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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 3/2015

01-03-2015 | Original Paper

Measuring and Supporting Language Function for Children with Autism: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial of a Social-Interaction-Based Therapy

Auteurs: Devin M. Casenhiser, Amanda Binns, Fay McGill, Olga Morderer, Stuart G. Shanker

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 3/2015

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Abstract

In a report of the effectiveness of MEHRIT, a social-interaction-based intervention for autism, Casenhiser et al. (Autism 17(2):220–241, 2013) failed to find a significant advantage for language development in the treatment group using standardized language assessments. We present the results from a re-analysis of their results to illustrate the importance of measuring communicative language acts (formally called “speech acts”). Reanalysis confirmed that children in the MEHRIT group outperformed the community treatment group on measures of MLUm, number of utterances produced, and various speech act categories. The study underscores the importance of functional language measures in guiding and evaluating treatment for children with autism, and suggests that MEHRIT is effective in improving children’s use of language during parent–child interactions.
Voetnoten
1
One might also suspect that treatments that focus on language content and form will show more improvement than those that focus on language function. Casenhiser et al. (2013) report some evidence contrary to this hypothesis since they found no difference on standard language measures between MEHRIT and the community treatment group (who received on average 3–4 h per week of treatment through mostly standard treatment programs). However, since the CT group’s treatment was not controlled by the experimenters, this evidence should not be considered reliable.
 
2
We were unable to obtain scores for two children in each group due to children’s inability to complete the test even after multiple attempts. Children who were unable to complete the WPPSI (either due to age or developmental level), were tested using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
 
3
For a discussion of many such studies, see Tomasello (2003).
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Measuring and Supporting Language Function for Children with Autism: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial of a Social-Interaction-Based Therapy
Auteurs
Devin M. Casenhiser
Amanda Binns
Fay McGill
Olga Morderer
Stuart G. Shanker
Publicatiedatum
01-03-2015
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 3/2015
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2242-3

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