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Functional Analysis and Treatment of Arranging and Ordering by Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Nicole M. Rodriguez, Rachel H. Thompson, Kevin Schlichenmeyer, & Corey S. Stocco


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Rodriguez, N. M., Thompson, R. H., Schlichenmeyer, K., & Stocco, C. S. (2012). Functional analysis and treatment of arranging and ordering by individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45 (1), 1-22.

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Of the diagnostic features of autism, relatively little research has been devoted to restricted and repetitive behavior, particularly topographically complex forms of restricted and repetitive behavior such as rigidity in routines or compulsive-like behavior (e.g., arranging objects in patterns or rows). Like vocal or motor stereotypy, topographically complex forms of restricted and repetitive behavior may be associated with negative outcomes such as interference with skill acquisition, negative social consequences, and severe problem behavior associated with interruption of restricted and repetitive behavior. In the present study, we extended functional analysis methodology to the assessment and treatment of arranging and ordering for 3 individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. For all 3 participants, arranging and ordering was found to be maintained by automatic reinforcement, and treatments based on function reduced arranging and ordering.

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