Examining Communication Repairs of 2 Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Influence of the Environment Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the repair strategies of 2 young children with autism spectrum disorder from an environmental rather than a developmental perspective. Method A scripted protocol that included opportunities for requests and repair was followed. The environmental variables investigated were activity type ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2006
Examining Communication Repairs of 2 Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Influence of the Environment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hedda Meadan
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • James W. Halle
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ruth V. Watkins
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Janis G. Chadsey
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Contact author: Hedda Meadan, Department of Special Education, University of Illinois 288 Education Building, 1310 South Sixth Street Champaign, IL 61820. Email: meadanka@uiuc.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2006
Examining Communication Repairs of 2 Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Influence of the Environment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2006, Vol. 15, 57-71. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/007)
History: Received March 10, 2005 , Revised July 1, 2005 , Accepted November 5, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2006, Vol. 15, 57-71. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/007)
History: Received March 10, 2005; Revised July 1, 2005; Accepted November 5, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the repair strategies of 2 young children with autism spectrum disorder from an environmental rather than a developmental perspective.

Method A scripted protocol that included opportunities for requests and repair was followed. The environmental variables investigated were activity type (e.g., puzzle, shapes, book) and breakdown type (i.e., request for clarification, wrong response, and ignore). The sessions were videotaped, and each child’s behavior was coded.

Results The results revealed that (a) both participants repaired the majority (70%) of their unsuccessful initial requests and (b) the repair strategies varied across children, activities, and breakdowns.

Conclusions The findings of this study suggest that the 2 young children with autism and limited expressive language discriminated among environmental variables (i.e., type of activity and type of breakdown). The participants modified their repair topographies to correspond to changes in the environment. The findings from this study offer ways to enhance assessment and intervention of early communication. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grants H324C020098 and H325D010009, and by the University of Illinois Research Board Grant, and by the Bureau of Educational Research, Dissertation Award, University of Illinois. We thank the parents and children who participated in the study. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education or of the University of Illinois.
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