An evaluation of a high-probability instructional sequence to increase acceptance of food and decrease inappropriate behavior in children with pediatric feeding disorders

Meeta R. Patel, Gregory K. Reed, Cathleen C. Piazza, Melanie H. Bachmeyer, Stacy A. Layer, Ryan S. Pabico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


We evaluated the effects of escape extinction with and without a high-probability (high-p) instructional sequence on food acceptance and inappropriate behavior for children diagnosed with feeding problems. The high-p sequence consisted of three presentations of a response that was similar topographically (i.e., presentations of an empty nuk®, liquid on a spoon, and a preferred liquid on a spoon) to the low-p response (i.e., presentation of a nuk with food, liquid from a cup, and presentation of a nonpreferred food). Acceptance of food increased in the presence and not the absence of the high-p sequence during initial withdrawals for two of the three children. In addition, the high-p sequence plus escape extinction was associated with reduced levels of inappropriate behavior relative to escape extinction alone for two children. Data are discussed in relation to behavioral momentum, motivating operations, and the relative contributions of the high-p instructional sequence and escape extinction in the treatment of feeding problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-442
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006



  • Behavioral momentum
  • Food refusal
  • High-p instructional sequence
  • Motivating operations
  • Pediatric feeding disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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