People with autism have individual communication needs that cannot be effectively assessed or remediated through the use of the developmental model favoured by Speech and Language Therapists. Many often have significant difficulties understanding spoken language and experience anxiety which further compromises their ability to understand what is expected of them. This, in turn, affects their behaviour.
The consistent use of AAC to help support their understanding of spoken language and allow them to communicate their needs and feelings is imperative to their lives. However, it is difficult to train the people around the individual with ASD to facilitate the appropriate AAC for that individual. The Cognitive Neuropsychology Model of Communication – usually used with people with aphasia – has been adapted, simplified and explained to create an effective training tool. This may be used to facilitate understanding of the fundamental need for individualised communication through both low- and high-tech AAC.