Effects of a computer-based intervention program on the communicative functions of children with autism

Orit E. Hetzroni, Juman Tannous

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study investigated the use of computer-based intervention for enhancing communication functions of children with autism. The software program was developed based on daily life activities in the areas of play, food, and hygiene. The following variables were investigated: delayed echolalia, immediate echolalia, irrelevant speech, relevant speech, and communicative initiations. Multiple-baseline design across settings was used to examine the effects of the exposure of five children with autism to activities in a structured and controlled simulated environment on the communication manifested in their natural environment. Results indicated that after exposure to the simulations, all children produced fewer sentences with delayed and irrelevant speech. Most of the children engaged in fewer sentences involving immediate echolalia and increased the number of communication intentions and the amount of relevant speech they produced. Results indicated that after practicing in a controlled and structured setting that provided the children with opportunities to interact in play, food, and hygiene activities, the children were able to transfer their knowledge to the natural classroom environment. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-113
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 2004


    • Autism
    • Computers
    • Echolalia
    • Functional communication

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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