Development of an Assessment and Intervention Package for Restrictive, Rigid Behaviors Displayed by Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Applied Behavior Analysis

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Source

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. Volume 63, Issue 7, Page 677.

Publication Date



Introduction: We tested a functional analysis of resistance to change and an intervention to increase flexibility and decrease challenging behavior in response to this resistance with children who have autism spectrum disorder.

Methods: An alternating treatments experimental functional analysis and a multiple baseline design across 2–3 routines, with an embedded reversal design, were conducted with four children with ASD, age 4–10 years. The intervention included (a) lag‐reinforcement to increase behavioural variability, (b) interruption of the routine, (c) an individualized social script to describe coping strategies, and (d) reinforcement for accepting a change in routine.

Results: With intervention, all participants showed a large increase in compliance with requests to change their routine and a large decrease in protests.

Implications: Although further evaluation is necessary, this intervention shows promise for addressing rigid routines and increasing flexibility.


autism spectrum disorder, restrictive behavior, assessment, treatment




In section "Challenging Behaviour and Mental Health" - abstracts from The World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) held in SEC, Glasgow, Scotland, UK on Aug 6-9, 2019.