BAAM Preliminary Program Draft
(Subject to revision and correct)

Most sessions will be eligible for BACB Type-II CEUs

Keynote Address

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Conceptual Issues in a Science of Behavior from Watson to Skinner. Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

We examine the relation between WatsonÕs classical behaviorism and nine conceptual issues from contemporary behavior analysis:  (a) Behavior as subject matter in its own right; (b) Selection by consequences, (c) A distinction between elicited and emitted behavior; (d) The importance of private behavioral events; (e) Anti-mentalism; (f) Pragmatism; (g) The generic and functional nature of analytic and explanatory concepts; (h) The importance of a behavioral account of verbal behavior; and (i) Social activism. We judge WatsonÕs positions on behavior as a subject matter in its own right, private behavioral events, anti-mentalism, pragmatism, the importance of a behavioral account of verbal behavior, and social activism according to behavioral principles to have laid a foundation for contemporary positions. However, Watson did not accept the validity of behavioral processes related to consequences. As a result, although Watson endorsed evolutionary theory, his positions on selection by consequences, emitted operant behavior, analytic and explanatory concepts based on their operant function, and verbal behavior as operant behavior are inconsistent with contemporary positions, notwithstanding our attempts to avoid presentist analyses.

Special Guest Address

9:00 am - 10:30 am

History of Applied Behavior Analysis: Its Founding Publications. Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas), Nathaniel G. Smith (University of Kansas) & Deborah E. Altus (Washburn University)

80-minute Symposia

 Developing a System of Care within Community Mental Health for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Chair: Krista Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

The Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Autism Task Force was created to evaluate the current system of care in order to improve the communication between the pivotal partners of care such as the medical, educational and service institutions. The mission of the task force is to develop a systematic and standardized system for offering Medicaid consumers evidence-based treatment in the most efficient and effective way considering the social and financial challenges of both the consumers and the providers involved. The members of the group include service providers, parents of consumers, researchers and various experts from different disciplines. The goal of the group is to create a manageable system for consumers and providers to communicate with each other and to navigate the system in order to ease accessibility for the mandated autism services that will be available within the up coming months. Presenters will describe the gold standard evaluation techniques used to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder, define evidence-based treatment and recognize how those interventions can be used within the community mental health system, specify training necessary for the development of a workforce to support evidence-based interventions, discuss possibilities of measuring outcomes for treatment and training goals, and discuss how these things can be implemented within the Community Mental Health Setting with the new Autism Waiver that is proposed for April of 2013. The overall goal of this workshop is to disseminate information to make a greater community impact.

The Detroit-Wayne County Autism Task Force. Jamesena Ingram (Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health)

This presentation will include the development of the group, the mission of the group, how the group was formed and why. The subgroup participants and goals and recommendations developed by those participants will be discussed.

 Bridging the Gap Between Evidence-based Treatment and Current Community Mental Health Practices. Krista Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

 This presentation will discuss what is involved in providing a gold-standard diagnostic assessment and evidence-based intervention for individuals with ASD and what is involved with training a workforce to provide those services. A description of the people currently providing services to individuals with ASD in Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health will be provided. The presenter will identify what trainings are available within the current system and review the task force team recommendations for short and long term goals for meeting the certification and training requirements for implementation of the new benefit services. Finally we will discuss a recommended plan for training the current service providers and how to best use the resources available to create a new workforce to provide services mandated by the State Autism Waiver.

 Making the Autism Waiver Benefit Work Within the Current System. Dave Pankotai (Consumer Link, Detroit, MI)

Community Mental Health agencies in Detroit-Wayne County have been providing treatment to children with developmental disabilities including children with autism well before the discussion of an Autism Waiver from the state. We will discuss what has been working and what has not been working within the system. Recommendations on how to maximize the resources provided by the implementation of the Autism Waiver benefit by combining those resources with the current model will be discussed. We will also discuss future collaborations and outside influences that can be utilized to increase the effectiveness of this plan and ultimately the outcomes of the benefit.

 Examining the Multi-Dimensional Nature of Risk Taking Behavior

Chair: Zachary J. Zimmermann (Western Michigan University)

Discussant: Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University)

This symposium presents three investigations discussing the construct of risk taking behavior. Risk taking propensity is conceptualized as a multi-dimensional construct consisting on a continuum from adaptive to maladaptive. The presentations of this symposium focus on the multi-dimensional nature of risk taking but also on the context dependent features of risk taking behavior. The investigation by Adams and Naugle focuses on risky sexual and substance using behavior in mutual sexual interactions that increases the risk for unwanted sexual experiences using self-report and a longitudinal design. Preliminary results indicate a greater likelihood of unwanted sexual experiences in participants who reported greater levels of problematic substance usage and risky sexual behavior. The investigation by McManus and Naugle investigates attention to risk stimuli in the environment and behavioral responding to risk stimuli in the context of situations in which the risk of sexual victimization is increased. Implications for prevention programs will be discussed. The investigation by Stilling and Pietras focuses on adaptive components of risk taking in terms of resource sharing and the effect of social stimuli, specifically inequity in earnings, on risk taking behavior. Results demonstrated that, in comparison to previous research, inequity in earnings did not shift participants’ preference to work independently.

The Relationship between Risky Consensual Sexual Behavior, Substance Use, and Sexual Victimization Experience in College Females. Tara E. Adams (Western Michigan University) & Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University)

The sexual victimization of women is a prevalent problem that results in several deleterious consequences for both the victim and society. Given the array of negative consequences that a victim may experience, researchers have focused on possible risk factors for adult sexual victimization. Several variables are associated with an increase in likelihood for experiencing sexual victimization including past victimization experience, problematic substance use, and risky sexual behavior. The current study seeks to address the limitations in the current literature including a reliance on non-behaviorally specific self-report measures and frequent utilization of cross-sectional research designs by the use of behaviorally specific assessment measures and the utilization of a longitudinal design. We seek to investigate predictors of sexual victimization at two and six month follow-up increments. The current study investigates the role of consensual risky sexual behavior, substance use, and experience of several types of sexual victimization at each follow-up.

Identifying Risk Factors and Behavioral Resistance Strategies to Avoid Unwanted Sexual Experiences. Eliza S. McManus (Western Michigan University) & Amy E. Naugle (Western Michigan University)

Sexual victimization is a prevalent problem on college campuses with many long-lasting, negative consequences. It is important to provide women with accurate information and effective skills to reduce their risk of sexual victimization. Two factors that may place women at a greater risk for sexual victimization are lack of risk detection and ineffective behavioral responding to the threat. The present study aims to improve upon the limitations of self-report methodologies by using a vignette analogue to investigate decision-making skills related to sexual victimization risk. Sixty female participants were randomly assigned to articulate verbal responses to either a high intimacy vignette dating scenario or a low intimacy dating scenario to better understand factors related to women’s decision-making in risky dating situations. The Articulated Thoughts in Simulated Situations (ATSS) paradigm was used to capture participant responses in the high and low intimacy conditions. Implications for prevention programs will be discussed.

 Sharing: Social Behavior in Situations of Risk and Scarcity. Stephanie T. Stilling (Western Michigan University) & Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)

This study experimentally investigated human sharing in laboratory tasks that simulate environmental variability and resource scarcity (shortfall risk). The project looked to determine whether a risk-reduction model of sharing developed by evolutionary biologists (derived from a risk-sensitive optimization model known as the energy-budget rule) can predict human cooperative behavior. Participants responded to earn points exchangeable for money when point gains were unpredictable. Failures to acquire sufficient points resulted in a loss of accumulated earnings (a shortfall). Participants were given the choice between working alone or working with others and sharing accumulated earnings. The difficulty of meeting the earnings requirement was manipulated across conditions to investigate the effects of economic context on sharing. This was done by changing the amount of earnings split between the participant and the partner. Sharing was advantageous in all but one condition and results indicate that participants’ behaved optimally. However, previous research suggests that inequity in earnings shifts participants’ preferences to work alone. The results will contribute to our understanding of how economic conditions and social stimuli influence cooperation within the context of risky decision making.

50-Minute Symposia


Clinical Intervention and Education for ABI Clients in a Residential Rehabilitation Setting: A Proactive Intervention to Prevent Risky, Unsafe, and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviors in Relationships.

For clients diagnosed with an acquired brain injury (ABI), desires for romantic and sometimes sexual relationships can occur. The dilemma for professionals in the mental health field is the balance between the responsibilities to inform our clients of the risks of sexual contact, the legal aspects when it involves protected adults, and the desire for greater self autonomy. The discussions in this symposium will be based on the need for sex education programs incorporated within acquired brain injury rehabilitation. Discussions will specifically address the research supporting population deficits and clinical interventions, the ethical and legal implications of relationships with protected adults, and behavioral issues and interventions.

Chair: Deborah Adams (Eisenhower Center, Ann Arbor, MI)
Discussant: Deborah Adams (Eisenhower Center, Ann Arbor, MI)

 Empirical and Theoretical Evidence Encouraging Relationships with Individuals Diagnosed with an Acquired Brain Injury. Lawrence R. Kowalski (Eisenhower Center, Ann Arbor, MI)

Acquired brain injuries (ABI) affect the behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities of an individual. Due to these limitations it can often be difficult for persons with an ABI to form and maintain meaningful social relationships. Thus, the progression of social relationships into a romantic stage can be quite difficult. Research findings demonstrate that individuals with an ABI have difficulties creating and maintaining relationships. Furthermore, research suggests that those injured after being in committed relationships have difficulties adjusting to their current life circumstances and their roles in the relationship. Research on implementing clinical strategies for skill development within the ABI population will also be discussed.

Ethical and Legal Ramifications of Promoting Relationship Development with Protected Adults and Protecting their Right to Self-Autonomy. Misty C. Sonk (Eisenhower Center, Ann Arbor, MI)

 A discussion of the ethical and legal implications of relationships involving protected individuals. Primary concerns include guardianship, capacity to provide consent, liability, legal ramifications, cognitive functioning, and the possibilities of being victimized. Within these issues what are the responsibilities of mental health workers to protect clientsÕ rights and at what level does the involvement of the mental health worker go from promoting good to doing harm? This presentation explores the guidelines established by The Behavior Analyst Certification Board Guidelines for Responsible Conduct, the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, and relevant Michigan State Laws.

Behavioral Issues and Interventions Observed in Relationships with the ABI Population. Kristina N. Alitawi (Eisenhower Center, Ann Arbor, )

In the acquired brain injury (ABI) population behavioral issues are often predominant. These problems may include manipulation, stalking, jealousy, and abuse. Issues such as these can then exacerbate the typical relationship Òspeed bumpsÓ that every couple encounters. Relationships in the ABI population need to encourage friendships and relationships between the sexes as a normal and healthy part of life. All relationships have the potential to be learning and growing experiences, and can be a relevant adjunct to the rehabilitative process. Thus, behavior analysts need to promote and encourage as well as problem solve based upon each clientÕs individual deficits.


20-Minute Presentations


The Effects of White Noise on Off-Task Behavior and Academic Achievement for Students with ADHD

Presentation Type 20-minute presentation

Andrew Cook (Central Michigan University), Sharon Bradley-Johnson (Central Michigan University), & Carl M. Johnson (Central Michigan University)

We evaluated white noise played through headphones on off-task behavior, rate of items completed, and percentage of items completed correctly for three students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Results showed decreases in off-task behavior and a slight change in the percentage of task items completed correctly for two students.

Adolescent and Adult Alcohol Consumption and Impulsivity
Jack Smethells (Central Michigan University), & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Adolescent alcohol consumption is a public health concern due to the negative short-term behavioral (e.g., increased impulsive, risky behavior) and health effects e.g., alcohol poisoning, drowning, and falls) as well as the resulting long-term increased potential for alcohol problems during adulthood (i.e., alcoholism). To predict adolescents at risk, researchers have identified several correlates of adolescent alcohol use, one of which is impulsivity. Indeed, adults with alcohol problems have been shown to behave more impulsively than normal adults. Such correlations, however, do not provide causal evidence for the direction of this alcohol-impulsivity relationship. At issue is whether consumption of alcohol during adolescence in rats increases impulsivity and alcohol consumption later in the ratÕs life. To examine this alcohol-impulsivity relationship, three groups of twelve rats chronically consumed alcohol at different ages to determine if it produces comparable changes in: 1) impulsivity, 2) alcohol consumption and, 3) the acute effects of alcohol on impulsivity. The results showed: 1) adolescent and adult chronic alcohol consumption produced no between-group differences in impulsivity, 2) chronic alcohol consumption during adolescence, but not adulthood, doubled self-administered doses of alcohol later in adulthood, 3) acute doses of alcohol (> 1g/kg) in adulthood did not produce systematic changes in impulsivity.

Acquisition and Maintenance of Two-Response Sequences with Delayed Reinforcement in Rats

 Robin Kuhn (Central Michigan University), John R. Smethells (Central Michigan University), Andrew T. Fox (University of Kansas), & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

While the effects of delays to reinforcement on acquisition of single responses are well established, little is known regarding how delays effect the acquisition of response sequences. The results of four experiments examining acquisition of a left-right (LR) response sequence in rats are presented. Results from the first experiment, a parametric analysis of LR sequence acquisition with resetting, delayed reinforcement in 30 rats with a history of left-lever pressing, indicate that rats can acquire a LR sequence with unsignaled, resetting reinforcement delays of up to 5 s. Results of Experiment 2 extend the findings of Experiment 1 to 8 naive rats. Results from Experiment 3, suggest that maintenance of the LR sequence at increasing delays is improved when the LR sequence is acquired with a longer delay to reinforcement, and that typical delay-of-reinforcement gradients are obtained with sequences. Results from Experiment 4, conducted with 12 naive rats, show that signaled delays facilitate LR sequence acquisition, and increase resistance to extinction, relative to unsignaled delays. Taken in sum, these findings indicate that LR sequence acquisition mirrors acquisition of a single response with resetting delays to reinforcement, and highlights the reorganization of behavior due to the selective effects of delayed reinforcement.

Adjunctive Drinking is Greater When Rats Do Not Have To Work for Food
 Melissa M. M. Andrews (Central Michigan University), & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University) 

Adjunctive or schedule-induced behavior is a class of behavior that is induced by certain schedules of reinforcement. These behaviors share common characteristics: they are typically excessive, they usually occur immediately after the reinforcer, and they occur when the reinforcer is delivered intermittently. Although adjunctive behavior has been shown to occur under both response-independent and response-dependent food schedules, the manner of food delivery can affect the probability of adjunctive behavior albeit in opposite ways. For example, schedule-induced drinking (or polydipsia) in rats has been shown to increase when food is delivered response independently (Burks, 1970), whereas, schedule-induced attack in pigeons has been shown to decrease when food is delivered response independently (Kupfer, Allen and Malagodi, 2008), relative to when food is delivered response dependently. Two experiments using polydipsic rats were conducted to assess the reliability and generality of BurksÕ results. Experiment 1 was a systematic replication of Burks comparing drinking under fixed-ratio and fixed-time schedules with the response lever removed during the response-independent condition. Experiment 2 compared drinking under a fixed-ratio and a yoked matched-time schedule similar to what Kupfer, Allen and Malagodi used. The amount of water consumed was greater in both experiments when the rats did not have to work for food. This finding replicates and extends the generality of previous polydipsia research (Burks, 1970). The reason for why this relation between work requirement and adjunctive behavior is opposite in schedule-induced attack with pigeons is at present unknown, but some suggestions will be offered.

An Introductory Analysis of English Morphology.  Robert J. Dlouhy (Western Michigan University)

 Morphology is the study of the response topographies of words. In many languages, including English, words are not always simple units. They may be sequences of verbal responses, since, in traditional terms, they may have affixes associated with a root. Compound words will have multiple roots. Although sentences and phrases have received some attention as intraverbal/autoclitic frames from behavior analysts, words, as response sequences, have not been given detailed consideration. This paper will therefore present a behavior-analytic interpretation of morphological phenomena in English. The distinction between words and phrases in behavior-analytic terms will be established first, noting that the constituent responses that occur in complex words are much more limited than those that occur in phrases. This will be followed by a discussion of inflections as descriptive autoclitics. Derivation, traditionally described as marking a word to change its part of speech, will be discussed in two parts. The first part will address why derivation occurs even though the grammatical function of a primary response (word) can be interpreted by listeners from the autoclitic/intraverbal frames in which the word occurs. The second part will address complex derivation, cases in which primary responses co-occur with two or more derivational responses. It will be shown that such derivation involves complex intraverbal control. The paper will conclude with a brief discussion of compound words.

Literacy Instruction for Children Who Have an Intellectual Disability.  Teryn Bruni (Central Michigan University) & Michael Hixson (Central Michigan University)

The state of literacy instruction for children who have an intellectual disability has recently received increased attention within education and research. Instructional goals have expanded beyond a focus on only teaching sight words to providing opportunities to acquire all critical components of reading, leading to a greater need for guidance and instructional strategies for educators. Although many reviews of reading research have been conducted, few have outlined specific procedures that could be directly applied in educational settings. Building on what is known about errorless learning strategies and component skills for reading, specific procedures and guidelines for teaching reading to children with ID will be provided in the areas of pre-reading, phonemic awareness, and phonics instruction. Within these three categories, specific teaching guidelines have been outlined that can be used by educators and professionals, including how to overcome possible learning challenges commonly experienced by this population. Finally, the authors conclude by discussing the possible role sub-level skill mastery may play in facilitating success in more comprehensive reading programs that are typically used with at risk readers.

 Functional Behavior Assessment and Intervention for an Individual with Autism Engaging in Self-Injurious Behavior.  Paul M. Doher (Okemos Public Schools) & Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)

Although functional behavior assessment (FBA) has become entrenched as part of behavioral intervention planning within many public school systems these procedures rarely include a functional analysis, despite the proven benefits of functional analysis for intervention planning. In the present study, a full FBA, consisting of indirect assessment, direct observation, and functional analysis, was conducted for a 10 year-old male with autism who engaged in self-injurious behavior (SIB). The functional analysis of the target behavior consisted of four conditions: automatic reinforcement, control, escape, and a combined attention-tangible condition. The results of the functional analysis indicated that the SIB was maintained by access to a preferred tangible item. More specifically, modifications to the tangible condition revealed SIB was more likely to occur when same aged peers possessed high-preference items. An intervention package consisting of differential reinforcement of alternate behaviors, extinction, response blocking, and video self-modeling was developed and implemented with the student. Essentially, the student was taught to ask for preferred items from peers as an alternative to SIB. After the intervention was implemented, SIB reduced in frequency to below baseline levels while requesting objects from a peer increased. The use of video models was systematically faded out and stimulus control was shifted to the peerÕs possession of a high-preference item. Results will be discussed in terms of the benefits to conducting full functional behavior assessments in public school settings and using video self-modeling to address severe problem behavior.

Performance Feedback in the Service Sector: A Review and Suggestions for Future Research. Michael Palmer (Central Michigan University), & C. Merl Johnson Central Michigan University)

 The service industry poses unique problems including high turn-over, complex systems, and low job satisfaction. Behavioral interventions in this sector of the economy typically involve multiple components, most often including performance feedback to service employees. The use of feedback in general for articles published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (from inception of the journal to the present) will be discussed with a focus on the source of feedback: both within and outside the organization. Methodological and conceptual problems will be addressed with the use of feedback in organizational research. Future directions for research involving organizational feedback will be discussed and how the use of feedback in a behavioral systems analysis can be modified to further improve the service sector.

Procedural Integrity of Group Video Modeling for Adolescents with Autism.   Tiffany Kaid (Michigan State University), Mari Macfarland (Michigan State University), Josh Plavnick (Michigan State University), Fran Vitale (Michigan State University), & Benjamin Brandicourt (Michigan State University)

 Video-based group instruction (VGI) is a methodology designed to teach social skills to individuals with autism in a small group arrangement (Plavnick, Sam, Hume, & Odom, in press). Though designed for implementation in public educational settings, minimal research has been conducted to examine implementation variables of the procedure within such environments.

 The purpose of a current research and development project at Michigan State University is to examine the training and coaching needed to prepare high school teachers of students with autism to implement VGI with fidelity, and to assess the subsequent effects of VGI on student participants. As part of this project, classroom teachers were trained to follow a detailed set of procedures and to collect data on 3-4 student participants while delivering the 40-minute social skills session on a daily basis. A detailed procedural integrity checklist was developed to assess implementation of the instructional procedures. The checklist is a comprehensive tool used to assess the extent to which all components of the lesson are always, sometimes, or never implemented correctly.

We propose to share implementation data from this project including training and coaching procedures used to prepare educators for VGI implementation, a detailed procedural integrity checklist, and preliminary social validity outcomes. The potential for VGI as part of a daily curriculum and the effects on student outcomes will be discussed.


50-Minute Presentations


Applied Behavior Analysis and Academic Instruction for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.  Sara E. Byrd (University of Michigan-Dearborn) & Kim Killu (University of Michigan-Dearborn

Schools are replete with students who are failing, including students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBDs). While some students with EBD can and do learn and achieve success, many more do not. For some of these students, emotional and behavioral problems interfere with academic learning processes, while, for others, co-existing disabilities (such as learning disabilities (LD)) compound already existing EBDs and make school success even more elusive. Not surprisingly, students with EBD are often considered "reluctant" learners who show little interest and motivation in learning. These students are difficult to engage and challenge even the most experienced and enthusiastic teachers. Their emotional issues and behavioral challenges make this group of students among the toughest to teach and manage. For this reason, high-quality instructional programming is essential for promoting success in school and preparing students for the future. Likewise, applied behavior analysis can be a powerful intervention for promoting positive behavior and building student competencies and confidence.

Considerations in Performing Functional Analyses in School Settings.  Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University) Kathryn M. Kestner (Western Michigan University) & Carol Anne Davis (University of Washington)

FBA is considered Òbest practiceÓ when creating interventions for problem behavior (Graham, Watson, & Skinner, 2001; Steege & Watson, 2008). Sometimes, however, problem behaviors may arise due to general classroom management and instructional issues. For example, problem behavior may arise in the classroom because the classroom teacher rarely attends to appropriate student behavior and consistently provides attention for inappropriate behavior. At the same time, the classroom teacher may use ineffective instructional practices. Current practices in the classroom may not represent a Òbest practiceÓ baseline, which should be in effect before an individual child is targeted for highly individualized assessment and intervention. In such situations, another approach to the assessment of problem behavior is warranted, specifically an assessment of the classroom environment and the instructional routines in place. Such assessment might indicate that a functional analysis for one individual child should not be the first course of action. Rather, more broad scale intervention may be warranted and may benefit all children in the classroom, while decreasing problem behavior in the targeted child at the same time. This presentation will discuss the rationale and utility for such an assessment, as well as propose a possible method of such assessment.

Eat It. Just Eat It: The Basics of Pediatric Feeding Disorders and Development of a Comprehensive Feeding Program at the University of Michigan.
Amy Drayton (University of Michigan Medical School)

The phrase "pediatric feeding disorders" encompasses a wide range of issues, and the children who develop these issues range from those who are healthy and typically developing to those with developmental disabilities and/or serious medical issues. Although many different approaches are used to treat feeding disorders, the only empirically-supported treatments are based on applied behavior analysis (ABA). This presentation will address the etiology, prevalence, and prognosis of feeding disorders and detail how behavior modification techniques are used to treat them. Feeding services for children in Michigan that are currently available will be described, and information will be provided on the development of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, ABA-based feeding program at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Elopement Prevention for People with Traumatic Brain Injuries Living in Residential Facilities.  Joseph Welch (Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.) & Jennifer DÕAngela (Affiliation: Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.) 

This presentation reviews the problem of elopement when working with people whom have traumatic brain injuries and live in supported residential settings. The focus will be on 2 case studies from a description of patient cognitive and physical abilities, the functional analysis of their specific elopement behaviors, interventions attempted, and results therein achieved. The program will conclude with practical, organizational, ethical considerations when managing the safety and supervision of people whom display this challenging behavior.

Humanitarian Uses of Giant African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus). Alan Poling (Western Michigan University), Amanda Mahoney (APOPO, Morogoro, Tanzania), Amy Durgin (Western Michigan University), Christophe Cox (APOPO, Morogoro, Tanzania), & Bart Weetjens (APOPO, Morogoro, Tanzania)

 In the past decade, pouched rats have been used operationally to detect landmines and other explosive remnants of war and to detect human tuberculosis. We have attempted to evaluate scientifically the rats' performance in performing these tasks and to develop strategies for improving it. This presentation summarizes that work and also presents data relevant to two other potential humanitarian uses of the rats, searching for living humans under collapsed structures and detecting salmonella.


Assessing the Effects of the Observed Consequence in Video Modeling for Children with Autism. Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University), Alexys Vertz (Michigan State University), Sang Hur (Michigan State University), Tiffany Kaid (Michigan State University), & Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University)

Video modeling is an instructional procedure whereby an interventionist creates video exemplars of an individual performing specific behaviors and shows the videos to the target student. Although research has shown that video modeling can be successful for teaching students with autism, it is unclear which elements of the independent variable are essential parts of the methodology. Though the effects of observed consequences have a foundation in previous research on in-vivo modeling, the observed consequence has been noticeably omitted from discussions regarding video modeling. The purpose of the present study was to examine the role of the observed consequence when video modeling was used to teach new behaviors to children with autism. Four preschool children with autism were taught to perform various gross motor movements under 3 instructional conditions. The conditions involved (1) video modeling with no observed consequence 2) video modeling where the model received a reward but, regardless of the response, the participant received no reward, and (3) video modeling where the model again received the reward, as did the participant contingent upon performing the target behavior. All rewards were specifically chosen for each participant based on results of a preference assessment. An alternating treatment design was used to assess for differences in attending, performance, and problem behavior across conditions. The results suggest potential idiosyncratic effects of the observed consequence on participant responding.


Behavior Analysis Training System. Richard W Malott (Western Michigan University), Lisa Sickman (Western Michigan University), & Ali Markowitz (Western Michigan University)

The Behavior Analysis Training System is part of the behavior analysis department at (Western Michigan University) . We train students to become competent behavior analysts. Our program prepares students for the BCBA exam and graduates master's students with all of the requirements to become board certified. (Western Michigan University) is BCBA accredited and ABAI accredited.

A Comparison of An Error Correction and Errorless Learning with Time Delay: Acquiring a Matching-to-Sample Task. Samantha C. Moberg (Western Michigan University) Brandon Kline (Western Michigan University), Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Matching-to-sample is generally acquired early on using discrete trial training and is a prerequisite for learning more complex discriminations as the curriculum progresses. When this skill is not acquired, it can lead to deficits in abilities that impede other areas of learning. A common approach is to use an error correction procedure in which a prompt, typically following a least-to-most prompting strategy, occurs after the response has been made. Another alternative is errorless learning which involves the manipulation of a task that reduces the possibility for errors to be made (Mueller, Palkovic & Maynard, 2007). For the purpose of this project, a comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of an error correction and errorless learning procedure in the acquisition of matching-to-sample for two children diagnosed with autism in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay classroom at WoodsEdge Learning Center. Prior to intervention, child A matched at below chance levels ranging from 0% to 40%, and child B matched stimuli correctly 0% to 30% of baseline sessions. A comparative analysis using an AB, multielement design will be used to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of error correction compared to errorless learning with time delay in the acquisition of a matching-to-sample task.


Differential Reinforcement of Unprompted Eye Contact. Christopher Escobar (Western Michigan University), Julian Micu (Western Michigan University), Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University) & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Eye contact is a skill necessary for all aspects of life and is crucial to the proper development of a person. The diagnosis of autism entails social deficits such as a lack of eye contact; this problem is compounded over time because without eye contact progressive skills, such as joint attention, cannot be attained. The purpose of this study is to increase eye contact by using a differential reinforcement procedure with children diagnosed with autism in a special education setting. Eye contact is considered to be a facilitator, if not a prerequisite, to instruction (Carolynn C. Hamlet, Saul Axelrod, and Steven Kuerschner) and the acquisition of this skill is paramount to academic and nonacademic success. A multiple baseline across participants will be used in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the unprompted shaping procedure. This study could potentially become part of the regular curriculum for the Early Childhood Developmental Delay classroom at WoodsEdge Learning Center, and has the possibility of helping all future students who enter the classroom.

Discriminated Response Interruption to Decrease Stereotypy. Jessica Korneder Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott Western Michigan University), Michaela Putnam (Western Michigan University), Khrystle Montallana (Western Michigan University), Megan Groenhof (Western Michigan University), & Eric Gorenflo (Western Michigan University)

 The purpose of this study was to train three children diagnosed with autism to discriminate between appropriate times and inappropriate times to engage in stereotypic behaviors. In the procedure, inappropriate times were signaled by the presence of the wristband and appropriate times for stereotypy were signaled by the absence of the wristband. When the child was wearing the wristband and engaged in stereotypic behaviors, response interruption and/or response cost was implemented. When the child was not wearing the wristbands stereotypy was not followed by response interruption or response cost. The results of the study were as follows. For Conor, the mean percentage of stereotypy while wearing the wristbands during baseline was 55% and at the end of intervention was 15%. For Jack, the mean percentage of stereotypy during baseline was 79% and at the end of the response cost intervention the mean was 59%. For Jake, the mean percentage of stereotypy during baseline was 76% and at the end of the response cost intervention the mean was 15%.

The Effect of a Behavioral and Biological Intervention on Cigarette Smoking. Michael Palmer (Central Michigan University)

Cigarette smoking is a complex behavioral and physiological addiction. Many treatments tend to focus on one or the other, and often the patient relapses. The current study utilized both behavioral and physiological treatments in an AB research design on a single subject. The treatment consisted of utilizing nicotine patches, progressive muscle relaxation training, finding and reducing the effect of conditioned stimuli, using computer games as rewards for not smoking, exercise, and transferring money that she would have spent on cigarettes to her savings account. During baseline measurements, the participant smoked 23.5 cigarettes per day, during and after treatment this dropped to .18 per day, and finally to 0 after 6 and 12 month follow ups. It is clear that this intervention had a large impact on this person's smoking habits. While most individuals tend to slowly fade out smoking, this subject quickly dropped to smoking less than one cigarette a day and maintained this for at least a year. This is probably due to the intense nature of the intervention and how the intervention was designed specifically around her learning history with smoking. Future interventions that use both physiological and behavioral treatments should focus on individual learning histories to help produce the greatest effects for these individuals.


The Effect of Intensive, Individualized One-to-One Instruction Versus Dyad Instruction for Educating Children With Autism in Multiple ABA Center-Based Programs. Travis Haycook (Cleveland Clinic Autism Development Solutions), Shelli Deskins (Highlands Center for Autism), Amanda Freger (Highlands Hospital Regional Center for Autism), Kim Renner (Promedica/Toledo Children's Hospital Autism Early Learning Center), Jennifer Kirby (Bob & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism), Heather Bevins (Highlands Center for Autism), Elizabeth Rosner (Highlands Hospital Regional Center for Autism) & Leslie Sinclair (Cleveland Clinic Autism Development Solutions)

 Data outcomes collected at 5 individual instructional sites, across 4 states, analyzing data collected on a formalized waiting program implemented in center-based, applied behavior analytic programs are reviewed. The study consisted of 19 participants diagnosed with moderate to profound autism, ranging in age from 20 months through 13 years. One group of participants was instructed in a dyad instructional design, the remaining participants were instructed in the same skill set using one-to-one instruction.

 At baseline, the 19 participants had an overall rate of 0% for seven steps of task analysis for acquiring appropriate waiting behavior. Data collected resulted in the group that received instruction in a dyad design required an average of 8.69 days of instruction to reach mastery of each of the seven instructional steps; resulting in an average of 53 sessions of instruction to reach program mastery. The second group received instruction in a one-to-one instructional design required an average of 6.52 days to reach mastery of each of the seven instructional steps associated with the task analysis; resulting in an overall average of 46 sessions of instruction to program mastery.

 The data indicate the participants instructed in a dyad design acquired mastery of each instructional step at a rate 33.26% slower than those taught in a one-to-one design. The data also indicate the length of time required to achieve mastery of the program was 15.07% longer for children instructed in a dyad design versus those taught in a one-to-one design.

The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in a Sample of College Women. Dana B Goetz (Western Michigan University), Eliza S McManus (Western Michigan University) & Amy E Naugle (Western Michigan University)

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is an important societal issue with lasting negative consequences. There are few US national surveys reporting the prevalence of CSA; however, one US national sample found prevalence rates of CSA ranging from 15%-32% (Vogeltanz, Wilsnack, Harris, Wilsnack, Wonderlich, & Kristjanson, 1999). CSA is related to a variety of negative consequences, such as depression, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual problems, and repeated victimization (Finkelhor, 1991). Other researchers have found that women who were victims of CSA were more likely to report having experienced other forms of childhood victimization than were women who had no experiences of CSA (Lacelle, Hebert, Lavoie, Vitaro, & Tremblay, 2010). Furthermore, individuals who were first abused when they were 15 years of age or younger have reported higher levels of anxiety than those with no past victimization experiences (Barker-Collo, 1997).

The present study investigates the relationship between childhood sexual victimization and unwanted sexual experiences during college. The study also investigated the relationship between CSA and the subjectsÕ rating of uncomfortable feelings around members of the opposite sex. A self-report measure was used to gather data from participants at a Midwestern university. The measures included demographic information, childhood sexual victimization questionnaire (Finkelhor, 1979), and a sexual experiences survey (Koss & Oros, 1982).

 The Effects of Establishing Instructions as Reinforcers on Academic Performance. Katie Ouellette (Western Michigan University) , Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University), Tuyet Nguyen (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of this study was to increase correct responding on receptive language tasks for which children had shown an ability to accurately complete, but responded to inconsistently or inaccurately. The target was chosen to address motivation and attending behaviors, rather than a deficit in receptive language skills. The authors conducted a paired stimulus preference assessment with toys and edibles, and established the discriminative stimuli (instructions such as "touch nose," "clap hands," or "touch cup") as reinforcers by pairing the instructions with preferred reinforcers. The authors alternated these pairing trials with testing trials in which the child was required to make the relevant response to receive the reinforcer. To show the instructions came to function as reinforcers, they used only the instructions to increase the frequency of another response. When the child reliably completed the relevant behavior in the presence of three instructions, the authors tested for generalization with more directions. This procedure gives behavior analysts a process for manipulating antecedent conditions to increase attending and motivation to attend to tasks for which children have shown mastery or have demonstrated the skills to complete.

Effects of Instructions on Impulsive Choice. Jeannie Collar (Central Michigan University), Robin Kuhn (Central Michigan University), & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Instruction type is one variable that has been shown to influence choice selection during laboratory-administered impulsive choice tasks. In the present study, two groups of participants selected between 5 s of video presented after a 1-s delay and 10 s of video presented after a 10-s delay. The first group was given vague instructions regarding the two alternatives of the choice task whereas the other group was given contingency-specifying instructions. Participants in both groups completed the same impulsive choice task twice, but with a different video shown for the second run. Participants given contingency-specifying instructions exhibited greater overall proportion of choice for the large delayed alternative than participants given vague instructions. There was little change in choice between runs in the group given specific instructions; however participants in the group given vague instructions exhibited an increase in proportion of large choice in their second run, regardless of what video was available during the first and second run. Self-reports of liking the two videos were unrelated to choice. Our findings on the effect of contingency-specifying instructions will be discussed in relation to the results from other studies that have examined how instructions impact impulsive choice, particularly when video consequences are presented.

The Effects of the Observed consequence as a Component in Video modeling on the Acquisition of Social Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism. Sang Hur (Michigan State University), Tiffany Kaid (Michigan State University), Alexys Vertz (Michigan State University), Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University), &Joshua Plavnick (Michigan State University)

Video modeling is an effective method for teaching social skills to children with autism. However, previous research on video modeling has minimally examined the effects of the observed consequence, which is a critical component of observational learning. The present study will compare the effects of two video modeling conditions, video modeling without an embedded consequence and video modeling with a preferred consequence embedded in the video clip, on the rate of acquisition of social behaviors of four preschool children with autism in an early childhood special education classroom. Data will be collected on the acquisition of social behaviors of all participants. In addition, the rate of attending to the video across conditions and generalization of the acquired skills will be measured. During both video modeling conditions, each participant will watch the video in a separate room connected to participantsÕ classroom and the acquisition of target behaviors will subsequently be assessed in their classroom. A multiple probe across behaviors design will be used to assess the effects of the experimental conditions on the acquisition of social behavior by participants. The order of video modeling conditions will be counterbalanced across participants to control for sequence effects. Following baseline, two participants will receive video modeling only followed by video modeling with embedded consequences while the remaining two participants experience the conditions in the reverse order. The effects of observed consequence as a component in video modeling will be discussed.

Effects of Peer Assisted Communication Application Training on the Communicative and Social Behaviors of Children with Autism. Summer Ferreri (Michigan State University ) & Sean Strasberger (Michigan State University)

This study evaluated the effects of peer assisted communication application training to increase communication and social interactions for children with autism. Four children with autism across two schools were taught how to use a communication application to mand using a 2-step sequence and respond to the questions, "What do you want?" and "What is your name?" using a 2-step sequence. Using a multiple baseline design, data were taken on the number of independent mands, independent responses, social initiations, length of social interactions, problem behaviors, and verbalizations. The implications of the study are analyzed in regards to the effectiveness of peer assisted communication application training to teach sophisticated communication skills and increase socialization. 

Effects of Varied Response Methods During In-Class Activity and Reviews on Student Performance and Preference. Jessica E. Frieder (Western Michigan University), Thom Ratkos (Western Michigan University), & Sean Field (Western Michigan University)

The effects of three modalities of active student responding (hand raising, iClicker electronic responding, and write-on response boards) were compared in an alternating treatments design across two university psychology courses. Dependent measures included were frequency of responding, performance on end-of-class learning assessments, and an extensive social validity survey assessing studentsÕ responses to a number of questions about their preference for each response modality. Results indicated no functional relationship between response modality and performance on academic assessments. Write-on response boards occasioned more responses per opportunity than either hand-raising or electronic responding, occasionally getting every student to respond to every response in a class period. Hand raising garnered the least responses per opportunity. Survey responses indicated students had varying preference, most often reporting the best part about write-on response boards were that they were engaging. This is contrasted with the studentsÕ favorite part of the electronic response system were that it was easy and anonymous, which may not be an appropriate target for instructors.

Functional Behavioral Assessment of Medically-Unexplained Hemiplegic Posturing in a 2-Year-Old Boy. Nicole Henriksen (Western Michigan University) & Stephanie Peterson (Western Michigan University)

Functional behavior assessments are frequently used to identify the function of aggressive, self-injurious, destructive, and other problem behaviors. However, compared with dangerous and disruptive behaviors, there has been relatively less research on functional behavior assessment of behaviors that may be symptomatic of a medical condition. The purpose of this case report is to describe the procedure and results of a functional behavior assessment conducted with a 2-year-old boy who had episodes of medically-unexplained hemiplegic posturing which appeared to be influenced by environmental variables. The assessment results and implications for clinicians who use functional behavior assessment are discussed with an emphasis on the potential need to collaborate with healthcare professionals.

Pivotal Response Training to Increase Manding in a Child with Autism.  Alyssa R. McElroy (Western Michigan University), Joseph T. Shane (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of this study is to increase independent manding and motivation for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders by implementing a pivotal response model used by Koegel and Koegel. Manding is a behavior analytic term for a verbal request made by a person. The outcome of this behavior is receiving the requested item. Manding is identified as a pivotal behavior because an improvement in this behavior will positively affect a variety of other behaviors (Koegel & Koegel, 1999). This procedure will take place in a naturalistic environment to increase the childÕs motivation and will use a shaping method to increase successive vocal approximations to the mand. Vocal prompts will be used and faded as the children progress through the procedure. This intervention may provide the behavior analysis community with more precise information about the pivotal response procedure that increases the pivotal behavior of independent manding and increased motivation so that more appropriate skills can be learned. Hopefully, the data will show an increase in the childÕs approximations to several words that function as requests. This ultimate goal is for the child to independently use these words to request desired items and activities.

Progressive-Ratio Schedules and Drug Self-Administration: A Follow up to Stafford, LeSage, & Glowa (1998). Michael A. Brooks (Central Michigan University) & Paul J. Cunningham (Central Michigan University)

 Progressive-ratio schedules of reinforcement are commonly used to assess the reinforcing efficacy of self-administered drugs. Stafford et al.Õs 1998 review provided a comprehensive summary of progressive-ratio schedule use in drug studies current to that time. They also called for increased use of progressive-ratio schedules in specific domains of behavioral pharmacology including research with humans, behavioral economics, drug withdrawal, molecular biology and gene knockout, and the investigation of the relations between the reinforcing and pharmacological efficacies of drugs. Here we provide a review of progressive-ratio schedule use in drug studies after the 1998 publication, in order to examine the extent to which the use of progressive-ratio schedules has expanded in the five paths of research recommended by Stafford et al. Our review of current research indicates that there has been an increase in progressive-ratio research in 4 of the 5 areas (human studies, behavioral economics, withdrawal studies, and gene knockout). The review of the literature did not reveal any studies directly comparing the reinforcing and pharmacological efficacy of drugs using progressive-ratio schedules.

Receptive Language Training.  Danyl M. H. Epperheimer (Verbal Behavior Center for Autism) & Breanne K. Hartley (Verbal Behavior Center for Autism)

 A 9-year old student, John, enrolled at the Verbal Behavior Center for Autism, was given learning opportunities to acquire a basic listener responding repertoire with the goal of doing so without additional gestural prompts. Initially, teaching strategies were implemented based on a dissertation from (Western Michigan University) . A listener responding repertoire was obtained to reliably identify four instruments when presented with the corresponding sound. However, when words (not sounds) were presented, accuracy dropped to a chance rate. Eikeseth, Svein,and Hayward (JABA, 2009) compared two different teaching methods to teach verbal comprehension. The two methods that were compared were sound-object and word-object trainings. Eikeseth et al. stated "results support the assertion that children with autism or language impairments may learn to discriminate nonverbal stimuli more readily than verbal stimuli (p. 811)." Based on this research, the strategies were modified in order to teach John a listener responding repertoire by systematically fading the presentation of the sound while simultaneously presenting the word of the instrument. With the strategy outlined above, the young man was able to respond to the object when the sound was faded to 3/10th of a second. When the sound was eliminated from the presentation, John's responding returned to chance. This poster will show the progression of John learning a receptive identification repertoire.

Relational Training to Improve the Perspective-Taking Skills of Children with Autism. Andrew Hale (Western Michigan University), Scott Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) & John Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

 Perspective taking is frequently described as the ability to see something from a point of view other than oneÕs own. More recently, relational frame theory has suggested that perspective taking is generalized operant responding consisting of relations between stimuli that cannot be traced to formal dimensions of the stimuli. These relations are referred to as Òdeictic,Ó and refer to the relationships between I-YOU, HERE-THERE, and NOW-THEN. Relational frame theorists posit that perspective taking abilities emerge as a result of a history of reinforcement for correctly using these terms, which requires changing perspective between interpersonal, spatial, and temporal relations. The present study utilized a protocol developed to target and strengthen these relations across three increasingly complex levels. Three male children between five and seven years old completed 21 training sessions. All of the children showed an increase in their ability to correctly respond to the questions in the protocol, adding support to the growing body of literature that this type of relational responding can be shaped as operant behavior. Additionally, theory of mind tasks, frequently used to assess perspective taking abilities, were probed before and after the training protocol. All three of the childrenÕs performance increased during the post-test, despite never receiving feedback or reinforcement for correct responses. This suggests that these deictic relations may play a significant role in the development of perspective taking abilities

 Rural Behavioral Support. Brian J. Farrell (Michigan State University) & Joshua Planvnick (Michigan State University)

A functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is a critical element for developing effective behavior interventions for students with challenging behavior. By understanding variables in the environment that evoke and maintain problem behavior, educators can alter those environmental conditions and facilitate positive behavior. Unfortunately, behavioral expertise needed to implement these procedures may not be readily available in rural areas. The aim of the current study was to explore the effectiveness of a consultation model on administration of an FBA and function-based intervention for a child attending a rural public school in Northern Michigan.

A 7-year-old boy diagnosed with autism and his teacher participated in this project. The student attended a special education program for students with severe disabilities. He was non-verbal, engaged in minimal social interactions, and was reported to engage in verbal outbursts and tantrums. The latter problem behaviors were the reason for teacher referral for behavioral support. Incidents were reported and observed to last up to 15 minutes and occurred 2-3 times a day.

An FBA was conducted with assistance from his teacher and the support staff. Indirect interviews and direct observation were used to identify the likely function of the problem behavior. The consultant and teachers then worked together to develop a function-based intervention. Data on a replacement communicative behavior, as well as rates of challenging behavior, were collected and graphed to inform ongoing intervention development. Results are discussed in terms of providing consultative support to teachers in rural areas in the development of function-based behavioral intervention plans.

 Schuster Research.  Lyndsay B. Luzac (Central Michigan University) , Nicholas Von Glahn (California State University), Andrew T. Fox (University of Kansas), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

 Delays to reinforcement that are signaled typically engender higher overall and initial link response rates relative to unsignaled delays, suggesting that delay signals and the stimuli associated with them may function as conditioned reinforcers. In a previous study conducted in our laboratory, pigeonsÕ responding during a multiple chain variable interval 55-s, fixed time 5-s (signaled delay) tandem variable interval 55-s, fixed time 5-s (unsignaled delay) schedule of reinforcement was examined. Both response rates and reinforcement rates were higher during the component with signaled delays to reinforcement. When the pigeons were given the opportunity to switch between the two components by pecking the left key, the majority of the subjects reliably switched into, but not out of, the signaled delay component. Whether this finding was due to the elevated reinforcement rate or the schedule-correlated stimuli in the signaled delay component was unclear, thus the present study was undertaken. In this experiment, conducted with different pigeons, the method was identical to that of the previous study with one exception – in the present study a banking procedure was used to equalize reinforcement rates during the signaled and unsignaled delay components. As during the previous experiment, response rates tended to be higher when the delay was signaled, despite nearly equivalent reinforcement rates within the two components. When presented with the opportunity to switch into the alternative component, the pigeons showed mixed preference for the signaled delay component, indicating reinforcement rate was likely responsible for the exclusive preference observed during the previous study.

Self-Management Interventions for Children with Autism - A Literature Review.  Nicholas Acker (Western Michigan University) , Elian Aljadeff-Abergel Western Michigan University) , Yannick Schenk (Western Michigan University), & Christopher Walmsley (Western Michigan University)

 In 2009, the National Autism Center published its National Standards Project (NSP) report detailing a list of existing treatments for individuals with autism. The report separated treatments into four categories: established, emerging, unestablished and ineffective or harmful treatments. These categories were based on a standard criteria rating form that outlined the required results to obtain a particular score and allowed for an evidence based evaluation of each study (National Autism Center, 2009). Among the 11 treatments identified as established, self-management interventions for children with autism were included. Although self-management was found to be effective, the NSP did not evaluate the extent to which this treatment has been studied in natural setting versus clinical/laboratory settings, or whether the findings are consistent across those settings. The purpose of this literature review was to extend the NSP report by evaluating the effectiveness of self-management treatments for individuals with autism in the natural setting, as compared to clinical settings. Results of the review suggest that self-management treatments for children with autism are effective in the natural setting, as well as in clinical and mixed settings. A majority of studies were conducted in naturalistic settings and self-monitoring was found to be the most commonly utilized self-management intervention. However, the results also revealed limited data on the social validity of the treatments. Future self-management studies should examine the social validity of this treatment.

Signal Training to Increase Choral Responding.  Jennifer Freeman (Western Michigan University), Kelly Stone (Western Michigan University), Mariah Cole (Western Michigan University), & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

 Direct Instruction is an evidence-based curriculum designed for effective group instruction. Many Discrete Trial Training (DTT) programs excel at one-on-one instruction but fail to prepare students with autism for a mainstream classroom that depend on group instruction. This project will focus on one method that may help to transition children with autism from DTT to group instruction by focusing on increasing choral responding. The participants that I would like to use are children diagnosed with autism who have a history of one-on-one DTT. I will be using a changing criterion design across students design for my intervention. A baseline will collected to evaluate the childrenÕs behavior of responding immediately after the presentation of a hand signal. Then each child will be presented with the same lesson in the booth until they respond at the appropriate time after the signal with the use of intermittent reinforcement. Then a group lesson will be taught again and the data will be compared accordingly. Then another lesson will be presented to the same group in order to measure the amount of generalization that has occurred due to the individualized training of responding to the signals presented by the instructor.

Using A Discriminative Stimulus Procedure to Establish Praise as a Conditioned Reinforcer.  Lisa M Sickman (Western Michigan University) , Joseph Shane Western Michigan University), Kalyn Skupin (Western Michigan University), & Richard W Malott (Western Michigan University)

The SD (discriminative stimulus) procedure and the pairing procedure are two methods used to establish social praise as a conditioned reinforcer in children with autism. The pairing procedure was used daily in an informal manner at the site of the intervention and did not effectively alter the value of social praise for the children who participated in the intervention. The SD procedure was used in this intervention because the literature reports that it can be effective. The main goal of this project was to determine whether we could effectively alter the reinforcing value of short social praise statements in children with Autism. The procedure used a single subject research design with pre and post-tests. The intervention consisted of delivering a short praise statement ("Terrific!") which indicated that if the child then completed the desired behavior – holding their hand out in front of them – they would receive a tangible reinforcer. The praise statementÕs reinforcing value was measured using a variety of pre and post-intervention tests, including reinforcer assessments.

Using High Probability Sequence to Increase Compliance While Transitioning.  Josh Pelton (Western Michigan University), Paul Misiuda Western Michigan University), Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 Studies have shown that compliance while transitioning from one activity to another increases the amount of time than can be spent engaging in academic learning. Furthermore, studies have also examined the use of interventions and techniques whose goal is to increase compliance in transitioning in a classroom setting. However, little literature exists in examining the utility of using a sequence of high probability requests to decrease problem behavior and trantruming during transitioning. A sequence of high probability requests is a sequence of requests given in which the child or participant has a high probability or high likelihood of correctly complying with. The goal of the present study will be to use an AB withdrawal design to investigate the effectiveness of increasing compliance during transitioning by using a sequence of high probability requests by classroom tutors preceding a request to transition from one preferred activity to another non-preferred or less preferred activity.

Using Pivotal Response Training to Increase Vocal Manding and Decrease Problem Behavior. Kelsey Murphy (Western Michigan University) ), Jessica Korneder (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The purpose of this project is to evaluate an alternative way to increase vocal manding (i.e., requesting) in children who are currently using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) for manding. The present study will use an AB design, combining the PECS protocol with Pivotal Response Training to teach independent vocal manding. In addition, the frequency of problem behaviors will also measured. For the purpose of this study, independent variables will be as follows: independent manding, tantrums, and disruptions. The goal of research is to see an increase in independent vocal manding along with a decreasing trend in problem behavior after the implementation of pivotal response training. Results indicated the Pivotal Response Training was highly effective for the participants in this study. Baseline rates of independent vocal manding were observed near 0 over several 30 minute sessions for both participants and took minimal trials to meet mastery criterion once the intervention was implemented. One participant showed an increase in independent vocal manding with a variety of tutors and at home.

Picture Activity Schedule combined with Functional Communication Training. Jennifer Mrljak (Western Michigan University), Sarah Lett Western Michigan University), Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University) & , Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

 The goals of this study are to implement a picture activity schedule to use pictures to represent the corresponding activities the student is to be working on, and increase on-task performance and compliance while reducing problem behavior. The picture activity schedule will pair pictures with each activity the student engages in throughout the school day. There will be an opportunity for the student to select their preferred activity to engage in and an opportunity for the student to select the order of multiple activities. There will also be an opportunity for functional communication training. The picture activity schedule will help in transitioning from one environment to another by showing the student where it is they are transitioning to. One important goal to accomplish for the contribution and development of behavior analysis is to allow students a sense of autonomy by allowing them to have some control over their daily schedule. The picture activity schedule will allow for student-based decision making, functional communication and motivation for working. It will also prepare students for a transition from a one-on-one setting, to a group skills environment.

The Use of Response Interruption and Redirection and DRO to Decrease Vocal Stereotypy. Katherine Beckstrom (Western Michigan University), Keili Howard (Western Michigan University), Joseph Shane (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Vocal stereotypy is behavior frequently seen in those diagnosed with autism, often consisting of Ònoncontextual or nonfunctional speechÓ (Miguel, et. al. 2009). In 2007, Ahearn and his colleagues successfully used Response Interruption and Redirection (RIRD) to produce a substantially lower rate of vocal stereotypy in four children diagnosed with autism. The goal of RIRD is to interrupt the inappropriate speech and redirect the individual to more appropriate speech. In AhearnÕs study, they presented vocal tasks contingent on the childrenÕs stereotypy, thereby interrupting the inappropriate speech. Vocal stereotypy can be a serious problem when it disrupts childrenÕs daily instructional sessions and slows their skill acquisition. Such was the case in a local early childhood special education classroom. We implemented RIRD using an AB experimental design with the goal of decreasing the frequency of a childÕs vocal stereotypy during instructional time. When the child engaged in vocal stereotypy, we immediately asked him to engage in a vocal or motor task already in his repertoire, such as phrase imitation or physical imitation. We also implemented a Differential Reinforcement of Other behavior (DRO) procedure in which he earned tokens (later exchanged for reinforcers) for periods of time with no vocal stereotypy.

Title TBA.  L. Courtney June (Western Michigan University), Ray'Chelle Pearson (Western Michigan University), Brighid H. Fronapfel (University of Nevada, Reno) Jessica Ann Korneder (Western Michigan University), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

 Stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) has been found to increase specific vocal responding in children with developmental disabilities, while direct reinforcement (DR) increases behavior that the reinforcer follows. The combined use of SSP and DR has been shown to be effective in increasing vocalizations when working with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities (Fronapfel-Sonderegger, 2012). In this direct replication, the participant was a 3-year-old girl enrolled in an early childhood special education classroom. At baseline, she demonstrated the phonemes that occurred less than 30% of the time. This study utilized a changing criterion research design in which the level of complexity increased as each phoneme was mastered. Phonemes that occurred at a minimal frequency were targeted by requiring the student to mand for a reinforcer that included a specific phoneme that was part of the terminal word (e.g., "buh" for bubbles). At present, results from the study have shown an increase in vocal responding.


Thursday Workshop

The ADOS: How Can the Diagnostic Report Inform My Treatment?

Presentation Type 3-hour workshop

Workshop Cost $60  

Workshop Attendance Limit 10

Susan Risi (Eastern Michigan University) & Caitlyn Sorensen (Eastern Michigan University)

The newly commissioned Autism insurance legislation in Michigan requires an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) evaluation for diagnosis to receive services. Although, this is not new to the field, there may be increasing need to use the evaluation to inform treatment with the insurance mandate. The workshop will cover an introduction to the ADOS. The theory, history, psychometric, and administration details will be presented with a special focus on how each activity in the ADOS elicits certain behaviors specific to autism spectrum disorder. There will be an emphasis on behaviors that are specific to treatment utility and how any behavioral excesses or deficits will be presented in a typical clinical report. Mock reports will be used to facilitate learning and provide experiential practice, including how to integrate results from the ADOS with other psychometric data to inform treatment. This workshop is not intended to train or provide any level of reliability on the administration or scoring of the ADOS, although knowledge of autism and some aspects of administration are necessary to learn how to interpret the results.


Friday Workshop

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Topics in a Behavioral Approach to Autism Treatment.
Presentation Type 6-hour workshop. 
Workshop Cost $110
Mark L. Sundberg

This workshop is designed for attendees who are already familiar with the basics of SkinnerÕs analysis of verbal behavior (e.g., mand, tact, intraverbal), the VB-MAPP assessment tool, and ABA/VB intervention procedures.  A variety of advanced topics will be presented during workshop including, what constitutes a behavioral approach to autism treatment, analyzing and overcoming learning barriers, developing vocal skills for non-vocal children, complex discrimination skills involving both verbal and nonverbal conditional discriminations, social behavior, multiple control, and other issues that face children in Levels 2 & 3 of the VB-MAPP. 




Advanced Training Solutions (

Treasure A. Rousselo


Advanced Training Solutions is the online education company dedicated to training professionals within the fields of autism, behavior and related disabilities. ATS is working with 400-organizations and schools across the globe to deliver certified and effective staff development programs.