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Children with autistic spectrum disorders and speech‐generating devices: Communication in different activities at home

Journal article
Authors Gunilla Thunberg
Elisabeth Ahlsén
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Volume 21
Issue 6
Pages 457-479
ISSN 1464-5076
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Linguistics
Department of Psychology
Centre of Interdisciplinary Research/Cognition/Information
Pages 457-479
Language en
Keywords autism spectrum disorders, communication, activity based communication analysis
Subject categories Specific Languages


The communication of four children with autistic spectrum disorder was investigated when they were supplied with a speech‐generating device (SGD) in three different activities in their home environment: mealtime, story reading and “sharing experiences of the preschool day”. An activity based communication analysis, in which collective and individual background factors for the activities were outlined, was used as a basis for the discussion of linguistic coding data derived from video‐recordings made before and during SGD intervention. The coded communicative behaviours were engagement in activity, role in turn‐taking, communicative form, function and effectiveness. An increase in communicative effectiveness was more noticeable when the SGDs could be used to fulfil goals and roles within the activity. The instruction to the parents to use the SGDs in their communication with the child had an important influence on the activities.

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