Social communication skills are considered a core deficit in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Evidence-based practices that have emerged to address these critical skills in children with ASD have largely been implemented by researchers, teachers, and parents.
Only recently have researchers studied paraprofessionals as implementers of these interventions. The following review examines studies in which paraprofessionals were taught to implement social communication interventions with young children with ASD.
The seven articles that met inclusion criteria were evaluated with respect to (a) type of social communication intervention, (b) evidence of effectiveness, (c) training methods and components, (d) child outcomes. The primary intervention studies included pivotal response training (PRT), natural language paradigm (NLP), and incidental teaching strategies as well as mand training and general antecedent/consequent interventions.
All studies reported improvements in paraprofessional implementation fidelity for the chosen intervention, five of which also reported corresponding improvements in child outcomes. Four studies provided definitive evidence of effectiveness for paraprofessional training. Feedback was the only training component used in all seven studies, in conjunction with at least one other component.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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