Spring 2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Stereotyped behavior is a defining characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and is reported to occur at high rates in that population. Vocal stereotypy, in particular, presents unique clinical challenges from a behavior analytic perspective since the therapist is unable to control access to the reinforcer. Response interruption and redirection (RIRD) involves response blocking and then immediately presenting directions requiring a verbal response in order to redirect the client to engage in appropriate vocalizations. RIRD has been empirically demonstrated across several studies to reduce vocal stereotypy. The present study evaluated the use of RIRD for two 14 year old male students with ASD in an ABACA withdrawal design comparing two procedural variations (3 directions versus 1 direction) of RIRD. Results indicate a clinically significant reduction in stereotypy for both participants for both interventions. These findings further support the use of RIRD to treat vocal stereotypy in students with ASD, and replicate an earlier finding that a shorter, more efficient procedural variation may be sufficient to produce the desired effect.