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Wednesday, August 7 • 1:15pm - 4:15pm
36. Effective Technologies in Evoking First Instances of Speech In Non-Vocal Children With Autism - Room 206

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Various longitudinal studies indicate that children with autism spectrum disorder with speech impairments and minimal verbal skills have less favorable outcomes in life; hence, development of speech and communication in children with autism is both desired and beneficial. In this session, the duration to vocalization, vocal emergence by form and operant, vocalization in older children and relative success of the technologies used will be explored. Current research indicates an estimated 25-50% individuals with autism fail to develop vocal speech (DeWeerdt, 2013; Wodka, Mathy & Kalb, 2013). A current study spanning 6 years and 8 months reviewed technologies for emergence of vocals in 126 children. Non-vocals children between 1.8 to 13.5 years participated in four experiments that used delayed multiple baseline design across subjects. Experiment 1 studied the role of sign-mand training and paired vocals on the emergence of speech in 58 participants. Experiment 2 studied the effect of vocal prompt delays during sign-mand training on three children who failed to acquire vocals on experiment 1 for 9-33 weeks. Experiment 3 studied the additive effect of intraverbal training with paired auditory stimulus on 46 children who failed to acquire vocals after 12-40 weeks of sign-mand training. In experiment 4 a treatment package of sign-mand training and intraverbal training with paired vocals were introduced on 19 children. Of the total 126 children across all experiments, 105 (83%) emerged with vocals meeting the mastery criteria (n=seven vocals) with permanent effects. The mean IOA of the study was 89% (range 83%-94% and treatment integrity 86% (range 57%-100%). Retrospective data analysis suggested age of children was not a determinant for vocal emergence. Children up to an age of 13.5 years acquired first vocals. The first instances of speech emerged across various verbal operants such as mands, echoic-mands, echoics and intraverbals. Motivating operation accounted for 65% of initial vocals however, 27% first vocals also emerged as intraverbal fill-ins. Credits: Act 48, SW, Psych, PT, OT, BACB, INFANT

avatar for Smita Awasthi

Smita Awasthi

Smita Awasthi completed her Masters (Psych) as a University topper in 1983 and a PG Dip in Counseling from NCERT, India. She completed her ABA Education from University of North Texas, USA (2004) to become the first Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) from India. She continues... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 1:15pm - 4:15pm EDT