Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders


Used by permission.


Objectives Children with autism spectrum disorder experience communication difficulties that can make it challenging to engage in conversations. Their caregivers also often struggle with finding ways to support the child’s communication. Parent-implemented interventions and visual supports are evidence-based practices to support the communication skills of children with autism.

Method A multi-method design (single-case multiple probe and qualitative) was used to evaluate the effects of family photographs, training, and telecoaching on parental implementation of communication strategies. Three parents and their children with and at risk for autism participated.

Results Results indicate that the use of photographs increased the communication strategies used by all parents. Telecoaching further increased the overall strategy use for two parents. Interviews with the parents indicate spontaneous generalization and maintenance of strategy use.

Conclusion Family photos and naturalistic developmental behavior intervention approaches have the potential to improve communication about past events between parents and children with and at risk for ASD.