Recommendation ID
Augmentative communication devices for adults with autism:- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of augmentative communication devices for adults with autism?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Many people with autism experience significant communication problems (for example, the absence of any spoken language or significant deficits in interpersonal skills), which have a profound effect on their ability to lead a full and rewarding life. It is probable that these problems are related to the core symptoms of autism and are likely to persist for most people given the lifelong course of autism and the lack of effective interventions for these core symptoms. A number of communication devices have been developed for autism but few, if any, have been subjected to a proper evaluation in adults. Despite this lack of formal evaluation, individual services have made considerable investments in augmentative communication devices. Research that provides high-quality evidence on the acceptability and the clinical and cost effectiveness of augmentative communication devices could bring about significant improvements in the lives of adults with autism.
The suggested programme of research would need to identify current devices for which there is:
(a) some evidence of benefit (for example, case series and small-scale pilot studies); (b) some evidence that it meets a key communication need for people with autism (based on reviews of people's need in this area); and (c) indication that the device is feasible for routine use. The identified device(s) should then be formally evaluated in a large-scale randomised trial.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Autism spectrum disorder in adults: diagnosis and management
Date issued
June 2012

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 09/07/2012