SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Harjusola-Webb, S. M., & Robbins, S. H. (2011). The effects of teacher-implemented naturalistic intervention on the communication of preschoolers with autismTopics in Early Childhood Special Education, 32, 99–110.

Abstract: This study examined the effects of a teacher training package on the teacher-delivered naturalistic communication-promoting intervention and the expressive communication of three preschool-aged boys with autism spectrum disorders. Growing numbers of children with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, attend community-based and inclusive preschool settings, and the present study provides information on how to support positive adult child social-communicative interactions by embedding noninvasive strategies in the context of natural environments. In this multiple-baseline study, the teachers received training and support in implementing specific, naturalistic communication-promoting strategies to increase child opportunities for expressive communication. As a result of the training, the teachers increased their use of the intervention strategies, and all of the target children showed increases in the frequency of expressive communication. This study emphasizes the importance of language input and how the level of intervention delivery—in this case, frequency of teacher-provided opportunities for communication—appears to influence child communicative behavior.

Journal Article 2: Campbell, P. H., Milbourne, S., Dugan, L. M., & Wilcox, M. J. (2006). A review of evidence on practices for teaching young children to use assistive technology devices. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26, 3–13.

Abstract: Published articles about assistive technology (AT) from 1980 through 2004 were reviewed to identify those that focused on infants and young children. A total of 104 articles about AT with infants and toddlers were identified, and of these, 23 reported practices for teaching switch activation (12), computer use (6), power mobility skills (4), or augmentative and alternative communication (1). A majority of the subjects were children with physical or multiple disabilities. Studies used group, single-subject, and case study reports. Only one study used random assignment to conditions. Across all devices, the primary teaching strategy was opportunity to access and use the device, either independently or with teacher or peer facilitation. For the most part, children learned to use the targeted device and gained competence in device use through practice.