The effects of prompting, reinforcer sampling, and assistance on participation and challenging behavior of two adults with severe disabilities were examined under three conditions during a leisure program. For baseline, leisure materials were absent, but there was opportunity for social interaction. Next, leisure materials were provided, but participants were neither prompted nor assisted to use these materials. During intervention, participants sampled the materials and were assisted to use each item during a 5-minute prompting sequence. A reversal design demonstrated that the prompting sequence was associated with increased participation and reduced challenging behavior. These improvements were maintained as the frequency of the prompting sequence was reduced from four times to once per session.

Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant from the Australian Commonwealth, Department of Human Services and Health. Appreciation is extended to the staff and to the members of the Board of Management at the Multiple Handicapped Association of Queensland for their support of this project.

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