Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sarah Budischak

Reader 2

Sadie Otte


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an increasingly common developmental disorder that changes how people experience the world and affects individuals’ social interactions and often leads to many adverse behaviors. Current literature dictates that a primary contributor to these adverse behaviors is that those with ASD have difficulty determining their own emotional states and determining the physiological signals that their body sends them. A study by Dr. Sarabadani et al. determined that it was possible to monitor the physiology of an individual with ASD and correlate certain signals to emotions, such as stress. These findings indicate the feasibility of establishing a physiologically based approach to emotion recognition and could entail a technological solution to the problems that individuals with autism face. It is the goal of this project to determine the efficacy of utilizing a physiological approach to minimize the impact of the adverse behaviors through the implementation of relaxation techniques at key points when stress levels are rising. If the interventions are successful, we would expect to see a decrease in the amount of reported emotional outbursts which would be reflected by fewer spikes in the measured physiological responses. If the interventions are not successful, we would see little impact on the amount of outbursts and the number would remain relatively similar to before the study.