SCIP Intervention
SCIP Intervention book image
Social Communication Intervention Project

Managing children’s pragmatic and social communication needs in the early school years

Catherine Adams and Jacqueline Gaile

This book contains the content and method for SCIP Intervention - a specialist speech and language therapy manual and resource. It was developed for children who have pragmatic language impairments or Social Communication Disorder and who are aged between 6 and 11 years of age. These children typically have a mixture of mild social, pragmatic and language impairment needs. SCIP Intervention is also suitable for verbal children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder, especially those with additional language disorder.

About SCIP Intervention

This intervention was evaluated in the Social Communication Intervention Project (SCIP) which investigated the effectiveness of speech-language therapy for a group of children with pragmatic communication needs in the UK, including those with high-functioning autism. Using robust scientific methods, this evaluation supported SCIP Intervention as an evidence-based method of improving social communication and conversational skills (Adams et al, 2012).

SCIP Intervention is organised into three Phases:
  • Phase 1: basic skills are established and dynamic assessment takes place. Therapy activities are provided in the following components: Comprehension Monitoring; Metapragmatic Awareness; Basic Narrative; Understanding social contexts; Introduction to emotion vocabulary; Understanding friendships and friendship language.
  • Phase 2:the main phase of individualized intervention. Nested objectives are organized into three main components, each containing numerous therapy activities:
    • Social Understanding and Social Interpretation: includes therapy activities for Understanding social context cues, Understanding emotion cues in interactions, Understanding thoughts and intentions, Understanding and practising flexibility, Understanding friendship.
    • Pragmatics: includes therapy activities for Conversation and metapragmatic skills, Understanding information requirements, Understanding and managing topic in conversation, Understanding and improving discourse style, Improving turn-taking skills.
    • Language Processing: includes therapy activities for Improving narrative construction, Discourse comprehension, Understanding and using non-literal language, Vocabulary and word knowledge, Enhanced comprehension monitoring.
  • Phase 3: the final phase of intervention in which personalization of therapy is increased and generalization is emphasized.

SCIP Intervention Package Contents

The SCIP Intervention package consists of:
  • The SCIP Intervention Practitioner Manual: contains full instructions for the assessment and planning procedure, including a procedure for individualization of therapy, and instructions/guidance on delivery of the three Phases of SCIP Intervention.
  • The SCIP Resource: contains over 200 individual therapy activities organised into targeted components of intervention. The SCIP Resource is available on a disk or in an optional printed format. Therapy activities can be accessed and re-used as many times as required.
  • The SCIP Intervention Planning and Record Form: allows the practitioner to plan individualized and personalized intervention for a child and to map needs to objectives using a series of triggers for intervention. It can also be used to record outcomes and all other therapy-linked activities.

About the authors

Catherine Adams is a speech and language therapist who has spent most of her career as a researcher and university lecturer. She has published work on the assessment of high-level language needs and on intervention methods for children with social communication disorders.
Jacqueline Gaile is a research speech and language therapist with extensive experience of working with children who have communication needs in mainstream UK schools and in specialist services for language-impaired children. Jacqueline was the lead therapist in the Social Communication Intervention Project and practises in the North West of England.


Adams, C., Lockton, E., Gaile, J., Freed, J., Earl, G., McBean, K., Nash, M., Green, J., Vail, A. & Law, J. (forthcoming in 2012 ) The Social Communication Intervention Project: A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of speech and language therapy for school-age children who have pragmatic and social communication problems with or without autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders

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