Evidence-Based Practices and Teaching NonVerbal Pragmatic Skills to Adolescents With ASD: Lessons Learned From Parent Perspective and Brain Research As a growing population with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) leaves the K-12 educational system and enters the workforce and college settings, long-term outcomes inform the need for further development of social skills interventions promoting success in these new contexts. Drawing from neuroscience literature describing neuropathology of ASD over the lifespan, ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2017
Evidence-Based Practices and Teaching NonVerbal Pragmatic Skills to Adolescents With ASD: Lessons Learned From Parent Perspective and Brain Research
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Georgina Lynch
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Washington State University, Spokane, WA
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Georgina Lynch has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Georgina Lynch has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Georgina Lynch has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Georgina Lynch has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Part 1
Article   |   February 01, 2017
Evidence-Based Practices and Teaching NonVerbal Pragmatic Skills to Adolescents With ASD: Lessons Learned From Parent Perspective and Brain Research
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, February 2017, Vol. 2, 47-55. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.47
History: Received August 5, 2016 , Revised November 2, 2016 , Accepted November 13, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, February 2017, Vol. 2, 47-55. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG1.47
History: Received August 5, 2016; Revised November 2, 2016; Accepted November 13, 2016

As a growing population with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) leaves the K-12 educational system and enters the workforce and college settings, long-term outcomes inform the need for further development of social skills interventions promoting success in these new contexts. Drawing from neuroscience literature describing neuropathology of ASD over the lifespan, physiologic deficits have been documented which impact nonverbal pragmatics, informing development of new treatments for those on the spectrum representing high-functioning autism. Nonverbal language skills warrants focused intervention to promote greater success in the workplace and college, and are directly influenced by the visual pathway, known to be atypical within ASD. Parent perspective offers insight about deficiencies in nonverbal skills which persist into early adulthood, in line with brain imaging data indicating a decline in adaptive skills and socialization. Evidence-based practices (EBP) for treating adolescents with ASD by targeting visual attention and pragmatics are presented. New insights are offered about how to integrate knowledge of brain function within targeted language therapy approaches emphasizing visual teaching. Empirical evidence is provided guiding future clinical research supporting the need for continued language intervention into late adolescence and early adulthood.

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