Parents and primary caregivers provide a key source of linguistic input for children early in the developmental process. The Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative Treatment (MEHRIT) is a developmental social pragmatic intervention that trains parents on supporting their child’s communication development. This study investigated whether MEHRIT training was associated with changes in parent language use following treatment. Preschool-aged children with ASD and their parents participated in a randomized controlled trial. Twenty-five minute parent-child interactions were videotaped pre-treatment and post-treatment, twelve months apart, and each parent utterance was assigned a code indicating its main communicative function. Parents in the MEHRIT group outperformed the control group post-treatment in the use of skills taught by MEHRIT, using a significantly higher proportion of comments and responses, as well as a significantly lower proportion of directives. Results of this study offer support for parent-implemented therapies, suggesting that parents have the potential to apply strategies obtained from coaching in the facilitation of communication with their children.
Wang, Mary K. M., "Does Developmental Social Pragmatic Intervention for Children with Autism Influence Parent Language Use?" (2016). 2016 Undergraduate Awards. 5.