Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Trevor Stokes

Marsha Longerbeam

Kenneth Baron

Abstract

A central characteristic of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are deficits in social communication, which often results in delays in speech and impairments in communication skills. The present study’s goal was to improve the quality of conversation skills in a seven-year-old diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A multiple baseline across behaviors probe design was used to teach the child appropriate responses in three conversation scripts about topics of interest of the child. The scripts were presented to the child using visual text prompts that were faded out using a front-to-back fading procedure. When the child met criteria for reinforcement, it was provided in the form of access to the preferred activity that was the topic of the conversation script. The interventions for the scripts were presented sequentially, with a new script being introduced once the previous one had been mastered. The results showed that the textual and the front-to-back fading procedure are effective for increasing the frequency of responding with appropriate content in a conversation, which in turn improves the quality of conversation skills.

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