Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Susan P. Miller

Number of Pages



Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are expected to take various forms of tests in general education classrooms, therefore test-taking skills are very important and a necessary tool for students with ASD as they strive for academic success. The Test-Taking Strategy (Hughes, Schumaker, Deshler, & Mercer, 2002) has been found to be useful for students with learning disabilities and emotional behavioral disorders (EBD), but not yet with students with ASD; The purpose of this multiple-probe design study was to investigate the effects of test-taking strategy instruction on high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Specifically, the Test-Taking Strategy (Hughes et al.) was taught to four participants (i.e., one eleventh, one tenth, one eighth, and one sixth grade student) in an intensive after-school program. This strategy served as the independent variable in this study. Parallel Probe Tests (i.e., dependent variable) were used to measure participant performance throughout the baseline and instruction phases of the study. Two Generalization Probe Tests were used to measure students' abilities to apply the Test-Taking Strategy (Hughes et al.) to researcher-constructed tests using content being covered in the courses of greatest difficulty for the participants. Additionally two Maintenance Probe Tests were used to determine whether participants remembered the strategy steps two weeks after instruction ended. Visual analysis of graphed data from the parallel Probe Tests, Generalization Probe Tests, and Maintenance Probe Tests revealed that three of the four high-functioning students with ASD were able to learn the Test-Taking Strategy (Hughes et al.), generalize the learning to challenging tests, and maintain the knowledge two-weeks after instruction ended. The fourth participant also was able to learn the strategy and generalize the learning to challenging tests. This participant, however, needed a brief review to reach mastery on the Maintenance Probes administered two weeks after instruction ended; At the completion of this study, participant and parent satisfaction related to the test-taking instruction was measured using a 3- and 5-point Likert scale respectively. Satisfaction levels for both participants and their parents were very high.


Academic Skills; Adolescents; Autism; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Disorder; Effects; Functioning; High; High-functioning; Instruction; Learning; Spectrum; Strategy; Taking; Test; Test-taking Strategy

Controlled Subject

Special education; Educational psychology

File Format


File Size

3594.24 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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