Integrating Language, Pragmatics, and Social Intervention in a Single-Subject Case Study of a Child With a Developmental Social Communication Disorder Purpose This clinical focus article presents an illustration of a complex communication intervention, the Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP), as delivered to a child who has a social communication disorder (SCD). The SCIP intervention combined language processing and pragmatic and social understanding therapies in a program of individualized therapy activities ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   October 01, 2015
Integrating Language, Pragmatics, and Social Intervention in a Single-Subject Case Study of a Child With a Developmental Social Communication Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Catherine Adams
    School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Jacqueline Gaile
    School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Elaine Lockton
    School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Jenny Freed
    School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure: Catherine Adams and Jacqueline Gaile are also the authors of the Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP) manual.
    Disclosure: Catherine Adams and Jacqueline Gaile are also the authors of the Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP) manual. ×
  • Correspondence to Catherine Adams: catherine.adams@manchester.ac.uk
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan
    Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   October 01, 2015
Integrating Language, Pragmatics, and Social Intervention in a Single-Subject Case Study of a Child With a Developmental Social Communication Disorder
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 294-311. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0084
History: Received September 15, 2014 , Revised February 5, 2015 , Accepted June 25, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 294-311. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0084
History: Received September 15, 2014; Revised February 5, 2015; Accepted June 25, 2015

Purpose This clinical focus article presents an illustration of a complex communication intervention, the Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP), as delivered to a child who has a social communication disorder (SCD). The SCIP intervention combined language processing and pragmatic and social understanding therapies in a program of individualized therapy activities and in close liaison with families.

Method The study used an enhanced AB single-subject design in which an 8-year-old child with an SCD participated in 20 therapy sessions with a specialist speech-language pathologist. A procedure of matching assessment findings to intervention choices was followed to construct an individualized treatment program. Examples of intervention content and the embedded structure of SCIP are illustrated. Observational and formal measurements of receptive and expressive language, conversation, and parent–teacher ratings of social communication were completed before therapy, after therapy, and at a 6-month follow-up session.

Results Outcomes revealed change in total and receptive language scores but not in expressive language. Conversation showed marked improvement in responsiveness, appreciation of listener knowledge, turn taking, and adaptation of discourse style. Teacher-reported outcomes included improved classroom behavior and enhanced literacy skills. Parent-reported outcomes included improved verbal interactions with family members and personal narratives.

Conclusions This clinical focus article demonstrates the complexity of needs in a child with an SCD and how these can be addressed in individualized intervention. Findings are discussed in relation to the essential nature of language support including pragmatic therapy for children with SCDs. Discussion of the role of formal and functional outcome measurement as well as the proximity of chosen outcomes to the intervention is included.

Acknowledgments
This study was embedded with the SCIP two-arm parallel group randomized controlled trial and was carried out in accordance with the National Health Service (NHS, the UK publicly funded medical and health services) Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care (NHS 2005) and was approved by the Northern and Yorkshire NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC 07/MRE03/3). This research was supported by a grant to Catherine Adams and Elaine Lockton from the Nuffield Foundation (Grant EDU/32953). All parents gave written informed consent for their child's participation. Informed consent was also gained from the child (where able), school, teacher and LSA, and relevant local authorities. Thanks are due to Connor's parents, teacher, and LSA, who provided valuable feedback and who participated in the intervention. Thanks to Jenny Gibson for use of data from the MIPO study.
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