Effects of a Family-Implemented Treatment on the Repetitive Behaviors of Children with Autism
The restricted and repetitive behaviors of children with autism can interfere with family functioning as well as learning and socialization opportunities for the child. To date, neither pharmacological nor comprehensive behavioral treatments have been found to be consistently effective at significantly reducing children’s engagement in repetitive behaviors. We developed Family-Implemented Treatment for Behavioral Inflexibility (FITBI) to target the full variety of repetitive behaviors found in autism. For the current study, a therapist and parents of five children with autism (mean age = 48 months) co-implemented FITBI in a clinic setting over a 12-week treatment period. Using single case design methodology, significant reductions in repetitive behaviors were found for all participants and maintenance of treatment effects for 4 of 5 participants.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Repetitive behaviors Treatment
Development of this paper was partially supported with internal funding from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Azrin, N. H., Besalel, V., Jamner, J. P., & Caputa, J. N. (1988). Comparative study of behavioral methods of treating severe self-injury. Behavior Resident Treatment, 3, 119–152.Google Scholar
- Bodfish, J. W., Symons, F. J., & Lewis, M. H. (1999). The Repetitive Behavior Scales (RBS). Western Carolina Center Research Reports.Google Scholar
- Boyd, B. A., Rupp, B., & Bodfish, J. W. (2010). Direct observation of repetitive behaviors in autism. Unpublished manual, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
- Dawson, G., Rogers, R., Munson, J., Smith, M., Winter, J., Greenson, J. et al. (in press). Randomized, controlled trial of the Early Start Denver Model, a developmental behavioral intervention for toddlers with autism: Effects on IQ, adaptive behavior, and autism diagnosis. Pediatrics, published online. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-0958.
- Holman, J., Goetz, E. M., & Baer, D. M. (1977). The training of creativity as an operant and an examination of its generalization characteristics. In B. C. Etzel, J. M. LeBlanc, & D. M. Baer (Eds.), New developments in behavior research, theory, method and application. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Horner, R. H., Carr, E. G., Halle, J., McGee, G., Odom, S., & Wolery, M. (2005). The use of single subject research to identify evidence-based practice in special education. Exceptional Children, 71, 165–179.Google Scholar
- Kratochwill, T. R., Hitchcock, J., Horner, R. H., Levin, J. R., Odom, S. L., Rindskopf, D. M., et al. (2010). Single-case designs technical documentation. Retrieved from What Works Clearinghouse website: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/wwc_scd.pdf.
- Lam, K. S. L., Holtzclaw, T. N., Baranek, G. T., & Bodfish, J. W. (2005). Early developmental patterns of repetitive behavior, aberrant behavior, and executive function deficits in autism spectrum disorders. Paper presented at thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Gatlinburg conference.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. C., & Risi, S. (2002). Autism diagnostic observation schedule. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Noldus. (1991). The observer. Wageningen, The Netherlands: Noldus Information Technology.Google Scholar
- Peters-Scheffer, N., Didden, R., Green, V. A., Sigafoos, J., Korzilius, H., et al. (2008). The behavior flexibility rating scale-revised (BFRS-R): Factor analysis, internal consistency, inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, and convergent validity. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29, 398–407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sparrow, S., Cicchetti, D., & Balla, D. (2005). Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, second edition: Survey forms manual. Minneapolis, MN: Pearson, Inc.Google Scholar
- Strain, P. S., Kohler, F. W., & Gresham, F. (1998). Problems in logic and interpretation with quantitative syntheses of single-case research: Mathur and colleagues (1998) as a case in point. Behavioral Disorders, 24(1), 74–85.Google Scholar
- Wink, L. K., Erickson, C. A., & McDougle, C. J. (in press). Pharmacologic treatment of behavioral symptoms associated with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Current Treatment Options in Neurology.Google Scholar