Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



This thesis discusses a study conducted that compared the Rapid Assessment of Problem Solving (RAPS) with the Ravens Progressive Matrices (RPM) in assessing the problem solving of children with and without autism. While the effectiveness of the RAPS had been evaluated for neurotypical children and adults, and adults with traumatic brain injuries, severe mental illness, and Alzheimer’s disease, no studies had yet been conducted with children with autism. The RAPS and the RPM were administered to twelve adolescents with autism and fifteen neruotypical, ages 10:0-17:11. To assess problem solving abilities, questions were analyzed in terms of inefficient constraint questions, frank guesses, pseudo constraint guesses, narrowing questions, novel questions and category focused questions. Understanding of pattern completion was also assessed through the RPM. Findings expanded the normative database of the RAPS to include adolescents with autism, thus providing rehabilitation professionals with critical psychometric information needed to use the test in the clinical setting. Results also provided a foundation for a larger study that will likely lead to production of the RAPS as a product for broader use in the clinical assessment of both typically developing children and children with cognitive disorders such as autism.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Janice Carter Smith, Dr. Leigh Anne Roden Carrier, Dr. Christopher Keller


Communication Sciences and Disorders