Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Wallace

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Stockdale

Third Advisor

Dr. Kent Logan


This study uses a single subject adapted alternating treatment design to examine the comparative effects of two types of visual supports. Photographic visual supports that depict only the materials in the completed step and photographic visual supports that depict the student using the materials to complete each step were examined as to their comparative efficiency on the acquisition of independent performance of multi-step tasks by students with autism. The study expands the body of literature and fills a gap in the research of visual supports, which is one of the most widely accepted, research-based forms of intervention used with subjects on the autism spectrum. The gap is in the lack of comparative studies using two types of static photographic visual supports. The results indicated a slight difference in the overall efficiency between the two types of visual supports as indicated by the materials visual support meeting criteria prior to the model visual support. The data indicated a large and immediate change from baseline to intervention phase in all subjects and across all tasks. All subjects were able to maintain acquisition and mastery of the skill regardless of the task used across several subsequent sessions. The subjects also generalized the use of the most efficient to a different task.