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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Examining the implementation of a family-centred positive behaviour support approach designed to be sibling-friendly : a single-subject experimental investigation Sobie, Victoria


Research suggests that being a sibling of a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may come with unique and challenging experiences not typically experienced by siblings. Children with ASD and their siblings tend to have less close relationships and spend less time together. Siblings of children with ASD may also experience emotional or behavioural adjustment issues, which may be the result of such issues as the amount of problem behaviour exhibited by the child with ASD. Research to date on these sibling dyads has focused on improving interactions between siblings or decreasing challenging behaviour exhibited by the child with ASD toward the sibling. Positive behaviour support (PBS), with its focus on improving child and family quality of life, may offer a more comprehensive approach when intervening with these sibling dyads. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a PBS approach designed to be sibling-friendly on the challenging behaviour and participation of a child with ASD in two routines involving sibling interaction. Study participants included a child with ASD and an intellectual disability, her older typically developing sister, and their mother. Settings were a sibling play routine and a morning self-care routine in the family’s home. Dependent measures included routine steps successfully completed and problem behaviour. The study employed a single-case, multiple probe design across two routines, in combination with a one-point treatment withdrawal phase in the first routine. Due to professional requirements to graduate in the May convocation, the study was completed through baseline measurement in the two routines, and PBS plan design and initial training and support in the first routine. Preliminary results are discussed in terms of cautions and limitations, and directions for future research.

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