Early intervention effects on gesture use in young children with ASD: a national query of SLPs

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University of Alabama Libraries

Gesture development, use, and repertoire differ in young children with ASD compared to those with typical development (Manwaring et al., 2018 and Watson et al., 2013). Gestures play a fundamental role in social interaction and therefore are often an important intervention outcome in early ASD interventions. However, which interventions are most often used and which of those are most effective remains unclear. Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (Schreibman et al., 2015) most frequently incorporate gestures into their teaching targets and outcomes though gestures are often measured within a broader scope of social interaction. Therefore, even within the scope of NDBIs, techniques used to teach gestures, how gestures are measured, and how gestures are prioritized vary greatly and are often not reported distinctively. Further, SLPs are the primary interventionists for improving gestures and social communication though very little is understood regarding how SLPs address gestures in early interventions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to survey practicing SLPs to determine which methods are most frequently used to teach gestures to young children with ASD and which of those methods are considered effective. Overall, SLPs reported a large range of experience in their training, methods used, and perspectives of efficacy as they relate to teaching deictic gestures.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Speech therapy