Authors: Frea WD, Arnold CL, Vittimberga GL
Title: A Demonstration of the Effects of Augmentative Communication on the Extreme Aggressive Behavior of a Child With Autism Within an Integrated Preschool Setting
Source: Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 2001 3(4): 194-198
Year: 2001
Research Design: Single Case Design

Research in the area of behavior support has repeatedly demonstrated the positive effects of learning more effective and efficient communication on the challenging behaviors of individuals with developmental disabilities. More recently, augmentative and alternative communication strategies have been receiving increased attention as primary teaching goals for young children with autism. Use of picture exchange and choice-making opportunities has been reported to facilitate speech acquisition and/or result in increased communicative attempts across daily routines. The case study discussed in this article examines the effects of picture exchange on the severe aggressive behavior of a preschooler with autism who was at risk of losing his integrated school placement. Picture exchange was introduced within two play routines in the classroom. The effects of picture exchange on the student's aggression were evaluated within a multiple baseline design. Results indicated that the student's aggressive behavior was eliminated in a brief amount of time when picture exchanges were in place. These findings are discussed in terms of integrating augmentative communication into behavioral support planning and future research in this area.

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