Authors: Lund S, Troha J
Title: Teaching Young People who are Blind and have Autism to Make Requests Using a Variation on the Picture Exchange Communication System with Tactile Symbols: A Preliminary Investigation
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2008 38(4): 719-730
Year: 2008
Research Design: Single Case Design

This study used a single-subject multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified picture exchange communication system (PECS) teaching protocol with tactile symbols. Three students (two male, one female) aged 12-17 years who had autism and were blind participated in the study. The instructional program involved three phases. First, each participant learned to exchange a tactile symbol with his/her communication partner to request a preferred item/activity. Second, the distance between the communication partner and the participant was increased. Third, the participants were required to discriminate between two dissimilar tactile symbols. One out of three participants completed all phases of the instructional program. Although the other two participants did not complete the program, they demonstrated improvement from baseline responding rates. This study provided preliminary results that using tactile symbols with strategies from PECS may be an effective method to teach requesting to youth who are blind and have autism. ©Springer

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