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AJSLP-20-00206mcdaniel_SuppS1.pdf (123.06 kB)

When will he talk? (McDaniel & Schuele, 2021)

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-21, 19:55 authored by Jena McDaniel, C. Melanie Schuele
Purpose: Professionals face substantial challenges determining whether and when children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are not yet using spoken words will use spoken language as their primary means of communication. This tutorial provides speech-language pathologists with practical guidance on how to measure expressive language predictors for progress monitoring and making intervention decisions for children with ASD who are preverbal.
Method: This tutorial is a repackaging effort that seeks to make the research accessible to clinicians wishing to implement evidence-based practice.
Results: We describe intentional communication, consonant inventory in communication acts, and responding to joint attention as particularly valuable prelinguistic skills to measure. We explain how and when to efficiently assess progress using published assessments periodically and using brief (5-min) communication samples for more frequent progress monitoring.
Conclusions: Communication samples can be used to show how a child performs within a therapeutic setting during teaching (treatment data) and outside of the therapeutic setting (generalization probe data). Both types of data are critical for determining whether the child is exhibiting progress and which aspects of intervention are facilitating progress toward use of spoken words. These recommendations also balance the evidence for best practices for progress monitoring and the demands on clinicians’ time and effort. To encourage the measurement of prelinguistic skills of children with ASD who are preverbal in clinical practice, we include (a) example data collection documents, (b) examples with hypothetical data and interpretation, and (c) guidance on communication sampling procedures.

Supplemental Material S1. Blank example data collection documents.

McDaniel, J., & Schuele, C. M. (2021). When will he talk? An evidence-based tutorial for measuring progress toward use of spoken words in preverbal children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


All authors read and approved the final manuscript. This re search was supported by a U.S. Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel grant (H325D140087; PI: Schuele) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U54HD090216; PI:Colombo, Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center).