Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Carole Zangari

Committee Member

Kathleen Kardaras

Abstract

This applied dissertation was designed to provide online multimedia training materials for parents of children, ages 2-11, with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), who use or need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Many children with ASD have communication difficulties, and the best path to communication competence is through some form of AAC. Parents can have an enormous impact on their children’s ability to learn and use AAC effectively. By implementing a few supportive strategies, they can help their children become successful communicators. Implementing strategies in a home-based learning environment is important to provide generalization of skills across settings. Typically, parents do not have access to AAC learning materials to facilitate their child’s AAC learning and language growth. Barriers to accessing this material may be time, accessibility, stress, transportation, or financial constraints. Online education is becoming increasingly more popular and is looked upon as a means to obtain information in an efficient manner. Using specific AAC strategies to enhance receptive and expressive language, parents will be taught how to increase their child’s language skills during this natural routine. Along with input from content-area experts, training materials have been created to help parents better understand ways to support AAC learning at home. Parent participation allows for the materials, which focus on two key strategies, Aided Language Stimulation (ALgS) and Communication Temptations, to be field tested. The information provided by the content experts resulted in changes to the online multimedia training materials in order to determine content validity, evaluate the design, and assess the feasibility. The results indicated that the participant’s knowledge and self-efficacy did significantly increase from the pretest to the posttest after completing the online multimedia training materials. Additionally, the participant’s self-efficacy from The Usage Rating Profile – Intervention Revised (URP-IR) significantly increased after viewing the online multimedia training materials and the URP-IR is a reliable assessment to utilize when measuring self-efficacy.

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