A Back Door Approach to Autism and AACBy Mirenda, Pat; Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 220-234
Publication Date: September 2008
Article challenges the conventional view that most individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have no significant motor impairments but do have severe intellectual disabilities. The author argues that these assumptions limit the nature and types of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions typically provided to those focused on basic, functional communication skills such as requesting. The author quotes research that provides evidence challenging these assumptions and suggesting the potential of AAC interventions targeting motor, language, and literacy development. Interventions discussed include (1) natural aided language (NAL), (2) aided language modeling (ALM), and (3) system for augmenting language (SAL), all of which use context-specific communication symbols and communication-partner modeling of symbol use in combination with spoken and printed words. Examples are given of the effectiveness of these interventions in terms of expanded vocabulary and increased functional language use. In light of research revealing that typically developing children hear approximately 1,250 words per minute spoken in their environment, the author advocates AAC intervention that would provide at least hundreds of symbols a day for children with ASD. She recommends research focused on identifying people with ASD who have become competent communicators through the use of AAC, in an attempt to identify any common factors contributing to these good outcomes.
Published by: International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) (Website:http://www.isaac-online.org)
Link to text: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a903272045
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55485