Generalized Negatively Reinforced Manding in Children with Autism

Source: Generalized Negatively Reinforced Manding in Children with Autism

 

Abstract

Individuals with developmental disabilities are often unable to influence their social environment in traditional ways (i.e., vocal language) and frequently exhibit challenging behaviors (e.g., aggression and self-injury) because such behaviors were previously reinforced under similar conditions. While the area of positive reinforcement manding has been well-documented and empirically validated, there is less research in the area of negatively reinforced manding—particularly in the area of negatively reinforced manding of nonpreferred items. Using a multiple baseline design across participants, this study sought to teach three children with autism to replace their challenging behaviors with more socially appropriate ways to request the removal of nonpreferred items. Results showed that all participants were able to learn the negatively reinforced mand response and these mand responses were generalized to other untrained items. In addition to extending the research in the area, the study empirically defined a procedure for teaching negatively reinforced manding of nonpreferred items. Moreover, teaching the mand response resulted in quality of life improvements for all participants and their families.

Keywords: manding, negative reinforcement, functional communication training, autism

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