Facilitating requesting skills using high-tech augmentative and alternative communication devices with individuals with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review

Still, Katharine and Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne and Whelan, Robert and May, Richard and Dymond, Simon
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(9): 1184—1199, 2014

We conducted a systematic review to identify research studies that utilised high-tech devices (e.g., smartphone technology) to teach functional requesting skills to individuals under the age of 16 with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We identified 16 studies that included a total of 46 participants. Speech generating devices were the most frequently employed mode of communication, the most frequently requested items were preferred food or toys, and the maximum number of target-requesting skills taught was eight. Research has tended to utilise the multiple baseline design or a variant thereof (e.g., a multiple-probe design). Overall, the intervention results were largely positive, suggesting that high-tech devices can be successfully implemented as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices for individuals with autism. Further research is needed to evaluate the claims made about high-tech AAC devices in facilitating requesting skills in children with ASD.