Authors: Franco JH, Davis BL, Davis JL
Title: Increasing Social Interaction Using Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching With Nonverbal School-Age Children With Autism
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2013 22(3): 489-502
Year: 2013
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: Children with autism display marked deficits in initiating and maintaining social interaction. Intervention using play routines can create a framework for developing and maintaining social interaction between these children and their communication partners. Method: Six nonverbal 5- to 8-year-olds with autism were taught to engage in social interaction within salient play routines. Prelinguistic milieu teaching (PMT) techniques were used to teach the children to communicate intentionally during these routines. Intervention focused on the children's social interaction with an adult. The effects of intervention were evaluated using a multiple baseline design across participants. Results: At study onset, the participants demonstrated few consistent interaction with others. With intervention, all of the children improved their ability to sustain social interactions, as evidenced by an increase in the number of communicative interactions during play routines. Participants also increased their overall rate of initiated intentional communication. Conclusion: Development of intentional prelinguistic communication within salient social routines creates opportunities for an adult to teach social and communication skills to young school-age children with autism who function at a nonverbal level.

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