Many individuals with autism display associated symptoms of the disorder, including challenging behavior such as aggression and self-injury. The typical progression of treatment is as follows: (a) initial medical/psychological evaluations, (b) assessment of environmental determinants, (c) individualized treatment development, and (d) caregiver training and treatment generalization. This presentation will describe several case examples in which this general pattern of assessment and treatment was applied across a range of problem behaviors. Specifically, case examples will be presented for self-injury/self-restraint, aggression/disruption, food selectivity, and pica. In considering each case, attention will be given to the various decision-making procedures that underlie the successful remediation of these behaviors (e.g., ruling out a physiological underpinning of the behavior). Video of pre- and post-treatment behaviors will augment the oral presentation. In addition, the presentation will review recent findings on the pharmacological and behavioral treatment of challenging behavior within this population. The overarching goal of this presentation is to enhance the audience member’s knowledge of current approaches to the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior.
Review Henry S. Roane’s biographical statement.