Essay on Behavioral Treatments in Autism

1185 Words 5 Pages
Behavioral Treatments in Autism

Outline
I. Introduction
A. Infantile Autism
B. Operant Learning Theory
C. Behavior Techniques
II. Target Behaviors
A. Aberrant Behaviors
B. Social Skills
C. Language
III. Behavioral Techniques
A. Aversive Stimuli
B. Noncontingent Access to Preferred Stimulus
C. Collateral Changes
D. Self-Management
E. Incidental Teaching
IV. Conclusion
A. Assessment
B. Environment
C. Generalization Behavioral Treatments in Autism

Through the years since Kanner first described infantile autism, much research has amassed on different methods of treating those diagnosed with autism and the various deficits and excesses they possess. As the 1960’s began, the learning theory approach to
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Autism is a spectrum disorder with a wide range of symptoms and degrees of impairment. A person with autism lives for the most part in an isolated world unaware of the impact their behavior has on the immediate environment. Even though some may be high functioning, the majority (around 70-75%) has some amount of associated learning disabilities and about 50% score below 50 on the IQ scale. When there are profound cognitive impairments, adequate speech development is not likely, and additionally the incidence of aberrant behavior increases (Howlin, 1996). Aberrant behaviors are behavioral excesses that interfere with interaction opportunities within an individual’s environment (Matson, et al., 1996). Another high impacting area of deficiency is socialization skills. This area includes decreased responding to verbal initiations of others, inappropriate affect or facial expression during communicative interactions, eye contact and preservation on the same topic even when cues are given by the partner for a topic shift (Koegel, & Frea, 1993). Social skill impairment has some relation to the language impairment. Expressive and receptive language difficulties occur in a high percentage of autistic individuals. Difficulties in expressing thoughts and ideas can lead to outbursts of anxiety, aggression, and self-injurious behavior in those with low ability and therefore it is often incorporated into treatment approaches for
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