A Review of the Implementation of the Best Practices of Language Acquisition in Young Children with Autism
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The focus of this paper was to research the best ways to help nonverbal autistic children to communicate effectively. After reviewing the literature to determine what those methods were, a study was done to determine if those methods were being incorporated into the classroom setting. Many measures were taken. A checklist was developed to monitor the type of communication device used, and in what situations it was being implemented. Scheduled observations were made in the regular classroom setting, in the Special Education classroom and in speech therapy sessions. Tallies were taken of communication interactions. Teachers were interviewed as to what method of communication they found most effective. Their thoughts and opinions concerning alternative and augmentative communication methods were documented. The Program Support Teacher at the schools observed and tallied communication interactions. Matches between the child's Individual Education Plan and daily practice were noted. The literature suggested that children with autism use one method of communication in all areas of their daily lives. It was found that the child often uses several modes of communication to let his/her feelings, wishes, wants and needs known. The children in the study used a combination of methods. It was found that the Speech Therapist working with the children followed the IEP, while some of the Special Education teachers followed the IEP, and none of the regular classroom teachers did.
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