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Therapist- and Self-monitored DRO Contingencies as a Treatment for the Self-injurious Skin Picking of a Young Man with Asperger Syndrome

Authored by Tiger, JH, Fisher WW, and Bouxsein KJ in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Volume 42, Issue 2, p. 315-319, (2009).

Article summary (posted Jul 6, 2010):


Applied behavior analysis (ABA) may be helpful in decreasing self-injurious skin picking in people with autism.

Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is an ABA technique that involves a reward if the child does not do the behavior in question (in this case skin picking) during a certain period of time. The purpose of this case study was to see if DRO could help to reduce skin picking of a 19-year-old young man who had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. At the start of the study, the young man engaged in skin picking 56.3% of the time during sessions. He was able to decrease his skin picking and he was able to do so when he was being watched by a therapist and when he was alone. The authors noted that this is just a case study and it is hard to see if this approach will also work for other people.


You can access the original abstract and the complete paper is sometimes available for free via Google Scholar (look for entries that say "PDF").


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