Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven P. Ragotzy

Third Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Stephanie M. Peterson


Response to intervention, tier system, special education, autism, systems of service, preschool


Lovaas (1987) applied behavior analysis to the treatment of autism and demonstrated a 47% “recovery” rate. He also reported that around 10% of the population that received his services made little-to-no improvement. The present study used a response-to-intervention framework to systematically identify and treat students in an early childhood, special-education classroom who were in danger of falling within that 10%. This study set out to identify, classify, and differentiate the treatment based on the student’s response to the standard classroom intervention. Improvements in multiple students’ rates of acquisition based on this system were recorded. This indicated a possibility of improved outcomes that were previously unavailable for a wider range of students receiving behavior analytic services.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. Carmen Jonaitis

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access