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The effect of natural aided language stimulation on requesting desired objects or actions in children with autism spectrum disorder

by Acheson, Marsha J.

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigated the effect of Natural Aided Language Stimulation (NALS) on requesting objects and actions in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). NALS used picture symbols that were highlighted (pointed out) while a message was spoken (naming choices available). Three children, diagnosed with ASD, who attended a preschool classroom for children with disabilities in an urban school district and who lacked the speech and language skills to make an appropriate and understandable request, participated. Background data were gathered through tape-recorded interviews with participants’ parents and teacher to gain information on communication skills and picture language boards were made. A training video was made for the teacher to learn the NALS procedure and use of prompts to elicit responses and to recognize an appropriate response during requesting routines. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to analyze the effects of NALS intervention. The independent variable was the use of NALS during a requesting routine within the classroom. The dependent variable was the change in communication behavior on the part of the participants. Four routines were recorded each day. A data point represented two days or eight responses. Baseline data were recorded without the use of NALS and, after a clear trend was established, intervention data were gathered with NALS in place. Follow-up data were gathered in the same way as intervention data to show maintenance in the procedure as well as in the children’s responses. Spontaneous communication was also recorded during the study. Results showed that the NALS intervention was effective for all participants. Summary tables and figures illustrated that the children’s appropriate responses increased over the course of the study and that the participants responded primarily by pointing to the pictures on the language boards or pointing to and verbalizing the choices. Data also showed a decrease in the number of prompts needed to elicit an appropriate response. Social validity data gathered through “end of the study” questionnaire revealed that the parents and the teacher believed that the NALS intervention was an effective strategy in aiding the participants in appropriately and clearly communicating a request. ii
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Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:university of cincinnati

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