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Behavior Analysis in Practice

Katherine Ledbetter-Cho, Russell Lang, Katy Davenport, Melissa Moore, Allyson Lee, Mark O'Reilly, Laci Watkins, Terry Falcomata
A concurrent multiple baseline across participants design evaluated the effects of behavioral skills training (BST) on abduction-prevention skills of four children with autism. Across phases, confederates presented four types of abduction lures: (a) simple requests, (b) appeals to authority, (c) assistance requests, and (d) incentives. During baseline, lures resulted in children leaving with confederate strangers. During intervention, BST targeted a three-step response (i.e., refuse, move away, and report) and the abduction-prevention skills of all participants improved...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Christina R Noel, Yvette Q Getch
Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) is the response-independent delivery of a reinforcer (Vollmer, Iwata, Zarcone, Smith, and Mazaleski in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 26: 9-21 1993). Two staff members (preservice education majors) implemented NCR procedures for two students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who exhibited problem behavior and attended an after-school program. The amount of training on NCR and procedural fidelity was measured for each staff member, and the effects of the treatment on problem behavior were evaluated...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Alyssa N Wilson, Olivia H Gratz
A handful of studies have examined the utility of progressive ratio schedules (PRs) of reinforcement in treatment development and treatment efficacy. The current case study explored the utility of PRs as an assessment tool to inform a differential reinforcement treatment package. A PRs assessment was used to identify the breaking point of a functional communicative response before and after treatment. The breaking point was used as the initial reinforcement schedule during treatment. Following treatment, the communicative response increased during a posttest PRs assessment, suggesting the efficacy of the treatment package...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Louise Heffernan, Danielle Lyons
The effects of differential reinforcement of other behaviour (DRO) were investigated for the treatment of severe self-injurious nail biting in an individual diagnosed with autism. A functional behaviour assessment (FBA) identified that the behaviour was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Following the implementation of the DRO procedure and access to reinforcing stimuli that were believed to provide similar sensory feedback to that of the self-injurious nail biting, the results indicate that the nail biting was successfully reduced and maintained at near zero levels...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Neil Deochand, R Wayne Fuqua
Since the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) was officially created in 1998 (Shook, 2005), the number of individuals certified by the BACB has grown significantly, particularly in the USA. Some states have witnessed a steady growth in the number of certificants, whereas others have witnessed exponential growth. Many factors could account for these overall growth patterns, including (a) geographic variations in distribution of certificants across states, (b) the passage of autism insurance reform laws or state licensing laws that influence the professional practice of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, and (c) the presence of major academic or practicum training programs...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Kathryn J Saunders, Kathleen Hine, Yusuke Hayashi, Dean C Williams
Persistent error patterns sometimes develop when teaching new discriminations. These patterns can be adventitiously reinforced, especially during long periods of chance-level responding (including baseline). Such behaviors can interfere with learning a new discrimination. They can also disrupt already learned discriminations, if they re-emerge during teaching procedures that generate errors. We present an example of this process. Our goal was to teach a boy with intellectual disabilities to touch one of two shapes on a computer screen (in technical terms, a simple simultaneous discrimination)...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Marsha B Parsons, Erik Bentley, Todd Solari, Dennis H Reid
In human service agencies, situations exist at various times in which consumers are not familiar with the staff who work with them. We evaluated effects of familiar versus unfamiliar staff working with two men with severe disabilities in a vocational program. Results indicated both participants displayed more compliance with familiar staff relative to unfamiliar staff and one exhibited more on-task (one was near ceiling levels with both staff). Subsequently, a familiarization process was conducted with four new staff before working with four men with severe disabilities that involved spending time with a participant in a preferred activity and phasing in to the participant's routine...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Joseph M Lambert, Bailey A Copeland, Erica L Karp, Crystal I Finley, Nealetta J Houchins-Juarez, Jennifer R Ledford
Individuals with developmental disabilities successfully participate in fewer recreation activities, including sports activities, than their typically developing peers. Although a functional basketball-playing repertoire might increase social opportunities and physical health for these individuals, no research has outlined a behavior-analytic strategy for teaching this sport. In our study, we taught a 13-year-old male diagnosed with autism to play basketball. During phase 1, we employed discrete-trial training to establish proficiency with nine fundamental basketball skills (i...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Robert C Pennington, Melinda Jones Ault, Dominic G Schmuck, Jonathan L Burt, Laura L Ferguson
The authors reviewed 10 years of research literature on teaching mands to individuals with developmental disabilities. Articles were selected from journals associated with three professional organizations (e.g., Association for Behavior Analysis, Council for Exceptional Children, and American Speech and Hearing Association). Findings were reported as frequencies of publication across journals and sets of journal. Furthermore, we reported on the several contextual variables reported within each study (i.e., age of participants, setting, change agent, response topography, generalization)...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Neil Deochand, Mack S Costello, R Wayne Fuqua
The individuals served by behavior analysts are often funded by Medicaid, insurance companies, or private pay. The first two options usually require progress notes detailing graphically and quantitatively the behavioral outcomes. These progress notes usually come in the form of a written account of milestones achieved or barriers faced, graphical displays of behavioral data, and summary tables. The graphical displays are monthly, quarterly, and annual reports for the individuals that they serve. Microsoft Excel® is one of the most accessible tools by which to accomplish this task; however, presenting the required date ranges can be a time-consuming task...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Tiffany Freeze Denton, James N Meindl
Colored overlays, one type of tinted filter, are plastic reading sheets tinted with color and placed over text to eliminate or alleviate a wide range of reading difficulties such as low reading rate, accuracy, and comprehension. The effects of colored overlays on reading problems associated with dyslexia were investigated in this study via a multielement design. Reading fluency was assessed when participants read with and without colored overlays. Undifferentiated responding, or decreased accuracy, resulted across three participants, suggesting that colored overlays were ineffective and potentially detrimental to participants' reading abilities...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Dana M Blydenburg, James W Diller
This study investigates the consistency of behavior-analytic training with the Behavior Analysis Certification Board's task list. A survey about the content of behavior-analytic training programs was sent to Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)-approved training program directors. There were many program directors that felt particular areas do not have sufficient coverage (e.g., Behavioral Pharmacology, Biological Bases of Behavior, Organizational Behavior Management), and several program directors reported that their course sequence does not adequately prepare students in basic research...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Alyssa N Wilson, Tyler S Glassford, Sarah M Koerkenmeier
The present study examined response effort during resurgence tests. Six children were trained to place balls in baskets that were placed either close (.0254 m) or far away (1.829 m or .9 m). Resurgence was assessed using a linear strip design, where responses were reinforced on a variable-interval 10-s schedule or put on extinction. During resurgence tests, minimal to low rates of resurgence associated with the greater response effort (i.e., placing a ball in the basket further way) were observed across all six participants, regardless of distance...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Justin B Leaf, Alyne Kassardjian, Misty L Oppenheim-Leaf, Joseph H Cihon, Mitchell Taubman, Ronald Leaf, John McEachin
Today, there are several interventions that can be implemented with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Most of these interventions have limited to no empirical evidence demonstrating their effectiveness, yet they are widely implemented in home, school, university, and community settings. In 1996, Green wrote a chapter in which she outlined three levels of science: evidence science, pseudoscience, and antiscience; professionals were encouraged to implement and recommend only those procedures that would be considered evidence science...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Mitch J Fryling, Natalia A Baires
The identification of functional relations is a hallmark of applied behavior analysis. Building upon this foundation, applied behavior analysts have developed and researched a number of practices that fall within the purview of Functional Behavioral Assessment, a framework used to understand factors that influence a target behavior. Indeed, there now exists a wide range of procedures that fall within the purview of Functional Behavioral Assessment, with different procedures being associated with different strengths and limitations...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Kathleen J Papatola, Stuart L Lustig
As autism rates increase, providers of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services are more frequently engaging with managed care companies to discuss the medical necessity of treatment. In an effort to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of these reviews, we draw upon our experience as peer reviewers for a managed care company to guide ABA providers in discussions with managed care on behalf of their patients. In this article, we first provide an overview of the managed care peer review process. We then discuss the elements of medical necessity that managed care companies ask about during the review process...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Valerie M Volkert, Cathleen C Piazza, Rachel Ray-Price
Although some children with feeding disorders may have the necessary skills to feed themselves, they may lack motivation to self-feed solids and liquids. Rivas, Piazza, Roane, Volkert, Stewart, Kadey, and Groff (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47, 1-14, 2014) and Vaz, Volkert, and Piazza (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 915-920, 2011) successfully increased self-feeding for children who lacked motivation to self-feed by manipulating either the quantity or the quantity and quality of bites that the therapist fed the child if he or she did not self-feed...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Sarah E Veazey, Amber L Valentino, Adeline I Low, Alyssa R McElroy, Linda A LeBlanc
Little applied research focuses on teaching feminine hygiene skills to females with disabilities, yet this is a common clinical concern. The current study demonstrates the use of chaining to teach two young females with autism spectrum disorder feminine hygiene skills. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants was utilized, and the results indicate that both participants acquired the skill. Generalization probes with one participant indicated the skill generalized to novel stimuli.
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Maria T Stevenson, Patrick M Ghezzi, Kymmo G Valenton
Nearly half of children with autism have eloped from their caregivers. In assessing elopement, the initial functional analytic results of this case study found positive reinforcement in the form of attention and access to tangibles were the maintaining variables. Functional communication training (FCT) in combination with delay fading was utilized to increase communication and decrease elopement. Results indicated that communication was consistent, elopement remained low, and the child learned to wait.
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Jessica N Torelli, Joseph M Lambert, M Alexandra Da Fonte, Katherine N Denham, Thomas M Jedrzynski, Nealetta J Houchins-Juarez
We assessed acquisition and preference for various mand topographies in the presence of establishing operations that, historically, evoked the aggression of a child with autism. First, we implemented functional communication training (FCT) and reinforced picture exchange, iPad®, or GoTalk® activations in a multi-element format (noting differences in aggression and/or mand independence across conditions). Then, we conducted a concurrent-operant mand preference assessment. Finally, we presented assessment results to the subject's mother and asked her to indicate her own preference...
June 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
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