Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

James Todd, PhD,

Committee Member

Renee Lajiness-O’Neill, PhD

Committee Member

Kenneth Rusiniak, PhD

Committee Member

Angela Capuano, PhD, BCBA-D

Comments

Motor stereotypy is a common, skill disruptive behavior exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) is the delivery of incompatible demands contingent on motor stereotypy, which is gaining support for reducing these behaviors. However, RIRD has limitations with generalization as behaviors often return to baseline levels post-treatment. Stimulus control (SC) training followed by generalization probing (GP) have been implemented with other behavior-reduction strategies to help counter these difficulties; however, no published studies have assessed the effects of RIRD with these procedures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of RIRD in combination with SC training and GP using a changing-criterion design for children with ASD during their early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) programming. Six children with ASD were assigned across three conditions: a) experimental (RIRD + SC + GP), b) traditional treatment (RIRD + GP), and a c) clinical control (EIBI + GP) group. Results demonstrated that RIRD + SC + GP produced immediate reductions in motor stereotypy to near zero rates during treatment, with reductions maintaining post-treatment. Participants receiving this intervention package also met mastery criteria across four generalization conditions in the clinic setting in fewer sessions. Results of this study extend the literature by emphasizing the utility of combining SC procedures and probing for generalization when implementing RIRD to reduce motor stereotypy. Considerations of using SC training and avenues for future research are discussed.

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