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Nina Mathew

on 14 March 2014

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Common forms of behavioral interventions and therapies used to treat Autism
Grindle and Remington Study 2002
to compare the effectiveness of two types of DTT
Cue Value Procedure
a. classical conditioning
b. it’s when an initially neutral cue aquires value because of it’s association with the primary reinforcement
c. so a cue would only follow a to- be-reinforced response
Response Marking Procedure
a. draw a child’s attention to every response whether correct or incorrect (same cue used for both CR and IR)
b. marking effect is therefore independent of cue value
Participants - 3 children with Autism
taught to identify pictures with objects and experimenter measured their speed of acquisition of receptive speech skills across two conditions
Cue Value condition results were markedly better
Children acquired receptive speech skills faster under this condition versus the response marking condition
Treatment Video Demonstration
A) Initial screening at 18 months and 24 months
1. use screening tools and psychological tests for assessment of ASD
B) Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation
2. assess the child's cognitive level , language level, and adaptive behavior.
C) Spectrum ranging from high functioning to low functioning

Biopsychosocial Components of Autism
DSM-V vs DSM-IV Definition
Autism Spectrum Disorder

1. severe difficulty in 3 developmental areas
a. Communication
can be verbal or nonverbal
repetitive language and/or scripting
difficulty maintaining conversation
delay in play skills
b. Socialization
poor eye contact
blank expressions
unable to convey emotional state
difficulty with nonverbal communication
trouble maintaining friendships
may not be conscious of personal boundaries
difficulty with emotional reciprocity
not good at expressing empathy
do not always share accomplishments and/or seek praise

1. possible genetic factor and/or genetic mutation within the gene
a.high prevalence of autism amongst siblings
b. high prevalence of autism amongst identical twins
9 out of 10
2. prenatal difficulties or birth complications
a. mother’s health during pregnancy
b. family medical history
c. parental age at time of conception
d. exposure to toxins

Autistic Spectrum Disorder
combined four previously separate disorders autistic disorder (autism), Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder into a single condition with different levels of symptom severity.
is characterized by
1) deficits in social communication and social interaction
2) restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities (RRBs).
Both components are required for diagnosis of ASD, social communication disorder is diagnosed if no RRBs are present.
c. Behavior
extreme interest in specific objects or topics
rigid about time, travel, and routines
thrive on structure
atypical body movements
spinning, rocking, flapping, etc…
sensory challenges
under or over sensitive
unusual play-based behavior
categorizing, lining objects up, etc…
visually examining object

D. prevalence within society
1 out of 88 children have ASD
~1 in 54 boys
found all over the world and does not differ based on race, SES, parental education, or demographic variables
3-4x more prevalent in male than female children
50% of Autistic individuals are non-verbal
~20% present as non-verbal under stress
Autistic Individuals have 7x more contact with police than general public

3. biological abnormalities
a. abnormal development of the cerebellum can cause difficulty in adjusting attention, following verbal and facial cues, and making sense of social information
b. increased brain volume can potentially reduce activity in the temporal and frontal lobes when performing language and motor tasks.
4. Vaccines
a. MMR Vaccine theory
postnatal treatment of babies with vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella might potentially produce autistic symptoms (Wakefield 1998)
produced an increase in measles virus which causes an onset of a powerful stomach disease and ultimately ASD.
b. Some vaccine contained thimerosal, a mercury-based chemical that used to be added to some vaccines to help extend their shelf life.
Thimerosol is no longer added to vaccines since 2001

Psychological Causes
1. Central perceptual or cognitive disturbances that may interfere with communication and interactions
2. Difficulty taking part in make-believe play
3. Theory of Mind
awareness that other people base their behaviors on their own beliefs, intentions, and other mental states and not on information that they have no way of knowing

Sociocultural Causes
1. family dysfunction
2. social and environmental stress

1. ESDM - Early Start Denver Model
comprehensive early developmental model
early intervention for optimal results
12-48 months
developmental curriculum for skills to be taught at specific stages
2. ABA - Applied Behavioral Analysis
focused on how learning takes place
positive reinforcement
rewards increase the occurrence of desired behaviors
examining behavior and provide incentives to change that behavior

C. Discrete Trial Training DTT
1. specific type of ABA approach
2. can be applied by teacher or parent
behavioral gains by parents are greater than those by teachers
3. Antecedent - Discriminative Stimulus
instruction, cue, or stimuli
4. Behavior - Response
correct, incorrect, or no response/action
5. Consequence - Stimulus Reinforcer
reinforcement feedback → right response
corrective feedback → wrong response
very important to be provided immediately after behavior
~follow token economy system

D. PRT - Pivotal Response Teaching
1. naturalistic and motivational procedure to increase appropriate developmental behaviors
using child-chosen objects as reinforcers, providing opportunities for turn- taking, teaching in a naturalistic environment
2. type of ABA therapy
3. targets “pivotal” areas of child development
response to multiple cues
initiation of social interaction
4. usually provided by psychologists, special education teachers, and speech therapists

Biological Causes
Avi Levin, Nina Mathew, Nadeha Fareed, & Guadalupe Perez
E. Comorbidities
40% develop epilepsy and/or seizure disorders, a higher occurrence of anxiety disorders, ADHD, and depression

Common Symptoms

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