COMMUNICATION AND ASD
Communication is an essential part of everyday life and is considered to be a profound and indisputable individual right. Impairment in communication is one of the diagnostic characteristics of ASD. This means that every student identified with an ASD will experience communication difficulties, including social skills, reciprocity, social interaction, joint attention, and/or language skills. It is now widely regarded that communication is an essential life skill and should be a primary goal area for all students with ASD.
VCU Autism Center for Excellence Resources
Communication Guidelines and Resources
All students with ASD need to be able to communicate effectively across environments and for a variety of purposes. Because of this, we have developed Communication Guidelines and Resources to support educational team members in enhancing the communication abilities of students with ASD and to create lifelong learners. The Communication Guidelines and Resources are designed to:
- Enhance understanding of what communication is,
- Enhance understanding of why communication is important, and
- Advance expectations, knowledge, and skills related to communication based assessments, strategies, and supports.
Please go to the Communication Guidelines and Resources page for more information and to access a wide array of resources that can be used to assist in building critical communication skills with your students.
Guides and Fact Sheets
VCU-ACE has developed two fact sheets related to communication: Autism Q & A: Introduction to Alternative and Augmentative Communication and Autism Q & A: Introduction to Teaching Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Verbally Communicate. The Alternative and Augmentative Communication Fact Sheet is also available in Spanish: Introduccion a la Comunicacion Aumentativa y Alternativa.
The Expressive and Receptive Communication Inventory for Emerging Language Learners will assist educators in determining needs related to expanding the communication abilities of a student with ASD. It is designed to identify potential goals and determine priority areas for expansion of expressive and receptive communication skills in an effective and efficient manner so instruction may begin immediately.
Selecting an appropriate Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system or systems is never an easy task. There are many systems that provide an array of features. When selecting a system(s) it is important to make the best decision possible that will allow the individual to actively communicate across environments in a meaningful way. However, it is equally as important to ensure a decision is made expeditiously so the individual has an effective way to communicate as quickly as possible. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication Inventory can help with this process.