Understanding autism
Understanding autism

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Understanding autism

5 The behavioural approach to intervention

A quite different approach to intervention originated in the work of Ivor Lovaas, described in Week 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . He in turn drew on the work of mid-twentieth century psychologists such as B.F. Skinner, who proposed that in animals, including humans, the repertoire of behaviour can be modified and new behaviours learned, using operant conditioning. Operant conditioning assumes that active behaviour 'operates' on the environment, with consequences that modify whether the behaviour is repeated in the future. If the consequences are rewarding, the behaviour is more likely to be repeated – known as reinforcement.

AUT_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371