Narrative Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Purpose This study was conducted to determine whether a narrative intervention program that targeted the use of mental state and causal language resulted in positive gains in narrative production for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Method Five children (2 girls and 3 boys) who had been diagnosed ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2015
Narrative Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra Laing Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Daphne Hartzheim
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Breanna Studenka
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Vicki Simonsmeier
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Ronald Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Disclosure: Sandra Laing Gillam and Ronald Gillam have a financial interest in the intervention used in this study.
    Disclosure: Sandra Laing Gillam and Ronald Gillam have a financial interest in the intervention used in this study.×
  • Correspondence to Sandra L. Gillam: sandi.gillam@usu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Linda Watson
    Associate Editor: Linda Watson×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2015
Narrative Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 920-933. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0295
History: Received October 21, 2014 , Revised February 2, 2015 , Accepted March 27, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2015, Vol. 58, 920-933. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0295
History: Received October 21, 2014; Revised February 2, 2015; Accepted March 27, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study was conducted to determine whether a narrative intervention program that targeted the use of mental state and causal language resulted in positive gains in narrative production for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Method Five children (2 girls and 3 boys) who had been diagnosed with ASD participated in the study. Children ranged in age from 8 to 12 years and were recruited through an autism clinic. Intervention was provided for two 50-min individual sessions per week for a total of 21–33 sessions (depending on the student). Children's spontaneous stories, collected weekly, were analyzed for overall story complexity, story structure, and the use of mental state and causal language. Following a multiple-baseline across-participants design, data were collected for lagged baseline and intervention phases over a 6-month period.

Results All of the children made gains on all 3 measures of narration after participating in the instruction, with clear changes in level for all 5 children and changes in trend for 4 of the 5 children. The gains were maintained after intervention was discontinued.

Conclusion The results demonstrate the efficacy of the 3-phase narrative instruction program for improving the fictional narration abilities of children with ASD.

Acknowledgments
The narrative intervention used in this project was developed with funds from the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) awarded to S. Gillam and R. Gillam and from Utah State University, Logan, Utah (R324A100063). The authors would like to thank Anne Elsweiler, Emily Chandler, Rebecca Roylance, Sarah Clements, Casey Ragan, Casey Laing, Tanner Price, Logan Woolstenhulme, Ari Watt, Laura Peters, Thomas Christensen, DeVanie Hatfield, Abbie Lewis, Mallory Bond, Camilly Wynn, and the parents and children who participated in this project. Without the dedication and commitment of these faculty, students, and families, this work would not have been possible.
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