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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #68
Examining Response Interruption and Redirection Methods
Saturday, May 27, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Haley Steinhauser (New England Center for Children; Western New Engla)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Gauthier, M.S.

Previous research demonstrates that response blocking and response interruption are effective treatments for behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement, such as stereotypy. These three studies further evaluated variations of the response interruption and redirection (RIRD) procedure described by Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, and Chung (2007). Gauthier and Ahearn assessed different levels of procedural integrity of the RIRD procedure in the treatment of vocal stereotypy. RIRD with diminished integrity suppressed stereotypy for some participants, but generally, full integrity resulted in more immediate suppression. Shawler, Dianda, and Miguel replicated and extended Love, Miguel, Fernand, and LaBrie (2012) in a comparison of RIRD and response competition in the treatment of vocal stereotypy. Significant stereotypy suppression was observed with one of the two participants in the response competition condition, but RIRD resulted in greater suppression for both participants. Steinhauser and Ahearn further evaluated the RIRD procedure in a systematic replication of Ahrens, Lerman, Kodak, Worsdell, and Keegan (2011) by comparing motor RIRD and vocal RIRD without prompting in the treatment of stereotypy. Both RIRD procedures reduced stereotypy with all participants, but the most effective procedure was idiosyncratic across participants.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): automatic reinforcement, response interruption, stereotypy
An Evaluation of Varying Integrity of Implementation of Response Interruption and Redirection on Vocal Stereotypy
KIMBERLY GAUTHIER (New England Center for Children; Western New Engla), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children; Western New Engla)
Abstract: Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) is common treatment for automatically maintained behavior such as stereotypy (Ahearn et al., 2007). RIRD is a variation of response blocking, shown to decrease automatically maintained behavior even at diminished integrity (Lerman & Iwata, 1996; Smith et al., 1999). The purpose of the current study was to assess RIRD at two levels of procedural integrity to evaluate whether the less intrusive procedure is effective in suppressing vocal stereotypy. An ABAB variant design, in which the B component was an alternating treatment comparison of two different levels of procedural integrity, was used. Treatment sessions alternated between implementing RIRD with 100% integrity by interrupting and redirecting all instances of vocal stereotypy and 33% integrity by interrupting and redirecting one out of every three instances. Results varied across participants. Generally, full integrity had a more immediate suppressive effect compared to diminished integrity. Results indicate that for some individuals, a less intrusive form of RIRD can be equally as effective in suppressing stereotypy.

Response Competition and Response Interruption and Redirectionas Treatment for Vocal Stereotypy

Lesley A. Shawler (Endicott College), MARIA CARAM (Easter Seals, Oklahoma), Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)

Stereotypy is defined as any repetitive vocal or motor behavior that does not have an apparent function. Two recent methods for treating stereotypy include response competition and response interruption and redirection (RIRD). The purpose of the current study was to replicate and extend results of Love, Miguel, Fernand, and LaBrie (2012) by directly comparing the reductive effects of RIRD and response competition separately on vocal stereotypic behaviors using a multielement with reversal design. Reductive effects between auditory and nonauditory toys within the response competition condition were also compared. Participants were one male and one female child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Results for both participants indicate a greater suppression of vocal stereotypy during RIRD. However, for participant two, there were also significant reductions in vocal stereotypy when she engaged with competing items that provided auditory stimulation. Finally, for both participants, there were some increases in appropriate vocalizations during treatment conditions. These findings support the results of previous literature on RIRD and matched stimulation as an effective method to reduce vocal stereotypy.

An Evaluation of Procedural Components of Response Interruption and Redirection
HALEY STEINHAUSER (New England Center for Children; Western New England University), William H. Ahearn (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Previous research demonstrates that response interruption and redirection (RIRD) can decrease stereotypy for individuals with autism (Ahearn, Clark, MacDonald, & Chung, 2007; Ahrens, Lerman, Kodak, & Keegan, 2011; Martinez & Betz, 2013). Ahrens et al. (2011) compared the effects of motor RIRD to vocal RIRD on both motor and vocal stereotypy using a prompting hierarchy. The purpose of the current study was to systematically replicate Ahrens et al. by comparing the efficacy of motor and vocal RIRD without prompting compliance with issued demands in the treatment of stereotypy. The participants included four males, between the ages of 15 and 21. The RIRD procedures were presented using an ABAB design with an alternating treatments analysis during the B condition. During both RIRD procedures, the therapist neutrally presented the corresponding RIRD demands upon the occurrence of stereotypy and presented demands until the participant complied with three consecutive responses in the absence of stereotypy. The results of the current study suggest that both motor and vocal RIRD, without prompting, can decrease stereotypy engagement with the most efficacious procedure being idiosyncratic across participants. Interobserver agreement was collected for a minimum of 30% of sessions with a range of 86% to 100%.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh