Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

Kimberly N. Sloman

Second Advisor

Kaitlynn M. Gokey

Third Advisor

Renee Nicole Souris

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Vocal stereotypy (VS), or vocalizations that are noncontexual or nonfunctional, is commonly exhibited in individuals on the autism spectrum. The nature of vocal stereotypy may pose an issue for some individuals, ranging from social ostracization to the inability to perform daily tasks. Previous research has shown that access to matched stimulation (e.g., music) and response interruption and redirection (RIRD), a form of punishment, are effective at decreasing vocal stereotypy (Gibbs et al., 2018). However, in the aforementioned study, researchers did not evaluate a less intrusive treatment in isolation prior to implementing punishment. The purpose of the current investigation is to implement a least to most intrusive intervention for vocal stereotypy by evaluating matched stimulation first and then adding RIRD if necessary. We tested wearing headphones that played music as a form of matched stimulation to decrease VS and increase on-task duration. The data indicate that music as a form of matched stimulation significantly decreased VS for all participants across multiple settings. Additionally, marginal increases in on-task behavior were observed. To date, RIRD was not a necessary component for effective treatment.