Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Khryrstyna Bednarchyk

Committee Member

Emmy Maurilus


Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Melodic Based Communication Therapy, Tact Responding


This applied dissertation was designed to analyze the effect Melodic Based Communication Therapy has on minimally verbal children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly tact responses and their generalization in the natural environment. MBCT is a replicable protocol for pairing melodies with target words to elicit speech in children with neurodevelopmental and language impairment. There is a call for the MBCT’s replication to widen the research on this approach in natural settings and across children with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

A multiple baseline design across participants was used to determine the impact MBCT has on the tact responding in four preschool age students with ASD. Each of the participants were provided with individual tact instruction paired with MBCT by the researcher for six sessions. Analysis of the collected data revealed that all of the participants demonstrated an increase in tact responding during the intervention phase. Following the intervention phase, a generalization probe was conducted in the participant's classroom to assess generalization. Three of the participants demonstrated generalization of tact responding, while one student engaged in interfering behaviors that resulted in non-responsiveness. Thus, MBCT continues to demonstrate a positive effect on tact responding in minimally verbal children with ASD, with future research needed to expand the sample size and control for maladaptive behaviors that may interfere with the integrity of MBCT's impact on language acquisition.