Abstract: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are candidates for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). This presentation will review two current trends in AAC research involving persons with ASD. The first trend is the use of smartphone and tablet devices in AAC interventions. The second trend is the direct comparison of the relative efficacy of differing AAC options (e.g., comparing the use of manual signs versus picture-based communication systems versus speech-generating devices). Studies in the first group suggest that this relatively new technology can be effectively used in AAC intervention. Studies in the second group indicate differences in how quickly some individuals have learned to use different options and difference in preference for the various options. Both research trends suggest possible new directions in AAC intervention such as facilitating choice, enhancing more sophisticated communication repertoires, and promoting greater inclusion in regular life settings.
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