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The effect of a script-fading procedure on unscripted social initiations and novel utterances among young children with autism

Authors
Journal
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
1750-9467
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
4
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2009.07.006
Keywords
  • Autism
  • Script Fading
  • Novel Utterances
  • Generalization
  • Social Skills

Abstract

Abstract Autism is a disorder characterized by a severe deficit in social interaction skills. The initiation of social behavior is the focus of this study. Several studies provide evidence for the effectiveness of the script-fading procedure on improving the social initiation skills of children and adults with autism. Nevertheless, there is little focus on initiations to peers among young children with autism and on the production of novel utterances. The purpose of this study was to use toys with pre-recorded scripts on voice-over-recording devices to evoke initiations to peers and to measure unscripted and novel utterances among three young children with autism. One 4-year-old and two 6-year-old children showed deficits in peer-initiation skills and tended to initiate to adults only. During baseline, the three participants emitted few, if any, initiations to one another. When scripts were introduced, unscripted and novel initiations systematically increased across the participants, thus demonstrating response generalization. The script-fading procedure was effective in increasing unscripted and novel initiations to peers among young children with autism.

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