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Speech-Generating Devices Used at Home by Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Preliminary Assessment

Journal article
Authors Gunilla Thunberg
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Elisabeth Ahlsén
Published in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 104-114
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Psychology
Centre of Interdisciplinary Research/Cognition/Information
Pages 104-114
Language en
Keywords autism; speech-generating devices; communication effectiveness
Subject categories Specific Languages


Three children diagnosed within the autism spectrum between the ages of 5 and 7 years at different stages of communication development were supplied with speech-generating devices (SGDs) in their homes. The parents were taught to introduce the SGDs into home routines and the effects were evaluated naturalistically. Videotapes recorded by the parents before and during SGD use were coded with respect to communication effectiveness, mode, role in turn taking, and engagement in activity. Findings varied among the children and activities, but an increased level of communication effectiveness was seen during SGD use for all children. Variations of outcome among the three children and factors of importance for effective SGD use in the homes of children with autism spectrum disorders are discussed.

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