O Downs – 2015 – etd.fcla.edu
ABSTRACT The ability to communicate is essential for children with developing language systems, and ultimately to being successful academically and eventually vocationally. In a world where communication is vital, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at a disadvantage and require additional options to express themselves; augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies have presented promising options for helping these children communicate. One technology option that has proven to be of particular interest to families of children with ASD involves the use of AAC iPad apps. Research has been conducted in AAC, ASD, and music, but there is limited research to date which integrates these three areas.
This investigation was designed to address the lack of evidence-based AAC app interventions specifically designed to meet the communication needs of children with ASD. This pilot study will serve to further the evidence available to date indicating that SPEAKall! can be effectively implementing in 1:1 interventions using food reinforcers. This intervention adapts the SPEAKall! intervention protocol in a classroom setting with natural music activities to aid in functional communication.