This article by Geiger, Carr, and LeBlanc (2010) titled, Function-based treatments for escape-maintained problem behavior. A treatment-selection model for practicing behavior analysis by Behavior Analysis in Practice (2, 1-11) was designed as a guide for interventions for individuals who exhibit problem behavior to get out of tasks. This is more formally known as escape maintained behavior because the person exhibits problem behaviors to escape from the current task/demand. The authors of this article suggest six interventions and briefly explain the components of the intervention process along with the pros and cons.
1. Activity choice- the individual is allowed to choose a task/activity from a selection.
2. Curricular Revisions- adjustments to some part of the task so the individual does not want to escape the task any longer (i.e. task shortened or change the way they respond to multiple choice or orally)
3. Demand Fading- all demands/tasks are taken away and then reintroduced slowly systematically
4. Differential (negative)Reinforcement of alternate behaviors- this varies but the individual would earn a break (the negative reinforcement) for an alternate behavior such as completing a portion of the task
5. Escape extinction- present a task and do not allow escape from the task for problem behavior
6. Noncontingent escape- the individual gets breaks from the task no matter what their behavior based on a preset time (i.e. Bill gets a break from his task every 2 mins no matter what he is doing.)
The article goes a little deeper and briefly describes research to support each of the six interventions. Also, in the article there is a table that lists the treatments with a description, strengths and weaknesses of each intervention. Two things to keep in mind, this article was specifically written to behavior analysts but is applicable to parents, teachers and caregivers that deal with escape maintained problem behaviors. The second thing to keep in mind and is stressed in this article is that a functional analysis should be conducted to determine that the problem behaviors are maintained by escape before implementing an intervention.
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