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Keywords:

  • autism;
  • automatic reinforcement;
  • differential reinforcement;
  • television;
  • vocal stereotypy

Abstract

A 6-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with autism participated in a pilot study that showed that (a) television was associated with increased vocal stereotypy and (b) sitting was associated with lower levels of vocal stereotypy. Subsequently, we reduced vocal stereotypy while the television was on by reinforcing sitting on a variable-interval schedule. Results suggest that conditional percentages may be useful for the identification of alternative behaviors as part of treatments for stereotypy.