Joanne Cafiero




Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

This classroom intervention describes a nonverbal and behaviorally and cognitively challenged adolescent with autism who participates in a data-based, total immersion, augmentative communication intervention. Using a natural aided language approach and picture communication boards, the student was provided with intense visual-paired-with-verbal-language input in each activity and environment of his school day. Without training or prompting, the young man's picture language receptive and expressive vocabulary increased during the intervention. In addition, his positive behaviors increased. The increases in communication and positive behaviors dramatically altered the classroom staff's perception of the student, and as a result, his curriculum and IEP were made more complex, academic, and challenging.

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