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Positive behavior supports for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders

by Neitzel, J.

Positive behavior support has gained attention in recent years as an effective practice for reducing challenging behaviors in children and youth with a variety of disabilities including autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The goal of positive behavioral interventions for students with ASD is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of interfering behaviors, such as repetitive or disruptive behaviors, through the use of evidence-based practices.  To implement specific behavioral methods and strategies, a tiered approach gradually increases the nature and intensity of support for students with ASD as interfering behaviors become more problematic.  In this approach, functional behavioral assessment identifies possible causes of interfering behaviors as well as the strategies that are implemented within the context of a comprehensive behavioral intervention plan.  This article aims to a) discuss interfering behaviors in children and youth with ASD, b) present a model for preventing and reducing these behaviors, and c) provide a variety of evidence-based practices that can be used to address interfering behaviors in children and youth with ASD.

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