Title

The Occurrence of Autistic Children's Self-Stimulation as a Function of Familiar Versus Unfamiliar Stimulus Conditions

Document Type

Article

Department

Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date

1986

Abstract

The present study was conducted to determine whether certain stimulus conditions were associated with high and low rates of autistic children's self-stimulation. Six autistic boys were assessed in situations varying along three dimensions: familiarity or unfamiliarity of setting, learning task, and therapist. Each child was observed in 10 10-min stimulus conditions, and trained observers recorded the occurrence of self-stimulation within each condition. The results of a 2 × 2 × 2 ANOVA indicated that self-stimulation occurred significantly more often with an unfamiliar than with a familiar therapist. Unfamiliar versus familiar setting and task were not significant effects, and there were no significant interactions. Also, significant differences were found within each condition, with self-stimulation increasing in frequency as the sessions progressed. Finally, there was a significant and negative correlation between the occurrence of self-stimulation and correct responding. These findings suggest several treatment strategies for facilitating a generalized suppression of autistic children's self-stimulation.

Rights Information

© 1986 Springer-Verlag

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