Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Theodore Bartholomew

Reader 2

Jennifer Ma

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There are many interventions commonly used for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, one that has not been researched as often is drama therapy. Though there are not many studies on drama therapy and ASD, the ones that do exist seem to indicate positive results. The goal of this proposed study is to assess whether drama therapy could be a good intervention for ASD and if it could potentially be a better option compared to applied behavioral analysis (ABA). The proposed study is broken into two smaller studies. The first study explores the potential benefits of drama therapy for social and communication skill development for autistic youth. The study design will assess the social and communication skills at the beginning and end of a 3-month drama therapy course. It is hypothesized that there will be an increase in social and communication skills following the 3 months. The second study then investigates whether drama therapy in childhood could lower the risk of post-traumatic stress responses in autistic adults as compared to autistic adults who received ABA in childhood. In this design, participants will be asked to complete two scales assessing the number of traumas they have experienced and post-traumatic stress levels. It is hypothesized that participants exposed to drama therapy will have lower post-traumatic stress levels than those exposed to ABA. These two studies together could help to expand the options for interventions available to autistic people and potentially find drama therapy to be a better alternative than the current options.