Individualizing Functional Assessments for Children with Autism: The Contribution of Perseverative Behavior and Sensory Disturbances to Disruptive Behavior

R. Matthew Reese, David M. Richman, Jennifer Zarcone, Troy Zarcone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

A functional assessment interview (O'Neill et al., 1997) was conducted with the care providers of 100 young (2 to 5 years old) children with autism regarding reinforcement contingencies contributing to maintenance of their child's disruptive behavior. Care providers were interviewed regarding their child's disruptive behavior related to gaining attention and tangibles and escaping demands. In addition, we individualized the interview in more detail to include the possible relationship between their child's disruptive behavior and gaining access to perseverative activities, avoiding demands when engaged in perseverative activities, and avoiding specific types of sensory stimulation. Results of the study suggest that gaining access to perseverative activities and escaping demands while engaged in these activities frequently contribute to disruptive behavior in young children with autism. These findings are discussed in terms of assessment considerations and treatment for children with autism and other types of syndromes and disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

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