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J Appl Behav Anal. 1992 Summer;25(2):341-53.

Improving social skills and disruptive behavior in children with autism through self-management.

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Autism Research Center, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106-9490.


The literature suggests that children with autism typically are unresponsive to verbal initiations from others in community settings, and that such unresponsiveness can lead to problematic social interactions and severely disruptive behavior. The present study assessed whether self-management could be used as a technique to produce extended improvements in responsiveness to verbal initiations from others in community, home, and school settings without the presence of a treatment provider. The results showed that children with autism who displayed severe deficits in social skills could learn to self-manage responsivity to others in multiple community settings, and that such improvements were associated with concomitant reductions in disruptive behavior without the need for special intervention. The results are discussed in terms of their significance for improved development of social skills in children with autism.

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