The Five Ws of AAC and AutismBy Murphy, Patti; Closing the Gap, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 16-17, 24
Publication Date: June/July 2008
Article discusses the process of integrating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), including advanced speech communication devices, into the life of persons with autism. The process is broken into five Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Three autistic students are featured and their interactions with their AAC devices are described. Sixteen-year-old Britt, who has excellent spelling and typing skills, was working with a DynaVox MT4, whose dynamic-display technology proved beneficial, and is now trying out the keyboard-based DynaWrite model. Sa’ar, age 23, is living at a residence for adults with disabilities and benefits from the use of a DynaVox V. His photographic memory and strong visual perception were catalysts for mastering the vocabulary from the three DynaVox devices he has used since adolescence. The superior intelligence of 7-year-old Timmy was reportedly discovered in part through his use of a DynaVox V, which he now uses in a math class for gifted students and a regular education class. The V’s Internet capabilities are viewed as a potential enhancer of his excellent language skills. The article advocates the consistent use of AAC devices with autistic students at school and at home, and argues for the device as a centering, predictable system that can also enable the initiation of communication.
Assistive Products Discussed: DYNAWRITE
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)