Control over Therapist Interactions as a Reinforcer for a Child with Autism Page: 9
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child stayed within 1 ft of the experimenter throughout the entire session. For example, if
the child remained within proximity for 1 min, then moved away for 5 min, then
reentered proximity until the end of the session (i.e., 4 min), the total interaction duration
would be scored as 5 min.
Observation was conducted via the video camera and monitor by the parents, as
well as in person by the experimenter. Data were collected throughout the sessions for all
conditions. The child's parent served as reliability observer and conducted reliability
observations during 25% of each experimental condition during each phase of the
experiment. Prior to the study, the mother participated in a series of 3 role-play sessions
that simulated the experimental conditions, (see Appendix B) After 90% reliability was
obtained during the role-play sessions, baseline data were collected. Interobserver
agreement was calculated for each dependent measure and 92% overall reliability was
obtained. Appendix C describes reliability measures for each behavior in detail.
Baseline. Baseline measures were taken during two conditions: Instructed and
In the Instructed condition, the experimenter approached to within 1 ft of the child
once per min and delivered an instruction determined by the specific play item(s) the
child was using. For example, if the child were playing with a doll of some kind, the
experimenter would walk over to within 1 ft of the child and provide a model such as
jumping up and down with a similar doll. It should be noted that the item(s) the child
selected were never removed from the child; rather, the experimenter used additional
items to provide the model. The experimenter remained within 1 ft of the child until one
of the terminating responses occurred, at which time the experimenter would move to the
opposite side of the room for the remainder of that minute interval. If no terminating
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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/m1/16/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .