Brief Report: Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a Behavioral Intervention for Minimally Verbal Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder

We report the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a structured behavioral intervention with a sample of minimally verbal girls with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Ten participants with no functional vocal behavior were randomized to a 4-week behavioral intervention or waitlist control group. Caregivers reported child communicative repertoires at pre- and post-randomization assessments. Social communication was also assessed at these time points using the Early Social Communication Scales. All feasibility benchmarks were met and findings of preliminary efficacy showed large effect sizes within groups. The current findings suggest the feasibility of recruiting and retaining samples of young, minimally verbal girls with autism spectrum disorder in randomized clinical trials.

Keywords: Feasibility; Female; Intervention; Minimally verbal; Sex differences.