Blog Archives

Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Daily Clinical Practice: Strategies and Tools for Management of Severe Communication Disorders

Research indicates that augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) approaches can be used effectively by patients and their caregivers to improve communication skills. This article highlights strategies and tools for re-establishing communication competence by considering the complexity and diversity of communication interactions in an effort to maximize natural speech and language skills via a range of technologies that are implemented across the continuum of care rather than as a last resort.

from Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation

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Teaching requesting and rejecting sequences to four children with developmental disabilities using augmentative and alternative communication

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of teaching an integrated requesting–rejecting sequence. Four children with developmental disabilities were taught to request missing items and reject wrong items using either speech-generating devices (SGD) or picture-exchange (PE) communication. Data showed that the introduction of the teaching procedures were associated with acquisition of the targeted requesting and rejecting responses. The newly acquired rejecting responses generalized across two untrained activities and were maintained for up to four weeks following intervention for three of the four participants. The missing-item and wrong-item formats can be successfully combined to teach an integrated sequence of requesting and rejecting to students with developmental disabilities who use speech-generating devices (SGD) or picture-exchange (PE) communication.

from Research in Developmental Disabilities

A Comparison of Picture Exchange and Speech-Generating Devices: Acquisition, Preference, and Effects on Social Interaction

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes picture exchange (PE) and speech-generating devices (SGD), but these two systems have rarely been compared. We therefore conducted three studies comparing PE and SGD for an adolescent boy with a developmental disability. Study 1 compared acquisition of a PE- and SGD-based requesting response and monitored the effects on social interaction. For Study 2, both communication modes were made simultaneously available and the child could choose to use either PE or the SGD. For Study 3, only PE intervention continued, with the distance between the child and trainer systematically increased to prompt social interaction. The results showed equally rapid acquisition of the PE- and SGD-based requesting response, but only the distancing manipulation had any positive effect on social interaction. We conclude that PE and SGD are equally viable modes of communication, but acquisition of an initial PE- or SGD-based requesting response may not be sufficient to promote social interaction.

from AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

A Comparison of Picture Exchange and Speech-Generating Devices: Acquisition, Preference, and Effects on Social Interaction

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes picture exchange (PE) and speech-generating devices (SGD), but these two systems have rarely been compared. We therefore conducted three studies comparing PE and SGD for an adolescent boy with a developmental disability. Study 1 compared acquisition of a PE- and SGD-based requesting response and monitored the effects on social interaction. For Study 2, both communication modes were made simultaneously available and the child could choose to use either PE or the SGD. For Study 3, only PE intervention continued, with the distance between the child and trainer systematically increased to prompt social interaction. The results showed equally rapid acquisition of the PE- and SGD-based requesting response, but only the distancing manipulation had any positive effect on social interaction. We conclude that PE and SGD are equally viable modes of communication, but acquisition of an initial PE- or SGD-based requesting response may not be sufficient to promote social interaction.

from AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Speech-Generating Devices Used at Home by Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Three children diagnosed within the autism spectrum between the ages of 5 and 7 years at different stages of communication development were supplied with speech-generating devices (SGDs) in their homes. The parents were taught to introduce the SGDs into home routines and the effects were evaluated naturalistically. Videotapes recorded by the parents before and during SGD use were coded with respect to communication effectiveness, mode, role in turn taking, and engagement in activity. Findings varied among the children and activities, but an increased level of communication effectiveness was seen during SGD use for all children. Variations of outcome among the three children and factors of importance for effective SGD use in the homes of children with autism spectrum disorders are discussed.

from Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities