Article/Report  |   August 2006
A Randomized Comparison of the Effect of Two Prelinguistic Communication Interventions on the Acquisition of Spoken Communication in Preschoolers With ASD
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Paul J. Yoder, Box 328 Peabody, 230 Appleton Pl., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203-5701. E-mail: paul.yoder@vanderbilt.edu
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language Disorders / Language
Article/Report   |   August 2006
A Randomized Comparison of the Effect of Two Prelinguistic Communication Interventions on the Acquisition of Spoken Communication in Preschoolers With ASD
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 698-711. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/051)
History: Received June 16, 2005 , Revised August 8, 2005 , Accepted November 9, 2005
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 698-711. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/051)
History: Received June 16, 2005; Revised August 8, 2005; Accepted November 9, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 78

Purpose: This randomized group experiment compared the efficacy of 2 communication interventions (Responsive Education and Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching [RPMT] and the Picture Exchange Communication System [PECS]) on spoken communication in 36 preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Method: Each treatment was delivered to children for a maximum total of 24 hr over a 6-month period. Spoken communication was assessed in a rigorous test of generalization at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 6-month follow-up periods.

Results: PECS was more successful than RPMT in increasing the number of nonimitative spoken communication acts and the number of different nonimitative words used at the posttreatment period. Considering growth over all 3 measurement periods, an exploratory analysis showed that growth rate of the number of different nonimitative words was faster in the PECS group than in the RPMT group for children who began treatment with relatively high object exploration. In contrast, analogous slopes were steeper in the RPMT group than in the PECS group for children who began treatment with relatively low object exploration.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NICHD) Grant R01CD03581 and the core grant support to the Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center (NICHD Grant HD15052).
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the families that entrust their children to our care. We are especially grateful to the team leaders: Melanie Jarzynka, Melanie Jacobs, and Tom Lamb. Melanie Jarzynka provided professional level guidance in many of the coding guidelines for word approximations and parent–child interaction code. Melanie Jacobs provided professional level input to the parent–child interaction code and designed the RPMT fidelity of treatment rating scales and parent evaluation. Tom Lamb provided professional level input into the PECS fidelity of treatment rating scales and parent evaluation. Tom Lamb also added an instructional module to the PECS curriculum for high functioning participants. Thanks are also given to Lisa Stepp, Melanee Horton, Dawn Garcia, Lauren Radovich, Lindsey Hancock, Monica Smith, Nicolette Bainbridge, and Cornelia Taylor for data collection, coding, and treatment implementation.
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