Behavioral approaches to training developmentally disabled children for an overnight EEG procedure

Melissa DeMore, Marilyn Cataldo, Elaine Tierney, Keith Slifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a genetic syndrome associated with multiple congenital malformations, mental retardation, and autism spectrum behaviors. This clinical protocol was part of a larger study investigating the effects of a cholesterol-lowering medication for SLOS patients. Behavioral therapists were consulted to facilitate participants' cooperation with an overnight electroencephalogram (EEG). Seventeen children participated in one 1-hour training session of a mock EEG. Behavioral methods included task analysis, differential reinforcement, and escape extinction. Descriptive data reveal low cognitive and adaptive functioning. Fifty three percent of children tolerated all steps of the training procedure and 88% of participants tolerated all of the actual EEG procedure. Behavioral methods of training children may be an effective preparation for EEG procedures for children with SLOS. This study indicates that sedation, anesthesia, or restraints are not necessary to accomplish EEG testing of children with SLOS. Results may generalize to children with a range of disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Behavioral training
  • Developmental disability
  • EEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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