Practical Application of Applied Behavior Analysis in the School Setting for an African American Female with Autism


Special Education

Date of this version


Document Type



autism, applied behavior analysis, special education, elementary school, functional communication training, communication


The purpose of this single-subject case study was to examine the practical application of interventions grounded in the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in the school setting. With the assistance of a school district behavior specialist trained in ABA, educators utilized functional communication training (FCT) and other ABA evidence-based practices (EBP) to increase communication and decrease challenging behaviors in a 6-year-old African American female with autism. The other ABA EBPs included functional behavior assessment, prompting, time delay, modeling, differential reinforcement, and extinction. Methodology included document reviews, interviews, and observations. Results demonstrated an increase in communication using a visual, gestural, or verbal means to request an item and a decrease in the duration, frequency, and intensity of tantrums, physical aggression, and self-injurious behaviors.

Published in

DADD Online Journal

Citation/Other Information

Stansberry Brusnahan, L. L., & Farrell, E. (2018). Practical application of applied behavior analysis in the school setting for an African American female with autism. DADD Online Journal, 4(1), 142-158. http://daddcec.org/Portals/0/CEC/Autism_Disabilities/Research/Publications/DOJ_Volume4_2017.pdf