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Pearson's EBP Briefs: Comparing Evidence-Based Interventions for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Pearson's EBP Briefs: Comparing Evidence-Based Interventions for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Allison Ellawadi, PhD, CCC-SLP
July 26, 2016

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Kathy is a seasoned speech-language pathologist who has worked extensively with preschool and school-age children who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She recently moved into a new position in which her caseload changed from only providing services to children in preschool to providing early intervention services to preschoolers and a small number of toddlers. One of the toddlers is Douglas, a 2-year 10-month-old boy with ASD who Kathy sees twice a week for 45 minutes (each session) in his home. Douglas’ parents report that he has approximately 30 words in his expressive vocabulary that he uses inconsistently. For example, he spontaneously used the word “cat” to label the family cat a month ago, but has not used the word since. Douglas’ main forms of communication are leading a person to desired objects or having a tantrum until he gets what he wants. His parents report that they rely on “playing a guessing game” in which they offer him objects until they get to the one that he seems to want. As a result, they have begun to try to anticipate his wants and needs. Douglas’s parents report increased frustration with his inability to communicate his wants and needs, and that Douglas also appears to be increasingly frustrated as evidenced by an increase in problem behaviors such as tantrums. The speech and language goal in Douglas’ Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) focuses on increasing his ability to communicate wants and needs to his parents.

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Allison Ellawadi, PhD, CCC-SLP

Allison, an assistant professor at the Ohio State University, received her M.S. from New York Medical College and her PhD from the University of Iowa.  Her research focuses on language development in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  She has presented her work at national and international conferences. 



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