Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jo Shackelford (Director), Dr. Janice Smith, and Dr. Lauren Bland

Degree Program

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Type

Master of Science


The current study examined verbal and non-verbal problem skills in twenty-seven male children 10-16 years of age, twelve with autism and fifteen children who were neurotypical. The goal of this study was to assess problem solving abilities of children with autism when compared to gender and age matched peers. The twenty-seven participants completed two assessments of the Rapid Assessment of Problem Solving and one online assessment of Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices. Results of this study showed a .92 reliability of the RAPS for all twenty-seven participants. Correlation between the RAPS and RPM was .419 for all participants. The results of this study indicate a decreased ability to problem solve in children with autism when compared to their neurotypical age and gender matched peers. This study also indicated an increase from verbal problem solving to non-verbal problem solving in children with autism, indicating difficulty with the cognitive load required to solve problems verbally.


Health Communication | Public Health | Rehabilitation and Therapy