Examining Hispanic parent/child with autism interactions through augmentative and alternative communication
The purpose of this behavioral phenomenological investigation was to explore the contingency histories of Hispanic parents with children diagnosed with autism regarding the use of an AAC in a home setting. Often referred to as "perceptions" (Creswell, 1998), Hispanic parents of children with autism were asked to define their lived experiences and interactions they have with their child with autism in terms of antecedent variables and consequences. Few research endeavors have been directed towards examining the reciprocity of parent-child with autism interactions using an AAC. The use of behavioral phenomenological inquiry however, provides detailed descriptions of Hispanic parents' personal histories of reinforcement that can help shape a comprehensive understanding of their interactions with their children with autism, and the extent to which forms of AAC enhance these interactions. Ultimately, this study is an examination of the verbal community for a child with autism using an AAC. The antecedent variables were responsible for AAC implementation in support of the child's communication skills. There were numerous consequences that parents reported as variables that led to the maintenance of AAC. A salient factor derived from the findings showed that parents faced many challenges implementing AAC in the home that caused them to give up. In three of the four cases, the consequences to using the AAC were not hopeful enough to outweigh the antecedent variables related to contextual fit of the device and familiarity of how to use the AAC appropriately.