Early language intervention using distance video-teleconferencing: A pilot study of young boys with fragile X syndrome and their mothers

Andrea McDuffie, Ashley Oakes, Wendy Machalicek, Monica Ma, Lauren Bullard, Sarah Nelson, Leonard J Abbeduto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the effects of a naturalistic parent-implemented language intervention on the use of verbally responsive language by mothers of 6 young boys with fragile X syndrome. The intervention included parent education sessions and clinician coaching delivered onsite and by distance video-teleconferencing. Method: A single-case multiple baseline across participants was used to examine intervention effects on maternal use of language support strategies. A nonparametric analysis was used to evaluate the relative effectiveness of onsite compared with distance coaching sessions. Results: Mothers increased their use of utterances that followed into their child’s focus of attention and prompted child communication acts. Intervention effects were not observed for maternal contingent responses to child communication, possibly due to the limited number of spontaneous communication acts children produced. Children showed moderate increases in the use of prompted communication acts, whereas intervention effects on spontaneous communication acts were more modest and variable. Comparable increases in maternal strategy use were observed during onsite and distance sessions. Conclusions: No previous study has examined a distancedelivered parent-implemented language intervention for young boys with fragile X syndrome. Mothers were able to increase their use of verbally responsive language. Intervention efficacy might be enhanced by incorporating an augmentative and alternative communication device for some children and a more concerted focus on increasing the frequency of child communication acts. Findings provide preliminary support for the efficacy of the distance delivery format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-66
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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