Contingency Contracting with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Public School Setting

Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities (Impact Factor: 0.89). 19(2):103-114. DOI: 10.1007/s10882-007-9036-x

ABSTRACT In this study, a contingency contract procedure was implemented to promote adherence to rules of conduct in an elementary
school setting by 2 male participants, one 10-year-old with a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder and one 9-year-old with ADHD
and probable Asperger’s Disorder. Prior to intervention, both participants engaged in frequent challenging behaviors, including
tantrums, antisocial vocalizations, and physical aggression. Written contracts were developed in collaboration with participants
and revised several times during the study as participants progressed; in the final stages, a self-monitoring requirement
was included. A changing criterion design was used to evaluate the effects of contracts on participants’ adherence to rules
of conduct. Results suggest that contracts were effective for both participants. Thus, contingency contract procedures may
be useful for some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: Aggression and tantrums are common co-occurring problems with autism. Fortunately, positive developments in the treatment of these challenging and stigmatizing behaviors have been made recently with psychologically-based interventions. Evidence-based methods employ behavior modification, which is also often described as applied behavior analysis and has been at the forefront of these developments. Conceptually, researchers in the field note that many of the factors maintaining these challenging behaviors are communication related. A treatment that produces functionally equivalent reinforcement yet is socially appropriate has been proposed as a major thrust of intervention. In this article research-based treatments are reviewed for aggression and tantrums, the particular behaviors that have been effectively treated are discussed, and strengths and weaknesses of the intervention strategies are critiqued. A rationale for why these methods may prove to be an alternative to pharmacological interventions is presented.
    Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities 01/2009; 2(3):169-187.
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral contracts were used to reduce the socially inappropriate and stigmatizing behaviors of adult men diagnosed with an intellectual disability. All three participants were residing in an intensive residential habilitation facility and receiving 24 hour supports due to the intensity of their problem behaviors. A multiple baseline across subjects with a series of reversals within the intervention phase was used to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of two types of behavioral contracts: one based on the function of the behavior and the other based on highly preferred items. Brief functional analyses were conducted to determine the function of the participants' problem behavior and multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were conducted to establish a hierarchy of highly preferred items. Based on the results of the brief functional analyses, all three participants' problem behaviors were likely to be maintained by attention. Results showed that the behavioral contracts resulted in a substantial decrease in maladaptive behaviors for all of the participants and, conversely, an increase in the use of functionally equivalent replacement behaviors; one of the participants showed differentiation between the treatment conditions, indicating that a functional approach might be more beneficial for some individuals.
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between social deficits and challenging behaviors were studied in adults with severe intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These issues are of paramount importance because they are core features for persons with these disabilities, and markedly effect normal adjustment and community integration. To date, little has been done to explore the interrelationship between social skills and challenging behaviors in ASD adults with severe ID. Participants were 257 adults with severe ID and/or ASD. Comorbid ID and ASD resulted in the greatest deficits compared to ID alone. Furthermore, the presence of negative behaviors, as opposed to the absence of positive behaviors, was more predictive of stereotypies, property destruction, and aggression. The implication of these data is discussed.
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders - RES AUTISM SPECTR DISORD. 01/2009; 3(1):258-268.


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