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INCREASING RESPONSE DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

Authors


  • We thank the Strong Children's Research Center for funding this research, Troy Zarcone for his helpful comments in the development of this study, and Jonathan Breidbord for his graphics support. We also thank the Greece Central School District and Monroe #1 BOCES for allowing us to conduct the study in their schools and the children and their families for participating in the study.

Address correspondence to Deborah A. Napolitano, Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, 601 Elmwood Ave., Box 671, Rochester, New York 14642 (e-mail: deborah_napolitano@urmc.rochester.edu).

Abstract

Repetitive and invariant behavior is a diagnostic feature of autism. We implemented a lag reinforcement schedule to increase response diversity for 6 participants with autism aged 6 to 10 years, 4 of whom also received prompting plus additional training. These procedures appeared to increase the variety of building-block structures, demonstrating that an intervention that includes differential reinforcement can increase response diversity for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

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