Soles of the Feet Mindfulness-Based Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Challenging Behavior

Monica Shah, Lauren J. Moskowitz, Joshua C. Felver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine whether a brief mindfulness-based program (MBP) reduces observable challenging behavior in elementary students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), when delivered one-on-one by a natural intervention agent. Methods: Using a concurrent multiple baseline design, we examined whether Soles of the Feet (SoF) reduces challenging behavior in children with ASD when delivered by a school staff member in an elementary school setting. Three 9-to-10-year-old children with ASD, presenting with high rates of challenging behavior and IQ scores above 85, were recruited from a private special education school. The school mental health counselor (MHC) was trained on SoF over 8 h and deemed competent after receiving 100% on a fidelity checklist. Following baseline data collection, the MHC implemented SoF across five 20–30-min sessions, one-on-one with each student, and fidelity of implementation was monitored. Results: Results found that, from baseline to post-treatment, all three students showed a stable and decreasing trend of observed challenging behavior in individually identified problematic contexts, representing a strong effect (NAP = 100%). Teacher social validity ratings indicated the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of SoF for use in school settings, while two of three students indicated that the treatment was socially valid. Although teacher-rated overall challenging behavior did not decrease for all students, SoF reduced individually defined observable challenging behavior for each student in specific targeted contexts. Conclusions: MBPs may provide a way for children with ASD to self-manage challenging behaviors, which may ameliorate the need for more intensive individual interventions in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1342-1353
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Challenging behavior
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Mindfulness
  • Schools
  • Soles of the Feet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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