Observation of Classroom Social Communication: Do Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Spend Their Time Differently Than Their Typically Developing Peers? PurposeIn this research, the authors examined how social communication profiles during classroom activities differed between children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and typically developing pair-matched peers.MethodTwelve pairs of children were observed in their classrooms 20 min a day for 4 days across 2 weeks. Coders documented classroom social communication ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Observation of Classroom Social Communication: Do Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Spend Their Time Differently Than Their Typically Developing Peers?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lesley B. Olswang
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Liselotte Svensson
    Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Susan Astley
    University of Washington
  • Contact author: Lesley B. Olswang, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, 1417 NE 42nd Street, Seattle, WA 98105-6246. E-mail: lolswang@u.washington.edu.
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Observation of Classroom Social Communication: Do Children With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Spend Their Time Differently Than Their Typically Developing Peers?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1687-1703. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0092)
History: Received May 12, 2009 , Revised December 23, 2009 , Accepted April 11, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1687-1703. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0092)
History: Received May 12, 2009; Revised December 23, 2009; Accepted April 11, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

PurposeIn this research, the authors examined how social communication profiles during classroom activities differed between children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and typically developing pair-matched peers.

MethodTwelve pairs of children were observed in their classrooms 20 min a day for 4 days across 2 weeks. Coders documented classroom social communication by recording performance on handheld computers using the Social Communication Coding System (L. B. Olswang, L. Svensson, T. E. Coggins, J. Beilinson, & A. L. Donaldson, 2006). The Social Communication Coding System consists of 6 behavioral dimensions (prosocial/engaged, passive/disengaged, irrelevant, hostile/coercive, assertive, and adult seeking) that account for all verbal and nonverbal productions during a specified timeframe. The frequency of occurrence and duration of each dimension (as measured by proportion of time and average length of time spent performing each dimension) were recorded.

ResultsChildren with FASD had significantly more occurrences of passive/disengaged and irrelevant behavior, and the proportion and average length of time in these behaviors were larger and longer than those of their peers. Further, children with FASD had significantly more occurrences of prosocial/engaged behavior; however, the proportion and average length of time that they spent being prosocial were smaller and shorter than those of their peers.

ImplicationsResults suggest children with mild FASD performed differently than their peers in regard to classroom social communication, which was consistent with parent and teacher behavioral reports.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by the University of Washington Tools for Transformations Award, University of Washington Royalty Research Award, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grant UA/CCU010163. Our special thanks go to Jill Beilinson, Betty Moering, and Susan Oblak, who assisted in data collection for this study.
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