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

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Paper Session #286
Treating Food Refusal
Sunday, May 28, 2017
4:00 PM–4:20 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
The Not-So-Hungry Caterpillar: A Unique Approach to the Treatment of Food Refusal
Domain: Service Delivery
AMANDA RADES (Firefly Autism), Rebecca Perry (Firefly Autism), Ken Winn (Firefly Autism)
Abstract: Food refusal is a significant issue for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One would be hard pressed to find more socially significant behavior to treat. Our unique approach included using escape extinction and shaping on food consumption. The intervention increased consumption of novel foods and decreased the frequency of food refusal behaviors for a five year old girl with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous procedures of escape extinction combined with positive reinforcement and novel food desensitization were ineffective in increasing consumption and resulted in an increase of food refusal behaviors. We will discuss the effectiveness of escape extinction and shaping for a client with a learned history of escape from novel and non-preferred foods. We will discuss our results from follow up sessions that were consistent with the initial treatment . We will also discuss how we were able to generalize across therapists and settings, including home and clinic. Discussion will include limitations to treatment and generalization as well as indications for future research on this important issue



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Modifed by Eddie Soh