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J Autism Dev Disord. 1980 Mar;10(1):21-37.

A simultaneous treatment comparison of three expressive language training programs with a mute autistic child.


A study was conducted in order to simultaneously compare the relative effectiveness of three different language training models (total communication sign training, nonverbal "sign-alone" training, and oral [vocal] training) for teaching expressive language skills to a 4 1/2-year-old mute autistic child. A single-subject, alternating-treatment (multielement) design with replication within subject was used to compare the rate of expressive word acquisition across training models. Results show the total communication model to be substantially superior to both oral and sign-alone training models, and place in question the theory of an intersensory integration disability to explain the success of sign language. Alternatively, the data suggest that the use of physical prompts combined with multisensory inputs provide a basis for the demonstrated success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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