Blue Light Covers Increase Stereotypy and Decrease On-Task Behavior for Students with Autism

  • Sacha T. PenceEmail author
  • Reginna Wagoner
  • Claire C. St. Peter
Brief Practice


Some recommended strategies for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not empirically based. The purpose of the study was to evaluate effects of blue light covers on levels of stereotypy and on-task behavior. Four male children with ASD who engaged in repetitive behavior participated. Placing light covers over the classroom’s fluorescent lights relative to normal classroom lighting did not improve on-task behavior or stereotypy.


Autism Light covers Problem behavior Sensory integration Stereotypy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for all participants included in this study.


  1. Barton, E. E., Reichow, B., Schnitz, A., Smith, I. C., & Sherlock, D. (2015). A systematic review of sensory-based treatments for children with disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 37, 64–80. Scholar
  2. Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2017). Professional and ethical compliance code for behavior analysts. Retrieved from
  3. Case-Smith, J., Weaver, L., & Fristad, M. A. (2015). A systematic review of sensory processing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 19, 123–148. Scholar
  4. Green, V. A., Pituch, K. A., Itchon, J., Choi, A., O’Reilly, M., & Sigafoos, J. (2006). Internet survey of treatments used by parents of children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 70–84. Scholar
  5. Kodak, T., & Carroll, R. A. (2017). Substantiated and unsubstantiated interventions for individuals with ASD. In J. Matson (Ed.), Handbook of treatments for autism spectrum disorder (pp. 17–40). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Linderman, T. M., & Stewart, K. B. (1999). Sensory integrative-based occupational therapy and functional outcomes in young children with pervasive developmental disorders: A single-subject study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 53, 207–213. Scholar
  7. Reichow, R., Barton, E. E., Neely Sewell, J., Good, L., & Wolery, M. (2010). Effects of weighted vests on the engagement of children with developmental delays and autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 25, 3–11. Scholar
  8. Slocum, T. A., Detrich, R., Wilczynski, S. M., Spencer, T. D., Lewis, T., & Wolfe, K. (2014). The evidence-based practice of applied behavior analysis. Behavior Analyst, 37, 41–56. Scholar
  9. Sniezky, C. J., & Zane, T. L. (2015). Investigating the effects of sensory integration therapy in decreasing stereotypy. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 30, 13–22. Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership and CounselingDrake UniversityDes MoinesUSA
  2. 2.Monongalia County SchoolsMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

Personalised recommendations