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Comparing Three Augmentative and Alternative Communication Modes for Children with Developmental Disabilities

  • Larah van der Meer
  • Robert Didden
  • Dean Sutherland
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
  • Jeff Sigafoos
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

We compared acquisition, maintenance, and preference for three AAC modes in four children with developmental disabilities (DD). Children were taught to make general requests for preferred items (snacks or play) using a speech-generating device (SGD), picture-exchange (PE), and manual signs (MS). The effects of intervention were evaluated in a multiple-probe across participants and alternating-treatments design. Preference probes were also conducted to determine if children would choose one AAC mode more frequently than the others. During intervention, all four children learned to request using PE and the SGD, but only two also reached criteria with MS. For the AAC preference assessments, three participants chose the SGD most frequently, while the other participant chose PE most frequently. The results suggest that children’s preference for different AAC modes can be assessed during the early stages of intervention and that their preferences may influence acquisition and maintenance of AAC-based requesting responses.

Keywords

Augmentative and alternative communication Developmental disabilities Manual sign Picture-exchange Speech-generating devices 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Support for this research was provided from the New Zealand Government through the Marsden Fund Council, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand; and by Victoria University of Wellington, The University of Canterbury, and The New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain & Behaviour.

Declaration of Interests

The authors report no conflicts of interests. The authors alone are solely responsible for the content and writing of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larah van der Meer
    • 1
    • 6
  • Robert Didden
    • 2
  • Dean Sutherland
    • 3
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
    • 4
  • Giulio E. Lancioni
    • 5
  • Jeff Sigafoos
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.The Meadows Center for the Prevention of Educational RiskUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  5. 5.University of BariBariItaly
  6. 6.School of Educational Psychology and PedagogyVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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