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Autism. 2007 Jan;11(1):63-71.

A pilot study of the effects of a social-pragmatic intervention on the communication and symbolic play of children with autism.

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School of Cognition, Language and Special Education, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.


The acquisition of social communication skills is a major challenge faced by children with autism. This pilot study investigated the effects of the Stronger Families Project, a social-pragmatic intervention, on the communication and symbolic abilities of 16 children aged 2-4 years with autism. Standardized measures of the child's communication and symbolic behaviour were conducted by independent observers at a university clinic pre and post-intervention, and parents were interviewed to determine the impact of variables such as maternal stress and competence on the child's social communication. Changes in some communication and symbolic behaviours occurred following the Stronger Families Project intervention according to parent report. However, improvements based on ratings by independent observers were not significant. Results are discussed in relation to the assessment of changes in the social communication and symbolic play of children with autism following intervention using clinical observation and parent report.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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