Author(s)

Genna Graham

Date Approved

9-7-2012

Embargo Period

12-21-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Xin, Joy

Subject(s)

Autism spectrum disorders; Online social networks

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

Facebook is a popular social media website that allows people to interact with friends and loved ones from far away and around the world. With its growing popularity, this study was conducted to examine if Facebook would improve social communication skills of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A total of nine students with ASD on two school campuses participated in the study. A multiple baseline single subject design across settings was used. During the baseline, students were observed and their initiation and reciprocation in communication with peers and teachers were recorded. During the intervention, students were instructed to use Facebook over a two week period, with appropriate training to assist in improving conversational skills and providing appropriate personal information on the internet. The results showed that students improved their skills in initiating and reciprocating social communication through the use of Facebook, in the meantime, their face-to-face interactions with peers and teachers were increased.

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