Restitutional Overcorrection

Restitutional Overcorrection

Restitutional OvercorrectionA form of positive punishment in which a child is required to repair the damage caused by their behavior or return the environment to its original state and then have the child perform extra actions to make the environment “better” than it was prior to the misbehavior.

Examples of Restituational Overcorrection:

  • After throwing a few chairs in the classroom during a tantrum, the student is later required to not just place the chairs he had thrown back to where they were before the tantrum but also make sure that all the chairs in the classroom are lined up properly.
  • If the student throws a book on the floor in the library, they might be required to reshelve all the books that have been left out in order to punish the book-throwing behavior.

There are three different types of overcorrection procedures

  1. Positive practice: This is the most often used method of overcorrection for ABA therapy. Positive Practice Overcorrection is used after misbehavior occurred, then performs the “correct form” of the behavior repeatedly to practice the correct behavior for the situation to reinforce the appropriate response to a situation or stress.
  2. Negative practice: In this original form of overcorrection therapy, the child with autism would be told to repeatedly display the wrong behavior while verbally stating that this behavior is inappropriate. In theory, performing the maladaptive behavior repeatedly would increase the child’s aversion, and they would begin to see the behavior more as a punishment.
  3. Restitutional: The child would be required to return to the original space where the disorderly behavior took place and then perform the appropriate behavior instead of the disorderly behavior.

In the context of ABA therapy for children with autism, positive practice overcorrection has become the main focus. Positive reinforcement works best for people with developmental disorders who need support learning to adjust behaviors.

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