Self-and-Match System Suppresses Vocal Stereotypy During Independent Work

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Vocal stereotypy can have a number of functions, and interventions have been developed to address individual functions. However, when vocal stereotypy is maintained by multiple reinforcers, interventions can be countertherapeutic when combined. The current intervention was designed to help reduce vocal stereotypy maintained by attention and potentially automatic reinforcement. The “Self-and-Match” system, a commercially available self-monitoring intervention, was used to address both functions. After a specified duration of independent work, both the participant and the researcher marked whether target behavior occurred. The student could receive a preferred item if enough matches were recorded. Once significant reductions in vocal stereotypy were achieved, the intervention was faded and the behavior remained at low levels using typical classroom-management practices. Limitations and recommendations for further applications in school-based settings are discussed.

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