Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

Many individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder present limitations in their demonstration of derived relational responding. Mindfulness is one mechanism to encourage interaction in the current context. Three adolescent females diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities participated in the study. In a multiple baseline with an embedded multi-element design, participants were exposed to stimuli paired with the engagement in a mindfulness activity prior to relational training, and stimuli paired with the engagement in a video game activity prior to relational training. Performance on a transformation of stimulus function tasks was tested following both conditions. All three participants demonstrated quicker acquisition of the skill as well as higher average scores following engagement in a mindfulness activity when compared to engagement in the video game activity. The results of the study support the utility of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder engaging in a mindfulness activity prior to a relational training task in order to decrease the time required to acquire a complex skill.

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