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ERIC Number: ED078624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Language Development in Nonverbal Autistic Children Using a Simultaneous Communication System.
Creedon, Margaret Procyk
Twenty-one nonverbal autistic children, 4- to 9-years-old, with language ages of 4- to 24-months, participated in the communication learning program from 1 to 3 years. Simultaneous verbal and manual signs were chosen as the communications mode. The children initially displayed infrequent, unrecognizable vocalizations (Screeches, or vocal twiddles), failed to role play, used objects repetitively and nonfunctionally, and showed either little affect or self-aggressiveness. A behavioral framework with reinforcement included rewards, such as food, tokens, and social approbation. Parents attended weekly meetings and also observed training sessions. A day school was developed, consisting in supervised group work for short periods, and gross motor activities (roller skating, swimming, or art activities), and later evolved into three levels and more extensive tasks. Initially the children imitated all teacher hand movements, repeated questions and added answers, repeated only key words, or directed questions meant for other children to teachers. Later (still signing manually), children instructed themselves before performing, generated sentences comparable to 2 and 3 year olds', labeled other children's inappropriate behaviors, helped one another, mastered personal pronouns, and had an estimated vocabulary range of 101 to 370 words (a gain of over 100 words in a year). Some children began to mouth words, verbally approximate words, and three children could verbalize "hi" or "bye". Behavioral assessment indicated increase in social activity, decrease in self stimulation, higher levels of play, and attempts to play with classmates. (MC)
Margaret Procyk Creedon, Dysfunctioning Child Center, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois 60616
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Reprint of a paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Meeting (Philadelphia, March 31, 1973)