Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 143–153 | Cite as

Classroom Management in Self-Contained Classrooms for Children with Autism: Extending Research on the Color Wheel System

  • Kathleen B. AspirantiEmail author
  • Alanna Bebech
  • Brittany Ruffo
  • Christopher H. Skinner
Research Article


The color wheel is an evidence-based classroom management system that has been used to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase on-task behaviors in general education elementary classrooms but not in classrooms for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A multiple-baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of the color wheel system (CWS) on disruptive behaviors (being out of seat for one classroom, inappropriate vocalizations for two classrooms) in three self-contained elementary classrooms for students with ASD. Partial-interval time sampling was used to record class-wide disruptive behaviors. Visual analysis of a time-series graph suggests that the CWS decreased disruptive behaviors across all three classrooms. Discussion focuses on limitations of the study and directions for researchers interested in modifying, applying, and evaluating the effects of the CWS in settings for children with ASD.


Classroom management Color wheel system Autism spectrum disorder Reducing inappropriate behaviors 



This study was funded by Youngstown State University Research Council (Grant No. 03-17).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen B. Aspiranti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alanna Bebech
    • 1
  • Brittany Ruffo
    • 1
  • Christopher H. Skinner
    • 2
  1. 1.Counseling, School Psychology, and Educational LeadershipYoungstown State UniversityYoungstownUSA
  2. 2.Educational Psychology and Counseling DepartmentUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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