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

Parent-implemented social-pragmatic communication intervention for young children with developmental disabilities  

Many young children who have been identified with developmental disabilities including mental retardation, Down syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders, exhibit speech-language delays along with other impairments inherent in their diagnosed disabilities. Various interventions cited in the literature target the communicative and social behavior of school-aged children with developmental delays; however, there is limited information about these types of interventions for very young children with delays. Given that there are about one million infants and children through age five receiving early intervention and early childhood special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, and that the number of young children identified with autism spectrum disorders is rising, there is a clear need to develop interventions that can be used with this age group. The purpose of this project is to develop and document the feasibility of an intervention to improve the social-pragmatic communication skills of young children with developmental delays. Social-pragmatic communication skills involve the ability to interpret and send appropriate verbal and nonverbal messages (e.g., eye contact, facial expressions, and body language) for successful communication exchanges in social environments. This intervention will be naturalistic, using the social context of naturally occurring interactions within everyday family activities. Because individuals with developmental delays often exhibit difficulty with generalization, strategies that promote skill generalization to untrained settings, people, and conditions (e.g., beyond the home) will be targeted. Project Status


Funder Department of Education
Fiscal Year Funding $282,246.00
Current Award Period 2009-2012
Project Number R324A090005
Principal Investigator Angell, Maureen
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? Federal
Institution Illinois State University
State/Country Illinois
Web Link 1 Parent-implemented social-pragmatic communication intervention for young children with developmental disabilities (External web link)
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