Self Stimulatory Behaviour


Self stimulatory behaviour – when and how to intervene.

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The engagement in repetitive and restricted patterns of behaviour is a formal characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Self-stimulatory behaviour is often cited by parents, carers and teachers as a problem behaviour which requires intervention. After all, engagement in these behaviours can minimise participation in social and play activities, decrease learning opportunities and can ultimately be a barrier to learning new skills. On top of this engagement in such behaviours can be deemed socially unacceptable and may draw unwarranted attention from others. A factor which should be considered prior to any intervention plan, is whether or not this behaviour is impacting the individual in an adverse way such as preventing them from learning new skills which would enhance their life and what function does the behaviour serve for the individual. Knowing when and how to intervene in such behaviours is tricky. Applied Behaviour Analysis focuses on the practical application of behavioural theories to change socially significant goals. While family members and members of the community may see decrease in self-stimulatory behaviour as a socially significant goal, is this always in the best interest of the service user? This course will provide attendees with an overview of 3 case studies in which the reduction of SSB has been a focus. We will discuss how and why the behaviour was selected for intervention as well as the intervention itself. Attendees will leave the training with a greater understanding of when they should intervene on self-stimulatory behaviour vs when intervention is not warranted, the importance of identifying a clear function of the behaviour and some possible strategies which could implemented. This course is aimed at early intervention providers, program supervisors and consultants. The course offers 1 type 2 CEU for Board Certified Behaviour Analysts who attend.