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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Owen McGill and Anna Robinson

This paper aims to investigate the long-term impacts autistic adults experienced from childhood participation in the applied behavioural analysis (ABA).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the long-term impacts autistic adults experienced from childhood participation in the applied behavioural analysis (ABA).

Design/methodology/approach

Possible participants were recruited through advertisements on social media and autism and ABA organisations. Possible participants were given the choice between an online or face-to-face interview or an anonymised online questionnaire.

Findings

Reflections from 10 participants were indicative of a predominantly detrimental impact of ABA. Reflections gave rise to a core theme “recalling hidden harms of childhood experiences of ABA”. Outcomes are discussed in relation to the impact on autistic identity, current research and progressing understanding of the impacts of early intervention from the autistic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The practical implications of ABA are discussed alongside recommendations for future practice and research with the involvement of autistic individuals within interventive processes.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to take an in-depth, qualitative approach to autistic experiences of ABA. The findings themselves are driven to conceptualise and give voice to the core impacts which carried through participants’ exploration and understanding of self.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Mohd Azrai Azman

This research aims to contrast bid competitiveness with respect to the average bid auction (ABA) and the non-ABA bidding formats used by the Public Works Department (PWD…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to contrast bid competitiveness with respect to the average bid auction (ABA) and the non-ABA bidding formats used by the Public Works Department (PWD) of Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses the ordinary least square regression and the Monte–Carlo simulation to point out significant predictors which affect the bid ratio and fitting probability distributions to bidding data, respectively.

Findings

This research shows that the bidding strategy adopted is dependent on the different formats used. In the ABA format, bidders are more likely to submit identical bid prices. In the non-ABA format, they bid according to the first-price auction strategy, which suggests greater variation between bid prices as a winning strategy and the reduction in the bid price to an estimated price ratio when more bidders bid.

Practical implications

Bidders lose more money when the distance between the project location and a firm’s operational office is greater. Best-fit probability density functions follow a gamma distribution for the ABA format and a Weibull distribution for the non-ABA format. The location and number of bidders affect bidders’ strategy to win.

Originality/value

This research presents empirical insights concerning the comparisons of different type of bidding formats practiced by PWD of Malaysia and its implications on the construction companies’ bidding behaviors especially when it comes to its economic consequences. The significant factors that affect the different auction mechanisms used can serve as a basis for improving the present methods employed by PWD and in other countries.

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2018

Brent A. Hayward, Shiralee Poed and Lisa McKay-Brown

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the variables which have contributed to the adoption of positive behaviour support (PBS) and applied behaviour…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the variables which have contributed to the adoption of positive behaviour support (PBS) and applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Differences and similarities are highlighted, applications to contemporary issues in the UK and Australia are emphasised, and considerations posed for their improved adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework for diffusion of innovations theory is used to guide the analysis of three sets of articles, and application of the framework is guided by narrative analysis.

Findings

Eight variables from the conceptual framework were identified, and the communication networks for PBS and ABA are argued to be distinct. There has been a positive change in the perception of PBS by the ABA field, but PBS has leveraged diffusion more successfully. ABA appears to have been separated from PBS in the UK while Australia is yet to fully benefit from the contributions of ABA. Those working in the fields of PBS and ABA should further collaborate for their mutual benefit.

Practical implications

Greater attention to the factors which promote diffusion can assist PBS and ABA to improve their adoption.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to use diffusion of innovations theory to analyse the adoption of PBS and ABA.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 November 2019

Henny Kupferstein

The purpose of this paper is to explore why autistic people and their caregivers choose interventions other than applied behavior analysis (ABA), and how their decision…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore why autistic people and their caregivers choose interventions other than applied behavior analysis (ABA), and how their decision impacts them over their lifespan. The focus group was divided into those who pursued augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)-based supports, received ABA, selected other interventions or received no intervention at all. The reported posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) of ABA recipients were compared to non-ABA recipients in order to evaluate the long-term impacts of all intervention types. Using a mixed-method thematic analysis, optional comments submitted alongside a quantitative online survey were reviewed for emergent themes. These comments augmented the survey Likert scores with a qualitative impression of the diverse intervention-related attitudes among participants. Investigating the lived experiences of autism intervention recipients illuminated the scope of the long-term impacts of each intervention that was chosen. Overall, autistics who received no intervention fared best, based on the lowest reported PTSS. These findings may inform the potential redesign of autism interventions based on the firsthand reported experiences and opinions of autistics.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of this study was to conduct research that is both question-driven and data-driven to aid in the analysis of existing data (Van Helden, 2013). In the research question-driven approach, the independent variables were the intervention type and duration of exposure relative to lifespan; the dependent variables were the PTSS severity score and binary indicator of meeting PTSS criteria. The analyses that were conducted included linear regression analyses of severity score on intervention type and duration, and χ2 tests for independence of the probabilities of PTSS criterion satisfaction and intervention type. This experiment was designed to test the data-driven hypothesis that the prevalence and severity of PTSS are dependent on the type of autism intervention and duration of exposure. After reviewing the primary data set, the data-driven inquiry determined that the sample for secondary analysis should be categorized by communication-based vs non-communication-based intervention type in order to best complement the limitations and strengths of the published findings from the primary analysis.

Findings

Autistics who received no intervention had a 59 percent lower likelihood of meeting the PTSS criteria when compared to their ABA peers, and they remained 99.6 percent stable in their reported symptoms throughout their lifespan (R2=0.004). ABA recipients were 1.74 times more likely to meet the PTSS criteria when compared to their AAC peers. Within the 23 percent who selected an intervention other than ABA, consisting of psychotherapy, mental health, son-rise and other varying interventions, 63 percent were asymptomatic. This suggests that the combined benefits of communication-based interventions over behaviorism-influenced ABA practices may contribute to enhanced quality of life. Although not generalizable beyond the scope of this study, it is indicated from the data that autistics who received no intervention at all fared best over their lifetimes.

Research limitations/implications

The obvious advantage of a secondary analysis is to uncover key findings that may have been overlooked in the preliminary study. Omitted variables in the preliminary data leave the researcher naive to crucially significant findings, which may be mitigated by subsequent testing in follow-up studies (Cheng and Phillips, 2014, p. 374). Frequency tables and cross-tabulations of all variables included in the primary analysis were reproduced. The secondary analysis of existing data was conducted from the design variables used in the original study and applied in the secondary analyses to generate less biased estimates (Lohr, 2010; Graubard and Korn, 1996). Inclusion criteria for each intervention group, PTSS scores and exposure duration, were inherited from the primary analysis, to allow for strategic judgment about the coding of the core variables pertaining to AAC and PTSS. The data sample from 460 respondents was reduced to a non-ABA group of n=330. An external statistician scored each respondent, and interrater reliability was assessed using Cohen’s κ coefficient (κ=1).

Practical implications

Including the autistic voice in the long-term planning of childhood interventions is essential to those attempting to meet the needs of the individuals, their families and communities. Both parents and autistic participant quotes were obtained directly from the optional comments to reveal why parents quit or persisted with an autism intervention.

Social implications

Practitioners and intervention service providers must consider this feedback from those who are directly impacted by the intervention style, frequency or intensity. The need for such work is confirmed in the recent literature as well, such as community-based participatory research (Raymaker, 2016). Autistics should be recognized as experts in their own experience (Milton, 2014). Community–academic partnerships are necessary to investigate the needs of the autistic population (Meza et al., 2016).

Originality/value

Most autistic people do not consider autism to be a mental illness nor a behavior disorder. It is imperative to recognize that when injurious behavior persists, and disturbance in mood, cognition, sleep pattern and focus are exacerbated, the symptoms are unrelated to autism and closely align to the diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When PTSD is underdiagnosed and untreated, the autistic individual may experience hyperarousal and become triggered by otherwise agreeable stimuli. Since autism interventions are typically structured around high contact, prolonged hours and 1:1 engagement, the nature of the intervention must be re-evaluated as a potentially traumatic event for an autistic person in the hyperarousal state. Any interventions which trigger more than it helps should be avoided and discontinued when PTSS emerge.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Henny Kupferstein

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in adults and children who were exposed to applied behavior analysis (ABA

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2944

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in adults and children who were exposed to applied behavior analysis (ABA) autism early childhood intervention. Using an online questionnaire to survey autistic adults and caregivers of autistic children, the author collected data from 460 respondents on demographics, intervention types, and current pathological behaviors with symptom severity scales. This study noted PTSS in nearly half of ABA-exposed participants, while non-exposed controls had a 72 percent chance of being asymptomatic. ABA satisfaction ratings for caregivers averaged neutral or mild satisfaction. In contrast, adult satisfaction with ABA was lower on average and also tended to take on either extremely low or extremely high ratings. Exposure to ABA predicted a higher rate and more severe PTSS in participants, but the duration of exposure did not affect satisfaction with the intervention in caregivers.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were recruited for an online survey through social media networks, adult gatherings, social skills groups, and autism support groups nationwide. Adult inclusion criteria consisted of autism – diagnosed or self-diagnosed – and an age of 18 or older. A total of 460 respondents, consisting of autistic adults and caregivers of autistic children, completed an online survey. The caregiver entries (n=217) concerned 79 percent male children, 21 percent female children (male to female 3.80:1), and one MtF transgender child, ages 1-38, with an average age at diagnosis of 4.69 years. The adult entries (n=243) concerned 30 percent males, 55 percent females (male to female 0.55:1), and 14 percent other gender, ages 18-73, with an average age at diagnosis of 25.38 years.

Findings

Nearly half (46 percent) of the ABA-exposed respondents met the diagnostic threshold for PTSD, and extreme levels of severity were recorded in 47 percent of the affected subgroup. Respondents of all ages who were exposed to ABA were 86 percent more likely to meet the PTSD criteria than respondents who were not exposed to ABA. Adults and children both had increased chances (41 and 130 percent, respectively) of meeting the PTSD criteria if they were exposed to ABA. Both adults and children without ABA exposure had a 72 percent chance of reporting no PTSS (see Figure 1). At the time of the study, 41 percent of the caregivers reported using ABA-based interventions.

Originality/value

The majority of adult respondents were female, raising questions about the population of online autistic survey respondents. Further, the high numbers of reported gender other than male or female in the adult respondents, as well as at least on MtF child from the caregiver respondents indicates that future studies should consider these intersections. These accompanied significant discrepancies in reporting bias between caregivers and ABA-exposed individuals, which highlight the need for the inclusion of the adult autistic voice in future intervention design. Based on the findings, the author predicts that nearly half of ABA-exposed autistic children will be expected to meet the PTSD criteria four weeks after commencing the intervention; if ABA intervention persists, there will tend to be an increase in parent satisfaction despite no decrease in PTSS severity.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 October 2018

Justin Barrett Leaf, Robert K. Ross, Joseph H. Cihon and Mary Jane Weiss

Kupferstein (2018) surveyed 460 respondents and found that 46 percent of respondents met the diagnostic threshold for posttraumatic stress disorder after exposure to…

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13160

Abstract

Purpose

Kupferstein (2018) surveyed 460 respondents and found that 46 percent of respondents met the diagnostic threshold for posttraumatic stress disorder after exposure to applied-behavior-analysis-based intervention. The purpose of this paper is to provide an evaluation a critical analysis of Kupferstein (2018) including the experimental methods and discussion of the results.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors evaluated the Kupferstein’s methodological rigor with respect to the use of hypothesis testing, use of indirect measures, selection of respondents, ambiguity in definitions, measurement system, and framing of the experimental question when conducting the correlational analysis in addition to Kupferstein’s analysis and discussion of the results.

Findings

Based upon the analysis, Kupferstein’s results should be viewed with extreme caution due to several methodological and conceptual flaws including, but not limited to, leading questions used within a non-validated survey, failure to confirm diagnosis, and incomplete description of interventions.

Originality/value

It is the authors’ hope that this analysis provides caregivers, clinicians, and service providers with a scientific lens which will useful in viewing the limitations and methodological flaws of Kupferstein.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Silvia Artoni, Maria Claudia Buzzi, Marina Buzzi, Claudia Fenili, Barbara Leporini, Simona Mencarini and Caterina Senette

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific method for modelling human behavior, successfully applied in the context of Autism. Recording and sharing measurable data…

Abstract

Purpose

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific method for modelling human behavior, successfully applied in the context of Autism. Recording and sharing measurable data (on subjects’ performance) between caregivers guarantees consistency of learning programs and allows monitoring the learning enhancements. Data are usually recorded on paper, which requires considerable effort and is subject to error. The purpose of this paper is to describe a portable application developed to support ABA tutors in their work with autistic subjects. It allows gathering data from ABA sessions, giving tutors rapid access to information, also in graphical formats.

Design/methodology/approach

The tool was designed via participatory design. Various ABA team members were involved, in order to make the application respond perfectly to their needs. The approach aims to ensure maximum usability, while minimizing errors and ambient interference.

Findings

The use of mobile devices (i.e. tablets or smartphones) allows mobility and ease of interaction, enabling efficient data collection and processing. Data plotting allows one to easily interpret gathered data.

Social implications

The proposed application, free open source software, can be a valuable aid for supporting the ABA intervention and favor the inclusion of children with autism.

Originality/value

Available software to assist tutors during therapy sessions is often proprietary, and research prototypes are not freely available, so paper forms are still widespread. Besides, without attention to usability requirements, assisting tools would be comparable in efficiency with data insertion on paper. Our software was specifically designed following ABA principles and favors efficient data entry allowing natural interaction with touch screen interfaces: drag and drop, taps and gestures. Furthermore, it is shared in the public domain.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2012

Laurie Swinney and Bruce Elder

The accounting, medical, and legal professions share characteristics common to peer-reviewed professions. These professions also share challenges to professionalism. All…

Abstract

The accounting, medical, and legal professions share characteristics common to peer-reviewed professions. These professions also share challenges to professionalism. All three have been criticized for declining professionalism and for choosing commercial success over serving the public interest. Although the medical and legal professions have taken steps to promote a higher level of professional conduct by their members, the accounting profession has not launched initiatives to promote professionalism.

We discuss the initiatives instigated by the legal and medical professions using the five elements of professionalism framework (Hamilton, 2008a). Specifically, the framework highlights the importance of growth in personal conscience, demands compliance with the ethics of duty, inspires realization of aspirational goals, requires accountability of peer professionals, and emphasizes devotion to serving the public good. We recommend that members of the accounting profession use the five elements of professionalism framework to define, demonstrate, and assess professionalism. We conclude that promoting professionalism is a means for restoring professional identity for individual accountants as well as a means for fulfilling the accounting profession's contract with society.

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-761-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Cecilia Wallerstedt

The purpose of this paper is to examine what are necessary conditions for learning the concept ABA form, a concept for analysing and composing music, and to discuss how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine what are necessary conditions for learning the concept ABA form, a concept for analysing and composing music, and to discuss how the use of variation theory can contribute to the field of music education research.

Design/methodology/approach

The method used is a form of lesson study, but with only one participating teacher. Three cycles are conducted with three small groups of children, aged eight to nine years old.

Findings

The main findings are that the learning of ABA form requires first, awareness of the sequential form of the music, second, that the attitude to differences that appear between sequential parts of the music is consciously being re-direct from seen as “failures” to being interesting musical contrasts and third, that attention is being paid to different features within one musical aspect, that sounds (not only looks) different. It is found that a main contribution of applying variation theory to studies in the domain of music is the consideration of a part-whole relationship. When the teacher helps the children to create contrast and at the same time keeps focus on how it sounds, the children succeed in coming up with a composition in ABA form. To address the simultaneous relationship between acting and seeing, that is musical impressions and expressions, is crucial for learning.

Originality/value

This study is pioneering since music teaching is studied with the point of departure in an intended object of learning.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Book part
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Darlene H. Anderson, Michelle Marchant and Nancy Y. Somarriba

ABA has been described as a precise psychological approach to the study of behavior (Bailey & Burch, 2002), involving well-defined principles that can be used in the…

Abstract

ABA has been described as a precise psychological approach to the study of behavior (Bailey & Burch, 2002), involving well-defined principles that can be used in the analysis and modification of individual behavior (Miltenberger, 1997). Special education, on the contrary, has been characterized as “a customized instructional program designed to meet the unique needs of the individual learner” (Gargiulo, 2009, p. 9). Certainly the two disciplines have much in common; indeed, ABA specifically addresses issues at the focal point of IDEA. For instance, ABA's stance on the right to effective behavioral treatment (Van Houten et al., 1988) is similar to special education regulations regarding the right to an appropriate public education and the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment.

Details

Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Identification, Assessment and Instruction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-669-0

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