Prelinguistic and Minimally Verbal Communicators on the Autism Spectrum

pp 179-213


Augmentative and Alternative Communication Applications for Persons with ASD and Complex Communication Needs

  • Joe ReichleAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota Email author 
  • , Jennifer GanzAffiliated withTexas A&M University
  • , Kathryn DragerAffiliated withPennsylvania State University
  • , Quannah Parker-McGowanAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota

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This chapter provides an introduction to the concepts of intentional and non-intentional communicative acts as they relate to the emergence of a learner’s attempts to influence others. In addition, critical terminologies related to these concepts are defined. Second, this chapter describes the variables involved in the implementation of augmentative communication systems that can greatly expand contexts for independent social interaction. Specifically, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is defined and specific types of AAC (i.e., aided and unaided) are described. Third, topics related to the selection of communicative mode(s), functions, and symbols to teach during the early stages of intervention are discussed. Fourth, the authors address whether implementing an augmentative communication system is likely to have a negative or positive effect on the probability of acquiring other communicative behavior, specifically vocal mode communication. Additionally, the authors discuss potential collateral gains that have been reported in learners who were taught to use augmentative communication systems. Fifth, the authors address instructional formats that are available to communication interventionists along with the need to consider overall intervention intensity and specific intervention parameters of dosage when selecting a format. Last, authors examine generalization of AAC responding and discuss strategies to enhance it.


Aided communication AAC intervention AAC features Vocabulary selection SGD Generalization Conditional use