Teaching a Multi-Step Requesting Sequence to Two Adolescents with Autism Using an iPod-based Speech Generating Device
Many children with autism fail to develop speech and are therefore candidates for the use of speech-generating devices (SGDs). However, existing studies are limited because they have tended to focus only on teaching an initial single-step requesting sequence. This thesis aimed to extend the existing literature by evaluating intervention procedures for teaching two adolescents with autism to perform multistep requesting sequences that required navigating across two screen pages (Intervention 1). Intervention 2 focused on teaching the adolescents to turn on and unlock the screen of the SGD prior to initiating the previously learnt multi-step requesting sequence. Both interventions made use of response prompting, prompt fading, and differential reinforcement procedures and were evaluated using the multiple-baseline across subjects design. Results showed that both interventions were effective in teaching these adolescents to use the iPod Touch(R) to make a sequence of requests. The results of the present study suggest that adolescents with autism can successfully learn to use an iPod Touch(R) to independently perform multi-step requesting sequences.