University of Florida
Cara’s primary research interests are related to skill acquisition in children diagnosed with autism, specifically the use of prompting procedures to teach relatively complex skills. Cara is particularly interested in how children with autism spectrum disorders learn generalized skill sets. She has conducted a series of studies on the stimulus control of different forms of prompts during task analyses. These studies were designed to encourage the participants to form a skill set of following specific instructions (e.g., textual or pictorial) by engendering stimulus control by one form of prompts in order to facilitate—with that form of prompt—following generalized instructions. Related to skill acquisition, Cara also ran a series of studies examining computer-based discrete trial training programs. A secondary focus of Cara’s research has been to properly evaluate autism treatments that are commonly used but inadequately tested. This involved an estimation of the prevalence of behavioral and other treatments for problem behavior, as well as a functional analysis and treatment comparison of behavioral and alternative treatments.
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