Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Rachel Mathews

Second Advisor

Ruth Meese

Third Advisor

Glenda Taylor


The purpose of this research was to investigate the communication patterns of a ten-year-old boy with autism within his natural environment and to implement a new communication system called Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) to increase the efficacy of his communication. PODD is a new version of a picture communication system developed by Gayle Porter from Melbourne, Australia, intended to increase semantic and syntactic communication components. The first of three settings in this single-subject multiple baseline across settings design was the subject’s morning job at school delivering mail and taking tea orders. The second setting was the cafeteria for morning snack with a peer and adults from his self-contained classroom. The third setting was his home environment at the end of his school day where he interacted with family members and clinicians working in the home. The researcher collected data on expressive language utterances counting the frequency of types of communication (vocalizations, gestures, signing) and levels of prompting (spontaneous, responses, cued speech). The data were analyzed by counting the frequency of expressive utterances of communication preferences in each of the thrée settings while adding PODD with communication partners as the intervention in each setting. The results showed across multiple settings an increase in frequency of occurrences of types of communication and levels of prompting.



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