Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award

2017

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

College

College of Education & Allied Health

Department

Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Madeleine Gruza

Third Advisor

Carmen Russell

Keywords

Visual, Language, Augmentation, Developmental, Low-Tech, ASD

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to assess, measure, and analyze job skills training through the use of low tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Augmentative and alternative communication includes various methods of communication that can aid someone to communicate who is otherwise unable to verbally communicate. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a complex neurobehavioral disorder which impacts social development and language development along with repetitive and rigid behaviors that directly impede an individual’s overall development. ASD is estimated to affect 1/62 male children within the United States, which gives further evidence for needed research with this population. It is imperative to understand the use of job skills training in this population to measure the efficacy and effectiveness of treatment. Two participants between the ages of 18-21 were selected from a special education co-op from the Midwestern part of the United States of America to participate in this study. The study population was given intervention services for 3 weeks using low tech AAC, and then reevaluated the week after and then one month post-treatment to measure the amount of communication retained from the therapy services. Participants qualified for the study based upon their inability to communicate during job tasks. The principle researcher developed an assessment to administer before intervention and after intervention to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. Based upon the results, the participants increased their ability to communicate in their functional environment with this intervention, but when given the month post-assessment functional communication dropped across three different language domains possibly indicating longer treatment periods for future interventions.

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