Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Keri Duncan Valentine

Committee Member

Allison Swan Dagen

Committee Member

Francene Kirk

Committee Member

Dennis Ruscello

Committee Member

Samuel Stack


This study was an in-depth examination of the experiences of five speech language pathologists (SLPs) working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) during language therapy sessions. This case study aimed to better understand the various therapy techniques being used by the SLPs through interviews and a reflective journal kept by the researcher. It also sought to examine the ways those therapy techniques may have included creative dramatics. Through thematic analysis, major and minor themes emerged from the interviews. The main theme of the study was the importance of individualizing therapy for students with ASD. Individualizing therapy was supported by minor themes involving the severity of the child’s ASD, special interests of the student, and incentives for communication. The other main themes were temporality issues, counseling caregivers, and traditional therapy versus creative therapy. The SLPs identified interventions they used in their practice. They also discussed their most successful interventions and the interventions that were most enjoyed by their students. This study also investigated whether SLPs were using creative dramatics with students with ASD. Three of the SLPs interviewed were successfully using creative dramatics. Role playing was the most popular and successful creative dramatic therapy technique listed by the SLPs. Lastly, this study found a need for further research not only on the treatment experiences of SLPs during language therapy, but also exploring creative dramatics as a therapy intervention.