Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education (PhD)
Do, help, talk: Training teachers to implement a peer-mediated social skills intervention for elementary-school students with autism spectrum disorder
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
Many parents find computer science and engineering education valuable and beneficial for their children’s future careers (English, 2015). However, autistic students are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, despite those areas being of strong interest for many autistic individuals (Wei et al., 2013). This study evaluated the effects of a virtual parent-mediated intervention package on the acquisition of robotics coding skills by four elementary-aged autistic youth in home settings. The following additional variables were also explored: (a) the degree to which the parents could implement the intervention package with integrity with autistic youth; (b) the generalization of taught and novel coding skills within sibling play sessions; (c) the parent’s generalization of implementing the intervention package to teach non-autistic siblings the same coding skills; and (d) social validity of parents, children on the autism spectrum, and non-autistic siblings. Results of the multiple baseline across participants design demonstrated all autistic youth were able to acquire the coding skills and generalize taught skills and generate novel tracks and codes during sibling play sessions. Parents were able to implement the intervention package with high treatment integrity and generalize the intervention package to teach non-autistic siblings. Social validity measures indicate families were highly satisfied with the intervention and results. Implications for practitioners, limitations, and future directions are discussed.