Repetitive Behavior in Children with Down Syndrome: Functional Analysis and Intervention


DOI: 10.1007/s10882-015-9465-x

Cite this article as:
Neil, N. & Jones, E.A. J Dev Phys Disabil (2016) 28: 267. doi:10.1007/s10882-015-9465-x


Children with Down syndrome frequently display repetitive behavior including unusual routines, rituals, and stereotypy. Interventions for repetitive behavior in individuals with Down syndrome often include aversive procedures and are not informed by functional assessments despite effective function-based treatments for repetitive behavior with other populations. We used an analogue functional analysis to evaluate reinforcers maintaining repetitive behavior in three children with Down syndrome. Following identification of automatic functions, we used an ABAB design and a multiple-probe design to demonstrate the effectiveness of differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) in reducing repetitive behavior. DRO was effective in decreasing repetitive behavior and, for one participant, repetitive behavior remained low at 1, 2, and 3-month follow-up sessions. This study extends current functional analysis methodologies to decrease repetitive behavior for learners with Down syndrome.


Down syndrome Functional analysis Repetitive behavior Differential reinforcement 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Doctoral Student Research Grant Program

    Copyright information

    © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

    Authors and Affiliations

    1. 1.Department of Psychology, Queens College and the Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkFlushingUSA

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