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Effects of the Elimination of Stereotypy on the Emission of Socially Appropriate Verbal Interactions for Students with Autism Who Have Audience Control

Han, Helena

I tested the effects of contingent auditory feedback on the elimination of stereotypy in a delayed non-concurrent multiple probe design with multiple treatment reversals, counterbalanced across 2 male elementary school students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Experiment I. My findings supported evidence for the effectiveness of contingent addition or removal of auditory stimuli (Hugh-Pennie, 2006) in reducing the frequency levels of stereotypy and increasing self-awareness of one's own stereotypic behaviors. In addition, generalization effects were demonstrated as a result of the shift of the discriminative stimulus (SD) from the presentation of the auditory feedback device to the presence of the experimenter. Thus, the stimulus control of a verbal audience in one setting (with a direct intervention) transferred to another setting (i.e., the instructional periods) without a direct auditory feedback intervention. However, during the 3-month follow-up probes, both participants' frequency levels of stereotypy returned to the initial levels. As an extended test of auditory feedback, Experiment II used a within-subjects delayed non-concurrent multiple probe design with multiple treatments across 4 participants, who had audience control, to test the effects of contingent auditory feedback on the elimination of stereotypy and the emission of socially appropriate verbal exchanges (i.e., conversational units) during academic, lunch, and recess periods in the mainstream general education settings in the presence of typically developing peers. All participants were diagnosed with ASD and attended a combined 3rd to 5th grade self-contained special education classroom in a public elementary school. The results of Experiment II showed a functional relation between the implementation of auditory feedback procedure in mainstream general education settings and the increased emission and initiation of socially appropriate verbal exchanges by both the typically developing peers and the participants as the participants' emission of stereotypy decreased. In addition, generalization effects were demonstrated in the self-contained special education settings in the absence of typically developing peers without a direct intervention (i.e., all participants' emission of stereotypy decreased while their initiation of conversational units with peers increased).

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, R. Douglas
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014