Article + Podcast
Until recently, most published research studies on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) did not include older minimally verbal individuals. The term “minimally verbal” is used in cases in which an individual has very limited use of spoken, non-echoed or scripted language for the purpose of communication comprehension may also be severely impaired, although it is often not easy to evaluate in standardized ways. Expanding research to include minimally verbal individuals is critical for understanding how specific genes influence behavioral and neural phenotypes. Read more…
A growing number of research groups are now including older minimally verbal individuals with autism spectrum disorder in their studies to encompass the full range of heterogeneity in the population. There are numerous barriers that prevent researchers from collecting high-quality data from these individuals, in part because of the challenging behaviors with which they present alongside their very limited means for communication. In this article, we summarize the practices that we have developed, based on applied behavioral analysis techniques, and have used in our ongoing research on behavioral, eye-tracking, and electrophysiological studies of minimally verbal children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Our goal is to provide the field with useful guidelines that will promote the inclusion of the entire spectrum of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in future research investigations.
Helen Tager-Flusberg, Daniela Plesa Skwerer, Robert M Joseph, Brianna Brukilacchio, Jessica Decker, Brady Eggleston, Steven Meyer, and Anne Yoder
Conducting research with minimally verbal participants with autism spectrum disorder
Autism 1362361316654605, first published on June 26, 2016 doi:10.1177/1362361316654605
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Conducting research with minimally verbal participants with autisspectrum disorder