Interaction of Treatment Intensity and Autism Severity on Frequency and Maturity of Spontaneous Communication in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Paul Yoder, Sally Rogers, Annette Estes, Zachary Warren, Jeff Munson, Gerhard Hellemann, John McEachin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested whether the effect of treatment intensity or treatment style on children's frequency and maturity of spontaneous communication varied by initial severity of disability. Eighty-seven toddlers with autism spectrum disorders were randomly assigned to either (a) 15 hrs per week of discrete trial teaching (DTT), (b) 25 hrs per week of DTT, (c) 15 hrs per week of a naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI), or (d) 25 hrs per week of NDBI. Trained research staff implemented the 1:1 treatments in homes or educational centers over 12 months. We quantified the frequency and maturity of spontaneous communication during monthly 6-min communication samples. We quantified disability severity at Time 1 using the developmental quotient from the Mullen Scales of Early Learning and the total calibrated severity score from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-second edition. Higher levels of treatment intensity (i.e., more hours per week) benefited frequency and maturity of spontaneous communication growth rate only in children with relatively mild autism symptoms. Other results were nonsignificant. Lay Summary: Eighty-seven toddlers with autism spectrum disorders were randomly assigned to 15 hrs per week of discrete trial teaching (DTT), 25 hrs per week of DTT, 15 hrs per week of a naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI), or 25 hrs per week of NDBI. Trained research staff implemented the treatments in homes or educational centers over 12 months. More hours of treatment per week benefited frequency and maturity of spontaneous communication growth rate only in children with relatively mild autism symptoms. Other results were nonsignificant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAutism Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorders
  • developmental delay
  • severity of autism
  • treatment intensity
  • treatment style

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Interaction of Treatment Intensity and Autism Severity on Frequency and Maturity of Spontaneous Communication in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this