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The Increase in Verbal Operants Following the Implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices with Children on the Autism Spectrum.

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Presentation on theme: "The Increase in Verbal Operants Following the Implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices with Children on the Autism Spectrum."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Increase in Verbal Operants Following the Implementation of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices with Children on the Autism Spectrum Gili Rechany M.A., BCBA Megan Petrizio M.A., SLP-CCC Gili Rechany M.A., BCBA Megan Petrizio M.A., SLP-CCC

2 Literature Charlop-Christy, M. H., Carpenter, M., Le, L., LeBlanc, L. A., & Kellet, K. (2002). Using the picture exchange communication system (PECS) with children with autism: Assessment of pecs acquisition, speech, social-communicative behavior, and problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, Schepis, M. M., Reid, D. H., Behrmann, M. M., & Sutton, K. A. (1998). Increasing communicative interactions of young children with autism using a voice output communication aid and naturalistic teaching. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, Mirenda, P., (2003) Toward Functional Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Students with Autism: Manual Signs, Graphic Symbols, and Voice Output Communication. Aids Journal of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 34, Johnston, S., Reichle, J. (2004) Supporting Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use by Beginning Communicators with Severe Disabilities. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 13, Charlop-Christy, M. H., Carpenter, M., Le, L., LeBlanc, L. A., & Kellet, K. (2002). Using the picture exchange communication system (PECS) with children with autism: Assessment of pecs acquisition, speech, social-communicative behavior, and problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, Schepis, M. M., Reid, D. H., Behrmann, M. M., & Sutton, K. A. (1998). Increasing communicative interactions of young children with autism using a voice output communication aid and naturalistic teaching. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, Mirenda, P., (2003) Toward Functional Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Students with Autism: Manual Signs, Graphic Symbols, and Voice Output Communication. Aids Journal of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 34, Johnston, S., Reichle, J. (2004) Supporting Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use by Beginning Communicators with Severe Disabilities. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 13,

3 Abstract The current investigation focuses on the evaluation and implementation of AAC devices with children presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study explores prerequisite skills needed for successful implementation of an AAC device by examining the childrens performance on the ABLLS assessment, as well as direct observation of functional communication in the classroom. A multiple baseline across participants design was implemented. This study measures the increase of verbal operants following the implementation of augmentative and alternative Communication (AAC) Devices. Three Verbal Behavior operants were measured; generalized mands, generalized tacts, and generalized intraverbals. The current investigation focuses on the evaluation and implementation of AAC devices with children presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study explores prerequisite skills needed for successful implementation of an AAC device by examining the childrens performance on the ABLLS assessment, as well as direct observation of functional communication in the classroom. A multiple baseline across participants design was implemented. This study measures the increase of verbal operants following the implementation of augmentative and alternative Communication (AAC) Devices. Three Verbal Behavior operants were measured; generalized mands, generalized tacts, and generalized intraverbals.

4 Method: Participants Participants Two school age boys and one preschool boy diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participated in this study. Student A- 8 years old. He is a listener/speaker. He is an emerging reader/writer. Student B- 4 years old. He is a listener/ emerging speaker. He is an emerging reader/writer. Student C- 7 years old. He is an emerging listener/speaker. He is a beginner reader/writer. Participants Two school age boys and one preschool boy diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participated in this study. Student A- 8 years old. He is a listener/speaker. He is an emerging reader/writer. Student B- 4 years old. He is a listener/ emerging speaker. He is an emerging reader/writer. Student C- 7 years old. He is an emerging listener/speaker. He is a beginner reader/writer.

5 Method: Setting Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices All sessions were conducted in the participants classrooms. The students are in a self-contained class for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behavioral Analytic Program 6:1:3 classroom ratio Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices All sessions were conducted in the participants classrooms. The students are in a self-contained class for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Behavioral Analytic Program 6:1:3 classroom ratio

6 Experimental Design Data Collection Independent variable: High-Tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC) Dependent variables: Verbal Operants- generalized mands, generalized tacts, and generalized intraverbals. Interobserver Agreement Interobserver agreement was calculated by the number of agreements divided by the number of disagreements times 100. IOA was done daily for 10 minutes. Participant A- 89% Participant B-92% Participant C- 97% Design A multiple baseline design across participants was used to show the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. Data Collection Independent variable: High-Tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC) Dependent variables: Verbal Operants- generalized mands, generalized tacts, and generalized intraverbals. Interobserver Agreement Interobserver agreement was calculated by the number of agreements divided by the number of disagreements times 100. IOA was done daily for 10 minutes. Participant A- 89% Participant B-92% Participant C- 97% Design A multiple baseline design across participants was used to show the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables.

7 Study Sequence Baseline Generalized, mands, tacts and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day (8:30-2:00). The students used their PECS books for communication. Evaluation Complete assessment of both direct and indirect observations was completed Training Navigating and Transporting the device Implementation Generalized, mands, tacts and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day (8:30-2:00). The students used a high tech devices for communication. Baseline Generalized, mands, tacts and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day (8:30-2:00). The students used their PECS books for communication. Evaluation Complete assessment of both direct and indirect observations was completed Training Navigating and Transporting the device Implementation Generalized, mands, tacts and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day (8:30-2:00). The students used a high tech devices for communication.

8 AAC Evaluation Procedures Two Part Assessment Cognitive Evaluation ABLLS Scores Kaufman Praxis Test Assessed Speech Production and Intelligibility Preschool Language Scale- Informal Expressive Language Skills Receptive Language Skills Observations In classroom, playground, 1:1 therapy Interviews with parents/teachers/allied professionals Technical Evaluation Low Technology Evaluation High Technology Evaluation Two Part Assessment Cognitive Evaluation ABLLS Scores Kaufman Praxis Test Assessed Speech Production and Intelligibility Preschool Language Scale- Informal Expressive Language Skills Receptive Language Skills Observations In classroom, playground, 1:1 therapy Interviews with parents/teachers/allied professionals Technical Evaluation Low Technology Evaluation High Technology Evaluation

9 Low Technology Evaluation Initial Assessment of Symbolic Language Abilities for Aided AAC Systems Pointing as Communication Discrimination Sequencing Symbols Categorizing and Associations Initial Assessment of Symbolic Language Abilities for Aided AAC Systems Pointing as Communication Discrimination Sequencing Symbols Categorizing and Associations

10 Low Technology Evaluation cont… Switches for activation of motorized toys Range of Motion Following Directions Cause and Effect TechTalk 8 Can they handle a static display? Array of 2-4, 4-6, 6-8 pictures/symbols/icons Were they able to take part in activities (Discriminate, Sequence, Categorize) Can they carry it, open it, and start the device Switches for activation of motorized toys Range of Motion Following Directions Cause and Effect TechTalk 8 Can they handle a static display? Array of 2-4, 4-6, 6-8 pictures/symbols/icons Were they able to take part in activities (Discriminate, Sequence, Categorize) Can they carry it, open it, and start the device

11 High Technology Evaluation IIIDV4 Large dynamic display device Keyboard capabilities Word prediction Synthesized speech IIIMT4 Same as above, but smaller for portability IIIDV4 Large dynamic display device Keyboard capabilities Word prediction Synthesized speech IIIMT4 Same as above, but smaller for portability

12 Training Hierarchy Device Activation using the on button after transitioning between activities independently Touch-Screen Navigation navigating through the main screen independently navigating through two or more screens independently Device Mobility carrying the device using the carrying case in all settings independently Device Activation using the on button after transitioning between activities independently Touch-Screen Navigation navigating through the main screen independently navigating through two or more screens independently Device Mobility carrying the device using the carrying case in all settings independently

13 Implementation Generalized mands, tacts, and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day. Mands Tacts Intraverbals Generalized mands, tacts, and intraverbals were recorded throughout the day. Mands Tacts Intraverbals

14 Student A

15 Student B

16 Student C

17 Discussion Different trend for each learner based on their verbal behavior All students communication increased following the implementation of a high tech AAC device Student C requires additional interventions to strengthen his listener and listener/speaker domains. Different trend for each learner based on their verbal behavior All students communication increased following the implementation of a high tech AAC device Student C requires additional interventions to strengthen his listener and listener/speaker domains.

18 Questions 1.) To what extent does the vocalization increase paired with the use of an AAC device for students who are stimuable for the production of speech sounds? Considering the demonstration of student Bs high levels of generalized tacts with vocalizations, it appears that this behavior requires further exploration. 2.) Which learners present higher in certain areas and lower in others? Taking into account the three types of learners included in this study are there may be trends specific to the implementation of an AAC device and that specific type of learner. 1.) To what extent does the vocalization increase paired with the use of an AAC device for students who are stimuable for the production of speech sounds? Considering the demonstration of student Bs high levels of generalized tacts with vocalizations, it appears that this behavior requires further exploration. 2.) Which learners present higher in certain areas and lower in others? Taking into account the three types of learners included in this study are there may be trends specific to the implementation of an AAC device and that specific type of learner.

19 3.) Does measured generalization of the AAC device continue to take place with all three types of learners over an extended period of time? 4.) Can we expect the merging listener- speaker to demonstrate similar behaviors as other learners in the study? 5.) Are similar results possible with low technology voice output devices or is there a discrepancy between the implementation of a high technology device versus a low technology device, specifically with the ASD population? 3.) Does measured generalization of the AAC device continue to take place with all three types of learners over an extended period of time? 4.) Can we expect the merging listener- speaker to demonstrate similar behaviors as other learners in the study? 5.) Are similar results possible with low technology voice output devices or is there a discrepancy between the implementation of a high technology device versus a low technology device, specifically with the ASD population?


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