Identification of olfactory stimuli as reinforcers in individuals with autism: a preliminary investigation



Preference for six olfactory stimuli was assessed via paired preference assessments with three adults with autism. Using a combination multielement and reversal design, a reinforcer assessment was then conducted to determine the extent to which three (high preference, medium preference, and low preference) of the six olfactory stimuli evaluated in the preference assessment functioned as reinforcers for responding in the context of a sorting task. Relative to baseline, all of the participants exhibited increased responding for access to their high preference olfactory stimulus. The utility of olfactory stimuli as components of behavior intervention plans is discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.