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Predictors of Expressive Language Change for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receiving AAC-Infused Comprehensive Intervention

Abstract

Comprehensive interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often incorporate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); however, variability in outcomes exists even among children who access similar intervention. This study investigated predictors of expressive language change for 48 children with ASD aged 31 to 67 months receiving AAC-infused intervention. The relationships between participants’ initial responses to AAC and expressive language change were examined. Commonly reported predictors (IQ, chronological age, ASD symptomatology) did not significantly predict expressive language change. AAC factors (visual attention, object play, word learning) entered at Step 2 of a hierarchical multiple regression, explained an additional 42% of the variance. The findings provide preliminary data on child characteristics associated with expressive language changes within AAC-infused comprehensive interventions.

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Notes

  1. Note that age equivalent scores were selected a priori for use in analyses. For completeness, analyses were re-run using raw scores with no impact on interpretation of findings.

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Acknowledgments

We warmly thank the children, parents and caregivers, and staff whose participation in this study made this research possible. In addition, our thanks go to Rhylee Sulek and Stephanie Sievers for their assistance with reliability coding. This study was conducted as part of Dr Rose’ Doctoral studies.

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VR, DT, DK and JP designed the study. VR completed data collection, preliminary analysis, and drafted the first manuscript. All authors contributed to subsequent drafts. Credibility checking of statistics was completed by JP. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Veronica Rose.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Rose, V., Paynter, J., Vivanti, G. et al. Predictors of Expressive Language Change for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receiving AAC-Infused Comprehensive Intervention. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 278–291 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04251-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04251-2

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Predictors
  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Expressive language
  • Early childhood