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The Effects of a Feedback Package on the Facial Orientation of a Young Girl with Autism During Restricted and Free Operant Conditions

Description: A multiple baseline design across activities and people was used to assess the effectiveness of a feedback package on the facial orientation of a young girl with autism. During baseline, observations indicated low rates of facial orientation and high rates of gaze avoidance during conversation (restricted operant) and play (free operant) conditions. After treatment, facial orientation rates increased and gaze avoidance rates decreased to levels similar to typically-developing peers and maintained at one month follow up. These results suggest that the feedback package was effective in producing durable facial orientation across different environments and people. Possible interpretations, strengths, and limitations are discussed.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Jacobs, Wendy Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Children with Autism

Description: Several evidence-based procedures based upon operant learning principles have been developed to teach language, and for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), naturalistic interventions are commonly implemented as they are both effective and developmentally appropriate. The current investigation compared contingent responsive intervention and combined intervention on the effects of language use in four children diagnosed with ASD. Results suggest that a combined intervention procedure increases target language and requests in children with simplified language (e.g., one-word phrase) as well as complex language (e.g., simple sentences).
Date: August 2016
Creator: Degner, Brittany
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Family Resilience Factors and Parent Gender on Stress Among Parents of Children with Autism

Description: Parents of children with autism experience high degrees of stress. Research pertaining to the reduction of parental stress in families with a child with autism is needed. In this study, the relationship between family resilience, parent gender, and parental stress was examined. Seventy-one parents of young children with autism were surveyed. Regression and correlational analyses were performed. Results indicated that the vast majority of respondents reported significantly high levels of stress. Lower degrees of parental stress were correlated with higher degrees of family resilience. Family resiliency factors were significant contributors to the shared variance in parental stress. Mothers of children demonstrated higher levels of stress than fathers. Suggested explanations of these findings are presented and clinical and research implications are provided. The findings of this study provide evidence for the importance of facilitating family resilience for parents of children with autism and affirm differing stress levels between mothers and fathers.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Cheatham, Kelly L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a Group Parent-coaching Package on the Behavior of Children with Autism and Their Parents

Description: Support for parents is an important part of treatment programs for children diagnosed with autism. Parent training programs have generally focused on prescribed goals in one-on-one training settings with measures directly related to the goals. Of interest here are the few studies that included collaborative goals, expanded measures, and group training. Benefits of such approaches include the establishment of natural communities of reinforcement and better understanding of the breadth of effects. The purpose of this study was to determine if a group coaching approach would be effective in changing a large range of parent and child skills. This experiment involved group sessions (presentations, discussion, video sharing, and problem solving) and three individual in-vivo coaching sessions. The intervention took place over the course of four weeks. Direct measures included a parent skills checklist and child target behaviors. Results indicated an overall improvement on most measures that maintained or improved at follow-up.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Vaughn, Brittany M. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parents Of Children With High-functioning Autism: Experiences In Child-parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt)

Description: This qualitative study attempted to capture the experiences of parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders participating in child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). Parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders (HFASD) are prone to experiencing stress in the parent-child relationship due to difficulty in social understanding and rigid behavioral patterns often found among children with HFASD. Moreover, parents of children with HFASD may feel challenged to find suitable interventions that are time-limited, affordable, and appropriate for parents and children with HFASD. Because no research currently investigates the perceived acceptability of CPRT for parents of children with HFASD, it was decided that a qualitative study would best capture the experiences of parents of children with HFASD participating in CPRT to understand more fully whether CPRT is an appropriate intervention for these parents. Four parents and one grandparent were interviewed prior to and following their participation in 10 sessions of CPRT. Thematic analysis of the pre- and post-intervention interviews as well as the 10 CPRT sessions revealed eight themes related to the parents overall experience of CPRT and change in the parent, child, and parent-child relationship: understanding of CPRT concepts, reactions to CPRT, group dynamic, child characteristics, parent characteristics, knowledge and experiences with HFASD, family context, and parent-child relationship. The emerging themes indicated that the five participants found CPRT to be a useful intervention for developing skills to deal with child-behavior concerns related to HFASD. The participants also reported developing a better understanding of their children with HFASD and four parents reported increased closeness in the parent-child relationship. The implications for this research are that CPRT may offer parents of children with HFASD a time-limited intervention that meets their needs as parents, as well as possibly helping parents and children with HFASD develop increased closeness in the parent-child relationship.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Sullivan, Jeffrey M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Countercontrol as a Factor in Teaching Vocal Imitation to an Autistic Child and it Relationship to Motivational Parameters

Description: Operant conditioning techniques were used to establish imitation in the manner outlined by Baer. Countercontrol was assessed in motor and vocal imitation across four motivational levels. Three levels of food deprivation, i.e., three hour, fourteen hour, and twenty-one hour, plus a final response contingent shock level, composed the parameters.
Date: August 1971
Creator: Hughes, Lois V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Untangling the Effects of Scheduled Exercise on Child Engagement, Stereotypy, and Challenging Behavior

Description: There is limited research pertaining to the effects of exercise on the behavior of children with autism. Previous researchers focused on exploring the dimensions of the exercise itself, leaving a functional account of the effects of exercise undetermined. There is recent evidence that exercise suppresses responses maintained by automatic reinforcement. The purpose of the present study was to better identify the relevant independent variable in such research and to assess if there were differential effects of exercise across functional response classes. The experimenter conducted a trial-based functional analysis and then implemented a sedentary or vigorous activity on alternating days to determine the impact of exercise on engagement, stereotypy, and challenging behavior. Results across functional response classes were variable as were data across individual sessions. There was a mean suppression of behavior maintained by nonsocial reinforcement during post-sedentary (4.3%) and post-exercise sessions (2.3%). A discussion of the role of matched stimulation and heart rate as a pertinent variable follows.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Currier, Thomas D. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Validity Study of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale with Autistic Adolescents: Two Methods

Description: Autistic symptoms appear to change during adolescence. This study replicates an earlier one (McCallon, 1985) which attempted to validate the use of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) with adolescents. The standard observation method of administration was used. Additionally, information obtained in structured parent interviews was used to score a CARS. Subjects were nine autistic and nine nonautistic retarded adolescents from 13 to 21 years of age. Results suggested that the CARS, administered either way, validity discriminates between retarded adolescents who are diagnosed as autistic and those with other handicaps. Methodological limitations of the present study are discussed.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Rebillet, Susan Bates
Partner: UNT Libraries

Behavioral Measures of Play

Description: The purpose of this article is to review the importance of play in a young child's life and to discuss the importance of measuring play when designing interventions for children with autism. Furthermore, this paper will present an example of a consistent and reliable observation system that assesses the complexity and variety of play on children with autism and with typically developing children.
Date: 2008
Creator: Guðmundsdóttir, Kristín & Ala'i-Rosales, Shahla
Partner: UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Validity of Two Childhood Autism Rating Instruments for Use with Autistic Adolescents

Description: It is now known that autism is a lifelong handicapping condition. While some of the characteristic behaviors of autistic children remain unchanged in adolescence and adulthood, there is evidence that other behaviors change as a function of development. Assessment instruments for identifying autism are generally intended for use with. young children and may not accurately assess autism in adolescents. Two studies compared autistic adolescents with matched autistic children and nonautistic adolescents on two autism rating scales. The validity of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale for use with adolescents was supported while the validity of the Prescreening Checklist was questioned. The findings were discussed in relation to the age-related changes which occur in autistic adolescents.
Date: May 1986
Creator: McCallon, Denise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Knowledge and Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Special Education Administrators.

Description: A significant rise in the number of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) served in today's schools requires special education administrators to possess knowledge in this area. The purpose of this study was to determine the general knowledge of special education administrators concerning ASD and knowledge of educational programming, to explore their educational training and professional development experiences in ASD, to identify the training needs of special education administrators in ASD, and to determine if knowledge, training and experience in ASD predict litigation. Using survey methods, data were collected from a sample of 106 special education administrators in Texas. Data revealed special education administrators were most knowledgeable of general characteristics, common myths, and instructional strategies, and less knowledgeable of eligibility criteria. Knowledge regarding educational programming for learners with ASD produced mixed results. Logistic regression analysis revealed general autism knowledge, knowledge of educational programming, training, and experience in ASD were not factors predicting litigation. Although results indicated none of the factors explored in this study were predictors of litigation, areas of need regarding professional development were identified. Implications for future research are also discussed.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hughes, Heather L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Family Quality of Life Change? Evaluation of a Group Parent-coaching Package

Description: Improving family quality of life is an important goal when working with families of children with autism. Researchers have attempted to measure changes by developing indices of quality such as affect, stress, and confidence. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a group parent-coaching program on measures aimed at addressing quality: a) parent confidence, stress and affect ratings; b) child affect ratings; c) the frequency of coordinated joint attention (CJA); and d) parent report of satisfaction and efficacy. Over the course of four weeks, the coaching program involved group presentations, discussions, video sharing, and problem solving, and individual in-vivo coaching sessions regarding specific child skill development. Results from the five parent-child dyads suggested increases in areas associated with quality of life. Results are discussed in the context of quality themes and mixed methods research.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Wiles, Amber Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating the Effects of Video Modeling on the Frequency of Staff Use of Socially Embedded Consequences

Description: Previous research reports that individuals working with children with autism can positively affect social behavior through the use of socially embedded consequences. There is no research on training teachers to use socially embedded consequences. The current study had three purposes: to evaluate the effects of video modeling on teachers' embedded consequences, to evaluate the addition of feedback to increase effectiveness, and to evaluate the effects of the teacher's use of socially embedded consequences on other teacher behaviors. Results indicate that video modeling alone was not sufficient in changing teacher behavior and that the addition of feedback was necessary for meaningful teacher behavior change. Additionally, the increased used of socially embedded consequences had positive effects on teacher social engagement and indices of interest. A discussion of the results and suggestions for future research is also provided.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Yauger, Amy Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Formation of a Receptive Vocabulary and its Effect on the Rate of Acquisition of its Expressive Counterpart in an Autistic Child

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receptive oral expressive vocabularies. It was hypothesized that receptive discrimination pretraining has a greater influence on the reate of acquisition of its expressive vocal counterpart as compared to the reate of vocal acquisition of words without receptive pretraining.
Date: December 1972
Creator: O'Banion, Dan R.
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

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

A Study of Novice Special Education Teachers’ Preparation to Teach Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Description: The purpose of this study is to identify novice teachers’ perception of their preparedness to teach a class designed for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after graduation from a traditional university-based special education program or from a special education alternative certification program. Teacher preparedness and the need for highly qualified teachers of students with ASD are relevant topics, as the prevalence rate of ASD continues to increase. This phenomenological qualitative study explores novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach students with ASD and their knowledge about teaching students with ASD. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six novice special education teachers of students with ASD. Results indicated that novice teachers of students with ASD have knowledge of autism and evidence-based practices (EBP), which they ascertained primarily through experiences such as; working directly with students with ASD, however, preservice education programs provided the participants with cursory information related to knowledge of ASD and EBP.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Callaway, Stacey E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Replication and Extension of a Comprehensive Staff Training Program for an Autism Treatment Program

Description: Previous research has shown that early and intensive behavioral interventions are an effective treatment for young children with autism resulting meaningful gains that can maintain over time. For behavioral treatments to be effective, service providers need to be competently trained in behavioral interventions through staff training. The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend previous research by employing a more rigorous research design, and including measures of teaching units, and staff and child affect measures. The trainee was taught 150 skills. Training methods included descriptions, modeling, practice, and feedback. Results showed that the trainee acquired all skills while maintaining an increasing number of teaching units. Child and staff also maintained favorable affect as training progressed. In addition, staff reported the training as very effective and highly satisfactory. This shows that comprehensive training packages that comprise a large set of skills in real life treatment settings can result in benefits for the staff and children.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Johnson, Kellyn Joi
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Preliminary Analysis of Interactions Between Sibling training and Toy Preferences

Description: Siblings of children who have been diagnosed with autism can play important roles in the lives of their brothers or sisters. Previous literature shows that siblings can effectively change behavior and can increase play interactions. Furthermore, the use of preferred materials may enhance social interactions between the siblings. The purpose of this study was to determine, the effects that material preferences and choices have on sibling social bids and cooperative play during a sibling training program. There were two main objectives. The first objective was to evaluate the effects of teaching with the high preference toy of the neuro-typical sibling during sibling training. The second objective was to determine if the training would produce different effects across four different toy conditions. Measures included social bids made by each of the siblings and cooperative play. Results indicate that teaching with the neuro-typical siblings' high preference toy during sibling training can be an effective method to increase social bids and cooperative play. The results of this study are discussed in the contexts of preference and choice selections, physical environments, motor skills, carry over effects, and participations based on gender.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Greer, Julie Winn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing Number of Toys: A Case Study of Response Generalization across Novel Toys

Description: Children diagnosed with autism are often described as having limited or restricted activities that serve as reinforcers as compared to neurotypical peers. Many theories suggest that one of the many ways children develop is through participation in play. This results in children coming into contact with new environmental stimuli. The procedures used to enhance play skills for children diagnosed with autism typically involve training novel responses with novel stimuli (e.g., toys). This is often done using naturalistic procedures. Because multiple procedures are used, it is unclear what procedure or combination of procedures causes the increases in play repertoires. This study investigated an important component of the treatment package know as reciprocal imitation training. Specifically, the study examined whether increased opportunities, contingent imitation without the requirement to imitate, or contingent imitation with the requirement to imitate would increase the number of toys a child diagnosed with autism would play with. The results showed dramatic increases in the number of toys the child independently chose to play with and an increase in the spontaneous use of different response topographies across novel stimuli only when the student was required to imitate a model. The results are discussed in terms of mediated generalization, the use of common responses, stimulus class formation and stimulus class expansion.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Chaudhry, Mohsana
Partner: UNT Libraries