Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Audrey Farrugia, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Second Advisor

David Winters, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ann Eisenberg, Ph.D.


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a common strategy that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) use to help individuals better communicate. AAC is used to assist or replace verbal communication. This strategy can include pointing at pictures, having a device that speaks typed words, or using gestures such as sign language. AAC is commonly used to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder with communication. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that impacts social communication and interaction. Individuals with ASD also commonly have restrictive or repetitive behaviors. Past research on AAC has focused more on what it is and why SLPs would use it. There is a paucity of research about specific AAC programs and the successes and challenges that SLPs have faced with them. This qualitative research study seeks to explore the methods and perspectives of SLPs using AAC with their clients, specifically with clients with ASD.