Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis



Committee Chair

Jordan Belisle


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological disorder that affects how people communicate, interact with others, behave, and learn. Applied Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach to predicting and influencing behavior that has been applied successfully in supporting children with ASD. Due to communication and intellectual differences experienced by those diagnosed with ASD, it is important to identify therapies and interventions that focus on language development as well as maintenance of intervention gains during unexpected lapses in instruction. The PEAK Relational Training System (Dixon et al., 2017)is a treatment framework that exists within ABA to address language and cognitive skills. In this case study evaluation, which was completed in a public school setting, four students with ASD were assessed using the PEAK Comprehensive Assessment (PCA) prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. During the shutdown, these students received a significant decrease in the amount of direct instruction and instruction was delivered via telehealth. When school resumed the next fall, these students were reassessed, and three out of the four students showed an increase in their PEAK Assessment scores. This case study shows the effectiveness of a modified telehealth model created and conducted by school teachers and staff in a rural public school in Nebraska during the mandatory COVID-19 closures. Once the shutdown was over, scores were collected and analyzed from existing data collected during this time as well as pre-post analysis of PCA scores.


autism spectrum disorder, applied behavior analysis, covid 19, derived relational responding, peak

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


© Kayla Marie Welch

Open Access