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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Martin T. Gipson

First Committee Member

Roseann Hannon

Second Committee Member

Esther Cohen


Viewing a seizure as a behavioral chain consisting of a precursor aura phase and a climactic phase has moved researchers to introduce behavioral techniques either singularly or in combination at aura to circumvent seizures. Many of the aura interruption techniques have been shown to be effective in reducing seizure rate, but a systematic examination and application of the technqiues and the additive effects of. combinations have not been explored . The present study examines by way of an A-B-A-B-BC-B-BC single subject design the singular and additive effects of three aura interruption techniques (i.e., startle, shake, and differential reinforcement of other behaviors). The study involved four developmentally disabled adults for which an aura was discerned by way of a self-report measure, and an observable behavior scale. Clients were randomly assigned to one of six aura interruption combination pairs designed to encompass all permutations of the three aura interruption techniques singularly and in combination. Observers (i.e., parents or care home operators) were trained by way of videotapes and role-playing situations on how to detect and record seizure occurrences as well as when and how to introduce the aura interruption technique(s). Results indicate that aura interruption techniques alone are effective in reducing seizure rates below baseline levels and that techniques in combination with others do not produce further reductions in seizure rates.





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