Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 10, pp 4219–4231 | Cite as

A Play-Based, Peer-Mediated Pragmatic Language Intervention for School-Aged Children on the Autism Spectrum: Predicting Who Benefits Most

  • Lauren ParsonsEmail author
  • Reinie Cordier
  • Natalie Munro
  • Annette Joosten
Original Paper


This study explored characteristics of children with autism with large intervention effects following a peer-mediated pragmatic language intervention, to devise algorithms for predicting children most likely to benefit. Children attended a 10-week intervention with a typically-developing peer. Data from a pilot study and RCT formed the dataset for this study. The POM-2 measured intervention outcomes. Children completed the EVT-2, TACL-4, and Social Emotional Evaluation at baseline, and parents completed the CCC-2 and CCBRS. High CCC-2 Use of Context and CCBRS Separation Anxiety scores and comparatively lower EVT-2, CCC-2 Nonverbal Communication and Cohesion scores predicted children with large intervention effects. Results can be used by clinicians to predict which children within their clinics might benefit most from participating in this intervention.


Social communication Intervention development Outcome prediction Discriminant function analysis 



We are thankful to the families who participated in this study and the organisations who helped with recruitment. We would also like to thank Dr Sarah Wilkes-Gillan and Ms Gabrielle Barnes for their assistance in rating the videos. We also extend our gratitude to Mr John Joosten for his assistance in developing the supplemental application to this paper.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Lauren Parsons under the supervision of Reinie Cordier, Natalie Munro and Annette Joosten. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Lauren Parsons and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Supplementary material

Electronic supplementary material 1 (EXE 594 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Special Needs Education, Faculty of Educational SciencesUniversity of OsloBlindernNorway
  3. 3.Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia
  4. 4.School of Allied HealthAustralian Catholic UniversityFitzroyAustralia

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