Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Steven Nourse

Second Committee Member

S. Schmitz

Third Committee Member

C. Gann


Many students with autism lack the essential skills necessary to communicate effectively as adolescents and adults. They communicate in a nonproductive manner to get their "wants" or "needs" met. Some of these behaviors include crying, screaming, or having tantrums. Current research reviewed for this project indicates clearly the benefits of applied social skills such as social stories, augmentative strategies such as picture exchange systems, and alternative strategies such as gestures and sign language. These students need to communicate their wants and needs by using socially appropriate adaptive methods of communications. The purpose of the manual at the end of this project is to provide a tool for Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to assist students with autism to communicate more effectively.