Date of Award

5-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

Behavioral and linguistic theoretical approaches to language development may have the most influence in terms of treating language deficits experienced with individuals with autism, and contemporary theories of language development provided by stimulus equivalence and Relational Frame Theory may bridge the gap between these two theoretical approaches. The present study evaluated the relationship between an assessment based off of these contemporary behavioral theories with the results gathered from widely used behavioral and linguistic assessments of language functioning with individuals with autism. These correlated assessments included: the Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Equivalence Pre-Assessment (PEAK-E-PA), the Test of Language Development (TOLD-I:4), and The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R). The results suggested that there was a strong correlation between the PEAK-E-PA and the TOLD-I:4 (r = 0.93, p < .01) and between the PEAK-E-PA and the ABLLS-R (r = 0.65, p < .01); however, there was only a moderate correlation between the ABLLS-R and the TOLD-I:4 (r = 0.43, p < .01). The results have implications for the assessment, and subsequent treatment of language deficits experienced by individuals with autism.

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