Differences in Immediate and Subsequent Effects of Stimuli on Vocal Stereotypy Inform DRO and DRA Treatments
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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We conducted a series of studies on the immediate and subsequent effects of stimuli on vocal stereotypy exhibited by four children with disabilities. Results of Study 1 showed that vocal and motor stereotypy of all four participants persisted in the absence of sosial consequences. Results of Study 2 showed that a free-operant competing stimulus assessment (FOCSA) identified a high-preference low-stereotypy (HP-LS) stimulus, which was predicted to decrease stereotypy, and a high-preference high-stereotypy (HP-HS) stimulus, which was predicted to increase stetreotypy, for each participant. Results of Study 3 showed that the FOCSA correctly predicted the immediate effect of the HP-LS stimulus for all 4 participants; however, the FOCSA predictions were less accurate for the HP-HS stimulus. Results of Study 4 showed that a differential reinforcement of other behavior procedure in which participants earned access to the HP-LS for omitting vocal stereotypy increased each participants’ latency to vocal stereotypy; however, clinically significant durations were only achieved for one participant. Study 5 showed that differential reinforcement of alternative behavior in which participants earned access to the HP-LS stimulus contingent upon correct responses during discrete trial training reduced levels of stereotypy and increased correct engagement for all participants. The potential utility of the FOCSA is discussed.