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Interaction and Use of Speech-Generating Devices in the Homes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders–An Analysis of Conversational Topics

Journal article
Authors Gunilla Thunberg
Elisabeth Ahlsén
Annika Dahlgren Sandberg
Published in Journal of Special Education Technology
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 1-16
ISSN 0162-6434
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Psychology
Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Pages 1-16
Language en
Links www.tamcec.org/jset-index/interacti...
Keywords Autism spectrum disorders, Augmentative and alternative communication, Speech-generating device, Intervention, Topic, Activity, Home
Subject categories Communication Studies, Specific Languages

Abstract

This project investigated the communication of four children with autism spectrum disorders, who used a speech-generating device (SGD) in one or two selected activities in their home environment. The children were between five and seven years of age. The conversational topics introduced by the children and their parents were analyzed. The introduction of the SGD increased conversational interaction, as measured by topic length, for all children in five of the six activities studied. The analysis of topics showed that conversation within the “ongoing activity” increased and that the irrelevant speech used by the two more verbal children was reduced with access to the SGD.

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