Self-management of Initiations by Students Diagnosed with Autism
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During prebaseline observations, three students diagnosed with autism were unable to make social initiations to another individual. The ability to make initiations would be considered a “pivotal response” in that it would allow an individual to come into contact with a wide variety of social reinforcement. A multiplebaseline design was implemented to measure the effects of a using a self-management package to teach the students to make social initiations. Two interventionists worked with each student to prompt and reinforce initiations. All students acquired social initiations during externally-determined reinforcement. The initiations were maintained when reinforcement changed from externally determined to a self-management system. The prompts to initiate and self-reinforce were faded over the course of the sessions. The use of self-management by the student led to less need for staff intervention. Implications from the literature are discussed.
Key wordsautism initiations self-management self-reinforcement
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