This study explored how school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) address the social deficits of elementary school students with language disorders. More specifically, this study investigated specific intervention strategies that SLPs implement for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with language impairments (LI) in order to facilitate stronger communicative competence, as well as methods to assess and promote generalization. A total of 25 school-based SLPs completed an online survey regarding their familiarity and implementation of intervention strategies as well as knowledge of pragmatics, communicative competence, and generalization. Overall, the researcher concluded that school-based SLPs utilize a variety of intervention strategies, however, are not equally familiar with all techniques presented in the study. There are also discrepancies between what the literature indicates are optimal intervention strategies across six diagnostic categories of ASD and LI, and what practicing clinicians implement for these populations. Additionally, school-based SLPs perceive generalization to be valuable, and appear to use indirect and direct informal assessment to measure generalization. This study highlights the prevalence of clinical expertise in evidence-based practice.


Furey, Joan


Communication Studies


Social Deficit, Language Disorder, Communicative Competence, Generalization

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Heather L. Szymanski