2002 Conference Proceedings

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DEVELOPMENT OF EXPRESSIVE AND RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE THROUGH AUGMENTATIVE COMMUNICATION AND SCHEDULES

Dr. Harold Griffin
East Carolina University
Department of Spec. Ed.
Speight Building
Greenville, NC 27858
griffinh@mail.ecu.edu 
(252)328-6198

Mrs. Kim Stancill, MA,Ed.
East Carolina University
REAP Program
Irons Building
Greenville, NC 27868
stancill@mail.ecu.edu 
252-328-2749

Mrs. Kim Koen, BS
East Carolina University
REAP Program
Irons Building
Greenville, NC 27868
koenk@mail.ecu.edu 
252-328-2748

The presentation will focus on the development of both receptive and expressive language in children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Delays through the use of scheduling and augmentative communication. The presentation will stress various levels of communication systems and schedules to provide movement from school to home to the community.

Various levels of communication schedules will be available through both a PowerPoint Presentation and actual, hands-on schedules to demonstrate the ease in preparation and use of schedules for children with Autism, severe Language Delays, or Pervasive Developmental Delays. The presentation will explain the manner in which determinations can be made in regards to the most effective scheduling system. A mixture of schedules, beginning with basic object schedules through intricate calendar development, will be discussed in order to show the range of functionality and use with a variety of skill levels and understanding.

Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Delays tend to have delays in their ability to auditorally process information. Therefore the use of a visual schedule will help the child have a more concrete representation of what their day will primarily consist of, the activities he or she are to be involved in, and also provides a visual note of any aspect of their day that might be different than their normal routine.

Although some characteristics of people with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Delays may have similar characteristics, each individual is very different and unique in the way in which he or she will interact with their environment. Regardless of the level of delay, people falling under the umbrella of the Autistic Spectrum will need additional, visual supports to make sense and relate to the world and people around them.

Children still learning objects and the meanings associated with words will benefit more from an object schedule. This type of schedule will be demonstrated to show how to place the high points of the day by using actual objects to represent specific activities. For example, an actual cup would represent mealtime and an actual toothbrush would represent when it was time to go to the bathroom or more specifically time to brush teeth.

As children grow and mature in their understanding of language and symbols, a picture schedule may be most effective. In this type of schedule, pictures or icons are used to represent main activities or transitions in a child's day. A child would be encouraged to 'check their schedule' independently to facilitate more freedom and independence. As children complete each activity, he or she would remove the picture from their schedule. Since children with Autism or Autistic like behaviors are challenged with understanding the length of their day, the removal of pictures provides them at a visual glance how much work is still expected of him or her.

The final level of schedule would be in written form which would only be used when a child understands print. This type of schedule can range from being very basic to very intricate depending on the developmental level of the child. A variety of written schedules will be available in the presentation.

Activities will be offered to enhance language through both high tech and low-tech means. Opportunities for facilitated and spontaneous language use will be demonstrated as well as adapting environments based on technology options. Activities will focus on school, social, and daily living skills.

Throughout the presentation, emphasis will be placed on the use of structure and consistency to assist children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Delays in predicting events, expectations, and outcomes in order to provide comfort concerning their environment, teachers, and peers. Methods to incorporate scheduling and assistive technology throughout the day will be provided.


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