Technology-enabled AAC for autism

I am Noreen Murphy, a PhD candidate at the University of Limerickdart-head-shot, and a visiting PhD student at the DART lab. I am carrying out a study to create a set of best practice guidelines for parents and professionals when choosing communication devices for children with autism. 

The next stage of my study is a Delphi study to create best practice guidelines for parents and professionals.

Online Delphi Study for Parents and Professionals

This study aims to identify priorities considered important by AAC specialists, speech and language therapists, behaviour analysts, occupational therapists, teachers with experience using high-tech communication devices, and, parents of children using communication devices.

If you participate in the Delphi study you will be asked to complete three online questionnaires over a period of six weeks. A link to the first questionnaire will be emailed to you in early January. These questionnaires will ask your opinion about factors you consider most important for successful outcomes when using communication devices with children with autism. You can download an information sheet for the Delphi study here.

If you would like to participate in the Delphi study, please email me,

Delphi Study Information Sheet


aac-deviceCan you tell me a bit more about the study?

Children with autism often use devices to communicate their wants and needs but many of these devices are abandoned within the first year of use. We want to identify priorities across groups of stakeholders (parents, teachers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, behaviour analysts) in order to develop a decision making aid to improve outcomes for children with autism.

This project is overseen by Dr. Sue Fletcher-Watson from the University of Edinburgh, and Dr. Jennifer McMahon and Dr. Carol-Anne Murphy from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

What are the main aims of the project?

This project will investigate factors considered most important when recommending and using communication devices with children with autism. The information will be used to create a set of best practice guidelines for parents and professionals. The project has three components at this stage:

  1. A Twitter chat for professionals
  2. A focus group for parents
  3. An online Delphi study for parents and professionals