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In this pilot study, the purpose was to determine if certain language interventions could help bilingual children reduce maze use and improve their story retell abilities. We used language intervention, Story Champs, and its Spanish version, Puente de Cuentos to help bilingual children improve their story retell abilities. We conducted the intervention over the course of three days in both Spanish and English. The children participated in three stories in each language each day. They also received a narrative measure before and after the intervention to measure gains in story ability and to measure maze use. Results of the study indicated that there were no statistically-significant differences in the children's story retell abilities or maze use before and after the intervention. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by our results for future further study because of some improvements the children made.
This pilot study evaluated whether Story Champs and Puente de Cuentos helped bilingual preschoolers increase their usage of emotional terms and ability to tell stories. Participants in this study included 10 Spanish-English bilingual preschoolers. Intervention was conducted in 9 sessions over 3 days using the Test of Narrative Retell to measure results. Results did not find significant gains in either emotional term usage or ability to tell stories, but the results were promising as a pilot study.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are known to show impairments in various domains of executive function (EF) such as behavioral flexibility or inhibitory control. Research suggests that EF impairment in adults with ASD may relate to ASD core symptoms, restrictive behaviors and social communication deficits. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has shown promise for improving EF abilities in neurotypical adults, but research has not explored its efficacy or neural mechanisms in adults with ASD. This pilot study examines the effects of an 8-week MBSR intervention on self-report measures of EF and resting-state functional connectivity in a sample of adults with ASD. Fifty-four participants were assigned either to an MBSR group (n = 29) or a social support group (n = 25). Executive function was measured using the BRIEF-2 before and after the intervention for the twenty-seven participants in the second cohort. MBSR-specific improvements in EF were found for BRIEF measures of initiation, inhibition, and working-memory. Resting-state fMRI data was analyzed using independent component analysis (ICA), and group by time resting-state functional connectivity differences were observed between the cerebellar network and frontal regions including the right frontal pole (rFP), medial frontal cortex (MFC) and left and right superior frontal gyri (SFG). The MBSR group showed increases in functional connectivity between the cerebellum and EF regions which correlated with improvements in BRIEF-2 measures. These findings suggest that MBSR may improve EF domains in adults with ASD, and that increases in functional connectivity between the cerebellum and frontal regions while at rest may be a mechanism for such improvements.