, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1236-1248
Date: 17 May 2011

Evidence-Based Behavioral Interventions for Repetitive Behaviors in Autism

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Abstract

Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are a core symptom of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). There has been an increased research emphasis on repetitive behaviors; however, this research primarily has focused on phenomenology and mechanisms. Thus, the knowledge base on interventions is lagging behind other areas of research. The literature suggests there are evidence-based practices to treat “lower order” RRBs in ASD (e.g., stereotypies); yet, there is a lack of a focused program of intervention research for “higher order” behaviors (e.g., insistence on sameness). This paper will (a) discuss barriers to intervention development for RRBs; (b) review evidence-based interventions to treat RRBs in ASD, with a focus on higher order behaviors; and (c) conclude with recommendations for practice and research.