WS Hanley 2018. - Part 3
WS Hanley 2018.
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Part 3



Developing Effective and Preferred Treatments for Stereotypy


Abstract: Persons diagnosed with Autism often engage in repetitive acts that appear to serve no function; these acts are collectively referred to as stereotypy due to the formal similarity of the acts and the periodicity with which they are emitted. Behavior analysts are often called upon to develop behavior plans addressing stereotypy when it is exhibited with impairing frequency. In this presentation, treatments that (a) capitalize on the reinforcing nature of stereotypy, (b) teach the appropriate times and places for stereotypy to occur, (c) yield skills that may eventually eclipse stereotypy, and (d) are preferred by the person receiving the treatment will be described. Procedures for extending this treatment model to address ritualistic behaviors and vocal stereotypy will also be described.



1. The attendee should be able to describe the conditions under which stereotypy requires intervention and the most appropriate or achievable goals regarding stereotypy.

2. The attendee should be able to describe the behavioral interventions that are not likely to result in long term resolution of stereotypy.

3. The attendee should be able to describe procedures for gaining stimulus control over stereotypy and the importance of the concept of contingency when attempting to design effective and preferred interventions for stereotypy.


Relevant Readings:

Hanley, G. P., Iwata, B. A., Thompson, R. H., & Lindberg, J. L. (2000). A component analysis of “using stereotypy as reinforcement” for alternative behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33, 285-297

Potter, J. N., Hanley, G. P., Augustine, M., Clay, C. J., & Phelps, M. C. (2013). Treating stereotypy in adolescents diagnosed with autism by refining the tactic of “using stereotypy as reinforcement” Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 46, 407-423

Slaton, J. & Hanley, G. P. (2016). Effects of multiple versus chained schedules on stereotypy and functional engagement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 49, 927–946