Positive Behavior Interventions
Volume 6, Number 2, Spring 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS
Robert L. Koegel and Glen Dunlap
Inclusive programming for toddlers with autism spectrum disorders: outcomes from the children's toddler school.
Aubyn C. Stahmer; Brooke Ingersoll.
The passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 mandated the provision of interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) under the age of 3 years. Although Strain, McGee, and Kohler (2001) suggested that children with autism benefit from inclusive programming, inclusive early intervention programs are rare. In the current study, the authors used a quasi-experimental design to analyze the outcomes for 20 young children with ASD in an inclusive program for children under age 3. Both outcomes on standardized assessments and functional outcomes were compared at program entry and exit. Significant increases in standard scores were found for the standardized assessments from intake to exit, with 37% of the children functioning in the typical range at exit, compared to 11% at entry. Significant improvements in performance on functional measures were also seen. At intake, 50% of the study participants had no functional communication skills, whereas at exit, 90% used a functional communication system. Social and play behaviors also increased substantially. Use of augmentative communication systems and a combination of research-based programming are discussed.
Description of a sleep-restriction program to reduce bedtime disturbances and night waking.
V. Mark Durand; Kristin V. Christodulu.
The authors describe a behavioral intervention designed to reduce sleep problems without increasing disruption at bedtime or throughout the evening. Sleep restriction was used to reduce the bedtime and nighttime sleep problems of two children, a 4-year-old girl with autism and a 4-year-old girl with developmental delay. Sleep restriction involved reducing the number of hours each child slept while maintaining a consistent bedtime and awake time. Once the program was successful, the amount of sleep was faded back to an age-appropriate level. The sleep-restriction programs appeared to result in the elimination of bedtime disturbances and the reduction of nighttime awakenings. The authors discuss the effectiveness of this behavioral intervention for the treatment of sleep disturbances in children with developmental disabilities.
Combining noncontingent escape and functional communication training as a treatment for negatively reinforced disruptive behavior.
Robyn L. Mildon; Dennis W. Moore; Robyn S. Dixon.
Research has shown that noncontingent escape (NCE) and functional communication training (FCT) can be effective treatments for challenging behavior. One limitation of the NCE procedure is the failure to provide explicit contingencies for learning an alternative adaptive behavior. Additionally, problems can arise with a FCT procedure. In this study, FCT was superimposed on an existing NCE schedule in an attempt to maintain the advantages of each procedure while removing known limitations. The data showed that with NCE plus FCT, rates of disruptive behavior remained at near zero levels while compliance with task demands and appropriate verbal responses increased to levels significantly above baseline. The authors discuss the effectiveness of the procedure for addressing the limitations of each intervention.
Transitions for young children with autism from preschool to kindergarten.
Emily J. Forest; Robert H. Horner; Teri Lewis-Palmer; Anne W. Todd.
The transition of young children with autism from preschool to kindergarten is an important event both for sustaining gains made during preschool and for establishing future social and academic development. This article provides a summary of 25 transition elements identified from the research literature as important for a successful transition. The elements were built into a survey instrument, and the instrument was used with the parents, preschool teachers, and kindergarten teachers for three children with autism who transitioned during 1999 to 2001. Results from the survey indicate that transition elements identified in the literature were perceived as important by families, preschool teachers, and kindergarten teachers. High variability, however, was reported in the perceived level of implementation for the transition elements. The report provides an index of transition elements that may be useful to guide future research and to facilitate effective transitions.
Anchor the Boat: a classwide intervention to reduce problem behavior.
Sharon Lohrmann; Janet Talerico.
Universal interventions are designed to systematically teach and reinforce consistent behavioral expectations. The purpose of this study was to provide an example of a group contingency classwide intervention called Anchor the Boat that operationally defined behavioral expectations, taught those expectations using teacher-directed instruction and role playing, and reinforced students when they met the behavioral criteria. Ten students attending a fourth- and fifth-grade learning-support classroom participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across three subject areas (i.e., reading, language arts, math) was used to evaluate the effects of the program on three target behaviors: talk outs, out of seat, and incomplete assignments. Following the classwide intervention, a substantial and steady decrease in level and rate was observed for talk-out behavior across all three classes. However, results for incomplete assignments and out-of-seat behavior are ambiguous and inconclusive
A celebration of the contributions of Montrose M. Wolf and Todd R. Risley.
Dean Fixsen; Glen Dunlap.