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Evaluation of an arm‐splint belt to reduce self‐injury

After a functional analysis yielded undifferentiated results, a subsequent assessment suggested self‐injury exhibited by a young boy with autism was sensitive to physical restraint. Canvas arm splints with metal stays were initially effective to reduce self‐injury. Although we successfully faded the number of stays in each sleeve to 3, self‐injury reemerged. We then used a withdrawal design to evaluate a behind‐the‐back belt connected to the arm splints. When the belt and splints were on, self‐injury did not occur. When the belt was removed, self‐injury increased, even though the splints remained intact. Finally, we faded the length of the belt to allow increased range of motion, and rates of self‐injury remained low.

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