Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, S. Jay

Committee Member 1

Accardo, Amy


Aggression, Autism, Behavior Interventions, Functional Communication Training, Self-Injurious Behavior, Sensory Diet


Autistic youth--Behavior modification


Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two behavioral interventions of young adults with Autism spectrum disorder that present with aggressive and self-injurious behavior. The results were analyzed to determine the successes and comparisons of the interventions to decrease challenging behaviors. The participants were two young adult male students diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder, both use an AAC device as their primary means of communication. Data was collected using a reversal (A-B-A-B) study design, with collection during a baseline phase, intervention phase one, reversal withdrawal of intervention phase two and re-implementation of intervention phase three. The independent variables in the study were the sensory diet and functional communication training. The dependent variables in the study were the student's behavior and ability to decrease aggression and self-injury. Overall, the results of the study demonstrated that the use of a strictly regimented sensory diet, which provided the integration of sensory activities every 45 minutes to one hour throughout the course of the school day to be the most effective intervention to decrease aggressive and self-injurious behavior. The study demonstrated results for use of functional communication training intervention to be ineffective.