Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Todd Whitney

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Castner

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Cooter


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges; and estimates that one in 68 children in the United States are affected by it (CDC, 2014). This prevalence rate is much higher than that of prior decades and has led to trends and factors related to educational programs that include an increase in the inclusion of students with ASD in general education classrooms. For this reason, it is crucial that teachers have access to efficient, teacher-friendly, and research-based interventions for students with ASD in the general education environment. One strategy that has been implemented in many different settings to influence behavior is a token economy system. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of a token economy in decreasing disruptive behavior displayed by a student with ASD in a fourth-grade general education classroom. Using an ABAB single subject design, results showed that the student’s disruptive behavior was at an increased level during the initial baseline condition; decreased as the intervention was introduced; returned to an increased level during the second baseline condition; and decreased again once the intervention was reinstated. Furthermore, the student’s behavior continued to stay at decreased levels during a maintenance phase.