Using structured discourse as a language intervention technique with autistic children

N. J. Scherer, L. B. Olswang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A structured discourse strategy, employing child echoic imitations and adult expansion, was used to teach 5 autistic children two-term semantic relations. The 5 male preschoolers in late Stage I of linguistic development were exposed systematically to two-term semantic relations in a structured dialogue with a clinician. A combined multiple baseline and AB(A) design was used to examine the relationship between the clinician expansions and the children's subsequent spontaneous imitations and spontaneous productions. The results showed that an increase in modeling and expansion was related to an increase in the children's initial spontaneous imitations of two-term relations. Further, following the increase in spontaneous imitations, spontaneous productions of the two-term relations increased and were maintained, whereas spontaneous imitations subsequently decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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