Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Cheryl Poche

Second Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Mountjoy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Reduction of self-stimulatory behaviors in retarded and autistic children is desirable for a variety of reasons, including prevention of self-injurious behavior and increase in appropriate leisure activities. In this study, three autistic boys who exhibited hand-clasping, chin-grazing, and finger-waving were exposed to toys and received toy training on selected groups of toys. The toys consisted of stimulating toys, selecting toys, selected to replicate the sensory effects of their self-stimulation, and non-stimulating toys, selected to replicate a modality different from their self-stimulation from 85% of intervals observed and 11.3% to 0% and 7%, respectively. The third subject required the use of sensory insulation procedures coupled with toy training to reduce self-stimulation from 59.3% to 5%.