Date of Award

Fall 12-13-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Ryan Speelman,

Second Advisor

Dr. Julie Allison,

Third Advisor

Dr. Jamie Wood,

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Brian Sims,


Feeding problems are five times more likely to occur in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in typically developing peers (Sharp, et al., 2013). Though behavior analytic protocols have demonstrated efficacy, less research has investigated methods to transfer technology to non–professional caregivers. This study utilized a behavioral skills training (BST) procedure to increase generalization of treatment methods from the clinic to the home environment for three parent-child dyads. Meal observations were conducted prior to treatment to determine baseline rates of behavior, specifics of the child’s food refusal, oral motor deficits, and nutritional needs. Baseline observations were used to develop an individualized treatment protocol for each child and a multiple baseline design was used to demonstrate the effects of behavioral skills training on increased treatment fidelity and generalization effects of feeding strategies. Results indicate that behavioral skills training may be used to increase treatment fidelity and generalization effects for caregivers implementing behavioral feeding strategies with their children who display severe food selectivity.



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