Systematic Review of Naturalistic Language Interventions in Schools: Child- and Adult-Level Outcomes for Verbal Communication

Justin D. Lane, Devin Graley, Collin Shepley, Katherine M. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Naturalistic language interventions are commonly recommended to educators when teaching children to reliably share their wants, interests, and feelings with others. Recommendations include providing focused attention on a child and embedding multiple instructional opportunities within and across activities. Although such practices are commonly recommended, educators have multiple responsibilities throughout the day and need practical guidelines for implementing these relatively complex procedures in practice. The purpose of this review was to identify experimental studies where educators were trained to conduct naturalistic language interventions in schools for the purposes of improving verbal social communication in children with or at risk for disabilities. We identified a total of 38 experimental studies published in 19 articles. Most studies were conducted by classroom teachers with children with autism spectrum disorder. Inadequate methodological rigor limited the applicability of findings for guiding educators in practice. Practical implications for evaluating naturalistic language interventions in schools are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2022.


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • children
  • disabilities
  • educators
  • elementary school
  • naturalistic language interventions
  • preschool
  • teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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