2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.
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Wednesday, November 28 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Fun, Games, and Friendship: Engaging Strategies for Building Communication Practice and Community Seating Available

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Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will discuss findings from collaborative research into constructing engaging practice and social activities with 15 autistic adolescents who type/point to communicate. The following research questions will be addressed: What kinds of games (or qualities of games) do autistic adolescents who type/point to communicate identify as useful and enjoyable opportunities for building communication practice? What are the reported communication skill benefits and/or barriers of using games as a mode of engagement for autistic adolescents who type/point to communicate? What are the reported social benefits and/or barriers of using games as a mode of engagement for autistic adolescents who type/point to communicate? Our session will discuss experiences, expressed preferences, and creative adaptations that autistic adolescents deem most important and effective in using games to support communication practice and relationship building with peers. This work, and the setting in which it takes place, includes active contributions from non-speaking autistic self-advocates and their neurotypical peers. Genuine peer relationships are a critical and hard-to-engineer component of successful inclusive environments. Our presentation highlights the use of games commonly played in families, schools and communities as both a social bridge and a means to target communication skills. Individuals with emerging communication skills require intentional practice in structured ways, something communities and families struggle to design and implement. Games provide a natural way to practice these skills while breaking down barriers of social segregation among adolescents. Our presentation will help to translate findings into concrete strategies for practice. This work is rooted in TASH's mission of working alongside those most at risk for being excluded, empowering self-advocates to be the driving force behind research and practice that impacts them. This research will provide the knowledge to allow more students, families, and communities to enrich their social time while building communicative skills. This work reflects TASH's 2018 conference theme in demonstrating that intentionally using creative and engaging strategies (such as games) to support augmentative and alternative communication access can simultaneously, and significantly, contribute to relationship building, inclusion, and self-determination.

avatar for Lisa Mihalich Quinn

Lisa Mihalich Quinn

Director / Communication Specialist, Reach Every Voice
Lisa Mihalich Quinn, M.A / M.Ed. is a licensed special educator with more than 15 years of experience making academic content accessible for neurodiverse students and complex communicators. She is the Executive Director of Reach Every Voice, an organization dedicated to empowering... Read More →

Casey Woodfield

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary & Inclusive Education, Rowan University

Wednesday November 28, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm PST
Salon H - Lower Level 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201