2024 NCABA Posters

2024 NCABA Posters

Our team THINKS BIG! The Annual North Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis (NCABA) Conference kicks off this week, and we’re thrilled to showcase the insightful posters our dedicated Kind Behavioral Health team members have prepared.

As per the NCABA website guidelines, posters serve as tangible representations of empirical research findings. Submissions must demonstrate scientific rigor and substantial progress. Preference is given to data-based posters, complete with graphs or charts. Both applied and basic research posters require accompanying data attachments. During the poster session, designated judges will engage with presenters, probing into the research and assessing it for potential awards.

This year, our team’s enthusiasm has resulted in fifteen members contributing to the creation of seven exceptional posters, marking a significant increase from 2023 participation numbers of seven members and three posters.

Explore the diverse topics and groundbreaking research our team has engaged in below!

Reducing Screaming Behaviors and Increasing Client Choice using Noncontingent Reinforcement

Kat Bahrami, MAT, BCBA and Tristin McDaniel, MA, RBT

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is distinguished by deficits in social communication and interactions, as well as restricted and repetitive stereotyped behavior (DSM-V, 2013). These deficits may be accompanied by the development of challenging behavior. Challenging behavior can appear in many different forms. The clinicians on this participant’s team worked to decrease the rate of high (over 90dZ) decibel screams. Exposure to sounds over 90dZ for extended periods of time has been proven to affect hearing loss in individuals across all ages. Concern was also raised for long-term effects on the participant’s vocal chords. Noncontingent Reinforcement (NCR) and participant choice were utilized as interventions to reduce this behavior. As a result, 90dZ screams went from a high of 534 screams per session in baseline to a low of 0 screams per session during intervention. Over time, this behavior maintained an average of low rates over time. In the beginning of baseline, the participant averaged 234 screams during the first 3 months of treatment and 10 screams during the last 3 months of participant’s treatment.


A Treatment Package to Reduce Severe Self-Injurious Behaviors, Aggression, and Property Destruction

Lauren Broadwell, MS, BCBA, Bella Morales, RBT, Alex Appleyard, BS, RBT, Aliyah Staten, M.Ed., Haley Mauldin, BS, RBT, Rosemary Allshouse, AA, RBT

Abstract: Individuals who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder present with impairments in social communication and interactions, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior (DSM-V, 2013). Deficits within these diagnostic domains may lead to the development of challenging behavior. This clinical team sought to decrease the frequency of self-injurious behavior (SIB), aggression, and property destruction in an autistic client they served. A functional analysis on SIB indicated that the behavior was dually maintained by escape from demands as well as access to attention. A treatment package of Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors and Noncontingent Reinforcement was utilized to reduce the behaviors, with the intention of conducting a multiple baseline across behaviors procedure. These behaviors were deemed socially significant to target for reduction, as they often led to injury of the client, injury to those around the client, and damage to the environment. Following implementation of the intervention to target reduction of SIB, the team also saw a decrease in aggression and property destruction without direct intervention.


Client-Led Social and Play Skills Group to Occasion Subsequent Spontaneous Peer Interactions

Kayla Siebold, MA, RBT and Kayla Little, MA, BCBA

Abstract: Historically, children with autism have deficits in play skills and interactions with peers which can lead to difficulties developing friendships and relationships. “Improvements with social skills are often identified as top treatment concerns for children with ASD” (Lang, Machalicek, Rispoli & Regester, 2009; Pituch et al, 2011). This study assessed whether having a client-led and assent-based daily social skills group would increase peer interactions in the natural environment. Since the goal of this study was to be client led, there was not a specific intervention other than having a group every day. Preliminary results demonstrated a positive correlation to the amount of time spent on social skills and the amount of peer interactions in the natural environment, although more research should be done in this area. Improvements in social skills that were observed included initiating interactions with peers and appropriate manding to peers. This study is ongoing, and data continues to be taken.


Stewarding client-selection of teaching procedures ​when increasing food repertoire​

Daryl Williams, BCBA and Kayla Siebold, RBT

Abstract: Graduated exposure (Tanner and Andreone, 2015) to support increasing food repertoire was applied with the client. Following a delay in progress and given observation and awareness of client history the team began to consider aversive features of procedures. Specifically, the team was curious if the client preferred a shorter sequence of steps to reach a terminal goal or a longer sequence of steps to reach the terminal goal. Longer sequences included 4 steps (pick up, smell, kiss, hold to lip for count of 5) while shorter sequences included 2 steps (pick up and hold to lip for count of 5). The team arranged for exposure trials to both teaching procedures via concurrent chains arrangement then provided choice opportunities. The target behavior (holding food to lip for a count of 5) was achieved under both conditions, while preference for shorter sequences were consistently demonstrated.


If You Talk Like Me, I Talk More: Evaluating the Effects of Modeling the Use of SGD During Naturalistic Engagements

Savannah Kelly, BCBA and Staci Kolko, BCBA

Abstract:  Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices are beneficial to individuals with deficits in vocal-verbal abilities. When teaching communication skills to children across all developmental levels, caregivers are often encouraged to narrate and model expected vocal communication to promote acquisition of language. For individuals who use AAC, accessibility to appropriate communication devices and effective interventions, which outline procedures for acting as a communication partner, is also pivotal in communication outcomes (Kent-Walsh, & Binger, 2010). Individuals who have complex communication needs may require multimodal AAC to be successful communicators (O’Neill, et.al., 2018). Multimodal communication helps balance the auditory and symbolic input Speech Generating Device (SGD) users experience by combining multiple communication mediums to engage as both a listener and speaker in a conversation. Implementing aided language stimulation, which requires a communication partner to press “key symbols on the learners” communication device, has shown increased acquisition of symbol and spoken speech (Goosenes et.al., 1982; Geytenbeek et.al., 2015). There is limited information evaluating the effects of aided language stimulation across communication partners who are using the same AAC within the autism community. Furthermore, there is an absence of research exploring outcomes related to RBT’s modeling communication on separate SGD’s. Additionally, when both the speaker and communication partner engage in naturalistic interactions, this increases the connection within the symbolic language, so that comprehension and expression are less effortful (Laher & Dada, 2023; Sennot et.al., 2016). The purpose of this study is to determine the rate of acquisition of buttons on an SGD device when the client’s listener also communicates via a separate device, modeling use of the buttons, during natural engagements across play.


Reducing Inflexible Routines with a Teenager with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jordayn Price, MS, BCBA, Rosemary Allshouse, AA, RBT

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments in social communication and interactions, and restricted and repetitive stereotyped behavior (DSM-V, 2013). These deficits often appear across multiple areas and may lead to the development of inflexibility with routines and development of challenging behavior. This team sought to reduce the duration a client spent in the restroom and the number of restroom trips taken per day. A treatment package of trials to criterion, token economy, timer, and visual aid was used to decrease the behavior. This behavior was targeted in a clinic setting by clinical staff and in the client’s home by family to promote generalization of reduced behavior duration and frequency. The behavior impacted the client’s ability to attend daily activities due to making him late for required arrival times. Following the implementation of the intervention, the client’s duration and frequency of restroom use was significantly reduced. The behavior has generalized across all environments and the duration and frequency of the restroom has remained at targeted duration across several months.

Increasing Skill Acquisition and Client Assent using Skill-Based Treatment 

Pam Rauen, MS, BCBA

Abstract: This case study delves into the implementation of Dr. Greg Hanley’s Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) process for a -year-old boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The primary aim was to replicate the outcomes observed in Hanley et al.’s 2014 study. The PFA revealed that the child’s behavior was significantly influenced by the demands of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) tasks and the delay or removal of preferred items and activities. The clinical team ran the SBT procedures as written in (Hanley et al 2014). Procedural changes were made based on data analysis and RBT feedback. The client was able to successfully progress through the SBT protocol with minimal modifications and the client showed significant improvement on cooperation with DTT targets and acquired skills at a high rate. Challenging behaviors during trials remained low and reduced to manageable precursor behaviors. This case study underscores the efficacy of Hanley’s PFA/SBT process in addressing challenging behaviors in young children with autism, exhibiting promising potential for enhancing skill acquisition and reducing disruptive behaviors within ABA programs.