Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Yoder et al. (2020) investigated the effects of treatment intensity on spontaneous language outcomes for children between 15 to 30 months of age. Children were randomly assigned to one of the four intervention groups:

  1. Discrete trial teaching for 15 hours a week
  2. Discrete trial training for 25 hours a week
  3. Naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention for 15 hours a week
  4. Naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention for 25 hours a week

    Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is a systematic approach while naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) incorporates both behavioral and developmental approaches. The researchers found that more hours per week of therapy benefited the frequency and maturity of spontaneous communication growth for children with mild autism symptoms in both DTT and NDBI conditions. Both treatments may be used together to target acquisition of skill and then to shift to more generalizable targets.

    Yoder, P., Rogers, S., Estes, A., Warren, Z., Munson, J., Hellemann, G. and McEachin, J. (2020), Interaction of Treatment Intensity and Autism Severity on Frequency and Maturity of Spontaneous Communication in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Research, 13: 1902-1912.

Feeding in Preterm Infants

Buldur et al. (2020) found that finger feeding was an effective means of transitioning preterm infants from enteral (tube) to full breastfeeding. Researchers divided medically stable infants at 30-35 weeks of age into a syringe feeding cohort and a finger feeding cohort. The infants were fed using the syringe or finger feeding for 20 minutes, four times a day, for 10 days. While both groups at discharge were fully breastfed, the finger feeding group attained it faster, gained more weight, and had a shortened length of stay in the hospital. Additionally, they showed less signs of discomfort after feeding.

Buldur, E., Baltaci, N.Y., Terek, D., Yalaz, M., Koroglu, O.A., Akisu, M., & Kultursay, N. (2020). Comparison of the finger feeding method versus syringe feeding method in supporting sucking skills of preterm babies. Breastfeeding Medicine. Vol. 15, No. 11. 703-708.

Oral Motor Skills

Vasgdi et al. (2021) investigated non-speech oral motor exercises (NSOMEs). The authors examined 256 initial assessment records and 89 treatment records for children with confirmed or suspected childhood apraxia of speech. Of this sample, 65%-70% also carried a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The authors found associations between speech sound accuracy and oral motor skills. This study adds to existing evidence suggesting that children with childhood apraxia of speech, coordination of oral motor skills may be associated with speech production.

Vashdi, E., Avramov, A., Falatov, Š., Huang, Y. C., Jiang, P. R., & Mamina-Chiriac, P. T. (2021). The Correlation between Non-Speech Oral Motor Exercises (NSOME) and Speech Production in Childhood Apraxia of Speech Treatment. A Wide Clinical Retrospective Research. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 11(3Sup1), 98-113.