The objective was to compare how quickly children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) acquired manual signs, picture exchange, and an iPad/iPod-based speech-generating device (SGD) and to compare whether children showed a preference for one of these options. Nine children with ASD and limited communication skills received intervention to teach requesting preferred stimuli by using manual signs, picture exchange, and a SGD. Intervention was evaluated in a nonconcurrent multiple-baseline across participants and alternating-treatments design. Five children learned all three systems to criterion. Four children required fewer sessions to learn the SGD compared to manual signs and picture exchange. Eight children demonstrated a preference for the SGD. The results support previous findings that children with ASD can learn manual signs, picture exchange, and an iPad/iPod-based SGD to request preferred stimuli. Most children showed a preference for the SGD. For some children, acquisition may be quicker when learning a preferred option.
Couper, L., van de Meer, L., Schafer, M. C. M., McKenzie, E., McLay, L., O’Reilly, M. F., . . . Sutherland, D. (2014). Comparing acquisition of and preference for manual signs, picture exchange, and speech-generating devices for nine children with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 17, 99–109. doi:10.3109/17518423.2013.870244