|Reducing Stereotypy in Children With Autism
|Sunday, May 28, 2017
|4:00 PM–5:50 PM
|Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2C
|Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Jennifer L. Beers (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
|Discussant: Adel C. Najdowski (Pepperdine University)
|CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Beers, Ph.D.
Stereotypic behaviors are common in individuals with autism. Interventions to reduce stereotypy are often sought as stereotypy can be socially stigmatizing and interfere with the acquisition of other appropriate behaviors. For many individuals with autism, reducing stereotypy can be challenging as it is often maintained by automatic reinforcement. The specific reinforcer can vary based on the type of stereotypy and can often be difficult to identify, limiting replacement behaviors that may be targeted. This symposium presents four studies evaluating interventions to reduce stereotypy in children with autism. The first two studies evaluated the effects of noncontingent access to music on vocal stereotypy, examining different characteristics of the music used. The first study evaluated high-and low-preference music, and the second study evaluated different genres of music. The third study evaluated the effects of a self-managed differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) on various forms of stereotypy. The final study evaluated the use of a stimulus control procedure on the reduction of stereotypy.
|Instruction Level: Basic
|Keyword(s): matched stimulation, self-management, stereotypy, stimulus control
|The Effects of Noncontingent Access to Music on Vocal Stereotypy
|RACHEL STROMGREN (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), Jennifer L. Beers (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
|Abstract: Vocal stereotypy is a behavior that is commonly observed in individuals with autism and can limit appropriate social interactions as well as have a negative impact on learning. Noncontingent access to auditory stimulation in the form of listening to music can serve as matched stimulation and has been shown to decrease vocal stereotypy. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of noncontingent access to music played through headphones on vocal stereotypy as well as to compare the effects of listening to high- versus low-preference music. The results suggest that noncontingent access to music played through headphones decreased engagement in vocal stereotypy for all participants. The effect of high- versus low-preference music varied across participants.
The Effects of Noncontingent Access to Different Genres of Music on Vocal Stereotypy
|Sheila Goodman (The Chicago School, Los Angeles), JENNIFER L. BEERS (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Vocal stereotypy is a behavior observed in individuals diagnosed with autism and typically presents as episodes of acontextual repetitive vocal sounds, words, or phrases. Previous research has evaluated noncontingent access to music to reduce vocal stereotypy; however, little information is typically given about the type of music used. As such, the current study evaluated the effects of noncontingent access to different genres of music on vocal stereotypy in three young male children. Classical, pop, and rock music were evaluated. Preference of each genre was also assessed to identify possible correlations between preference and effectiveness. Noncontingent access to music was effective in reducing rates of vocal stereotypy. Differential effects based on genre were observed, and pop music was found to be most effective.
The Effects of Self-Management of a Momentary DRO on Stereotypy in Children With Autism
|MIGUEL FLORES (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jennifer L. Beers (The Chicago School, Los Angeles)
Individuals diagnosed with autism may engage in stereotypy, or repetitive patterns of behavior, throughout their day. Stereotypy may interfere with social and learning opportunities, affecting the individuals inclusion in typical settings; therefore, it is important to implement procedures that will reduce stereotypy. It can also be beneficial in an applied setting to have the individual manage his or her own intervention, allowing the clinician or caregiver to attend to other tasks. As such, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of self-management of a momentary differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure on stereotypy in children with autism. In this study, children were taught to independently self-manage a momentary differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure. The results demonstrated that upon implementation of the self-management procedures, a reduction in stereotypy was observed from baseline to the self-management condition as well as during follow-up. In addition, fidelity of the implementation of self-management procedures remained high. The results of this study support the use of self-management of a momentary differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure in applied settings to limit clinicians and caregivers need for continuous monitoring of the individuals behavior.
|Stimulus Control to Decrease Stereotypic Behaviors
|JILL L. MENGEL (Center for Autism and Related Disorders; Simmons College), Megan Maureen Maixner (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Elizabeth Meshes (Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Angela M. Persicke (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
|Abstract: Stereotypy is a common behavior among individuals with autism (APA, 2013) and can interfere with skill acquisition (Koegel & Covert, 1972). A functional analysis of stereotypic behavior confirmed that the stereotypy of two boys with autism was maintained by automatic reinforcement. Activity assessments identified high preference items that evoked stereotypy for each participant. A changing criterion design was used to evaluate stimulus control of stereotypy using a signal (i.e., colored wristbands) and vocal rule during inhibition and access conditions. Access to items that typically evoke stereotypic behaviors was provided contingent upon inhibition of stereotypy for the target duration. Results suggested that stimulus control procedures were effective to increase the latency to stereotypy during the inhibition condition for one participant, despite variable responding during the access condition. The stimulus control procedure resulted in substantially longer latencies to stereotypy during the inhibition condition and near zero latencies to stereotypy during the access condition for the second participant. Test probes following treatment resulted in longer latencies for all of the inhibition conditions compared to baseline. Generalization to maintenance tasks resulted in more variable data, but ultimately resulted in consistent inhibition of stereotypy for 11-14 min during maintenance tasks. The results of this study have implications for the use of stimulus control procedures in combination with contingent access to stereotypy as an effective intervention to increase inhibition of stereotypy for some participants.