Sensory reinforcement in autistic and mentally handicapped children: a review

Murphy, Glynis H. (1982) Sensory reinforcement in autistic and mentally handicapped children: a review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 12 (3). pp. 265-278. ISSN 0162-3257. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract Sensory reinforcement was first studied by learning theorists working with animals in the 1950s. Attempts to examine the phenomenon with children followed in the 1960s, and the studies demonstrated that sensory stimuli could act like any other reinforcers with normal young children. Similar work with the autistic and mentally handicapped child arose in relation to both the study of receptor development and more treatment-oriented research. It now seems that even profoundly handicapped children can learn to operate simple levers when reinforced by sensory stimuli, and some handicapped children have learned quite complex skills through sensory reinforcement. There also appears to be a close relationship between stereotyped behavior and sensory reinforcement. The clinical implications of the studies reviewed are discussed. This review was written while the author was supported by a Bethlem Royal Hospital research grant. The author is very grateful to Maria Callias, Dr. Janet Carr, Mrs. E. Goodall, and Dr. J. Corbett for their helpful comments on the paper.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1568 Disability studies
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Jo Ruffels
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2012 10:38
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2014 10:05
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