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ASSESSMENT OF PROBLEM BEHAVIOR EVOKED BY DISRUPTION OF RITUALISTIC TOY ARRANGEMENTS IN A CHILD WITH AUTISM

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  • Manuscript preparation was supported by Grants P01 HD055456 and R01 HD049753 from the Eunice K. Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NICHD.

Address correspondence to Iser G. DeLeon, Neurobehavioral Unit, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 N. Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 (e-mail: deleon@kennedykrieger.org).

Abstract

A functional analysis suggested that the problem behavior of a 9-year-old girl with autism was maintained by gaining the opportunity to restore ritualistic toy arrangements that had been disrupted. Functional communication training and extinction produced clear decreases in problem behavior in 2 contexts: 1 in which we removed a play item, and 1 in which we merely relocated the item and blocked its rearrangement.

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