Effectiveness of iPad Communication Programs and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) on Autistic Children
Gray, Emily E.
This proposed study compares the effectiveness of iPad communication programs and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) on autistic children's ability to increase independent verbalizations. If the proposed study were conducted, 6 participants would be chosen to participate from an initial pool of 20 participants. Six 4-year-old participants would be placed into matched pairs according to their functionality levels (i.e. low, moderate, high). Participants would then be randomly assigned to either an iPad Group or a PECS Group. Training sessions and the baseline testing would take place over the course of 5 weeks, 4 of the weeks for 2 training sessions. There would be 3 baseline tests given throughout the experiment to each participant to measure any independent verbalization progress. The 3 groups (high, moderate, and low) would participate in 1 session of training for 2 hours each day for 2 weeks. The researcher would look for any advancement in children's communication abilities, specifically, independent verbalizations, after using TouchChat HD, an iPad program, or Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Because this is a proposed study, there are no results. If the study was conducted in the future, however, results may show that the participant in Group High Functioning who used PECS showed greater improvement than the participant who used the iPad at forming independent verbalizations. For Group Moderate Functioning, results may show that the participant who used the iPad program presented equal success as the other individual using the PECS program. Finally, for Group Low Functioning the participant who used the PECS program may show the most success. Future research should examine possible effects of one's socioeconomic status and whether training continues at home, how it is used, and at what intensity.
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