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learning disability

developmental-learning disability is difficulty understanding new or complex information and affecting communication

It’s good to talk: developing the communication skills of an adult with an intellectual disability through augmentative and alternative communication (summary)

 
It’s
good
 
to
talk

Background

People who have intellectual disabilities (ID) often have associated difficulties with communication which effect all aspects of their lives. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems have been identified by researchers as a way of improving communicative abilities and participation in interactions. There is a recognised link between communication difficulties and challenging behaviour, limited communication skills might lead to people using behaviour as a means of communicating their needs, wishes and feelings.

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It’s good to talk: developing the communication skills of an adult with an intellectual disability through augmentative and alternative communication (short summary)

 
It’s
good
 
to
talk

A single case study is presented, looking at effects the introduction of a dynamic display speech generating device (SGD) had on the communication and pragmatic skills of a 40 year old woman who was non-verbal and had moderate intellectual disabilities (ID). The subject also had some challenging behaviours related to her wish to be able to communicate more effectively with a wide range of people.

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Comparison of Communication using an iPad and a Picture Based System (short summary)

Comparison
of
Communication
using
iPad
 
and
Symbols

The communication behaviours of five pupils with ASD and/or learning disabilities were compared using either a picture symbol communication system or the 'Pick a Word' app on the iPad.

The authors found that use of the iPad did not detract from the pupil's communication; the number of communication behaviours either increased or stayed the same.

They also suggest that though iPads are now readily available they are not necessarily better than other speech generating devices and more research is needed into comparing the systems.

Comparison of Communication using an iPad and a Picture Based System (summary)

Comparison
of
Communication
Using
iPad
 
and
Symbols

Background AAC interventions have been shown to improve social and communication skills in young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism) and other developmental disabilities. Systems which include visual symbols might appeal to the visual strengths of some people with autism and systems such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) have been found to be effective for many people in this group.

AAC and social interaction (short summary)

AAC
 
and
social
interaction

This study compared the use of a picture exchange system and a speech-generating device for a fifteen-year-old boy with autism and Down syndrome. The authors were interested in finding out whether teaching an AAC system could improve social interaction. Trevor, the boy in this study, successfully learned how to use both types of AAC systems to request his favourite snacks in response to prompts from a communication partner. Trevor did not clearly prefer one type of AAC over the other, and he remained socially withdrawn during these interactions.

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AAC and social interaction (summary)

AAC
 
and
social
interaction

Background Many children with developmental disabilities who use AAC have deficits in social skills, or the ability to comfortably interact with others. While previous research in the field of paediatric AAC has shown that children often prefer one type of AAC over another, little research has been done on the potential effect of AAC interventions on social interactions of children with developmental disabilities.

What was the aim of the study? This study investigated the effects of AAC interventions of the social interactions of one child.

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Post-school quality of life (short summary)

This paper reports the results of surveys and interviews about the experiences of young people with complex communication needs after they leave school. The eight young people in this study all used an AAC device whilst in school, however, only one continued to do so after leaving school. Overall, the young people were found to be out of employment or education, to lack personal resources and to require better access to communication support services.

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Post-school quality of life (summary)

Quality
of
life
after
leaving
school

Background Evaluations of post-school outcomes for young people with disabilities have shown that they drop out of school more frequently than their non-disabled peers, rarely enrol in post-secondary education and often experience unemployment and poverty. However, many people with disabilities also report satisfaction with the people in their lives, participation in various recreational activities and a sense of optimism about the future. Unfortunately, this literature rarely addresses outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs who use AAC.

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Michael's Eye Gaze Story

Michael's
Eye
Gaze
Story

Michael is in his forties. He left his special school at the age of 19 and has lived at home with his mum and spent time at day centres since then. Michael has cerebral palsy and lots of physical difficulties. After he left school, staff thought he had severe learning disabilities. As he had no way of communicating easily with people they often assumed he did not understand what was being said to him. Over the years Michael had become very withdrawn and had given up trying to let staff at the day centre know what he wanted as they were unable to interpret his attempts to communicate.

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AAC and severe ID (short summary)

AAC
 
and
severe
intellectual
disability

Five teenagers with severe intellectual disability and communication impairment had taken part in traditional speech and language therapy for five years with little effect. After the introduction of communication boards by multidisciplinary teams, the teenagers improved their communication, daily living skills and socialization.


Things you may want to look into:

AAC

PMLD

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