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ISSN: 2165-7890

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Research Article

Improving Pragmatics in Nonverbal Children with Autism Using Melodic Based Communication Therapy

Givona A Sandiford*, Karen J Mainess and Noha S Daher

Loma Linda University, School of Allied Health Professionals, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Givona A Sandiford
Loma Linda University
School of Allied Health Professionals
Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
Tel: 909-783-3210
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date July 16, 2013; Accepted date September 19, 2013; Published date September 25, 2013

Citation: Sandiford GA, Mainess KJ, Daher NS (2013) Improving Pragmatics in Nonverbal Children with Autism Using Melodic Based Communication Therapy. Autism 3:116. doi:10.4172/2165-7890.1000116

Copyright: © 2013 Sandiford GA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Abstract

Background of study: Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction are key components in the diagnosis of autism. For this reason it is clear that successful intervention for individuals with autism must address this deficit. Melodic Based Communication Therapy (M.B.C.T) has been previously found to improve expressive vocabulary and verbal imitative abilities in nonverbal individuals with autism over the age of 5; however findings on the effect of M.B.C.T. on pragmatic (social) language have not previously been discussed. Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of 5 consecutive weeks of Melodic Based Communication Therapy on pragmatics in nonverbal children with autism. Method: Participants were 12 nonverbal children with autism ages 5 through 7 randomly assigned to the M.B.C.T. or control group. Participants received 5 weeks of intervention, with four 45-minute individual sessions a week. The Pragmatic Language Skills Inventory (PLSI) was used to measure pragmatics pre and post treatment. Results: Following treatment, the M.B.C.T. group showed significant improvement in PLSI score (72.3 ± 10.1 vs 65.4 ± 7.0, p=.04) while the control group did not (67.7 ± 1.2 vs 66.8 ±.5, p=.32). However, there was no significant difference in improvement between the two groups (6.9 ± 2.4 vs 1.0 ±.5, p=.11). Conclusions: Results suggest M.B.C.T. may be a viable means of improving pragmatics in children with autism over time. However, a larger sample size may be needed for more conclusive results.

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