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Behavior Change in a Student With a Dual Diagnosis of Deafness and Pervasive Development Disorder: A Case Study

The broad term pervasive developmental disorder (PPD) describes a set of symptoms that occur along a continuum of severity; these symptoms are often referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Little is known about the incidence and prevalence of ASDs among students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Teachers of DHH students, who must work with individuals with dual diagnoses, are at a loss for guidance from the literature. The authors review the literature on ASDs (also referred to as PDD) within the DHH population, provide results of a single-subject study to reduce PDD-type behaviors in a child with hearing loss, and argue that teachers of students who are DHH must learn about practices associated with applied behavior analysis as an tool for intervening therapeutically with children with dual diagnoses of hearing loss plus an ASD.