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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #172
CE Offered: BACB
Direct and Indirect Effects of Treating of Vocal Stereotypy With Matched Stimulation, DRO, and Response Interruption
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
205 (CC)
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Discussant: William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
CE Instructor: Rebecca MacDonald, Ph.D.
Abstract: Vocal stereotypy maintained by automatic reinforcement is a common and challenging form of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Unlike other forms of stereotypy which can be physically disrupted, therapists must rely exclusively on arranging competing sources of reinforcment and punishment to eliminate these behaviors. The three papers presented in this symposium compare variations of these intervention procedures for vocal stereotypy and examine collateral changes in on-task behavior and language aquisition.
A Comparison of Effects Related to Motor and Vocal Response Interruption and Redirection
CANDICE L. COLON (The New England Center for Children), Berglind Sveinbjornsdottir (New England Center for Children), Morgan Kinshaw (New England Center for Children), Lynn Andrejczyk (New England Center for Children), Kathleen M. Clark (The New England Center For Children), William H. Ahearn (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: Past research has shown that response interruption and redirection (RIRD) effectively decelerate automatically reinforced behavior. Ahearn et al. (2007) used RIRD for vocal stereotypy (VS). They found that it decreases VS and sometimes leads to increased appropriate verbal behavior. However, no current studies have examined whether nonvocal demands contingent upon VS would be effective in decreasing vocal stereotypy and increasing appropriate vocalizations. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effects of motor RIRD and vocal RIRD in relation to VS and appropriate speech in children with ASDs. Three children have participated and additional children are enrolled in the study. Following a baseline assessment of VS and verbal responding, one of the procedures was introduced. Following an assessment of functional control over responding the other procedure was implemented. An ABABACAC design was used. Results indicate that, for participants completing the study thus far, both motor RIRD and vocal RIRD produced significantly lower levels of VS and increased appropriate vocalizations for all participants. However, for 1 participant compliance with demands was highest during the motor RIRD condition.
Abatement of Intractable Vocal Stereotypy Using an Overcorrection Procedure
JESSE ANDERSON (Child Study Center), Duy Dang Le (Child Study Center)
Abstract: We conducted a series of reversals to compare the effects of 4 different treatments on vocal stereotypy emitted by a 7 year-old boy with autism. The results showed that (a) level of vocal stereotypy decreased during exposure to matched stimulation, but returned to high levels immediately upon its removal, (b) stereotypy did not significantly decrease during DRO, and (c) contingent withdrawal of movies (i.e., response cost) was only moderately effective. However, positive practice overcorrection, combined with differential reinforcement of compliance, decreased vocal stereotypy by clinically significant levels and increased engagement in academic tasks.
Assessing the Impact of Various Types of Auditory Stimuli in Reducing Vocal Stereotypy in Learners With Autism
MARY JANE WEISS (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Kimberly Sloman (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Jill A. Szalony (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Centers, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Robert LaRue (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Suzannah J. Ferraioli (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that providing access to auditory stimuli (e.g., music, toys with sounds) may decrease vocal stereotypy (e.g., Rapp, 2007). When auditory stimuli successfully compete with vocal stereotypy, therapists may provide clinical recommendations such as providing noncontingent access to music (e.g., via headphones) or using differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) procedures in which music is delivered for the absence of stereotypy for some a specified period of time. Few studies have evaluated the differential effects of various types of auditory stimuli on vocal stereotypy. Furthermore, it is unknown whether competing auditory stimuli interfere with instructional opportunities and skill acquisition. The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the effects of noncontingent access to a variety of auditory stimuli (i.e., preferred music, non-preferred music, white noise, recordings of vocal stereotypy) on the occurrence of automatically reinforced vocal (and motor) stereotypy in individuals with autism. In addition, the purpose of the investigation is to determine the compatibility of this intervention with ongoing instructional activities. Data collection is ongoing. Learners participate in 5 minute sessions across the different types of auditory stimuli. Data that are collected and that will be summarized include: the rate of stereotypic behaviors and levels of engagement and attending in each condition.



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