By Lauren Tebbe, Communication Sciences and Disorders; McKenzie English, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Advisor: Christina Carnahan
Abstract: Within this study, we used the communication app "TouchChat" to build communication in adults with autism and other significant communication needs at the University of Cincinnati. The purpose of this project was to increase the number of words these individuals used to communicate and the rate at which they could find these words in the app. The participants included approximately ten adults with autism with very limited to no verbal communication. We developed a list of approximately 25 words and five sentences which were taught using a combination of systematic instruction and reinforcement in one on one sessions that occurred between two and three times a week. Approximately 75% of participants mastered the word lists and received expanded protocols. Some individuals then went on to participate in interventions focused on social communications such as posting on Facebook which is now an ongoing additional research project that has stemmed off of the fluency research data.