NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

K-12 Professionals

Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to Enrich Social Lives of Persons with Autism

EDUC 600




Instructor: Michelle Kalina

Grading: Letter or S/U

Spring, Summer & Fall (Ongoing)

August 25, 2014 - December 19, 2014

Instruction Mode: Correspondence

Academic Level: K-12 Professional Development

NDSU Credit Fee: $150

Class Offered Through Northstar Continuing Education

Course Description:

Acquisition of social skills for students with autism is as equally important as learning the core curriculum in educational settings. The application of applied behavior analysis to teach these skills results in students being able to develop authentic social competence and genuine friendships with peers and adults. Having the ability to form these relationships prevents students with autism from developing depression, loneliness and isolation. Educators taking this class will learn how to teach their students important skills in social awareness, communication, interaction, social learning and social relatedness. Some of the specific skills taught will include perspective taking, asking for help and soliciting favors, initiating appropriate social contact, responding to teasing and bullying, group affiliation and social influence, tolerating the proximity and presence of others, developing empathy, deciding which peers to choose to develop friendships with and how to be a good friend.


As a result of this participation in this course, students should:

1. Learn how to plan and implement social skills groups for students with autism;

2. Teach students appropriate social interactions, how to develop friendships and interact with peers and adults appropriately;

3. Create an appropriate social skills curriculum that is specific to each student’s needs as determined through social skills assessment;

4. Prevent loneliness and depression of students with autism by teaching them how to advocate for themselves and pursue social interests without fear of rejection from peers;

5. Learn the most efficient and effective ways to teach social skills to students with autism so that they are able to use their social skills on demand in a variety of environments and situations.


Anderson, D., Oti, R., Lord, C., & Welch, K. (2009). Patterns of growth in adaptive social abilities among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, (7), 1010-1034.

Article may be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-009-9326-0

Caballero, A. & Connell, J. (2010). Evaluation of the effects of social cue cards for preschool age children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Journal of Behavior Assessment and Intervention in Children, 1, (1), 25-42.

Article may be found at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ916279.pdf

Lang, R., Mahoney, R., El Zein, F., Delaune, E., & Amidon, M. (2011). Evidence to practice: treatment of anxiety in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 7, 27-30.

Article may be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S10327

Taubman, M., Leaf, R., & McEachin, J. (2011). Crafting Connections: Contemporary Applied Behavior Analysis for Enriching the Social Lives of Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. New York, NY: DRL Books.

White, S., Albano, A., Johnson, C., Kasari, C., Ollendick, T., Klin, A., Oswald, D., & Scahill, L. (2011). Development of a cognitive-behavioral intervention program to treat anxiety and social deficits in teens with high-functioning Autism. Clinical Child Family Psychological Review, 13, (1), 77-90.

Article may be found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863047

Textbook(s) not included in the cost of the course.

About The Instructor

Michelle Kalina
Michelle Kalina

Michelle Kalina earned an M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point. Michelle also has a B.S. in Communicative Disorders and a B.A. in German and History, with a minor in Russian. Michelle is ASHA and DPI certified in Early Childhood through Adult Populations in Educational Settings. Michelle has over 17 years of experience as a speech/language clinician.


**Registration Instructions:

A minimum $20 processing fee will be assessed per person for cancellations received after the start of the course. Refunds are not issued after the start of the course or after access to the course has been provided.

**Register Now