Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism Page: 6
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A 4-yr old male diagnosed with autism and oral apraxia was the participant. At
the time the study was conducted, the child was participating in an intensive in-home
treatment program that began when the child was two years old. The teaching program
was designed to increase specific skills across a broad range of socially adaptive
behaviors such as language, social interaction, and play, while also placing an emphasis
on pre-academic skills and school preparation. The child received approximately 30
hours per week of in-home and community-based teaching. Between 10-15 specific skills
were addressed in every session as components of complex behavior. These components
included oral motor skills, fine and gross motor imitation skills, verbal imitation skills,
expressive and receptive labeling, direction following, play skills, and the use of
functional communication with the teachers. In addition, there was a great emphasis
placed on the use of functional communication in daily routines with his family and
At the onset of this investigation the range of behaviors displayed by the
participant consisted of 20-30 expressive labels (e.g., saying "car" when shown a picture
of a car), 10-15 one-syllable sight words (e.g., cat or dog,) over 200 receptive labels (e.g.,
pointing to a picture of a car when displayed as part of an array of stimuli). He also could
match and sort two-dimensional stimuli according to categories, and engaged in some
gross motor and fine motor imitation skills (e.g., drawing shapes and writing letters), and
followed approximately 5-6 simple directions (e.g., "Give me" or "Sit down"). In
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Edwards, William Harrison. Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism, thesis, August 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278765/m1/13/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .