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Title:A combined spoken communication intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder who are minimally verbal
Author(s):Biller, Maysoon F
Director of Research:Johnson, Cynthia J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnson, Cynthia J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):DeThorne, Laura Segebart; Mudar, Raksha A; Meadan-Kaplansky, Hedda
Department / Program:Speech & Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech & Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:There are children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are considered minimally verbal because they fail to attain spoken language beyond a minimal level by the age of 5. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of a combined intervention program, incorporating both communication and speech production strategies, on the spoken language of children with ASD who were minimally verbal. This study used a single case design across four participants, ages 3 to 6 years, who were diagnosed with ASD and had a spoken vocabulary of 30 words or fewer. The dependent variable was the production of spoken words by the participants, and was measured by their production of preselected target words during each session. The independent variable was the combined intervention, consisting of three natural teaching strategies (NTS) and three speech production strategies (SPS). The four children participated in baseline, treatment, and maintenance sessions in which the treatment strategies were withheld or implemented. Visual analysis of the graphed data did not support a functional relation between the combined intervention and an increase in spoken language by the four participants; however, all of the participants demonstrated an increase in their production of spoken words during the treatment phase. Clinical implications for using communication and speech production strategies for children with ASD who are minimally verbal are discussed. Additionally, a theory is advanced proposing a continuum of communication in which support strategies are used, perhaps even long-range, to foster a more interactive communication process with children who are minimally verbal.
Issue Date:2017-04-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Maysoon Biller
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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