Assessing Spoken Language Outcomes in Children with ASD: a Systematic Review
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Comprehensive early intervention programs based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis can promote social communication development in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is not clear to what extent these positive results represent progress towards helping children achieve the ultimate goal of spontaneous, flexible, directed and effective spoken language for a range of purposes across all life contexts. The aim of this systematic review was to document the intervention targets and assessment tools used to measure spoken language outcomes for children with ASD receiving comprehensive intervention programs. A total of 23 studies met the inclusion criteria. Although social communication functioning was the most frequently targeted aspect of development, assessment of these skills relied predominantly on the use of standardised assessments. No studies included sampling and analysis of the children’s spoken language in daily activities. The lack of comprehensive measures with high ecological validity limits our ability to draw conclusions regarding spoken language outcomes from the studies to date.
Current Developmental Disorders Reports
Special Education and Disability