Functional analysis and treatment of OCD-related behaviour in a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Research indicates that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD; DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000) is the second most frequent disorder to coincide with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; Leyfer et aI., 2006). Excessive collecting and hoarding are also frequently reported in children with ASD (Berjerot, 2007). Although functional analysis (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1982/1994) has successfully identified maintaining variables for repetitive behaviours such as of bizarre vocalizations (e.g., Wilder, Masuda, O'Connor, & Baham, 2001), tics (e.g., Scotti, Schulman, & Hojnacki, 1994), and habit disorders (e.g., Woods & Miltenberger, 1996), extant literature ofOCD and functional analysis methodology is scarce (May et aI., 2008). The current studies utilized functional analysis methodology to identify the types of operant functions associated with the OCD-related hoarding behaviour of a child with ASD and examined the efficacy of function-based intervention. Results supported hypotheses of automatic and socially mediated positive reinforcement. A corresponding function-based treatment plan incorporated antecedent strategies and differential reinforcement (Deitz, 1977; Lindberg, Iwata, Kahng, and DeLeon, 1999; Reynolds, 1961). Reductions in problem behaviour were evidenced through use of a multiple baseline across behaviours design and maintained during two-month follow-up. Decreases in symptom severity were also discerned through subjective measures of treatment effectiveness.