mily does not use speech to communicate. She communicates with a combination of body movements, facial expressions, vocalisations, unconventional signals (e.g. hand flapping) and a small number of key word signs (mainly idiosyncratic signs), predominately to request objects and actions, to reject, and to express emotions

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mily does not use speech to communicate. She communicates with a combination of body movements, facial expressions, vocalisations, unconventional signals (e.g. hand flapping) and a small number of key word signs (mainly idiosyncratic signs), predominately to request objects and actions, to reject, and to express emotions

Early Childhood Case Study

Emily is a 5 year old girl who attends an Early Learning Centre. Emily has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder with severe expressive and receptive language impairment, and severe cognitive impairment. Emily does not use speech to communicate. She communicates with a combination of body movements, facial expressions, vocalisations, unconventional signals (e.g. hand flapping) and a small number of key word signs (mainly idiosyncratic signs), predominately to request objects and actions, to reject, and to express emotions. She also has a PODD communication book and visual schedules (with Picture Communication Symbols) which centre staff and family use to support Emily’s understanding of language and her day. She is beginning to participate in interactions by pointing to words and messages in her PODD book that have been modelled to her. Emily has no visual or hearing impairment.

 

Primary School Case Study

Jack is a 10 year old boy who is in a year 4 class.  Jack has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome with associated Complex Communication Needs and moderate cognitive impairment. Jack has moderate expressive and receptive language impairment. He communicates with a combination of vocalisations, facial expressions, body language, gesture, Key Word Sign and speech. He also uses an iPad with the Proloquo2Go app (standard “core” page set with additional fringe vocabulary) for communicating, which he directly accesses with his hands. Jack is able to say approximately 20 single words. He uses approximately 10 key word signs spontaneously and will attempt to imitate key words signs that have been modelled to him. He is able to use his various forms of communication to: direct attention to himself, events, objects and people; request objects, actions, assistance and recurrence; reject; greet; name; and comment. He predominately expresses language about the “here and now” but has begun using gesture to initiate conversation regarding past events e.g. what he did during the day. He has no visual or hearing impairment.

 

High School Case Study

Toby is a 17 year old boy who is in a year 11 class. Toby has a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, spastic quadriplegia, and Complex Communication Needs. Toby has age appropriate cognition, language and literacy abilities. He is unable to use speech to communicate. He communicates using a combination of vocalisations, eye movements (blink for “yes”, look to the side for “no”) and his Dynavox VMax+ communication device with InterAACt page sets (comprehensive page sets of core and fringe vocabulary plus an alphabet page). Toby’s Dynavox is mounted to his wheelchair and he accesses it via two switch visual step scanning. He has one switch mounted on his wheelchair tray which he accesses with his hand, and one switch mounted on his wheelchair head rest which he accesses with his cheek. Toby has no visual or hearing impairment.

 

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