A substantial number of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a related disorder display severe behavior problems that pose significant risks to themselves, others, and their environment. These behavior problems also interfere with children’s ability to learn important life and academic skills. Current research in the Severe Behavior Disorders Program in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders is focused on improving the efficacy, efficiency, and generalizability of function-based interventions, such as functional communication training. Specifically, the Severe Behavior Disorders Program is conducting research on:
- empirically identifying appropriate functional communication responses;
- evaluating stimulus-control procedures in reducing problem behavior in other environments; and
- using behavioral momentum and resurgence-as-choice theories to minimize problem behavior relapse.