Facial Screening

The treatment of self-injurious behavior is often a daunting task for therapists working with autistic, mentally handicapped, and organically disabled children or adults. Numerous techniques such as over-correction, time-out, water spray, aversive tickling, and contingent restraint have been used to try to suppress and eliminate self-injurious behaviors. The technique of facial screening has also been used and was the focus of several reviews and studies beginning in the 1970s and 1980s.

Facial screening is a procedure that involves visual occlusion, that is, covering an individual's face (usually with a terry cloth towel or opaque bib) for a specific amount of time as a consequence of self-injurious or other problem behavior. Theoretically, facial screening serves as a mild punisher. To employ the technique, the patient ...

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