Communication Innovations for Individuals with Autism

Presented by: Dr. Howard C. Shane, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital Sponsored by Monarch Center for Autism, STAR Autism Support, and VizZle
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Individuals with autism tend to have difficulty with communication – including comprehension, expression, and social pragmatics. Research and clinical observations demonstrate that individuals with autism often benefit from the use of visual supports. The Visual Immersion System™ (VIS™), created by Dr. Howard Shane and his colleagues from Boston Children’s Hospital, establishes a robust foundation to address communication deficits. It capitalizes on the enhanced visual processing skills of individuals with autism, as well as their inherent interest in multimedia. It incorporates visual supports in a meaningful way that help individuals with autism learn to initiate and generate communication, as opposed to merely reciting scripted language.

In this webinar, Dr. Shane discussed the Visual Immersion System and how to enhance communication and expand language by repurposing consumer products/technology to provide Just In Time Communication (JITs). Topics discussed include:

An overview of the Visual Immersion System (VIS)

  • Framework (visual instructional mode, visual organizational mode, visual expressive mode)
  • Scene cues – how can they help?
  • Grid displays & scene displays – what’s the difference?
  • Teaching language and reducing scripting – going beyond PECS

Concepts of Just in Time Communication (JITs)

  • Tips and tools to quickly create and provide communication supports for use in the moment (just in time)
  • Repurposing consumer products/technology to provide Just in Time Communication
  • QR Codes
  • Apple Watch
  • Amazon Echo