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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Emergent communication skills of nonverbal children with autism facilitated by relational responding

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Dymond, Simon

Description

Description

Computer-based alternative communication devices are widely used by nonverbal children with autism to make requests and independently communicate with caregivers. Despite advances in format and interactivity, all such devices are limited by the need to directly teach all requests, which is both time consuming and labor intensive. Providing a history of relational responding may facilitate emergent requests and functional language forms that are untrained. For instance, if a child learns to request items using pictures, he or she may then be taught to relate the picture and its dictated name (Name-Picture) and the dictated name and its corresponding text (Name-Text). If the child subsequently makes requests using text exchange, which was never directly taught, then derived requesting has occurred. The goal of this research is to adapt a new relational training and testing procedure, the Relational Completion Procedure (RCP), to facilitate emergent communication skills in nonverbal children with autism. In the RCP, stimuli are presented successively from left-to-right in order to mimic reading a sentence in English. The RCP allows the user to 'drag and drop' a picture or text stimulus to 'complete the sentence', before hearing it spoken and then confirming or cancelling each selection. After prescreening children's language, communication and social/cognitive ability, and identification of formal reinforcer preferences, two groups of nonverbal children with autism will be taught to request a preferred item via picture exchange. Conditional relations will then be established between the corresponding names-pictures and names-text. Derived requesting will be tested to see if children request a preferred item via text exchange. One group of children will receive conditional relation training with stimuli unrelated to the critical derived requesting posttest (text exchange) phase. It is predicted that the children in this control group will show below chance levels of derived requesting, while the remaining children will, with some between participant variability, pass the tests for derived requesting. The control group will subsequently receive the intervention. This study is relevant to Autism Speaks' priority research areas aimed at improving quality of life with behavioral interventions and of enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of underserved populations such as nonverbal children with autism.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

57996

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2014

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

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.

Project Link

Project Link

Emergent communication skills of nonverbal children with autism facilitated by relational responding (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Swansea University

State/Country

State/Country

United Kingdom

Project Number

Project Number

8049

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Emergent communication skills of nonverbal children with autism facilitated by relational responding | 58094 | 2012 | 8049
Emergent communication skills of nonverbal children with autism facilitated by relational responding | 0 | 2014 | 8049

 
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