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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1987 Sep;18(3):285-8.

Treatment of pica in an adult disabled by autism by differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior.

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Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children, Rockville, Maryland 20851.


The usefulness of differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior was examined in the treatment of pica in a young man severely disabled by autism in a nonsheltered place of employment. The results indicated that a reduction in pica could be achieved by differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO). Behaviors which were reinforced included remaining in this assigned location, keeping his hands on his work, working quickly and keeping his mouth clear. Reinforcements included favorite drinks, snacks, activities and praise. Treatment procedures were implemented by direct care paraprofessional staff. Withdrawal of treatment resulted in an increase in pica, with renewed reduction on reinstatement of the reinforcement schedule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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