Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Applied Behavior Analysis: M.S.


Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy


School of Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Benjamin Witts

Second Advisor

Michele Traub

Third Advisor

Kimberly Schulze

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, 22q13, SHANK3, applied behavior analysis, treatment



The purpose of this review was to summarize literature relating to treatment of Phelan-McDermid syndrome and identify ways in which applied behavior analysis can benefit this population. A systematic literature search revealed 23 articles focusing on treatment of Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Results indicated that previous interventions included: hormones, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, selective reuptake inhibitors, psychotropics, and anxiolytics/sleeping pills. Despite reported medical successes, behavioral challenges facing the Phelan-McDermid syndrome community parallels those behavior analysts routinely address. To that end, the review concludes with ways in which applied behavior analysis can support those affected by Phelan-McDermid syndrome.

Keywords: Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, 22q13, SHANK3, applied behavior analysis, treatment



Mom and Dad, I cannot thank you enough for your endless love and support. I strive to embody the strength, patience, and compassion you continuously demonstrate. Grateful does not begin to explain how I feel about the sacrifices you have made to get me here. I hope I can someday repay your kindnesses. To my brother Bobby, I have looked up to you from day one. Each time I fell, you picked me up. Thank you for being my rock.

Dr. Benjamin Witts, thank you for guiding this project. I appreciate everything you have done to help me succeed and this would not have been possible without you. Your intelligence and confidence are admirable, and you have made me feel that I have those qualities too. Thank you for being a wonderful mentor and applying the techniques you teach. Additionally, thank you Dr. Michele Traub for the enthusiasm you brought to this project. Your ideas and energy have influenced me to get excited about the next step. You are clearly passionate about your work and I am thankful for your encouragement. A thank you is also due to Dr. Kimberly Schulze. Your thoughtfulness is apparent in the way you give feedback and you have a natural ability to guide without negativity, a quality I try to emulate. Thank you for your warmth.

A special thank you goes to the family who inspired this project. Your son touched my heart and for that I am grateful. His smile, laugh, and personality are unmatched. I hope this project benefits his development in the future and your desire to help the community deserves credit. I dedicate this thesis to you.



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