Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Khrystyna Bednarchyk

Committee Member

Peter Ross


applied behavior analysis, autism, social skills, behavioral skills training


This applied dissertation was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the behavioral skills training model in teaching one 4-year-old child with autism to greet others, use an appropriate tone of voice, and use anger control. Moreover, this study assessed the maintenance of newly acquired social skills relying on a multiple probe research design. It was hypothesized that with the use of behavioral skills training the acquisition of the appropriate social skills at an early age would allow the child to engage with peers and adults in the training environment and later in a variety of social situations across other settings and individuals.

The researcher developed the task analysis procedures to teach the three social skills and implemented the procedures with the use of the behavioral skills training model. The trained implementer applied instruction, modeling, role-playing, feedback, and reinforcement components of the behavioral skills training to teach the target skills. To ascertain the overall deficits in social skills, the researcher administered the pre-post Social Responsiveness Scale. Parents of the participant completed a social validity survey to express a perceived level of satisfaction with the intervention.

An analysis of the collected data revealed that behavioral skills training model was an effective approach to teaching the target social skills to a young child with autism while the participant’s T score demonstrated only marginal changes in the overall social skill acquisition. The social validity results of the study further promote the effectiveness of intervention as a positive approach for young children with ASD.