Peer's pragmatic language outcomes following a peer-mediated intervention for children with autism: A randomised controlled trial

Lauren Parsons*, Reinie Cordier, Natalie Munro, Annette Joosten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Peer-mediated pragmatic language interventions can be of benefit to children with autism as they simultaneously target an individual child's pragmatic language skills and contextual factors related to social interactions. However, little is known about peer outcomes following peer-mediated interventions. Aims: This study evaluated the pragmatic language outcomes for typically-developing (TD) playmates who participated in a peer-mediated intervention for children with autism. Methods: Dyads (child with autism and TD-playmate; n = 71) were randomised to a treatment-first or waitlisted-first comparison group. Dyads attended 10 clinic play-sessions with a therapist and parents mediated home-practice. The Pragmatics Observational Measure 2nd edition (POM-2), and Social Emotional Evaluation (SEE) evaluated pragmatics before, after and 3-months following the intervention. Results: Changes in both outcomes measures were equivalent for intervention-first and waitlisted TD-playmates, but all TD-playmates made significant gains in pragmatics following the intervention. Treatment effects maintained for 3-months (p < 0.001–0.014, d = 0.22–0.63), were equivalent in different environments (clinic and home). Peer relationship type and therapist profession mediated POM-2 scores across the study, while expressive language ability moderated SEE scores. Conclusions: This peer-mediated intervention had a positive impact on TD-playmate's pragmatic language capacity and performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103591
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume99
Early online date4 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

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