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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #23
Early Social Communication Skills for Children With Autism
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Scene C, Niveau 0
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Sarah Grace Hansen, Ph.D.
Chair: Tracy Raulston (University of Oregon)
Abstract: A core-defining feature of autism spectrum disorder is deficits in social communication skills. As such, early interventions often target this area of development. This symposium will present empirical data related to early social communication targets that are critical for social conversation development. The first two single case research studies evaluate teaching procedures for two commonly addressed early social communication targets (i.e., joint attention and intraverbal fill-ins). The final study presents a meta-analysis of declarative and imperative communication acts for young children with autism.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, social communication, verbal behavior
Peer Mediated Classroom Based Joint Attention Intervention
SARAH GRACE HANSEN (Georgia State University), Tracy Raulston (University of Oregon), Wendy A. Machalicek (University of Oregon)
Abstract: Inclusive preschool settings often provide meaningful social and play opportunities with same aged peers for children with special needs. Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are especially at risk for isolation from peers in inclusive preschool settings and have benefited from a range of social communication interventions. In particular, peer mediated interventions hold interest for social communication interventions for children with ASD because of their ability to teach skills that are socially valid. One pivotal skill for social interactions, joint attention, has been examined primarily in clinical settings. This study extends previous findings from a piloted parent-mediated joint attention intervention and applies joint attention interventions to a peer-mediated setting in an individual concurrent multiple baseline design across child-peer dyads in inclusive preschool classrooms to evaluate the effects of the intervention on increased response to joint attention behaviors to interventionist bids; on increased bids from peers to target children with ASD; and on increased response to joint attention behaviors to peer bids. Elements of discrete trial training (DTT) and naturalistic instruction were used to teach response to joint attention behaviors to young children with ASD using both interventionists and same-aged peers. Results indicate increased response to both interventionist and peer joint attention bids, as well as increased peer bids to target child.
CANCELED: Teaching Intraverbal Fill-ins to a Child With Autism Using a Speech-generating Device and Systematic Instruction
AMARIE CARNETT (University of North Texas), Hannah Waddington (Victoria University of Wellington), Alicia Marie Bravo (Victoria University of Wellington), Jeffrey S. Sigafoos (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: Children with autism who do not develop spoken communication are often candidates for speech-generating devices (SGDs) as an alternative communication modality. Early language interventions for children with autism often utilize Skinner's conceptual analysis of language by targeting manding, tacting, and intraverbal skills. However for children learning to use SGDs, research has mainly investigated manding skills. Thus, the current study sought to extend the evidence base for teaching children with autism who are learning to communicate using SGDs by evaluating the acquisition of intraverbal responding in a four year-old child with autism, using a concurrent multiple baseline across responses design. Systematic instruction in the context of an activity interruption (i.e., song) was used to contrive the opportunity for intraverbal responding. All three intraverbal responses were acquired during a final choice phase, which allowed for the participant to select the song order. These results suggest the value for targeting intraverbal skills to children with autism who use SGDs.
CANCELED: The Association of Imperative and Declarative Communication With Language in Children With Autism: A Meta-analysis
AMY HARBISON (Vanderbilt University), Jena McDaniel (Vanderbilt University), Paul J. Yoder (Vanderbilt University)
Abstract: Background: Theoretically, specific functions of communication might be differentially associated with language use in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The primary purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the relation of declarative and imperative intentional communication acts, respectively, with language skills in young children with ASD. Declaratives are related to the verbal behavior concept of tacts; imperatives are a subset of mands. Method: Included studies provided at least 1 zero-order correlation (concurrent or longitudinal) of language measures with declarative or imperative intentional communication acts. Participants were children with ASD, aged 8 years and younger. Results: Twenty-one studies were included. Declaratives were significantly associated with language (weighted mean r = .41; 95% CI [.32, .49]). Imperatives were not significantly associated with language. Conclusions: The association of declaratives and language might have implications for early treatment of ASD-related language deficits. Failure to find a significant association of imperatives and language might have been due to low statistical power and/or publication bias; more research on imperatives is needed.



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