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Howard C Shane, PhD

Howard Shane PhD
Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement Research
Hospital Title:
Director, Center for Communication Enhancement
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Augmented communication

Research Overview

Howard Shane’s research focus is on children with complex communication impairment related to autism and other developmental disorders. Currently he is studying the use of technology and visual supports to improve communication and learning in persons with autism. He is keenly interested in the development of a visual language system to both improve and augment the spoken language system for persons with autism who have difficulty processing spoken language.

Dr. Shane’s earlier research focused on the development of augmentative and alternative communication systems for persons with neuromuscular disorders.

About Howard Shane

Dr. Shane received his PhD from Syracuse University and completed a Doctoral Fellowship at Mayo Clinic. At children’s Hospital he is the Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. He has designed more than a dozen computer applications used widely by persons with disabilities and holds two US Patents. Dr. Shane has received Honors of the Association Distinction and is a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association. He is the recipient of the Goldenson Award for Innovations in Technology from United Cerebral Palsy Association and author of numerous papers and chapters on severe speech impairment, lectured throughout the world on the topic, and produced numerous computer innovations enjoyed by persons with complex communication disorders.

Key Publications

1. Higginbotham DJ, Beukelman D, Blackstone S, Bryen D, Caves K, DeRuyter F, Jakobs T, Light J, McNaughton D, Moulton B, Shane HC, & Williams, MB. AAC technology transfer: an AAC-RERC report. Augment Altern Commun. 2009 Mar;25(1):68-76.
2. Shane HC, O’Brien M & Sorce J. Use of a visual graphic language system to support communication for persons on the autism spectrum. Perspect on Augment Altern Commun. 2009 Dec;18:130-6. 
3. Schlosser RW, Shane HC, Sorce J., Koul R, Bloomfield E & Hotz L. Identifying performing and underperforming graphic symbols for verbs and prepositions in animated and static formats: a research note. Augment Altern Commun. 2011 Sep;27(3):205-14.
4. Gosnell J, Costello J, & Shane, HC. There isn’t always an app for that! Perspect on Augment  Altern Commun. 2011 Apr;20:7-8.
5. Shane HC, Laubscher EH, Schlosser RW, Flynn S, Sorce J,& Abramson J. Applying technology to visually support language and communication in individuals with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord. Published on-line 21st of Jun 2011:DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1304-z.
6. Gosnell J, Costello J, & Shane, HC. Using a clinical approach to answer, “…what communication apps should we use?” Perspect on Augment and Altern Commun. 2011 Sept;20:87-96.
7. Shane HC, Vanderheiden G, Blackstone S, Williams MA & DeRuyter F. Using aac technology to access the world. Assist Technol. 2012 24(1):3-13.
8. Schlosser RW, Shane HC, Sorce J, Koul R, Bloomfield E, Debrowski L, DeLuca T, Miller S, Schneider D, & Neff A. Animation of graphic symbols representing actions and prepositions: effects on transparency, name agreement, and identification. J Speech, Lang, Hear Res. 2012 Apr;55:342-58.
9. Shane HC, Corley K, Costello J, Dickinson H, Hall K, Perez J, Woodnorth G.  Communication disorders primer for pediatric otolaryngology. In: Muntz H, McGill T, Wetmore R, editors. Pediatric otolaryngology: principles and practice pathways. (2nd Ed.) New York: Thieme-Stratton Inc. 2012 p.674-86.
10. Schlosser RW, Koul R, Shane HC, Sorce J, Brock K, Harmon A, Morelin M & Hearn E. (in press). Effects of animation on transparency and identification across two graphic symbols sets representing actions and prepositions. 2013.
11. Schlosser RW, Laubscher EH, Sorce J, Koul R, Flynn S, Hotz L, Abramson J, Fadie H, & Shane HC.  Implementing directives that involve prepositions with children with autism: a comparison of spoken cues with two types of augmented input. 2013 29 (2):132-145. Augment Altern Commun.
12. Schlosser RW, Sigafoos J, Shane HC, Loul R, & Raghavendra R. Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  In: JK Luiselli (Ed.) Children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Recent advances and innovations in assessment, education, and intervention. 2013 New York: Oxford University Press.
13. Caron JG & Shane HC. A paradigm shift in communication technology for persons with autism spectrum disorder. In: Boser K and Wayland S. 2013 Technology Tools for Students with Autism.
14. Allen A, & Shane, HC. Autism spectrum disorders in the era of mobile technologies: Impact on caregivers. Dev Neurorehabil. 2014 Apr;17(2):110-114.
15. Donato C, Hemsley B & Shane HC. Exploring the feasibility of the Visual Language in Autism program for children in early intervention group setting: views of parents, educators, and health professionals. Dev Neurorehabil. 2014 Apr;17(2):115-124.
16. Shane HC, Laubscher E, Schlosser R, Fadie H, Sorce J, Abramson J, Flynn S, & Corley K. (in press). Enhancing communication in individuals with autism. A Guide to Visual Immersion System. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Co.
17. Schlosser RW, Koul R, Shane HC, Sorce J, Brock K, Harmon A, Moerlein M & Hearn E. (in press). Effects of animation on naming and identification across two graphic symbols sets representing actions and prepositions. 2014 J Speech Lang Hear Res.

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