Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Ada Celeste Harvey

Second Advisor

Kimberly Sloman

Third Advisor

Demara B. Bennett

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman


Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate deficits in fine motor skills, requiring therapies to help improve their performance of a variety of self-care, daily living, and academic skills. Research in the occupational therapy literature suggests several methods of assessing and teaching fine motor skills and represents an area that is understudied in the applied behavior analysis research. The two disciplines may offer a complementary approach to targeting emerging skills, shaping desired responses in naturalistic contexts, and reinforcing participation. This study aimed to examine the impact of occupational therapy-recommended activities on fine motor skills by blending the occupational therapy perspective of targeting skill development with the applied behavior analysis perspective of utilizing naturalistic environmental teaching. Researchers required children with ASD to complete activities targeting specific fine motor skill areas based on assessment results, based on recommendations of an occupational therapist. In the end, two out of three participants experienced improvement in fine motor skills in contrived and naturalistic contexts, as assessed by behavioral observation and standardized assessments.


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