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Authors: Giovanni Maria Guazzo
Abstract: This paper focuses on using bimodal communication methods with children affected by Autism. Such children frequently show difficulties in language and communication, with relative strengths in visual and perceptual areas.
The study reported here was conducted as follows: Participants (12 boys), aged between four and six, had been involved in a special-need program for at least six months before. All of them were encouraged to learn to communicate nine single requests: three via ‘Picture Exchange Communication System’ (PECS), three via Manual Signs (MS), and three via bimodal method (PECS + MS). The three treatments (PECS, MS and bimodal) were administered successively over three phases: 1) the initial learning session (for ten days), 2) the second learning session (for twenty days after the initial session), and 3) a follow-up learning session, held two weeks after the second session. All participants learned the exact requests (via different methods) and participated in all the treatments.
This paper was inspired by a paper by Foreman and Crews (1998).
Keywords:  Picture Exchange Communication System, Manual Signs, Autism, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Bimodal Communication.
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