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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #52
CE Offered: BACB
Interventions for Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Children with Developmental Disabilities
Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
214B (CC)
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University)
Discussant: Marc J. Lanovaz (Universite de Montreal)
CE Instructor: Nicole M. Neil, M.A.
Abstract: Researchers describe repetitive behaviors on a continuum with motoric repetitive behaviors (e.g. stereotyped movements and self-injury) anchoring the “lower-order” repetitive behaviors and more complex behaviors (e.g., ordering, checking, washing, rituals involving another person) that are routinely observed in persons with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) anchoring the “higher-order” repetitive behaviors. Individuals with developmental disabilities are at an increased risk for both higher-order and lower-order repetitive behavior and the prevalence of repetitive behaviors are negatively correlated with intellectual ability (McClintock, Hall, & Oliver, 2003). This symposium will describe research findings from several intervention studies, which involve higher-order repetitive behaviour in children with developmental disabilities including Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first presentation describes the results of a preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial of a group Function-Based Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (GFb-CBT) package to reduce Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviour (OCB) in children with ASD. The second presentation will describe the results of studies investigating functional analysis and function-based intervention for repetitive behavior among individuals with Down syndrome. We will highlight some of the issues in diagnosing and intervening on obsessive-compulsive behavior in individuals with developmental disabilities.
Keyword(s): Autism, Compulsions, Down Syndrome, Repetitive Behavior
Group Function-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Children with Autism
Tricia Corinne Vause (Brock University), HEATHER YATES (Brock University), Nicole M. Neil (The Graduate Center of The City University of New York), Naomi Johnson (Brock University), Grayzna Jackiewicz (Brock University), Maurice Feldman (Centre for Applied Disability Studies, Brock University)
Abstract: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) frequently experience obsessions and/or compulsions that are similar to those specified in DSM-V (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, little research exists on effective interventions for OCD-like behaviors (referred to as obsessive compulsive behaviours; OCBs) in ASD. This presentation will discuss a preliminary randomized control trial (N = 14) that demonstrates that use of a manualized Function-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Fb-CBT) to significantly decrease OCBs in school-age children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD in comparison to the Treatment As Usual group. Our adapted 9-week treatment package included: psychoeducation and mapping, cognitive and behavioural skills training, exposure plus response prevention, positive reinforcement, and function-based assessment and intervention. This presentation will present pre-post data and highlight the results of an 11 year-old male with ASD and OCBs who participated in group Fb-CBT. We demonstrated the effects of treatment using a multiple-baseline design, and the participant showed clinically significant decreases in OCB as measured by parent ratings. This multi-component treatment package shows considerable promise in reducing OCBs in school-aged children with ASD.
Repetitive Behavior in Children with Down Syndrome: Functional Analysis and Treatment
NICOLE M. NEIL (The Graduate Center of The City University of New York), Emily A. Jones (Queens College, The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Abstract: While repetitive behavior is not considered a defining characteristic of Down syndrome, many children with Down syndrome frequently emit some form of repetitive behavior that interferes with daily functioning and may cause social stigma (e.g. teeth grinding, object arrangement). In this presentation, we will review data from several studies in which we used analogue functional analyses to evaluate the reinforcers maintaining repetitive behavior among 3 children with Down syndrome. Following identification of functions, we used an ABAB design and multiple-baseline designs to demonstrate the effectiveness of function-based interventions in reducing repetitive behaviors. Following intervention, repetitive behavior decreased to near-zero levels and parents reported decreases in interference of these behaviors. This study extends current functional analysis methodologies to decrease repetitive behavior for learners with Down syndrome. We will highlight how information about the Down syndrome behavior phenotype can aid in hypotheses about functions of behavior and designing function-based interventions learners with Down syndrome



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