1 x 1-hour on-line exercises weekly
Topic description
This topic focuses upon issues and intervention strategies that support communication and learning of persons with complex communication needs. This includes understanding the relationship between social skills and communication and the communication characteristics of persons with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, physical or multiple disabilities. A variety of topics are presented, including: assessment of communicative functions, teaching communication through milieu techniques, programming for generalisation, and selecting and implementing augmentative communication systems.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • understand the characteristics of students with complex communication needs and important considerations for assessment and instructional strategies

  • consider the range of pragmatic functions of communication when assessing communication skills and designing communication programs

  • understand the process of conducting an assessment of functional communication

  • develop an understanding of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) modes, considerations in selection, and strategies for instruction

  • develop a knowledge of evidence-based instructional strategies for promoting communication skills (e.g., naturalistic teaching techniques)
Expected learning outcomes
Upon topic completion students will be able to:

  • describe the communication characteristics of learners who have complex communication needs including autism, intellectual, physical or multiple disabilities

  • assess the communication abilities of one learner with complex communication needs and developmental disability through functional communication assessment

  • develop a communication program for a learner with complex communication needs and developmental disability that reflects evidence-based instructional strategies such as the use of naturalistic language teaching

  • develop an augmentative and alternative communication system suitable for the learner and provide a rationale as to why this system is recommended