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 Small BAAM Logo BAAM 2009
Convention Schedule
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BAAM 2009 Convention Schedule
(Subject to additions and modifications)

Workshops | Posters | Thursday | Friday

BACB and Michigan State Teacher's Board CEUs will be available for most sessions.

Convention Registration
Regular | Student

Important Note to BAAM presenters

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

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

Thursday February 19, 2009

8:00-9:00 a.m. Reception Area (2nd Floor)
(Open all day)
Note: Continental breakfast will be available in the Ballroom during registration. Free for convention registrants.

Keynote Speaker

Howard C. Shane

Using Technology to Educate Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Do Professionals Get a Passing Grade?

Howard C. Shane , Ph.D.
(Harvard University)

9:00 - 10:15 am
Ballroom A

Computers surround us in our personal lives. Likewise computers appear in nearly every classroom for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder while speech-generating devices are often used to augment their speech. Despite the proliferation of such technology, questions remain as to the most efficacious application of technology in the education of persons on the autism spectrum. This keynote address will confront such questions and suggest ways to improve selection and practice.

Keynote Speaker Biography

Dr. Howard C. Shane is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. He has designed more than a dozen computer applications used widely by persons with disabilities and holds two US Patents. Shane has received Honors of the Association Distinction and is a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association. He is the recipient of the Goldenson Award for Innovations in Technology from United Cerebral Palsy Association and author of numerous papers and chapters on severe speech impairment, lectured throughout the world on the topic, and produced numerous computer innovations enjoyed by persons with complex communication disorders.

Representative Publications

Caves, K., Shane, H. C., & DeRuyter, F. (2002). Connecting AAC devices to the world of information technology. Assistive Technology, 14, 81-89.

Shane, H.C. (2006, April). Using visual scene displays to improve communication and communication instruction in persons with autism spectrum disorders. Special Interest Division 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15(1), 7-13.

Shane H.C. & Weiss-Kapp, S. (2007). Visual language in autism. San Diego: Plural Publishing.

Higginbotham, J., Shane, H.C., Russell, S., & Caves, K. (2007). Access to AAC: Present, past, and future. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 23(3), 1-15.

Shane H.C. & Ducoff, P. (2008) Electronic screen media for persons with autism spectrum disorders: Results of a survey. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 38(8), 1499-1508.

Thursday Breakout Sessions

10:30-11:50 am Room 352 1.5 BACB Type II CEU
Symposium: Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis at Western Michigan University. Chair: Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University)

Covers a broad range of applications of behavior analysis from researchers at Western Michigan University. Topics include treatment acceptability within behavioral gerontology, treatment fidelity with children with autism, and component analyses of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Acceptability of interventions to staff in long-term care settings for older adults: Comparing ratings and hierarchical selection. Jonathan C. Baker (Western Michigan University) & Linda LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)

Older adults and their caregivers generally prefer behavioral interventions over medications in treatment acceptability studies. However, previous studies primarily examined acceptability ratings, which did not force the responder to select between treatment options. Additionally, recent advances in behavioral treatment technologies and other treatments previously presented to raters create a need to revisit treatment acceptability for older adults. The present investigation examined treatment acceptability of behavioral, pharmacological, and sensory interventions using a treatment acceptability rating scale, treatment selection rankings, and direct report of treatments used. Sixty staff from nursing homes in the Midwest who actively participate in treatment decisions for older adults with dementia who engage in aggression were recruited. Participants saw a video vignette and completed an internet-based treatment acceptability rating and ranking of each of the treatments. One-way ANOVAs indicated no statistically significant differences in ratings between treatments. Pearson-Product Moment Correlations indicated no ratings and selections were significantly related. Selection of behavioral treatment was correlated with previous use of behavioral interventions. Implications for treatment acceptability ratings as evidence for treatment adoption of behavioral interventions from both a practical and conceptual perspective, as well as directions for future studies will be discussed.

Cognitive Defusion to Treat Low Self-Esteem. Marchion Hinton & Scott Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy continues to produce evidence of efficacy and effectiveness for a broad range of populations. Research is beginning to explore the role of individual components within the larger ACT treatment package. The ACT model suggests that cognitive defusion is a core component. Cognitive defusion attempts to increase awareness of and change the relationship to thoughts without targeting thought content or frequency. In the present study, twenty-two college students (73% female) reporting low self-esteem and general distress (one SD from the mean on both measures) were randomly assigned to examine the efficacy of three sessions of cognitive defusion (n = 10) against a wait-list control (n = 12). The cognitive defusion protocol emphasized vocalizing strategies and the contents on cards exercise. Overall, the data suggested that cognitive defusion is better than no treatment. Those receiving cognitive defusion reported significant improvements in self-esteem, depressive symptomatology, general distress, negative thinking, and experiential avoidance. These findings join others in suggesting that cognitive defusion appears to be an active component of ACT.

An Evaluation of the Effects of Treatment Integrity Failures on Acquisition during Instruction using the System of Least Prompts. Laura Grow (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Auburn University), Kristin V. Gunby (Kinark Children and Family Services), Shaireen M. Charania (Kinark Children and Family Services), & Lucita Gonsalves (Kinark Children and Family Services)

Teaching procedures such as the system of least prompts may be at risk for treatment integrity failures in naturalistic settings such as a classroom. Two studies have systematically assessed the impact of treatment integrity failures on the acquisition of new skills. In the present study, we compared the acquisition and maintenance of response chains taught using a perfectly implemented system of least prompts and a flawed system of least prompts (i.e., addition of multiple verbal prompts and failure to follow through with more intrusive prompts). Four children, aged 6 to 9, participated in the study. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the efficiency of learning during the system of least prompts and the flawed system of least prompts. Results were consistent with those obtained in previous studies in that the perfectly implemented and flawed prompting procedures were effective in teaching new skills for all participants. However, the perfectly implemented treatment required fewer trials to mastery for 3 of the 4 children.

10:30-11:20 am Room 330
Implementing Weight-Loss Strategies for Intensive In-Home Treatment of Pediatric Obesity. Lisa M. Manthey (Wayne State University School of Medicine)

According to the Centers for Disease Control (2008), the prevalence of pediatric obesity has more than doubled for children and more than tripled for adolescents over the past thirty years. Successful weight management involves behavioral interventions such as lifestyle changes, goal setting, and monitoring, which can be provided within the individual's ecology to promote adherence and generalization. In-home treatment is well-suited to behavior analysts and offers opportunities to build knowledge, skills, and performance efficiently. Specific treatment strategies and expected adherence barriers will be discussed in this presentation.

10:30-11:20 am Room 350 1 BACB Type II CEU
College Students: How to Sleep at Night for the Rest of Your Lives. Carl M. Johnson (Central Michigan University)

College students frequently exhibit poor sleep habits that can impede academic performance and health. This presentation will cover a brief history of sleep research followed by data on typical college student sleep patterns. Behavioral sleep improvement strategies will be presented including bedtime routines, circadian rhythm management, sleep hygiene, and other non-pharmacological procedures.

11:30-11:50 am Room 350
Immediate Post-Session Feeding Reduces Within-Session Responding in Rats. Jack Smethells, Drew Fox, Jennifer Andrews, & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Four experiments investigated the effects of immediate and delayed post-session feeding on progressive ratio and variable-interval schedule performance in rats. During Experiments 1 and 2 immediate post-session feeding decreased the breakpoint, or largest completed ratio, under progressive ratio schedules. Experiments 3 and 4 were conducted to extend the results, for the purpose of generalization, of the first two experiments to response rates under variable-interval schedules and to address some discrepancies in the literature. In Experiment 3, response rates decreased in three of four rats when post-session feeding immediately followed a 15-m session. In Experiment 4, response rates decreased in three of four rats when post-session feeding immediately followed a 60-m session. The practical implications of this research suggest that the delay to post-session feeding should be sufficiently delayed to avoid disrupting behavior within the session, while the theoretical implications are that the context in which session reinforcers are incorporated extends beyond the experimental chamber.

11:30-12:20 am Room 330 1 BACB Type II CEU
Current Developments in Behavioral Gerontology. Louis Burgio (University of Michigan).

In this special invited address, Dr. Louis Burgio, HRJ Chair of Gerontology, University of Michigan, will discuss current developments in the research on and applilcations of behavioral gerontology. Areas of contrast and collaboration with other traditions in gerontology will be addressed. His own work as well as future directions for the field will be covered.

Noon - 1:20 pm--Lunch (on your own)

1:30-2:20 pm Room 352 1 BACB Type II CEU
Paper Session : Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis at the Beaumont Hospital Hope Center.

Behavioral Treatment of an 11-year-old Boy with Long-Standing, Severe Selective Mutism. Tamara Pawich (Eastern Michigan University) & Ruth Anan (William Beaumont Hospital).

Selective mutism is a childhood social anxiety disorder that affects less than 1% of preschool- to elementary-aged children. Even though they are able to vocalize, children with selective mutism typically do not speak audibly to others outside the family unit or in public, such as at school and in the community. The following presentation illustrates a case of an 11-year-old boy with long-standing refusal to speak outside of his home. His symptoms progressed and he ceased speaking to anyone, including his parents for well over a year. This is the first case in the research literature documenting this level of severity. Parental and teacher reports indicate that he had not spoken in school since first grade. All sessions were conducted at an outpatient clinic, community settings (e.g., restaurant), and the participant's school. The treatment package consisted of graduated in vivo exposure, echoic prompts, shaping, and a token system. Data were collected on the frequency of words emitted per session and number of individuals to whom the participant directed speech. Results generalized across persons in the family and community, providers at the clinic, and some school personnel.

Developmental Outcomes of Intensive Parent-Training Program for Preschoolers with Autism. Lori J. Warner, Ruth M. Anan, & Jamie E. McGillivary (Beaumont Hosptials)

Early, intensive behavioral intervention is effective in treating children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but can be cost prohibitive. Expenses may be defrayed if children can benefit from parents acting as therapists. This quantitative case series examines the efficacy of the GIFT (Group Intensive Family Training) program, a 12-week (180 hours, delivered 3 hours each weekday) parent-training for preschoolers with ASDs. Parents were individually mentored in the hands-on application of behavior analytic techniques, implementing these skills in-vivo within a group of six parent-child dyads. Seventy-two parents and children (ages 25 to 68 months) with ASDs participated in this study. Childrenķs cognitive and adaptive functioning was assessed before and after the intervention program. Analyses revealed average gains of 8 standard score points on the Mullen Early Learning Composite and 5 standard score points on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Composite after 12 weeks of treatment. Additionally, 14% and 11% of the children moved from the ģimpairedī to ģnon-impairedī range on Mullen and Vineland composite scores, respectively. This preliminary investigation suggests that GIFT's behavioral, group parent-training can lead to significant, yet cost- and time-efficient gains for children with ASDs. Results must be interpreted with caution because of the absence of a control group.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 330 1 BACB Type II CEU
Have a Safe Flight: Using Feedback to Increase the Accuracy of Checklist Completion During Flight Training. Alyce Dickinson, William G. Rantz, Gilbert A. Sinclair, & Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University).

This study examined whether pilots would complete airplane checklists more accurately after receiving post-flight graphic and verbal feedback. Participants were 8 college student pilots who flew flight patterns using a personal computer aviation training device approved for flight training by the Federal Aviation Agency. The main dependent variable was the number of checklist items completed correctly. A multiple baseline design across pairs of participants with reversal was used. During baseline, participants were given post-flight technical feedback. During intervention, participants were also given feedback on checklist use. The intervention increased the average percentage of correctly completed checklist items from 53% during baseline to 98%, which maintained following a return to baseline.

1:30-2:20 pm Room 350 1 BACB Type II CEU
Some Effects of Procedural Variables on the Dynamics of Operant Choice. Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

This presentation will review data from several studies showing how procedural variables influence the outcome of operant choice experiments. The studies involve the way the subjects receive reinforcement distributed over time in simple concurrents and concurrent chains. Often these studies explain their data using such parameters as overall rate of reinforcement as an independent variable and develop quantitative models using such parameters. An important theoretical issue raised by these data is whether researchers have correctly identified independent variables that they incorporate into their quantitative models. Assuming that researchers want to maximize the generality of their independent variables and theoretical concepts, it seems important that their conceptions of those independent variables and theoretical concepts not be limited to only particular procedures. The meaning of rate of reinforcement is examined to provide a case history.

2:30-3:20 pm Room 350 1 BACB Type II CEU
Why Do Behavioral Analysts Ignore Countercontrol? Flavia Vasconcelos & Dennis J. Delprato (Eastern Michigan University)

Countercontrol refers to human behavior in response to aversive stimulation presented by a social controlling agent. Functionally, countercontrol is either avoidance or escape behavior. Skinner introduced this behavior class in order to analyze social behavior; however, it remains to be exploited by behavior analysts. Skinner's countercontrol is scientifically supported by a small body of research. We will discuss how this behavior is important for understanding interpersonal relations because countercontrol seems to be a type of natural human response to an aversive stimulus.

2:30-3:20 pm Room 330 1 BACB Type II CEU
Some Books Behavior Analysts Should Be Reading But Probably Aren't. James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

As behavior analysis programs become more practice-oriented, the nature of our reading lists has changed. Many of the seminal works of our field are no longer read despite significant continuing relevance. Some standard historical readings have also been eliminated due to a kind of conceptual ageism. Breadth has been sacrificed as well. This presentation will give an overview of a number of books (and some articles) that all behavior analysts should have on their reading lists.

3:00-3:50 pm Room 352
Managing Pediatric Medical Regimens: Translating Theory into Practice and Meeting Adherence Barriers Head-On. Lisa M. Manthey (Wayne State University School of Medicine)

Adherence to medical regimens is difficult and families can struggle even when they have the knowledge and skills to be successful. The factors that contribute to non-adherence are often not disclosed to practitioners and, therefore, may not be addressed sufficiently or in a timely manner. In this presentation, common barriers to adherence and disclosure will be discussed along with suggested behavioral treatment strategies.

3:30-4:00 pm Room 350
Blocking vs. Multicollinearity: Ways to Handle Redundancy. Laszlo Erdodi (Eastern Michigan University)

In multiple regression, highly correlated predictors create a redundancy that is resolved using statistical criteria to eliminate the overlap among variables. Although this custom is well-justified mathematically, multicollinearity sometimes sparks controversy regarding the ecological validity of the decision to choose one of the several equally good variables to represent the conglomerate of related predictors. Using blocking as a naturally occurring analogue, this paper argues that the dilemma is not merely an artifact of a highly abstract man-made algorithm, but a situation routinely faced by organisms. For example, in classical conditioning paradigms a second stimulus that reliably follows the first one does not elicit a response despite the fact that its predictive power is comparable to the previous stimulus. This overshadowing does not mean that the second stimulus is less informative; it simply does not make a unique contribution to the prediction of the unconditioned stimulus, hence it is ignored.

Friday February 20, 2009

8:00-9:00 a.m. Reception Area (2nd Floor)
(Open all day)
Note: Continental breakfast will be available in the Ballroom during registration. Free for convention registrants.

Special Guest Speaker

Kamala London

Children's Testimonial Competence and Adults' Abilities to
Detect True and False Reports

Kamala London , Ph.D.
(University of Toledo)

9:00 - 10:00 am
Ballroom B

In this talk, I will review the scientific findings regarding factors that affect children's reports of personally experienced events. Specifically, empirical findings on the following four topics will be covered:

  • What questioning methods produce the most accurate and complete reports from children?
  • What questioning methods have been shown to produce erroneous reports from children?
  • Are certain children more suggestible than others?
  • Can adults accurately classify true reports versus intentional deception or suggestively-induced false reports?

Implications of this research for clinical and forensic practice will be discussed.


Kamala London, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Toledo. Her research examines factors that bolster and impede the reliability of children's reports of prior events. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 2001 from the University of Wyoming. She was a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2001-2005) where she specialized in forensic developmental psychology. Dr. London is editor of the APA Division 37 (Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice) publication The Review, and will become editor for The Advocate in 2009.

Representative Publications:

Bruck, M., London, K., Landa, B., & Goodman, J. (2007). Autobiographical memory and suggestibility in children with autism. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 73-95.

London, K., & Kulkofsky, S. (in press). Factors affecting the reliability of children’s reports. In G.M. Davies & D.B. Wright (Eds.), New Frontiers in Applied Memory, Psychology Press.

Friday Breakout Sessions

10:00-10:50 am Room 352 1 BACB Type 2 CEU
Special Showing: PBS Frontline--Prisoners of Silence.

Chair: James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Introduced by Howard C. Shane (Harvard University)

Prisoners of Silence, PBS/Frontline's revealing 1993 critique of facilitated communication (FC), which features BAAM Keynote speaker Howard Shane, remains as relevant today as it was when first broadcast 15 years ago. After a decade and a half, FC proponents have not yet provided appropriate empirical evidence of the effectiveness of their technique. During the same time, numerous scientific studies have shown that FC reliably fails to work when tested under properly controlled conditions. Rather than abandoning FC for something better, FC advocates simply assert that FC cannot be scientifically tested and continue to promote it. As a result, FC continues to do harm. In just the last 12 months, criminal, civil, and appellate court cases on on FC have occured in Michigan, Illinois, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. In Michigan, a man spent 80 days in jail falsely accused of abuse through FC. In Chicago, recent lawsuit centered on a child who wasted valuable time doing FC at a doctor's recommendation rather than receiving an effective intervention. In England, John Pinnington, accused of abuse through FC but not tried or convicted, remains unemployed because he cannot get his name removed from a sex offender registry. Prisoners of Silence serves as an important reminder about the need for the careful consideration and empirical examination of the ever-present problems of unconscious cueing, prompt dependency, and expectancy biases when dealing with mediated communications from individuals whose own expressive abilities are or can be compromised.

10:00-10:20 am Room 330
Live 100% Now: The Best Treatment Approach. J. Silva Goncalves (Eastern Michigan University)

Take that 100 percent energy and invest it as suggested in the 90+9+1 formula of performance management, and you will improve your productivity, attitude, and happiness.

10:00-10:20 am Room 350
Types of Prompts and Their Instructional Implications for Errorless Teaching Practices. Kristi Knop, Jason Vladescu, & Michael Hixson (Central Michigan University)

The importance of errorless teaching procedures as an alternative for children who have difficulty learning through trial-and-error teaching has been established. The use of prompts to teach new discriminations is likely to be familiar to behavior analysts. However, the contribution of difference prompts and sameness prompts by Engelmann (1991) to the conception of prompts is likely to be novel to many educators. Difference prompts highlight the stimulus feature most relevant to the discrimination to create a greater difference between minimally different examples. Sameness prompts highlight similarities between stimuli to stipulate common behavior. The central purpose of this presentation is to introduce the parameters of difference prompts and sameness prompts, discuss prompt modification techniques (i.e., fading) to avoid prompt dependence and misrules, provide applied examples, and examine related research. A review of the four common errorless teaching methods (i.e., delayed prompting, superimposing, stimulus fading, and stimulus shaping) will also be provided.

10:30-10:50 am Room 350
What Makes DRO Effective?: The Importance of Deconstructing a Commonly Used Behavior Reduction Technique. Zina A. Eluri & James Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

Many children exhibit behavior problems that become important treatment targets. One effective method for suppressing problem behavior is differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). DRO has been one of the most widely used response suppression techniques with many studies documenting its effectiveness in comparison to and combined with other response reduction procedures. Although this procedure has been shown to be effective in treating problem behavior, it has many practical limitations resulting in incorrect implementation of these procedures, thereby delaying effective treatment. These limitations may be the result of an incomplete evaluation and understanding of the necessary and sufficient components of a DRO procedure. Furthermore, the lack of understanding in these areas may result in discrepancies in the way the procedure is conducted and discussed among experts. These limitations, however, may be avoided through a better understanding of the mechanisms by which behavior reduction occurs. For these reasons, it is critical to shift the focus of research toward understanding which components of the DRO are important and contribute to the suppressive effects of the procedure. This paper will discuss the importance of identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for response suppression and provide directions for future research.

11:00-11:50 am Room 330
Autism Insurance in Michigan: A Status Update. Ann Breznai (Michigan Advocacy Chair, Autism Speaks) and State Representative John Espinoza - District 83

Information and updates will be given on the status of legislation on autism insurance in Michigan

11:00-11:50 am Room 352
The Legal Hazards of Using Facilitated Communication (FC). Christopher Hurley (Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., Chicago, IL).
Chair: James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)

As a trial lawyer in Illinois I recently settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of an autistic boy for $1,000,000. The suit was filed against health care providers that were using Facilitated Communication (FC) as a method of therapy and communication with this autistic child. Rather than referring the boy to appropriate therapists for much needed therapy he was put in mainstream classrooms for many years where his facilitator did his academic work. Our experts testified that the years wasted in FC cost this child precious time in learning life skills he could have used to enhance his life and to communicate. I propose to speak on the potential malpractice liability for persons and organizations using FC as a way to treat autism.

11:00-11:50 am Room 350 Positive Reinforcement Training Techniques and Their Uses in Controlling Unwanted Behaviors in Companion Animals. Jason Major

In this talk I will discuss:

  • Concepts of marker/clicker training and how to use this training to stop unwanted behaviors.
  • I will discuss what types of behaviors can successfully be controlled with the use of positve reinforcement and give examples of each.
  • I will discuss types of behavior problems that can not be readily treated with positive reinforcement techniques and give suggestions on dealing with them.
  • I will discuss the differences between an applied animal behaviorist and a traditional trainer. What types of issues each can be prepared to deal with.

Noon - 1:00 pm--Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:20 pm Room 352 1.5 BACB Type II CEU
Invited Panel Discussion
: Scientific and Legal Perspectives on Compromised Communications
Chair: James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)


  • Howard C. Shane (Harvard University)
  • Christopher Hurley (Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., Chicago, IL)
  • Kamala London (University of Toledo)
  • Krista M. Kennedy (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)

A panel of experts on the law, child development, experimental methods, facilitated communication, and child testimony will discuss the scientific, legal, and ethical issues surrounding the use of information from people who cannot communicate reliably. The panel will address the problems associated with bias and influence in questioning, conscious and unconscious facilitator control, the development of prompt dependency, and related issues. Other issues will include the implications of special rules of evidence in child abuse cases and the refusal by some courts to acknowledge the role of science in the determination of the reliability of testimony.

1:30-1:50 am Room 330
The Effect of One-Session Exposure Treatment on Selective Processing and Explicit Memory Bias in Snake- and Spider-fearful Participants. Karen Stanley-Kime, Ellen Koch, Renee Lajiness-O'Neill, Dennis Delprato (Eastern Michigan University)

Unlike the empirically supported phenomenon of anxiety-induced selective processing bias, research on theorized congruent explicit memory biases resulting from selective processing has produced mixed results. As MacLeod and Mathews (1991) note, there is limited robust empirical support for enhanced recall of threat-relevant information in anxious individuals; in fact, there is evidence for inhibited retrieval of threat-relevant information, suggesting that anxious individuals may avoid elaboration of selectively-processed information. In addition, there is a paucity of literature examining changes in information processing and subsequent recall that may occur as a result of treatment (McKay, 2005). Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of exposure treatment on selective processing and explicit memory bias in snake- and spider- fearful participants by measuring implicit and explicit memory for central and peripheral environmental details, a notably different approach then was taken by those who have previously addressed this issue. Implicit and explicit recall for central and peripheral environmental details in the fearful group that received treatment was compared to a fearful group that did not receive treatment and to a non-fearful control group to evaluate the presence of selective processing bias, explicit memory bias, and the effect of treatment on the two phenomena. Results indicated no implicit or explicit memory biases in any participant group. There was, however, the presence of significant memory deficits, specifically for peripheral details, in fearful participants who did not receive treatment. Implications of these findings will be discussed.

1:30-2:20 am Room 350 1 BACB Type II CEU
A Rose by Any Other Name: Deconstructing the Major Parent Management Training Programs. Amy K. Drayton & Michelle Byrd (Eastern Michigan University)

Disruptive behavior is extremely common throughout childhood and disruptive behavior problems are the most common reason that children are referred for mental health services. Parent management training (PMT) has been demonstrated to reduce disruptive behavior by teaching parents to apply consistent consequences for behavior and is the predominant treatment for disruptive behavior problems. More than a dozen different PMT programs exist, but a review of the literature reveals that these programs have many of the same basic behavioral components. If all of these parent training programs have the same basic components, are there any differences in treatment effects? Getting certified and buying the materials for some of the programs can be expensive. Are clinicians wasting their money? Are psychologists wasting precious research funding investigating slight variations of the same thing? This paper will review the basic behavioral techniques that comprise the five major PMT programs and examine the short- and long-term effects of these programs in order to address the questions posed above. In addition, future directions for research in the area of PMT will be suggested.

2:30-3:20 pm Room 352 1 BACB Type II CEU
A Historical Analysis Of Generalization, Its Impact On Skill Development Approaches, And Implications For Intervention.
Kim Killu (University of Michigan-Dearborn) & Kimberly Weber (Gonzaga University)

Since the publication of the seminal 1968 article by Baer, Wolf, and Risley "Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis," issues of and strategies for generalization and maintenance have grown in importance but have yet to become standard practice. This presentation will address the status of generalized programming with in the field of ABA, the status of generalization and maintenance within instructional programming for students with disabilities, and implications of omitting generalized outcomes for effective programming.

2:30-3:50 pm Room 300
BAAM Annual Job and Practicum Fair
Chair: Nicole Henriksen (Eastern Michigan University)

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

2:30-3:50 pm Room 350
How to Get Into Graduate School
Chair: Alissa Huth-Bocks (Eastern Michigan University)

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

3:30-3:50 pm Room 352
Invited Address: Alcohol Self-Administration: Persistence and Choice Corina Jimenez-Gomez (University of Michigan)

Theories of persistence and choice behavior (behavioral momentum and matching law, respectively) have served as a useful framework for the study of variables that impact behavior maintained by food reinforcers (e.g., rate of reinforcement). Using animal models of alcohol self-administration, we have extended these methods and theories to the study of the persistence of alcohol seeking and choice for an alcohol context. Not only do behavioral momentum theory and the matching law accurately describe behavior maintained by alcohol, they also serve as a framework from which to make predictions regarding variables that might impact behavior. This presentation will summarize some relevant findings and highlight the usefulness of this approach for understanding drug taking behavior.

Poster Session and Social
Friday, February 20, 4:00 pm
Ballroom B

Advanced Autism Practicum. Joseph Shane, Abigail Ferree, Amanda Smith, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University).

The Advanced Autism Practicum is the final course in a series of three practica designed to teach undergraduate students to accurately and effectively implement Discrete-Trial Therapy with preschool-aged children with autism. A prerequisite of this course is completion of the Basic and Intermediate Autism Practica. Only those students who show exceptional skill and performance are considered for the Advanced Practicum. The practicum takes place in a preschool classroom for children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays. One purpose of the Advanced Practicum is to give the students the opportunity to write an original procedure that will be implemented with the child they implement Discrete-Trial with in the classroom. To accomplish this, the students are required to analyze child's specific skill deficits, to write a procedure to help with one or more of these areas, to evaluate its effectiveness, and revise any aspect of that procedure to increase its effectiveness. Each student also receives the opportunity to write a set of sub-phases for a procedure that their child is unable to master. Finally, the students also receive relevant information on different aspects of behavioral treatment including an introduction to functional assessments as well as training in effective and ineffective therapies.

Behavior Analysis in Public School Classrooms: Positive Behavior Interventions. Karen J. Carney and students (Eastern Michigan University).

Teachers working in schools with students with emotional and behavioral problems are challenged to design effective behavioral intervention plans (BIPs). Pre-service special education teachers at Eastern Michigan University (undergraduates and graduates)are learning to use behavioral interventions that involve contingent positive reinforcement for new and appropriate behavior choices, as well as analysis of behavior change data to identify growth trends. EMU students will share outcomes from their interventions.

Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) Management Project. Kelly Stone, Caitlin O'Boyle, Robert Sheffey, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University).

The goal of BATS is to increase the number of Behavior Analysts effectively working toward the well-being of humanity. This includes saving the world with behavior analysis in a continuous manner.

The goal of the Behavior Analysis Training System is to produce, place, and maintain competent behavior analysts so they can "Save the World with Behavior Analysis."

BATS Subsystem Mission Statement: The mission of the Behavior Analysis Training System is to facilitate the improvement of the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of the overall system. This is accomplished by improving performance within and across all subsystems. Improved performance will be obtained through increasing system accomplishments, minimizing the number of and responding in a timely manner to disconnects, and improving the quality and accuracy of system products.

Behavioral Research Supervisory System. Tiffany Smiecinski, Kelli Perry, Richard Malott, Lindsey Donovan, Russell Buero, & Brittney Vallender (Western Michigan University).

The purpose of the Behavioral Research Supervisory System (BRSS) is to monitor students' progress on various projects, ensuring that they complete weekly tasks. The timely completion of tasks allows the students to maintain and improve the projects over the course of the semester. There are approximately ten subsystems involved in our graduate program at Western Michigan University. In ordering to maintain a successful running graduate program, we require every member to continuously improve the quality of each subsystem. In order to do this, we hold a meeting each week. For every meeting, all the students involved in each subsystem are required to complete a certain amount of tasks. Our job is to ensure that all of these tasks are being completed on a weekly basis. This enables us to work on eliminating any disconnects that may be occurring in the program. We have a combination of undergraduate and graduate students that make up BRSS. All the graduate students are required to complete a Masters project and the undergraduates may choose whether or not they want to complete an Honors thesis. Our job is to also make sure that their weekly writing assignments are being completed in order for these to be completed before the students graduate.

Behavior Systems Analysis Project. Maegan Karas, Elizabeth Saur, Alicia Olson, Matthew Semelbauer, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University).

The production of students who can obtain a mastery level in the application of behavior systems analytic skills and OBM skills to a variety of applied setting through the practical experience of working at a real organization. The Behavior Systems Analysis Project is a two-credit course designed as a practical and advanced experience in systems analysis. This course is a supplement to the Survey of Behavioral Analysis Research PSY 4600 course. Students will apply the principles and concepts from Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) that have been taught in PSY 4600 to this project. A crucial aspect of this project is that it is NOT hypothetical; all the problems, data and interventions should be REAL. You are going to do a thorough study/analysis in a chosen setting, collect real data, and actually implement possible interventions. Common interventions consist of graphic feedback, monetary rewards, training or job aides. Students will be operating within the organization under the supervision of a psychology MA student. The MA student is supervised by Dr. Malott.

Children with Autism in the Hospital: Using ABA Techniques to Prepare, Teach and Support. Alison Chrisler (University of Michigan CS Mott Children's Hospital).

Because children with autism tend to have additional medical needs, they might have to make several visits to the hospital. Such visits may consist of having an EEG, surgery and/or procedure. However, the medical environment can be scary and over-stimulating for children with autism; therefore, there needs to be additional support provided to patients during their visit. Because there is very little research done on this specific topic, various works of research on autism that focus on helping children with autism cope when over-stimulated as well as teaching tools used during ABA therapy were analyzed. Then, various works on medical preparation and support were examined.

Through this analysis, the author was able to propose ways to modify and create new interventions that specifically address the needs of children with autism. From video modeling preparation to positive reinforcement used to support compliance and prevent over-stimulation, the author provides several tips and techniques to help children with autism cope during a hospital visit. This analysis and proposal of new interventions can be used to educate child life specialists, medical professionals, students, therapists and families on how to support, teach and prepare patients with autism during a medical visit.

A Comparison of Two Prompting Strategies in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay Public School Classroom. Kristen Gaisford, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

The design of the current case study was to compare two prompting strategies; most to least prompting (MTL) and least to most prompting (LMT). These two strategies were compared using a multi-element design, assessing the performance of three children, with ages ranging from 2 to 4 years of age. These children were selected from a classroom that provides services to children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD). In order to compare the MTL and LTM strategies, children involved in this study were taught identical three-dimensional matching. The purpose of this study was to determine (1) which strategy resulted in fewer trials to acquisition (2) which strategy resulted in less emotional responding and (3) which strategy resulted in the least amount of time to acquisition. While it was not the focus of the study, generalized matching data are also presented. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan.

The Effect of Gradual Versus Rapid Decline in Win Probability on Gambing in Rats. Melinda Curran, Andrew Fox, & Mark Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Gambling can be conceptualized as a choice of a large probabilistic reinforcer over a small certain reinforcer. The effect of gradual versus rapid reductions in reinforcer (win) probability on rats' gambling behavior was evaluated. Responding on the left lever (safe choice) always produced one food pellet. Responding on the right lever (gambling choice) produced two pellets probabilistically. Subjects (N = 8) were assigned equally to two groups: The Gradual group experienced a gradual drop in win probability from 1 to 0.5 to 0.25 to 0.125, whereas the Rapid group experienced a steeper drop from 1 to 0.125 and then to 0.5 and 0.25. Gambling choices were more frequent in the Gradual group at the 0.5 and 0.125 conditions. Different histories related to transitions from winning to losing can be shown to influence later gambling behavior.

The Effectiveness of an Icon-Exchange System in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay Classroom. Rebecca Markovits, Michelle Gaglinao, Austin Mifsud, Lydie Biedron, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

An Icon-Exchange system based on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) developed by Frost and Bondy (1994) has been implemented in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay preschool classroom. In Project I, the effectiveness of the system was analyzed to determine what improvements, if any, should be made to the intervention. Variables analyzed were length of time until completion, number of spontaneous mands by the child, and how accessible the child's book was. Through those measurements, it was determined that some improvements, such as issues with generalization, could be made. These results lead to Project II, which is currently ongoing. Project II is looking at improvements that can be made to the classroom procedures by addressing not only the problems pinpointed through the analysis in Project I, but also addressing some of the criticisms of PECS made in the literature such as stimulus control and prerequisite skills. Issues with implementation of both the procedures analyzed in Project I and the procedures developed in Project II are also addressed.

The Effects of a Picture Activity Schedule on a Child with Autism. Elizabeth Saur, Rebecca Markovits, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The 2000 Bryan and Gast article described the picture activity schedule as, "sequences of visual prompts (e.g., picture symbols, photographs) to communicate what and how much work is to be completed," they then follow-up by saying,"such visual prompts provide a structured teaching environment, make expectations clear, and lessen the need for continuous adult prompting" (554). Previous research has used the picture activity schedule to increase on-schedule and on-task behavior in such areas as: daily living skills, vocational skills, and academic skills.

This poster will be a case study of the effects of a picture activity schedule on a young child diagnosed with autism in a discrete-trial training classroom. Data on the frequency of problem behavior will be directly measured to see if a decrease occurs following the implementation of the picture activity schedule. It is also a possibility that an increase in functional skills, such as a concept of which activities will occur after the current activity, being able to describe later in the day what activities have been performed, and an increase in the progression of skills acquired. All effects of the picture activity schedule will be reported in this poster.

Establishing a Generalized Manipulative Imitation in Children Diagnosed with Autism. Breanne K. Hartley (Western Michigan University)

A generalized manipulative imitation repertoire is a fundamental skill for all children to acquire because it leads to the acquisition of new behaviors, such as social behavior and appropriate play behavior. The current study was designed to evaluate the necessary training required to establish a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire in two children diagnosed with autism. The study took place in an Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in Southwest Michigan. The intention was to: a). training two manipulations, versus one, with the same object would facilitate the acquisition of a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire, and b). to identify the essential components of manipulative imitation training required to obtain responding under imitative stimulus control of the model rather than stimulus control of the object.

Within subject comparisons of generalized imitation with one manipulation versus twomanipulations per object failed to show a difference. This may be due to within subject interaction with the training of multiple manipulations and single manipulations. Additionally, training two manipulations per object may not be enough to establish a generalized manipulative imitation repertoire, for some children. However, teaching two manipulations per object resulted in more responding under imitative stimulus control rather than in responding under object stimulus control.. Responding under imitative stimulus control is crucial in imitation training because if imitative stimulus control is not established, then a generalized repertoire will not develop, regardless of the number of manipulations trained per object. Additional data must be collected in order to expand on the findings in this study.

Establishing ABA Classrooms in a Public School Setting. Barbara E. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), John W. Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Patricia Oldham (Calhoun Intermediate School District), Jessica Clothier (Calhoun Intermediate School District), Laura Donner (Calhoun Intermediate School District), Maleah Goss (Calhoun Intermediate School District), & Dianne Thompson (Calhoun Intermediate School District).

The recent rise in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder has placed increased pressure on school districts throughout the United States to address the instructional needs of children with autism within the public school setting. This poster will present outcomes and process data for four public school classrooms, located in the Midwest, that serve children with a diagnosis of autism. Beginning with one preschool classroom in 2003 and now offering 4 such preschool and elementary classrooms, this Intermediate School District has actively supported instruction based on the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis. Autism markers of deficits in language, social skills, and stereotypy are addressed from a behavioral perspective through functional language training (e.g., verbal behavior) and behavior plans based on functional assessment. Staff training, classroom design, curriculum sequencing, and program administration are carried out collaboratively between school district administration and their staff and Board Certified Behavior Analysts as program consultants.

An Evaluation of a Vocal Language Assessment for Children with Developmental Disabilities in a Public School Setting. Jennifer Lonsdorf, Dana Pellegrino, Maija Graudins, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

To provide an effective language program, it is critical to conduct an assessment of the child's current skill level. Therefore, a vocal language assessment was developed for an Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) classroom in a public school setting. The purpose of this project was to implement the most appropriate individualized vocal language curriculum possible, based on assessment, in order to increase the rate of language acquisition in children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. This new assessment was a necessary addition to the public school setting to allow the students access to more effective behavioral treatments based on their individual educational needs.

Functional Communication Assessment and Intervention for Young Children with Severe Communication Delays. Summer J. Ferreri, Tamela J. Mannes, Joshua B. Plavnick, Anisa N. Goforth, Angela N. Maupin, Danielle R. Palmer, Emily L. Sportsman, & Latoya S. Stewart (Michigan State University)

Young children with severe communication disorders often engage in unique and idiosyncratic behaviors to express basic communicative intentions. Alternative communication systems, such as picture exchange system (PECS) or sign language, are often used to teach children a communicative form that others can understand. Currently, there is not a method for identifying the most appropriate communication form and training procedure for a particular child. This can lead to ineffective treatments for young children with severe communication disorders, and can cause confusion and conflict between and within professional groups and parents. We developed a functional assessment methodology to identify the forms and functions of communicative behaviors emitted by young children with severe communication disorders. The functional communication assessment (FCA) included teacher interviews, direct observations and experimental analyses. Following FCA, we selected and implemented a function based communication intervention for young children who were either non-vocal or had minimal vocal capacities. Preliminary results suggest the procedure might be useful for (a) identifying non-vocal communicative behaviors in a child's repertoire, and (b) making decisions about communication interventions for individual children. The efficacy of the procedure to identify forms and functions of communicative behavior for individual children and the effectiveness of function-based interventions will be shared.

GRE Preparation Course. Amanda Kowalski, Karolina Paszek, Jonathon Anthony, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University).

This course is designed to help students study for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and prepare for graduate school using performance management and self-management techniques. Each week students complete various tasks including preparing study materials for the GRE, creating a vitae/resume, and creating a personalized graduate school timeline. This course provides guidance, instructional materials, study tips, testing strategies, and other relevant information pertaining to the GRE. The GRE Preparation course provides students with tight behavioral contingencies to keep them from procrastinating on important pre-graduate tasks! After taking this course students will have a better mastery of the skills and concepts presented on the Graduate Records Examination and will have also prepared documents and other various materials necessary for graduate school applications. The graduate student instructors of this course have been consistently working on continuous quality improvement of the system. Pre and post GRE practice test data have been collected and the course continues to be updated to best fit the needs of the students.

Implementing Behavioral Strategies to Decrease Tantrums in a Public ECDD Classroom. Kelly M. Hanlon, Melissa A. Ainslie, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

We reviewed the literature in order to identify some best practice techniques for reducing tantrums in children with autism receiving early intensive behavioral intervention. We implemented these techniques in an early childhood developmental delay preschool classroom in a public school. Children in the classroom receive discrete trial training from undergraduate tutors, and many of the tantrums behaviors the children exhibit are maintained by escape from task demands. Therefore, the strategy we emphasized most strongly was decreasing the conditional probability of escape contingent on tantrums and increasing the background probability of escape to simpler tasks. In order to do this, we required tutors to intersperse a certain number of maintenance trials when running novel and difficult teaching trials with their children. We also required that they not present maintenance trials to their children contingent on tantrum behavior, a practice that had previously been a part of the classroom protocol. Other strategies we used include changing the pacing of trial delivery, ensuring the use of effective reinforcers, and altering the tasks that evoked problem behavior.

Implementing Habit Reversal through Parent Consultation. Daniel D. Drevon & Michael Hixson (Central Michigan University)

Azrin and Nunn (1973) established the effectiveness of habit reversal, a procedure used to treat habits (e.g., nail biting) and tics (e.g., shoulder jerking). Using a single-subject design, this study examined the effectiveness of a habit reversal procedure implemented through parent consultation in treating nail biting and skin picking in an eight-year-old boy with a speech-language impairment. Data were collected and the intervention was implemented by the participant's mother. Results indicated that nail biting and skin picking decreased to near-zero levels. Limitations of this study and suggestions for implementing habit reversal using a parent consultation model will be discussed.

Increasing On-Task Behavior in a Child with Autism with a Token Economy. Karolina Paszek & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

The results of the implementation of a token economy with an 8-year-old boy diagnosed with autism in order to increase on-task behavior. Appropriate response-contingent tokens were presented as conditioned reinforcers. The behaviors that increased during implementation of the token economy include independence in completion of in-class material, manding for preferred reinforcers, and appropriate choice making in activities available as reinforcers. Implementation of the token economy also resulted in an increase in the duration of the intervals of on-task behavior, with a reduction of prompting from paraprofessionals. In addition to an increase in requesting preferred reinforcers, an increase in more complete and grammatically appropriate requests were made to the paraprofessionals. Data were collected on whether child was attending, the need for a prompt to attend to a task, and whether a prompt to correct an inappropriate response was needed. Measured response intervals consisted of 15-second intervals or individual problems on scholastic worksheet material. Baseline data includes amount of time on task previous to the implementation of the token economy.

Intermediate Autism Practicum. Tialha Nover, Rebecca O'Gorman, Aimee Howard, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

A classroom at Croyden Avenue Schools provides an early behavioral training program for children with autism. This program entails intensive, one-on-one training, called discrete-trial training. In this classroom, the trainers who implement discrete-trial training are practicum students at Western Michigan University (WMU). This practicum (Psychology 357, Practicum with Special Populations) helps the practicum students get experience using behavior analysis to teach children diagnosed with autism.

Discrete-trial training usually involves the planned presentation of the opportunity for one specific correct response and the reinforcement (rewarding) or correction of that response. This form of training is one of the most effective techniques used to enhance functional repertoires, such as attending to stimuli and imitating other people.

The Intermediate Autism Practicum is a continuation of the Special Populations Practicum (Psychology 357), designed to further WUM students skills in working with children diagnosed with autism.

Language Facilitation Training System (LFTS): Icon Exchange. Michelle Gagliano, Rebecca Markovits, Austin Mifsud, Lydie Biedron, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University).

The mission of the Language Facilitation Training System is to give children with little to no functional language a way to communicate using an icon exchange system based off of Frost & Bondy's Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

OBM. Calvin Gage, Erik Lerdal, Miles Bennet, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University).

The ultimate goal of this system is to improve the quality, significance, and timeliness of the work that is being produced by the masters students within BATS for their OBM projects required for their Masters Degree. In the past, the overall quality, timeliness, and significance of the work being produced was at an unacceptable level. The reasons varied, but the likely culprits include a lack of knowledge about OBM and unclear expectations. Thus, this system's second goal is to provide that knowledge. This system finally is designed to enhance the goal that BATS has of producing quality students by giving the students the tools to produce quality work.

Pre-Practicum. Joseph Norcross, Kelly Hanlon, Kelly Wood, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University).

The Autism Pre-Practicum is a subsystem of the Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) which is a system in Western Michigan University's Psychology Department. The purpose of the Autism Pre-Practicum is to develop a basic discrete-trial training repertoire in undergraduate and graduate students prior to their entrance into the Croyden Avenue School Practicum. Students in the Croyden Practicum work one-on-one with a child in a pre-primary impaired (PPI) classroom implementing discrete trials. All students within BATS must participate in the Croyden Practicum. Undergraduate psychology students at Western Michigan University may opt to take the Croyden Practicum to fulfill their practicum requirement. The Autism Pre-Practicum is a pre-requisite from the Croyden Avenue School Practicum. For graduate students, training occurs during their first summer in BATS. For undergraduate students, training occurs the semester before they enter the Croyden Practicum. The Pre-Practicum focuses on training in implementation of discrete trials but covers all rules and policies of the PPI classroom at Croyden and the roles and responsibilities of each student. Training includes lectures, articles, video instruction, video modeling, live modeling, and role play with feedback. Role play with feedback is the main emphasis of the training.

Reconceptualizing Emetophobia and Other Somatic Anxieties. Richard W. Seim, Krista M. Sohn, & Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)

While many specific phobias involve intense fears of circumscribed objects or situations in the individual's external environment, some phobias, such as those related to vomiting, choking, or experiencing irritable bowel symptoms, are based on fears of one's own bodily reactions. These phobias are often maintained by a complex pattern of strict, maladaptive verbal rules, and some have suggested that, because of this, they are less amenable to traditional behavioral treatments which only involve in vivo exposure techniques (Davison, Boyle, & Lauchlan, 2008). This poster will present data from an epidemiological study which investigated the prevalence of somatic anxieties in young adults and the implications for nosology. It will conclude with a discussion of the potential use of third-wave behavior therapies in treating these disorders while presenting single-case data showing the results of such an approach.

Red Dot Database. Kelli Perry (Western Michigan University), Jessica Rogers (The Early Intervention Center), & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

Children in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay classroom at Croyden Avenue School in Kalamazoo, Michigan are provided with one-on-one discrete-trial therapy using a specific set of procedures designed to develop a specific repertoire of previously-identified skills that are lacking or not complete. A red dot is a special distinction given to one of those procedures when a child fails to make significant progress on or displays difficulty with a procedure. Each red dot is evaluated by a graduate student, who implements some form of supplemental help, whether it be additional prompts, supplemental materials, or breaking down the required response into smaller steps. The red dot database is a collection of those red dots with the intention to pinpoint common problems in procedures so that they can be evaluated and rectified. This poster provides one such analysis and resolution of a problem procedure, as identified by the red dot database.

Self-Management. Matthew T. Brodhead, Madeline J. Budzen, Megan Baumgartner, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University).

Self-Management is an undergraduate psychology course and a subsystem within the Behavior Analysis Training System at Western Michigan University. The goal of Self-Management is to help students gain self-management skills that can be applied to academic tasks as well as their everyday lives. The course is a one credit class that meets for 1.25 hours once a week. Students earn points contingent on behaviors listed on their task verification forms (TVFs); these aid in eliminating procrastination by holding the students accountable with proof of academic task completion. Students are also responsible for completing a self-management project that focuses on increasing or decreasing a behavior that improves the quality of their life. Students share tactics, techniques, and procedures during class discussion that aid in the success of their projects. Student activities include completing performance contracts and TVFs, demonstrating proof of their accomplished tasks, and presenting performance graphs.

Stimulus Preference Assessment Protocol for a Pre-Primary Autism Classroom. Rebecca O'Gorman, Erik Lerdal, & Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)

A protocol was developed for a pre-school autism classroom which involved determining a systematic way to conduct initial stimulus preference assessments for students beginning in the classroom, and preference assessments that are part of the child's daily schedules. A checklist was developed for the tutors to use for the assessment. The preference assessments are designed to assess edible reinforcers, tangible reinforcers, and leisure activities of multiple forms. Edible reinforcers are assessed across textures and content. Tangible reinforcers were assessed across variables such as: sound making, vibrating, lighting, textures, and types that might be idiosyncratically preferred by the individual (Buzz Lightyear, blue, cars, dolls). Leisure activities were assessed across effort level and intensity, for example: walking, wagon rides, going down a slide, singing songs. The initial intake protocol was designed to efficiently determine which stimuli might function as reinforcers for procedures. The daily preference assessments were designed to evaluate different stimuli separately so that the tutors could determine preferred stimulus rankings. This protocol was incorporated into the classroom curriculum and also into the training materials for the tutors working with the children.

A Systematic Evaluation of a Pre-school Autism Intervention: Concept Mastery Training and Testing. Woan Tian Chow, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The current case study is designed to evaluate concept mastery training for three preschool-aged children diagnosed with autism in an applied setting. The purpose of this study are (1) to evaluate effectiveness of two training methods that employ the use of multiple examples to teach concept mastery: (a) concurrent training, which multiple examples for the concepts are presented concurrently, and (b) combination training, which multiple examples are first presented in a successive manner and intermixed in later sessions. The effectiveness is evaluated by comparing the number of sessions needed to reach acquisition criteria and how well the trained stimuli generalized to novel stimuli; (2) to design, implement, and continuously evaluate a new protocol with the goal of improving the teaching of concept mastery. The study took place in the Early Childhood Developmental Delay (ECDD) Preschool Classroom located within a public special education school in southwest Michigan and data are to be collected.

A Systematic Replication of a Generalized Manipulative Imitation Procedure with a Preschool Child with Autism. Caitlin O'Boyle, Richard W. Malott, & Breanne Hartley (Western Michigan University)

This case study looks at the effects of a Generalized Manipulative Imitation Procedure (testing and training) with a preschool boy with autism after previous mastery of a school-based manipulative imitation procedure in a school-based setting. This study tested a preschool aged boy for maintenance and imitation effects following mastery of a manipulative imitation procedure. Based on the results of the testing phase, a training phase was introduced. The training phase consisted of various manipulations, generalized and imitative, with three objects that were not previously mastered, probe sessions, and an 80 percent mastery level criteria. The goal of the study was to see how many sessions it would take to get generalized manipulative imitation for a child who had previously mastered a school-based manipulative imitation procedure. This was compared to a previous study looking at the acquisition of Generalized Manipulative Imitation using children with autism who had not already reached mastery with this school-based procedure prior to testing/training.

Using Adult and Peer Video Models to Teach Play to Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Chelsea Callow, Justin Persoon, Jessika LaPres, & Jamie Owen-DeSchryver (Grand Valley State University)

Video Modeling (VM) is an empirically-supported, behavioral strategy that can be used to teach skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities (Brown & Murray, 2001; Charlop-Christy & Daneshvar, 2002; Sherer et al., 2001). Despite its effectiveness, little is know about the types of models that maximize the success of this intervention, in particular whether adult or peer models are more beneficial. The current study extended preliminary research on this topic by evaluating the effects of peer versus adult models on the development of social-play skills in three preschoolers with ASD. A combination of a multiple-baseline/alternating treatments design (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007; Kazdin, 1982) was implemented to assess the effectiveness of video modeling. In the initial phase, videos were created using child models playing with age-appropriate toys (e.g., a drum, blocks and cars, toy food, and a farm). Subsequently, these videos
were transcribed such that adult video models could engage in identical play actions and statements. Following baseline data collection, the intervention phase was implemented. During intervention, on alternating days participants were exposed to videos of peer or adult models playing appropriately with the toys. After observing the video models, participants were observed during free play with the same toys. Consistent with previous research, results showed that video modeling was effective in increasing modeled play behaviors and play statements. Preliminary coding suggests that there were no consistent differences in the effectiveness of adult versus peer models, although slight differences for individual participants were noted.

Using Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement to Assess the Relative Contributions of Quantity and Quality of Sucrose Water to Reinforcer Efficacy in Rats. Dennis J. Hand, Whitney R. Cook, & Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)

Response rates under fixed-ratio (FR) schedules of reinforcement typically are a bitonic function of FR, characterized by rapidly increasing response rates across low FRs followed by a protracted decrease in response rate as FRs continue to increase. When reinforcer quantity or quality is increased it is expected that reinforcing efficacy will increase, thus responding will be maintained at higher FRs and the descending limb of the function will be less steep. The present experiment examined FR functions of rats lever-pressing for two different volumes (0.02 and 0.10 cc) and concentrations (6 and 15%) of sugar water. Responding was maintained at higher FRs in the 0.10 cc, 15% sugar condition and was least maintained in the 0.02 cc, 6% sugar condition. Increasing reinforcer quantity had little effect on responding in the 6% sugar condition, but increases in quantity in the 15% sugar condition resulted in higher response rates at all FRs. Increases in reinforcer quality increased response rates and maintained responding at higher FRs at both the 0.02 cc and 0.10 cc quantities.

Vocal Verbal Behavior - Language Assessment, Placement, and Training. Dana Pellegrino, Jennifer M. Lonsdorf, Maija Graudins, & Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)

The Language Facilitation Training System, which is part of the Behavior Analysis Training System at Western Michigan University, is comprised of two areas: the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Vocal Verbal Behavior (Vocal VB). This project focuses on the latter, specifically language assessment, placement, and training.

The current mission of the Vocal VB subsystem is to utilize an assessment tool that determines appropriate vocal procedures for children in an Early Childhood Developmental Delays classroom in Southwest Michigan. This assessment, titled the Croyden Avenue School Vocal Language Asessment, and it's results are being evaluated and compared with the language results from a diagnostic team of evaluators called the Pre-Primary Evaluation Team (PET).

From this new language assessment tool arises the need for behavior-analytically trained individuals who can properly deliver the assessment to individuals with autism as part of early intervention. This poster will focus on the behavioral systems analysis of this training. It may also focus on the development of new procedures in order to maintain and support vocal outputs in children in an ECDD classroom at Croyden Avenue School.


Thursday 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Room 320
Universal Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Amy Matthews & Kelly Dunlap (Grand Valley State University)
3-hour workshop
Cost: $25
Attendance Limit: 50

In this presentation, we will describe the comprehensive approach used by the Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START) to provide more effective training and technical assistance to school systems supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, emphasizing teaming, coaching, collaboration, and assessment. START focuses on effective approaches to assist schools in making systems level change to better support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In this presentation we will showcase our coaching model, including our coaching manual and other tools used to assist school personnel in successfully working with building teams. A key coaching tool is the Universal Supports Assessment and Planning Tool (USAPT), a user friendly tool designed to assess the level of foundational supports in place for students with ASD within a building that leads to a program improvement plan and coaching activities to produce change. The concept behind Universal Supports is derived from the extensive research in the area of school-wide positive behavior support. Universal Supports are system-wide supports and strategies to prevent a majority of problem behaviors in general education and special education settings. Applied to students with ASD, Universal Supports involve the implementation of classroom or building-level evidence-based supports and strategies. These strategies are considered critical for the vast majority of students with ASD, and have been identified as highly effective practices in teaching and supporting students with ASD in integrated environments. These supports and strategies provide students with ASD a solid foundation for learning and can be individualized to meet the unique needs of each student. In this presentation, we will use discussion, demonstration, video, and activities to assist participants in planning how they can use the information to support students with ASD in various school settings.

Thursday 10:30 am - 1:00 pm Room 320 2.5 BACB Type 2 CEUs
Difficulties in Feeding and Mealtimes: Effective Treatment Strategies for Improvement.
Krista Kennedy, M.S., & Rachel O'Doherty, M.S., BCBA (Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center)
Presentation Type: 3-hour workshop
Cost: $30.00
Attendance Limit: 30

Attendees will learn what environmental issues might cause difficult behavior surrounding meal time. They will learn different strategies for changing these behaviors and learn to develop a plan for dealing with feeding and mealtime problems with children. There will also be break-out sessions to use the skills learned to develop your own plan and then trouble-shoot your plan with the group.


Behavior analysts, school special education staff, and and parents of children who have difficulty with feeding and mealtime.

Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Room 320 6 BACB Type 2 CEUs
Establishing ABA Programs in a Public School Setting.
Barbara Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), John Esch (Esch Behavior Consultants, Inc.), Patricia Oldham (Doris Klaussen Developmental Center), Maleah Goss (Bellevue Elementary School), Jessica Clothier (Bellevue Early Childhood Center), & Laura Donner (Caldwell Elementary School)
Presentation Type: 6-hour workshop
Cost: $ 80.00
Attendance Limit: 100

There is an increasing demand for public schools to offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) instructional programs to educate children with a diagnosis of autism. Although ABA instruction has been widely used to educate these children in their home based programs, there are specific issues that have proved challenging for public schools as they seek to integrate the various ABA elements that are characteristic of successful home programs. This workshop will teach participants to identify and address these important ABA-related issues, and to avoid common pitfalls, to establish a successful behaviorally oriented classroom for children with autism in a public school setting. Workshop participants will learn the required organizational structure and how to design an instructional environment for preschool and elementary level learners that includes the use of ABA teaching technology and a behavioral language curriculum (i.e., VB-MAPP, Sundberg, 2008) within a delivery structure of low teacher-student ratios and high intensity instructional schedules. Further, examples will be provided for how to establish opportunities for skill generality within general education inclusion settings. Sample criteria for entrance into and exit from these ABA classrooms will be presented along with a sample curricular focus for children at various learning levels within the classrooms. Functional assessment for problem behaviors will be discussed and teachers will give suggestions for integrating function-based behavior plans into the on-going instructional schedule. Data management tools, such as daily tracking forms and monthly target acquisition spreadsheets, will be presented. Classroom layout, schedules, materials, and other items required for instructional support will be illustrated through video, slides/photos, or actual samples. The workshop also will provide information about topics for staff development and how to provide for on-going staff training needs, how to build capacity within a school district in order to reduce the need for outside consultation, and how to develop a model for structuring administrative support to maximize quality assurance through data collection and reporting. Presenters include classroom teachers certified in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the ASD program administrator, and BCBA consultants who have worked as a team for several years to establish 4 ABA classrooms in local public schools within an intermediate school district in Michigan.


This workshop is designed for teachers, teacher consultants, school administrators, behavior analysts, psychologists, university-based supervisors, parents, and any other individuals who are interested in establishing successful ABA classrooms in public schools for children with a diagnosis of autism or other developmental disabilities.


Participants will be able to:

  • Describe essential components of a school-based ABA program
  • List challenges that prevent successful establishment of an ABA classroom
  • Discuss solutions for problems unique to school-based ABA programs
  • Identify priority curricular areas for learners with varying levels of language skills
  • Describe a model for administrative support to ensure classroom success