William H. Ahearn
Eileen M. Roscoe, Susan Langer
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
Behavior analysts, Autism, Automatic reinforcement, Sensory integration, Stereotypy
Stereotyped behavior (Psychiatry), Sensorimotor integration, Teenage boys - Case studies
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms
Sensory integration is a theory that suggests that many of the characteristics of autism are caused by poor integration of sensory experiences. Conceptualized in behavioral terms, sensory integration therapy could serve to abolish automatically reinforced behavior. The purpose of this research was to investigate sensory integration as a treatment for repetitive behavior in individuals with autism. Two teenage boys with autism participated in Experiment 1. Both participants had high levels of automatically-reinforced motor stereotypy. A typical sensory diet treatment was examined to determine whether this treatment would have an abolishing effect on motor stereotypy. It was determined that the sensory diet had no long-term effects on motor stereotypy for either participant. One participant from Experiment 1 participated in Experiment 2, an extension to determine whether the sensory diet had any immediate or short-term effects on motor stereotypy. Results of Experiment 2, showed that the sensory diet suppressed stereotypy while it was being administered, but had no abolishing effects on stereotypy immediately after removal. Based on the results of these two experiments, Sensory Integration therapy, particularly the sensory diet approach was shown to be ineffective in decreasing motor stereotypy.
Keira Maureen Ahearn Moore
Moore, Keira Maureen, "Sensory integration as a treatment for automatically reinforced behavior" (2009). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 8. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10019534
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