Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Coral Dirks

Second Advisor

Elizabeth DeVelder

Third Advisor

Dr. Kaiya Ansorge


Autism spectrum disorder, applied behavioral analysis therapy, social media, Facebook, Reddit

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech Pathology and Audiology


The use of Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy (ABA) on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a controversial topic. Stakeholders have strong opinions, and the use of social media allows them to reach a bigger audience to share their perceptions. Stakeholders such as parents of children with ASD, adults with ASD who have been treated using ABA therapy, and ABA clinicians themselves may post on long-form social media such as Reddit or Facebook to ASD specific forums. These forums provide stakeholders with information, community, and support that they might not have otherwise. The perceptions of ABA on children with ASD varied greatly, and the most represented group in this study was the perceptions of parents of children with ASD. Further research should be conducted on the perceptions of adults with ASD that were treated by ABA to provide a more comprehensive look at the matter and to better inform future research and policy.



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