University Of Tasmania

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Functional analysis of insistence on sameness in an 11-year old boy with Asperger syndrome

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 11:43 authored by Nadia OllingtonNadia Ollington, Green, VA, O'Reilly, MF, Lancioni, GE, Didden, R
Objective: To identify the functional properties of insistence on sameness associated with autism spectrum disorders. Method: An 11-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome was observed during play where scenarios (mistakes, misplaced items, interrupted activity) were created to correspond with parent-reported scenarios where the child would insist on sameness. The extent of problem behaviour was observed under four functional assessment conditions (restore environment, tangible, attention, escape), according to a multi-element design. Results: The results showed an interaction between the scenario type and type of functional assessment condition. Problem behaviour appeared to have a restorative function related to correcting a mistake, an attention function related to attempting to recruit help in finding a missing item and a tangible function suggesting an attempt to regain access to the materials and activity. Conclusion: Problem behaviours related to insistence on sameness may be motivated by different consequences depending on the scenario created.


Publication title

Developmental Neurorehabilitation








Faculty of Education


Informa Healthcare

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 Informa UK Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Inclusive education