Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Applied Behavior Analysis

Major Professor

Pamela Osnes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Esch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Trevor Stokes, Ph.D.


use of special interests or obsessive preoccupations to increase acceptable behavior, visually based strategies, cognitive behaviorally based strategies, rule governed behavior, mediated generalization


It has been slightly more than a decade since Asperger syndrome was recognized as a distinct sub-category of autism disorder and was first given a diagnostic category in the DSM-IV. An abundance of suggestions, ideas, and recommendations for treatment have been offered, yet there is only a limited amount of research that empirically evaluates these interventions. This study explores an intervention, the Power Card Strategy (PCS), previously demonstrated to be effective with improving social behaviors with a young girl with autism, by employing the student's area of special interest. An advantage to this intervention is it is relatively easy to implement, requires minimal time, and the cost is virtually nil. This study used a reversal design to investigate the utility of the Power Card Strategy to increase on-task behavior during teacher-directed math instruction in a general education class. The results of this study suggest that the PCS was effective for increasing on-task behavior with this student. An upward trend was observed in the student's on-task behavior during the intervention condition. Upon return to the baseline condition, the student's on-task behavior stabilized at levels observed during intervention, suggesting that skills acquired during the intervention phase maintained.