Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Kelly Kohler

Third Advisor

Autumn Lucero


Children with autism have been known to exhibit abnormal scanning responses, or lack them entirely, as shown by the results of various studies (Sasson et al., 2008; Landry & Bryson, 2004). Studies have indicated that scanning may be a behavioral cusp and the lack of a normal scanning response in children with autism may be inhibiting the acquisition of many other subsequent skills (Bosch & Fuqua, 2001). By implementing an intervention to teach the scanning response, it was hypothesized that our participants would develop the prerequisite scanning skill, and therefore performance on a matching-to-sample procedure would improve. Through a basic AB design, the participant in this study was taught the scanning response. Initially, the participant was taught to track a preferred edible across three blank index cards, then a preferred tangible, and next a finger point. Performance of the scanning response was measured by percentage of complete scans prior to making a selection during the Matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure. For comparison, this performance measure was taken prior to the intervention, during, and after the completion of the intervention. Results of the study revealed that our participant developed a scanning response, given that they progressed through Phase 3 of the intervention. During the MTS posttest, the participant achieved a 90% correct response in terms of scanning all the sample cards, and a 10% correct response in terms of accurate MTS performance. It is hypothesized that MTS performance may improve with further teaching, as this was a novel response for the participant, even after the intervention. Future research should look at using a scanning procedure prior to receptive identification procedures. It may also be beneficial to utilize shaping to initially teach the scanning response when using this procedure in the future.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (503 kB)