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Shall We Dance? Teaching Parents the Communication Dance to Enhance Generalized Communication in Their Children

Description: Children diagnosed with autism exhibit deficits in communication that impact their ability to control their immediate environment. Recent research on mand training has been criticized for producing a limited number of mand topographies over a long span of time with limited generalization to novel environments. There is a body of research, however, that successfully establishes larger repertoires. Training parents as change agents may mediate generalization by teaching under naturally maintaining contingencies. Additional effects of parent training may reduce parent reports of stress, increase favorable quality of parent-child interactions, and increase reports of parental self-efficacy. The current study evaluated the effects of a generalized training framework to teach parents how to target generalized mands and expand their child’s communicative topographies. The effects of the training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants and skills. Results indicated that parents were able to effectively teach their child to mand for a variety of items and events and to substantially increase the number of different mand topographies and expand the topographies the child emitted. Parents were observed to have higher overall confidence and lower overall stress following intervention. The current study builds on previous research on generalized teaching strategies for parents that are effective in teaching a variety of responses to the child.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Baker, Jacqueline R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reducing Undesirable Behavior with Stimulus Control

Description: The present experiment investigated the application of Green and Swets (1966) signal-detection theory to undesirable behavior as a method of reducing unwanted behaviors using reinforcement and extinction. This experiment investigated the use of this stimulus control technique to reduce undesirable behaviors using a multiple-baseline design. Once the cue for a target behavior was established and maintained, the use of the verbal cue was reduced in frequency and the rate of unprompted undesirable behavior was recorded. Generalization was tested across multiple people. Data for this experiment showed that undesirable behavior could be reduced by altering the stimulus control that maintained it.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Davison, Matthew Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Monitoring and Increasing Goal Related Instruction and Engagement in Groups of Children with Autism

Description: A high rate of instructional engagement is important to maximize progress in early intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI). Teachers responsible for eliciting instructional engagement may need additional support to maintain high rates of engagement. Literature suggests that goal setting and feedback is effective in increasing performance. the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether goal setting and group feedback would increase engagement in instructional activities related to the children’s goals. Results indicate that goal setting and group feedback was successful in increasing engagement in instructional activities. the results are discussed in the context of engagement, staff performance, group contingencies and performance feedback.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Rossi, Kathleen Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Correspondence Between the Measures Collected by an Autism Treatment Center and its Stated Mission Goals

Description: This study was a program evaluation for an autism treatment center for the period of April 2008 through August 2011. the study extended previous evaluations of the autism treatment center. the purpose of this evaluation was to determine the degree to which the center’s measures corresponded with its stated mission goals. a number of data sources were reviewed including client records of demographic and outcome information. Findings suggest the center maintained records that allow for the evaluation of most of its mission’s goals. There were, however, difficulties with data collection, storage, and retrieval. the present program evaluation found that missing information and lack of follow-up information hindered efforts toward mission evaluation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Kowalchuk, Holly M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Are They Learning: a Study of Errors Produced During Behavior Acquisition Utilizing Two Prompting Procedures with a Cat

Description: Prompting methods are common amongst animal trainers, both novice and experts. However, there is little empirical evidence to demonstrate the strengths or weaknesses of common prompting procedures. The current study assessed the strengths and weaknesses during behavior acquisition of two prompting methods, luring and targeting. Luring placed an edible directly in front of the animal which guided the animal through the desired behavior. Targeting, however used a target, an arbitrary object the animal has been trained to touch, guide behavior. A cat was trained, using each method, to walk around a flower. Walking around the right flower pot was trained using luring and walking around the left flower pot was trained using targeting. After both behaviors were acquired, a delay cue method was designed to transfer stimulus control. Later a combination of a delay cue and prompt fading was used. During acquisition the luring method acquired the behavior of walking around a pot more quickly with consistently fewer errors. During stimulus transfer the cat began independently initiating the behavior earlier with the target trained behavior and produced more correct behaviors after the verbal cue. Luring appeared to produce the faster behavior, but after stimulus transfer it could be concluded that the cat did not learn the desired behavior, but rather following the lure. Both methods could be beneficial in different circumstance, however, given the desired behavior was to walk around a flower pot on cue, targeting would be considered best practice.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Beasley, Robin Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Reinforcer Magnitude on a Fixed Time Food Delivery Treatment of Pica

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of using fixed time schedules with different magnitudes of stimulus delivery as treatment for pica. A functional assessment was conducted, which indicated that pica occurred across experimental conditions and was most frequent in the absence of social stimulation or contingencies. A competing stimulus assessment was then conducted to identify stimuli that could potentially compete with pica during NCR. Subsequently, an evaluation of the effects of reinforcer magnitude on NCR as a treatment of pica was conducted. Treatment results indicated that quantity of reinforcer increased the effectiveness of leaner schedules of reinforcer delivery; however, it was not possible to fade the temporal schedule to one that would have been useful in practice. In addition, limitations and future research are outlined.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Lyon, Nathan Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Human Trafficking Prevention Workshop Package on Participant Written and Simulation Responses

Description: This study evaluated the effects of a community workshop designed to teach community members about human trafficking prevention. Participants were trained to identify the critical and non-critical features of human trafficking and safe ways to respond to identified trafficking situations. A pre-post treatment design was used to assess the effects of a community workshop across written and verbal target behaviors. This included written responses as well as simulation assessments across five different trafficking scenarios. Results indicate that all participants engaged in more correct responding within the written assessment and asked specific relevant questions with greater confidence within the simulation assessment following training. However, social media and empathy responses following the workshop did not differ from baseline. This study is one of the first empirical studies aimed at formally evaluating the effects of human trafficking prevention workshops. Results are discussed in the context of instructional design, measurement of outcomes, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Sayles, Tiffany P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of an Intensive Toilet Training Model

Description: The current evaluation assessed the effectiveness of an intensive toilet training procedure for three young boys with autism. The evaluation extended the work of LeBlanc et al. (2005) by assessing parents’ preference to include the usage of urine alarm and positive practice. In addition, we collected descriptor data on challenging behaviors. All three parent participants’ elected not to use the urine alarm and one parent elected to discontinue the implementation of positive practice techniques. Researchers chose a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effects of the intervention. All three child participants’ increased successful self-initiations for the toilet and decreased accidents across home and clinic settings. Findings suggest that clinicians should partner with parents to develop individualized toileting interventions that are acceptable and effective.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Doan, Dai
Partner: UNT Libraries