Communication Takes Care: The Importance of Participation in AAC & Autism — Presentation

2016_PSHA_Participation_ImageHolyfield, C., Drager, K., Davis, J.  (April 7, 2016).  “Shifting Focus:  The Importance of Participation in AAC and Autism.”  Poster presentation at PSHA:  Pittsburgh, PA. [Handout]

–The goal of the current study was to explore AAC interventions that have been completed for adolescents and adults to date to determine which factor(s) have been the focus of intervention.   If participation is not a focus of intervention, shifting focus toward it in intervention may help support better outcomes relative to school, social, and community participation for adolescents and adults with ASD.  In order to identify articles, a systematic review was conducted with a descriptive look at the ICF factors and communication functions and competences addressed in AAC intervention research for individuals with ASD aged 11 and older.


–-> The current study suggests that participation may be an under-addressed influencing the functioning of adolescents and adults with ASD.

–-> Additionally, a recent review of IEPs found that few IEP goals addressed participation in school or other activities (Klang et al., 2016).

–-> Focusing on participation in intervention and progress-measurement may improve important life outcomes relative to participation for adolescents and adults with ASD who use AAC.

More information about some of the ongoing work at the PSU AAC community with respect to autism spectrum disorders:

– How Does Individual Interaction Style Impact Participation in Group Interventions for Young Adults With ASD? — ASHA, 2015

–  Incidental Teaching to Build Social Communication in Children With ASD Who Use AAC — Presentation at ASHA, 2014

Friendship: Investigating the Perspectives of Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder & Their Parents — ASHA, 2013

– Research on The Experience of Military Families With Autism Diagnostic & Therapeutic Services– ASHA, 2013

– Adults With Autism: A Systematic Review of Community Participation Outcomes — ASHA, 2012

– “All Children Can and Should Have the Opportunity to Learn” — Publication, 2009


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