Food selectivity is a pervasive problem among children with and without developmental disabilities. Effective treatments have been developed, but many are not amenable to settings such at homes and schools and can be associated with escalations in problem behavior. In this presentation, I will describe a model for assessing and treating food selectivity without escape extinction. The process involves: (a) indirectly and directly measuring food preferences to identify foods to target and employ during treatment, (b) evaluating the sensitivity of mealtime problem behavior to environmental variables through an interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA), and (c) incorporating the assessment results into a progressive treatment process consisting of choice making opportunities and differential reinforcement of successive approximations to eating. The treatment is largely child-led, allowing the child autonomy within a therapeutic process. Implications and suggestions for practitioners looking to address food selectivity in applied settings will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  1. An attendee should be able to describe the how to identify preferred and non-preferred foods and possible contingencies maintaining mealtime problem behavior in a comprehensive assessment process.
  2. An attendee should be able to describe two shaping processes for treating food selectivity that are capable of promoting consumption of non-preferred foods without occasioning emotional responding or severe problem behavior.

About the Presenter

Holly C. Gover
Dr. Holly Gover has been working with individuals with and without developmental disabilities in homes, schools, and clinics for the past eight years. She received her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University, Northridge under the advisement of Dr. Tara Fahmie. She received her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University under the advisement of Dr. Greg Hanley, where she conducted research on the assessment and treatment of challenging behavior and food selectivity. Dr. Gover is passionate about evaluating treatments that allow clients autonomy within therapeutic processes. She continues to support practitioners and conduct research on treating food selectivity and associated mealtime behavior safely and effectively. Dr. Gover currently works at Ivymount School outside of Washington DC.

Course information

  • Title: Food Selectivity without Escape Extinction
  • Presenter: Holly C. Gover Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA
  • Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Customer Rating: (1357)

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