Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Asd )

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Introduction/Background Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavior challenges and was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943 (Brown & Percy, 2007). Individuals with ASD can range from high functioning to low functioning in their ability to learn, think, and problem solve (Brown & Percy, 2007). Behavior problems are common among individuals with ASD (Hill at el, 2014). Kogan (2009) estimates that approximately 637,000 children in the U.S. alone have ASD and within those 637,000 children, Hagopian (2007) suggests that half of those children, who are diagnosed with ASD, also display problem behavior. According to Hagopian & Hardesty (2014), Applied Behavior…show more content…
The use of physical restraint as a treatment strategy to reduce aggressive behavior among individuals with ASD is common in the field of ABA. However, looking in from the outside, many may believe that this type of intervention is unethical or unconventional. Therefore, there are many ethical issues that arise as a result with such a controversial treatment strategy. According to Patterson (2003), restraint is defined as “being held against active resistance.” Some examples of physical restraint include, but are not limited to: basket hold (locking the individual’s elbows and holding them at the forearm, 5-person stabilization hold (having 5 individuals hold down the limbs of another individual), and the hands down procedure (placing your arms over the individuals arms from behind them). Many professionals struggle with justifying physical restraint both in and outside of the field of ABA. Although there is much research that suggests that physical restraint can be an affective way to reduce problem behavior among individuals with ASD, as well as reduce the physical harms their behavior can pose to caregivers, there is also research that suggests these types of interventions are dangerous and have been abused by professionals in the past. The topic of whether or not the use of physical restraint should be used as a consequence has been passionately debated among professionals for years (Collier &
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