DIFFICULTIES WITH BOTH EXPRESSIVE AND RECEPTIVE COMMUNICATION BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS LEAD TO
CHARACTERISTICS OF COMMUNICATION DIFFERENCES IN AUTISM MISSING THE BASIC “BUILDING BLOCKS” OF COMMUNICATION
Asperger’s Syndrome Developmental, neurobiological disorder that is part of the autism spectrum. Most common among boys. Characteristics include: Impaired social skills Obtuseness, limited interests, and unusual preoccupations Preference for sameness in routines or rituals; difficulties with transitions Speech and language difficulties, particularly in the areas of pragmatics and prosody
Characteristics cont’d Limited facial expressions apart from anger or misery Excellent rote memory and musical ability Difficulty reading nonverbal communications (body language) Poor awareness of personal body space Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements Extreme sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights
Assessment of Expressive Communication Skills What? How? (System) Tantrum, gesture, picture, written word, sign language, verbal Where? (Context) Why? (Function) Asks for help Makes a request (or choose last option) Refuses/protest Gets attention
Assessment of Expressive Communication Skills Vocabulary/Labeling objects Requesting Sentence length Grammar Conversation/turn-taking Speech sample
Speech sample examples What would you do if you had a million dollars? Pretend I’ve never had a pizza before. Describe it to me. Do you have a pet? Tell me about it. Tell me what you and your friends play or talk about together. Tell me about your favorite movie or TV show. *Or show a detailed picture and have them tell about it.
Speech sample findings Vocabulary- Were they able to name objects? Sentence length- Were they speaking in 1-2 word phrases or complete sentences? Grammar- Were they using past tense verbs, -ing, plurals, etc.? Pragmatics- Were they able to stay on topic? Show feelings/perspectives of others?
Assessment of Articulation Skills Normal articulation is a series of complex actions. Accurate articulation requires exact placement, sequencing, timing, direction, and force of the articulators. Some articulation disorders are the result of hearing loss, cleft palate, cerebral palsy, etc.
Assessment of Articulation Skills Simple tasks- counting, days of week, naming objects and colors, reading, etc. Look at: Number of errors Error types (substitutions, omissions, additions, etc.) Consistency of errors Intelligibility Rate of speech Stimulability- Can they make the sound if you do and tell them where to put their tongue, lips, etc.?
Reading Passages “I like to swim when it is hot outside. It is very fun. I swim in a big pool. I can jump in the water. I get all wet. I can float on my back. I can float on my tummy too. I open my eyes under the water. I can see my brother. I can see my mom. They watch me. I think the water is cool. It feels good. I like to splash and blow bubbles and yell. After I swim, I dry off with my towel. My towel is yellow. It has a picture of a treasure chest on it.”
Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Pragmatics is the study of the use of language in communicative interactions. Respond to greetings Make requests Describe events Take turns Make eye contact Repeat
Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Maintain topic Role-play Initiate activity or dialogue Feelings Idioms
Assessing Nonverbal Children Play behaviors Use of gestures, signs, and symbols (pointing, directing) Use of nonspeech vocalizations Use of meaningful vocalizations Nonverbal responses to verbal stimuli Appropriate use of objects Imitation of words Possible spontaneous productions of words Communicative intent
Assessing Minimally Verbal Children All of the above and: Naming of familiar objects Counting or reciting days of week Use of simple phrases Use of simple grammatical morphemes (-ing, -s) Length of average utterances Comprehension of words and simple phrases
Assessing a Child Who Uses Early Multiword Combinations All of the above and: Response to simple commands Produces sentences More advanced grammar Comprehension of conversational speech
Goal Making After assessing the child and figuring out their areas of weakness, make measureable goals for them SMART goals
Goal examples By July 2015, Jane will produce the /s/ sound in all positions of sentences in 8/10 trials independently as measured by clinical data. By July 2015, Jane will increase her attention as evidenced by her ability to keep her hands in her lap for 15 minutes with no more than 4 prompts. By July 2015, Jane will use plurals in sentences with 80% accuracy independently as measured by clinical data.
References Nadine Waurin is an Autism Consultant out of North Caroline. She travels the world sharing her knowledge about working with students with autism. She provided many of the slides. Linda Hodgdon – Two of her books, Solving Behavior Problems in Autism and Visual Strategies for Improving Communication were used in making this presentation. Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology-4 th Edition. Kenneth G. Shipley, Julie G. McAfee