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Tempt-Trigger Intervention to Promote Intentional Communication in Three Young Children with ASD

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Intervention strategies are relatively limited for pre-intentional communicators that do not yet direct communication toward objects or toward others, particularly children who are early communicators with complex communication needs (CCN). Children who continue to rely on preintentional communication behaviors after infancy are at high risk for CCN regardless of their specific diagnosis. In particular, children with autism who do not develop effective and consistent intentional communication run a lifelong risk for situation-specific communication, including poor generalization of communication and prompt-dependency on partner cueing. The Tempt-Trigger intervention is a strategy that embeds partner assistance for children to produce communication skills into situations in which the child initiates individual signals of their intent. One of the benefits of the Tempt-Trigger intervention model is promoting child spontaneous initiation of meaningful communication behaviors, a skill particularly at risk for children with autism. Components of the strategy include: temptation (through situation and activity), trigger (the child’s own natural behavior spontaneously produced at the temptation), transfer (helping the child produce a more effective communication behavior at the time they express the communicative intent), and touch (providing the child meaningful feedback of the means and results of this communication act). This poster demonstrates the effectiveness of the Tempt/Trigger intervention strategy at increasing object-directed and person-directed communication behaviors in three young children with autism spectrum disorders. At time of submission, two of the three children both developed and maintained person-directed communication due to the treatment, and complete results will be available on the third child by ISAAC.

Author(s):

Cynthia Cress    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

Susan Lien    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

Heather Kampschnieder    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

HopeEllen Petro    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

Laura Thayer    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

Margaret Merrill    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

Josalyn Wittwer    
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
United States

 

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