An exploration of interdisciplinary practice through an examination of specific disciplinary interpretations of stereotypic behaviour
Bruni, Teryn Patricia
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As identified in the literature, a lack of understanding of the functional properties and triggers of stereotypic behaviour exists. When looking at this behaviour from an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) framework, limitations are evident around identifying specific sensory modalities and functional properties of such behaviour. Antecedents particularly are difficult to identify and interpret. Therefore an interdisciplinary approach to assessment using two types of professional services commonly received by individuals with autism was proposed. However before this approach could be investigated the current interpretations of Stereo typic behaviour by each professional must be examined along with perceptions of interdisciplinary collaboration. The purpose of this study was to use an in-depth qualitative analysis to reveal the interpretations of stereotypy and collaboration from the perspectives of two particular professionals. The results of the study demonstrated that occupational therapists and behaviour analysts likely have different interpretations of the same behaviour,that consultation is the common model used to interact with other disciplines, and that professionals may have mixed feelings toward interdisciplinary practices as an approach to stereotypic behaviour. Strengths and limitations of the study were highlighted along with specific directions for future research.