1. List and describe some of the research-based intervention…

1. List and describe some of the research-based interventions for communication intervention for students with autism. 2.What are the typical stages of joint attention and communication development? 3. What are verbal operants. List and describe

some of the main verbal operants used in communication intervention for students with autism.

1. Research-Based Interventions for Communication Intervention for Students with Autism:

There are several research-based interventions that have been found to be effective in improving communication skills in students with autism. These interventions focus on developing both receptive and expressive language abilities and enhancing social interaction. Some of the main interventions include:

a. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): ABA is a form of therapy that uses principles of behavior analysis to systematically teach and reinforce skills. It involves breaking skills down into smaller steps and providing repetitive practice and reinforcement. In terms of communication, ABA can be used to teach receptive language skills (responding to commands, following instructions) as well as expressive language skills (requesting, labeling).

b. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): PECS is a visual communication system that uses pictures to help individuals with limited speech or non-verbal individuals to communicate their wants and needs. It involves teaching the individual to exchange a picture of a desired item or activity with a communication partner to initiate and maintain communication.

c. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): AAC includes systems and tools that support or replace oral language. This can include low-tech options like communication boards with pictures or symbols, or high-tech options like speech-generating devices or computer-based systems. AAC interventions focus on teaching individuals how to use these tools to express themselves and communicate effectively.

d. Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support (SCERTS): SCERTS is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that targets social communication skills, emotional regulation, and transactional supports. It aims to develop functional and meaningful communication by addressing social engagement, sharing attention, initiating and responding to communication, and developing conversational skills.

e. Verbal Behavior Interventions: Verbal behavior interventions focus on teaching the functional use of language. These interventions are based on the principles of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and include strategies such as manding (requesting), tacting (labeling), intraverbal (responding to questions or comments), and echoic (repeating). These interventions help children with autism develop the ability to use language to express their wants and needs, make requests, and engage in conversations.

2. Typical Stages of Joint Attention and Communication Development:

Joint attention refers to the ability to coordinate attention with another person toward a shared object or event. It is an important precursor to language development and social communication. Typically, joint attention develops in several stages:

a. Early Social Attention: In the first few months of life, infants start to engage in social interactions with caregivers and develop preferences for faces and voices. They begin to respond to social cues like smiling and cooing.

b. Initiating Joint Attention: Around 6-9 months, infants start to actively initiate joint attention by pointing or showing objects to others. They may also follow the gaze of their caregiver to share attention to interesting objects or events.

c. Responding to Joint Attention: By 9-12 months, infants start to respond to joint attention by following the caregiver’s pointing gestures or eye gaze. They begin to understand that the caregiver is trying to share their attention and interest in specific objects.

d. Coordinating Joint Attention: Between 12-18 months, infants start to coordinate their own attention and the attention of others toward a common object or event. They can maintain joint attention for longer periods of time and actively engage in back-and-forth exchanges of attention with a caregiver.

e. Advanced Joint Attention: From 18-24 months and beyond, children develop more advanced joint attention skills. They not only follow others’ attention but also actively direct the attention of others through gestures and verbal communication. They can also engage in joint attention during pretend play and use joint attention to support early language development.

3. Verbal Operants:

Verbal operants are units of language that serve different functions or purposes in communication. They are the building blocks of functional communication and can be targeted in communication interventions for students with autism. Some of the main verbal operants include:

a. Mand: A mand is a request or a command for a specific item or action. It involves making a demand or asking for something, such as saying “I want juice” or pointing to a desired object.

b. Tact: A tact refers to labeling or commenting on objects, actions, or events in the environment. It involves expressing understanding or knowledge of something, such as saying “That is a dog” or “It’s raining outside.”

c. Intraverbal: Intraverbals are responses to questions or statements that require verbal reasoning and understanding. They involve answering questions, completing sentences, or engaging in conversation. For example, responding to the question “What is your favorite color?” with “Blue.”

d. Echoic: Echoic responses involve repeating or imitating what someone else has said. They help develop vocal imitation skills and auditory discrimination. For example, repeating the word “cat” after a caregiver says it.

By targeting these verbal operants in communication interventions, students with autism can develop a wide range of functional language skills and improve their overall communication abilities.