In contrast, 68% of the ASD literature targeted communication skills while none of the DBD literature targeted communication. Therefore, while mental health professionals may be tempted to treat challenging behaviors in children with ASD using traditional caregiver-mediated behavior
intervention techniques, different techniques may be needed. In the present article, we describe current caregiver-based intervention Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical approaches geared toward understanding behavior problems within the context of ASD symptomatology. Further, we review the literature on caregiver-mediated interventions treating the most common causes for behavior problems in this population. Working with families to understand challenging behaviors Schopler14 used an iceberg metaphor Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to explain behavior problems in children with ASD. When faced with a child’s observable challenging behaviors (ie, those visible above the waterline), caregivers are encouraged to use their understanding of ASD to identify possible underlying
causes for these behaviors (ie, those Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical hidden below the waterline). This image supports the notion of conducting a functional behavior assessment to identify the communicative function or intent of a challenging behavior. Indeed, a functional behavior assessment has been recognized as a necessary component in designing interventions to understand and to RAD001 purchase modify behavior in children with autism.15,16 In the behavior analytic literature, the reason why children exhibit problem behavior is often described as either to obtain an item, escape a Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical task, or to seek attention. However, in children with ASD the underlying reasons why children may engage in challenging behaviors may be related to autism-specific symptoms. In our example of the boy screaming in the
grocery store, the social and sensory demands of the situation may have caused him Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to want to escape. In contrast, if his screaming was driven by hunger, then his behavior was a form of request. That is, the hidden explanation for his disruptive behavior may be the social, sensory, or communicative demands of the second situation. An accurate functional assessment is vital in building effective and efficient behavioral supports.16 When working with families to conduct a functional behavior assessment and develop an intervention plan, Moes and Frea17 emphasized the importance of considering the family’s own environment, values, and beliefs. They suggested that a contextualized behavior support assessment that examines more than just the child’s behavior is important in increasing the compatibility between the behavioral intervention and family routines. In this approach, the emphasis is placed on the collaborative parent-professional relationship in developing behavior plans.