In this article, Cornelius Habarad (2015) explored the role of the acquisition of manding strategy to reduce self-injurious behavior (SIB) in children with autism. The author used two methods of communication such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. These communication strategies were familiar to the subject of the study – a 12-year-old boy with autism who suffered from the inability to vocal speech. The patient received the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, in terms of which he was offered 35 to 40 hours of intervention per week. The key goals of the study were to create an appropriate manding repertoire and decrease the level of SIB.
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As for materials used in the given study, the author used a book with Velcro pictures. Specially-trained staff was also involved in the process of the research to assist in providing the experiment. Namely, technicians participating in the study documented the collected data by using a Standard Celeration Chart (SCC). The patient’s observations were performed in the context of five items while utilizing gestural and physical prompts for 15 pictures.
The baseline of the study offered free access of the participant to activities and items. On the contrary, the remaining three phases of the study introduced different parameters. The second phase was supported by eight adaptive signs as an additional means of communication, while the third phase was characterized by reducing the number of items to five. Ultimately, all minds were reinforced, and all items were introduced again after the working tie-out.
The results of the study revealed that the establishment of an appropriate manding repertoire is largely associated with the decreased rates of SIB. As stated by Cornelius Habarad (2015), the acceleration of SIB correlates with the working time-out that was reduced from one time to every two minutes. The article shows that there is great potential for using adaptive sign language as a means of communication for children diagnosed with autism and having problems with motor coordination. It is essential to stress that despite the return to the baseline condition, the participant’s repertoire continued to increase due to his experience in such studies.
The baseline data along with the lack of interobserver agreement were noted as the threats to the validity of the study. Therefore, future studies are required to encourage the community to apply sign language communication in nonverbal children with autism. The paramount implication of the identified study is that it contributes to the theory of autism studies and outlines potential research development directions.
Cornelius Habarad, S. M. (2015). The power of the mand: Utilizing the mand repertoire to decrease problem behavior. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 20(2), 158-162. Web.