environmental fit; problem behavior; autism; curricular modification; school based intervention




Theoretical considerations suggest that problem behavior should increase when a child’s competency does not match the curricular demands of the environment (i.e., when there is poor environmental fit). In the present study, environmental fit was examined for six children with autism spectrum disorders. Results indicated that the children exhibited high rates of problem behavior associated with poor motor or academic competency. Curricular modifications resulted in (a) a decrease in the level of problem behavior, (b) an increase in the percentage of task steps completed correctly, and (c) improved affect. Adults who worked with the children reported ease of intervention techniques. The concept of environmental fit and its usefulness in guiding both assessment of and intervention for problem behavior are discussed.


Original Citation: Blakeley-Smith, Audrey, Edward G. Carr, Sanja I. Cale, and Jamie S. Owen-DeSchryver. "Environmental Fit: A Model for Assessing and Treating Problem Behavior Associated with Curricular Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders." Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 24, no. 3 (2009): 131-145.

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