Adaptive Interventions for Minimally Verbal Children With ASD in the Community

Conditions:Neurology, Psychiatric, Autism
Therapuetic Areas:Neurology, Psychiatry / Psychology
Age Range:Any
Start Date:January 2013
End Date:December 2017

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Adaptive Interventions for Minimally Verbal Children with ASD in the Community, seeks support
to construct an adaptive intervention that utilizes two efficacious interventions (JASP-EMT
and CORE- DTT) that have shown promise for optimizing the number of unique socially
communicative and spontaneously spoken words in minimally verbal children with ASD. The study
utilizes a novel sequential multiple assignment-randomized trial to evaluate and construct an
optimal adaptive intervention. A total of 192 minimally verbal school aged children with an
Autism Spectrum Disorder (aged 5 to 8 years of age) will participate across four sites,
University of California Los Angeles, University of Rochester, Vanderbilt University and
Weill Cornell Medical Center with methodological and statistical support from University of


- CORE-DTT is based on behavioral learning theory in which communication and related
skills are taught through systematic direct instruction. The goal of CORE-DTT is to help
children be successful in learning communication skills by breaking these skills down
into small steps, providing systematic direct instruction on each step, and reinforcing
children (e.g., with praise or access to preferred items) for demonstrating skills.
Imitation and attention skills are a main focus early in intervention. DTT is the most
common evidence-based approach for teaching children with ASD, and is often considered
the closest to a 'standard of practice' for the field. The participants in the proposed
study will have had at least 1 year of previous intervention, likely in an ABA program
with DTT as a main strategy. While many children will have been exposed to DTT prior to
entering this trial, it is important to insure that children (a) receive quality DTT,
and (b) have exposure to CORE elements related to language learning, specifically joint
attention and requesting gestures, in order to make the comparison with JASP-EMT.

- JASP-EMT is a developmentally anchored behavioral intervention that assumes that
communication develops from social interactions in which specific social engagement
strategies, symbolic representations, and early communication forms are modeled and
naturally reinforced by adult partner responses to the child. The goal of JASP-EMT is to
increase (a) joint engagement, (b) initiating joint attention gestures, (c) social play
involving objects and persons, and (d) verbal and nonverbal communication by
facilitating meaningful social interactions. The social interaction foundation of
JASP-EMT is critical. Modeling and expansions of communicative behaviors and play are
used strategically within meaningful social interactions with therapists and caregivers.
For minimally verbal children with autism, meaningful social interaction is essential
for establishing the platform on which language input and development will be built.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Clinical diagnosis of autism

- At least 4 years, 6 months old, and not older than 8 years, 0 months

- Displays less than 20 spontaneous, unique, and socially communicative words during
screening assessments

- At least 18 months developmental age

- Currently in school

Exclusion Criteria:

- Diagnosis of syndrome or degenerative disorder

- Poorly controlled seizures
We found this trial at
Los Angeles, California 90095
Principal Investigator: Connie Kasari, PhD
Phone: 310-825-8342
University of California at Los Angeles The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is an...
Los Angeles, CA
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60 Crittenden Blvd # 70
Rochester, New York 14642
(585) 275-2121
Principal Investigator: Tristram Smith, PhD
University of Rochester The University of Rochester is one of the country's top-tier research universities....
Rochester, NY
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2201 West End Ave
Nashville, Tennessee 37232
(615) 322-7311
Principal Investigator: Ann Kaiser, PhD
Vanderbilt University Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education...
Nashville, TN
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White Plains, New York 10605
Principal Investigator: Catherine Lord, PhD
White Plains, NY
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