Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Non-verbal children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often struggle with functional communication, and are often not able to express their wants, needs, emotions, or engage in meaningful conversations (Hudry et al., 2010; Luyster et al., 2008; Weismer et al., 2010). Picture exchange systems as well as AAC devices (e.g., the iPad) have emerged as viable options to teach this population how to communicate effectively (Charlop-Christy et al., 2002; Couper et al., 2014; Dogoe et al., 2010; Ganz et al., 2015; Greenberg et al., 2012; Logan et al., 2017). PECS has been widely established as an evidence-based practice and is often implemented with children with ASD (Charlop-Christy et al., 2002; Couper et al., 2014; Dogoe et al., 2010). Although PECS has a standardized set of steps for implementation, there is no such set of steps for communication applications on the iPad. No established protocol has emerged to ensure that the implementation of Proloquo2Go on the iPad a smooth, streamlined, and successful transition (Lorah et al., 2014; Lorah et al., 2015; Lorah et al., 2018).This study examined the use of a graduated guidance to implement a communication protocol via a forward chained task analysis to teach children with ASD to effectively utilize Proloquo2Go on the iPad to get their wants and needs met. A design that most closely aligns with changing criterion was implemented across four young children diagnosed with ASD. Parents and RBTs implemented the intervention in the home. Two children demonstrated three changes in criterion, showing a strong functional relation. One progressed through two changes, and one only made one change in criterion. Graduated guidance was effective for all children, yet difficulties with the iPad halted some progression onto new steps. Social validity questionnaires were sent out to all parents and RBT’s involved.
Communication protocol; Graduated guidance; iPad; Functional communication training; Nonverbal children; ASD; Autism spectrum disorders
Special Education and Teaching
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Saunders, Janelle, "Teaching a Communication Protocol via Graduated Guidance on the IPad to Assist in Functional Communication Training for Nonverbal Children with ASD" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4262.
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