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Improving the Ability to Write Persuasive Texts in a Boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Outcomes of an Intervention

1
Department of Psychology of Development and Socialization Processes, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
2
Faculty of Psychology, “Niccolò Cusano” University of Rome, 00166 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(5), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10050264
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 28 April 2020 / Published: 30 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Autism Research)
In this paper, we describe an intervention implemented to assist a 13.2-year-old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, G, without intellectual disability, aimed at improving his ability to compose persuasive texts. There was an initial assessment (baseline), an intermediate assessment after two weeks, a six-session intervention phase, and a post-intervention assessment. Our intervention applied two procedures. The first aimed at enhancing general composition abilities in terms of picking (P) ideas, organizing (O) notes, and writing (W) them down (POW), while the second specified the steps to write a persuasive text addressing a possible reader: a topic sentence (T), reasons (R), an explanation (E) for the reasons and the end of the sentence (E) (TREE). These procedures were termed POW + TREE. To analyze G’s texts, three types of measures were used by two raters at baseline, intermediate and post-test time: (a) the presence of the TREE components; (b) the quality of the reasons and explanations for the reasons; (c) the number of mental state terms. All these measures showed relevant quantitative improvements, as well as qualitative changes. In addition, when G’s performance at the end of the intervention was compared to that of typically developing controls, no statistical difference appeared. The results are discussed in light of the potentialities offered by the type of intervention described here. View Full-Text
Keywords: persuasive text writing; perspective-taking; autism spectrum disorder; adolescence; intervention persuasive text writing; perspective-taking; autism spectrum disorder; adolescence; intervention
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Melogno, S.; Pinto, M.A.; Ruzza, A.; Scalisi, T.G. Improving the Ability to Write Persuasive Texts in a Boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Outcomes of an Intervention. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 264.

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