Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 777–781 | Cite as

Language Preference of a Multilingual Individual With Disabilities Using a Speech Generating Device

  • Megan KunzeEmail author
  • Christine Drew
  • Wendy Machalicek
  • Jonathan Safer-Lichtenstein
  • Becky Crowe
Special Section: Diversity and Inclusion


Individuals with disabilities who are English learners (ELs) and communicate using speech generating devices (SGDs) may demonstrate a preference for instructional language and language output of their SGDs. The influence of interventionist language on the preference of SGD language output and frequency of mands was examined using an alternating-treatments design with an embedded concurrent-chain arrangement with a 10-year-old with Down syndrome whose heritage language was Spanish. Language preference assessment for ELs is recommended because heritage language may be preferred for children with disabilities who use SGDs.


English learner Developmental disabilities Speech generating device Language preference 



This research was partially supported by Project Heightened Excellence in Autism Research and Training (HEART) OSEP Leadership Grant No. H325D150082 (principal investigator: Wendy Machalicek).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study and their parents/guardians.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education, Department of Special Education and Clinical SciencesUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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