Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 637–649

Evaluating Picture Exchange and the iPad™ as a Speech Generating Device to Teach Communication to Young Children with Autism


    • Temple University
  • Matt Tincani
    • Temple University
  • Jessica Dodge
    • Temple University
  • Shawn Gilroy
    • Temple University
  • Anna Hickey
    • Temple University
  • Donald Hantula
    • Temple University

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-013-9337-1

Cite this article as:
Lorah, E.R., Tincani, M., Dodge, J. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2013) 25: 637. doi:10.1007/s10882-013-9337-1


The purpose of the study was to compare picture exchange (PE) and an iPad™ –based speech generating device (SGD) in teaching mands to five preschool boys diagnosed with autism. Participants’ preferences for each device were assessed following training. Three participants met mastery criterion for mands using the SGD more quickly, while two participants met mastery criterion for mands using PE more readily. However, the overall rate of independent manding across training and maintenance was higher for four participants using the SGD. Four participants demonstrated a clear preference for the SGD device and one for PE. Results are consistent with previous research showing that acquisition of alternative communication modalities varies across children with autism, and supports the use of assessment to determine modality preference.


AutismMandPicture exchangeSpeech generating deviceVoice output communication aidAugmentative and alternative communication

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013