Authors: Girolametto L, Sussman F, Weitzman E
Title: Using case study methods to investigate the effects of interactive intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2007 40(6): 470-492
Year: 2007
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: The purpose of this multiple case study was to describe outcomes for three parents and their children following participation in a social interactive model of language intervention. More specifically, this study sought to clarify if changes in children's participation, engagement, and initiation of social interaction could be observed following an 11-week intervention. METHOD: Three preschool children with autism spectrum disorders and their mothers participated in an 11-week intervention program. The intervention taught parents to follow the children's lead, promote children's participation in routines, and model language at the children's level. Outcome measures included estimates of parents' responsive language input, and measures of children's rate of communication, number of engagements in social interaction, and initiations. RESULTS: The results indicated that all three mothers increased their responsive comments during play interactions and were rated as being more responsive on a rating scale. All three children evidenced positive outcomes in vocabulary and the number of engagements in social interaction. In addition, improvement was observed in social initiation skills for all three children. CONCLUSIONS: Increases in mothers' responsiveness and children's engagement in social interactions are consistent with the theoretical mechanisms of the social interaction model of language intervention. The results suggest that further randomized control trials of this intervention approach are warranted.

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