Background: Some children with ASD have comprehension difficulties that affect their
ability to follow directives that contain prepositions. Aided input has been known to facilitate
improved comprehension skills when spoken language is used with graphic symbols.
Aims: This study examined the effects that aided input presented at two levels (20% of aided
input and 60% of aided input) has on children with ASD’s following of directives that
Methods: An experimental, within-subjects crossover design was utilised where all
participants were exposed to each treatment condition at a different time period. Altogether
21 participants between 5.0 and 11.11 years of age were asked to follow 12 directives using
aided input at two conditions. Participants first completed a pre-test task to confirm their
noun knowledge, preposition knowledge and matching skills. Participants were described
based on the CARS classification and their PPVT-4 scores. The effects of the aided input
were measured and compared based on the accuracy of responses.
Results: Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data, and multivariate analysis was
used to analyse the data. Some children with ASD (n=9) who received a higher level of aided
input (60%) were able to respond more accurately than those who received a lower level of
aided input (20%). However, some children with ASD (n=4) responded more accurately to
the lower level of aided input (20%) than the higher level of aided input (60%). Some
children with ASD (n=5) responded in the same manner for both levels of aided input and
some children with ASD (n=3) did not respond at all despite the level of aided input. The
results showed no statistically significant difference between the higher (60%) and lower
(20%) levels of aided input.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the 60% aided input level yielded a higher accuracy of
responses than the 20% aided input level in some children with ASD. In addition, the results
suggest that augmenting spoken language was advantageous in some children with ASD.
However, further research is needed to better describe the effects of aided input, using
graphic symbols. Future research directions are suggested.