Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can present with challenging problem behavior such as vocal stereotypy, property destruction, aggression, and self-injury. A common treatment option is the use of differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO) to reduce or eliminate these problem behaviors. This research study explored thinning dense DRO schedules with the use of progressive intervals and adjusted reinforcement to maintain a constant unit price with three students diagnosed with ASD at a non-public school receiving 1:1 instruction. Results indicated that progressive intervals were successful in maintaining low rates of problem behavior while thinning reinforcement schedules. One of the subjects did not increase the interval length past five sessions and future research is proposed to identify a criterion for participant eligibility criterion to be successful with progressive intervals. These findings contribute to the existing field of research regarding thinning schedules of reinforcement for student’s problem behavior treated with DRO schedules of reinforcement.