Verbal Acquisition in Children with Autism Essay

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Since Leo Kanner’s initial description of autism in 1943, research has made great strides in developing scientifically based interventions to treat autism. There are many treatments for autism, however, children continue to face communication impairments, where they struggle with speech and language development (Simpson, 2005). Although there are many effective interventions, studies suggest that when treatment is intensive, continuous and targeted directed towards the child, better outcomes are generated, in contrast to an eclectic model, where a variety of approaches are implemented (Howard, 2005). The implications of this line of research are great, as they suggest that when implementing interventions, careful considerations must be …show more content…
To illustrate the effectiveness of Pivotal Response Treatment, studies demonstrate that 85% to 90% of students can acquire functional verbal language if intervention is performed before the age of five (Koegel et al., 2009). Evidently, although PRT’s success rate is largely determined at age of intervention, its effectiveness rests on its child-oriented approach that seeks to increase verbal acquisition in children by taking into account the child’s motivational needs, interests, and environment. In addition to the motivational components of PRT, research suggests that embedding social interactions into natural reinforcers increases child-initiated behaviors, as opposed to non-embedded interactions. Embedding social interactions into reinforcers can lead to social engagement during communication (Koegel, Koegel, & Vernon, 2009). Not only are children learning verbal acquisition through the interaction in embedded interactions, but they are also learning how to become more effective communicators as they interact and connect deeper with the other individual, such as making eye contact. In contrast, in a non-embedded situation, the child is left to jump alone and have an interaction with the object. Ultimately, from using embedded situations, it is evident that the child will have greater positive experiences, where he or she can learn that positive interactions arise from engaging in verbal initiations. Furthermore, another effective

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