Document Type

Special Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Professional Studies


Special Education

First Advisor

Rama Cousik, PhD, Chair

Committee Members

Rama Cousik, PhD, Chair, Jeong-il Cho, PhD, Jane M. Leatherman, PhD

Date of Award



Communication skills are deficits encountered by students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students who are nonverbal face greater challenges in communicating. There are many different communication strategies available to teachers and therapists. Parents have the challenge of choosing a strategy that best meets the needs and ability level of their student with autism. This project was created to provide teachers, therapists, and parents with a handbook containing information on communication strategies that can be used with nonverbal students who have autism. Three common communication strategies were implemented with students, and teachers and therapists were given a survey about teaching methods regarding each strategy. This will be helpful to professionals and parents who work with nonverbal students with autism as they search through the sea of communication strategies in attempt to find what works for students.


Special Education and Teaching