Evaluation of a parent preference-based outcome measure after intensive communication intervention for children with Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder and High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives: Children with Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SPCD) or High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD) have persistent deficits in language structure and language use (pragmatics). This feasibility study evaluated a novel parent preference-based outcome measure and secondary outcomes associated with the Social Communication Intervention Programme (SCIP).
Methods: 15 UK speech and language practitioners identified 20 children aged 5-11 years with pragmatics/language needs. Practitioners received SCIP training and supervision. Children received 20 SCIP therapy sessions Primary endpoint was a goal attainment scale (SCIP-GAS). Before intervention (T1), parents provided three prioritised communication goals, refined into a series of steps. After intervention (T2) parents and practitioners rated each goal compared to T1 and parents provided a narrative on outcomes. Secondary outcomes: Children’s Communication Checklist-2, Social Language Development Test (SLDT), and observational ratings of conversational interaction (TOPICC-2).
Results: All children except one progressed on T2 SCIP-GAS parent outcomes. All children progressed on practitioner SCIP-GAS ratings. 82.5 % of parent comments supported their own SCIP-GAS ratings. Secondary outcomes measures: Only SLDT Making Inferences scores and TOPICC-2 ratings showed improvement at T2.
Conclusions: A preference-based social communication measure showed feasibility as an outcome measure following social communication intervention for children who have HFASD or SPCD.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in developmental disabilities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jul 2020