Communication Intervention for Young Children with Severe Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Via Telehealth

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59 Scopus citations


Young children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Rett syndrome often experience severe communication impairments. This study examined the efficacy of parent-implemented communication assessment and intervention with remote coaching via telehealth on the acquisition of early communication skills of three young children with ASD (2) and Rett syndrome (1). Efficacy of the intervention was evaluated using single-case experimental designs. First, functional assessment was used to identify idiosyncratic/potentially communicative responses and contexts for each child. Next, parents implemented functional communication training (FCT). All of the children acquired the targeted communication responses. The findings support the efficacy of telehealth as a service delivery model to coach parents on intervention strategies for their children’s early communication skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-767
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in part by a grant from NIH/NICHD, Grant No. 44763. We wish to thank Dr. Dave Wacker, John Lee, and colleagues at the University of Iowa for their guidance in the development of the UMN telehealth laboratory and procedures. We also wish to thank Marianne Elmquist, Brittany Pennington, and Stephanie Snidarich for their efforts with data collection. We wish to express our deepest gratitude to the children and their families for their participation in this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Communication intervention
  • FCT
  • Idiosyncratic responses
  • Telehealth


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