As a university-based program, ASSERT serves as a research site for the development and refinement of educational interventions for students with ASD. 

Photograph of lab members

ASSERT Research Lab 2007-08

From left to right: Alison Betz, Katie Harris, Tyra Sellers, Dr. Tom Higbee, Shawnee Collins, Alice Keyl, Nicky Groskreutz, Mark Groskreutz


Recently Published ASSERT Research Studies (Click to download):

Betz, A.M., Higbee, T.S., & Pollard, J.S. (2010). Promoting generalization of mands for information used by young children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 501-508.

Waller, R.D. & Higbee, T.S. (2010). The effects of function-based fixed-time reinforcement on inappropriate and appropriate classroom behavior of students with mild cognitive disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 149-153.

Collins, S., Higbee, T.S., & Salzberg, C.L. (2009). The effects of video modeling on staff implementation of a problem solving intervention with adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 849-854.

Reagon, K.A. & Higbee, T.S. (2009). Parent-implemented script fading to promote play-based verbal initiations in children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 659-664.

Betz, A., Higbee, T.S., & Reagon, K.A. (2008). Using joint activity schedules to promote peer play in preschoolers with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Endicott, K. & Higbee, T.S. (2007) Contriving establishing operations to teach preschoolers with autism to mand for information. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 1, 210-217.

Reagon, K.A., Higbee, T.S., & Endicott, K. (2007). Using video instruction procedures with and without embedded text to teach object labeling to preschoolers with autism: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Special Education Technology, 22, 13-20.

Reagon, K.A., Higbee, T.S., & Endicott, K. (2006). Teaching pretend play skills to a student with autism using video modeling with a sibling as model and play partner. Education and Treatment of Children, 25, 517-528.

Rule, S., Salzberg, C., Higbee, T., Menlove, R.  & Smith, J. (2006). Technology-mediated consultation to assist rural students: A case study. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 25, 3-7.

Higbee, T.S., Chang, S., & Endicott, K. (2005). Non-contingent access to preferred sensory stimuli as a treatment for automatically reinforced stereotypy. Behavioral Interventions, 20, 177184.


Researchers at ASSERT are currently investigating the following topics:

  • Reinforcer identification for students with ASD

  • Social scripting and script fading

  • Video modeling and video-based instruction

  • The impact of error-correction procedures on rates of learning

  • Activity schedules to promote independence

  • Treatment integrity of behavioral interventions

  • Methods of decreasing vocal stereotypy

  • Methods of promoting spontaneous speech and question asking behavior


 Contact: Dr. Higbee | Phone: 435.797.1933 | Fax: 435.797.3572 | Email:  tom.higbee@usu.edu