A team of researchers from Northwestern University (USA) and the University of Lancaster (UK) recently completed the first experimental study examining the effects of the intensive Son Rise Program (SRP) in children with autism. The children, with expressive language levels of 32 months or less (based on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale), were between the ages of 47 and 78 months at the time of the study. Results showed significant improvements in the frequency of social-communicative behaviors as well as an increase in the duration of communicative interactions from pre- to post-treatment. In addition, the amount of time engaged with an adult (during a 90 minute passive interaction probe) increased for the children who received SRP. Notably, the children who did not received SRP actually showed decreases in social-communication during the study period.
These changes in spontaneous social-communicative behavior are particularly remarkable given that the children received only a one-week period of intensive SRP and suggest that long-term home-based intervention (an important part of the SRP) may foster further development of these skills. Importantly, self-initiated social-communicative behaviors and dyadic social interaction are considered to be pivotal skills for child development and learning and are, therefore, precursors for continued cognitive growth.
Cynthia K Thompson, Ph.D. Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Neurology Northwestern University
Click Here for an in-depth paper detailing studies which back The Son-Rise Program® Principles.