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Child and setting characteristics affecting the adult talk directed at preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder in the inclusive classroom

Difficulty with social competence is a core deficit of autism spectrum disorder. Research on typically developing children and children with disabilities, in general, suggests the adult talk received in the classroom is related to their social development. The aims of this study were to examine (1) the types and amounts of adult talk children with autism spectrum disorder are exposed to in the preschool classroom and (2) the associations between child characteristics (e.g. language), activity area, and adult talk. Kontos' Teacher Talk classification was used to code videos approximately 30 min in length of 73 children with autism spectrum disorder (ages 3-5) in inclusive classrooms (n = 33) during center time. The results indicated practical/personal assistance was the most common type of adult talk coded, and behavior management talk least often coded. Child characteristics (i.e. age and autism severity) and activity area were found to be related to specific types of adult talk. Given the findings, implications for future research are discussed. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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