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ERIC Number: EJ845903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1074-2956
Using Their Restricted Interests: A Novel Strategy for Increasing the Social Behaviors of Children with Autism
Boyd, Brian A.; Alter, Peter J.; Conroy, Maureen A.
Beyond Behavior, v15 n2 p3-9 Spr 2005
Many terms have been used to describe the perseverative behavior displayed by children with autism, including "circumscribed, narrow, obsessive, restricted, or special interests." Past researchers have focused on the punishment of such perseverative behaviors by individuals diagnosed with autism, and many parents and teachers also may be inclined to extinguish these restricted interests by prohibiting the child's access to the item of fascination. Because the restricted interests of children with autism often are difficult to extinguish, the question that remains is: Could these intense interests be used to facilitate more prosocial behavior? Indeed, there is a lack of research focusing on the use of these restricted interests to improve the social behaviors of children with autism. Because all behavior serves a purpose, the authors believe that rather than punishing such restricted interests, teachers and parents could use the interests to motivate and reinforce children with autism to engage in more appropriate social interactions with typical peers. The purpose of this article is to present a case example of one student diagnosed with autism as a means of providing practitioners with potential strategies for identifying and subsequently using the restricted interests of children with autism to increase their social initiations and sustained interactions with typical peers. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22201-5704. Tel: 612-276-0140; Fax: 612-276-0142; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A