Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Eliana A. Segal

Preferred Name - Second Author

Trevor F. Stokes

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Trevor Stokes, Ph.D.

Abstract

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have social skill deficits that are often manifested in a failure to achieve normal back-and-forth conversation. They rarely initiate social interactions and often show little responsiveness to others. This can extinguish the social initiations of their peers, leading to great difficulty making friends. The purpose of the present study was to teach a child with ASD at an inter-professional autism clinic how to initiate and reciprocate a social conversation. A prompt fading procedure was implemented during training sessions to build a set of social skills into the child’s repertoire. The intervention provided social attention and positive touch as consequences for the appropriate social skills. This intervention was implemented sequentially in a multiple-baseline across behaviors design. During intervention phases, the participant generalized the trained social greeting to five student clinicians who were not involved in training.

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