Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #180
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advances in Treating Stereotypic Behavior
Sunday, May 26, 2019
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom D
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
CE Instructor: Jacquelyn M. MacDonald, Ph.D.
Abstract: Motor and vocal stereotypy can be stigmatizing for people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It is important to find socially valid interventions to promote socially appropriate behavior while decrease stereotypic behavior. This symposium will discuss recent research focused on decreasing stereotypy. Each study will discuss alternative appropriate behavior. Children and adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder participated in these studies. Two of the studies examined interventions to decrease motor stereotypy while one study examined an intervention to decrease vocal stereotypy. Interventions included using stereotypy as a reinforcer for alternative behavior, sibling-implemented response interruption and redirection, and using auditory stimulation to decreased vocal stereotypy. When stereotypy was used as reinforcer, stereotypy decreased and functional engagement increased. When siblings were trained to implement response interruption and redirection during playtime, stereotypy decreased for both participants and functional communication increased for one participant. When a competing item was identified, vocal stereotypy decreased significantly for one participant and to a more moderate degree for two participants. In all three studies, stereotypy decreased in varying degrees for all participants and appropriate behavior increased. Limitations of the current research and areas for future research will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Competing items, functional engagement, RIRD, stereotypy
Target Audience: Symposium will be targeted towards BCBAS working with children and adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe an intervention to use stereotypy as a reinforcer. 2. Participants will describe recent research outlining the use of a competing item to decrease vocal stereotypy. 3. Participants will describe recent research on sibling implemented response interruption and redirection.
An Investigation of Auditory Stimulation on Vocal Stereotypy
SAMANTHA VOLPE (Endicott College / Elwyn NJ ), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: Autism has always been characterized in part by the presence of repetitive, nonfunctional behaviors. In 1943, Leo Kanner was the first person to describe repetitive, ritualistic behavior to be one of the hallmark characteristics of an autism spectrum disorder. Today, restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior are still a cornerstone of the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD; APA, 2013). This focus on repetition, manifested in insistence on routine or the drive to engage in repetitive behaviors, can significantly impact academic achievement, eating, sleeping, and typical activities of daily living or self care (APA, 2013; Dyer, 1987; Matson, Kiely, & Bamburg, 1997). We sought to confirm that each participant’s vocal stereotypy was automatically maintained through the use of the functional analysis screening procedure (Querim et al, 2013). Then, through the use of a competing stimulus assessment, identify a stimuli that effectively competed with each learner’s vocal stereotypy.
Using Stereotypy as Reinforcement for Alternative Behaviors in a Chained Schedule
KATIE JOHNSON (University of Missouri-Columbia), Casey J. Clay (University of Missouri), SungWoo Kahng (Rutgers University)
Abstract: Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) engage in stereotypy or repetitive behavior typically maintained by automatic reinforcement. Chronic stereotypy, especially at high frequencies, can interfere with learning and cause social stigmatization. Response blocking and response interruption and redirection (RIRD) have been found to be effective for reducing motor and vocal stereotypy. Previous literature has also evaluated stereotypy as reinforcement for alternative behaviors, such as functional play or work tasks. The current study sought to replicate and extend previous studies by evaluating the effectiveness of a chained schedule on gaining stimulus control over motor and vocal stereotypy and increasing the complexity of novel alternative behaviors (Slaton & Hanley, 2016). Participants include two children with autism who engaged in motor and vocal stereotypy. Preliminary results indicate that chained schedules are effective at reducing stereotypy during the s-delta and increasing the complexity of novel alternative behaviors. These findings emphasize the importance of providing contingent access to stereotypy when attempting to gain stimulus control and highlights the ability of skill acquisition of novel behaviors during the s-delta.
Teaching Children to Implement Response Interruption Redirection to Reduce Siblings’ Stereotypy
KAITLYN MILES (Regis College), Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College)
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy impacts the lives of many individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Current research supports the use of response interruption and redirection (RIRD) to decrease stereotypy (Ahearn, Clark, & MacDonald, 2007). We taught neurotypical children to implement RIRD with their sibling diagnosed with an ASD. We used a multiple baseline design across participants to evaluate sibling implemented RIRD on vocal stereotypy emitted by the individuals with an ASD with two sibling dyads. In each dyad, one of the participants was diagnosed with an ASD. Prior to implementing the RIRD procedure, siblings completed behavioral skills training (BST) to learn how to implement RIRD. Results demonstrated that neurotypical children learned how to implement RIRD with their siblings with an ASD. The rates of stereotypy exhibited by the children with ASD decreased following sibling-implemented RIRD. Additionally, the rates of appropriate vocalizations slightly increased from baseline levels for one participant.



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