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Autism and Independent Communication through Eye-Gaze

Session 
2.4a
Personal Experience
  • Adam Forrest
  • Gillian Hazell (AAC Consultancy)
Summary

This paper aims to demonstrate and discuss the issues of independent communication using eye-gaze technology with Adam, a 19 year old young man who has cerebral palsy and Asperger's Syndrome.

Method/Activities/Techniques

Adam will describe his communication difficulties and why he finds it difficult to communicate independently. We will describe briefly the findings from research investigating the gaze patterns of eight participants who have autism and use facilitated communication. We will then describe Adam's experience using eye-gaze technology as he works towards independent communication.

Results/Findings

Adam describes his pathway to developing sufficient gaze control to use eye-gaze technology as one of his communication systems. Observations from the facilitators supporting Adam will be included as well as Adam's thoughts about learning to control the technology with eye-gaze. His more comments about the technology and how it meets his highly specific needs will be included.

Conclusions

We aim to show that the road to eye-gaze control has not been easy, but that it is providing a route to some independent communication for Adam. However, in Adam's words, "THE EYE GAZE ITSAENGINE [it's an engine] OF THE FUTURE."

Level of Session 
2
Age Group 
All Ages
Interest 
1