Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
The goal of community placement for people with developmental disabilities is to enable them to live productively and independently. However, the very routines followed at programs and facilities that serve them often thwart that goal. The present study was designed to increase the extent to which individuals with developmental disabilities engaged in tasks pursuant to preparing for, consuming, and cleaning up after lunch. During the pre-served condition, staff prepared and served the lunches to the clientele without involving them in any substantial way. The self-served condition involved staff training and environmental changes in order to set the occasion for greater independence among the clientele. The changes included involving the clientele in the preparation, consumption, and clean-up of the meal by least-to-most prompting of the clients through the tasks. Data was collected on 61 participants. A subset of 12 participants' verbal behavior was examined in order to determine the intervention's impact on positive and negative verbal behavior. A multiple baseline analysis across lunch groups indicated an increase in participation in activities associated with the lunch routine, but had varying effects on verbal behavior.
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