AAC strategies for individuals with autism: A contrarian’s perspective (Sept)

AAC strategies for individuals with autism: A contrarian’s perspective (Sept)

This talk begins with a review of functional communication, including long term goals, from a behavioral perspective. Key issues will include speaker vs. listener distinctions, functional units and factors related to expanding communication repertoires. The next section reviews speech generating devices (SGDs), their popularity, and concerns such as distinguishing between ‘toy use’ vs. ‘communication device’ and the role of the audio output. Next, factors related to demonstrations that a user ‘knows’ the meaning of words in different modalities will be reviewed. Then follows a review of research related to both SGD and picture use by individuals with ASD regarding functional communication. This section will include examples of studies that appear to over-estimate functional relations and the paucity of research demonstrating a robust gain in repertoire sizes. Lastly, some suggestions will be provided associated with determining how we can assure that our efforts to teach functional communication results in effective outcomes.


Learner Objectives
Learners will define the broad goals of teaching functional communication skills.
Learners will identify key elements to assure that an SGD is used as a communications device.
Learners will describe the relationship between ‘knowing’ and discrimination skills.

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