nonverbal communication interventions

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Communication Intervention: Children with ASD in Pre-K & Elementary:

Communication Intervention: Children with ASD in Pre-K & Elementary Becky Wong Christa Duncan Nicole Nicholson


Autism Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurologically based disorder affecting communication and social interaction ( Westling & Fox, 2009).

Communication Technology:

Communication Technology AAC Sign Language & Hand Gestures Picture Based or Word Based Systems Technological equipment


PECS Picture Exchange Communication System 1- The Physical Exchange 2- Expanding Spontaneity 3- Picture Discrimination 4- Sentence Structure 5- Responding to Questions 6- Responsive & Spontaneous Commenting

PECS Research:

PECS Research Gordon et al., 2011 study Kravits , 2002 study Increase in spontaneous requesting No increase in spontaneous social communication Increase in spontaneous requesting Increase in spontaneous social communication

PowerPoint Presentation:

Verbal Modeling 1:Motivation for item 2:Model the word for item 3:Wait for student to repeat word, 4:then reinforce with item.

Verbal Modeling:

Verbal Modeling Increases independent requests & generalization ( Ganz et al., 2011) Higher rates of spontaneous communication skills Some students may need a more intensive intervention Combination of PECS & Verbal modeling increases requests ( Ganz et al., 2009) Verbal modeling not maintained without PECS

PowerPoint Presentation:

Suitable for any age Pre-K & elementary is development stage for communication Teaches new behavior of communication Requires some fine motor Schedules & Reduce problem behaviors Training

How technology is assisting individuals with autism in their communication skills. :

How technology is assisting individuals with autism in their communication skills.

Speech Generating Devices:

Speech Generating Devices Speech-Generating Devices (SGDs) became available to individuals with autism in the 80’s and 90’s (Van Der Meer & Rispoli , 2010). Speech Generating Devices are often a preferred method of assisted communication because it is easily understood by others that do not necessarily have training in other AAC methods (Van Der Meer & Rispoli , 2010). Today: Various designs and sizes are available which vary in cost.

Differences in Speech Generating Devices:

Differences in Speech Generating Devices These models of the GoTalk device are priced between $157 and $597. More sophisticated models such as this DynaVox are equipped with Wi-Fi and camera and have software build in. Average costs for devices comparable to this one are $5,000 but the cost is often covered by insurance.

Studies show that Speech Generating Devices are effective for teaching children with autism how to communicate . :

Studies show that Speech Generating Devices are effective for teaching children with autism how to communicate . Larah A. J. Van der Meer and Mandy Rispoli (2010) conducted a review of 29 SGD interventions reported in 23 independent studies specifically for participants diagnosed with ASD. Positive outcomes were reported for 86% of the studies.

How to teach students to use SGDs:

How to teach students to use SGDs Begin with highly preferred items such as food or toys. “I want_________.” Move onto greetings, answering questions, and commenting.

“There’s an App for That” iPad and Smartphone apps that serve as SGDs. :

“There’s an App for That” iPad and Smartphone apps that serve as SGDs.

iPad Apps to answer questions:

iPad Apps to answer questions

iPad apps to make choices:

iPad apps to make choices

iPad apps to create sentences:

iPad apps to create sentences

How much do iPad communication Apps cost?:

How much do iPad communication Apps cost? AAC App Number of Images Price Look2Learn 140 $14.99 Proloquo2go 14,000 $189.00

American Sign Language:

American Sign Language System of gestures for use in communication Uses motor and imitation skills Primary goal is to teach communication skills Acquisition depends on imitative skills

PowerPoint Presentation:

Children taught to mand for preferred items engage in conversation and emit verbal behavior better T eaching signs and speech produces favorable communication outcomes


Study Tincani , M. (2004). participants were taught to form hand signs to request preferred items more rapid acquisition and correct responses Goldstein, H. (2002). participants who benefit most seem to be those with more limited communication repertoires

Benefits of Sign Language:

Benefits of Sign Language Can be used by all ages results in quicker learning Signs are easier to prompt readily available, easy to use, universal , and effective not dependent on certain materials

Non-verbal Communication:

Non-verbal Communication Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Technology American Sign Language (ASL)

PowerPoint Presentation:

This concludes our presentation. Thank you.


References AAC to support Receptive and Expressive Communication, Light (1998 ) Bowers , R. E. (2002). Signing time videos. Autism Recovery Through Medicine, Education, and Diet , Ganz , Flores, Lashley (2011) “Effects of a treatment package on imitated and spontaneous verbal requests in children with autism” Ganz , Heath, Rispoli , Vollrath (2009) “Impact of AAC Versus Verbal Modeling on Verbal Imitation, Picture Discriminiation , and Related Speech: A Pilot Investigation Ganz , Lashley , Jennkins Rispoli (2010) “ Nonresponsiveness to intervention: Children with ASD who do not rapidly respond to communication interventions ” Goldstein, H. (2002). Communication intervention for children with autism: A review of treatment efficacy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , 32 (5) , Gordon et al. (2011) “A communication – based intervention for nonverbal children with autism: what changes? Who benefits?” Kravits (2002) “Increasing Communication Skills for Elementary-Aged Student “ Spencer , T. D., Peterson, D. B., & Gillam , S. L. (2008). Picture exchange communication system ( pecs ) or sign language. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN , (Nov/Dec 2008), Tincani , M. (2004). Comparing the picture exchange communication system and sign language training for children with autism. FOCUS ON AUTISM AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES , 19 (3),

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