Interventions for Repetitive Behavior in Young Children with Autism: A Survey of Behavioral Practices
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display social-communication deficits and present with rigid and repetitive patterns of behavior and/or interests (RRBIs). Compared to interventions for social-communication skills, less attention has been given to RRBIs, especially with regard to interventions for young children. We surveyed 128 behavior analysts who implemented interventions for young children with ASD on their use of 16 practices and one assessment for the treatment of RRBIs. The majority of our sample perceived the practices to be effective in producing sustainable behavior change. Behavior analysts generally responded in the same way to items about reinforcement-based practices, punishment-based practices, and a group of commonly packaged antecedent and consequence-based package components. Implications and future directions are discussed.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Repetitive behavior Restricted interests Stereotypy Young children Behavioral treatment
TJR, WM, and LLM conceptualized and designed the study. TJR and SGH created and validated the survey, ran the analyses, and wrote the manuscript. AC assisted in data analysis and manuscript preparation.
The first author received funding through the Engaging New Leaders in Implementation Science Training Leadership Grant of the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs during survey item creation and data collection. The third author received faculty research funds from the College of Education at the University of Oregon for subject honorarium. The second author presented these data at a symposium session at the 44th annual Association for Behavior Analysis in San Diego, California in May 2018.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
There are no potential conflicts of interest to report.
Research involving human participants
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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