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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01960

A randomised controlled trial of a play-based, peer-mediated pragmatic language intervention for children with autism

  • 1Curtin University, Australia
  • 2University of Oslo, Norway
  • 3University of Sydney, Australia
  • 4Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Australia

Purpose: This randomised controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a play-based pragmatic language intervention for children with autism. Methods: A sample of 71 children with autism were randomised to an intervention-first group (n =28 analysed) or waitlist-first (n = 34 analysed) group. Children attended ten, weekly clinic play-sessions with a typically-developing peer, and parents mediated practice components at home. The Pragmatics Observational Measure (POM-2) and the Social Emotional Evaluation (SEE) evaluated pragmatics before, after and 3-months following the intervention. Results: POM-2 gains were greatest for intervention-first participants (p=0.031, d=0.57). Treatment effects were maintained at 3-month follow-up (p<0.001-0.05, d=0.49-0.64). POM-2 scores were not significantly different in the clinic and home settings at follow-up. Conclusions: Findings support the combination of play, peer-mediation, video-feedback and parent training to enhance pragmatic language in children with autism.

Keywords: Social Communication and Interaction, Video-modelling, Intervention development, school-age, Autism (ASD)

Received: 20 Apr 2019; Accepted: 09 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Parsons, Cordier, Munro and Joosten. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Lauren Parsons, Curtin University, Perth, Australia,