Author

Sova

Date of Award

4-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Department

Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Tasko

Second Advisor

Adelia Van Meter

Third Advisor

Dr. Ben Atchison

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

There is a proposed link between sensory processing abilities and language performance in children with autism. Research evaluating such a relationship is limited. This study sought to evaluate the hypothesis that language expression is facilitated by the application of vestibular stimulation in a child with autism. The purpose of the present study was to implement language interaction techniques and measure the outcome of language performance in a 4-year-old child with autism and sensory integration dysfunction. The child was evaluated in regards to vestibular stimulation and its facilitative effect on language production for social communicative purposes. Direct observation was used to measure language production prior to and immediately following vestibular stimulation and a control condition. Treatment was employed within a randomly alternating treatment design over six weeks. Daily increases were noted in each of the seven target areas. Results were discussed in terms of within session changes as well as broader trends over the experimental period. Findings indicated that nonlinguistic vocal production increased consistently immediately following vestibular stimulation. Spoken word production also exhibited an increase in most of the sessions, both experimental and control, indicating the possibility that this variable was facilitated by language interaction without specific sensory stimulation techniques. Limitations are discussed and directions for future research is provided.

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