Friday, May 21, 2010
Franklin Hall B Level 4 (Philadelphia Marriott Downtown)11:00 AM
Background: There is concern about the socially appropriate AAC devices for individuals with autism. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of an iPod as an AAC device on increasing communication initiation and responses, decreasing aberrant behavior, and increasing spontaneous communication with children with autism. Methods: The subjects were referred by a local autism center that provides services for children with autism, their parents, and teachers. The subjects' diagnosis of autism was confirmed by a review of records and the completion of the ADI-R. A functional analysis was completed to identify the function of each subject's aberrant behavior. The subjects were then taught to use the iPod as an AAC device using milieu therapy procedures during routines in their respective schools. The researcher trained the teachers who then provided training to their respective students. Sessions were videotaped, coded, and then graphed using a multiple probe format. Results: The subjects obtained efficient use of the iPod AAC device within a 12-week period. Communication initiations and responses increased for all participants. Aberrant behavior concurrently decreased and latency to respond to a communication opportunity averaged between 2 and 3 seconds, which is consistent with neurotypical peers. Spontaneous communication also increased as evidenced by generalization to untrained settings occurred. Conclusions: Findings of this study show the utility of an iPod as an AAC device to simultaneously increase communication initiations and responses, decrease aberrant behaviors, and increase generalization to untrained settings and persons.