Restricted interests and teacher presentation of items

Corey S. Stocco, Rachel H. Thompson, Nicole M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Restricted and repetitive behavior (RRB) is more pervasive, prevalent, frequent, and severe in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) than in their typical peers. One subtype of RRB is restricted interests in items or activities, which is evident in the manner in which individuals engage with items (e.g., repetitious wheel spinning), the types of items or activities they select (e.g., preoccupation with a phone book), or the range of items or activities they select (i.e., narrow range of items). We sought to describe the relation between restricted interests and teacher presentation of items. Overall, we observed 5 teachers interacting with 2 pairs of students diagnosed with an ASD. Each pair included 1 student with restricted interests. During these observations, teachers were free to present any items from an array of 4 stimuli selected by experimenters. We recorded student responses to teacher presentation of items and analyzed the data to determine the relation between teacher presentation of items and the consequences for presentation provided by the students. Teacher presentation of items corresponded with differential responses provided by students with ASD, and those with restricted preferences experienced a narrower array of items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-512
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • autism
  • child effects
  • preference assessment
  • restricted interests
  • teacher behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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