|Teacing Communication Skills to Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder|
|Sunday, May 27, 2012|
|9:00 AM–10:20 AM |
|Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research|
|Chair: Alison Cox (Kerry's Place Autism Services)|
|Discussant: Tracie L. Lindblad (Four Points)|
There has been considerable attention in the literature on teaching communication skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the resulting data suggests using applied behaviour analysis (ABA) techniques (e.g., alternative augmentative communication (AAC); graduated time-delay procedure) is highly efficacious in teaching communication skills to this population. However, there is very little research published on how these programs work for adults with ASD. As such, the efficacy of these procedures should not be generalized to the adult population. Moreover, children with ASD often undergo communication training through early autism initiatives in Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) settings where highly trained staff (i.e., Instructor Therapists; Senior Therapists) implement the procedures. Implementing this type of programming in a residential setting (i.e., group home) varies extensively from that of an IBI setting. Moreover, adults with ASD do not have the learning trajectory that children do, thus AAC procedures outlined in existing literature may not be the most efficacious way to deliver communication training to adults. This symposium will attempt to address the gap in literature by presenting two case studies and one multiple baseline across participants design on the efficaciousness of ABA techniques in teaching communication skills to older adults with ASD.
|Keyword(s): Autism Adults, communication skills, PECS, verbal manding|
Using Graduated Time Delay Procedure to Increase Verbal Manding Skills in a 34-year-old Woman With a Dual-diagnosis
|NATALIE BIGELOW (Kerry's Place Autism Services), Alison Cox (Kerry's Place Autism Services), Teryn Bruni (Central Michigan University)|
One of the core deficits presented by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is that of communication and/or speech deficit whereby they are often unable to initiate conversation or make spontaneous requests for desired items. As such, individuals with ASD often require intensive teaching procedures in order to develop functional communication skills. Although there is research to support that that the mand should be the initial focus in language training and development there is limited literature to date which includes participants over 18 years of age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of graduated time-delay prompting procedures in teaching an older adult with ASD to request (mand). The participant had never undergone formal communication training prior to intervention implementation. Baseline was collected before mediator training and the introduction of teaching procedures. Preliminary results indicate rapid and steady progress in the acquisition of verbal mands in the participants natural environment. Results from existing research cannot be generalized to include the adult population for a variety of reasons therefore, this study will attempt to address the current gap in literature.
Using the Picture Exchange Communication System to teach a 37-year-old Male With Autism Spectrum Disorder Communication Skills
|MELISSA MACDONALD (Lake Ridge Community Support Services), Bruce Punnett (Kerry's Place Autism Services)|
One of the cornerstone deficits in individuals with autism is their inability to effectively communicate. As a result, augmentative alternative communication (AAC) systems have been researched in an effort to identify efficacious programming. However, the vast majority of this literature includes participants under the age of 18. As such, there exists a large gap in the literature whereby the most efficacious procedure for teaching adults with autism communication skills remains largely unknown as existing results cannot be generalized to the adult population. The current study attempts to address the aforementioned gap in research whereby the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was used to teach a 37 year old male, with no previous formal communication training to communicate. Teaching trials took place in a residential setting where frontline staff were responsible for program implementation. A baseline was conducted prior to teaching each target item. After each baseline PECS (Bondy & Frost, 1994) was systematically implemented. Preliminary results indicate slow steady progress across a number of target items over the first two phases of PECS.
Using the Picture Exchange Communication System to Teach Three Older Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder Communication Skills
|ALISON COX (Kerry's Place Autism Services)|
Teaching persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to communicate is a primary focus among professionals who provide services for this population. Moreover, extensive literature exists to support the efficaciousness of several alternative augmentative communication (AAC) methods, namely the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). However, a large majority of the PECS literature to date includes participants 18 years and younger. As a result, the outcomes of these studies cannot be generalized to include the adult population in part because adults present with vastly different learning trajectories and are confronted with different situational and environmental variables (e.g., non-IBI settings) Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a modified PECS program in teaching three older adults with ASD communication skills. Each participant had never undergone formal communication training prior to intervention implementation. Baseline data were collected prior to the introduction of each new target item and date of implementation was staggered across participants. Preliminary results indicate slow steady progress across the initial phases of PECS.