Effects of an augmentative and alternative device on echolalia in autism

Cynthia Valenzuela, University of Texas at El Paso


This study was a systematic replication of Mueller and Forbes (n.d.), which evaluated the effects of a high-tech and low-tech augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device on reducing echolalia in a verbal child with autism during conversational speech. The participant for this study was a verbal eleven-year male, who was diagnosed with autism prior to the study. A single subject alternating treatment research design was used to evaluate the effect of a high-tech speech generating AAC device (Proloquo2go) on echolalia. The participant was seen periodically twice a week for two months and periodically for one month. A functional analysis (Prizant & Rydell, 1984) was performed to determine the function of echolalia presented by the participant. The participant demonstrated the use of interactive and non-interactive delayed echolalia (Prizant & Rydell, 1984). Eleven conversational speech samples were obtained and recorded. Activities for elicitation of conversation between the researcher and participant included watching Pixar short films, playing board games, and reading books. The total number of utterances and the total number of echolalic utterances were counted to calculate the percentage of echolalic utterances (total number of echolalic utterances/ total number of utterances X 100) for each speech sample. The results support the use of a high-tech speech generating device to reduce echolalic utterances.

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Special education

Recommended Citation

Valenzuela, Cynthia, "Effects of an augmentative and alternative device on echolalia in autism" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1540153.