Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marjorie Charlop

Rights Information

© 2017 Julia A Blanco


Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) per DSM-5 criteria are characteristically limited in their ability to interact socially due to conversational speech delays. Typically, children with ASD experience a more constrained number of appropriate initiations and responses in conversations with peers. Previous research has shown the benefits of using scripted language to increase verbalizations in these children. However, limited research has been conducted on the use of technology to increase social interactions between children with ASD. This study will be based on hypotheses and results from the dissertation, “Teaching Conversational Speech to Children with Autism Using a Text Message Intervention” by Denise Grosberg. Grosberg evaluated the performance of a text message intervention (TMI) procedure using scripted language to teach conversational speech with typically developing peers. The present study used a multiple baseline design across dyads to again assess the efficacy of a text message intervention between dyads of children with ASD, including younger and lower-functioning participants. Results demonstrated an increase in appropriate conversational speech through the TMI and an increase in unscripted language following the intervention. Seven of the participants generalized the behavior across peers and settings as well as after a two-week follow-up period. Data are discussed in terms of the percentage of appropriate phrases used, as a function of appropriate phrases, inappropriate phrases, and the number of times a participant did not respond.


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