Can We Improve Conversational Fluidity in Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Apr 28 2022

Key Takeaway

Competency in social communication can be an indicator of how socially desirable one is when meeting new people. For people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), their conversational fluidity can be predictive of friendships and subsequent social and emotional success in early adulthood. In order to address the lack of conversation fluidity among the ASD population, video feedback intervention is one evidence-based strategy that can make a difference in their verbal interaction. —Michael Ho

Video Feedback Intervention

Tagavi, Koegel, Koegel, and Vernon (2021) examined the efficacy of a video feedback intervention to improve conversational fluidity in young adults with ASD. Specifically, the authors aimed to determine whether a video-feedback intervention would improve conversational fluidity, question-asking, and overall social conversational desirability in young adults with ASD. In addition, the participants self-reported their confidence in social communication and their application of what they learned in the intervention to various natural settings.

The following research questions were addressed: 

  1. Will a video-feedback intervention decrease the number of long, awkward pauses young adults make in a conversation with a typically developing (TD) peer?
  2. Will a video-feedback intervention increase the number of on-topic questions young adults make in a conversation with a TD peer? 
  3. Will participation in this intervention lead to an increase in peer ratings of social desirability for these individuals?
  4. Will these individuals increase their confidence in their own social communication skills as well as find the intervention acceptable and enjoyable?

Here are the major takeaways from the article:

The Need for Conversation Skills for Adults with ASD

Increased Conversational Fluidity for Three Adults


There are several limitations in this study. First, in addition to conversational fluidity, there are other conversational skills that could also be targeted. Moreover, this study did not compare video feedback to other types of interventions on conversational fluidity. Another limitation of this study is the limited diversity of participants, who were all Caucasion males in their early adult years. Finally, there is limited research on the generalization technique to teach social communication skills to young adults; testing generalization more explicitly is recommended in future studies.

Summarized Article:

Tagavi, D., Koegel, L., Koegel, R., & Vernon, T. (2021). Improving Conversational Fluidity in Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder Using a Video-Feedback Intervention. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 23(4), 245–256.

Summary by: Michael Ho—Michael supports the MARIO Framework because it empowers learners to take full control of their personalized learning journey, ensuring an impactful and meaningful experience.

Additional References:

  1. Sasson, N. J., Faso, D. J., Nugent, J., Lovell, S., Kennedy, D. P., & Grossman, R. B. (2017). Neurotypical peers are less willing to interact with those with autism based on thin slice judgments. Scientific Reports, 7, Article 40700.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

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