Effects of reducing stereotypy on other behaviors: a systematic review
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Is part ofResearch in autism spectrum disorders ; vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 1234-1243.
Researchers have shown that high levels of stereotypy in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders were correlated with more significant impairments in social and adaptive functioning. Reducing stereotypy may thus potentially occasion an increase in appropriate social and adaptive behaviors. Hence, the purpose of this systematic review was to examine the effects of reducing stereotypy on engagement in other behaviors. Following a thorough literature search, we identified 60 studies that both reduced engagement in stereotypy and measured engagement in at least one other behavior. We divided the studies into six broad categories: noncontingent reinforcement, differential reinforcement, punishment-based interventions, multiple contingencies, physical exercise, and other antecedent-based interventions. The results of our analyses suggest that reducing stereotypy produces reallocation toward other behaviors, albeit not necessarily appropriate. As such, clinicians and researchers targeting stereotypy should plan to strengthen an appropriate alternative behavior while targeting all response forms of stereotypy for reduction. Moreover, our review suggests that measuring untargeted behaviors when implementing interventions designed to reduce stereotypy may be essential in clinical and research settings.