• The practical application of a meta-analysis of deinstitutionalization : adaptive behaviour outcomes and the piloting of a transitional questionnaire for adults with intellectual disabilities

      Hamelin, Jeffery P.; Centre for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      This investigation examined the effects of de institutionalization on the adaptive behaviour and adjustment of adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). In study 1, a meta-analysis was conducted with 23 studies on deinstitutionalization adaptive behaviour outcomes. Deinstitutionalization was associated with modest improvements in adaptive behaviour however outcomes varied across adaptive behaviour domains and other substantive variables. Clinical and service implications of these results were explicated. Noting the trends from the meta-analysis, study 2 used this information in refining and piloting an Agency Transition Survey used to evaluate community transitions for persons with ID. Information derived from the survey was found to be valuable and adequate for the effective evaluation of transitional success. Potential applications of the survey and meta-analysis results were illustrated.
    • An analysis of the systemic aspects of rights training for people with intellectual disabilities

      Mullins, Laura.; Centre for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) as a group have been subject to abuse. Individuals with ID need to be made aware of their rights. The 3Rs: Rights, Respect and Responsibility Human Rights Project is promoting rights awareness in individuals with ID, their caregivers and family members. To be effeCtive, abuse prevention must include support from the whole organization and its processes. This research evaluated the impact of the 3Rs initiative on the organization. It focused particularly on descriptions of organizational change perceived by full-time staff and managers in response to the initiation of the 3Rs Project. Behavioural interviews were conducted and a thematic analysis was used to describe changes in the organizational culture and behavioural mechanisms maintaining these changes. Systemic barriers to change were also explored. The results indicate that the Association is effectively implementing and supporting the rights-based philosophy.
    • Using fuction-based CBT with parent involvement to treat OCD in two school-age children with high-functioning autism

      McCambridge, Shauna.; Centre for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves excessive worry coupled with engaging in rituals that are believed to help alleviate the worry. Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PODs) are characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication, and the presence of repetitive and/or restrictive behaviours (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Research suggests that as many as 81% of children with a POD also meet criteria for a diagnosis ofOCD. Currently, only a handful of studies have investigated the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in treating OCD in children with autism (Reaven & Hepburn, 2003 ; Sze & Wood, 2007; Lehmkuhl, Storch, Bodtish & Geflken, 2008). In these case studies. the use of a multi-modal CBT treatment package was successful in alleviating OCD behaviours. The current study used function-based CBT with parent involvement and behavioural supplements to treat 2 children with POD and OCD. Using a multiple baseline design across behaviours and participants, parents reported that their child 's anxiety was alleviated and these gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. According to results of the Children 's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Goodman, Price, Rasmussen, Riddle, & Rapoport, 1986) from preto post-test, OCD behaviours of the children decreased II"om the severe to the mild range. In addition, the parents rated the family's level of interference related to their child 's OCD as substantially lower. Last, the CBT treatment received high ratings of consumer satisfaction.
    • Teaching sexual abuse prevention skills to two children with intellectual disabilities through game play

      Johnston, Melissa; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      The current study examined the effectiveness of a sexual abuse prevention program developed locally for children with intellectual disabilities. The program package included a board game with informational storybooks that were designed to be used in a family setting. Additionally, this research sought to determine if parents could be effective at presenting the sexual abuse pr~vention materials to their children. A multiple baseline across behaviours design was used with two participants with a diagnosis of autism. Through role play scenarios as well as verbal knowledge tests, it was determined that the program was effective at teaching the participants the skills presented for self protection. It was also determined that the skills learned were generalized to scenarios that were untrained during the game play. Finally, with additional supports, it was determined that parents were able to effectively teach their children the required skills.
    • Field effectiveness of stimulus equivalence for teaching reading skills to children with autism

      Giewercer, Lisa; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      Stimulus equivalence involves teaching two conditional discriminations that share one stimulus in common and testing all possible conditional discriminations not taught (Saunders & Green, 1999). Despite considerable research in the laboratory, applied studies of stimulus equivalence have been limited (Vause, Martin, Marion, & Sakko, 2005). This study investigated the field-effectiveness of stimulus equivalence in teaching reading skills to children with Autism. Participants were four children with Autism receiving centre-based intensive behavioural intervention (lBI) treatment. Three of the participants, who already matched pictures to their dictated names, demonstrated six to eight more emergent performances after being taught only to match written words to the same names. One participant struggled with the demands of the study and his participation was discontinued. Results suggest that stimulus equivalence provided an effective and efficient teaching strategy for three of the four participants in this study.
    • A comparison of functional behaviour assessment rating scales in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders

      Maire, Lisa K.; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This study sought to compare the results of the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS; Durand & Crimmins, 1988), Questions About Behavior Function Scale (QABF; Matson & Vollmer, 1996) and Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST; Iwata & Deleon, 1996), when completed by parent informants in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who display challenging behaviour. Results indicated that there was low agreement between the functional hypotheses derived from each of three measures. In addition, correlations between functionally analogous scales were substantially lower than expected, while correlations between non-analogous subscales were stronger than anticipated. As indicated by this study, clinicians choosing to use FBA questionnaires to assess behavioural function, may not obtain accurate functional hypotheses, potentially resulting in ineffective intervention plans. The current study underscores the caution that must be taken when asking parents to complete these questionnaires to determine the function(s) of challenging behaviour for children/youth with ASD.
    • Promoting parent-therapist collaboration in intensive behavioural intervention programs : exploring estrategies to improve teamwork

      MacDonald, Melissa; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This qualitative study investigated senior level staff (Senior Therapists), front-line staff (Instructor Therapists), and parent perspectives on parent-therapist collaboration within Intensive Behavioural Intervention settings. Two senior staff interviews, two parent interviews, and a focus group with therapists were conducted to examine how parents and therapists currently interact within IBI settings, parent and therapist expectations of each other, factors that promote and barriers that impede parent-therapist collaboration, and how parent-therapist collaboration might be improved. A constant comparative analysis by question within and across cases revealed five prominent themes of 'Role Definition', 'Perspective-taking/Empathy', 'Trust', 'Open Communication', and 'Consistency'. Additional similarities and differences were discovered between parent and therapist perspectives such as the need for clear parentprofessional boundaries, the importance of maintaining client privacy, and respect. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
    • An exploration of interdisciplinary practice through an examination of specific disciplinary interpretations of stereotypic behaviour

      Bruni, Teryn Patricia; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      As identified in the literature, a lack of understanding of the functional properties and triggers of stereotypic behaviour exists. When looking at this behaviour from an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) framework, limitations are evident around identifying specific sensory modalities and functional properties of such behaviour. Antecedents particularly are difficult to identify and interpret. Therefore an interdisciplinary approach to assessment using two types of professional services commonly received by individuals with autism was proposed. However before this approach could be investigated the current interpretations of Stereo typic behaviour by each professional must be examined along with perceptions of interdisciplinary collaboration. The purpose of this study was to use an in-depth qualitative analysis to reveal the interpretations of stereotypy and collaboration from the perspectives of two particular professionals. The results of the study demonstrated that occupational therapists and behaviour analysts likely have different interpretations of the same behaviour,that consultation is the common model used to interact with other disciplines, and that professionals may have mixed feelings toward interdisciplinary practices as an approach to stereotypic behaviour. Strengths and limitations of the study were highlighted along with specific directions for future research.
    • Predictors of primary health care utilization by former residents of institutions in Ontario

      Cox, Alison; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      For years institutionalization has been the primary method of service delivery for persons with developmental disabilities (DD). However, in Ontario the last institution was closed on March 31, 2009 with former residents now residing in small, communitybased homes. This study investigated potential predictors of primary health care utilization by former residents. Several indirect measures were employed to gather information from 60 participants on their age, health status, adaptive functioning level, problem behaviour, mental health status and, total psychotropic medication use. A direct measure was used to gather primary health care utilization information, which served as the dependent variable. A stepwise linear regression failed to reveal significant predictors of health care utilization. The data were subsequently dichotomized and the outcomes of a logistic regression analysis indicated that mental health status, psychotropic medication use and, an interaction between mental health status and health status significantly predicted higher primary health care usage.
    • Deinstitutionalization and community inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in Ontario : a case analysis

      Ebrahimi, Mana; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      In the last few decades, there have been significant changes in the way people with intellectual disabilities (ID) live in many countries around the world. Large isolated institutions have been replaced by community-based housing. This study examined the deinstitutionalization process in Ontario and it's effects on the lives of three individuals with ID. A case analysis approach was used allowing for in depth evaluation of the quality of life of these participants following their discharge with a focus on family involvement, community engagement, and choice making. A discrepancy analysis between the Essential Elements Plan (EEP), constructed when they were entering the community placement, and the current living arrangements was also done. The results of this study suggested that with community living comes improvements in family interactions, community engagement, and decision-making. However, these improvements were found to be minimal. Also, little discrepancy was found between the EEPs and their actual placements.
    • Effectiveness of personal planning for residents re-entering the community during the facility initiative in Ontario

      Jansz, Chrystal E. R.; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      This paper reports on the relocation of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) from large-scale provincially run institutions that took place in Ontario as part of the Facility Initiative. Three case studies were examined in order to report on this process as experienced by those who lived and worked through it. Specifically, the planning process conducted by the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) to assist each person with hislher transition to community living was examined using the current standard of practice in person- centered planning approaches. Effectiveness was evaluated as the ability to apply a person-centered approach across settings and people, as well as what factors facilitated or hindered its application. Results show that, in general, the personal plans do not appear to reflect the pre-transition experience of the person. Also, the transitional planning process did not appear person-centered nor facilitate further person-centered planning in the community.
    • Teaching persons with intellectual disabilities and limited receptive and expressive communication how to recognize and assert their human rights

      Wiersma, Michelle; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) are far more likely to be abused than the general population, but there is little research on teaching people with ID about their rights. The goal of this study was to teach four participants with ID and limited communication abilities about their human rights by training them on specific rights topics. The training program included icebreaker activities, instruction on rights concepts, watching and answering questions about videotaped scenarios of rights restrictions, watching and answering questions about role pl ay scenarios of rights restrictions, and responding to brief, low risk in situ rights restrictions imposed by the researchers. Participant performance did not improve significantly or consistently from baseline to training on the questions asked about the videotaped or the role play scenarios, but two of three participants demonstrated defmite improvements in responding to in situ rights restrictions.
    • Health-Enhancing Physical Activity and Well-Being: Is it How Often, How Long, or How Much Effort that Matters? A Test of Basic Psychological Needs Theory

      Sylvester, Benjamin; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-10-06)
      The primary objectives of the present study were 1) to examine the relationship between health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) and well-being across the previous day and 2) to examine the role of basic psychological need satisfaction as a potential mediator of the HEPA – well-being relationship. Participants (N = 203) were a convenience sample of undergraduate students with data collected cross sectionally. HEPA was generally associated with well-being (r‟s ranged from .18 to .62). Multiple mediation analyses supported psychological need satisfaction as mechanisms underpinning the HEPA – well- being relationship. Subsequent analyses demonstrated that effort put forth in HEPA activities, as opposed to frequency or duration, uniquely predicted well-being. The role of effort was further highlighted in the multiple mediation analyses. As such future research may wish to investigate the utility of a HEPA program that facilitates effortful engagement and fulfillment of basic psychological needs.
    • Dyad function-based cognitive behavioural therapy as a treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder in two school aged children with high functioning autism

      Rombough, Elizabeth; Center for Applied Disability Studies (2012-03-30)
      Children with High-Functioning Autism (HF A) are more vulnerable to developing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) than typically developing children and those with Low-Functioning Autism (Gadow et al., 2005). This study used a multiple baseline design across behaviours (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007) to investigate if a two phase function-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) would decrease obsessive compulsive behaviours (OCBs) in two children ages 7 and 9 who met criteria for OCD and HF A. This multimodal treatment package consisted of treatment enhancements to meet the children's cognitive, linguistic, and social challenges associated with their HF A diagnosis, as well as a manual and accompanied children's workbook (Vause, Neil, & Feldman, in progress). In line with previous research conducted on CBT as a treatment for OCD in this population (e.g., Wood et at, 2009), the children in this study experienced clinically significant decreases in their OCBs as a result of receiving the CBT protocol.
    • Functional analysis and treatment of OCD-related behaviour in a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

      Sheen, Heather; Center for Applied Disability Studies (2012-04-02)
      Research indicates that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD; DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000) is the second most frequent disorder to coincide with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; Leyfer et aI., 2006). Excessive collecting and hoarding are also frequently reported in children with ASD (Berjerot, 2007). Although functional analysis (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) has successfully identified maintaining variables for repetitive behaviours such as of bizarre vocalizations (e.g., Wilder, Masuda, O'Connor, & Baham, 2001), tics (e.g., Scotti, Schulman, & Hojnacki, 1994), and habit disorders (e.g., Woods & Miltenberger, 1996), extant literature ofOCD and functional analysis methodology is scarce (May et aI., 2008). The current studies utilized functional analysis methodology to identify the types of operant functions associated with the OCD-related hoarding behaviour of a child with ASD and examined the efficacy of function-based intervention. Results supported hypotheses of automatic and socially mediated positive reinforcement. A corresponding function-based treatment plan incorporated antecedent strategies and differential reinforcement (Deitz, 1977; Lindberg, Iwata, Kahng, and DeLeon, 1999; Reynolds, 1961). Reductions in problem behaviour were evidenced through use of a multiple baseline across behaviours design and maintained during two-month follow-up. Decreases in symptom severity were also discerned through subjective measures of treatment effectiveness.
    • Psychotropic medication use by adults with intellectual disabilities living in community settings

      Sokolowski, Tanya Christa; Center for Applied Disability Studies (2012-04-02)
      This study examined the variables related to psychotropic medication use among 73 adults with intellectual disabilities living in community residential settings in Ontario, Canada over a one-year period based on staff reports. Despite only 16% percent having a documented psychiatric diagnosis, 84% of these individuals were receiving psychotropic medications, and 74% were receiving two or more psychotropic medications (polypharmacy). Anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety medications, and anti-convulsant medications were the most frequently reported drug classes. While problem behaviour was reported for 60% of the participants, only 33% had a formal behaviour plan. There was a significant relationship between the reported number of problem behaviours and the reported number of prescribed psychotropic medications. Reported medication reviews did not adhere to the Canadian 'Consensus Guidelines for the Primary Care of Adults with Developmental Disabilities' (Sullivan et aI., 2006). Results, based on staff reports, suggested incongruence with recommended best practices, and raised concern about over-reliance on psychotropic medication with these individuals. Keywords: intellectual disabilities, psychotropic medication, problem behaviour
    • Family attitudes toward the deinstitutionalization of individuals with developmental disabilities in Ontario : a quality of life analysis

      Kosmopoulos, John; Center for Applied Disability Studies (2012-04-02)
      The deinstitutionalization of individuals with developmental disabilities to community-based residential services is a pervasive international trend. Although controversial, the remaining three institutions in Ontario were closed in March of 2009. Since these closures, there has been limited research on the effects of deinstitutionalization. The following retrospective study evaluated family perceptions of the impact of deinstitutionalization on the quality of life of fifty-five former residents one year post-closure utilizing a survey design and conceptual quality of life framework. The methods used to analyze the survey results included descriptive statistical analyses and thematic analyses. Overall, the results suggest that most family members are satisfied with community placement and supports, and report an improved quality of life for their family member with a developmental disability. These findings were consistent with previously published studies demonstrating the short-term and long-term benefits of community living for most individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
    • Exploring the Perceptions of Cultural Competence Among Personal Support Workers in an Ontario Long-Term Care Home: A Case Study

      Tayab, Aysha; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2012-05-18)
      Personal Support Workers (PSWs) spend a large amount of time with long-term care (LTC) home residents providing assistance with their activities of daily living. The s limited research on their perceptions of cultural competence presents the need to bridge this knowledge gap. The researcher conducted a qualitative case study at a LTC home in Ontario. Data were collected by conducting a policy document analysis, a key informant interview with the Director of Care (DOC), and two focus groups with PSWs. The five major overarching themes were: The Culture of the LTC Home, Provision of a Supportive Environment, Collaborative Team Approach to Care, Building a Relationship with the Residents, and Maintenance of Staff Morale. The findings illuminated the broad nature of culture, connections to person centered care, and the factors that facilitate or hinder PSWs’ culturally competent care. The ambiguous perception of cultural competence among PSWs suggests further research and education on cultural competence in LTC home settings.
    • Detectives and Superheroes: A Pilot Study Teaching Flexible Thinking in Social Situations to a Child with High Functioning Autism

      Baker, Kelly Elizabeth; Center for Applied Disability Studies (2012-10-12)
      Complex social-cognitive deficits are common in individuals diagnosed with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome. Research on effective and evidence-based social interventions is needed for this population. This study focused specifically on the challenges these individuals face with respect to flexible thinking and related flexible behaviour in social situations. Madrigal and Winner's (2008) Superflex curriculum - targets social flexibility, however at the time of this study no published research had been conducted to determine the effectiveness of this approach. This study was a pilot study, which sought to examine the impact of the Superflex curriculum within a 10-week training program in teaching one individual with high functioning autism how to think and behave flexibly in social situations. Multiple measurement tools were utilized, and analyses within and across the measures revealed inconsistencies, especially with respect to generalization. Although preliminary, this study provided valuable information for subsequent research.
    • Clinician-Perceived Bridges and Barriers to Parental Implementation of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): An evaluation.

      Pessah, Danielle; Center for Applied Disability Studies (Brock University, 2013-01-14)
      Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an augmentative and alternative communicative system that improves communication and decreases problem behaviors in children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism. The mediator model is a validated approach that clinicians use to train parents to perform evidence-based interventions. Parental non-adherence to treatment recommendations is a documented problem. This qualitative study investigated clinician-perceived factors that influence parental adherence to PECS recommendations. Three focus groups (n=8) were conducted with Speech Language Pathologists and Behavior Therapists experienced in providing parents with PECS recommendations. Constant comparison analysis was used. In general, clinicians believed that PECS was complex to implement. Thirty-one bridges were identified to overcome complexity. Twenty-two barriers and 6 other factors also impacted parental adherence. Strategies to address these factors were proposed based on a review of the literature. Future research will be performed to validate these findings using parents and a larger sample size.