Clinical Corner

By: Michelle Segretto, LMSW, BCBA, LBA
Clinical Supervisor

Welcome parents to our Achieve Beyond Quarterly newsletter! I'm sure everyone is welcoming summer and adjusting to the new summer schedules. New schedules and changes very often lead to challenging behaviors in children (neurotypical and children with diagnoses alike!). This article is intended to provide useful information for your child to get optimal results from the insurance based ABA services. In the most recent publication of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), new evidenced based information was provided regarding how caregiver's preferences to different types of interventions influence the likelihood that the child's treatment will be effective. The more the parent/teacher agrees with the type of intervention that is being recommended, better results from the behavior intervention plan will occur.

Any type of change in a person's life may elicit new behaviors. This is especially apparent with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. When undesirable behaviors arise, those children with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services will likely lead to a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) that was compiled with information pertaining to the specific child, and published evidence based interventions. For one behavior, there is typically more than one evidence based intervention that is likely to reduce the undesirable behaviors. The article "Caregiver Preference for Reinforcement Based Interventions for Problem Behavior Maintained by Positive Reinforcement" (Ann M Gabor, 2016) discussed how there are many types of positive reinforcement interventions, and the success of the intervention is not solely dependent on the consistency and accuracy of the implementation of the intervention. The study displayed that there was a relationship between the caregiver's preference to an intervention and its effectiveness. The study used various screening tools to analyze how the parent or care giver rated the different types of interventions, and then the successful outcomes of the intervention (behavior change of the child). In the methodology of the study, 4 parents and one teacher were thoroughly trained in three positive reinforcement interventions (DRA, DRO, and NCR), and then a screening was conducted to determine the caregiver's intervention preference. The caregivers were tested for implementation accuracy for all three of the interventions before the experiment was conducted. The results of the study indicated that although all the treatment interventions were considered acceptable by the caregivers, the interventions that were preferred by the parent/caregivers had a higher success rate. The study did explain that the reasons behind the results remain unclear, as there is need for further analysis regarding the caregiver's acceptability vs. preference and the success of the behavioral interventions.

As treatment providers and consumers of Applied Behavioral Analysis services, the results of the aforementioned article are relevant in order to provide optimal treatment for the children we serve. Although the results cannot specify the reasons why the caregiver's preference influences the success of the treatment, the phenomena is apparent. The results of the article suggest that it may be helpful for the ABA treatment providers to present and train caregivers with multiple treatment options to increase the success rate of the chosen behavior intervention plan.

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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

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