Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas S. Higbee

Abstract

In this study, we examined the effect of peer-implemented script fading procedures on the frequency of independent statements of play by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a classroom setting. The target children included five 5-year-old individuals with ASD with the ability to speak in three- to five-word phrases but did not initiate play with peers. We trained typically developing peers, ages 5 to 6, on how to implement procedures, prompt correct responses, systematically fade scripts, and interact with the target children. We used a script-fading intervention, including auditory scripts that prompted initiation of play with peers. We conducted sessions in an open area of a classroom using a preferred toy set and two additional toy sets for generalization. Following training, we found that peers implemented procedures with fidelity and target participants showed an increase in independent statements of play, both scripted and unscripted.

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