Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Cori More

Second Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Third Committee Member

Joshua Baker

Fourth Committee Member

Chyllis E. Scott

Number of Pages



For all students, the ability to communicate is the most fundamental educational outcome leading to academic success (Kearns et al., 2011). Students with autism (ASD), however, demonstrate particular difficulty with spontaneous communication and use of functional language throughout a variety of settings (CDC, 2018), including academic contexts. The framework of verbal behavior and training of tacting and intraverbal responses has been widely used to increase the language for students with autism (Sundberg & Michael, 2001), but these skills do not begin in or generalize to academic contexts, particularly during reading instruction. Embedded instruction (Jimenez & Kamei, 2015) and systematic prompting (Doyle et al.,1988) have widely been used as strategies to improve skill acquisition for students with developmental disabilities, including autism, but a majority of the skill acquisition relates to play, transition, functional skill development, and communicating within a social and behavioral context as opposed to within the contexts of access to academic content (Odom et al., 2010).

This study provides support to the existing literature by combining two previously evidence-based practices to increase the verbal behavior (tacting and intraverbal responses) of students with autism during reading instruction. A single subject multiple probe design across participants was used to analyze the outcomes of the use of embedded trials and systematic prompting on tacted and intraverbal responses, as well as the content and accuracy of the responses. Additionally, social validity was measured in this study through surveys administered to the student and teacher participants, as well as parents of the participants in the study. Delimitations, limitations, and future research considerations were discussed.


Autism; Instruction; Intraverbal; Prompting; Tacting; Verbal behavior


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


File Size

2000 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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