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RUNNING HEAD: Wk 3 Communication & Language Interventions Assignment 1

Wk 3 Communication & Language Interventions Assignment

Ashli Gold

EDUU 677: Autism Spectrum Disorder Programming and Strategies II

Brandman University

May 20, 2018

Wk 3 Wk 3 Communication & Language Interventions Assignment 2

Of the twenty-seven evidence-based practices, there are several that can be applied to

addressing deficits in the areas of communication and language. Below is a detailed discussion

of three such EBPs and how these practices can be applied with fidelity in an actual classroom

setting. The EBPs to be addressed are the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS),

Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII), and Task Analysis (TA).

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a communication tool that allows

students with ASD communicate without words; this EBP has also been found effective in

promoting speech development and production. Through the use of PECS, students with ASD

use symbols or pictures as a way to communicate with others and initiate communication and

interactions. This is a useful tool since many students with ASD have deficits in communication.

PECS has been shown to be an effective tool for students in preschool, elementary school, and

middle school to address social, communication, and joint attention outcomes ("AFIRM," n.d.).

Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII)

Peer Mediated Instruction and Intervention, (PMII)) also known as Peer Modeling, Peer

Initiation Training, Direct Training for Target Student and Peer, Peer Networks, or Peer

Supports, is an EBP used to explicitly teach students without disabilities to socialize and interact

with students with ASD. This is a very helpful approach for many students with ASD, as they

often struggle socializing with their non-disabled peers and may not have many organic

opportunities to practice social communication skills. PMII can address both social and

communication skills such as saying hello, playing with others, joining a game or activity, or

having a conversation with peers ("AFIRM," n.d.).

A meta-analysis of Peer Management Interventions conducted by Dart, Collins,

Klingbeil, and Mckinley found that, “students participating in peer-managed interventions

showed substantial improvement in various behaviors” which indicates that though a time and
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resource intense EBP, PMII can be a very effective tool for improving social communication

skills (Dart, Collins, Klingbeil, & Mckinley, 2014).

Task Analysis (TA)

According the its AFIRM module, Task Analysis (TA) can target many behaviors, such

as social, academic, and communication skills in elementary and middle school students

("AFIRM," n.d.). What TA does is break down a complicated or multi-step task, such as writing

an essay, into smaller steps that the learner can master more slowly. This is helpful for students

with ASD since they often struggle to learn new skills or behaviors. Using TA can help a

students become more independent by explicitly teaching each step of the skill which will

eventually allow the student to complete the task without any adult intervention or

prompting("AFIRM," n.d.).

How to implement communication and language interventions in the real world

In my opinion, the most important factor in successfully implementing an EBP, aside

from selecting the correct one for the situation, is to have clear communication and shared

expectations throughout the entire IEP team. Once the team has performed a Functional

Behavior Assessment (FBA) to determine the true function of the target behavior and has agreed

on the best EBP to address the target behavior, the task is not over. The team needs to have

clear, consistent communication with each other (including the parent and the student, when

appropriate). This is important not only for recording purposes on the IEP, which should be

amended to include the new accommodation, but also so that the team can implement the EBP

across multiple settings (IRIS, 2009). If a teacher is absent, for example, the rest of the team

should be able to continue the successful implementation of the EBP in her absence and this

should have no (or very little) impact on the student.

In my case, it may be difficult to implement PECS with any amount of fidelity since my

students are all able to effectively communicate verbally, so I do not think that this

communication-based EBP will be appropriate for me. However, both PMII and TA could be
Wk 3 Wk 3 Communication & Language Interventions Assignment 4

effective in my classroom to help target specific language deficits. As I mentioned in my

introduction video, I work with a mostly ED population and the students with ASD that I teach

are very high functioning. Most of their deficits are in the area of social communication. I think

that the EBP I would be most likely to implement based on this week's readings would be Peer

Mediated Instruction (PMII). One of my students is very bright and wants to be liked and

accepted by his peers, but he doesn't understand how to communicate in a way that isn't viewed

as inappropriate by peers. I also teach a student who I think would work very well with the first

student if she were given a little guidance on how to approach him.

Since my target student has very limited areas of interest, academic work is a great "in"

for him to practice his social communication. I have already begun to train my peer mediator on

how to effectively work with the target student during the peer mediated periods. Although the

front loading of the training has been time intensive, research has shown that this time is well

spent and actually helps the peer tutor to better interact with the target student which in turn

yields stronger results with the target student (Dart, Collins, Klingbeil, & Mckinley, 2014).
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AFIRM. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Dart, E. H., Collins, T. A., Klingbeil, D. A., & Mckinley, L. E. (2014). Peer Management

Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review of Single-Case Research. School Psychology

Review,43(4), 367-384. doi:10.17105/spr-14-0009.1

Evidence-Based Practices | Autism PDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The IRIS Center. (2009). Functional behavior assessment: identifying the reasons for problem

behavior and developing a behavior plan. Retrieved from: