Author Yong, Yvonne Hui Lin
Title Comparing the effectiveness between the Apple iPad and a picture-based system on increasing functional communication for preschoolers with developmental disabilities
Institute Thesis (M.A.) (Applied Psychology) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Year 2016
Supervisor Dutt, Anuradha S. K.

As the use of the IPad gains popularity as an AAC device in Singapore, it is important to have evidence-based research for the use of the IPad as a viable communication tool. Hence, this study used an alternating treatment’s design within a multiple baseline design (MBD) to investigate the comparative efficacy between a well-established AAC system, such as the Picture Exchange (PE), and the IPad (i.e., Proloquo2go) in increasing functional communication skills. The functional communication behavior targeted was requesting behavior of three preschoolers who were diagnosed with either Global Developmental Delay (GDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Intellectual Disabilities (ID). This study consisted of five phases: Baseline, Instruction for IPad, Instruction for PE, Choice and Discrimination. Findings from the study were mixed and showed that both the PE system and the IPad were equally effective in increasing requesting behaviors and all participants were able to learn to use both devices successfully. It was also found that all participants consistently preferred to use the IPad to request for their high-preference item. They were also able to successfully discriminate between two icons. Results from this study were consistent with past research and showed that children with Developmental Disorders are able to acquire the use of more than one type of AAC device.