Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Anisa N. Goforth

Commitee Members

Jacqueline Brown, Jennifer Schoffer Closson, Rachel Severson, Melissa Neff


Autism, Individualized Treatment, In-home, Parent Training, Qualitative & ABAB design, Social Skills


University of Montana


There has been an increase in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in recent years. As a result, many families who have a child diagnosed with ASD seek out effective treatment in improving the social skills of their child. Literature suggests varied results when considering the treatment outcomes of different social skills interventions. However, the use of evidence-based practices (EBP), parent involvement in the treatment, and individualized treatment goals is considered best practice when treating ASD. This study combined the use of three EBPs: video modeling, social narratives and parent implemented intervention (PII), in attempts to effectively improve the social skills of children with ASD. A multimethod approach was used to study the effectiveness of this treatment. Specifically, an ABAB single subjects design with a 1-month follow-up was used to improve the social skills (social communication and social-emotional skills) of two children with ASD. Moreover, parent interviews, logs, rating scales and checklists were used to study the maintenance of treatment effects, the social validity and the treatment fidelity of the treatments. Results indicated that the treatment approach was not effective in improving social communication of one participant, but was moderately effective in decreasing the frequency of disruptive behaviors for one of the participants. Treatment fidelity was determined to be an important factor when considering the use of parent driven treatments within the home setting. Moreover, strong social validity was determined despite the parent having difficulty implementing the treatment consistently. Further discussion of the results, recommendations for future research and limitations of the study are also presented.



© Copyright 2019 Zachary R. Shindorf