Authors: Petersen DB, Brown CL, Ukrainetz TA, Wise C, Spencer TD, Zebrea J, Nippold M, Joffe V
Title: Systematic Individualized Narrative Language Intervention on the Personal Narratives of Children With Autism
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2014 45(1): 67-86
Year: 2014
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an individualized, systematic language intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism. Method: A single-subject, multiple-baseline design across participants and behaviors was used to examine the effect of the intervention on language features of personal narratives. Three 6- to 8-year-old boys with autism participated in 12 individual intervention sessions that targeted 2-3 story grammar elements (e.g., problem, plan) and 3-4 linguistic complexity elements (e.g., causal subordination, adverbs) selected from each participant's baseline performance. Intervention involved repeated retellings of customized model narratives and the generation of personal narratives with a systematic reduction of visual and verbal scaffolding. Independent personal narratives generated at the end of each baseline, intervention, and maintenance session were analyzed for presence and sophistication of targeted features. Results: Graphical and statistical results showed immediate improvement in targeted language features as a function of intervention. There was mixed evidence of maintenance 2 and 7 weeks after intervention. Conclusion: Children with autism can benefit from an individualized, systematic intervention targeting specific narrative language features. Greater intensity of intervention may be needed to gain enduring effects for some language features.

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