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Aromatic Ammonia

Response-contingent aromatic ammonia is an aversive olfactory treatment procedure that has been shown to be effective in suppressing aggressive and self-injurious behaviors that have proven unresponsive to other approaches. The underlying principle for its efficacy is the punishing effect of the ammonia's noxious odor. Treatment involves applying a crushed capsule of 0.33 cc alcohol 36% (Burroughs Wellcome Co.) or a small handheld vial of ammonia under the child's nose immediately after the child exhibits the undesirable response. Exposure is limited to approximately 3 seconds or until the child exhibits evidence of inhalation, for example, coughing. Medical consultations are necessary before and during treatment to safeguard against possible side effects, including mucous membrane irritation and allergic reactions. The therapist may need to hold the ...

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