This paper will describe the technological AAC journey of a young man with autism, reflecting on the highs and lows of his transition through adolescence into early adulthood. It will discuss the importance of building and developing positive relationships, with an emphasis on on-going parental commitment and support.
The case study reflects on the introduction, implementation and on-going use of a high-tech communication system in conjunction with educational software and the need to involve school therapists, teachers, post-16 services and parents in this communication journey.
The opportunity to provide regular advice and hands-on support is discussed. Using a high-tech communication system with other supporting technologies, alongside consistent parental support, has allowed the young man's communication skills to gradually develop successfully. As he moves into adulthood, he is now initiating some communication spontaneously and will respond to requests, questions or comments using verbal responses, his high-tech device, other technology, drawings, expressions and/or gestures.
The importance of working in partnership, and listening and talking together, appears to be a significant factor in achieving communication success.