Success Story: Pediatric Developmental Disorders Clinic

C.R. was a 12-year-old child with pervasive developmental disorder, functioning in the average range of cognitive ability. C.R. was treated for nocturnal enuresis as well as severe public tantrums.

CR’s bedwetting occurred every night of the week and was unresponsive to imipramine. A treatment package was implemented; it included use of a moisture sensitive alarm, positive practice going to the bathroom during the night and a reward system. During the first two to three weeks, CR had only one accident a week; subsequently, no more urine accidents occurred. These improvements were maintained at a one-year follow up (with very rare exceptions).

Severe public tantrums occurred at stores when CR was limited or not allowed to buy the books or magazines that he wanted. Tantrums occurred at almost every trip to a store and were so severe, that parents were rarely able to take him into stores. Treatment involved allowing CR to make purchases at only one store, thus teaching him to discriminate when reinforcement was available. During trips to other stores, CR was provided with tickets for appropriate behavior, which could be traded in for books and magazines at the designated store. Within the first week, CR’s tantrums decreased by approximately 80 percent. After one month, he had no more tantrums in stores. This result was also maintained at a one-year follow up.

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