Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Marsha Longerbeam

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if children with autism receiving vestibular sensory stimulation (VSS) in the form of slow, linear swinging, had any change or progression in their modes of communication when compared to children with autism who received a free-play period (nVSS) during speech-language (SL) therapy. Over the course of therapy, each child’s response mode was recorded as a gesture, vocalization, gesture + vocalization, or an utterance, and each mode was a dependent variable (DV) in this study. Participants who received VSS treatment were expected to have a greater improvement on the progression of modes, such as using fewer gestures and more vocalizations and/or utterances throughout therapy. There were 18 participants who had a medical diagnosis of autism and each participant was administered the VBMAPP to determine four goals to target during therapy. Participants were randomly assigned to the VSS or nVSS group and received four days of SL therapy for five weeks that consisted of four treatment work periods per session. Trained graduate clinicians counted the number of each communication mode per participant. The results indicated that there was no evidence to suggest that VSS or therapy had an effect on the modes of communication among children with autism. The findings suggested that there was no relationship that the therapy target of requesting incidentally affected communication modes among the participants in either group.

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