Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 72582
ABA and SLP Collaboration to Support Autistic AAC Users

Authors: Kimberly Ho, Maeve Donnelly

Abstract:

In this presentation, an SLP and a BCBA with a combined professional experience of almost 50 years will discuss their experiences working with individuals with Autism. About 30% of children with autism have complex communication needs (CCN) beyond age 5. These learners present with unique strengths and challenges, often requiring intervention from a team of professionals to generalize skills across environments. Collaboration between speech-language pathologists and Board Certified Behavior AnalystsⓇ (BCBA’s) will be discussed in terms of strengths and challenges. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) will be defined and explained in the context of treatment of learners with ASD and Complex Communication Needs. The requirement for collaboration will be discussed by the governing boards for both Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The strengths of each discipline will be compared along with difficulties faced when professionals “don’t get along.” The difficulties in teaching learners experiencing Autism with CCN will be reviewed. Case studies will be shared in which BCBA’s and SLPs collaborate to teach learners an AAC system. Learner outcomes will be shared and assessed through both an SLP and BCBA perspective. Finally, ideas will be provided to promote collaboration, including establishing a shared framework, learning each field’s professional jargon and moving towards common terminology, and focusing on the data to ensure the efficacy of treatment.

Keywords: autism, cross disciplinary collaboration, augmentative and alternative communication, generalization

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