Behavioral Interventions

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Volume 8 Issue 4 (October 1993), Pages fmi-fmi, 227-288

Integrating instructional procedures into traditional congregate care situations for people with severe disabilities (pages 243-262)

Abstract

Many institutional and community residential agencies experience difficulties in providing habilitative services when direct care staff are working with groups of people with severe disabilities. We evaluated a means of assisting direct care personnel in integrating instructional strategies into traditional congregate care situations. In Experiment 1, integrated teaching strategies were operationalized for two direct care staff persons. The strategies were based on individualized client habilitative goals and the use of brief response prompting and contingent reinforcement paradigms. The staff members integrated the teaching procedures into their group routines with clients upon implementation of an integrated‐teaching staff training and management program. The program involved two staff training sessions and ongoing performance feedback. In Experiment 2, four staff members in another living unit integrated the strategies into their group routines upon implementation of a simplified version of the program. Additionally, while the program was in effect, adaptive behaviors increased in frequency for 19 of 20 clients with profound multiple disabilities. Results of the experiments demonstrate a means through which residential agencies may enhance provision of continuous active treatment in accordance with clinical and governmental guidelines. Suggestions for future rescarch are provided, focusing on overcoming obstacles residential personnel face in providing treatment services in congregate situations.

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