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Toward a systems analysis of treatment integrity.

Description: This case study is a performance improvement project focusing on the organizational system and management practices in a center for children with autism. Staff interviews and a process improvement map were used to assess the organization and assist in identifying potential solutions. The analysis led to treatment integrity as the key outcome measure. The center's administrative team decided to implement treatment delivery process changes to impact treatment integrity measures. This study measured data sheet changes and treatment implementation to determine the impact of process changes on treatment integrity. High levels of variability in treatment integrity across all teams were observed, and results suggest that a process change was not enough to increase treatment integrity. Further study is necessary to investigate measurement and impact of treatment integrity on desired outcomes for children with autism.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jamai, Nadia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transfer of Mand-to-Tact and Tact-to-Mand Topographies in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism: A Replication and Extension Study

Description: Skinner (1957) suggested that different verbal operants are acquired independently of each other and establishing a verbal operant as a mand will not necessarily result in the appearance of a tact having the same response form and vice versa. Recent empirical research has found that newly acquired mands and tacts can be transferred to different relations without direct training. The present study investigated 1) how verbal responses taught as pure mands affect untrained tact relations; 2) how verbal responses taught as pure tacts affect untrained mand relations; 3) how the size of mand and tact repertoires relate to speed of acquisition of new mands and tacts; and 4) how size of entering repertoires affect the transfer of mand topographies to tacts and vice versa. Two vocal-verbal children with autism were taught three novel responses as mands and three other responses as tacts. Mand topographies transferred to tact relations and tact topographies transferred to mand relations for both participants. Overall acquisition as well as transfer of mands and tacts was faster for the participant with a higher entering repertoire.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Ruiz, Julio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigating the effects on parallel play between siblings: Teaching children with autism to emit social phrases to their typically developing sibling.

Description: The focus of this study was three fold. First, modeling and feedback were investigated as a training package for social interactions between siblings. Second, the effects of social phrases taught to the sibling with autism were investigated. Third, the magnitude of these social phrases was measured by timing duration of parallel play. The experimental design is an A-B-A1-A2 design conducted in a clinic, with a probe for generalization in the home environment. This intervention was replicated across an additional sibling dyad to indicate its effectiveness. This study ascertained that the sibling with autism was a viable participant in learning new social skills that could function as a behavioral cusp and increase sibling interactions.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Hille, Katrina J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Rate Contingent Consequences and Charting on Response Rates for Two Children with Autism.

Description: This study investigated the effects of a precision teaching package on response rates of children with autism. Prior to both experiments a preference assessment was conducted to identify high preference activities for each participant. Experiment 1 investigated whether response rates would shift as a function of rate-contingent consequences during an academic task. Different activities were associated with different rates of responding. The experimental package of 1 minute timings, rate contingent consequences, and charting was successful in increasing the rates of responding when the most highly preferred activity was associated with high rates of responding. When the contingencies were switched and the most highly preferred activity was contingent on lower rates of responding, the participant's responding did not decrease. Experiment 2 was an attempt to replicate the results of Experiment 1 using a multiple baseline across tasks. The experimental package was not successful in increasing the rate of responding.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Berman, Christine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parent Partnership: Towards a Constructional Approach to Improving the Life of Parents with Children with Autism

Description: Parents with children diagnosed with autism face a variety of stressors. The typical approach to dealing with these stressors is pathological which focuses on the problem by attempting to eliminate or alleviate the stressors through counseling, behavioral therapy, tutoring, and/or drugs. The purpose of the current study was to assess an alternative approach, a constructional one, which focuses on solutions by teaching 3 parents to analyze their life, formulate goals, and develop programs to reach their goals building off of their strengths and assets. The by-product is the reduction or elimination of the stressors. The results suggest that the use of a constructional program is very effective in helping parents develop a new repertoire that will ultimately improve their overall quality of life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liden, Timothy Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Skills Training with Verbal Autistic Adolescents: A Case Study Approach

Description: Autistic adolescents need direct, systematic training of social skills since major difficulties in communication, lack of empathy, and various changes during adolescence present major roadblocks to the acquisition of normal peer relationships and increasing independence. A case study approach was utilized to examine treatment effects of a social skills training program implemented with four autistic adolescent boys in a naturalistic setting. Findings based on objective measures and subjective reports indicated that each subject made gains in targeted social skills over the course of treatment. Treatment strategies such as modeling, coaching, roleplaying, one to one instruction, and in vivo procedures were found to be effective teaching techniques. Major benefits and limitations of the study were discussed.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Nichols, Jill Howard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of parents of students with autism towards the IEP meeting.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate how parents of students with autism perceived individualized education program (IEP) meetings. I determined factors that contributed to the belief held by parents that their children were or were not being properly served by IEP meetings. Parental relationships with educators, IEP meeting experiences, IEP outcomes, and treatment by educators were revealed through participant input. Parents were asked to share their experiences of previous IEP meetings. Additionally, parents provided input regarding practices that school districts could take to improve IEP meetings, and actions that parents could take to serve as better advocates for their children. Research findings indicated that parents did not perceive themselves as being treated as equals during IEP meetings. Parents believed that their input was not valued or welcomed by educators. Not having an equal voice toward their child's education prevented parents from positively influencing outcomes in their child's IEP meetings in terms of obtaining quality services and building positive relations with educators. Parents further revealed that educators failed to implement proper IEP protocol. According to parents, student objectives agreed upon in IEP meetings were often not always fully implemented for students receiving special education services. Research findings concluded that parents new to the IEP process often experienced difficulty understanding special education law, and were unaware of services that school districts should provide for their children.Suggestions for improving IEP meetings include: educators valuing parents as equal partners during IEP meetings, educators properly adhering to IEP objectives set forth in IEP meetings, and both educators and parents taking measures to becoming more knowledgeable of special education law and the IEP process.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Fish, Wade W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Modeling, Roleplaying and Feedback on the Performance of Teachers of Children with Autism

Description: Teachers providing treatment to children with autism are responsible for implementing numerous procedures. Teacher training has not been addressed extensively in the literature. This study employed a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of a training package incorporating modeling, roleplaying and feedback on teacher performance. Results indicated that the teacher implemented correct teaching episodes following training. Changes in teacher performance were only observed when the training package was applied to each setting and skill area. As a result of changes in teacher behavior, the child demonstrated an increase in the number of desired responses. Results are discussed in the context of generalization, training package components, cost-benefit of single-subject designs, and limitations of the study.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Edwards, Carla Ward
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Remote-Controlled Tactile Prompt on the Initiation Skills of a Child with Autism

Description: A 4-year old child with autism was taught to make a social initiation statement following a remote-controlled tactile prompt (RCT). The RCT prompt was taught by using a time-delay procedure with written script cards containing initiation statements. Training trials occurred in 6 different play locations in the child's room. Restricted Trial training consisted of allowing the child to play independently, activating the RCT prompt and playing with the child based on any initiation until a warning to end was given. In Free Play training, the warning to end the activity was removed. The child's initiation statements increased from 0 in baseline, to spontaneous initiations in 100% of the trials in all training and generalization phases. The number of words in an initiation statement increased from 3 to 25 per trial. Spontaneous initiations in the No RCT phase generalized to the child's mother without training.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Bingham-Watts, Kera L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Siblings of Autistic Children: a Supportive Intervention Program Assessing Self-Report and Parent Measures of Coping

Description: This research project was designed to demonstrate the usefulness of a supportive intervention program for 17 nine to 14 year old siblings of autistic children. Current clinical practice has begun most recently to include the siblings of handicapped children in treatment services as a preventive measure to help maximize families' coping abilities and to increase the chances that they will be strengthened by their unique circumstances. Although research evidence suggests that most siblings are not at risk for serious psychopathology, it seems reasonable to assume that few remain unaffected by living with a handicapped brother or sister. Siblings report that they have increased responsibilities, many unanswered questions, and parents who typically are caught up in the stresses of caring for a handicapped child and have limited time to attend to their needs. It was hypothesized that an intervention program providing information about the handicapping condition, autism, and offering support through participation in a discussion group with other siblings of autistic children would effect improved coping in the participants. Three time-limited interventions (information plus support, information plus activity, and activity control) were compared under controlled conditions. Sibling coping was measured by a) a battery of self-report and parent ratings of behavior and attitudes, b) clinical observations, and c) sibling and parent anecdotal accounts. Descriptive behavioral and attitudinal data on the total sibling sample indicated more deviant individual profiles than would be expected in the normal population. Consistent with previous research and clinical practice with this subject population, children who were identified with problems were those generally thought to be at greatest risk such as older female and younger male siblings who have assumed extensive caretaking responsibilities for the autistic child. Specific group changes following intervention were confounded by individual subject reactions to the various procedures. Qualitative aspects of the siblings' participation ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Pope, Judith Auricchio
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Observation System to Aid in the Evaluation and Implementation of Early Intervention Programs for Children with Autism

Description: Early and intensive behavioral intervention outcome research includes descriptions of intervention variables that may increase treatment success. This study was designed to develop an observation system that incorporates and expands on some of these variables. Measures include the number of interventionist teaching units, types of skills addressed during instruction, consequences programmed by interventionists, and engagement with teaching materials. This system allowed for a view of the differences in teaching behaviors among the participants. It is proposed that this observation system is a start toward standardized intervention measures that can be applied to evaluate varied treatment models. Such standardization can help in ensuring that all children have access to evidence-based services.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Geving, Megan McGee
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of a "Responsive Teaching Strategy" to Increase Toy Play in Young Children with Autism in an Inclusive Setting.

Description: Toy play represents one of many levels of play where children can expand their repertoires and socially interact with peers. Play typically increases in complexity as the child's repertoire develops; however, children with autism often have delayed play skills. The current study investigated the effects of using a 3-component play training procedure (choices, prompting, and consequences), replicated from a previous study, to increase simple and pretend toy play in three boys with autism. Additional measures were used to observe engagement with materials, children, and adults during a 10-minute session. Observations show increased toy play for two participants and increases in overall engagement for all participants. The findings suggest that the teaching program used is replicable across multiple populations, furthering the advancement of evidence-based practices.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Harder, Julianne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Training Package for Parents and their Toddlers with Autism: Observed Changes in Parent Teaching Episodes, Child Turn Taking and Social Attending, and Parent-Child Engagement

Description: Research has shown that parents of children with autism report higher stress than parents of children with other developmental disabilities. It has been suggested that parent training programs, specifically naturalistic social-communication training, can reduce parental stress and enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship. Although the development of a multilevel assessment has been suggested, much of the research in this area has relied on measures of parent implementation fidelity and specific child target skills such as vocal communication, eye contact, and joint attention. Few have directly measured the parent-child interaction. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of an in-home parent training package for toddlers with autism on parent-child social interactions. Within this package, parents are taught to attend to contextual variables, to arrange the environment to set the occasion for child responding, to respond immediately to targeted child approximations, and to respond in ways that are mutually reinforcing, social, and fun. Data were collected during 5-min video-taped assessments, on the number of parent teaching episodes, child target skills (turn taking and social attending), engagement, and synchronous engagement. Results were evaluated in a multiple baseline design across two parent-child dyads and indicated increases in all measures. This study contributes to the current discussion on toddler parent-training programs and extends it in a way that highlights the benefits of using a multi-level assessment to measure the parent-child interaction.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hunt, Nina Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Yummy Starts: A Constructional Approach to Food Selectivity with Children with Autism

Description: Food selectivity exhibited by children with autism creates a myriad of barriers for families and children, ranging from social to nutritional. The typical approach to food selectivity is pathological. The pathological approach attempts to eliminate food selectivity through the use of techniques such as escape extinction. While successful in decreasing aspects of food challenges, such as food refusals, the pathological approach does not necessarily establish desired responses to foods or mealtimes (e.g., favorable affect, approach, generalized sampling, etc.). The purpose of the current study was to explore an alternative, constructional approach to food challenges presented by two children diagnosed with autism. This approach focuses on the development of favorable responses to food through the use of shaping. Furthermore, the shaping process involved a conceptual and procedural widening of the stimulus and response classes selected. The results of a non-concurrent multiple baseline experiment, suggest this approach was successful in expanding the number of food the children tasted and ate while maintaining favorable or neutral affect and child assent.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Cihon, Joseph Harvey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Skills Training with High-Functioning Autistic Adolescents

Description: Social skills training is a need among autistic adolescents. This investigation examined a social skills training program involving several teaching strategies. Specific social skills were targeted for improvement. Attempts to decrease negative social behaviors were made. Five autistic adolescents participated in the program and five were selected for the no-treatment group. Two measures were used. A survey addressing the skills targeted in the program was completed by parents and teachers before and after the program. A test conversation with a stranger and a peer was conducted with each subject before and after the program. Anecdotal information was obtained from therapists, teachers, and parents. Results provided information on the effectiveness of this social skills program. The benefits and limitations of the program were discussed.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Eversole, Amy
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

Simple Color Discrimination in Autistic Subjects: Effect of Using a Single Stimulus as SD and Reinforcer

Description: A one-trial learning color discrimination task was extrapolated from Jarvik's (1953) teaching color discrimination to primates. A yellow-blue discrimination was selected to teach eleven autistic children. As in Jarvik's, SD and SA, reinforcer and punisher, were one and the same. Sugar-flavored water was the S D alum-flavored water, S . The instrumental response of reaching for a colored glass and drinking was established. Then one-trial learning occurred. The learning tests were a block of twenty-five trials for each individual subject on the following day. The second day another block of twenty-five trials was administered to each subject. It was hypothesized that the subjects would function at a ninety per cent criterion level. None of the subjects learned the task.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Ellis, Janet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism

Description: Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Crone, Regina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationship between Selected Behaviors and Developmental Skills in Children with Autism

Description: The purpose of this exploratory study was to gain more information about the developmental skills and abnormal behaviors of children with autism. Major interests included exploring the pattern of developmental strengths and weaknesses, the relationship between unusual behaviors, and the relationship of autistic behaviors to development and IQ.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Felini-Smith, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism

Description: This study evaluated whether therapist terminations of social interactions would decrease social terminations and increase social initiations during play activities with a child with autism. The assessment took place in two conditions. The first condition, instructed involved social interactions with instructions delivered, and the second, uninstructed, involved social interactions without instructions delivered. These conditions were analyzed with a multiple baseline across-conditions design. Interaction duration, initiations, instructions, and child terminations were recorded. This study showed that the therapist-removal procedure resulted in a complete decrease in child terminations, and an increase in the number of initiations and the duration of the child-therapist interactions during the uninstructed condition. Similar effects were seen in the instructed condition, but to a lesser degree.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Edwards, William Harrison
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transfer of Mand Topographies to Tact Relations and Vice Versa in Two Vocal-Verbal Children with Autism

Description: Skinner (1957) suggested that verbal responses learned as mands are not necessarily emitted in tact relations and vice versa. Previous empirical research has found that newly acquired mands and tacts can be functionally independent. The present study investigated 1) whether novel responses taught in mand relations would be emitted as tacts when opportunity for tacting was presented; 2) whether novel responses taught in tact relations would be emitted as mands when opportunity for manding was presented; and 3) whether the size of pre-experimental mand and tact repertoires affected the rate of acquisition and/or transfer. Two vocal-verbal children with autism were taught three novel responses as mands and three other responses as tacts. Mand topographies transferred to tact relations and tact topographies transferred to mand relations for both participants. Overall acquisition as well as transfer of mands and tacts was faster for the participant with an entering repertoire of approximately 175 mands and 175 tacts than for the participant with a repertoire of approximately 100 mands and 100 tacts.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Castellani, Jill E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Priming and Contingent Attention on Novel Play Episodes in a Child with Autism

Description: This study evaluated the effects of priming and contingent attention procedures on play variability in a child with autism. During baseline, numbers of novel play episodes, different play episodes, and actions occurred at low rates. Priming procedures did not produce desired change. When contingent attention was implemented, significant increases occurred in novel play episodes, different actions, and different play episodes. These results show that attention contingent on variable play episodes can increase the number of novel responses to play materials. The results are discussed within the context of treatment and future research.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Josendale, Julianne R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing contact with, proximity to, and acceptance of new foods in a young child with autism.

Description: The effects of two positive reinforcement procedures were evaluated to increase contact with, proximity to, and acceptance of new foods in a young child with autism. During baseline, two groups of six food items were presented. One group was intervened on. The first condition involved a changing criterion contingency and social attention as a consequence. The second involved a shaping contingency and access to videos as a consequence. The types of contact emitted, the amount of time spent contacting the food, and two affect topographies were measured. The second procedure resulted in increased duration and variety of contact, and increases of both affect topographies. Results are discussed in the context of food selectivity in autism, programming goals, and balancing intervention efficacy and restrictiveness.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Johansen, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries