Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Core Principles

Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Core Principles

By: Joanne M. Cafiero, PhD

  • Assume communication potential! It will make a qualitative difference in how you teach, approach and talk to individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

  • There is growing evidence that ASD has a strong motor component, impacting the ease with which an individual can show what they know.

  • Instruction and activities must be MEANINGFUL. Rote, meaningless drills are boring, and while a student may demonstrate the ability to learn disconnected, unrelated skills, they have no real life enhancing value.

  • The most effective activities and curricular materials are concrete, connected to the real world and have value to the person on the Autism Spectrum.

  • Remember that you may collect and analyze scientifically valid data showing progress on skills that may be irrelevant or dead-end skills.

  • Communication is not a tool, a service, an activity, or a “thing-to-do”, it is a way of being. It’s what humans do. Opportunities to communicate should be continuous. Tools to augment communication (AAC) should be ubiquitous.

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) not only helps “unlock” language but provides the supports to help limited speakers develop more complex language.

From Cafiero Communications