Implementing an iPad-based alternative communication device for a student with cerebral palsy and autism in the classroom via an access technology delivery protocol
Tania Desai, Katherine Chow, Toronto District School Board, Canada ; Leslie Mumford, Fanny Hotze, Tom Chau, Bloorview Research Institute, Canada
Computers & Education Volume 79, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Individuals with a comorbid diagnosis of cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder can have significant communication deficits. The implementation of an alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) device is often essential to promote language development and participation in school, home and community environments. The present study evaluated the impact of introducing a high-tech alternative and augmentative device, namely an Apple iPad with the “GoTalk Now” communication application to a student diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorder. Integration of the technology focused on promoting key elements associated with long term AAC usage, namely, targeted training of the student, teacher, educational assistant and parents, over the course of the school year. Marked increases in the student's communication skills and non-academic school functioning were observed. The need for communication partner prompting declined over time while the student, teacher and parent remained engaged by the iPad solution. This case study supports the classroom implementation of high-tech communication devices for those with complex communication needs via a comprehensive access delivery protocol that invokes systematic student, teacher, educational assistant and parent training.
Desai, T., Chow, K., Mumford, L., Hotze, F. & Chau, T. (2014). Implementing an iPad-based alternative communication device for a student with cerebral palsy and autism in the classroom via an access technology delivery protocol. Computers & Education, 79(1), 148-158. Elsevier Ltd.