Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D

Committee Member

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D

Committee Member

Timothy Weil Ph.D


Autism, Joint Attention, Percentile Schedule of Reinforcement, Shaping, Sustained Interaction


This study examined the use of shaping with a percentile schedule to increase the duration of the interaction following a bid for joint attention in children with autism. Specifically, the therapist initiated a bid for joint attention and reinforced longer successive approximations in seconds of sustained interaction with the therapist and activity. A percentile schedule ranked the most recent 10 observations and reinforcement was provided if the current observation equaled the sixth ranking. Most-to-least prompting was used if the child failed to meet the calculated criterion. Shaping with a percentile schedule of reinforcement was effective at increasing the duration of sustained interaction following a bid for joint attention, for all participants from an average baseline duration of 13 s to an average intervention duration of 215 s.