Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Jennifer Mrljak

Third Advisor

Kelli Perry


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects a package treatment containing a picture activity schedule and functional communication training on the reduction of problem behaviors on a child with developmental delays. The study was conducted by first establishing discrimination between pictures, to be used in the picture activity schedule. Then the tutors progressively advanced through the six phases of the picture activity schedule. Each phase taught fundamental rules such as “first this, then that”, and built the schedule to more complex structure. In this way, the student could anticipate upcoming tasks, and preferred activities. The predictor strategy provides practical advantages such as increasing the individual’s autonomy, decreasing problem behaviors by means of altering the perspective of the aversive tasks by incorporating the reinforcing properties of choice, increasing motivation to work through tasks by provided clearly identified incentives. The combination approach to this treatment package incorporated intervention tools already built into the child’s working environment such as the picture exchange communication system (PECS) and token economy. These tools aided in establishing a more elaborate means of communicating expectations between the educator and student.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access