Caregivers’ Perception of the IPad’s Utility for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): A Conflict between Illusion and Reality

Anna A. Allen, Charles Jeans, Laura J. Ball, A. J. Guarino


The primary purpose of this study was to compare perceptions of the iPad’s utility for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A sample of 15 caregivers, eight of whom cared for individuals who had iPads (“users”) and seven of whom cared for individuals who did not have iPads (“non-users”), responded to a survey created by the authors to identify possible helpfulness of the iPad’s for enhancing communication. Non-users’ perceptions of the potential utility of the iPad were statistically significantly greater than those of the caregivers who had utilized the iPad for AAC. These findings strongly suggest a conflict between the non-users’ illusions and the users’ subjective reality regarding the iPad’s potential to improve communication skills.

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