ERIC Number: ED308646
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Unexpected Communication Attainments by Persons Diagnosed as Autistic and Intellectually Impaired.
The paper describes the effects of a communication training program provided at the DEAL Communicaton Center Victoria, Australia, to 34 clients with diagnoses of autism or intellectual impairment with autistic tendencies. Client ages ranged from preschool to adult with 24 aged between 6 and 18 years. The treatment module consists of three 2-hour sessions with most clients receiving more than one module. Assessment utilized a highly motivating voice-output computer. Training involved physical hands-on guidance by the trainer with the ultimate goal of fully independent communication using any appropriate strategy (speech, sign, communication displays, or spelling.) Nine of the group attained fluent independent communication by spelling with an additional 14 communicating well with facilitation. Some spelling clients use voice output communication aids and most use mini-typewriters or small alphabet boards. Manual signing and finger spelling is used by only one client. The most time consuming aspect of the training was generalization to other communication partners and locations. Results have implications for the diagnosis and prognosis of persons who are mistakenly identified as autistic but have neurological damage which interferes with free expression. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: DEAL Communication Centre, Caulfield (Australia).
Identifiers - Location: Canada