Promoting child-initiated social-communication in children with autism: Son-Rise Program intervention effects

Kat Houghton, Julia Schuchard, Charlie Lewis, Cynthia K. Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of the Son-Rise Program (SRP), an intensive treatment aimed to improve child-initiated social communication in children with autism. Six children between the ages of 47 and 78 months were provided with 40. h of SRP, with pre- to post-treatment behavioral changes tested using a novel passive interaction probe task. Results showed an increase in the frequency of spontaneous social orienting and gestural communication for the experimental children, compared to six age- and behaviorally-matched control children with autism. In addition, for the children who received treatment, the duration of social dyadic interactions and total time spent engaged in social interaction increased from pre- to post-treatment. These findings suggest that intensive intervention focused on fostering child-initiated interaction increases social-communicative behaviors in children with autism. Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to describe the principles underlying the Son-Rise Program, a developmental approach to treatment for autism. Readers will be able to explain the methods of the investigation of a 5-day intensive Son-Rise Program and the results that report change in social communication in children with autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-506
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 2013



  • Autism
  • Joint attention
  • Social communication
  • Son-Rise Program
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing

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