Reaching the Unreachable: Providing an Intentional Staff Training on Naturalistic Behavioral Assessment for Challenging Behaviors

Friday, May 15, 2015: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Imperial Ballroom (Grand America Hotel)
F. Alnemary and F. Alnemary, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Despite the great efforts that have been taken to solve the global issues in field of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), access to service remains an issue that deserves attention. One way to mitigate the influence of such an issue in developing countries is to utilize freely available technologies to ensure the accessibility to autism services is possible by enhancing the competencies of the front-line specialists that deal with individuals with ASD on a daily-basis.        

Objectives: Evaluating the efficacy of videoconferencing and video-recorded training as a service-delivery model to train teachers in Saudi Arabia (i.e., who do not have access to experts in a regular basis) on the fidelity of implementation of naturalistic-behavioral assessment for challenging behaviors for students with ASD.

Methods: The host site (UCLA) and the remote site (i.e., a private center in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia, that provides special education services to student with ASD) were connected to the Internet via a videoconferencing software (Skype) and a file-hosting website (Dropbox). We used a single-subject-experimental design (multiple baseline) to evaluate the effect of video-recorded training on the fidelity of implementation of the trial-based functional analysis (TBA; Bloom et al., 2011) across four special education teachers. This naturalistic but systematic and experimental assessment consists of 4 different trials/opportunities that are designed to allow teachers to embed multiple opportunities during the day to investigate the effect of different environmental arrangements, activities and stimuli on challenging behavior prior to developing behavioral interventions that meet the individualized needs of their students with ASD.
During baseline, teachers were provided with a detailed and well-enhanced written instruction and were instructed to conduct the assessment and an actor (an experienced teacher) who played the rule of child engaging in aggression. In the second phase, training was provided which involved watching a 100 min. video-recoded training that comprised of written instruction, step-by-step and explicit explanation and video modeling of the correct implementation.  All training materials were shared with the school though the file-hosting website.Poste-training evaluation was conducted in similar manner to that of the baseline (implementation of TBFA with the actor). Additional individualized feedback was provided for two teachers. Two teachers entered the generalization phase in which they implemented the assessment with an actual child who engaged problem behavior.

Results:  Though teachers’ performances were high following reading enhanced-written instruction during baseline (M=77%), their performances improved following watching the video-recording training to reach 100% fidelity for at least two conditions. However, all teachers needed additional specific feedback for at least one condition. During the generalization phase, two teacher maintained the high degree of fidelity when implementation the assessment with two students with ASD. 

Conclusions: These findings suggest that video-recorded training can be a promising service-delivery model when access to experts on a regular basis is not feasible.

Bloom, S. E., Iwata, B. A., Fritz, J. N., Roscoe, E. M., & Carreau, A. (2011). Classroom application of a trial-based functional analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 19–31. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2011.44-1