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

A novel parent directed intervention to enhance language development in nonverbal children with ASD  

Language and communication skills are important predictors of long-term outcome for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (Stone & Yoder, 2001) and therefore they are a priority for families and service professionals. A notable core deficit amongst children with ASD is the variable rate of development and range of functional outcomes in language compared to typically developing peers (Wetherby, 2006). Although approximately a quarter of children with ASD are nonverbal (Wendt, 2009), intervention literature targeting language is limited in regard to children who have little or no verbal language by the time they exit the preschool years (Lord et al., 2005). Preverbal communication skills, specifically joint attention abilities have been identified as predictors of language development (Mundy & Crowson, 1997). Prior to verbal language development, parents are instrumental at initiating and responding to bids for joint attention with their children (Schertz & Odom, 2007). A transactional model of development (Sameroff, 2010) emphasizes the significance of bidirectional exchanges between child and environment as the context for early learning. Congruent with this theory, a parent's ability to engage and then maintain his or her child in periods of joint engagement has been reported to predict a child's language growth (Siller & Sigman, 2002). This randomized control trial will examine parents' ability to learn and implement a novel joint engagement intervention (Kasari, Freeman & Paparella, 2006) designed to target the core symptom domain of language and communication with their child who is nonverbal despite intensive intervention programming up to age five. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $28,000.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number 7036
Principal Investigator Patterson, Stephanie
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. 4SG. Support at least five studies on interventions for nonverbal individuals with ASD by 2012. Such studies may include: o Projects examining service-provision models that enhance access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports in both classroom and adult service-provision settings, such as residential service-provision and the impact of such access on quality of life, communication, and behavior; o Studies of novel treatment approaches that facilitate communication skills in individuals who are nonverbal, including the components of effective AAC approaches for specific subpopulations of people with ASD; and o Studies assessing access and use of AAC for children and adults with ASD who have limited or partially limited speech and the impact on functional outcomes and quality of life. IACC Recommended Budget: $3,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, Los Angeles
State/Country California
Web Link 1 A novel parent directed intervention to enhance language development in nonverbal children with ASD (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.