Systematic Individualized Narrative Language Intervention on the Personal Narratives of Children With Autism Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an individualized, systematic language intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism. Method A single-subject, multiple-baseline design across participants and behaviors was used to examine the effect of the intervention on language features of personal ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2014
Systematic Individualized Narrative Language Intervention on the Personal Narratives of Children With Autism
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Douglas B. Petersen
    University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Catherine L. Brown
    University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Teresa A. Ukrainetz
    University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Christine Wise
    University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Trina D. Spencer
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
  • Jennifer Zebre
    University of Wyoming, Laramie
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Douglas B. Petersen: dpeter39@uwyo.edu
  • Catherine L. Brown is now with Campbell County School District, Gillette, WY.
    Catherine L. Brown is now with Campbell County School District, Gillette, WY.×
  • Christine Wise is now with Tacoma, WA, Public Schools.
    Christine Wise is now with Tacoma, WA, Public Schools.×
  • Jennifer Zebre is now with Douglas County School District, Parker, CO.
    Jennifer Zebre is now with Douglas County School District, Parker, CO.×
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe
    Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2014
Systematic Individualized Narrative Language Intervention on the Personal Narratives of Children With Autism
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 67-86. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-12-0099
History: Received November 12, 2012 , Revised April 22, 2013 , Accepted December 28, 2013
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2014, Vol. 45, 67-86. doi:10.1044/2013_LSHSS-12-0099
History: Received November 12, 2012; Revised April 22, 2013; Accepted December 28, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an individualized, systematic language intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism.

Method A single-subject, multiple-baseline design across participants and behaviors was used to examine the effect of the intervention on language features of personal narratives. Three 6- to 8-year-old boys with autism participated in 12 individual intervention sessions that targeted 2–3 story grammar elements (e.g., problem, plan) and 3–4 linguistic complexity elements (e.g., causal subordination, adverbs) selected from each participant's baseline performance. Intervention involved repeated retellings of customized model narratives and the generation of personal narratives with a systematic reduction of visual and verbal scaffolding. Independent personal narratives generated at the end of each baseline, intervention, and maintenance session were analyzed for presence and sophistication of targeted features.

Results Graphical and statistical results showed immediate improvement in targeted language features as a function of intervention. There was mixed evidence of maintenance 2 and 7 weeks after intervention.

Conclusion Children with autism can benefit from an individualized, systematic intervention targeting specific narrative language features. Greater intensity of intervention may be needed to gain enduring effects for some language features.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded in part through the Barbara Kahn Foundation for the Division of Communication Disorders, University of Wyoming, awarded to the second author. We thank the following students for their vital assistance: Eva Baltz, Lisa Burns, Helen Chanthongthip, Kalayla Hough, Diane Kurth, Kate Olgilby, Kraig Rust, and Brianna Straub.
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