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J Appl Behav Anal. 1972 Winter;5(4):381-7.

The relationship of self-stimulation to learning in autistic children.

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University of California, Santa Barbara.


The acquisition of discriminative behavior was studied in three autistic children with high-frequency self-stimulatory behavior. It was found that: (a) the children did not acquire the discrimination while engaged in self-stimulation; (b) suppression of self-stimulation produced an increase in correct responding, with eventual acquisition of the discrimination; (c) successful discrimination learning was always associated with a reduction in self-stimulatory behavior, even when aversive stimuli were not used for suppression.

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