Date of Award

December 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Bonita P. Klein-Tasman

Committee Members

Bonita P. Klein-Tasman, Sue Lima, Douglas Woods


Autism, Behavior Analysis, Goal Setting, Goal Tracking, Special Needs, Summer Camp


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by abnormal or impaired development with deficits in social interaction, communication, and a restricted repertoire of interests and activities. There are a number of treatment options available, such as individual or group therapies. Therapeutic summer camps provide a unique service to individuals with ASDs, as well as an opportunity to create, set, and track behavior analytic goals over the summer. Research has demonstrated that summer camps are a promising therapy environment. Research on goal setting and tracking has shown promising results for progress toward behavioral goals. There is limited research on therapeutic summer camps for children with ASDs, and approaches to goal setting and tracking therein. In this study, an approach is presented for therapeutic summer camps to create, set, and track goals and measure progress over the summer. Parents, campers, and camp staff compiled three goals to be worked on for the summer. Each week, camp staff rated goal progress for each camper. At the end of camp, goal progress was assessed to determine how much progress was made for each goal for each camper was assessed. It was determined that each camper made at least some progress on one of their three goals, with some campers making gains more substantial progress on all three of their goals. These findings provide evidence of progress toward individualized goals in the summer camp setting and support the feasibility of creating and tracking behavior analytic goals at therapeutic summer camps.

Included in

Psychology Commons