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A Comparison of Communication Using the Apple iPad and a Picture-based System

A Comparison of Communication Using the Apple iPad and a Picture-based System

Abstract

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions have been shown to improve both communication and social skills in children and youth with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. AAC applications have become available for personal devices such as cell phones, MP3 Players, and personal computer tablets. It is critical that these new forms of AAC are explored and evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of the Apple iPad™ as a communication device by comparing its use to a communication system using picture cards. Five elementary students with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities who used a picture card system participated in the study. The results were mixed; communication behaviors either increased when using the iPad or remained the same as when using picture cards. The implications of these findings are discussed.
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