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  Subjects -> SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELFARE (Total: 224 journals)
Showing 201 - 135 of 135 Journals sorted by number of followers
Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Campbell Systematic Reviews     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
International Journal on Child Maltreatment : Research, Policy and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Policy Practice and Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of School Social Work     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Ageing and Later Life     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Skriftserien Socialt Arbejde     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Social Work in the Global Community     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Columbia Social Work Review     Open Access  
Links to Health and Social Care     Open Access  
AZARBE : Revista Internacional de Trabajo Social y Bienestar     Open Access  
Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift     Open Access  
Jurnal Karya Abdi Masyarakat     Open Access  
Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory & Research     Hybrid Journal  

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Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Number of Followers: 6  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 2366-7532 - ISSN (Online) 2366-7540
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Fluctuations of the Center of Pressure in Autism Spectrum Disorder

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      Abstract: Objectives The static standing position of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is unstable. However, the cause has not been clarified. We will investigate the fluctuation of center of pressure (COP) by detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and contribute to the elucidation of the cause in the future. Method We investigated the characteristics of fluctuations in the COP in 16 individuals with ASD and 13 individuals with typical development (TD). All participants stood on a Wii Balance Board for 70 s during which time we obtained COP data at 100 Hz. The eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions were performed once each. We obtained the locus length, total locus length, outer peripheral area, and the mean value and standard deviation of the coordinate position, and also calculated the mean value, standard deviation, coefficient variability, and alpha index of velocity from the acquired data, which we used as evaluation indices. Results The locus lengths in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions and the total length, as well as the outer peripheral area of the COP, found no significant differences between the groups. The alpha index showing the strength of long-term correlations of the standing position by DFA of moving distance per 100 Hz in the ASD group was significantly larger than that in the TD group (p = .011) in the anteroposterior direction under the eyes-closed condition. Conclusions Postural sway in the ASD group did not differ from TD but was maintained from a long-term perspective.
      PubDate: 2023-01-30
       
  • Exploring Subtypes of Repetitive Behavior in Children with Autism Through
           Functional Analysis and Wearable Technology: a Pilot Biobehavioral
           Assessment

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      Abstract: Objectives Prior research has established assessment methodologies, such as functional analysis to identify specific contexts in which restricted and repetitive behavior (RRB) occurs, and measures of heart rate variability (HRV) to index the level of autonomic arousal in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yet, a gap remains in integrating multiple assessment methodologies to examine the complex underlying mechanisms of RRB. This study piloted a multi-disciplinary approach to assess both the functional behavioral and neurophysiological factors that may underlie occurrences of RRB. The study (a) evaluated the effect of a modified functional analysis protocol on delineating functional subtypes of RRB and (b) explored the effect of using a wearable technology within a functional analysis on identifying the relationship between RRB and HRV. Method A single-case alternating treatment design was used to randomly alternate noncontingent low-stimulation and high-stimulation conditions in a modified functional analysis protocol. Simultaneous measurement of RRB and HRV was obtained through direct behavioral observations and a wristband that collects blood volume pulse, respectively. Visual analysis of time series data was used to determine the functional subtypes of RRB, and nonparametric correlational analyses were conducted to determine the association between HRV and RRB. Results Findings from a sample of six participants suggest preliminary effectiveness of the assessment protocol in identifying subtypes of RRB and a significant correlation between HRV and RRB. Conclusions This study demonstrates the potential effect and usability of a wearable technology-aided biobehavioral approach to assess RRB and HRV in individuals with ASD.
      PubDate: 2023-01-27
       
  • Insistence on Sameness in Autistic Children: a Stimulus Control Analysis
           with Implications for Assessment and Support

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      Abstract: Objectives A characteristic of some individuals with autism is described as an “insistence on sameness.” For these individuals, a violation of sameness may occasion problem behavior. Given this, a more precise understanding of the construct of sameness from a behavioral perspective is desirable for assessment and intervention purposes. In this paper, we first examined the role of an existing behavioral theory, stimulus overselectivity, in relation to this issue. A detailed stimulus control analysis led to the conclusion that this theory does not adequately account for problem behavior occasioned by violations of sameness. Based on this analysis, we developed a conceptual model for assessing and treating problem behavior associated with insistence on sameness. Methods Three representative cases from our past clinical experience with children with autism were employed to develop the conceptual model: (a) paying attention to too few stimuli, (b) paying to too many stimuli, and (c) paying attention to sequentially presented stimuli. Following a detailed stimulus control analysis of each case, we introduce a competing behavior pathways framework for organizing a functional assessment of child problem behavior occasioned by violations of sameness, and for developing a behavior support plan that emphasizes prevention, teaching, and positive reinforcement. We then apply the framework to the three cases, and illustrate its utility for developing an individualized, multicomponent positive behavior support plan for each of the children. Conclusions We conclude the paper with considerations for future research to empirically examine the proposed conceptual framework for understanding and treating problem behavior in individuals with autism associated with violations of sameness.
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
       
  • The Stress Survey Schedule (SSS): Trends and Normative Data on a Sample of
           Children with Severe Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities

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      Abstract: Objectives The purpose of this research was to develop normative data on overall and sub-group stress scores for the Stress Survey Schedule (SSS) for a group of persons with Intellectual Disability and related disorders. Method This was a retrospective observational study that utilized Stress Survey Schedule data collected between 2002 and 2021. Historical data was collected on 155 students with Intellectual Disability and related disorders, age 6 to 19. Results The “Food-Related Activity” and “Changes and Threats” sub-group scores were significantly higher than the “Pleasant Events” and “Social Emotional Interactions” sub-group scores. Additional comparisons of stress scores by gender and age, and autism diagnosis compared to no autism diagnosis found few differences among sub-group scores. An examination of commonly high and low scoring stressors for each age group found consistency mainly among the younger age groups. For the oldest group, the most common high scoring items were significantly different, suggesting that as persons in this diagnostic group enter young adulthood, what is stressful tends to shift into different areas. Conclusions For this population, overall stress is rated as moderate and averaged scores of identified sub-scales are generally consistent across gender, as well as childhood, adolescent and young adult age groups. Items rated as low and high stress tend to be consistent for younger participants, and then change as participants enter young adulthood.
      PubDate: 2023-01-16
       
  • Driving Attitudes and Avoidance in Drivers with ASD or ADHD

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      Abstract: Objectives Despite research indicating drivers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not inherently unsafe drivers, there is decreased licensure rate among that population. One contributing factor could be the prevalence of negative perceptions about driving among autistic people. In contrast, people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to overestimate their driving abilities. The objective of this study was to characterize negative and positive perceptions about driving among drivers with ASD, ADHD, or neither diagnosis in terms of their attitudes, driving avoidance, and speed of processing. Methods Drivers with ASD (n = 30) or ADHD (n = 36) and typically developing (TD) drivers (n = 35) completed the Useful Field of View (UFOV) task and were surveyed on their perceptions about driving. Results Drivers with ASD reported more negative attitudes (β = 0.50, p < .001) and avoidance (β = 0.23, p = .02) than TD peers. Slower UFOV scores predicted more avoidance among TD drivers (β = 0.35, p = .01), but not among drivers with ADHD (β =  − 0.11, p = .45) or ASD (β = 0.09, p = .68). Conclusions Both ASD and ADHD uniquely affect driving attitudes and driving avoidance. Autistic people tend to hold more negative attitudes than TD peers. Counteracting that negative attitude may promote more independence among autistic people who want to learn to drive. Speed of processing appears to have a weaker impact on how ADHD drivers view complicated roadway situations, which may be indicative of a bias in their beliefs about their abilities.
      PubDate: 2023-01-07
       
  • Dynamic Assessment of AAC Action Verb Symbols for Children with ASD

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      Abstract: Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make progress in learning to use action verb symbols on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) applications across different communicative functions (requesting, labeling) and instructional formats (embedded instruction, discrete trial teaching). Methods Four preschool-aged children completed graduated prompting dynamic assessment sessions in which they were provided with varying levels of support (e.g., models, gestures) across three instructional conditions: (a) requesting actions embedded in play, (b) labeling actions embedded in play, and (c) labeling actions presented via video during discrete trial teaching. An adapted multielement single-case design was used to compare participants’ abilities to use symbols with different levels of support across the instructional conditions and a control. Results Differences between instructional and control conditions were established for three participants. Three participants also reduced the levels of support they needed to use symbols in at least two instructional conditions. Although participants initially required lower levels of support (i.e., less restrictive prompts) in the requesting condition compared to labeling conditions, these differences only maintained for one participant. Across participants, differences between labeling conditions were minimal. Conclusions Although children with ASD can use verb symbols with low levels of support during DA, additional intervention may be needed to increase independent responding. Individual characteristics may influence success across communicative functions.
      PubDate: 2023-01-03
       
  • The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Training Program on the
           Level of Academic Stress and Academic Burnout in Students with Specific
           Learning Disability

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      Abstract: Objectives Specific learning disability (SLD) is one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders that leads to many psychological consequences for students with such disorders. The present study aimed to determine the effect of acceptance and commitment training programs on the level of academic stress and burnout in students with SLD. Methods This study was a quantitative research conducted with a pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental design and a control group. The research population consisted of female students with SLD in Tabriz, Iran, selected through random cluster sampling method. The data were collected using Gadzella’s Student-Life Stress Inventory (SLSI) and School Burnout Inventory (SBI). Results Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to analyze the data. Given the results of the data analysis, the application of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was seen to reduce the amount of academic stress and academic burnout in students with SLD. Since acceptance and commitment training can reduce academic stress and burnout in this group of students, it could be considered an effective intervention to reduce students’ psychological distress. Conclusions The present findings will pave the way for further research in the field of interventions associated with the psychological problems of students with SLD.
      PubDate: 2022-12-16
       
  • The Case for Integrated Advanced Technology in Applied Behavior Analysis

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      Abstract: Abstract Most people rely on technology in their everyday lives to navigate responsibilities to family, community, friends, and employers. The aim of this paper is to overview recent technological innovations (e.g., augmentative and virtual reality, wearable devices, and artificial intelligence) that have potential to improve efficiency and effectiveness of applied behavior analysis services for clients, practitioners, and society. We recommend that behavior analysts leverage these technologies to promote positive and ethical change that improves their lives, the lives of their clients, and the wider community.
      PubDate: 2022-12-13
       
  • Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity Involvement as Described by
           Autistic Youth with Mild Intellectual Disability

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      Abstract: Objectives Physical activity involvement among autistic youth and youth with an intellectual disability is significantly lower than the general population. Few studies have included youth with comorbid diagnoses of ASD and intellectual disability. Fewer studies collect information from the youth themselves. This study examined barriers and facilitators to physical activity in autistic youth with mild intellectual disability using semi-structured interviews with youth and through caregiver reports. Methods Fourteen caregivers and their children ages 8 to 16 years old participated. Caregivers completed a questionnaire about their thoughts on their child’s physical activity while their children completed the semi-structured interview. A descriptive phenomenological approach was followed. Results Four themes were inductively identified: intrapersonal barriers (factors that are within the person which impede physical activity involvement, such as exhibiting challenging behaviors that inhibit engagement), interpersonal barriers (factors external to the person, such as lack of community support), intrapersonal facilitators (factors within the person that enhance physical activity involvement, such as being intrinsically motivated to improve skills), and interpersonal facilitators (external factors such as supports from caregivers). Conclusions Interviewing youth is important to capture a holistic picture of factors influencing physical activity. Future research may focus on implementing and assessing the efficacy of strategies to address the barriers facing youth diagnosed with ASD and intellectual disability.
      PubDate: 2022-12-12
       
  • The Relation Between Autism Spectrum Disorder Traits,
           Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Traits, and Emotional Problems in
           Japanese University Students

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      Abstract: Objectives It is understood that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are likely to have other mental health issues. However, there is a subset of the population who have ASD traits but are below the diagnostic threshold. Nevertheless, in this population, there is an increased risk of psychiatric comorbidities including depression and other symptoms. Therefore, this study aims to examine whether university students in the general population with both higher ASD and ADHD traits had a more severe risk of developing emotional problems. Method An online survey was conducted with Japanese university students in June and July 2021. Using data from 313 Japanese university students, this study examined whether higher ASD and ADHD traits were related to emotional problems. The survey measured ASD traits with the Autism spectrum Quotient; ADHD traits were measured with the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale, and emotional problems were evaluated using the Kessler scale. Results Results showed that ADHD traits moderated the association between higher ASD traits and higher emotional problems, which indicated students with both higher ASD and ADHD traits, had a severe risk of developing emotional problems. Conclusions This study highlights that it is important to focus on subthreshold ASD traits and ADHD traits in university students for their better subsequent mental health.
      PubDate: 2022-12-10
       
  • A Parent-Mediated Intervention for Newborns at Familial Likelihood of
           Autism: Initial Feasibility Study in the General Population

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      Abstract: Objectives Developmental theory and previous studies support the potential value of prodromal interventions for infants at elevated likelihood of developing autism. Past research has supported the efficacy of parent-mediated prodromal therapies with infants from as early as 7 months. We outline the rationale for implementing interventions following this model from even earlier in development and report on the feasibility of a novel intervention developed following this model of parent-mediated infant interventions. Methods We report a feasibility study (n = 13) of a parent-mediated, video-aided intervention, beginning during pregnancy, focussed on parent-infant interactions. The study evaluated the feasibility of this intervention initially with a general population sample. Feasibility was assessed across four domains (acceptability, implementation, practicality and integration) using self-report questionnaire, semi-structured interviews with parents and therapists, attendance and assessment completion. Results Feasibility assessment shows that the intervention was acceptable, with all participants reporting that they had benefited from the program, with perceived positive benefits to their understanding of and communication with their infant, and that they had integrated program teachings into everyday life. The intervention was implemented as planned with 100% attendance for the core sessions. Changes to minimise the number of antenatal sessions was suggested to improve practicality. Conclusions This study found initial feasibility for this intervention in a general population sample. This suggests parent-mediated video feedback interventions are a promising format to be implemented within the perinatal developmental time period.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Teachers’ Perceptions of an Early Intervention Coaching Program

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      Abstract: Objectives Inclusive preschools appear to be logical settings for the delivery of early intervention for young autistic children. Regular preschool teachers may also be well-suited to delivering early intervention. This study is part of a larger study, in which three preschool teachers participated in a coaching program based around the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a promising early intervention model for young autistic children. The aim of the present study was to evaluate teachers’ perceptions regarding the social validity of the coaching program and the ESDM techniques. Methods A quantitative questionnaire and semi-structured qualitative interviews were used to explore teachers’ perceptions of the acceptability and effectiveness of the intervention. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Results Overall, findings suggest that teachers perceived the coaching program and the ESDM strategies to be highly acceptable and effective; however, there was some variation in teachers’ perceptions of specific elements and strategies. Teachers suggested that the program could be further improved through the provision of more targeted coaching support focused on behavioral teaching strategies and more time for one-on-one practice with target children. Conclusions This research could be viewed as providing preliminary support for the social validity of the focus intervention for this group of teachers. It seems important for future research to address the identified limitations in the present research and to examine in further detail the social validity of this intervention for ECE teachers in inclusive preschool settings. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): Registration no. 12618000324213.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Parent Perceptions of Sleep-Related Stereotypy Within Sleep Problems in
           Children on the Autism Spectrum: Implications for Behavioral Treatment

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      Abstract: Objectives Sleep problems in children on the autism spectrum may be affected by core diagnostic characteristics, including stereotypy (restricted and repetitive behaviors). Little is known about the nature of sleep-related stereotypy and its role within sleep disturbance. This study aimed to improve our understanding of the types of sleep-related stereotypy, its potential role within sleep difficulties, and how parents manage night-time stereotypy, in children on the autism spectrum. Methods This qualitative study used thematic analysis to analyze clinical assessment reports obtained from 21 parents of children on the autism spectrum referred for behavioral sleep intervention. Five themes, including the types of stereotypy, timing within sleep problems, stereotypy as sleep-interfering, stereotypy as sleep-conducive, and parent-responses, were identified. A clinical case study illustrates the potential role of vocal stereotypy within night wakings, through functional assessment and treatment of sleep problems in a child on the autism spectrum. Results Stereotypy included vocal and motor behaviors and repetitive manipulation of objects. Parents perceived stereotypy as both problematic and as beneficial to sleep, which may differentially affect behavioral treatment. Parent responses to stereotypy were varied and included co-sleeping. The case study highlights the complexity of the sleep and stereotypy relationship and the difficulty in treating automatically maintained behavior in the sleep context. Conclusion The function that stereotypy serves in relation to sleep disturbance is unclear and may differ across and within children. It is important we seek to better understand the specific ways that stereotypy may affect sleep, and vice versa, to improve clinical management of sleep problems in children on the autism spectrum.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Telehealth Training in Naturalistic Communication Intervention for Mothers
           of Children with Angelman Syndrome

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      Abstract:    Objectives  Young children with Angelman syndrome have significant delays in expressive communication. Parents of children with Angelman syndrome require training to support their child’s communication development. Unfortunately, parent training focused on the needs of families of children with rare genetic syndromes is unavailable to many families. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a telehealth parent training program on naturalistic communication intervention for young children with Angelman syndrome. Methods Using two single-case multiple baseline designs across a total of six parent–child dyads, we evaluated the effects of a telehealth parent training program on parent implementation fidelity of a naturalistic communication intervention, child communication, and child engagement. Results With the telehealth parent training program, parent implementation fidelity of naturalistic communication intervention improved, maintained and generalized to untrained home routines. Small effects on child communication and engagement were observed during the program. Conclusions Parents of children with Angelman syndrome were successfully taught via telehealth to implement a naturalistic communication intervention with their child at home. Additional research is needed to promote positive child communication outcomes through parent-mediated intervention.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • “It Was Such a Different Experience”: a Qualitative Study of Parental
           Perinatal Experiences When Having a Subsequent Child After Having a Child
           Diagnosed with Autism

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      Abstract: Objectives Children who have an older sibling diagnosed with autism have an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with autism or developing broader developmental difficulties. This study explored perinatal experiences of parents of a child diagnosed with autism, spanning pre-conception until the subsequent child’s early developmental period. Methods Qualitative interviews were conducted with ten parents of a child diagnosed with autism, and ten parents of a child with no neurodevelopmental diagnosis, each of whom had gone on to have a subsequent child. Thematic analysis occurred concurrently with data collection and involved comparisons between the two samples. Results Four themes were identified in relation to the perinatal period of a subsequent child following the autism diagnosis of an older child. These were parental experiences of “apprehension”, “adjustment”, and “adaptation”, underpinned by the “importance of support”. Many experiences of parenting were similar between the two groups, with comparison between the groups identifying the role of autism in an increased focus, concern, and hypervigilance to their child’s development. Conclusions Having a child diagnosed with autism intensifies some of the common experiences of parenting and infancy. The challenges identified by parents throughout the experience of parenting an infant after having a child diagnosed with autism indicate that the development of supports could help empower families in this situation going forwards.
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
       
  • Practical Approaches and Socially Valid Assessment Considerations for
           Learners with Emergent Communication and Severe Intellectual Disability

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      Abstract:    Objectives Assessment strategies for communication in learners with severe ID who are at the emergent stage of language development have evolved since first applied from speech act theory over 50 years ago. These efforts have resulted in measures that have increasingly been able to document the wide range of communicative abilities of learners with severe ID to inform intervention planning. In this paper, we indicate how assessment strategies for communication in learners with severe ID who are at the emergent stage of language development have evolved. Methods We review literature from speech act theory over 50 years ago and consider measures that have increasingly been able to document the wide range of communicative abilities of learners with severe ID to inform intervention planning. Results Emergent communication has been described as serving a number of functions and may include a number of forms, such as nonintentional behaviors interpreted by others (perlocutionary communication), purposeful nonsymbolic signals (illocutionary), or representational symbol forms (locutionary). This knowledge has motivated and informed a variety of clinical practices for learners who use emergent communication and furthered developments in systematic assessment procedures to observe and document this range of communication ability. As a result, the abilities of learners with severe ID have been realized and supported through intervention planning. Conclusions To continue to optimize opportunities for communication development, it is proposed that comprehensive assessment practices moving forward should be grounded in an identity-focused and interprofessional framework. A number of practical strategies that target family interviews, observation and sampling across contexts, formal test administration, and new technologies for assessment could be used for learners regardless of their ability to communicate with intention. These strategies, when grounded in an identity-focused framework with the support of an interprofessional team may best ensure socially valid data is collected for intervention planning.
      PubDate: 2022-11-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s41252-022-00303-4
       
  • Functional Communication Training for Toddlers At-Risk for Autism with
           Early Problem Behavior

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      Abstract: Objective Problem behavior typically emerges in early childhood as part of human development. Current approaches to intervention wait to see if child maturation will naturally lead to reduction of behavior. However, for children at-risk for autism, there is may be a need to provide intervention during this early phase to prevent escalation of problem behavior and promote functional communication. Functional communication training (FCT) is an evidence-based intervention that consists of identifying the function of problem behavior, and teaching a functional communication response (FCR) that serves the same function as the problem behavior. In this study, researchers evaluated the use of FCT to teach toddlers at risk for autism to appropriately request for caregiver attention instead of engaging in early problem behavior (EPB) when the caregiver withdrew their attention. Methods Four children participated in this study. Researchers used a non-concurrent multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of FCT on participant FCR and EBP. Sessions occurred twice a week for up to 15 weeks. Results EPB decreased for all participants from 100% of trials in baseline to 0% of trials in intervention. The use of functional communication increased in all participants from 0% of trials in baseline to 100% of trials in intervention. Two of the four participants maintained their treatment gains during the reversal phase. Conclusions This study replicates previous FCT research by extending the evidence-based practice to very young children (under 3 years old) who meet criteria to be identified as at-risk for autism.
      PubDate: 2022-11-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s41252-022-00306-1
       
  • Early Assessment and Intervention: Introduction to the Special Issue

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      PubDate: 2022-11-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s41252-022-00308-z
       
  • Emerging Verbal Functions in Early Infancy: Lessons from Observational and
           Computational Approaches on Typical Development and Neurodevelopmental
           Disorders

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      Abstract: Objectives Research on typically developing (TD) children and those with neurodevelopmental disorders and genetic syndromes was targeted. Specifically, studies on autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, cerebral palsy, Angelman syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, Williams-Beuren syndrome, Cri-du-chat syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and West syndrome were searched. The objectives are to review observational and computational studies on the emergence of (pre-)babbling vocalisations and outline findings on acoustic characteristics of early verbal functions. Methods A comprehensive review of the literature was performed including observational and computational studies focusing on spontaneous infant vocalisations at the pre-babbling age of TD children, individuals with genetic or neurodevelopmental disorders. Results While there is substantial knowledge about early vocal development in TD infants, the pre-babbling phase in infants with neurodevelopmental and genetic syndromes is scarcely scrutinised. Related approaches, paradigms, and definitions vary substantially and insights into the onset and characteristics of early verbal functions in most above-mentioned disorders are missing. Most studies focused on acoustic low-level descriptors (e.g. fundamental frequency) which bore limited clinical relevance. This calls for computational approaches to analyse features of infant typical and atypical verbal development. Conclusions Pre-babbling vocalisations as precursor for future speech-language functions may reveal valuable signs for identifying infants at risk for atypical development. Observational studies should be complemented by computational approaches to enable in-depth understanding of the developing speech-language functions. By disentangling features of typical and atypical early verbal development, computational approaches may support clinical screening and evaluation.
      PubDate: 2022-10-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s41252-022-00300-7
       
  • Improving the Journey Before, During and After Diagnosis of a
           Neurodevelopmental Condition: Suggestions from a Sample of Australian
           Consumers and Professionals

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      Abstract: Objectives The current study used a transdiagnostic approach to explore experiences of consumers and professionals on how the process of assessing and diagnosing neurodevelopmental conditions can be improved. Methods Individuals with personal and/or professional experience of this clinical pathway were invited to complete an online survey. A convenience sample of 117 Australian participants provided qualitative data describing how to improve this clinical pathway, including 71 consumers and 53 professionals (seven participants held both roles). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the characteristics of the participants and two researchers analyzed the qualitative responses using a template approach. Results Participants described a five-stage “journey” spanning before, during and after diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental condition. They progressed through “searching” for an explanation, “waiting” for the diagnostic evaluation, “investigating” the signs and symptoms, “knowing” that their child has a neurodevelopmental condition and “accessing” support. Participants also suggested nine key improvements to this process that were named “awareness” through professional training and empathy, “clearer pathways” through professional checklists and plans, “acceptable timeframes” through reduced local waitlists, “more holistic” through assessment and supports, “more collaboration” through communication with key parties, “stability and consistency” through continuous and coordinated services, “generic community programs” through early needs-based support, “understanding” through meaningful diagnostic disclosure and “addressing their needs” through further targeted supports. Conclusions The findings from this study provide a foundation for future work to improve the diagnostic journey for neurodevelopmental conditions through a collaborative effort between consumers, professionals, researchers and policy makers. These findings highlight the importance of a transdiagnostic and comprehensive clinical pathway that spans the entire journey, where supports are readily available to consumers before, during and after diagnosis. Further research is required to explore the experience of consumers and professionals from more diverse backgrounds, as a limitation of this study was that almost all participants were females and very few identified as belonging to a specific cultural group.
      PubDate: 2022-10-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s41252-022-00289-z
       
 
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