High-Probability Requests and a Preferred Item as a Distractor: Increasing Successful Transitions in Children with Behavior Problems.Abstract
The performance of successful transitions by young children can be a critical factor in the provision of inclusive educational services. This study compared the effects of two interventions (high-probability requests and preferred item as a distractor dis·trac·tor
Variant of distracter. ) on the success of classroom transitions of two young children with behavior problems. Additionally, this study examined the social validity for the two procedures through the use of questionnaires and direct observations of the interventionist maintenance in using the strategies. Results indicate that both interventions were effective in increasing successful transitions. Educational implications and measures of social validity are discussed.
With an increasing emphasis on inclusive educational services for children with disabilities, the degree of independence of a child becomes a critical factor (Carla, Atwater Atwater, city (1990 pop. 22,282), Merced co., central Calif., in the San Joaquin valley; inc. 1922. It is the processing and commercial center of an irrigated farming area. National wildlife refuges are nearby. , Schwartz Schwartz is a Canadian spices brand. It is also a common surname and may refer to:
intr. & tr.v. em·a·nat·ed, em·a·nat·ing, em·a·nates
To come or send forth, as from a source: light that emanated from a lamp; a stove that emanated a steady heat. from a multitude of functions that include (1) a desire to escape the approaching activity/setting, (2) a desire to reestablish Re`es`tab´lish
v. t. 1. To establish anew; to fix or confirm again; to restore; as, to reëstablish a covenant; to reëstablish health. s>
Verb 1. the activity that has just been terminated, (3) a generalized gen·er·al·ized
1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.
2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.
3. escape response to the verbal instruction associated with transition regardless of the task preference, and (4) generalized reaction to noise/confusion and increased activity level during transitions. The magnitude of interruption INTERRUPTION. The effect of some act or circumstance which stops the course of a prescription or act of limitation's.
2. Interruption of the use of a thing is natural or civil. to a classroom can only be fully realized whe n one considers that transitions may occur during 20 to 30% of the classroom time in the typical preschool/early elementary child's day (Carta CARTA Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority
CARTA Campaign for Real Travel Agents
CARTA Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority
CARTA Costa Rican Airborne Research and Technology et al., 1990; Sainato & Lyon Lyon
City (pop., 1999: city, 445,452; metro. area, 1,348,932), east-central France. Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, it was founded as the Roman military colony Lugdunum in 43 BC (see , 1983).
Over the last ten years, researchers have developed a milieu mi·lieu
n. pl. mi·lieus or mi·lieux
1. The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.
2. The social setting of a mental patient.
[Fr.] surroundings, environment. of proactive strategies that focus on challenging behavior that occurs during transitions. Among these are high-probability requests and preferred items as a distractor. High-probability (high-p) request sequences have been used as an antecedent ANTECEDENT. Something that goes before. In the construction of laws, agreements, and the like, reference is always to be made to the last antecedent; ad proximun antecedens fiat relatio. strategy to increase appropriate behavior during transition from playtime to instructional group time (Singer, Singer, & Homer Homer, principal figure of ancient Greek literature; the first European poet. Works, Life, and Legends
Two epic poems are attributed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey. , 1987), task attempts (Homer, Day, Sprague Sprague , Frank Julian 1857-1934.
American engineer and inventor. He developed the first electric trolley system (1887) and made advances in electric elevator design. , O'Brien, & Heathfield, 1991), compliant responding (Davis, Brady, Williams, & Hamilton Hamilton, city, Bermuda
Hamilton, city (1990 est. pop. 3,100), capital of Bermuda, on Bermuda Island. It is a port at the head of Great Sound, a huge lagoon and deepwater harbor protected by coral reefs. , 1992; Mace, Hock hock: see wine. , Lam, West, Belfiore, Pinter, & Brown, 1988; Mace & Belfiore, 1990) and social interactions (Davis, Brady, Hamilton, McEvoy, & Williams, 1994; Davis & Reichle, 1996). Typically, during a high-probability request sequence, the interventionist delivers 3 to 5 easy requests to which a student has a history of responding (i.e., high-probability requests) immediately before the delivery of a request to which the student does not typically res pond (i.e., low-probability request). The results of previous studies have clearly demonstrated that high-probability requests can be an effective strategy for students who engage in escape-motivated challenging behavior. Several reasons for the effectiveness of high-probability request sequences have been offered. Singer, Singer, and Homer (1987) suggested that high-probability requests change the density of teacher-delivered positive requests for engagement. As a result, activity preferredness may change over time. Alternatively, Homer et al. (1991) propose that a history of compliance to positive requests may create sufficient opportunities to promote a more generalized class of instruction-following that includes less preferred activities. A third explanation offered by Mace and his colleagues (1988) involves the establishment of behavioral momentum Behavioral momentum is a theory in Quantitative Analysis of Behavior and is a comparative metaphor based on physical momentum. It describes the general relation between resistance to change (persistence of behavior) and the rate of reinforcement obtained in a given situation. . Nevin, Mandell, and Atak (1983) draw an analogy analogy, in biology, the similarities in function, but differences in evolutionary origin, of body structures in different organisms. For example, the wing of a bird is analogous to the wing of an insect, since both are used for flight. between physical momentum and a behavior's resistance to change. That is, by increasing a behavior's response rate (velocity) and the rate of reinforcement In behaviorism, rate of reinforcement is number of reinforcements per time, usually per minute. Symbol of this rate is usually Rf. Its first major exponent was B. F. Skinner (1939). It is used in the Matching Law. , a momentum of responding is established such that responding is less likely to be interrupted in·ter·rupt
v. in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts
1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
2. in the presence of a lower-probability request. Mace and his colleagues propose that the delivery of three high-p requests increases the response rate and the delivery of reinforcement reinforcement /re·in·force·ment/ (-in-fors´ment) in behavioral science, the presentation of a stimulus following a response that increases the frequency of subsequent responses, whether positive to desirable events, or for responding to the requests increases the rate of reinforcement for that behavior, thus building a behavior's momentum.
Preferred item/event as a distractor has been offered as an intervention A procedure used in a lawsuit by which the court allows a third person who was not originally a party to the suit to become a party, by joining with either the plaintiff or the defendant. strategy when an activity associated with challenging behavior does not require active participation. For example, when a visual spectacle Spectacle
Speed (See SWIFTNESS.)
opera renowned for its scenic grandeur; sometimes played with on-stage elephants. [Ital. such as a quiet aquarium aquarium, name for any supervised exhibit of aquatic animals and plants. Aquariums are known to have been constructed in ancient Rome, Egypt, and Asia. Goldfish have been bred in China for several hundred years and are still the most commonly kept fish in home scene was presented during invasive invasive /in·va·sive/ (-siv)
1. having the quality of invasiveness.
2. involving puncture of the skin or insertion of an instrument or foreign material into the body; said of diagnostic techniques. dental procedures, clients were less likely to require pain management medication. Similarly, Reichle (1995) demonstrated that activities during transportation to and from school dramatically decreased challenging behavior associated with boredom Boredom
See also Futility.
Aldegonde, Lord St.
bored nobleman, empty of pursuits. [Br. Lit.: Lothair]
(1821–1867) French poet whose dissipated lifestyle led to inner despair. [Fr. Lit. (lack of activity engagement).
Clearly, there are a number of viable interventions that might be used to address challenging behavior exhibited during transitions. Unfortunately, few studies have directly compared the effectiveness of these strategies in decelerating challenging behavior. An equally important issue is the acceptability of the procedure from the perspective of the individuals who implement the procedure.
Within recent years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time field has made great strides in examining issues of social validity and treatment acceptability (Wolf, 1978; Schwartz & Baer, 1991; Polloway, 1996; Reiners, Wacker Wacker may refer to:
Magnetic tape used to record visual images and sound, or the recording itself. There are two types of videotape recorders, the transverse (or quad) and the helical. and survey combination. This last method consists of participants viewing a videotaped example of a particular procedure and then answering questions regarding the validity of the procedures or behavior change Behavior change refers to any transformation or modification of human behavior. Such changes can occur intentionally, through behavior modification, without intention, or change rapidly in situations of mental illness. (Peterson & McConnell, 1993). None of these procedures have taken into account the degree of correspondence between an individual's report and their actions. That is, while practitioners may rate a question such as "I would use this procedure in my classroom" high, their actual use of the procedure may be far less. Schwartz and Baer (1991) suggested that a much stronger and reliable measure of social validity may be the observation o f behavior change. Therefore, this study provided some direct observation measures of social validity.
The purpose of the study was twofold: (1) to compare the effects of the high-p request and preferred item as a distractor procedures on the success of classroom transitions, (2) to examine social validity for the two procedures by examining interventionist preference and the correspondence between the effectiveness of each of the two procedures and interventionist maintenance in using each of the two procedures.
Participants and Settings
The participants in this study included two boys who exhibited severe challenging behavior during transition times in the classroom. Rob, a 6-year-old boy with Down syndrome Down syndrome, congenital disorder characterized by mild to severe mental retardation, slow physical development, and characteristic physical features. Down syndrome affects about 1 in every 730 live births and occurs in all populations equally. , attended afternoon kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be at a public school in the suburbs of a large mid-western city. A standardized standardized
pertaining to data that have been submitted to standardization procedures.
standardized morbidity rate
see morbidity rate.
standardized mortality rate
see mortality rate. assessments (the PPVT-R PPVT-R Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised ) indicated Rob's expressive language to be in the severe range at a standard score of 44. His educational placement was a regular education kindergarten class which he attended with 27 typically developing peers. He received speech and language services, early childhood special education services, occupational therapy, and participated in adaptive physical education. Rob's daily schedule consisted of approximately 40 minutes receiving special education services and 1 hour 50 minutes in the regular education classroom. Transition times had been identified as a major problem by all of the educators and paraprofessionals who worked with Rob and was a behavioral behavioral
pertaining to behavior.
see psychomotor seizure. objective on his IEP IEP
In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Irish Punt.
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion. . Whenever Rob was asked to transition from one activity to another or one room to another, he might: (a) drop to the floor, (b) hit or kick at an adult close by, (c) scream/vocalize loud enough to be heard across the school building, or (d) any combination of these behaviors. These behaviors resulted in the delivery of full physical assistance, physical restraint Physical restraint refers to the practice of rendering people helpless or keeping them in captivity by means such as handcuffs, shackles, straitjackets, ropes, straps, or other forms of physical restraint. for safety of others, and the disruption disruption /dis·rup·tion/ (dis-rup´shun) a morphologic defect resulting from the extrinsic breakdown of, or interference with, a developmental process. of classrooms across the school.
The second participant, Travis, was a 6-year-old boy who had been identified with emotional/behavioral disorder and mild mental retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. . Standardized test A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent"  scores indicate Travis' full scale IQ to be 66 as reported by the WISC-R WISC-R Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised . Travis was enrolled in a multi-graded (K-3rd grade) segregated classroom serving students with emotional/behavioral disorders. The classroom was located on a regular education campus. However, Travis participated in recess, lunch, and music with regular education students. Transitions had been identified by all of Travis' educators as a problem area. Upon being requested to transition, Travis hit, dropped to the floor, screamed, and pouted. Typically these actions resulted in a brief period of extinction extinction, in biology, disappearance of species of living organisms. Extinction occurs as a result of changed conditions to which the species is not suited. followed by physical guidance.
Interventionists. Interventionists participating in the current study included a paraprofessional paraprofessional
1. a person who is specially trained in a particular field or occupation to assist a veterinarian.
2. allied animal health professional.
3. pertaining to a paraprofessional. (for Rob) and a teacher (for Travis). These interventionists were chosen because they were the individuals who interacted with the student during the transitions in which challenging behavior occurred. That is, these interventionists delivered the request to transition from one activity to another during their daily schedules which resulted in challenging behavior from the target student. In addition, the teacher and paraprofessional requested that they participate as the interventionist to facilitate consistency when the project had been concluded. All interventionists were trained to use both interventions two days prior to intervention. Training consisted of (a) listening to a description of the procedures, (b) practicing implementing the procedures by role playing role playing,
n in behavioral medicine, learning exercise in which individuals assume characters different from their own. The individual may also be asked to simulate a particularly difficult situation and apply the characteristics that are common to his with one of the authors, and (c) role playing with another student not participating in the study.
The dependent variable was percent of successful transitions (i.e., compliance to a low-probability request). A successful transition was defined as independently walking from point A (i.e., place of the request) to point B (i.e., new activity or area) without engaging in challenging behavior. In addition, percent compliance to high-p requests served as a dependent variable. The independent variables included high-probability requests and preferred item as a distractor.
Low-probability request. The low-probability (low-p) request was defined as the requests that, when presented to the student, predictably produced challenging behavior. A low-p request is an instruction or request which the participant has a history of responding to less than 40% of the opportunities. For the purpose of this study, all low-p requests were a request to move from one area or activity to another, that is, a request to transition. For example, during the transition from the bus to the classroom, Rob predictably engaged in challenging behavior when the adult stated, "It is time to go into the classroom."
High-probability request sequence. A high-probability (high-p) request sequence is a set of (3 to 5) instructions or requests to which the participant has a history of responding, delivered immediately prior to a low-p request. A high-p request is a request to which a student responds correctly during 80% to 100% of the opportunities. A pool of high-p requests were determined for each participant by first interviewing school staff and parents. Each high-p request reported by parents and school staff was then validated val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. by the interventionist delivering approximately 10 opportunities for each high-p requests across three school days. Those requests in which the student responded to 80% of the opportunities or better were included in the final pool of high-p requests. High-p requests included but were not limited to, "Give me five," "Stomp your feet," and "Touch your [body parts]" for Rob, and "Give me five," "Point to the paper," "Pick up the [school materials]" for Travis. An example of the implementation of t his intervention is located in Table 1.
Preferred item as a distractor. A preferred item as a distractor involves the delivery of a preferred item to distract the child from conditions associated with challenging behavior (i.e., low-p requests). That is, immediately prior to the teacher delivering a request to transisiton, she delivered the preferred item as a distractor to the participant. Each student's "preferred items" were determined through: (a) interviews with their respective special education teachers, his paraprofessional, and his parents, (b) direct observations at free play and other activities during the day, and (c) forced choice procedures. Preferred items identified for Rob included a favorite peer, a stopwatch, blowing bubbles bubbles
symbolic of transitoriness of life. [Art: Hall, 54]
See : Brevity , a blue race car, a digital watch, and a magnifying glass magnifying glass: see microscope.
traditional detective equipment; from its use by Sherlock Holmes. [Br. Lit.: Payton, 473]
See : Sleuthing . Travis' preferred items included a running watch, locker Things commonly known as lockers include:
Data were collected during transitions occurring throughout the day that had been associated with problem behavior. Given that one of the purposes of this research was to examine the practicality of the use of the two interventions by teachers, data were collected in natural opportunities. Therefore, rather than setting a specific number of opportunities per day, data were collected when the identified transition occurred. This resulted in transitions occurring on the average of five times per day (range from two to six) according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the student's schedule. An event recording system was used to collect data on both participants' successful transitions (dependent variable). The data collected included: (a) the transition that occurred, (b) the intervention that was used, and (c) whether or not the student responded correctly to the request to transition. In the case of the high-p sequence, data were also collected on the students' responses to the high-p requests. A successful transition was marked by a "+" an d an unsuccessful transition was marked by a "-".
Data were collected on each intervention's procedure. For high-probability requests, data were collected on the (a) delivery of the high-probability request, (b) interprompt time between the delivery of the high-p requests, (c) delivery of the low-p request, and (d) interprompt time between the last high-p request and the low-p request. For the preferred item as a distractor, data were obtained on (a) delivery of the preferred item prior to the request to transition, and (b) the child's actions on or use of one of the identified preferred items.
Data collectors included two graduate students in special education for Rob and one of the authors and a paraprofessional for Travis. Functional assessment information was collected by one of the graduate students for Rob and one of the authors for Travis. Data were collected for both participants during the last three months of school (March, April and May).
Design and Procedural Overview
Initially, a functional assessment was implemented with each participant to isolate isolate /iso·late/ (i´sah-lat)
1. to separate from others.
2. a group of individuals prevented by geographic, genetic, ecologic, social, or artificial barriers from interbreeding with others of their kind. the function of challenging behavior. Subsequently, a comparison of the effects of high-p requests and using a preferred item as a distractor in promoting an increase in successful transitions were evaluated by using a within-subject, alternating treatments design. Treatments were randomized ran·dom·ize
tr.v. ran·dom·ized, ran·dom·iz·ing, ran·dom·iz·es
To make random in arrangement, especially in order to control the variables in an experiment. across all transitions (teaching opportunities) that occurred during each day of intervention. Additionally, for one student a final condition examining the effects of the preferred item as a distractor only was implemented.
Pre-assessment. Prior to the implementation of the intervention, an A-B-C assessment was used in an attempt to identify the stimuli (antecedents and consequences) that surrounded sur·round
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. transitions. For both children, the A-B-C assessment identified that requests to transition resulted in challenging behavior and failure to independently transition from one activity to another. As a result, low-p requests were identified. See Behavioral Definitions for complete definition of low-p requests. Identified transitions for Rob included: (a) moving from the bus to the school building, (b) moving from the hallway to the regular education classroom, (c) going to circle or large group, (d) moving from a large group to a small group activity, (e) moving from the special education classroom back to the regular education classroom, (f) moving from outdoor play back to the regular education room, and (g) moving from the bathroom back to the classroom. Identified transitions for Travis included: (a) moving to the discourse room (a n instructional computer system), (b) moving back to the classroom from the gym, (c) moving out to the bus to go home, (d) moving to lunch, and (e) changing from reading to computer time.
Baseline The horizontal line to which the bottoms of lowercase characters (without descenders) are aligned. See typeface.
baseline - released version . During baseline, the interventionist delivered a low-p request. That is, the interventionist asked the student to transition from one activity to another. The delivery of requests occurred naturally at the onset of a transition. If the student did not successfully complete the transition (respond to the low-p request), the interventionist was instructed to treat the transition as she typically would. This resulted in verbally and physically prompting the student to his destination.
Intervention. The setting and the context of the activities remained the same as in the baseline. However, the interventionist was instructed to deliver either a high-p request sequence or preferred item as a distractor immediately prior to a request to transition. It should be noted that the interventionist was instructed prior to the transition which intervention to use by the primary data collector. Using the high-p request procedure, the interventionist initiated a sequence of high-p requests prior to the low-p request. The sequence of events in the implementation of high-p requests included: (a) delivering three high-p requests (e.g., "Give me five," "Clap your hands," "Let me see you hop") selected from each participants' pool; (b) delivering verbal or gestural praise (i.e., thumbs up, wink A short control signal in telephony operations. It can be a single pulse, a brief interruption of a continuous tone, a change of bits or a change in polarity of the signal. For example, a momentary interruption (the wink) of a continuous, single-frequency tone is a signal that the , head nod) for each performance of a high-p request; and (c) delivering the low-p request (e.g., "Let's go Let's Go may refer to: Television
During the preferred item as a distractor procedure, the interventionist delivered a preferred item (e.g., a clipboard) immediately prior to the delivery of the low-p request (i.e., "Here is the clipboard, it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to go into the classroom"). If the student engaged in challenging behavior prior to the delivery of a low-p request, the interventionist paused 5 seconds, did not deliver the intervention, and verbally and physically prompted the student to the next activity. This was done to avoid reinforcing a chain of behaviors that included: (a) challenging behavior, (b) delivery of the intervention, (c) physical assistance.
Measures of Social Validity
Social validity measures were obtained to help determine the practicality of the interventions when used in classroom settings. Social validity measures in Rob's classroom were obtained using a survey (see Figure 1) comprised of eight questions on which the service personnel either rated the question on a 1-to-5 rating scale or circled one of two response choices. Measures of social validity for interventions used with Travis were (a) the survey used previously, as well as (b) direct observations of the teachers during transitions. As with Rob's interventionists, Travis' interventionists were asked to complete the survey on the last day of the data collection. In addition, four weeks after the study was completed in Travis' classroom, a new observer was sent to observe the classroom under the auspices aus·pi·ces 1
Plural of auspex.
under the auspices of with the support and approval of [Latin auspicium augury from birds]
Noun of a college "class assignment." This observer had no known connection to authors other than being a student in the first author's graduate class. The observer used data collection procedures that had been imple mented during intervention. Data were collected on (a) the proportion of transitions in which the interventionist used one of the interventions, (b) whether or not the interventions were successful, and (c) whether or not the interventions were delivered correctly.
Procedural reliability was assessed during 25% of all opportunities and was calculated by using an [Agreements/Agreements + Disagreements] x 100 formula. Procedural reliability was recorded as an agreement if the observer recorded the correct delivery of the intervention prior to the low-p request, and the delivery of the designated low-p request. For the high-p intervention data were collected on the (a) delivery of the designated high-p's. (b) delivery of social praise (e.g., thumbs up, "good job") for performance of the high-p request, and (c) delivery of the designated low-p request within 10 seconds of the social praise for performance of the last high-p request. For the distractor intervention data were collected on the (a) delivery of the designated preferred item as a distractor, and (b) delivery of the distractor before the low-p request. Procedural reliability for the high-p intervention was 100% across all three categories for both participants. For preferred item as a distractor, procedural reliab ility for delivery of the designated preferred item was 100% for both participants while procedural reliability for the delivery of the distractor prior to the low-p request was 100% for Rob and 98% for Travis. That is, Travis' interventionist once stated the low-p request before she delivered the distractor to the student, "Travis, it is time to line up for the bus. Here is the clipboard."
Interobserver agreement was collected on the participants' responses to (a) high-p requests, (b) acceptance of the distractor, and (c) requests to transition (i.e., low-p requests). Interobserver agreement for particpant's responses were collected on at least 25% of the opportunities for each condition for each participant. For Rob, interobserver agreement for responses was collected on 27%, 30% and 30% of the opportunities for baseline, HPR (High-Performance Routing) Extensions to IBM's APPN networking that enable SNA data to be sent over frame-based (Ethernet, etc.) and cell-based (ATM) networks. , and Distractor, respectively. For Travis, interobserver agreement for responses was collected on 27%, 25%, 25%, 27% and 27% of the opportunities for each of the conditions. It should be noted that reliability was collected on the percentage of opportunities across a condition. For example, Travis had 40 opportunities in the HPR condition, 25% of which interobserver agreement was collected (10 opportunities). Therefore, interobserver agreement for low-p responses are reported as one score. Interobserver agreement for responses to high-p requests was 98% and 100% for Rob a nd Travis, respectively. Agreement for acceptance of distractor was 100% for Rob and 100% for both conditions in which the distractor was presented for Travis. Interobserver agreement for responses to the low-p requests was 100% for Rob for each of the conditions. For Travis, interobserver agreement for response to low-p requests was: 100% for baseline, 90% for the HPR intervention, 90% for the Distractor intervention, 100% for return to baseline, and 100% for the Distractor only condition.
Results of the high-probability request sequences and the preferred item as a distractor for Rob are represented in Figure 2. During baseline, Rob successfully transitioned from one area or activity to another during 1 of 15 opportunities (a range of 0% to 20% with a mean of 7%). The percent of successful transitions in baseline was low and stable. Increases in Rob's responses to low-p requests (i.e., a request to move from one area or activity to another) occurred after high-p request sequences were delivered by the interventionist (a range of 80% to 100% with a mean of 94%) across blocks of five opportunities. Responses to requests to transition remained high throughout the high-p sequence condition. Responses to high-p requests for Rob averaged 97% across all blocks of five and ranged from 87% to 100%.
Increases in successful transitions also occurred when preferred item as a distractor was delivered. Rob's responses to requests to transition when using the preferred item as a distractor ranged from 60% to 100% with a mean of 91%. Although the mean percent of successful transitions was high when the distractor intervention was delivered, some variability was displayed in the last three data points.
A secondary analysis of Rob's intervention data was conducted to determine if noncompliance noncompliance
failure of the owner to follow instructions, particularly in administering medication as prescribed; a cause of a less than expected response to treatment.
noncompliance might be attributable to a specific transition. That is, when noncompliance occurred was it associated with one or two specific transitions. The analysis found noncompliance to be evenly distributed across transitions for either intervention (i.e., HPR or Distractor). In fact, no two occurrences of Rob's noncompliance occurred across any one transition.
Figure 3 presents a graphic representation of Travis' performance. During baseline, Travis successfully completed a mean of 10% of transitions across all baseline sessions (range 0% to 40% of opportunities). The percent of successful transitions was variable but low. Similar to Rob, upon the implementation of the high-p request sequences, Travis' responding to low-p requests (i.e., requests to transition) increased to a mean of 72.5% (ranging from 40% to 100%) of opportunities. Responses to high-p requests were high and stable ranging from 87% to 100% with a mean of 97% of the opportunities. Increases in successful transitions also occurred when the preferred item as a distractor was implemented. Travis' responses to low-p requests in this condition ranged from 60% to 100% and averaged 87.5% of the opportunities. Upon a return to baseline, Travis' responding decreased to a mean of 26.6% (ranging from 20% to 40%) of the opportunities. When the distractor intervention was implemented alone, Travis' responding t o requests to transition increased to an average of 86.6% of opportunities.
A secondary analysis was conducted to determine if the noncompliance during intervention was associated with any specific transition. As with Rob, noncompliance for both interventions were evenly distributed across transitions. When the interventions were examined individually, no two occurrences of noncompliance occurred during any one transition. When all transitions were examined as a whole, noncompliance was evenly distributed across all transitions (i.e., 2 per transition).
Surveys were given to four of the service personnel, including the interventionist, who worked with Rob. Teachers gave an average rating of 4.75 (excellent) to the question, "To what extent was the intervention successful?". Questions regarding the successfulness of individual interventions yielded a mean rating of 4.5 for both the distractor and the high-p sequence. When asked, "would you use the [intervention] in the future?," all participants answered yes for both interventions. Finally, when given a choice between the two interventions, three of the four participants (including the interventionist) selected high-p request sequences as the intervention they would use in the future.
Results of the social validity measures for Travis are displayed in Figure 4. Each probe constituted 4 hours of classroom observation. Generally, the results suggest that the interventionist chose to use one of the proactive interventions rather than no intervention during 13 of 15 transition opportunities. Of these 13 opportunities, 9 involved the use of high-probability request sequences while 4 involved the use of preferred item as a distractor.
The results of this study indicate that the two interventions, high-p sequences and preferred item as a distractor, were effective in increasing the percent of successful transitions for two young students with behavior problems. Additionally, results from the social validity survey of Rob's teachers and the direct observations conducted of Travis' teachers indicate the use of these two interventions are socially valid and, to that end, practical for teachers to use on a daily basis in their classroom. This study replicates and extends the literature in two separate but distinct ways. First, the effectiveness of these two antecedent-based interventions have been empirically validated. Second, steps were taken to measure the social validity of these interventions by teachers.
As a result of the low percent of successful transitions prior to intervention, the amount of time the paraprofessional or special education teacher spent attempting to get the two students off the floor and to their destination had drastically dras·tic
1. Severe or radical in nature; extreme: the drastic measure of amputating the entire leg; drastic social change brought about by the French Revolution.
2. limited the amount of time the students were able to participate in given activities. In addition, the extreme noncompliance exhibited by the students during trasitions, if continued, would have severely limited their access to various environments. As the students grew older and larger, the educators working with these students simply could not continue to physically prompt (i.e., move) the students to their next activity without risking injury to themselves. Results of the current investigation suggest that a practitioner could use either of the interventions to increase successful transitions, thereby generating additional time that could be spent in educational activities and reducing the liklihood of injury. What is not clear are the effects of these two intervent ions when used alone. Clearly, a limitation to this study is the use of an alternating treatments design and the possibility of multi-elements treatment interference. In particular for Rob, since both interventions yielded similar results and a reversal was not conducted, we are unable to state conclusively con·clu·sive
Serving to put an end to doubt, question, or uncertainty; decisive. See Synonyms at decisive.
con·clusive·ly adv. that one is more effective than the other or comment on the effectiveness of one intervention used without the other. However, the use of high-p request sequences has been well documented to increase responding among young children (Davis et al., 1992, 1994; Ducharme & Worling, 1994; Singer, Singer, & Horner, 1987). Given the literature in this area, we can state with relative assurance that high-p requests alone are an effective antecedent-based strategy that increase responding to requests. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , there are few studies that examine the use of the antecedent strategy of preferred item as a distractor. The results of this study are encouraging regarding the use of this strategy to increase responding to requests in a transition setting; however, we cannot speak to the effectiveness of this strategy used in isolation on a daily basis with Rob. That is, if this strategy were the only intervention used by the interventionist, would the same strength of effectiveness be the result?
For Travis, we attempted to validate To prove something to be sound or logical. Also to certify conformance to a standard. Contrast with "verify," which means to prove something to be correct.
For example, data entry validity checking determines whether the data make sense (numbers fall within a range, numeric data this strategy in isolation and control for multi-element interference. After returning to baseline and implementing a preferred item as a distractor only phase, Travis' appropriate transitions increased. This condition, although not conclusive Determinative; beyond dispute or question. That which is conclusive is manifest, clear, or obvious. It is a legal inference made so peremptorily that it cannot be overthrown or contradicted. , supports the use of a distractor in isolation. Future investigations should continue to examine the successful use of these two interventions and control for multi-element interference by including within subject reversals or conditions that either maintain a baseline comparison or test one intervention in isolation.
The second area in which this study extends the literature is that of obtaining some measure of social validity. For Rob, we attempted to obtain some measure of social validity by asking the service providers (i.e., teachers, paraprofessionals, and speech pathologist pa·thol·o·gist
A specialist in pathology who practices chiefly in the laboratory as a consultant to clinical colleagues.
Pathologist ) to rate the effectiveness of the interventions. Although the service providers rated both interventions as successful, it is interesting to note that all of the service providers in a forced choice rated high-p request sequences as the intervention that they would most likely use in the future. This is surprising given the amount of effort it takes to deliver the high-p request sequences compared to the preferred item as a distractor. To deliver the distractor, the interventionist delivers one prompt; to deliver the high-p request sequence, the interventionist must deliver at least three prompts prior to the delivery of the request to transition (i.e., low-p request). The preferred item as a distractor intervention appears to require the least a mount of interventionist effort.
In Travis' case, we attempted to obtain observational data to determine which intervention strategy was more likely to be maintained. One month after the study had concluded in Travis' classroom, a new observer (who was not previously associated with the provision of technical assistance) was sent in to observe the classroom under the auspices of a college "class assignment." The information validated the continued use of the two interventions after the end of the study. This information suggests that while practitioners might state that they would use the interventions in the future, in the case of these two interventions with this practitioner, she actually did continue both interventions. Results of the current investigation suggest that teachers maintain their implementation of antecedent-based strategies after the removal of technical assistance associated with the antecedent-based procedural implementation. Future investigations might address the influence that this type of activity and the teacher's av ailability might have on the selection and use of each of the two intervention strategies addressed in the current study.
Future research should compare the use of multi-component and single component interventions using dependent measures that not only address student outcomes but also "instructional efficiency" from a teacher's perspective. Most intervention studies intervention studies,
n.pl the epidemiologic investigations designed to test a hypothesized cause and effect relation by modifying the supposed causal factor(s) in the study population. presume pre·sume
v. pre·sumed, pre·sum·ing, pre·sumes
1. To take for granted as being true in the absence of proof to the contrary: We presumed she was innocent. that the interventionist is highly motivated mo·ti·vate
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
mo to implement the intervention procedure being examined. Offering teachers choices among viable procedures may allow teachers to better match an instructional procedure with their teaching style. Little is known about the effect of choice-making on teacher performance. Future investigations should focus on identifying what variables influence whether or not teachers use or continue to use specific interventions.
This study continues to support high-probability request research and extends the preferred item as a distractor research by demonstrating that a distractor or high-p requests can be used to increase a student's responsiveness to requests during undesired events and activities that he typically tries to escape or avoid. These procedures will offer teachers and parents an easy, efficient, and antecedent way to increase positive responses to requests during transitions (i.e., moving from one area or activity to another). Finally, and most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , the use of these interventions might increase the child's probability of independent functioning and successful integration into the classroom and community.
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1. The act or an instance of generalizing.
2. A principle, a statement, or an idea having general application. of responding to requests in young children with behavior disorders behavior disorder
1. Any of various forms of behavior that are considered inappropriate by members of the social group to which an individual belongs.
2. A functional disorder or abnormality. . Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 905-916.
Davis, C. A. & Reichle, J. (1996). Variant variant /var·i·ant/ (var´e-ant)
1. something that differs in some characteristic from the class to which it belongs.
2. exhibiting such variation.
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fading skin coloring. See Arabian fading syndrome (below). Declining in body condition, general health, activity and productivity.
Arabian fading syndrome
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Table 1. High-probability requests implementation example. Request (high and low-p) Student Response "Give me five." High-p S. gives T. five "Touch your [body part]." High-p S. touches body part "Point to your shirt." High-p S. points to shirt "Walk into the classroom." Low-p S. walks to classroom Request (high and low-p) Teacher Response "Give me five." High-p T. praises S. response "Touch your [body part]." High-p T. praises S. response "Point to your shirt." High-p T. praises S. response "Walk into the classroom." Low-p T. praises S. response