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Aided Augmentative And Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems For Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Yashomathi

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex neuro-developmental disorders. They demonstrate pervasive deficits in social communication, restricted and repetitive behaviors, cognitive impairments, etc. Most often individuals with ASDs are often considered “non-verbal” and they require comprehensive intervention to improve their functional communication skills. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) was always viewed as a “last resort” for people with complex communication needs when all other interventions failed to achieve the potential benefit. However, with growing evidence, AAC has been implemented even in children with communication difficulties to augment spoken language development. Thus, this chapter aims to discuss the characteristics of ASD, to describe the need for AAC intervention in children with ASD, challenges and practices of AAC in ASD, to review implementation of aided AAC systems for children with ASD in different contexts, to indicate the gaps and future prospective in AAC intervention for people with ASDs.