Advertisement

Brief Report: Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Behavioral Intervention for Minimally Verbal Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Tom CariveauEmail author
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg
  • Arwa Alamoudi
  • Taylor Thompson
  • Brittany Bartlett
  • Scott Gillespie
  • Lawrence Scahill
Brief Report

Abstract

We report the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a structured behavioral intervention with a sample of minimally verbal girls with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Ten participants with no functional vocal behavior were randomized to a 4-week behavioral intervention or waitlist control group. Caregivers reported child communicative repertoires at pre- and post-randomization assessments. Social communication was also assessed at these time points using the Early Social Communication Scales. All feasibility benchmarks were met and findings of preliminary efficacy showed large effect sizes within groups. The current findings suggest the feasibility of recruiting and retaining samples of young, minimally verbal girls with autism spectrum disorder in randomized clinical trials.

Keywords

Feasibility Female Intervention Minimally verbal Sex differences 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The current study was funded by an Autism Science Foundation Postdoctoral Training Award received by the first author (Grant Number: 16 − 002). We would like to thank Addison Welch, Jack Tilman, Kira Clement, and Siena Tetali for their assistance with various aspects of this study.

Author Contributions

TC conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and drafted the manuscript; MAS conceived of the study and participated in its design and coordination; AA participated in the acquisition of data and coordination of the study; TT participated in the acquisition of data and coordination of the study; BB participated in the acquisition of data and coordination of the study; SG participated in the design, interpretation of the data, and performed the statistical analysis; LS conceived the study, participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by the Autism Science Foundation (Grant Number 16 − 002).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Tom Cariveau has received a research grant from the Autism Science Foundation. M. Alice Shillingsburg declares that she has no conflict of interest. Arwa Alamoudi declares that she has no conflict of interest. Taylor Thompson declares that she has no conflict of interest. Brittany Bartlett declares that she has no conflict of interest. Scott Gillespie declares that he has no conflict of interest. Lawrence Scahill has served as a consultant for Roche, Shire, Supernus, Neurocrine, Janssen, Yamo, and the Tourette Association of America. He also receives royalties from Guilford Press and Oxford University Press.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2018_3872_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 KB)

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, D., Lord, K., Risi, C., DiLavore, S., Shulman, P. S., Thurm, C., A., … Pickles, A (2007). Patterns of growth in verbal abilities among children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 594–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cariveau, T., McCracken, C. E., Bradshaw, J., Postorino, V., Shillingsburg, M. A., McDougle, C. J., … Scahill, L. (under review). Sex differences in treatment-seeking youth with autism spectrum disorder. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years-autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/ss/ss6706a1.htm.
  5. Fenson, L., Marchman, V., Thal, D. J., Dale, P. S., Reznick, J. S., & Bates, E. (2007). Communicative development inventories. Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
  6. Frazier, T. W., Georgiades, S., Bishop, S. L., & Hardan, A. Y. (2014). Behavioral and cognitive characteristics of females and males with autism in the Simons Simplex Collection. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53, 329–340.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2013.12.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Howe, Y. J., O’Rourke, J. A., Yatchmink, Y., Viscidi, E. W., Jones, R. N., & Morrow, E. M. (2015). Female autism phenotypes investigated at different levels of language and developmental abilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 3537–3549.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2501-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hus Bal, V., Katz, T., Bishop, S. L., & Krasileva, K. (2016). Understanding definitions of minimally verbal across instruments: Evidence for subgroups within minimally verbal children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 4124–1433.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12609.Google Scholar
  9. Kasari, C., Brady, N., Lord, C., & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2013). Assessing the minimally verbal school-aged child with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 6, 479–493.  https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kasari, C., Kaiser, A., Goods, K., Nietfeld, J., Mathy, P., … Almirall, D. (2014). Communication interventions for minimally verbal children with autism: Sequential multiple assignment randomized trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53, 635–646.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2014.01.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Linstead, E., Dixon, D. R., Hong, E., Burns, C. O., French, R., Novack, M. N., & Granpeesheh, D. (2017). An evaluation of the effects of intensity and duration on outcomes across treatment domains for children with autism spectrum disorder. Translational Psychiatry.  https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2017.207.
  12. Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P. C., … Rutter, M. (2000). Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 205–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mullen, E. (1995). Mullen scales of early learning. Circle Pines: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  14. Mundy, P., Hogan, A., & Doelring, P. (1996). A preliminary manual for the abridged Early Social Communication Scales. Coral Gables: University of Miami.Google Scholar
  15. Norrelgen, F., Fernell, E., Eriksson, M., Hedvall, A., Persson, C., Sjolin, M., … Kjellmer, L. (2015). Children with autism spectrum disorders who do not develop phrase speech in the preschool years. Autism, 19, 934–943.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361314556782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pickett, A., Pullara, O., O’Grady, J., & Gordon, B. (2009). Speech acquisition in older nonverbal individuals with autism: A review of features, methods and prognosis. Cognitive Behavioral Neurology, 22, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reichow, B. (2011). Overview of meta-analyses on early intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 512–520.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1218-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shillingsburg, M. A., Bowen, C. N., & Shapiro, S. K. (2014). Increasing social approach and decreasing social avoidance in children with autism spectrum disorder during discrete trial training. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8, 1443–1453.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shillingsburg, M. A., Hansen, B., & Wright, M. (2018). Rapport building and instructional fading prior to discrete trial instruction: Moving from child-led play to intensive teaching. Behavior Modification.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445517751436.
  20. Sparrow, S. S., Cicchetti, D. V., & Balla, D. A. (2005). Vineland adaptive behavior scales (2nd edn.). Circle Pines: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  21. Tager-Flusberg, H., Paul, R., & Lord, C. (2005). Language and communication in autism. In F. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorder. New York: Wiley; 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Cariveau
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg
    • 2
  • Arwa Alamoudi
    • 3
  • Taylor Thompson
    • 4
  • Brittany Bartlett
    • 4
  • Scott Gillespie
    • 4
    • 5
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.The May InstituteRandolphUSA
  3. 3.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Marcus Autism CenterAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations