Communication Intervention to Teach Requesting Through Aided AAC for Two Learners With Rett Syndrome

  • Jessica SimacekEmail author
  • Joe Reichle
  • Jennifer J. McComas


Evidence on effective communication interventions for persons with Rett syndrome is needed to drive the standard of care with this population. This study examined the effectiveness of an intervention package to teach multiple, aided communication requests for two persons with Rett syndrome (ages 27 and 7) through within participant, adapted multiple baseline designs across items/activities. Participants were taught graphic mode requests on speech generating devices, with access methods based on motor ability; one participant responded by pressing a touch screen, and one participant responded by fixed eye-gaze. Results are discussed in relation to the effectiveness of the intervention packages on increasing the accuracy of independent request selection responses emitted and the number of sessions required to reach an a priori performance criterion for both participants. Difficulties during initial prompting and during prompt fading with the eye-gaze response are considered. The findings suggest implications related to emerging evidence on the intervention methods to teach requesting skills to this population, and future research directions for communication intervention options for persons with severe communication impairment and limited motor repertoires.


Rett syndrome Communication intervention Requesting AAC Eye-gaze 



The authors would like to acknowledge Breanne Byiers for her comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript and Julianne Bazyk and Stephanie Hammerschmidt-Snidarich for their efforts with interobserver agreement and treatment integrity data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.” “Informed consent was obtained from parents or guardians for all individual participants included in the study.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Simacek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joe Reichle
    • 1
  • Jennifer J. McComas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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