Examining the use of Cognitive Defusion Exercises to Treat High-Order Repetitive and Restrictive Behaviors Displayed by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
AuthorEilers, Heidi Julene
AdvisorHayes, Steven C.
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AbstractExperiment I used a multiple baseline across participants to assess the effects of cognitive defusion exercise in the form of word repetition and exposure on problem behavior associated with repetitive and restrictive behaviors observed with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. All 3 participants demonstrated a decrease in the percentage of problem behavior following the implementation of treatment. Problem behavior remained at near zero levels for all 3 participants during a 3 month posttreatment follow up. Experiment II used an alternating treatments design to compare cognitive defusion exercise and exposure to a control exercise and exposure. 3 out of 4 participants displayed larger and quicker decreases in problem behavior with the cognitive defusion exercise condition compared to the control exercise condition. The results suggest that cognitive defusion exercise can enhance the treatment effects of exposure to decrease problem behavior associated with repetitive and restrictive behaviors