Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Ragotzy

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carmen Jonaitis


Autism, Special Education, one-on-one discrete trial setting, Special Education classrooms


The goal of an early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) program is to teach each child the skills necessary to make meaningful progress in less-restrictive environments (Fox, Dunlap & Crushing, 2002). However, few studies have detailed the steps necessary for a “successful” transition into these educational settings. We transitioned two children, who received 20 hours a week of one-on-one discrete-trial therapy and attended a half-day special education pre-school classroom, to a full-time educational setting. With the goal of aiding each during his/her transition, this study used the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) (Sundberg, 2008), particularly the barriers and transitions assessments, to evaluate each child’s strengths, deficits, and barriers. We also collaborated with their teachers to collect classroom expectations and recommended pre-requisite skills. Our intervention focused more on teaching commonly used classroom skills and barrier reduction, and less on the acquisition of additional academic skills. All targeted skills, except Cooper’s transitions, transferred from the one-on-one setting to his/her new classroom after some followup classroom staff training. Also, we did intervene to decrease Cooper’s flops during transitions in his kindergarten classroom.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access