Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education

Committee Member

Gilbert Stiefel

Committee Member

Derrick Fries


The intent of this research was to investigate the use of visual supports for individuals who suffer from Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIB) stemming from developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It has been determined that there are many causes of SIB in individuals with ASD, and while some theories are no more than untested assumptions, there is validated research on behavioral patterns that suggests that evidence-based practice of visuals supports may effectively be used as part of an intervention to modify behaviors. Visual supports refers to the range of procedures through social stories, checklists, and video modeling that assist in creating positive behavioral supports for individuals with ASD. These supports are tools that can teach individuals with ASD self-regulation and de-escalations strategies to manage the SIB. This study is intended to expand on studies which indicate that visual supports can teach self-management skills to aid in an individual becoming more aware of his/her own actions.