Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Abstract

"Autism appears in the first three years of a child's life, involving impairments in social and verbal and nonverbal communication. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with core deficits in social and communication, struggle to effectively accomplish social interactive goals through pragmatic language. Early intervention programs may strengthen expressive communication and increase functional communication by some children with autism. The current study examined if participation in an intensive early intervention program increases functional communication in social situations with children with autism. I hypothesized that participation in an early learning program would increase functional communication in social situations for children with autism. Results indicated that all three children decreased their ADOS-2 scores on module two posttest when compared to module one pretest, demonstrating a decrease in symptoms of autism. Results of functional communication demonstrated that participation in the early learning program did not increase functional communication, however participation did increase the types of functional communication used by all three children. At the end of the intervention each child was able to discriminate between different types of functional communication and utilize their new behaviors to communicate"--Leaf iv.

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