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Choosing an Appropriate Communication Modality

Lynn Dudek, M.A.,CCC-SLP

April 26, 2010

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Question

How do you choose which communication modality to use for children with ASD?

Answer

This is where the behavioral observation that is part of your assessment is really going to help you. If you have someone that really doesn't like to be touched, especially around their hands, then sign language probably isn't the first place you are going to go. So you are going to go to your picture-based type of communication. I have kids who are more movers and shakers and don't like to be in one space. They like to be moving around so we are going to use a communication modality, such as PECS, because we want the kids to be more independent and walking to someplace to get what they need and then move back. In terms of verbal speech, there are kids who engage in echolalia and we would want to focus on verbal speech to see if we can get that to develop.

This Ask the Expert was taken from the course entitled: Practical Therapy Ideas for Children with ASD presented by Lynn Dudek.

Please visit the SpeechPathology.com eLearning Library to view all of our courses on autism and many other topics in the field.

Lynn Dudek is the Autism Services and Medical Rehabilitation Manager at Easter Seals Central and South East Ohio as well as the owner of the private practice ASDSLP. She is a speech-language pathologist who has specialized in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders for over 17 years. Over the years, Lynn has presented at the local, state, and national levels on various topics regarding autism, communication, and assessment.

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