Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Kara Hawthorne

Second Advisor

Davis Henderson

Third Advisor

Karen K. Kellum

Relational Format



Dialogic reading is a reading intervention method in which the adult prompts the child with questions and expansions. Previous research has documented that it has been effective in promoting engagement, increasing response rates, developing vocabulary knowledge, and increasing overall answer accuracy in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Fleury, Miramontez, Hudson, & Schwartz, 2014; Fleury & Schwartz, 2016; Whalon, Martinez, Shannon, Butcher, & Hanline, 2015). The current study investigates whether children with moderate to severe language delays with or without Autism could increase their verbal and nonverbal responses and joint attention through the RECALL (Reading to Engage Children with Autism in Language and Literacy) dialogic reading method (Whalon, Delano, & Hanline, 2013). Children ages 3-7 years (n = 8) with moderate to severe language delays participated in the study for six weeks. We utilized a multiple-baseline design in multiple baseline Study (n=6) and an alternating baseline design in Alternating Treatments Study (n=2). During the intervention, the researchers read a book with the child and asked the child a completion, open-ended, wh-, wh-inference, or emotion identification question after each page. Results suggest that when children are provided more opportunities to respond (prompts), they increase number of responses. However, improvement in joint attention was not tied to the intervention method. These results indicate that dialogic reading strategies can increase responses from children with moderate to severe speech and language delays.



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