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Technology-assisted language intervention for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing; a pilot study of augmentative and alternative communication for enhancing language development

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TitleTechnology-assisted language intervention for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing; a pilot study of augmentative and alternative communication for enhancing language development
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: Pilot study to assess the effect of augmentative and alternative communication technology to enhance language development in children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Materials and methods: Five children ages 5–10 years with permanent bilateral hearing loss who were identified with language underperformance participated in an individualized 24-week structured program using the application TouchChat WordPower on iPads®. Language samples were analyzed for changes in mean length of utterance, vocabulary words and mean turn length. Repeated measures models assessed change over time. Results: The baseline median mean length of utterance was 2.41 (range 1.09–6.63; mean 2.88) and significantly increased over time (p = 0.002) to a median of 3.68 at final visit (range 1.97–6.81; mean 3.62). At baseline, the median total number of words spoken per language sample was 251 (range 101–458), with 100 (range 36–100) different words spoken. Total words and different words significantly increased over time (β = 26.8 (7.1), p = 0.001 for total words; β = 8.0 (2.7), p = 0.008 for different words). Mean turn length values also slightly increased over time. Conclusions: Using augmentative and alternative communication technology on iPads® shows promise in supporting rapid language growth among elementary school-age children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with language underperformance.
AuthorsMeinzen-Derr, J., Wiley S., McAuley R., Smith L., and Grether S.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volumeon line
ISSN1748-3107 (print) 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17483107.2016.1269210
Keywords (MeSH)child, communication aids for disabled, hearing loss, language development, pilot projects