Autism Language Program
It is our goal for every child we see with autism to become as effective a communicator as possible. We strive to improve each child's ability to communicate, protest, object, request, and move beyond to maximize their ability to communicate in all situations. General consensus is that persons on the autism spectrum have strong visual skills, and likely these visual skills surpass their auditory skills. In the Autism Language Program (ALP) at Boston Children's Hospital, we strive to maximize these auditory skills through the use of visual materials as a way of improving all forms of communication. As a result, these children use these new-found communication skills to improve academic performance, and also to interact in and learn about the world in which they live. In the ALP, we rely on the traditional approaches to communication assessment, that generally include:
- spoken language comprehension
- clarity of articulation
- effectiveness of their use and understanding of gestures
- activity level
- learning style
- executive skill
What separates the strategies used in the Autism Language Program (ALP) at Boston Children's Hospital from other treatment approaches is our innovative way of appreciating the strengths of children with autism, and using modern technology to enhance their abilities.
Below is an sample of a First-Then display used in the ALP. We have expanded these displays by including the duration or number of repetitions into the display, thereby increasing clarity and reducing confusion for the child. This is an example of a display our clinicians use with children who visit the ALP.