Date of Award

12-2020

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Applied Behavior Analysis: M.S.

Department

Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy

College

School of Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Benjamin Witts

Second Advisor

Michele Traub

Third Advisor

Odessa Luna

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

autism spectrum disorder, joint attention, gaze following, responding, generalization

Abstract

This study evaluated the implementation of behavioural intervention (i.e., prompting, prompt fading, discrete trial teaching, social reinforcement, and multiple exemplars) to teach three children all diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) how to respond to bids for joint attention by following another’s eye gaze. Additionally, generalization of each child’s responding was evaluated across four different bid types (i.e., varied presentation and/or stimuli used), as well as with a parent/caregiver. To promote generalization, teaching occurred in both the child’s home and clinical environment, as well as when seated at a table or on the floor while engaging in an activity. Using a multiple baseline design across bid types for each participant, the results showed that behavioural intervention to teach responding to joint attention bids using gaze following was successful for all participants. Response generalization was shown across bid types for all participants. All participants’ skills were also generalized to their parent or caregiver.

Comments/Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my advisor and committee chairperson, Dr. Ben Witts. Thank you for your teaching, patience, and guidance from first year Experimental Analysis of Behaviour through to the completion of this thesis project. I will forever be a better behaviourist and critical thinker because of you. I’d also like to extend my thanks to my thesis committee, Dr. Michele Traub and Dr. Odessa Luna for their feedback and support. A special thanks to Dr. Kim Schulze for supporting me in my practicum and the beginning of my research on joint attention.

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