Sensory Extinction

Description of the Strategy

Since the late 1970s, a procedure referred to as sensory extinction has provided clinicians with a tool for addressing certain problematic behaviors of individuals with disabilities. The term sensory extinction, coined by Arnold Rincover, refers to masking or removing the sensory effects of an undesirable behavior in order to reduce or eliminate the behavior. Sensory extinction procedures have been used to address proprioceptive, visual, auditory, and tactile forms of stimulation produced by undesirable behavior (e.g., clicking and grinding sound produced by clenching teeth). The procedure operates on the basic principle of extinction, which means that when a behavior no longer produces the outcome that was maintaining it or keeping it going (e.g., reinforcement), the behavior will stop.

Individuals with ...

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