Children with autism fail to acquire language as they grow up. With language lacking, it becomes reasonably clear that this will be accompanied with negative and in appropriate behavior. Inappropriate behaviour could be in form of tantrum, aggression, social withdrawal etc., which then transforms to become the main form of communication.
It becomes prime to be establish and implement a language intervention programme for children with severe language delays. In order to implement the programme it is prime to figure out the child’s age equivalent linguistic level, to know the specific need of each child and to adopt the right teaching methods.
There are a number of standardised language assessments that can be used on children with autism. These tests on one hand can help professionals determine language problem exists but there are several limitations. As most of these tests puts a child in a forced setting and do not separate the several different types of expressive behavior.
Hence the most trusted and scientific alternative comes in behavior analysis, which identifies specific verbal deficits, access language deficit in different contexts, conditions and situations after building some rapport with the child. It seeks not to see what level is the child’s vocabulary but to see whether he can place a request or will he interact with different set of people.
LRF uses these assessment conditions to identify the problems and build individual specific intervention programme.
The two-used methods are the ABLLS-R written by Dr. James Partington and the VB-MAPP.
i) The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills- Revised
ABLLS-R is a tool which will help one measure the basic linguistic, motor skills and functional skills of the child. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of an individual in each of the 25 skill sets. It is conducted via observation of the child’s behavior in each skill area.
ii) Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement (VB-MAPP)
Through an individual scoring protocol this assessment curriculum identifies the reason behind delay language acquisition, learning barriers and social interaction.