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Behavior Of Withdrawn Autistic Children

E. U. Ragland, M. M. Kerr, P. Strain
Published 1978 · Psychology

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In this study, positive social initiations by a behaviorally disordered age-peer were evaluated as an intervention for withdrawn, autistic children. During baseline, the peer trainer made few social approaches to target subjects. The peer trainer greatly increased his rate of positive social initiations during the first intervention, decreased social approaches during a second baseline, and increased social approaches again in a second intervention phase. In order to evaluate whether increased social initiations toward a target subject would affect the social behavior of other children in the setting, intervention was begun at different times for each subject. Increases in peer trainer initiations resulted in an immediate acceleration in the frequency of all subjects' positive social behavior. For two of the three subjects, negative social behaviors increased marginally during intervention sessions. Intervention applied to one subject did not produce any "spillover" of treatment effect on the behavior of children not under intervention procedures at that time.
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