Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Judith L. Page

Second Advisor

Dr. Colleen Schneck


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a low-incidence disorder with high impacts on individuals, families, and society. School-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have tremendous responsibilities toward individuals with ASD, but pre-service SLPs are not adequately trained to fulfill these expectations. In order to reduce the widespread financial and social impact of ASD, school-based SLPs need to complete effective training to prepare them for the selection of established social-communication practices. One framework for the selection of individualized intervention is the Ziggurat Model (Aspy & Grossman, 2008). The following study used mixed methods to investigate the research question: “Does the ASD knowledge base of ASHA-certified school-based SLPs change when they complete an online training module based upon Aspy and Grossman’s Ziggurat Model? If so, what are those changes?”

A pre-test post-test control group design demonstrated a significant difference in the experimental group’s and the control group’s pre-test post-test change scores, as demonstrated by an independent samples t-test (p=.039, 18df). Qualitative data analysis resulted in six themes. While the online training of Aspy and Grossman’s Ziggurat Model used in this study was an effective method with which to train school-based SLPs in using a comprehensive framework, more rigorous research is needed on this model relative to the selection of intervention.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)