Improving functional communication skills in adolescents and young adults with severe autism using gentle teaching and positive approaches

Susan Rovet Polirstok, Lawrence Dana, Serafino Buono, Vita Mongelli, Grazia Trubia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A therapeutic intervention program for young adults with severe autism at the Oasi Institute in Troina Sicily is examined. The program, which integrates gentle teaching, humanistic applied behavior analysis, and functional communication training, values human interactions and provides opportunities to acquire functional skills through errorless learning activities. Reported are the results of an 18-month study to determine whether significant improvements in functional communication skills and an accompanying reduction in maladaptive/stereotypic behaviors could be evidenced in the environment using gentle teaching and positive approaches. The guiding principles of the program, its design, and staff training components are described along with an analysis of program findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalTopics in Language Disorders
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Functional communication
  • Gentle teaching
  • Humanistic applied behavior analysis
  • Positive approaches
  • Self-injury
  • Stereotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Language and Linguistics

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