Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Linda LeBlanc

Second Advisor

Dr. James Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The effects of the use of behavioral skills training to teach parents of children with autism to implement the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) were examined. Data were collected on parent implementation and child behavior. Results indicated that parents of children with autism were able to learn to implement the NLP procedures and continued to implement the procedures accurately throughout the study. Child data indicated that parent-implemented NLP resulted in improvements in child play. These improvements consisted of a decrease in intervals with no toy engagement, a decrease in intervals in which inappropriate play occurred, and an increase in intervals in which appropriate play occurred. Parent-implemented NLP also resulted in an increase in the rate of child vocalizations and an increase in the average number of syllables per child vocalization. Results of a social validity questionnaire indicated that parents found participation in the study to be very useful and the NLP procedures to be not at all difficult. Additionally, parents indicated that they would continue to use the NLP procedure at home often. Parents indicated that the NLP procedures helped their child's language skills very much and were at least somewhat helpful for their child's play skills.

Included in

Psychology Commons