, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1124-1135
Date: 07 Dec 2007

Social Interaction and Repetitive Motor Behaviors

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Students with autism have difficulty initiating social interactions and may exhibit repetitive motor behavior (e.g., body rocking, hand flapping). Increasing social interaction by teaching new skills may lead to reductions in problem behavior, such as motor stereotypies. Additionally, self-monitoring strategies can increase the maintenance of skills. A multiple baseline design was used to examine whether multi-component social skills intervention (including peer training, social initiation instruction, and self-monitoring) led to a decrease in repetitive motor behavior. Social initiations for all participants increased when taught to initiate, and social interactions continued when self-monitoring was introduced. Additionally, participants’ repetitive motor behavior was reduced. Changes in social behavior and in repetitive motor behavior maintained more than one month after the intervention ended.