Empirically-Validated Strategies, Evidence-Based Practice, and Basic Principles in Communication Intervention for Learners with Developmental Disabilities Speech-language pathologists, working in collaboration with teachers and parents, are often involved at the beginning stages of communication intervention for individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. This responsibility may at times seem daunting because there are many intervention options that might be considered and, therefore, many decisions that need ... Article
Article  |   September 01, 2003
Empirically-Validated Strategies, Evidence-Based Practice, and Basic Principles in Communication Intervention for Learners with Developmental Disabilities
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Erik Drasgow
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Evidence-Based Practice
Article   |   September 01, 2003
Empirically-Validated Strategies, Evidence-Based Practice, and Basic Principles in Communication Intervention for Learners with Developmental Disabilities
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, September 2003, Vol. 12, 7-10. doi:10.1044/aac12.4.7
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, September 2003, Vol. 12, 7-10. doi:10.1044/aac12.4.7
Speech-language pathologists, working in collaboration with teachers and parents, are often involved at the beginning stages of communication intervention for individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. This responsibility may at times seem daunting because there are many intervention options that might be considered and, therefore, many decisions that need to be made. For example, the clinician might wonder whether it is best to focus on strengthening the child’s existing prelinguistic behaviors or concentrate on building speech; whether it is better to augment speech with manual signs or with a picture-based communication system or a speech generating device. In addition, the clinician might be undecided on whether to begin intervention by teaching receptive or expressive language skills; labeling, requesting, or rejecting; initiation or repair. Complicating the matter further is the fact that there are many specific intervention strategies or techniques from which to choose. The following list illustrates a few of the numerous specific techniques that have developed from the behavioral model of intervention and that have some empirical validity when used in communication interventions for learners with autism and related developmental disabilities:
  • Incidental teaching

  • Graduated guidance

  • Behavior chain interruption

  • Mand model

  • Constant time delay

  • Modified incidental teaching

  • Correspondence training

  • Most-to-least prompting

  • Cues-pause-point

  • Progressive time delay

  • Least-to-most prompting

  • Response delay

  • Discrete-trial training

  • Stimulus prompting

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