Effects of Intensity of Early Communication Intervention

2014-07-23 21:21:35 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of the study is to determine if a more intensive application of communication intervention, i.e. 5 hours per week, will result in more frequent intentional communication acts, greater lexical density, and a better verbal comprehension level than children who receive the same communication intervention only one time per week.


Our research team has pioneered the development of a prelinguistic communication intervention referred to as Parent Responsivity Education-Milieu Communication Teaching (PRE-MCT). This intervention is designed to establish and enhance the development of intentional communication prior to the onset of spoken language in children with language delays and disorders. In the early stages of intervention, clinicians target children's use of gestures, vocalizations, and eye contact to produce more frequent and more complex nonverbal communication acts. As the children develop, goals shift to the direct teaching of words and sentence structures.

Our preliminary research using randomized experimental designs has tested the effects of the intervention when delivered in a very small 'dose', averaging just over one hour per week for six months. This standard dose has led to significant but modest effects in the children's use of intentional communication and early language, such that it could be adopted by speech-language pathologists as part of standard care. Unfortunately, the early benefits have not always been maintained 6 and 12 months after the therapy phase ends and have not always benefitted all children.

This research is a test of the hypothesis that a more intensive application of the intervention will have dramatically more positive outcomes than the standard dosage.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Communication Disorders


Milieu Communication Teaching


University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City
United States




University of Kansas

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:21:35-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Communication between animals involving the giving off by one individual of some chemical or physical signal, that, on being received by another, influences its behavior.

Disorders of verbal and nonverbal communication caused by receptive or expressive LANGUAGE DISORDERS, cognitive dysfunction (e.g., MENTAL RETARDATION), psychiatric conditions, and HEARING DISORDERS.

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