Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marjorie H. Charlop

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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often do not use their leisure time appropriately. Previous studies have shown that children with ASD tend to engage in inappropriate actions and maladaptive behaviors (such as engaging in stereotypy and tantrums) that decrease their quality of life. Establishing age-appropriate leisure skills is important for these children as these skills have been recognized as fulfilling habilitative needs, and can increase the quality of life and social acceptance and decrease the amount of stress for these individuals. The present study used a multiple baseline across-participants design to investigate whether children with ASD can learn and maintain the skill of photography. Eight children (5 boys and 3 girls, ages 5-16) with ASD were taught using behavioral skills training to engage in an appropriate leisure skill–taking pictures. When mastery criterion was met during training (participants were able to take two consecutive pictures following the six operationally defined steps), participants completed a follow-up three weeks later to examine whether they were able to maintain the skill. Six out of the eight participants were able to successfully learn how to take pictures. This study furthers the current literature on teaching leisure skills to children with ASD and future studies can focus on expanding appropriate leisure skills that are taught to children with ASD, as well as measuring the effects (i.e. social, therapeutic) of learning photography, in addition to other leisure skills.