Interventions to Improve Communication in Autism

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Children with autism benefit from intensive, early intervention that focuses on increasing the frequency, form, and function of communicative acts. Available evidence shows that highly structured behavioral methods have important positive consequences for these children, particularly in eliciting first words. However, the limitation of these methods in maintenance and generalization of skills suggests that many children with autism will need to have these methods supplemented with less adult-directed activities to increase communicative initiation and carry over learned skills to new settings and communication partners. Providing opportunities for mediated peer interactions with trained peers in natural settings seems to be especially important in maximizing the effects of this intervention.


At the time of publication Rhea Paul was affiliated with the Yale Child Study Center.

PMID: 18775373