Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Behavioral Analysis

First Advisor

Catherine Nicholson

Second Advisor

Ada Harvey

Third Advisor

Barbara Paulillo

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman


This study compared skill acquisition rates during multiple operants training across similar responses and different responses in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Secondary measures included functional independence of verbal operants and children’s teaching condition preference. Discrete-trial instruction was used during both teaching conditions. An adapted alternating treatment design embedded in a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants was used to examine rates of skill acquisition. Results showed that two of the three participants acquired skills in fewer sessions during the multiple operants training across similar responses when compared to multiple operant training across different responses. Two of the three participants did not transfer targets to the untaught operant supporting research on the functional independence of the operants. Lastly, children showed idiosyncratic preferences during the condition preference assessment.