Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Applied behavior analysis, shaping, desensitization


In this paper, the author will report the procedures and results for two case studies: Using a desensitization procedure to decrease problem behavior towards peers and using a treatment package to increase time spent in a small group. Both case studies took place in a clinic setting with participants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 4-year-old male and a 9-year-old female. The first case study evaluated the effectiveness of a desensitization procedure to decrease problem behavior and increase tolerance of peers in the environment of a 4-year-old boy with ASD. The case study was successful in decreasing problem behavior and increasing the tolerance of peers in the participant’s environment. The second case study used a changing criterion design to monitor and implement a shaping procedure to increase the time spent in a small group for a 9-year-old girl with ASD. A visual schedule, reinforcement, and prompting procedures were also included in the shaping procedure. Results demonstrated that the shaping procedure and behavioral strategies were successful in increasing the time spent in the group for the participant.