A home-based program for a preschool behaviorally disturbed child with parents as therapists
ABSTRACT The effects of a set of reinforcement procedures upon the “autistic” behaviors of a four-year-old girl were evaluated. The study was carried out entirely in a home setting with the mother and father as change agents. The parents were trained to use, in a semi-structured play setting, through written and verbal instructions, a treatment program consisting of positive attention and timeout. Each parent independently applied the training procedures to the child's compliance, inappropriate vocalization and noncompliance behaviors. Both multiple baseline and reversal procedures were employed to assess treatment effects. Results indicated that the parents' use of the positive attention and timeout procedures was responsible for a substantial improvement in their daughter's compliance with instructions and a marked decrease in the two inappropriate responses. Comparisons across parents indicated no marked differences in the procedures' effects on the child's behaviors.