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Using AAC to Teach Job Skills to Young Adults Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorders

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The purpose of this study was 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. It is imperative to understand the use of job skills training in this population to measure the efficacy and effectiveness of treatment. 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. 2 participants between the ages of 18-21 were selected from a special education cooperative in the United States to participate in this study. The study population was given intervention services for 6 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 informal assessment to administer before intervention and after intervention to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. Gains in overall communicative intent, diversity of language, social competence, and improved job participation were all observed through this study. The findings for this study lead to direct implications for therapy and future research.


Elizabeth Cannon    
Fontbonne University
United States

Dr. Gale Rice    
Fontbonne University
United States


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