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autism (ASD)

a congenital condition that affects people in a spectrum of ways (autism spectrum disorder - ASD), characterised by an inability to understand how to interact socially: see also Asperger syndrome

Social Interactions of Students with Disabilities Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Inclusive Classrooms (short summary)

Social
interaction
of
pupils
who
use
AAC

The authors investigated the social communication interactions of 16 pupils with intellectual disabilities and/or autism, in mainstream classes. All participants used some form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and were supported in school by one to one support workers.

They found that the students who used AAC had significantly more interactions with adults than with their typically developing peers. They also tended to initiate fewer interactions and these were for different communicative functions.

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Study of Gaze Toward Humans in Photographs by Individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, or Other Intellectual Disabilities (summary)

Study
of
Gaze
Toward
Humans
in
Photographs

Background

Visual Scene Displays (VSDs) might be a useful tool for AAC interventions for some people with complex communication needs (CCN), supporting the learning of language within a social setting and learning vocabulary meaning within a shared and familiar social experience with a communication partner, but research is needed into their optimum design.

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Study of Gaze Toward Humans in Photographs by Individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, or Other Intellectual Disabilities (short summary)

Study
of
Gaze
Toward
Humans
in
Photographs

Eye tracking technology was used to investigate the gaze and fixation patterns of adolescents with and without disabilities when looking at visual scene displays (VSDs) that included a human figure taking up a relatively small percentage of the total area of the scene. They found that all of the participating groups, including those with autism, Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, fixated on the person in the majority of the photographs and for a significant percentage of the time spent engaged with the picture.

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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.

Visual support for language in ASD (summary)

Visual
support
for
language
in
autism

What was the aim of the study? This paper described an approach to AAC called the Visual Immersion Program, which helps children with autism spectrum disorders learn language and communicate.

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Visual support for language in ASD (short summary)

Visual
support
for
language
in
autism

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have developed an approach to AAC for children with ASD. The Visual Immersion Program builds on strengths that many children with ASD already have in order to teach them about language, communication and other skills. The program can be used on technology that is readily available on today's market; it does not require specialized, purpose-built AAC systems.


Things you may want to look into:

webcast of Visual Immersion Program

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Language predictors in ASD (summary)

Language
prediction
for
autism

What was the aim of the study? This study aimed to describe characteristics of children with autism that can predict their language comprehension and production abilities over time.

Why was the paper written? Language development in children with autism can vary widely. It would be helpful know what kind of behaviours predict language development, because this would contribute to a better understanding of the process of language development in children with autism.

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Language predictors in ASD (short summary)

Language
prediction
for
autism

This study aimed to determine characteristics of children with autism that can predict their language development over time. The authors found that the number of social games and routines - such as peek-a-book, patty cake, 'so big', singing and dancing - that children with autism could participate in at a young age predicted their future development of language production. These games rely on skills that probably lay the foundation for language development and are thus more useful indicators than other measures, like non-verbal IQ or autism severity.

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