Skip to main content

Predictors of Expressive Language Change for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receiving AAC-Infused Comprehensive Intervention


Comprehensive interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often incorporate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); however, variability in outcomes exists even among children who access similar intervention. This study investigated predictors of expressive language change for 48 children with ASD aged 31 to 67 months receiving AAC-infused intervention. The relationships between participants’ initial responses to AAC and expressive language change were examined. Commonly reported predictors (IQ, chronological age, ASD symptomatology) did not significantly predict expressive language change. AAC factors (visual attention, object play, word learning) entered at Step 2 of a hierarchical multiple regression, explained an additional 42% of the variance. The findings provide preliminary data on child characteristics associated with expressive language changes within AAC-infused comprehensive interventions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Note that age equivalent scores were selected a priori for use in analyses. For completeness, analyses were re-run using raw scores with no impact on interpretation of findings.


Download references


We warmly thank the children, parents and caregivers, and staff whose participation in this study made this research possible. In addition, our thanks go to Rhylee Sulek and Stephanie Sievers for their assistance with reliability coding. This study was conducted as part of Dr Rose’ Doctoral studies.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



VR, DT, DK and JP designed the study. VR completed data collection, preliminary analysis, and drafted the first manuscript. All authors contributed to subsequent drafts. Credibility checking of statistics was completed by JP. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Veronica Rose.

Ethics declarations

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.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Rose, V., Paynter, J., Vivanti, G. et al. Predictors of Expressive Language Change for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Receiving AAC-Infused Comprehensive Intervention. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 278–291 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Predictors
  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Expressive language
  • Early childhood