We investigated the separate and combined effects of a behavioral intervention and methylphenidate (Ritalin®) on disruptive behavior and task engagement in 3 children with severe to profound mental retardation. The behavioral intervention involved differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior and guided compliance. All 3 children demonstrated decreased disruptive behavior and improved task engagement in response to the behavioral intervention. Two of the 3 children demonstrated similar improvement in response to methylphenidate. Although both interventions were highly effective for these 2 participants, the relative efficacy of the interventions varied between the 2 children. There was no evidence of an additive or synergistic effect of the two interventions, but the high efficacy of each intervention alone limited our ability to detect such effects.
- Children with mental retardation
- Differential reinforcement
- Disruptive behavior
- Drug effects
- Guided compliance