Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1124–1135

Social Interaction and Repetitive Motor Behaviors

  • Rachel L. Loftin
  • Samuel L. Odom
  • Johanna F. Lantz
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0499-5

Cite this article as:
Loftin, R.L., Odom, S.L. & Lantz, J.F. J Autism Dev Disord (2008) 38: 1124. doi:10.1007/s10803-007-0499-5


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.


AutismSocial skillsInitiationsSelf-monitoringRepetitive motor behaviorPeer trainingStereotypic behavior

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel L. Loftin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samuel L. Odom
    • 3
  • Johanna F. Lantz
    • 4
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Juvenile ResearchUniveristy of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Columbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA