Communication of Children with autism

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In-home parent training and its effect on verbal communication of children with autism : 

In-home parent training and its effect on verbal communication of children with autism Hyekyeung Seung, Ph.D. Sylvia Ashwell, M.A. Jennifer H. Elder, Ph.D. University of Florida

Poster presented at the 2003 ASHA convention, November 13-15, 2003, Chicago : 

Poster presented at the 2003 ASHA convention, November 13-15, 2003, Chicago

Purpose of study : 

Purpose of study To examine changes in verbal communication of children with autism and their parents after parents’ social reciprocity training

Social reciprocity training (Elder, et al., 2003) : 

Social reciprocity training (Elder, et al., 2003) Father training Fathers subsequently train mothers Two components: Expectant waiting Imitating with exaggerated affect Father-child and mother-child interactions videotaped at home 15 minute sessions each

Research questions : 

Research questions Are there any changes in the child’s verbal communication over time? Are there any changes in the parents’ verbal communication over time? Does the child’s play partner (i.e., mother or father) have an effect on the child’s verbal communication?

Participants : 

Participants Part of Elder et al.’s (2003) father intervention training study *Autism Diagnostic Interview—Revised; **Checklist for Autism Rating Scale

Slide 7: 

Multiple baseline sessions were videotaped Establish pre-intervention levels of behavior Intervention 1 & 2 : Either exaggerated imitation or expectant waiting (randomly assigned) Intervention 3: Both types of training incorporated No further training after intervention 3 Maintenance: 1, 3, and 6 months post-intervention

Procedures : 

Procedures 15 minute videotapes of mother-child and father-child interactions were transcribed and analyzed using the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT) program (Miller & Chapman, 2002) The last baseline, intervention, and maintenance sessions were transcribed (6 videotapes/family) Two undergraduate research assistants transcribed 15% of the videotapes to establish inter-rater reliability

Analyses : 

Analyses Dependent variables: Parent & child: number of total utterances produced, mean turn length (MTL) Child: frequencies of one-word utterances and responses to questions (RTQ), number of total words and different words produced A 2 (parent: father, mother) X 3 (session: baseline, intervention, maintenance) mixed ANOVA was conducted

Results : 

Results Parents Mean turn length Session main effect, F (2.28)=11.5, p < .01

Slide 12: 

Children One-word utterances Session main effect, F (2,28) = 9.3, p < .01

Slide 14: 

Children (continued) Total words Session main effect, F (2,28) = 7.9, p< .01

Slide 16: 

Children (continued) Different words Session main effect, F (2, 28) = 9.3, p < .01

Summary of findings : 

Summary of findings Children’s word production (# of total words & # of different words) increased from baseline to intervention Parents’ turn length decreased from baseline to intervention No evidence of play partner effect on child’s language production

Discussion : 

Discussion Parents’ mean turn length, an index of verbal social reciprocity, decreased after training. This result suggests the effectiveness of the expectant waiting portion of the parent training. Children’s overall increase in word production suggests that imitating with exaggerated affect facilitated the participants’ vocabulary development.

Slide 20: 

Individual data review indicated: Positive but not significant trends for an increase in the children’s responses to their parents’ questions & total utterances —a larger sample size may prove to be the key to finding significant effects.

References : 

References Elder, J. H., Valcante, G., Groce, S., Yarandi, H., & Carlton, M. S. (2003). Social interactions of children with autism in father-child and mother-child play sessions. Pediatric Nursing, 28, 573-578. Miller, J., & Chapman, R. (2002). Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts [computer program]. Madison, WI: Language Analysis Laboratory, University of Wisconsin.

Acknowledgements : 

Acknowledgements This study was supported by an NIH grant to the UF Development of the Florida Autism Center of Excellence. We would also like to thank the children and families who graciously agreed to participate in this study.

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