|Cultural Considerations for the Assessment and Influence of Language in the Treatment of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
|Sunday, May 30, 2010
|10:30 AM–11:50 AM
|Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
|Chair: Sarah Kuriakose (University of California, Santa Barbara)
|Discussant: Marjorie Charlop-Christy (Claremont McKenna College)
|Abstract: The number of individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, particularly autism spectrum disorder, has increased dramatically in the United States. Many of these individuals come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. However, the majority of commonly used interventions are evaluated in English. In addition, language tends to be assessed with a limited number of instruments. This research examines considerations in language intervention and assessments both specifically in bilingual English-Spanish children and generally in young children with autism. Language of implementation was found to influence functional analysis outcomes for a Spanish-speaking child receiving bilingual school instruction, suggesting language as a potential contextual variable for functional analyses. Language of instruction (English vs. Spanish) was examined in the implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and participants’ picture discrimination was compared across language. Language assessments were found to correlate more strongly post-treatment than pre-treatment in young children with autism. In addition, clinically significant differences were found between language captured on different assessments, even when assessments were correlated. These results have important implications for the role of language in assessment and treatment in this population.
|The Effects of Language of Implementation on Functional Analysis Outcomes
|RUSSELL LANG (University of California, Santa Barbara), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), April Regester (University of Cailfornia, Santa Barbara)
|Abstract: A large percentage of US school children speak Spanish rather than English. Therefore, it would seem useful to evaluate the validity of English-based educational assessments with students whose home language is Spanish. This study evaluated the influence of language of implementation (i.e., English versus Spanish) on functional analysis outcomes for a Spanish-speaking child with severe developmental disabilities, who received bilingual English-Spanish instruction at school. The child’s challenging behavior was assessed during 5-min sessions under four conditions: attention, play-verbal, play-nonverbal, and demand, and across two phases: English- versus Spanish-language instruction. Conditions were alternated in accordance with a multi-element design and the two phases were alternated in an ABAB design. The highest levels of challenging behavior occurred during the attention and demand conditions of the English-language phases. These results suggest that the language of implementation may influence the overall levels of challenging behavior within functional analysis conditions. This paper calls attention to language as a potential contextual variable that may influence functional analysis results and offers a methodology for examining its influence in future research.
|The Effect of Language of Instruction on Receptive Picture Discrimination for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
|MANDY J. RISPOLI (Texas A & M University), Jennifer B. Ganz (Texas A & M University)
|Abstract: The number of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has increased dramatically in the United States. Many of these individuals come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. However, most commonly used interventions for individuals with autism have only been evaluated in English. Given the growing cultural and linguistic diversity of individuals with autism, an evaluation of such interventions in participants’ home language is warranted. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of language of instruction on receptive picture discrimination in students with autism spectrum disorders whose families spoke Spanish. Participants had a diagnosis of autism, came from Spanish speaking homes and were between the ages of three and 14 years. Using a staggered multiple baseline across participants with an embedded alternating treatment of English versus Spanish, each participant was taught to use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) across two item sets: one taught in English and the other taught in Spanish. Following PECS instruction, participants’ picture discrimination was assessed for each item set. Results will be discussed with respect to the influence of language of instruction on picture discrimination. Suggestions for future research and implications for clinical practice will be presented.
|A Longitudinal Comparison of Language Assessments in Young Children With Autism
|SARAH KURIAKOSE (University of California, Santa Barbara), Robert L. Koegel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
|Abstract: Verbal communication is a primary deficit in children with autism spectrum disorders. This research examines how inferences about children’s language ability may be influenced by the assessment tool used. No research has been conducted to date on how language assessments correlate longitudinally in young children with autism. As part of a longitudinal behavioral treatment outcome study, thirty-nine nonverbal children were administered five language assessments at three timepoints. These language assessments included the Express One Word Picture Vocabulary Test, Mullen Scales of Early Development (Express Language Subscale), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (Communication Index), Macarthur Child Development Inventory (Words Produced), and a 10-minute naturalistic communication probe with primary caregiver (functional word count). Results indicate that there is low correlation between most assessments prior to treatment and higher correlation between most assessments post treatment. Clinical differences were found between language captured on assessments even when correlated. These results have important implications for the role of motivation in assessment and the importance of multimodal language assessment in this population.