Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Timothy M. Weil, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA-D


motivating operations, autism, functional analysis, satiation


This study examined the effects of three fixed-duration free operant access conditions on rates of automatically maintained stereotypic behavior and correct task responding during discrete trial training (DTT) with two children diagnosed with autism. Following a functional analysis, confirming automatic function, interviews/observations were conducted to identify behavioral indicators of satiation and an average satiation level. In this endeavor, participants were exposed to a free operant condition to validate satiation of stereotypic responding. Once satiation level was averaged, two durational conditions were computed: Long (75% access) and Short (25% access). A third condition, Deprivation, involved blocking all attempts at the stereotypic response for the average duration till satiation. An alternating treatment design was used to examine the effects of these three conditions on stereotypy and correct responding during subsequent discrete trial tasks. For both, participants correct responding did not seem to be affected by the length of the pre-session access to the stereotypic behavior prior to the DTT session. For Marcus, the Long condition may have acted as an abolishing operation (AO) during DTT. Following the Short condition he engaged in higher rates of the stereotypic behaviors during his DTT sessions compared to the other conditions. For the Sara, it appears that pre-session access to stereotypy had little effect on stereotypic behavior during DTT sessions.