the use of self-monitoring with a matching procedure to increase students‚ proactive social skills across different classroom settings for eight elementary students at risk for school failure.  Results of the study support the use of the self-monitoring with matching procedure for programmed generalization across settings. Finally, Lloyd Peterson will summarize the findings of these studies discuss their relative contributions to the field of behavior analysis, and implications for future research directions. 

Improving Social Behavior While Learning Karate: The Example Systematic Use of Classwide Peer Tutoring in Elementary Physical Education.  Elian Aljadeff-Abergel (Western Michigan University) & Shiri Ayvazo (David Yellin College)

Classwide peer tutoring (CWPT) is an evidence-based pedagogy that capitalizes on peer interactions and can be conducive for the development of social skills in physical education (PE). Nonetheless, studies typically examined CWPT effects of psychomotor performance, and only few studies investigated its effects on students‚ social skill learning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of CWPT on third grade students‚ social skills learning while they improve their psychomotor performance as well. The study was conducted at an inner-city charter school with four at-risk third grade students. An ABAB design was implemented to examine the effects of CWPT on social skills performance and psychomotor learning during martial arts tasks.  Social skills were defined as student‚s ability to appropriately provide and receive feedback (verbally and/or nonverbally) while psychomotor performance was determined by successfully demonstrating a correct trial (i.e., students display pre-stated critical elements).  Baseline phase entailed teacher‚s typical instruction (small-group instruction).  The CWPT intervention phase entailed same-level pairs and reciprocal engagement in tutoring. Results of the study suggest CWPT was an effective intervention for increasing social skills as well as psychomotor performance for three out of the four participants.  Discussion will include limitations and possible future directions for the application of CWPT systems across an array of skills as well as in a wide variety of settings.

Effects of Social Skill Training and Self-Management Procedure on Generalization of Social Skill Usage Across Participants‚ Environments. Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Lloyd D. Peterson (Compass, LLC, Schoolcraft) & Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)

Self-monitoring and self-management are behavior analytic strategies that have demonstrated robust effects for use amongst a variety of behaviors, settings, and participants (e.g., Hoff & DuPaul, 1998; Kiburz, Miller, & Morrow, 1984; Peterson, Young, West, & Peterson, 1999; Peterson, Young, Salzberg, West, & Hill, 2006; Smith, Nelson, Young, & West, 1992).  Self-monitoring with a matching procedure has been suggested to be particularly effective for individuals who are at risk of school failure (Peterson et al., 2006).  The purpose of this study was to extend the literature by utilizing a self-monitoring with matching strategy for eight students at risk of school failure in elementary school.  A multiple baseline across participants design was employed to examine the effects of social skill instruction as well as the self-monitoring with matching strategy across participants‚ different classroom settings.  Results of the study suggest social skill instruction without the use of a programmed generalization strategy was effective at increasing the target behaviors for some participants in select settings.  However, the self-monitoring procedure increased appropriate social skill use beyond what was seen with social skill instruction alone and improved generalization of social skills to settings in which they were not occurring with instruction alone. In addition, self-reported scores on a social validity measure from students and teachers as well as praise statement delivery by teachers throughout the study will be discussed.   

2:30-3:20 pm Room 352
Apps for Behavioral Assessment and Intervention--Part 1 iBAA (Behavioral Assessment Application). Paul G. Chrustowski (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI), Christian Marcillo (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI) & Glen Konopskie (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI) 

Presenters will demonstrate and instruct attendees in the use of iBAA, a behavioral assessment application for the iOS platform (iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch). Attendees will learn how this application can greatly enhance the time- and cost-efficiency of existing practices of behavior analysts in conducting the full spectrum of direct behavioral assessments:  qualitative observations, cumulative behavioral frequencies, peer-referenced interval recording, functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), and assessments of the instructional or observational environments. Attendees will learn the extreme flexibility and customization potential of this tool for use in a variety of clinical and residential settings with a variety of clients, ease of data entry, and reporting options, including essential tools for behavior analysts, such as conditional probabilities.  Presenters will demonstrate how the use of iBAA produces accessible and usable data for behavioral research, evaluation, and practical behavior change.

3:30-4:20 pm Room 352
Apps for Behavioral Assessment and Intervention--Part 2:  Keep In Mind, EduNet. Paul G. Chrustowski (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI), Christian Marcillo (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI) & Glen Konopskie (Future Help Designs, Pontiac, MI) 

Presenters will demonstrate and instruct attendees in the use of Keep In Mind, a unique application for the iOS platform (iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch) which assists in implementation of behavioral interventions.  Attendees will learn how customizable behavioral prompts can be delivered to a client’s mobile device, which could serve a variety of purposes that contribute to successful behavior interventions.  Potential uses include: prompts to clients for treatment compliance; delivery of affirmations to clients receiving behavioral treatment for depression; delivery of attention cues for clients receiving behavioral intervention for Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); delivery of reminders for clients to do behavioral homework; prompts to clients to use prescribed coping skills; delivery of reminders to clients with developmental disabilities or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for performance of activities of daily living; prompts/reminders for plan implementers for delivery of discriminative stimuli and/or reinforcers; and prompts/reminders for plan implementers to conduct a prescribed intervention or gather data.  Each prompt delivery requires a recipient response, providing the behavior analysts feedback regarding client treatment compliance or fidelity of implementation data for non-clinicians implementing a plan on a daily basis.  Attendees will also be exposed to a platform for iPad educational applications in development, which will allow for individualized and differentiated instruction via iPad in an educational setting.  The platform will be of particular interest to those working students with higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders as it will engage the learner and maximize and client functional independence.

2:30-3:50 pm Room 320 1.5 BACB Type-II CEU
Clinical Behavioral Analysis Across Settings and Populations

Chair:  Rachel Petts (Western Michigan University)

The collection of papers making up this symposium describe studies examining the process and outcome of contemporary behavior therapies applied in inpatient, school, and outpatient settings with youth, young adult, and adult clients. Hinton et al. present the results of a randomized clinical trial comparing two components of acceptance and commitment therapy to supportive therapy for young adults with depressive symptoms. Maitland and Gaynor will present data from an alternating treatments design study comparing sessions of functional analytic psychotherapy to non-directive therapeutic support for adults with interpersonal difficulties. Broten et al. describe a randomized clinical trial comparing a brief acceptance and commitment protocol added to treatment as usual for individuals hospitalized for depression. Finally, Douleh et al., will present data from a behavioral skills training intervention provided to at risk youth in a public middle school.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Versus Supportive Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Technique Evaluation Trial. Marchion J. Hinton (Boys Town, Boys Town, Nebraska), Andrew R. Riley (Oregon Health and Science University), Tanya Douleh (Western Michigan University), Julissa Duenas (Western Michigan University), Christopher Andy Briggs (Western Michigan University), Daniel Maitland (Western Michigan University), Colleen Cullinan (Western Michigan University) & Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

The necessary and sufficient treatment strategies involved in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’s (ACT) multi-component treatment package have only begun to be dismantled via component analog studies. There is empirical evidence supporting cognitive defusion and valued action, specific components of ACT’s total treatment package. Together, these processes directly attempt to increase awareness of thoughts as ideas (rather than concrete facts), thereby allowing for increased psychological and behavioral flexibility to move toward valued goals.  Fifty-two university students reporting significant distress, low self-esteem, and depressive symptoms were randomized to six weekly therapy sessions of cognitive defusion (3 sessions) plus values-based activity scheduling (3 sessions) versus six weeks of supportive therapy. During the cognitive defusion sessions, two main strategies were used: vocalizing techniques (e.g., Titchener’s repetition) and Contents on Cards. Values-based activity scheduling focused on values clarification and activity scheduling. Intent-to-treat analyses exploring reductions in depressive symptoms and distress taken at pre-, mid-, and post-treatment found significant time*treatment interactions for participants meeting criteria for depression (n = 34) suggesting that ACT techniques produced greater change over supportive therapy. These findings contribute to the literature in determining the specific, active agents of ACT and the theoretically specified technique-to-process-to-outcome relations.

Comparing Sessions of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy to Non-Directive Support in the Treatment of Interpersonal Distress. Daniel W. Maitland (Western Michigan University) & Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

FAP is a behavior analytic approach to interpersonal psychotherapy. It shares with client-centered approaches an emphasis on establishing a therapeutic relationship marked by positive regard and empathic attunement. It shares with other interpersonal approaches a focus on the client’s interactions in important social relations and how she or he engages the social milieu. It also shares with both of these approaches the notion that much psychological distress and dysfunction is linked to difficulties forming and maintaining meaningful social relationships, such that therapy may address distress/dysfunction by targeting social relating. FAP is conceptually unique from these other approaches in the explicit importance it places on using the in-session interactions between the therapist and the client as the basis for shaping a more adaptive social repertoire. In the present study 10 individuals, of either sex, who report difficulty with social relating and who consent to participate, will each be provided 10 therapy sessions.  Using an alternating treatments design, each participant will receive 5 sessions of non-directive support focused on establishing empathic attunement and understanding (and reflecting an understanding of) the client’s social behavior.  The other 5 sessions will consist of FAP.  In the FAP sessions, the therapist will add an emphasis on the in-vivo behavior of the client, attempting to preempt (or extinguish) CRB1s and to prompt and reinforce CRB2s.  

A Brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Protocol for Depression in an Inpatient Setting. Lucas Broten (Western Michigan University), Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University) & Christopher Andy Briggs (Western Michigan University)

There is currently little research to inform the inpatient care of depressed adults. Additionally, it has been found that up to 57% of those that are hospitalized with a diagnosis of depression are re-hospitalized within one year of discharge (Lin et al., 2010).  This suggests that current programs are not successfully preventing relapse and re-hospitalization.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has shown promise as an adjunctive treatment in inpatient settings with co-morbid depression and substance abuse (Petersen & Zettle, 2009) and psychosis (Bach & Hayes, 2002; Gaudiano & Herbert, 2006). The purpose of the current study is to implement a randomized-controlled trial in an inpatient setting of treatment as usual (TAU) versus TAU plus individual sessions of ACT. A primary outcome is re-hospitalization rates at 3 months after discharge. Secondary measures include psychological functioning at discharge and follow-up.  Roughly 60 participants admitted to the mood disorder unit for depressive symptoms will complete the study. Currently 20 have been enrolled and given the participant flow it is fully expected that 60 will have been enrolled by December allowing for 3 month re-hospitalization data to be available for presentation at the conference.

Modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training for At-Risk Youth. Tanya Douleh (Western Michigan University) & Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University) 

The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a skills-based treatment for adolescents with difficulties arising from anger-related behaviors. An open clinical trial was implemented to assist in determining if a subset of skills traditionally taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are effective in decreasing self-reported anger and indicators of anger problems (e.g., office referrals), as well as effective in increasing positive coping skill usage. Participants received training in the skills of core mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. A pretest-posttest and repeated measures design was used to assess the effects of the eight-week skills training on participant behavior. Results indicate that those who participated in the group experienced a significant decrease in the amount of office referrals they received as a result of behavior problems at school, but that self-reports of skill usage did not change over the course of the group.

2:30-3:20 pm Room 301  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Changing Teacher Behavior To Change Student Behavior: A Novel Concept. Lloyd Peterson (COMPASS, LLC. Schoolcraft, MI)

There appear to be much emphasis placed on changing student behavior, however not enough emphasis on the correlation of how changing teacher behavior may result in an increase of desirable student behaviors.  This study focused on the effects on both teacher and student classroom behavior of: (1) measuring teacher and student behavior during class sessions and (2) sharing those data with and providing feedback to the teachers.  It is the author’s conclusion that, to bring about lasting change in our schools, we must focus on building and maintaining teacher behaviors that will in turn build desirable long-lasting student behavior.

3:30-4:20 pm Room 301 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Flash Rates as Discriminative Stimuli in Rats: Generalization and Peak Shift.
 John Smethells (Central Michigan University), Andrew T. Fox (University of Kansas), Stefanie Stancato  (Central Michigan University) & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Flashing lights at different rates is sometimes used to signal distinct schedule components in experiments with rats. However, little research exists on the extent to which rats can actually discriminate flash rates. Two experiments were conducted to explore this issue.  Experiment 1 employed four rats in a discrete-trials conditional discrimination procedure where a 1 or 5 Hz flash rate indicated which of two lever responses would be reinforced  (i.e., 1 Hz = respond left;  5 Hz = respond right).  During test sessions, responses to intermediate sample stimuli revealed that flash rate produces the same sigmoidal psychophysical function as other types of stimuli (e.g., light duration). In Experiment 2, rats responded under a mult VI 60 EXT schedule where components were differentially signaled with 1.56 and 3.13 Hz flashing stimulus lights. Test sessions examined responding occasioned by a range of flash rates (0.63 Hz to 8.3 Hz).  Similar to other types of stimuli (e.g., light wavelength), peak shift was observed.  Various flash rates can serve as discriminative or conditional stimuli and appear to be similar to other stimulus modalities.

Rule Control of Performance on Measures of Impulsiveness. Robin Kuhn (Central Michigan University), Michael D. Hixson (Central Michigan University), John Smethells (Central Michigan University) & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

While behavioral treatment of ADHD has been shown to be effective, considerably less is known about the role of behavioral measures of ADHD-related symptoms, such as measures of impulsiveness, in the assessment of adult ADHD. The purpose of this study was to take the first step towards evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral measures at accurately identifying excesses in impulsiveness, a defining feature of ADHD. Three groups of college students completed an assessment battery including two rating scales of impulsiveness, two delay discounting tasks, and three academic measures after receiving instructions to feign ADHD, to not feign ADHD, or to do their best. Results suggested that both self-report measures and the video delay discounting task were most sensitive to instructions, producing significant between-group differences in impulsiveness. Instructions did not result in differences in discounting on the hypothetical delay discountingtask. This study provides preliminary evidence that certain behavioral measures of impulsiveness differ in their sensitivity to control by instructions. The clinical implications of results obtained, including the discriminant validity of delay discounting measures and their potential value with respect to identifying non-credible performance in adult ADHD assessment, will be discussed.      

4:00-4:20 pm Room 320
A Mediational Analysis of Process-Dependent Variable Relationships as a Function of Computerized Treatment for Depression: Does the Computer Deliver the Underlying Behavioral Activation Therapy? Christina Sheerin (Western Michigan University), Cory Stanton (Western Michigan University) & C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

Gaynor and Harris (2006) presented a single case mediational analysis of behavioral activation (BA) therapy for depression among adolescents.  In that article, they described the essential conditions for identifying effective mediators: (1) demonstration of a significant relationship between the independent variable and dependent variable, the independent variable and hypothesized mediator, and the mediator and dependent variable; (2) the mediator and independent (predictor) variable are considered simultaneously for their impact on the dependent variable (e.g., in a multiple regression model); and (3) maintenance of the mediator-dependent variable relationship and elimination/reduction of the independent variable/dependent variable relationship indicates that the mediator accounts to some degree for the relationship between the initial variable and the dependent variable (Gaynor & Harris, 2006). This general method has been outlined by other investigators (i.e., Baron & Kenny, 1986) for group analyses in particular.  In this presentation, we replicate the Gaynor & Harris approach based on a treatment outcome trial that employed a computerized therapy program that targeted depression using BA. The question raised in this analysis is whether the underlying mediators of BA are associated with the novel delivery system evaluated here. Our findings offer initial support for activation being at least a partial mediator of therapy efficacy. Mediators include activation, automatic negative thoughts and homework completion. The dependent variable for purposes of this analysis is scores on the Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition.  Measures were collected over 10 weekly sessions and three follow-up evaluations lasting up to 6-months post treatment.

Thursday Workshops

1:30-4:30 pm Room 300 3.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Issues in Advanced Mand and Intraverbal Training. Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI)

Mand and intraverbal language skills are essential to being able to engage in the complexity of fluent, everyday communication. Yet many language programs get “stuck” at lower levels of these verbal skills, often because of ineffective practices, inadvertent teaching errors, or failure to manage critical variables for moving these two skills forward in the language program. This workshop will focus on application issues and instructional strategies. After a brief review of mand and intraverbal “basics,” we will discuss essential components that are often omitted in teaching these two language functions. We will present specific program targets, sample materials, data sheets, and instructional tips on how to improve acquisition of advanced mand and intraverbal skills.

 Learning objectives: Participants will be able to:

  • Describe contingency components required for mand and intraverbal functions
  • Identify a critical mand-training problem and its instructional solution
  • Define and give an example of verbal conditional discriminations (VBCD)
  • Give examples of prerequisite skills for VBCDs
  • Identify several programming solutions to avoid rote intraverbal responding
This workshop is for an intermediate-to-advanced audience. Participants should have more than beginner level experience teaching mands and intraverbals and should be comfortably familiar with verbal behavior terminology.

Presentation Type:   3-hour workshop
Workshop Cost:       $50.00

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Room 330 3.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Teaching Problem Solving Skills at Home and School. John W. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI)

Many complex behaviors involve solving problems, e.g., relating what you did at school, reading comprehension. Although of considerable importance in education, there are few behavioral studies attempting to teach problem solving. Unfortunately, problem solving is often shrouded in discussions of cognitive “activities” such as memory, insight, and intuition.   This workshop will present a behavioral analysis of problem solving that can be directly applied to daily living skills and educational settings. After describing what a “problem” is through many examples and a review of behavioral studies to teach problem solving skills, participants will participate in identifying problem solving events and the “precurrent” behaviors that are required to “solve” that problem in school and home settings. They will then identify how children might be encouraged to solve problems at home and/or at school.

 Presentation Type:   3-hour workshop
Workshop Cost:       50.00
Workshop Attendance Limit: 75

Friday, February 24, 2012
8:00-10:00 a.m. Registration (Open all day) Room 350
Note: Continental breakfast will be available in the Ballroom during registration. Free for convention registrants

Special Guest Speaker

Stephen T. Higgins

Stephen T. Higgins
(University of Vermont)

Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation Among Pregnant and Newly Postpartum Women

9:00 - 10:00 am
Ballroom A
1.0 BACB Type-II CEU

Smoking during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of poor pregnancy outcomes in the U.S., causing serious immediate and longer-term adverse effects for mothers and children.  In this presentation, Dr. Higgins will review research on the use of financial incentives to promote abstinence from cigarette smoking during pregnancy, an intervention wherein women earn vouchers exchangeable for retail items contingent on biochemically-verified abstinence from recent smoking.  He will review results from controlled clinical trials with economically disadvantaged pregnant smokers supporting the efficacy of financial incentives for increasing smoking abstinence rates antepartum and early postpartum, while also improving infant birth weight, percent of low-birth-weight deliveries, and breastfeeding duration.  The systematic use of financial incentives has promise as an efficacious intervention for promoting smoking cessation among economically disadvantaged pregnant and recently postpartum women and improving birth outcomes.

Friday Breakout Sessions

10:00-10:50 am Room 352 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
What Can the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior Contribute to Applied Work? Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

We examine Matching Law and delay discounting interventions, and conclude that with suitable understanding of the limitations and parameters of these interventions, quantitatively oriented research can contribute a great deal to applied work.  Overall, it is important for applied workers to understand the dynamics and context of the situations in which they are working.  In addition, it is important for applied workers to know what variables and relations they are actually manipulating and what to expect from such manipulations.  Because the quantitative understanding of behavior can enhance the effectiveness of many interventions, we argue that science education in basic processes is vital component in the training for applied workers.

10:00-10:50 am Kiva Room 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Classroom Accommodations for Students with Anxiety and Mood Disorders. Kim Killu (University of Michigan-Dearborn)

With federal legislation that mandates students with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), educators are increasingly faced with the placement of students with disabilities in their classrooms.  Despite these federal mandates designed to integrate students with disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate with their non-disabled peers, educators often feel unprepared to meet the educational needs of such a diverse group of students.  Especially challenging can be meeting the needs of students labeled with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) as these students face emotional and behavioral struggles, in addition to academic issues in the classroom.  This discussion addresses the characteristics of students with anxiety and mood disorders, the manifestation of those disorders within the classroom, effective classroom accommodations, and the role of educators in the treatment of these disorders.

10:00-10:50 am Room 320 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Training High School Students to Provide Behavioral Instruction to Children with Autism. Laura Belz (Children's Hospital of Michigan), Krista Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan) & Bethany Gorka (Children's Hospital of Michigan)

Studies have shown that children with autism who receive intensive behavioral therapy can make significant progress in the acquisition of language, social, motor, and academic skills.  However, children who make the most progress often receive intensive programs that are large in scope, requiring 20-40 hours of therapy weekly over the course of many years.  Many families have difficulty finding the financial resources to meet this number of hours, as well as finding personnel with adequate training to administer the intensive therapy.  In this study, the experimenters trained high school students to provide intensive therapy to autistic children.  Our hypothesis was twofold: first, the use of high school students would reduce the financial burden of therapy on the parents of children with autism; second, the techniques used to train high school students would enable them to perform ABA teaching methods to criteria previously established by research.  By the end of the study, most of the high school students performed discrete trials independently with 90% minimum accuracy. The intertrial interval had the greatest impact on the percentage of accuracy. Parent and student satisfaction was reported to be high, based on social validation surveys completed at the end of the study.

10:00-10:50 pm Room 301 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Legislative Cultural Change:  Understanding the Public Policy System and How it Impacts Applied Behavior Analysts. Nicholas Weatherly (Spalding University)

 On April 14, 2010, Kentucky enacted House Bill 159 to begin the process of integrating a regulatory system for behavioral services and outlining insurance regulations for these services. Due to efforts from clinicians, parents, advocates, and lobbyists, Kentucky joined several other states in the pursuit of behavior-analytic legislation. As the result of these efforts, the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Board was created to develop and oversee regulations surrounding behavioral services and licensure. The purpose of this presentation will be to explain the impact of public policy on behavioral services, while focusing on the overall system of integrating standards and regulations for behavioral services nationwide. As part of the licensure and legislation processes, the role of insurance for behavioral services will be discussed with an emphasis placed on how this relationship will impact families and clinicians in the community. Through the analysis of these processes, systems strengths and concerns will be discussed pertaining to the continued improvement of these processes for the benefit of states pursuing a comparable path of action.

11:00-11:50 am Room 320 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Speech Teaching 101, 201 (and maybe 301). Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI)

Teaching or improving speech skills is a critical goal in a majority of instructional programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. However, many teaching professionals have little information about the important components in designing and organizing a speech-teaching program or how to best collaborate with speech pathologists who also may be involved in providing treatment. In this talk, Dr. Esch will discuss some of the basics and not-so-basics of speech instruction including a brief overview of speech production, pre-skills needed for speech learning, how to assess existing speech repertoires, target selection sequence, and common instructional errors in speech teaching.

11:00-11:50 am Room 352 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Everything You Know about the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Is Wrong.  Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Here are some of the topics we may touch on, though we will have time for only a few: (1) The relation between experimental and applied research in behavior analysis. (2) Why bridging research gets it wrong. (3) Why basic research gets it wrong. (4) Preschool fatalism. (5) Pre-PhD fatalism: Why you will agree with practically none of this presentation. (6) The little boy with a new hammer who tries to fix everything by hitting it with his wonderful hammer. (7) Why the worst thing Skinner ever did was invent schedules of reinforcement. (8) An erroneous analysis of schedules of reinforcement and cigarette smoking. (9) Why delayed-discounting is irrelevant to almost anything of importance. (10) Why grandma's wisdom is wrong. (11) The myth of poor self-control. (12) The truth about poor self-control. (13) Rule-governed vs. contingency-controlled behavior. (14) Why operationalization provides only a false sense of intellectual security. (15) The shiftless paradigm.

11:00-11:50 pm Room 301  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Early Intensive Behavior Intervention for Autism: Is It Actually More "Intensive" Than a Typical Child's Day? Caitlyn Sorensen (Eastern Michigan University), Lauren Byrnes (Eastern Michigan University) & James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

Critics have claimed that Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in children with autism. The intensity of the invention - numerous learning trials in relatively short periods of time - supposedly cause stress that becomes evident later in life. The current study aims to show that Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention is unlikely to cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other anxiety disorders by examining the number of behaviors performed by a child with autism during Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention and compare it to the number of behaviors a typically developing child emits throughout a day. Children with autism have difficulty learning the way children are typically taught; behavioral therapists have to break down skills and teach them step-by-step. Using behavioral techniques to teach skills creates a learning environment filled with effective and functional reinforcement. Coding for the measure of a typical child's everyday behaviors was obtained from Barker and Wrigtht's (1966) One Boy's Day, which captures in narrative form every behavior a child emits in a day. The Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention data was obtained from educational and research video recordings produced by a well-respected Midwestern center for behavioral interventions. Interrater reliability was obtained on both measures of at least 90%. We predict that a typically developing child's rate of behavior will exceed or equal the rate of behaviors completed in intensive behavioral therapy. The results show that children in early intensive intervention exhibited on average lower rates of behaviors per minute compared to that of the typical child's rate of behavior. Therefore, intensive behavior therapy is not "normatively" intensive, and is not likely to cause problems such as stress.

Mindfulness and Exposure-Based Treatment for PTSD: A Clinical Case Presentation. Lauren A. Frye (Western Michigan University) & C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

Although several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of prolonged exposure (PE) in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), investigators have expressed concerns about its clinical applications.  The exacerbation of symptoms during treatment, resistance to treatment compliance, as well as early treatment dropout are concerns suggested to occur because some PTSD clients are not willing to tolerate the necessary aversive arousal encountered during treatment.  Although escape and avoidance from stimuli that evoke such arousal are natural responses, confrontation with the feared-stimuli and resulting arousal are required, lest the treatment is rendered ineffective. Directing PTSD clients to use mindfulness and emotion regulation during PE may reduce efforts to escape, avoid, or control anxious arousal during treatment. The paper presents a clinical case demonstrating the outcome of this approach. The paper will also discuss changes in anxiety sensitivity during treatment and implications for practice and further research.

Noon - 1:30 pm Lunch Period
(On your own--many selections on the first floor of the student center)

12:00-1:20 pm Room 300
BATS Reunion. Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

12:00-12:20 pm Room 301
Special Interest Group Meeting: When Tiers Cause Tears: Educators‚ Angst with Tiered-Levels of Behavioral Interventions in Schools. John M. Palladino (Eastern Michigan University)

The purpose of this meeting is to engage in a semi-structured conversation with the chairperson about the trials and tribulations associated with tiered-levels of school-based behavioral interventions. In theory, tiered interventions (e.g., Positive Behavioral Support) are designed for proactive means of deescalating negative student behaviors. However, pitfalls occur when educators assume that a tiered intervention system will “cure” behavior problems. In such scenarios, misguided educators might reject the benefits associated with tiered interventions, especially when students continue to manifest challenging behaviors. This meeting will help participants delineate the causes of educators‚ frustration and identify means of resolution.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 320  1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Looking to the Future: A Review of Research on Gentle Teaching and Implications for Future Research. Shawn P. Quigley (Western Michigan University) & Sean Field (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of previous research related to Gentle Teaching, paucity of research related to Gentle Teaching, and to present information related to an upcoming research project related to Gentle Teaching.  Our understanding of Gentle Teaching can be enhanced by evaluating the effects of Gentle Teaching within various settings, differing populations, and across multiple behaviors.  A better understanding of the effects of Gentle Teaching will guide providers for increasing their personal skills when implementing principles of Gentle Teaching.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 352 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Behavioral Pediatrics: Still Searching for the Behavior Analysts. Carl Merle Johnson (Central Michigan University) & Sharon Bradley-Johnson (Central Michigan University)

At BAAM in 2010 we asked, “Behavioral Pediatrics: Where are the Behavior Analysts?” Since that time childhood asthma, diabetes, and obesity have all increased. Clearly there is a need for behavior change in the lifestyles of children and their families. The medical establishment, in most instances, is open to behavioral approaches in the treatment of autism as well as other childhood diseases and disorders. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that for treatment of preschool children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The primary care clinician should prescribe evidence-based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as the first line of treatment (quality of evidence A/strong recommendation) and may prescribe methylphenidate if the behavior interventions do not provide significant improvement and there is moderate-to-severe continuing disturbance in the child’s function.” If pediatricians are recommending behavioral treatments before psychostimulants such as Ritalin, there certainly is a need to train parents and teachers how to implement behavioral programs. Similar shortages of quality behavioral training and treatments exist for other childhood disorders. Behavior analysts are not responding in sufficient numbers to the myriad of opportunities available at this time.

Empirically Supported Treatment (EST) Delivery to Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) Survivors: Have We Dropped the Ball? Bethany Gourley (Eastern Michigan University), Flora Hoodin (Eastern Michigan University), Jillian B. Carey (Eastern Michigan University), Kevin N. Alschuler (University of Washington), Courtney Sprague (Eastern Michigan University) & Stephanie Proudfoot (Eastern Michigan University)

Psychological distress has been well-documented among HCT survivors. However, little is known about the type of mental health treatments they receive. With an aim of describing delivery of ESTs, our cross-sectional, nationwide, Internet survey investigated mental health services delivered to HCT survivors. Participants (n=338) were predominantly female (58.2%), well-educated (m = 16 years), middle aged (m = 52.5 years) and allogeneic (60.2%) graft recipients, a mean of 5.7 years post-HCT.  Mood or anxiety disorder diagnoses were reported by 18.6% or 27.5%, respectively.  Mental health treatment during or after HCT was received by 54.4% of the overall sample. This subset was then asked to describe their treatment, or, if they had multiple treatments, their most helpful treatment.  For mood disorders, the most commonly reported therapies were problem-solving (PST; 34.9%), cognitive restructuring (CT; 34.9%), and cognitive behavior therapy (27.0%). For anxiety disorders, the most commonly reported therapies were CT (36.6%), PST (23.3%) and supportive therapy (28.0%).  Notably, appropriately targeted use of ESTs for specific diagnoses was less common: behavioral activation was reported by 9.5% of those with a mood disorder, and exposure by 2.2% of those with an anxiety disorder.  At the time of survey completion, 35.9% of patients who received mental health treatment scored above the clinical cutoff for depression on the PHQ-9, 17.4% above the clinical cutoff for anxiety on the GAD-2.  These data suggest that mental health services are not adequately meeting the needs of HCT survivors, possibly because their treating clinicians may not be keeping current on ESTs, or existing ESTs are not sufficiently customized to address the needs of HCT survivors.  An alternative explanation is that these data may simply reflect that patients are uninformed about the type of therapy they received.  Future research could examine clinicians‚ reports on their implementation of ESTs in this population, as well as their informed consent practices and other efforts to educate their HCT patients about their behavioral treatment.  On the policy level, implications of these findings are that efforts should be directed toward tailoring ESTs to the unique needs of HCT survivors and optimizing treatment outcome dissemination to clinicians and patients alike. 

1:30-2:20 pm Room 301 1.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Analysis and Implications of Recent BACB Exam Results and Strategies for Exam Preparation.  Stephen Eversole (Behavior Development Solutions) & Bela Beaupre (Behavior Development Solutions)

The 46% pass rate on the September 2011 BCBA exam was unexpected.  As a result, we conducted a survey of BCBA candidates who took this exam and used the CBA Learning Module Series to prepare.  One finding was that 71% of the people who completed all of the modules to 100% passed the exam.  Interobserver agreement data were collected by having a second observer make another phone call to 24% of participants.  This procedure yielded 100% agreement.  In this presentation, we will consider these and other data relevant to taking and preparing for the BCBA exam.  We will also discuss other factors pertaining to BCBA training, which include university programs advertising their pass rates, students' level of academic achievement upon entering a university program, BCBA exam preparation strategies, and BCBA candidate evaluation procedures other than passing an exam.

2:30-3:50 pm Room 301

How to Get Into Graduate School.
Alissa Huth-Bocks (Eastern Michigan University)

Advice, guidance, and hints about getting into graduate school. Will cover GRE, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, selecting a school, masters versus doctorate, Psy.D. versus Ph.D., how many schools to apply to, meeting dates and deadlines, interviewing, and many more topics. Will include question-and-answer period.

2:30-3:50 pm Room 352
BAAM Annual Job and Practicum Fair

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

3:30-4:20 pm Room 320
Theoretically Versus Empirically Derived Cutoffs in Cognitive Symptom Validity Tests (SVTs): The Evolving Definitions of Poor Effort on Forced Choice Recognition Tests. Laszlo A. Erdodi (Private Practice, Hamilton, Ontario), Brent Medoff (University of Michigan), Anya Mazur-Mosiewicz (Children's Hospital/University of Calgary), Lyssa Gagnon (Private Practice, Hamilton, Ontario) & Renee Lajiness-O'Neill (Eastern Michigan University)

 A systematic evaluation of effort during neuropsychological assessment is essential in both clinical and forensic settings, as it allows for an objective appraisal of the credibility of the impairment pattern produced on a battery of cognitive tests. Arguably the strongest psychometric evidence for invalid response style is performing below chance level on a fixed-item forced choice (typically recognition) test. The definition of chance level responding (and establishing the corresponding cutoff score required for classifying examinees), however, is far from obvious. Probability based approaches are available to model such an item response scenario, yet many of the SVTs fail to meet the assumptions underlying these statistical models, and hence may distort the signal detection performance of these instruments with a prominent beta-bias (low sensitivity). An alternative approach is deriving empirically derived cutoff scores using a known-group design. This presentation includes a brief overview of the historical changes in the definition of chance level responding in the SVT literature, and illustrates the differences between theoretical and empirical cutoffs. Examples demonstrating the clinical implication of each approach to establishing poor effort in reference to actual SVTs are provided.

Friday Workshops

10:00 am-4:00 pm Room 330 6.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Prevention and Intervention for Challenging Social Behaviors Lloyd D. Peterson (Compass, LLC, Schoolcraft, MI) & Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University)

Do you work with children who display challenging behavior due to deficits in social skills?  The primary goal of this workshop is to provide participants with a set of procedures/skills that will help them build desirable student behaviors (social skills) via opportunistic teaching.  The best way to deal with inappropriate social behavior is to prevent its occurrence in the first place through explicit instruction.  One line of prevention involves planned teaching of appropriate social skills.  Another involves identifying “opportunistic teaching moments.”  These moments include times when students make errors by displaying undesirable social behaviors.  While many may consider these moments as times to implement reductive (punishment) procedures, we suggest these should be viewed as opportunities to build (teach and reinforce) desirable behaviors. This workshop will provide you with an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to make this paradigm shift and capitalize on these “teachable moments.” This will extend participants‚ general knowledge about behavior analytic principles by demonstrating how such principles can be put to work to resolve common problems (problem behavior due to social skill deficits) in natural settings. Specifically, following the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Implement the instructional steps to be used during teachable moment.
  • Effectively implement specific praise and instructional praise to increase desirable social behavior.
  • Implement behavioral directives, which allow the practitioner to refocus the teachable moment if the student becomes noncompliant to instruction during the teachable moment.

 Presentation Type:   6-hour workshop
Workshop Cost:       $70.00 (Includes Materials)
Workshop Attendance Limit: 30

10:00 am-4:00 pm Room 204 6.0 BACB Type-II CEU
Implementation of Communication Applications for the Ipad with Children or Adults with Language Deficiencies. Michelle L. Fuhr (Children’s Hospital Autism Center), Scott H. McPhee (Children’s Hospital Autism Center), Rachel R. Wheeling (Children’s Hospital Autism Center) & Larry Nieman (www.noahs-arc.com)

The Ipad is a diverse tool often used for leisure, and more recently used for teaching concepts and communication to people with special needs. In the present workshop, specific information about Ipad applications will be addressed including popular applications, their ease of use, research support, and skills taught. We will compare the Ipad applications to other existing alternative communication systems, and the associated similarities and differences. Another component of the workshop will concentrate on assessing the skills of the client and any prerequisite skills necessary for successful independent use of the Ipad.  Participants will then learn methods for teaching how to use the selected application and various considerations for successful teaching. A parent will present their perspective on the use of the Ipad as an essential communication tool.  Lastly we will address success and failure stories with Ipad applications and potential contributions to success or failure.  By the end of the workshop, the participants will be aware of various communication applications for the Ipad, pros and cons to each, and how to use that information to select and teach the most applicable application based on the clients individual needs and skills.

Presentation Type: 6-hour workshop
Workshop Cost: $80

Poster Session and Social
Friday, February 25, 4:00 pm
Ballroom B (2nd Floor)

Activity Choice and Extinction Intervention for Escape Maintained Behavior. Sarah Lichtenberger (Western Michigan University), Ali Markowitz (Western Michigan University), Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

In this study, Activity Choice Extinction was used to decrease escape maintained behavior by teaching a child to select between appropriate selected tasks. Activity choice extinction is a function-based intervention, which reduces problem behavior without losing instructional time, while simultaneously using extinction (Geiger, Carr, & LeBlanc 2010). The study was conducted with a three-year-old child, diagnosed with autism, in an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classroom. A functional analysis was conducted to determine the function of the problem behavior and it was found that the behavior was escape maintained.  Baseline data were collected on the frequency of the problem behavior prior to the implementation of the treatment. First, a pairing procedure was used to pair each task with the appropriate icon. After this procedure is mastered, the activity choice extinction procedure was introduced. It is expected that the procedure will provide an alternate intervention to decrease escape maintained behavior to use in the ECSE classroom. The skills learned from this procedure can be transferred in the future to using a picture schedule.

Assessment and Treatment of Pica in a Young Child with Autism.  Lindsay Jones (Envision Center) & Shawn Quigley (Envision Center/Western Michigan University)

"Abby" is a five-year old female with an Autism Spectrum Disorder referred to a developmental disabilities clinic in southwest Michigan for the assessment and treatment of Pica (i.e., cigarette ashes and sand). A functional behavior assessment (FBA; O‚Neill et al., 1997) included parent interviews, ABC observations, and a functional analysis (FA) was conducted.  The target behaviors were not observed during the behavior assessment process.  It is believed the behaviors were not observed during the assessment process because previously, the target behaviors resulted in the implementation of aversive strategies to reduce the behaviors.  The behavior assessment process recreated a portion of the aversive contingency (i.e., presence of adults and MO for the target behaviors but not the aversive consequence) thereby limiting the ability to observe the behaviors.  However, when the aversive contingencies were not in place (i.e., the absence of adults) Abby continued to engage in Pica.  A DRO based self-management procedure was implemented to decrease Pica.  In addition to Abby‚s self-report of Pica, a pre/post Multiple Stimulus without Replacement preference assessment was used to assess the change in preference for cigarette ashes and sand.

Assessment of Individuals with Aphasia. Kate B. LaLonde (Western Michigan University)

 Aphasia is a language disorder that is often the result of a stroke. Individuals with aphasia have varying deficits in their verbal behavior. Individuals diagnosed with aphasia often receive services from Speech-Language Pathologists. Speech-language assessments typically describe deficits according to form (topography), without identifying the environmental variables responsible for the occurrence (function) of a particular utterance. Speech-language assessments were analyzed according to six response classes including five of Skinners (1957) verbal operants. Results suggest few if any current speech-language assessments test the mand repertoire in individuals with aphasia. Given the importance of the mand repertoire in language training programs (Sundberg & Michael, 2001) ideas for assessing mands in individuals with aphasia are discussed. Also discussed is the importance of including a functional analysis of speech-language skills to better inform treatment and target selection. Recommendations for future research are included.

Effects of Monetary Incentives for Weight Management on an Adolescent Female and Primary Caregiver. Raymond Courtney (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Lisa M. Todd (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Phillippe C. Cunningham (Medical University of South Carolina) & Sylvie Naar-King (Wayne State University School of Medicine)

The obesity epidemic has disproportionately affected some racial/ethnic groups. African American adolescents aged 12-19 years had a prevalence rate of 21% compared with 14% of White adolescents according to the 1999-2002 NHANES survey. Both genes and environment contribute to the risks of obesity. Empirically supported treatment includes behavior modification focused on changes to caloric intake and physical activity (e.g., Deitz & Gortmaker, 2001, Epstein 2004). The Fit Families program is an NIH-funded obesity treatment study for African American adolescents. The 6-month intervention includes education and skills-acquisition sessions that target calorie intake, physical activity, and caregiver support. Some families also receive monetary incentives during the second 3 months of intervention. A 16-year-old female and her mother participated with chronic low attendance, minimal completion of between session assignments, and continued weight gain during the first 3 months of treatment. The family was offered incentives during the second 3 months. Though the teen gained a total of 4 pounds over the 6-month treatment, she was able to make several lifestyle changes that she directly attributed to the skills she acquired in treatment. When incentivized, several positive changes in treatment engagement occurred at a family level. First, both mother and teen attended sessions regularly. Second, they completed their between-session assignments reliably. Third, a daily weight log was completed by the teen, which involved her taking her scale with her when she traveled out of the country. The results of this case study show that monetary incentives were effective reinforcers for the mother.

Decreasing the Duration of “Tantrum” Behaviors. Kimberly Sammut (Michigan State University), Mari MacFarland (Michigan State University), Rebecca Cutler (Michigan State University) & Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)

 Students with autism spectrum disorders may struggle with the demands of completing tasks when they are integrated into a general education classroom. Instead of engaging in appropriate behavior to manage difficult demands, students with ASD may instead engage in a variety of “tantrum” behaviors (e.g., raised voice, screaming, turning red, shaking, clenching fists, crying and refusing to do work). This can lead to decreased engagement in instructional periods and a reduction in social opportunities with teacher(s) and peers.  The present investigation involved a behavioral treatment package consisting of a check-in/check-out system, a token economy and teaching of breathing techniques to reduce the tantrum behavior of a six-year-old student with autism in a general education first grade classroom. A changing criterion design was used to repeatedly examine the effects of the intervention on the duration of tantrum behavior.  After learning the breathing technique and starting a check-in/check-out system with a mentor teacher the student showed a rapid decrease in the duration of tantrum behavior from 8 minutes to just over 5 minutes on average. Though the initial criterion led to a rapid reduction in tantrum behavior, a second change in criterion had mixed results.  The results of the study have implications regarding thinning of reinforcement schedules in general education classrooms.

Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior to Reduce Aggression in a Child Diagnosed with Autism. Lindsay Erdmann (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott (Western Michigan University) & Joe Shane (Western Michigan University)

One key characteristic of autism as a behavioral disorder is a marked impairment in social interactions. This may manifest itself in many different forms of behavior, one of which may be aggression. A differential reinforcement of alternative behavior procedure (DRA) was implemented with a preschool aged male child with autism to decrease his aggressive behaviors, which were typically displayed in the form of biting, hitting or pushing other children. The aggressive behavior was maintained by access to tangibles, and therefore an alternative appropriate response was trained that produced the same outcome as his aggressive behavior-access to preferred tangibles. The intervention was implemented in the child's classroom, an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classroom at a local school with peers from the child's class. The alternative vocal responses were reinforced, while aggressive behavior was blocked and extinguished.

Dopamine D2-like Agonists Induce Compulsive-Type Responding. Carla Lagorio (University of Michigan), Gail Winger (University of Michigan) & James Woods (University of Michigan)

There is evidence of D2-like dopamine receptor involvement in drug addiction and compulsive behavior.  Clinical reports link increases in compulsive behavior (such as pathological gambling) to D3-preferring agonists and, in nonhumans, D2/D3 agonists increase responding for cues previously paired with cocaine or water reinforcement. If dopamine agonists enhance the conditioned reinforcing value of stimuli, this finding should apply to other classes of drug and non-drug reinforcers. However, researchers have failed to establish increased responding for cues previously paired with food reinforcement. The current study assessed this apparent anomaly in rhesus macaques with a history of responding on a progressive ratio schedule for food paired with distinct token light stimuli. Four subjects were exposed to an acute drug dosing regimen, and four to a chronic regimen of D3-preferring agonist Pramipexole administered as a pretreatment. Pramipexole induced high rates of responding when lever presses resulted in token (CS) presentations and no primary reinforcement. When the conditioned stimuli were removed from the context, responding was markedly reduced as compared to when tokens were present. Our continued research is aimed at manipulating behavioral and environmental features in an attempt to understand the mechanism(s) contributing to this seemingly compulsive behavior.

The Effect of Feedback on Early Punch-In Times. Michael Palmer (Central Michigan University)

 Clock-in times of all hourly employees at a local restaurant will be recorded to see how many minutes are spent clocked in early each week by all of the employees. Early clock-in times can contribute substantially to higher labor costs for this organization. During the intervention, group feedback and goals will be given about the previous week's minutes spent clocked in early at the computer that all hourly employees clock-in at. Data will then continue to be recorded to see if the amount of time spent clocked in early decreases after employees are given the group feedback and goals. The design of this experiment will be a no treatment phase, followed by the group feedback and goals phase, followed by another no treatment phase. It is hypothesized that when given group feedback and goals, the minutes spent clocked in early will decrease.

The Effects of a Token Economy and Continuous Reinforcement on Skill Acquisition in an Early Childhood Special Education Classroom. Kristina Gerencser (Western Michigan University), Joe Shane (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

There have been many benefits associated with token economies for a variety of populations, but few empirical studies including young, non-verbal children with developmental disabilities.  Token economies are used for a variety of reasons in this population.  The establishment of conditioned reinforcers, such as tokens, is an essential component of an effective token economy.  A comparison design across conditions was used to compare and contrast the effectiveness of two types of reinforcement schedules, a token economy and a continuous reinforcement schedule.  The participant was a child diagnosed with Down syndrome, in an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classroom.  The rate of acquisition of new discriminations of 3-D objects was measured based on the number of trials and the amount of instructional time in each condition. The results discuss the effectiveness of a token economy and whether a token economy or continuous reinforcement should be used in the acquisition of a new skill.  This study will aid in the future implementation of reinforcement procedures in the ECSE classroom. 

Effects of Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Routine on Sleep in College Students. Danika Stone (Central Michigan University)

Applied behavior analysis was used to assess and modify three college students‚ sleeping behavior. The participants self-monitored their sleep latency and the number of times they woke up during the night. They all employed a positive bedtime sleep routine and used a circadian rhythm sleep schedule. Each participant developed her own sleep routine. After two weeks of treatment all three saw a significant decrease in the amount of time it took for them to fall asleep (sleep latency) and the number of times per night that they woke up. A four day follow up was conducted that showed a very slight increase of both behaviors, but neither were anywhere near the initial levels.

The Effects of Self Recording, Task Clarification, Feedback, and Incentives on Uniform Adherence. Michael Palmer (Central Michigan University)

The purpose of this research is to see if providing group feedback about performance and incentives to increase performance will cause uniform adherence to increase among staff. Currently uniform adherence at this restaurant is poor, causing the restaurant and it's staff to look sloppy and unprofessional. Increasing uniform adherence will make the restaurant look professional and inviting, possibly causing an increase in business. During the first intervention, employees will self-record uniform behavior after being given task clarification. During the second intervention, group feedback, goals, and incentives will be given about the previous week's percentage of correct uniform adherence. Data will then continue to be recorded to see if uniform adherence increases after employees are given the group feedback, goals, and incentives. 

Establishing a History of Reinforcement from Peers to Increase Acquisition of a Peer Manding Repertoire. Emilia Knizner (Western Michigan University), Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University), Kelly Stone (Western Michigan University) & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University) 

A mand can be described as a request for an object, action, or information. Skinner (1957) defined the mand as, “ A verbal operant in which the response is reinforced by a characteristic consequence and is therefore under the functional control of relevant conditions of deprivation and aversive stimulation” (p. 35-36). Success has been demonstrated in teaching children with autism to mand for preferred objects with adult tutors at Kalamazoo Autism Center. There has been little to no observation of generalization of mands to peers despite additional training with other peers with autism at Kalamazoo Autism Center. Peers are currently neutral stimuli for the children at Kalamazoo Autism Center and are rarely observed paying attention to each other, let alone spontaneously manding to each other. This intervention attempts to increase peer manding of preschool aged children with autism, by providing a history of reinforcement from peers and making the presence of peers function as a discriminative stimulus for manding.  A specific mand training procedure will be implemented with children with autism and typically developing children that will help facilitate the training sessions. The effects of training will be measured using a multiple-probe design

An Examination of the Effectiveness of a DRO Procedure on Response Suppression. Lauren P. Byrnes (Eastern Michigan University) & Zina Eluri: (Eastern Michigan University)

Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is commonly used to reduce problem behavior.  The target behavior in this study was off-task behavior while completing reading assignments.  A DRO procedure was implemented to suppress off-task behavior and increase on-task behavior in return.  Within the DRO procedure, a fixed interval schedule of reinforcement was used to reduce the rate responding.  A whole interval DRO was implemented; thus the interval was reset if a response was emitted.  The results show complete suppression of off-task behavior.  This was attributed to the use of functional reinforcers and systematically thinning the reinforcement schedule. 

The FIT Families Project: A Weight Loss Program for Minority Families Implemented by Community Health Workers.  Kathryn E. Brogan (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Lisa M. Todd (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Sylvie Naar-King (Wayne State University School of Medicine), Kai-Lin Catherine Jen (Wayne State University Department of Nutrition and Food Science), &  Phillippe B. Cunningham (Medical University of South Carolina)

As rates of obesity continue to rise dramatically, effective weight loss interventions for minority youth are needed. The use of community health workers (CHWs) to provide weight loss interventions may address several barriers to effective community delivery of weight loss interventions, such as access and cost.  However, there is little research regarding the amount and content of training and supervision needed to make CHW interventions effective. The FIT Families Project aims to clearly define the content and amount of training and supervision needed for quality assurance purposes for CHWs providing a 6-month weight loss program to participating youth and their primary caregivers. We anticipate that the information learned from this project will ultimately improve the implementation of pediatric weight loss interventions delivered by CHWs.

Generalization of Acute Ethanol Withdrawal ("Hangover") to the Stimulus Effects of Pentylenetetrazol in a Discriminated Taste Aversion Procedure. Christopher J. Yono (Lawrence Technological University), Brendan M. Peltier (Lawrence Technological University) & Matthew L. Cole (Lawrence Technological University)

Research on the discriminative stimulus effects of the anxiogenic/proconvulsant drug pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) suggests that PTZ-appropriate responding produced by high acute doses of ethanol (ETOH) mimics an acute ETOH withdrawal syndrome referred to clinically as the human “hangover” syndrome. The present study extends previous operant drug discrimination research by using the discriminated taste aversion procedure to establish conditional control of taste aversion learning by PTZ in male Sprague-Dawley rats.  Stimulus control by PTZ in experimental rats was established by the differential presentation of Danger and Safe training sessions. On Danger training sessions, PTZ (15 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 15-min prior to saccharin (SAC) access, and experimental rats were injected with 76.8 mg/kg lithium chloride (LiCl) following 20-min of SAC access; control rats were injected with SAL instead of LiCl. On Safe training sessions, SAL was administered 15-min prior to SAC access (no injections were administered following SAC access). This differential presentation of Danger and Safe sessions established significantly less SAC consumption in experimental rats compared to control rats by the 5th Danger session, with all experimental rats meeting criterion for testing by the 9th Danger session (i.e., SAC consumption in experimental rats ≤ 50% of the SAC consumption in control rats). Generalization tests were conducted with ETOH (2-4 g/kg) administered 8-23 hours prior to SAC access. This pretreatment of ETOH is analogous to binge drinking in humans. Results suggest subtle differences between drug dose and time of administration contribute to the stimulus effects of abstinence in a state of acute dependence. (Supported by Quest Student Research Grant)

Helping Students Improve Their Classroom Behavior: Pre-Service Special Educators' Behavior Plans. Karen J. Carney (Eastern Michigan University)

Working with students who have emotional and behavioral disorders requires strategies and interventions for both academics and behavior.  Pre-service special education teachers at EMU are taught to conduct behavior change plans with selected public school students involving targeting one behavior, determining a hypothesis about that behavior, then designing, teaching and reinforcing a positive replacement behavior to support that student's success.  Graphing baseline and intervention behavior shows the pre-service teachers any change in the target behavior, as the beginning steps in modifying surface behavior in students with behavior problems.

Increasing Compliance During Meal Times with a Child with Autism. Lisa Brown (Western Michigan University), Kelly Stone (Western Michigan University), Jeena Begin (Western Michigan University) & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Eating is a common problem among children with autism. The problem can be noncompliance during meals. Prior to this study, a protocol was implemented with a child that showed noncompliance during meal times. The protocol prior to this study involved avoidance of loss and extinction interventions. These were used to increase compliance. First, a DVD was introduced during mealtime. The DVD would remain on and playing as long as good eating was taking place. If the child stopped eating, the DVD would be paused (the reinforcer is removed) until the child takes a bite. During this time, a food item was presented and was not removed until the child had taken a bite. Both of these contingencies were in place at the same time. Data was recorded for the number of prompts needed when eating a given meal. This current study will involve the slow reduction of the reinforcers that were used. Reduction of the reinforcer is done by increasing the number of bites before the DVD is delivered. This will be done so that the method and amount of eating can be maintained and generalized to other settings.

Integration of Mirror Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis for the Rehabilitation of Upper-Limb Hemiparesis and Learned Nonuse in Post-Acute Traumatic Brain Injury. Matthew D. Sabo (Eastern Michigan University) & Tamara L. Perry (Eastern Michigan University)

 Hemiparesis is defined as a weakness or loss of motor function on one side of the body, whereas learned nonuse is defined as a deficit in motor functioning that can be attributed to the effects of learning. Current evidence-based treatments for the treatment of upper-limb hemiparesis and learned nonuse include neurobehavioral and applied behavior analytic treatments. A case study on the rehabilitation of learned nonuse of an upper-extremity for a man with hemiparesis secondary to traumatic brain injury will be presented.  A novel treatment package for learned nonuse was implemented, which consisted of both applied behavior analytic (i.e., prompting, positive practice, reinforcement) and neurobehavioral (i.e., mirror therapy) techniques.  Results demonstrated a significant increase in the use of the affected hand during the intervention phase.  In addition, some gains were maintained at six months follow-up as prompts were faded and some of the reinforcers were thinned out.  Discussion suggests that a multiple-baseline study of the intervention is the next logical step in order to further evaluate the efficacy of this intervention for learned nonuse.

An Investigation of the Role of Experiential Avoidance in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Meaghan M. Lewis (Western Michigan University), Tara E. Adams (Western Michigan University), Abby E. Blankenship (Western Michigan University) & Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University)

Experiential avoidance is a construct that researchers have proposed as a possible mediating factor between psychopathology and a prior history of traumatic events. Among the traumatic events investigated in the research literature, experiential avoidance has demonstrated salient correlations with past experiences of sexual victimization. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and PTSD symptom severity have also been linked with incidence of sexual victimization and engaging in experiential avoidance. Another variable commonly associated with this construct is problematic alcohol consumption. The present study presumed that women with a history of sexual victimization have high PTSD symptom severity, are more likely to partake in maladaptive drinking, and engage in high levels of experiential avoidance. This research sought to investigate experiential avoidance as a mechanism by which PTSD symptom severity and problem drinking may be exacerbated. Using self-report measures, this study investigated experiential avoidance as a correlational variable with a prior history of sexual victimization, PTSD symptom severity, and problem drinking.

An Investigation of the Treatment Integrity of Computerized Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression. Rachel M. Farrell (Western Michigan University), Andrew C. Hale (Western Michigan University) & C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University) 

Building a Meaningful Life through Behavioral Activation (BAML), developed at Western Michigan University, is a computer-delivered intervention based on a behavioral model of depression.  This intervention consists of interactive psychoeducation, values-based behavioral change, and individualized mini-lessons.  A recent open trial examining the efficacy of BAML has yielded results that are comparable to the outcomes found in face-to-face behavioral activation research.  However, in order to ensure that BAML is delivering behavioral activation as it has been manualized, an integrity evaluation is necessary to demonstrate the degree to which the computer program is consistent with face-to-face behavioral activation. This poster will be reporting the results of the treatment integrity study that has been conducted by our research team.

Living Well Beyond Cancer:  An Evaluation of a Community Outreach Program. Kristen Waddell (Eastern Michigan University), Flora Hoodin (Eastern Michigan University), Jillian Carey (Eastern Michigan University)

Low Quality of Life (QOL) is well-documented in survivors of hematological malignancies. The EMU Behavioral Medicine Research Team and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society co-sponsored a psycho-educational conference for survivors, family and health-care professionals.  The program‚s four sessions, based on empirically supported treatment outcome literature, emphasized strategies for enhancing QOL. This study reports on post-session evaluations which revealed high satisfaction ratings across all attendee groups, and underscoring the value of outreach efforts.

A Needs-Based Assessment of Personal Care Issues in Behaviorally Challenged Children. Alicia A. Allan (Spalding University), Nic Weatherly (Spalding University) & Lucinda Woodward (Indiana University Southeast)

A recent study on a population of noncompliant children with behavioral disorders revealed that there is an urgent and ongoing need for basic applied behavioral therapeutic intervention to promote personal care and hygiene activities among these and other, sensory disorder populations (Primeau & Ferguson, 1999, p. 485). The purposes of this study are to evaluate the needs for behaviorally oriented therapies to assist in the maintenance and personal care of special needs children and adults.  Currently, there is a specific population that is unable to receive quality hair services due to their condition. They are often times refused services and even badly treated due to their specific disabilities. A 10-item, self-report survey containing both open-ended and likert-type questions was administered online to members of the Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT) and practicing ABA therapists.  Preliminary results are consistent with the cited literature, indicating that hair care/personal hygiene is a continuing area of need in this community.  However, little therapeutic intervention has been dedicated specifically to this issue.  Our overarching goal of this study is to establish a systematic behavioral intervention to enable the provision of quality haircuts while issuing effective treatment for sensory and behavioral disabilities.  From an object-relations perspective, we would also intend to provide parents with a sense of peace of mind while their family members receive the respect they deserve. We believe that there should be a place where this population can go to receive both ABA therapy and haircuts while maintaining their dignity.

Relationship Between Patient-identified Depressogenic Behaviors and Prioritized Delivery of Tailored Treatment Interventions: Observations from Computerized Behavioral Activation Therapy. Satoshi Ozeki (Western Michigan University), George Field (Western Michigan University), Sofia Peters (Western Michigan University) & Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

This poster examines one of the important components of a computerized behavioral activation treatment for depression, Building a Meaningful Life through Behavioral Activation (BAML), developed by Western Michigan University. BAML is an interactive computerized behavioral activation treatment for depression, which consists of interactive psycho-education on a behavioral model of depression, valued-based behavioral change, and several mini-lessons tailored to the needs of the patient. Session 5 of BAML assesses the types of particular problems that could contribute to the patient‚s depression. Based on the assessment, the patients will be introduced to various mini-lessons targeting the particular problems that might contribute to their depression in a unique way. For instance, a patient who is determined to have a sleep problem by the assessment in the session 5 would be introduced to a mini-lesson on sleep hygiene. This poster examines whether the results of the assessment in session 5 appropriately introduces the right mini lessons in an appropriate order. In other word, this poster investigates whether the mini-lessons which weighted high in patient identified need will get the highest rankings and will be delivered first, whether session 5 prioritize the content of mini-lesson as the top priority, the second priority, or the least priority. In addition, this poster examines what areas were more frequently reported as problematic for the patients who went through the program in general in order to provide insight into which mini lessons are likely to be needed most.

Relationship Between Values Consistency and Depression Change: Observations from Computerized Behavioral Activation Therapy. Satoshi Ozeki (Western Michigan University) & C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

This poster examines one of the important components of a computerized behavioral activation treatment for depression, Building a Meaningful Life Through Behavioral Activation (BAML), developed by Western Michigan University. BAML is an interactive computerized behavioral activation treatment for depression, which consists of interactive psychoeducation on a behavioral model of depression, value-based behavioral change, and several mini-lessons tailored to the needs of the patient. One postulated mechanism by which BAML helps to overcome depression is valued-based behavioral change. In other words, if patients act in a way that is consistent with their values, they tend to feel better and act constructively. BAML assists patients in identifying their values in different areas of life, assessing to determine if their behaviors match their values, and helping them act according to their values. This poster examines how the match/mismatch between patients‚ actions and their values is related to their depression. This is measured by examining the correlation between consistency scores on the Valued Living Questionnaire and scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II.  High correlations would support valued-based behavior change as a potential mechanism behind improvements in depression symptoms. 

Revisiting Signal Functions in Multi-link Chain and Tandem Schedules of Reinforcement. James W. Becker (Central Michigan University), Melissa M. M. Andrews (Central Michigan University) & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University) 

Differentially signaling the links of extended tandem schedules of equal-link fixed-interval or fixed-ratio schedules (i.e., creating chain schedules) can reduce and sometimes eliminate responding (Gollub, 1958; Jwaideh, 1973). Such findings pose difficulties for a conditioned reinforcement account of stimulus function in chain schedules. Instead it seems that these stimuli have response-inhibitory properties perhaps because they are so temporally removed from primary reinforcement. To facilitate understanding of the processes underlying signal function in extended chain schedules, the present study compares a tandem and chain series of unequal fixed-ratio (FR) links presented in ascending and descending order. Pigeons key pecked under either a tandem FR 5, 10, and 20 or FR 20, 10, and 5 series. After stability, the links were differentially signaled with colored key lights. The tandem and chain comparison was made again with the order of the FR series reversed. Preliminary results replicate the previous literature showing response weakening effects of the signals.  We predict that the order of the ratio series in the chain schedules will impact behavior; responding should be lower during the descending series of FR links because the stimuli signal the largest ratio requirement as well as the longest distance from the reinforcer. Regardless of the outcome, the results should inform our understanding of the dual nature of the discriminative and reinforcing functions of signals during extended chain schedules.

Sexual Victimization and the Propensity to Engage in Risk Taking Behavior. Tara E. Adams (Western Michigan University), Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University), Meaghan Lewis (Western Michigan University), Lindsey Sherd (Western Michigan University), Brandi Vanklompenberg (Western Michigan University) & Zachary Zimmerman (Western Michigan University)

 Sexual victimization of women is a prevalent problem that has several deleterious consequences for the victim as well as society in general. Based on this research, many researchers have focused on identifying variables that are associated with an increased risk for sexual victimization as well as revictimization. One such way to understand the numerous risk factors and the subsequent increase in risk for sexual victimization for some women is the increased propensity to engage in risk taking behavior. The current study proposes that some women may engage in a higher rate of risk taking behavior such that they are at an increased risk of sexual victimization either through this behavior directly or through the engagement in certain risky practices. Using a behavior analogue measure, this study investigates the relationship between propensity to engage in risk taking behavior and sexual victimization experiences. In addition, the current study investigates the relationship between sexual victimization as well as risk taking behavior with several risky behavioral practices including sexual health risk behavior, substance use and abuse, sexual sensation seeking, cognitive appraisal of risk taking involvement, and self-report measures of impulsivity and sensation seeking.

Stereotypical Staring as a Reinforcer. Lauren Edwards (Western Michigan University), Brighid Fronapfel (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

The opportunity to engage in stereotypic behaviors has been shown to effectively increase correct task responding in children with autism.  This study compares acquisition rates of two similar matching tasks using the delivery of a preferred tangible item or the opportunity to engage in stereotypic behavior as a reinforcer with a three year old male diagnosed with autism.  This child engages in stereotypy defined as staring at the therapist‚s face for more than one second, which interferes with on task behavior and learning.  The therapist prevents stereotypy during task time by delivering the discriminative stimulus without making eye contact with the child.  The opportunity to look at the therapist is hypothesized as an effective reinforcer for this child and is expected to be used for other acquisition tasks. The study will expand our knowledge of stereotypy as an effective reinforcer by introducing staring as the stereotypic behavior of interest.  

Teaching a Gestural Prompt to Children in an Early Childhood Special Education Classroom. Wendy Comba (Western Michigan University), Mary Howell (Western Michigan University), Joseph Shane (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

When using Discrete Trial Training (DTT) to teach children diagnosed with a developmental delay, various prompting methods are used to accelerate the rate of acquisition of new skills.  A common prompt used for this purpose is the gestural, or pointing, prompt.  However, there is little research on how to effectively teach a child to appropriately respond to a gestural prompt.  Additionally, there is no procedure to properly teach this skill in the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classroom in which this study was conducted.  A new procedure was designed to promote accurate stimulus control by the gestural prompt.  This procedure is expected to better teach responding to a gestural prompt to children in an ECSE classroom, and to generalize to other procedures and settings (such as prompts for match to sample procedures or putting toys away in the playroom).  This will allow tutors to use this less intrusive prompt if a child is struggling to acquire a new skill.  This poster will present data comparing three children‚s performance on the new procedure to performance on the old procedure, as well as ability to follow a gestural prompt on an unrelated procedure.  

Teaching Mands in Young Children with Autism Using a Pivotal Response Procedure. Mindy Newhouse (Western Michigan University), Brighid Fronapfel-Sonderegger (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott (Western Michigan University) & Brittany Hauck (Western Michigan University)

 Several methods exist to teach manding in young children diagnosed with autism.  The pivotal response teaching model developed by Koegel and Koegel was used as a basis for a two-part mand teaching procedure written for an early childhood developmental delay classroom.  The first component of the procedure shaped vocalizations into words and the second component systematically faded the tutor‚s prompts and increased the child‚s independent functional mands.  Teaching sessions were seven minutes long and occurred four days per week.  This procedure consisted of allowing the child to lead his tutor to a preferred item or activity.  The tutor would then block access to the item and verbally prompt the child to vocally mand for the reinforcer.  During the first component of the procedure, successive vocal approximations to words were reinforced. During the second component of the procedure, the number of prompts was systematically faded based on the child‚s performance. Both components of the procedure were implemented with a two-year-old child with autism who had previously had a vocal repertoire consisting of several phonemes, but no words. The second component of the procedure was also implemented with a three-year old child with autism who had previously demonstrated generalized echoic behavior.

Teaching Naming to Children with Autism. Chase Callard (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott (Western Michigan University) & Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University)

Typically developing children acquire language skills without specific training; however, children with autism often need intensive interventions to acquire a verbal repertoire.  The purpose of the current study was to teach two children diagnosed with autism the Naming skill (i.e., acquiring object labeling and identification after the first presentation of the object and the label) as described by Greer and Ross (2008).  The procedure used multiple exemplar training and targeted four behaviors: receptive identification; matching to sample with a vocal pairing (e.g. Saying “match dog” when a picture of a dog is presented for a match trial); impure tact (with verbal prompt, “What is this?”); and pure tact (without a verbal prompt). These behaviors were systematically targeted, alternating from receptive to tact, while materials were systematically presented in accordance with the target behavior. This skill is essential for normal language acquisition. Without it, words must be specifically taught across multiple verbal-operants.  The current study was conducted with two participants, aged 5 and 6.  Both participants had a diagnosis of autism and the prerequisite skills required for naming as described by Greer and Ross (2008). A multiple baseline across participants and probe design was used.  Data were collected at every session.  

Teaching Replacement Behaviors: Pre-Service Special Educators' Behavior Plans. Karen J. Carney (Eastern Michigan University)

EMU’s pre-service special education teachers, who are learning to work with children with emotional impairments, find value in using a behavioral approach to support a positive behavior change.  After targeting and counting a specific behavior that is of concern, pre-service teachers learn about the child and determine their hypothesis for why this negative behavior may be continuing.  Then they design and implement a positive behavior plan, providing contingent reinforcement for the new and positive replacement behavior.  Graphing their data, the pre-service teachers can verify whether their plans are successful.  This poster presentation shows a variety of these behavior plans.

The Treatment of Disruptive Behavior in a Preschool Child: The Implementation of a Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors Procedure.  Caitlyn Sorensen (Eastern Michigan University) & Zina Eluri (Eastern Michigan University)

Differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) has had success in reducing a variety of behavioral difficulties.  This procedure has evidence to support the reduction in disruptive behavior in young children (Conyers et al., 2004; Conyers et al., 2003; LeGray et al., 2010).  In the present study, a four-year old typical preschool student engaging in disruptive behavior was reinforced with social praise to reduce the occurrence of disruptive behaviors during large group structured activities.  There was a moderate reduction in the frequency of the behaviors, an average 25% from baseline after six treatment sessions.  Differential reinforcement of other (non-disruptive) behaviors should continue to be reinforced by the classroom teachers to maintain progress.

The Use of Matrix Training to Get Linguistic Productivity with a Child Using Sign Language. Tim Obertein (Western Michigan University), Kelly Stone (Western Michigan University) & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Matrix training is a generative approach to instruction in which words are arranged in a matrix so that some multiword phrases are taught and others emerge without direct teaching.  One 6-year-old child, whose main form of communication is sign language, was taught the signs for 9 different actions, people, and objects. These items were placed on matrices so that they formed 81 subject-verb-object phrases. The child was taught only the phrases along the diagonal of the matrix, hoping that others will emerge with out any formal training.  We‚ll evaluate the results using a multiple baseline design across matrices and the dependent measure will be the number of correct responses before and after matrix training.  This study will determine if matrix training is an efficient approach to teaching language to developmentally delayed children who communicate using sign language.

The Use of the PDC to Assess Intervention Strategies for Up-selling in an Independent Franchise Footwear Corporation.  Josh Anna (Spalding University), Nicholas Weatherly (Spalding University) & Keith Hersh (Spalding University)

The retail industry thrives on profit margins and the ability of businesses to organize systems to lower their bottom line and increase sales. The present study was designed to assess intervention strategies to increase up-selling in an independent franchise footwear corporation. Up-selling was defined into 3 categories including: timing, eye contact and correct phrasing. Four employees participated in the present study and the manager assisted the researcher in implementing the study.  Baseline data were collected on the current percentage of categories performed correctly by each participant. In order to evaluate intervention components, an organization functional assessment was conducted using the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC). The results of the PDC suggested a lack of antecedents and information, knowledge and skill training, and consequences. The purpose and results of the PDC will be discussed along with future directions.

Using Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO) to Reduce Bolting by a Child with Autism. Sang Hur (Michigan State University) & Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)

Bolting is a serious problem behavior emitted by children with autism, as it presents a safety concern and prevents them from concentrating on tasks associated with learning. This study investigated the effects of DRO to reduce bolting in a child with autism who was receiving educational services in a public early childhood special education classroom. An analogue functional analysis consisting of four conditions (attention, escape, alone, and control) was used to identify the environmental conditions under which bolting occurred. The results showed that bolting was maintained by the delivery of adult attention and by avoidance of assigned tasks. In the second experiment, a DRO to decrease bolting was examined using a reversal design. During the intervention sessions, if the participant did not bolt during a fixed time interval, the researcher provided both verbal praise and physical reinforcement. Despite not addressing the escape function, the intervention was effective in reducing the problem behavior and appears manageable in practical environments. Strategies for transferring management of the DRO to the classroom teacher will be discussed.

Using Matrix Training to Teach Generativity. Kelly Stone (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

The current study will attempt to teach a generalized subject-verb-object (S-V-O) sentence structure as efficiently as possible, by using matrix training. Matrix training is an approach to teach generative language in which component responses are arranged along each axis so that the phrases along the diagonal of the matrix are taught, and the other responses emerge without direct training. Since there are three components in an S-V-O sentence, we will be using a three dimensional matrix, with subjects, verbs, and objects along each axis of the matrix. The participants in this study have several 1-3 word mands and tacts. They also have some subject-verb tacts, but none of the participants have subject-verb-object phrases in their repertoire. This procedure involves teaching the participants to expressively identify S-V-O phrases through training responses along the diagonal of a 3D matrix. It is expected that this method of teaching will lead to generalization within and across matrices.

Using Preference Assessments and a Reinforcer Hierarchy to Increase Compliance and Rate of Skill Acquisition. Lindsey Donovan (Western Michigan University), Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of this intervention is to increase compliant behavior and skill acquisition in a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by implementing a reinforcer hierarchy. This hierarchy will involve conducting formal preference assessments to determine a ranking of reinforcers. A matrix will be constructed that identifies a variety of reinforcers or types of reinforcers and their corresponding rank. Procedures will be classified as an acquisition or mastered procedure, and behavior will be classified as compliant or noncompliant; these two factors will determine whether a highly preferred or less preferred reinforcer will be used for that trial. Highly preferred reinforcers will be used during procedures that the child has not yet mastered and only when the child is being compliant. Skill acquisition and compliance will be measured as the reinforcer hierarchy is implemented. This intervention may provide the behavior analysis community with a procedure to increase compliant behavior so that more appropriate and functional skills can be learned.

Using Supported Self-Management to Increase Compliance at a Summer Camp for Teens and Adults with Williams Syndrome. Kendra Combs (Western Michigan University), Richard Malott (Western Michigan University) & Brighid Fronapfel (Western Michigan University)

Self-management programs and tactics have been used extensively with both typically developing and developmentally delayed populations. The aim of most of these programs is to either increase a desired behavior or set of behaviors or to decrease an inappropriate behavior or set of behaviors, or both combined. Supported self-management, wherein the person participating in the self-management program is directly supervised by another person, is an effective way to ensure proper use of self-management techniques. In this evaluation, the use of a supported self-management system will be employed at a summer camp setting for persons diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. The participants range in age from twelve to twenty-two. The purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of a supported self-monitoring system to increase compliance with camp rules and regulations for cabins containing four to six campers each. Points will be awarded for completing tasks required of every camper. Before points are awarded, a counselor approves that a task had indeed been completed. Points are tallied individually and will be displayed inside respective cabins every evening. At the end of the camp session, points will be totaled per cabin and rewards given to those cabins earning the most points.

Using TAG to Increase Play Skills. Steven Sparks (Western Michigan University), Melissa Boggs (Western Michigan University), Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University) & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

Teaching with Acoustical Guidance (TAG) to reinforce correct chains of behavior during structured play activities was evaluated. TAG involves using auditory stimuli as reinforcement for correct behavior. Theoretically TAG works because a click is paired with back up reinforcers and thus becomes a learned reinforcer. As long as the click and the backup reinforcers continue to be paired periodically the click will maintain its reinforcing properties and can be used to shape behavior. For this study a click was paired with a child‚s preferred reinforcers thus establishing the click as a learned reinforcer. The click was then used to reinforce components of behaviors necessary for the child to complete different play activities. Baseline data was measured on the percentage of play behaviors the child completed independently. During the intervention data were collected on the number of independent behaviors emitted after the introduction of the click as a reinforcer. The results show that independent play skills increased across n structured play activities. This area of study could have a large impact in the field of autism because   it should allow the tutor to shape component responses involved in larger behavioral chains concurrently which would hopefully result in faster skill acquisition.


Autism Alliance of Michigan  Rhonda Wellday


Information on the Autism Alliance of Michigan - brochures, website info, etc.

Autism Training Solutions. Treasure Rousselo


Autism Training Solutions is the online education company dedicated to training professionals and paraprofessionals within the field of autism and related behavioral disabilities. Through unique partnerships with service providers, schools and families, we are able to film real children, across the spectrum, receiving evidence-based interventions within their natural environments. By combining these interactive videos with online staff assessments and supervision, we have created a dynamic approach for staff training that has improved organizational training operations and created new success stories in the field.

Behavior Development Solutions. Stephen E. Eversole


Behavior Development Solutions provides training products, services, and tools for Behavior Analysts. New this year, our courses are online to provide access to both PC and Mac users. Our empirically validated CBA Learning Module Series is the premier BACB exam prep resource. Our do-at-home CEU courses provide quality training for keeping up with research and practice methods. We also develop custom designed training software for organizations and universities. In addition, browse our online Books for Behavior Analysts store for resources selected for the behavior analytic community without having to browse through a plethora of remotely related books. Visit our booth.

Future Help Designs. Paul G. Chrustowski


Future Help Designs (FHD) is a Michigan-based company whose products focus on Apple's mobile technology platform currently encompassing the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. FHD combines their unique set of corporate talents to deliver one of the strongest corporate Mobile App Development companies around. Our strengths lie in our ability to anticipate and react to client and market changes.  A particular focus is collaborating with experts in the mental health and educational professions on development of unique, easy-to-use and customizable applications for behavioral assessment and interventions.  FHD is a past presenter at BAAM, and has presented at a number of state and national conferences, including:  the National Association of Schools Psychologists (NASP), the Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL).

Partners in Behavioral Milestones.  Lydia D. Jenkins


Partners in Behavioral Milestones (PBM) is a therapist owned family of companies located in Greater Kansas City specializing in intensive behavior support and skill building.  We offer comprehensive therapeutic services within our specialized residential group homes, private school, crisis intervention centers, and through our SLP/OT/PT and Field Consulting divisions. PBM is currently looking to hire BCBAs for the following positions:

Our Field Consultant BCBAs are responsible for supporting clients and their significant support providers in reducing problem behavior and building appropriate, functional skills. 

The ideal candidates will meet the following qualifications:
  • BCBA certification required
  • Demonstrated success in developing realistic, workable behavior support plans, building commitment and overcoming caregiver resistance to plans, evaluating results, etc.
  • Displays creative thinking and innovative approaches and ideas, generates suggestions for improving work, and meets challenges with resourcefulness.
Our Residential BCBAs are also responsible for supporting clients in reducing challenging behavior and increasing positive behavior in a residential group home environment.

The ideal candidate will meet the following qualifications:
  • BCBA certification required; 3-5 years experience utilizing ABA techniques in a residential group home setting required - experience with adolescents and adults with severe problem behavior preferred.
PBM is offering our BCBA new hires a $1,000 bonus: $500 sign-on and $500 stay bonus after 90 days as well as relocation expenses to the Greater Kansas City area.  Additionally, benefits include a very competitive salary, continuing education funds, medical, dental and company paid life insurance, PTO and 401k with a generous match in a casual supportive work culture.