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Assessment and Treatment of Pica and Other High Risk Behavior in People with Intellectual Disabilities – Video Archive



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General Information

Title:Assessment and Treatment of Pica and Other High Risk Behavior in People with Intellectual Disabilities


Presented By: Professor Peter Sturmey

  • Registration: For Membership only
  • Recording Available:  Once you access the video you have 30 days to complete the webinar.  This includes downloading materials and submitting the codes. 


Many behavior analysts are familiar with externalizing behavior disorders such as aggression and tantrums, but are often challenged by less frequent, but often highly challenging low frequency behavior disorders. These include pica, handmouthing, rumination, airophagia, bruxism and polydipsia. These behavior disorders are challenging because they are often maintained by automatic positive, positive reinforcement, are often seen in individuals with severe / profound cognitive disabilities and severe autism, sometimes involve management of restraint, and sometimes involve related medical conditions. This webinar will review the definition, measurement, etiology and functional analyses of these behaviors. Finally, it will go on to identify best practices in the behavior analytic treatment of these conditions.

Learning Objectives

Participants will identify the: 

The definitions of pica, handmouthing, rumination, airophagia, bruxism and polydipsia;

The common functional features of pica, handmouthing, rumination, airophagia, bruxism and polydipsia;

How to conduct functional assessments and analyses of these behaviors; and
Evidence-based practices for these behaviors.

Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

Professor Peter Sturmey, ABAC resident speaker, is Professor of Psychology at The Graduate Center and the Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York where he is a member of the Behavior Analysis Doctoral and Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis programs. He specializes in autism and other developmental disabilities, especially in the areas of applied behavior analysis, dual diagnosis, evidence-based practice, and staff and parent training. He gained his PhD at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and subsequently taught at the University of the South West (Plymouth) and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He then worked for the Texas Department of Mental Health and Retardation from 1990-2000 as Chief Psychologist, first at Abilene then San Antonio State Schools during a federal class action lawsuit. There he supervised behavioral services and master’s level psychologists providing behavior support plans for severe behavioral and psychiatric disorders in adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and implementing large-scale active treatment and restraint reduction programs.

Professor Sturmey has published 25 edited and authored books, over 210 peer reviewed papers, and over 70 book chapters. He is the series editor for Springer’s new book series Advances in Prevention and Treatment in Violence and Aggression. He provides webinars on ABA to qualified professionals and others on a regular basis. He has made numerous presentations nationally and internationally, including recent presentations in Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy. He has an active lab of graduate and undergraduate students working on developing and evaluating effective and efficient ways of training caregivers using modeling and feedback to use applied behavior analysis with children and adults with autism and other disabilities. He provides training and consultations widely.

Peter Sturmey is co-author or editor of books mentioned during the presentation. He receives royalties from the sale of the books. He also receives speaker and consultation fees for this and other related presentations.

Credit Hour Information

BCBAs  earn 3 CEUs for viewing recording.

Psychologists earn 2.5 CEs for viewing the recording

  • Must pass post-test with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes
  • CEs not available for other professions

For ABAC’s continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page


This webinar is 3 hours long. It begins with a short intro and the presenter starts speaking soon after. At the end of the event, participants are required to submit an evaluation, take and pass a post-test and submit attendance codes.