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An investigation of the efficacy of speech and language interventions with students with ASD using telepractice

Michelle K Boisvert, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

There is a national shortage of school-based Speech Language Pathologists (SLP). Schools located in rural and geographically remote areas are often impacted by the shortage, and as a result students with an autism spectrum disorder may not receive services that are mandated by their Individual Education Plan. This study examined the use of telepractice as a method of delivery of speech and language services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders in rural areas. A quasi-experimental, single-subject, time-series design was employed. The treatment conditions were manipulated. A counter-balancing methodology was used to control for order effects in this study. Inter-observer agreement on student progress and outcomes were determined by two other master-level clinicians. Progress was measured using pre/post intervention assessments and intervention data. A statistical analysis and comparison of the two service delivery methods (telepractice and traditional on-site) was conducted using the Improved Rate Difference and a Tau-U method. Group comparison was conducted using the Pearson's Correlation. A non-directional critical value for all parametric and non-parametric analysis was set at α = .05. If the null hypothesis was rejected, then there was a statistical difference between the progress students made when receiving telepractice as compared to on-site services. If the null hypothesis was not rejected, there was not a statistical difference between the progress students made when receiving telepractice as compared to on-site services. ^ Comparison at the group level resulted in a finding of non-significance between the two conditions. Findings at the individual level resulted in three out of the six participants demonstrating a finding of non-statistical difference between the on-site and telepractice conditions. For the remaining three participants a statistical difference was noted. When comparing the means of the outcome data between the two conditions, two participants responded more favorably to telepractice intervention, while the other responded better to on-site intervention. Overall, these findings suggest that a telepractice service delivery method is an effective and valid way to provide interventions to students with ASD.^

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Special education

Recommended Citation

Boisvert, Michelle K, "An investigation of the efficacy of speech and language interventions with students with ASD using telepractice" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3518212.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3518212

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