A spoken-language intervention for school-aged boys with fragile X syndrome

Andrea McDuffie, Wendy Machalicek, Lauren Bullard, Sarah Nelson, Melissa Mello, Robyn Tempero-Feigles, Nancy Castignetti, Leonard J Abbeduto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Using a single case design, a parent-mediated spoken-language intervention was delivered to three mothers and their school-aged sons with fragile X syndrome, the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability. The intervention was embedded in the context of shared storytelling using wordless picture books and targeted three empirically derived languagesupport strategies. All sessions were implemented through distance videoteleconferencing. Parent education sessions were followed by 12 weekly clinician coaching and feedback sessions. Data were collected weekly during independent homework and clinician observation sessions. Relative to baseline, mothers increased their use of targeted strategies, and dyads increased the frequency and duration of story-related talking. Generalized effects of the intervention on lexical diversity and grammatical complexity were observed. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-265
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Parents
  • Shared book reading
  • Spoken-language intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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