When Problem Behaviour is Nobody's Fault: The Truth about Automatically Reinforced Behaviour

Presenter: Dr. Timothy Vollmer, PhD, BCBA-D

Presentation Overview
It is not uncommon for some learners with ASD to present with problem behaviours at home, at school, or in the community. Behaviours such as screaming, hitting, kicking, threatening, or destroying property can be very difficult to address. A functional behaviour assessment may be necessary to help figure out the causes of these behaviours and how to treat them. Often, caregivers can change the learner’s behaviour by making adjustments to the environment and changing the way the adults respond to the challenging behaviour. But what if you discover that the challenging behaviour produces its own source of reinforcement? What if the behaviour has very little to do with anything that you do? Automatically reinforced behaviour can be extremely difficult to address because you may not be able to directly control the consequences maintaining the behaviour. Repetitive vocalizations, recurring motor movements, or self-injurious behaviours that provide some type of internal sensation or experience for the individual can be very challenging to change. In this webinar, Dr. Timothy Vollmer, PhD., BCBA-D, will highlight recent research in this area and share some practical strategies for addressing behaviour that produces its own source of reinforcement.

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