Masters Thesis

A comparison of two training packages on teaching staff to increase manding opportunities for children with autism spectrum disorder

Behavior skills training (BST) has shown to improve staff performance and accuracy, but is often costly and long in duration. Creating a quality yet efficient training package is desired. A comparison of a 2-step training package consisting of a self-directed handout and modeling and a 4-step training package consisting of an instructional presentation, modeling, role-playing and feedback was evaluated with four behavior therapists who work for a non-public agency and provide behavior services to children with autism spectrum disorder in special day classrooms that are autism specific. The results indicated that the more efficient 2-step training package produced similar effects as the longer 4-step training package in staff performance. The results suggest that a longer multi-step training package may not be necessary for staff training to increase performance. Limitations such as duration of data that was collected and times of trainings may have impacted participant’s performance. Further research should investigate which components of behavior skills training are the most effective.