Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Promoting communication skills in toddlers at risk for autism  

This research aims to identify causal factors that determine the developmental course of toddlers who have a "high risk" for autism. For this purpose, the efficacy of an innovative parent education program that targets children's communication skills in the context of parent-child play interactions will be evaluated. The intervention procedures are specifically tailored to the needs of toddlers between 18 and 24 months who show communication delays consistent with autism. Eighty parent-child dyads will be recruited and randomly assigned to either the experimental intervention or a control condition. Subjects assigned to the experimental group will participate in 12 home-based intervention sessions. The experimental intervention is manualized, follows an illustrated workbook for parents, and uses individualized video-feedback, modeling, and coaching strategies to help parents establish play interactions that promote communication. All participants take part in comprehensive baseline as well as 6- and 12-month follow up assessments. Families in the control group will also be invited to participate in an oral feedback session to discuss the results from these assessments. Children's involvement in other forms of intervention will be monitored using a validated intervention log so that the moderating effects of these treatments can be examined. The study will also investigate the extent to which these modifications result in changes in child development as well as parental motivation, cognition, and affect. Based on results from two long-term longitudinal studies of children with autism, it is expected that improvements in the quality of parent-child play interactions will lead to improvements in non-verbal communication as well as the ability to understand and use spoken language. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $254,571.00
Current Award Period 2007-2010
Project Number 1719
Principal Investigator Kasari, Connie; Sigman, Marian
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Behavioral
Strategic Plan Objective New! Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4LD. Support at least five community-based studies that assess the effectiveness of interventions and services in broader community settings by 2015. Such studies may include comparative effectiveness research studies that assess the relative effectiveness of: o Different and/or combined medical, pharmacological, nutritional, behavioral, service-provision, and parent- or caregiver-implemented treatments; o Scalable early intervention programs for implementation in underserved, low-resource, and low-literacy populations; and o Studies of widely used community intervention models for which extensive published data are not available. Outcome measures should include assessment of potential harm as a result of autism treatments, as well as positive outcomes. IACC Recommended Budget: $37,500,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, Los Angeles
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Promoting communication skills in toddlers at risk for autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Promoting communication skills in toddlers at risk for autism | $0.00 | 2009 | 1719
Promoting communication skills in toddlers at risk for autism | $300,000.00 | 2008 | 1719