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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #253
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research on Establishing Stimulus Control of Stereotypy in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sunday, May 24, 2020
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 207B
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tina Sidener (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
CE Instructor: Meghan Deshais, Ph.D.

This symposium will include two data-based presentations on establishing stimulus control of stereotypy in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The first study evaluated the effects of a multiple schedule arrangement and RIRD with three preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder. In the RIRD component, the sleeve was worn, and stereotypy resulted in RIRD. In the “free access” component, the sleeve was not worn, and free access to stereotypy was provided. Multiple exemplar training and an arm sleeve were used to program for generalization. Generalization was assessed with novel activities. Following discrimination, the sleeve was systematically faded to a bracelet, and follow up probes were conducted. This arrangement resulted in a decrease in the percentage of the RIRD components with stereotypy. The second study was a comparison of the effects of a multiple schedule and chain schedule arrangement on the motor stereotypy of an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder. In contrast to previous research, results showed similar effects of both arrangements on motor stereotypy. Our discussant, Dr. Megan Deshais, will review these studies.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): chain schedule, multiple schedule, RIRD, stereotypy
Target Audience:

BACBs, graduate students, researchers

Effects of a Multiple Schedule with RIRD on Stereotypy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASHLEY CALLAHAN (Caldwell University), Tina Sidener (Caldwell University), Ruth M. DeBar (Caldwell University), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University), Heather Pane (Caldwell University)
Abstract: Although some behavioral interventions have been used to decrease motor and vocal stereotypy, they may not result in generalization or maintenance of treatment effects. One potential solution to this is a multiple-schedule arrangement; however, the research on multiple-schedule arrangements has not resulted in specific clinical guidelines for facilitating generalization or maintenance. The current, ongoing study evaluated multiple schedules with RIRD and promote generalization and maintenance with three children with autism spectrum disorder. First, experimental functional analyses conducted with each participant suggested automatic reinforcement functions for stereotypy. Next, a multiple schedule was used to bring motor and vocal stereotypy under stimulus control of an arm sleeve. In the RIRD component, the sleeve was worn, and stereotypy resulted in RIRD. In the “free access” component, the sleeve was not worn, and free access to stereotypy was provided. Data show that this arrangement resulted in a decrease in the percentage of the RIRD components with stereotypy. Following discrimination, the RIRD component was gradually increased, and the free access component was gradually decreased. Generalization was programmed for by conducting sessions during two types of activities (e.g., academic demands, play); generalization was assessed with different activities. Maintenance was programmed for via systematic fading of the sleeve to a bracelet and assessed during follow-up probes.
Establishing Stimulus Control of Motor Stereotypy in an Adolescent with Autism
CAROLINE FEARNLEY (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University), Cammarie Johnson (The New England Center for Children; Western New England University)
Abstract: Multiple-schedule and chained-schedule arrangements were used in a multielement and reversal design to compare baseline measures of stereotypy to treatment levels in a 17-year-old boy diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Both schedules contained one component with contingencies to decrease stereotypy (S-), and another component with contingencies that allowed for the occurrence of stereotypy (S+). Specific colored cards were associated with each component of each schedule. Interobserver agreement and procedural integrity data, collected in at least 33% of all sessions, exceeded 95%. The results showed differential latencies to first response and levels of stereotypy in the S+ and S- components of both schedules, indicative of stimulus control over stereotypy. Whereas previous researchers have suggested that chain schedule is more effective than multiple schedule (e.g., Slaton & Hanley, 2016), this study was a direct comparison of the two schedules and did not show evidence of one schedule being more effective than the other. Generality probes were conducted in a new context (completing academic work) and with the use of a differential reinforcement of other behavior and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior procedure and showed that the colored cards continued to exert control over stereotypy, to a degree similar to treatment.



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