Perceptions of augmentative and alternative communication modes that include non-evidence based practices
Hamrick, Jennifer Renee
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For families of individuals with developmental disabilities who have limited or no language skills, finding a mode of communication that provides their child the ability to speak is imperative. Parents can become desperate for an answer and may try multiple options to find something that works for their child. Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is a form of communication that closely approximates facilitated communication. RPM requires the assistance of a communicative partner who holds a “letterboard” that the student uses to communicate with the world. The primary concern with RPM is that the communicative partner may be the source of communication rather than the target student. As of yet, there have been no studies to test this theory, but families and special educators continue to choose RPM as a mode of communication. This study evaluated the perceptions and attitudes of special education teachers in training toward RPM relative to evidence- based communication systems. Specifically, individuals were surveyed to determine the social validity of RPM in comparison to other forms of communication that are evidence based (i.e., picture exchange communication systems; voice output device). Results indicated that RPM was rated lower across all areas of social validity in comparison to evidence-based communication interventions.