Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 373-396

First online:

Communication Intervention for Children with Autism: A Review of Treatment Efficacy

  • Howard GoldsteinAffiliated withThe Florida State University

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Empirical studies evaluating speech and language intervention procedures applied to children with autism are reviewed, and the documented benefits are summarized. In particular, interventions incorporating sign language, discrete-trial training, and milieu teaching procedures have been used successfully to expand the communication repertoires of children with autism. Other important developments in the field stem from interventions designed to replace challenging behaviors and to promote social and scripted interactions. The few studies of the parent and classroom training studies that included language measures also are analyzed. This article seeks to outline the extent to which previous research has helped identify a compendium of effective instructional practices that can guide clinical practice. It also seeks to highlight needs for further research to refine and extend current treatment approaches and to investigate more comprehensive treatment packages.

Autism communication intervention language development social interaction