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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #214
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Automatically Maintained Stereotypy in Clinical and Community Settings
Sunday, May 27, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall C
Area: AUT/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Ashley Gleit (Georgia State University)
CE Instructor: Ashley Gleit, Ph.D.

The occurrence of automatically maintained challenging behavior presents a number of clinical problems related to efficiency in selecting interventions, as well as insuring effective interventions can be carried out in the natural context. Although a number of interventions are present in the literature, many of these demonstrations are carried out in tightly controlled clinical contexts. The following papers will provide suggestions for the efficient selection of interventions for automatically maintained behavior, as well as demonstrations of intervention methodologies that may be amenable to implementation in naturalistic contexts.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Assessment, automatic reinforcement, Intervention
Target Audience:

The target audience for this symposium will be practitioners who are working with clients/learners that engage in automatically maintained challenging behavior. Researchers interested in the assessment and treatment of automatically maintained behavior will also benefit from attendance.


The Effects of Noncontingent Music and Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy

ASHLEY GLEIT (Georgia State University; Kiddo's Clubhouse), Christopher A. Tullis (Georgia State University)

Vocal stereotypy is a commonly occurring challenging behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is frequently maintained by automatic reinforcement and often interferes with skill acquisition. Matched stimulation (MS), and response interruption and redirection (RIRD) are two interventions that have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the occurrence of vocal stereotypy with participants with ASD. Although both are effective, they may be limited by interrupted data-collection methods, and the cumbersome nature of the procedures. In the current study, a combination of MS in the form of noncontingent music and RIRD was more effective at reducing vocal stereotypy to support on-task behavior than RIRD alone when continuous data-collection procedures were implemented. The results suggested that the combined intervention resulted in greater suppression of vocal stereotypy and increased occurrences of on-task behavior in both participants. Additionally, RIRD required fewer implementations and had a shorter duration when combined with MS. Data suggest that the combination of MS and RIRD may be an effective intervention outside of controlled experimental settings.


Treatment Efficacy for Automatically Reinforced Stereotypy Based on Patterns of Responding in Assessments

LAUREN BEST (University of Georgia), Kara L. Wunderlich (University of Georgia)

Recent literature suggests categorizing behaviors maintained by an automatic function may increase treatment efficacy by allowing for faster identification of interventions that are likely to be effective. This has been demonstrated with automatic self-injurious behaviors (Berg, et al., 2016; Hagopian et al., 2015). To assess the generality of the model used by Berg et al., (2016), the current study examined its effectiveness for automatically maintained stereotypy in children with a diagnosis of autism. A functional analysis was conducted to determine that the stereotypy was maintained by automatic reinforcement. A concurrent operants assessment was also conducted with each participant as needed. An intervention based on the resulting pattern of responding was implemented, and data were analyzed to determine if the model's treatment recommendation was effective. The results varied, but the intervention prescribed by the pattern of responding was not always the most effective. The implications of and future directions for the application of this model to other topographies of automatically reinforced behaviors, such as stereotypy, will be discussed.


A Comparison of Multiple and Chain Schedules on Stereotypy and Task Completion During Response Interruption and Redirection

Kimberly Sloman (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center ), Dylan Zimmerman (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center ), Catherine Kishel (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center ), Jacqueline Smith (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center ), Kyung Mo Nam (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center), ALLISON HAWKINS (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center )

Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) is a common treatment used to decrease levels of automatically reinforced vocal stereotypy. During RIRD, when a learner engages in vocal stereotypy, they are interrupted and required to engage in a series of responses, which are incompatible with their vocal stereotypy (answering social questions, engaging in echoic responses), before being redirected to their current activity (Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, & Chung, 2007). The current available literature on RIRD supports the efficacy of RIRD in controlled setting, but less is known about the effectiveness of RIRD during typical academic and vocational tasks in the natural environment (Martinez and Betz 2013). Using stimulus control procedures implemented in a classroom, Slaton and Hanley (2016) found that blocking motor stereotypy was more effective when chain schedules were used rather than multiple schedules. The purpose of the present experiment is to replicate Slaton and Hanley (2016) using RIRD to decrease levels of vocal stereotypy in students with Autism Spectrum Disorder during academic and vocational school-based sessions. Results suggest that chain schedules are more effective at increasing task completion and decreasing stereotypy for participants.




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