Facilitating Prelinguistic Communication Skills in Young Children With Developmental Delay Very little research has focused on the development and evaluation of intervention strategies designed to facilitate the acquisition of prelinguistic communication skills. We conducted two experiments to determine the effects of a milieu teaching approach on the acquisition and generalization of specific prelinguistic communication skills. In the first experiment, we ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1993
Facilitating Prelinguistic Communication Skills in Young Children With Developmental Delay
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven F. Warren
    John F. Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Paul J. Yoder
    John F. Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Gail E. Gazdag
    John F. Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Kyoungran Kim
    John F. Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Hazel A. Jones
    John F. Kennedy Center Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
  • Contact author: Steven F. Warren, PhD, Box 328, Peabody at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN 37203.
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / School-Based Settings / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1993
Facilitating Prelinguistic Communication Skills in Young Children With Developmental Delay
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 83-97. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.83
History: Received February 14, 1992 , Accepted August 12, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 83-97. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.83
History: Received February 14, 1992; Accepted August 12, 1992

Very little research has focused on the development and evaluation of intervention strategies designed to facilitate the acquisition of prelinguistic communication skills. We conducted two experiments to determine the effects of a milieu teaching approach on the acquisition and generalization of specific prelinguistic communication skills. In the first experiment, we utilized this intervention approach within a multiple baseline design to teach prelinguistic requesting, commenting, and vocal imitation to a single subject with Down syndrome and language delay. The results indicated that the intervention approach was effective at facilitating the child’s use of these skills within the treatment setting. Therefore, in the second experiment we conducted a more comprehensive analysis of this approach with 4 subjects with mental retardation. Three of these subjects were taught to request, and 1 subject was taught both to request and to comment. The effects were experimentally evaluated with multiple baseline across subjects design. The results indicated that the intervention was effective in eliciting the intervention targets within the training setting for all 4 subjects. All 4 subjects showed evidence of generalization across stimulus materials, setting, teachers, and interaction style. There was also evidence of reciprocal effects on how classroom teachers in the generalization setting interacted with the subjects as a result of changes in the child’s communication behavior.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education (#H023A10009) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (#HD15052). The authors would like to thank Sheri Rieth, Renee Balough, and the staff of the Susan Gray School for Children for their contributions to this research.
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