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Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulty developing and using verbal speech to communicate with others. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a set of procedures and processes that can maximize communication. AAC systems include those that are unaided such as sign language, and those that are aided. Speech generating devices (SGD) are considered an aided technique. SGDs, an evidence-based intervention, offer the advantage of spoken language for individuals who use them. This module will provide information on SGDs.

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 33 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate
  1. Describe why SGDs are appropriate for learners with ASD and how they can be used
  2. Identify factors that are important to consider prior to selecting and purchasing an SGD for a learner with ASD
  3. Describe key considerations when setting up the vocabulary for the SGD for a learner with ASD
  4. Identify resources that may be needed to develop and use SGDs in the classroom

Module Authors

Lana Collet-Klingenberg, Ph.D.

L. Collet-Klingenberg earned her Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. Her professional experiences include teaching individuals with a wide range of abilities in school and community settings. Lana's graduate studies focused on communication and social skills and the transition from school to adult life for young adults. Since 1998, she has been involved in pre-service teacher education at both UW-Whitewater and UW-Madison, as well as having worked on a number of federal and state grant initiatives focused on non-verbal communication, improving transition services, and creating authentic schools for all learners.

Ellen Franzone, M.S.

Ellen Franzone has a Masters degree in Speech and Language Pathology. She worked as a speech-language therapist from 1998 to 2008. She began her professional career with the Portage Project's Birth-3 program, providing home-based services to infants and toddlers, along with their families. She later worked as an SLP with an early childhood program, providing support to students in special education classrooms as well as inclusive community settings. Prior to joining the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Ms. Franzone was employed in an elementary school, providing speech and language services to students with a variety of skills and needs. She is currently a principal in Wisconsin.

Module Contributors

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders

The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education from 2007-2014. The work of the NPDC was a collaboration among three universities-the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the MIND Institute, University of California-Davis. The goal of the NPDC was to promote the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children and youth with ASD, birth to 22 years of age.

Module Content Provided By

Content for this module was developed by The National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders

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