Intervention Techniques Targeting Echolalia: A Systematic Review
Koegel, Shannon M., 1997--
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Purpose: Echolalic speech impacts individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)’s social acceptance, vocational opportunities, and independent living opportunities. However, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) face multiple challenges when consulting the empirical literature on how to effectively target echolalia, such as inconsistent definitions and philosophically different approaches across disciplines. The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the current evidence for interventions targeting echolalia to help guide clinicians using evidence-based practice. Method: Search terms were entered into five databases. After eliminating irrelevant and duplicate articles, 81 articles underwent full text review to determine whether they met the inclusionary/exclusionary criteria. The five included articles were then appraised for the quality of their research design, treatment fidelity, and interobserver agreement and analyzed for final data extraction. Results: All studies reported reduced echolalic speech outcomes. Of the five studies, three used a response interruption and redirection intervention technique, one utilized a whole-body vibration, and the final used a computer-based intervention program. None of the included interventions were implemented by an SLP. Conclusion: SLPs need to be aware of how other disciplines, such as behavioral specialists, define echolalia and how these fields shape the philosophical underpinnings of intervention approaches. Future research from SLPs in needed.