aspirations

AAC successes and achievements, including the world of work and looking at great AAC role models who inspire many people.

employment

Asian work choices: how AAC can liberate the user

TitleAsian work choices: how AAC can liberate the user
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractEach culture and nation has its own tradition concerning work and employment. There are varying attitudes towards what is considered real work, namely an activity that contributes to societal improvement. There is an immediate need to explore different cultural definitions of employment and how these might relate to a concept of individual independence. For users of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), greater competence leads to a better chance of involvement and inclusion in society. A natural consequence is a desire to contribute and be rewarded. Without a voice, work choices become extremely limited. By contrasting the American and European experiences with the expectations of people with speech impairments living in Asia, insight can be gained into the true value of AAC implementation.
AuthorsDuckett, Nigel
Year of Publication2010
Date PublishedJul
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume5
Issue4
Pages236-9
ISSN1748-3107 (print), 1748-3115 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483101003718179?journalCo...
Keywords (MeSH)Asia, communication aids & disability, culture, employment, Europe, human, independent living, patients - patient satisfaction, prejudice, speech-language disorders, US

Augmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS)

TitleAugmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS)
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAlthough technological, clinical, and legislative advances should be opening new worlds of employment opportunities for people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, these advances have not yet led to higher employment rates. Augmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS) is an innovative program designed to increase the employment outcomes for people who use AAC. ACETS aims to support people in reaching their employment goals by providing training and follow-up supports designed to increase their skills, experiences, and social networks related to employment. In this article, we describe an intervention involving the ACETS program and discuss the positive outcomes that appear to result from this program, including an increase in the employment of participants and increased employment-related skills and experiences.
AuthorsCohen, Kevin J., Bryen Diane N., and Carey Allison C.
Year of Publication2003
Date PublishedSep
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume19
Issue3
Pages199-206
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610310001595678
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), female, human, male, occupational & vocational rehabilitation, occupational guidance, program evaluation, US

Augmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS): Some Employment-related Outcomes

TitleAugmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS): Some Employment-related Outcomes
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAugmentative Communication Employment Training and Supports (ACETS) is a program designed to increase the employment outcomes of people with significant disabilities who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Employment-related outcomes for 6 participants are provided. Two different approaches to data collection were used: (1) a pre/post survey designed to collect data about each participant's employment-related skills and (2) an on-line reporting of progress throughout the year. Results indicated that participants increased their: job-hunting skills, 'managing disability and work' skills, overall communication skills, and information technology skills. In addition, there was an impact on actual employment and/or increase in earned income for four out of the six program participants.
AuthorsBryen, Diane N., Carey Allison C., and Cohen Kevin J.
Year of Publication2004
Date PublishedJan-Mar
PublicationJournal of Rehabilitation
Volume70
Issue1
Pages10-18
ISSN0022 4154
Publisher DOIhttp://www.worksupport.com/resources/viewContent.cfm/65

Community-based employment: Experiences of adults who use AAC

TitleCommunity-based employment: Experiences of adults who use AAC
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractA survey was employed to investigate the experiences of adults using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) who were successfully employed in community-based jobs. Twenty-five AAC users responded to the survey, representing a range of disabilities, ages, educational backgrounds, literacy skill levels, and communication systems. Respondents were employed in a variety of jobs including clerical positions, laborers, public educators and consumer advocates, and educational/therapy aides; the majority of the respondents were employed in disability-related services. By far, the majority of the respondents reported satisfaction with their job duties, immediate supervisors, coworkers, and current salaries; however, 40% of the respondents were dissatisfied with their opportunities for advancement. The results of the survey are discussed with recommendations for improving employment opportunities for AAC users and directions for future research.
AuthorsLight, Janice, Stoltz Betty, and McNaughton David
Year of Publication1996
Date PublishedJan
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume12
Issue4
Pages215-229
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434619612331277688
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - middle age (40-64 yrs), age - thirties (30-39 yrs), age - young adulthood (18-29 yrs), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), cerebral palsy (CP), employment, experiences (events), human, male, occupational interests & guidance, speech-language therapy

Developing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Literacy Interventions in a Supported Employment Setting. [Article]

TitleDeveloping Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Literacy Interventions in a Supported Employment Setting. [Article]
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis article describes an integrated augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and literacy intervention program developed for five adults with autism in a supported employment facility. Specific assessment and intervention strategies as well as general outcomes of the program are discussed. Three detailed case studies describe approaches used with project participants who had emerging, beginning, and more advanced levels of communication and literacy skill., (C) 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
AuthorsFoley, PhD Ccc-Slp, Beth E., and Staples, PhD Amy H.
Year of Publication2003
PublicationTopics in Language Disorders October/November/December
Volume23
Issue4
Pages325-343
ISBN0271 8294
Publisher DOIhttp://journals.lww.com/topicsinlanguagedisorders/Abstract/2003/10000/De...
Keywords (MeSH)employment, literacy interventions

Don't give up: Employment experiences of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleDon't give up: Employment experiences of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractA focus group discussion was conducted on the Internet to investigate the employment experiences of five individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who required augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Information was gathered in the following areas: (a) the benefits of and reasons for continuing employment, (b) the negative impacts of employment, (c) the barriers to continued employment, (d) the supports required for successful employment outcomes, and (e) recommendations proposed for employers, rehabilitation professionals, manufacturers of assistive technology, the government, and individuals with ALS themselves to facilitate employment. Factors described as important to the participants' continued employment included the nature of employment activities, necessary supports to employment activities (e.g., the availability of information and services), and access to appropriate communication systems.
AuthorsMcNaughton, David, Light Janice, and Groszyk L.
Year of Publication2001
Date PublishedSep
PublicationAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume17
Issue3
Pages179-95.
ISBN0743 4618
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/aac.17.3.179.195
NotesAuthor Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) , assistive technology , augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) , degenerative neurologic disorder , employment , focus group , Internet
Reseach NotesAugmentative and Alternative Communication, 2001, Vol. 17, No. 3 : Pages 179-195 “Don't give up”: Employment experiences of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who use augmentative and alternative communication David McNaughton, Janice Light, and Linda Groszyk (doi: 10.1080/aac.17.3.179.195)
Keywords (MeSH)amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), employment, experiences (events)

Getting your wheel in the door: Successful full-time employment experiences of individuals with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleGetting your wheel in the door: Successful full-time employment experiences of individuals with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractEight individuals with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and were employed full time participated in a focus group discussion that was conducted on the Internet. Six major themes emerged from the discussion: (a) descriptions of employment activities, (b) benefits of employment and reasons for being employed, (c) negative impacts resulting from employment, (d) barriers to employment, (e) supports required for employment, and (f) recommendations for improving employment outcomes for individuals with cerebral palsy who use AAC. Factors identified as key to preparation for successful employment included appropriate education and vocational experiences. Community networks, government policies, and computer technology were identified as important supports for obtaining employment. Personal characteristics, technology, supportive coworkers, personal care assistance, and family supports were described as important supports for maintaining employment.
AuthorsMcNaughton, David, Light Janice, and Arnold Kara
Year of Publication2002
Date PublishedJun
PublicationAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume18
Issue2
Pages59-76.
ISBN0743 4618
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610212331281171
NotesAugmentative and Alternative Communication, 2002, Vol. 18, No. 2 : Pages 59-76 ‘Getting your wheel in the door’: successful full-time employment experiences of individuals with cerebral palsy who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication David McNaughton, Janice Light, and Kara Arnold (doi: 10.1080/07434610212331281171)
Keywords (MeSH)cerebral palsy (CP), employment, experiences (events)

Life-skill and employment training for young adults with mental disabilities

TitleLife-skill and employment training for young adults with mental disabilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis project aimed at facilitating life-skills and employment for young adults with mental disabilities by training parents, trainers and young people with disabilities themselves to take responsibility for the process. Eighteen task team members from three different contexts were formally trained by the staff from the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) to assist young people with disabilities in different communities. Schools with protective workshops from low socio-economic areas including Mamelodi, Eersterust and Eldoradopark were identified to participate in the project. The project was conducted over a period of 12 months (1999-2000) and included a life-skills and an employment phase. During the evaluation phase of the project, it became clear that the parents and young adults as well as the trainers gained much from training. Specific reservations were, however, identified by some of the employers participating in the project. Finally, some conclusive comments are made together with recommendations for employment of young people with disabilities in the community.
AuthorsAlant, Erna
Year of Publication2001
Date PublishedNov
PublicationSouth African Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume31
Issue3
Pages3-8
ISSN0038-2337
Publisher DOIhttp://www.worldcat.org/title/life-skill-and-employment-training-for-you...
Keywords (MeSH)age - young adulthood (18-29 yrs), disabilities, employment, mental disabilities

My dream was to pay taxes: The self-employment experiences of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleMy dream was to pay taxes: The self-employment experiences of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractSeven self-employed individuals with cerebral palsy who used augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) participated in a focus group discussion conducted on the Internet. Six themes emerged from the discussion: (a) description of employment activities, (b) benefits of self-employment, (c) negative impacts of self-employment, (d) barriers to employment, (e) supports to self-employment, and (f) recommendations for improving self-employment outcomes for individuals with cerebral palsy who use AAC. For the individuals in this study, self-employment provided financial benefits, meaningful work activities, and an opportunity to realize personal expectations for participation in society. Negative societal attitudes and limited educational experiences were identified as major barriers to employment, while personal characteristics such as a willingness to take on challenges and an interest in demonstrating personal competence were seen as important supports.
AuthorsMcNaughton, David, Symons Gregory, Light Janice, and Parsons Arielle
Year of Publication2006
PublicationJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Volume25
Issue3
Pages181-96.
ISSN1878-6316
ISBN1052 2263
Publisher DOIhttp://iospress.metapress.com/content/320uljl6xb3h5a98/
Keywords (MeSH)employment, experiences (events), pay taxes

Opening up a 'Whole New World': Employer and co-worker perspectives on working with individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleOpening up a 'Whole New World': Employer and co-worker perspectives on working with individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractFourteen employers and co-workers who worked with individuals who used augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) completed a survey describing their employment experiences. A qualitative analysis identified four major themes in the responses: (a) benefits of employing individuals who use AAC, (b) challenges to the employment situation, (c) supports to the employment situation, and (d) recommendations for improving employment outcomes for individuals who use AAC. Respondents identified the following as key factors that had a significant impact on employment outcomes for individuals who use AAC: (a) identification and development of good job matches, (b) educational and vocational preparation, (c) reliability of AAC technology, (d) attitudes of co-workers, (e) accessibility of the workplace, and (f) availability of transportation and personal care services.
AuthorsMcNaughton, David, Light Janice, and Gulla Stephanie
Year of Publication2003
Date PublishedDec
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume19
Issue4
Pages235-253
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610310001595669
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), employment, female, human, linguistics & language & speech, male, personnel, qualitative analysis, survey

Sheltered employment and augmentative communication: An oxymoron?

TitleSheltered employment and augmentative communication: An oxymoron?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractOver the past few years, both augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consumers and professionals have become increasingly concerned about the problems faced by persons with severe speech and writing impairments in the area of employment. This is no less true for persons with developmental disabilities than for the larger population of AAC consumers. Most of these individuals do not work at all; those who do spend their days in sheltered workshops rather than in integrated, community employment. This Forum article takes an admittedly "radical" position with regard to the deficiencies of sheltered work settings as contexts for communication. Communication in general, and augmentative communication in particular, is described as being antithetical to the value system, opportunities, and types of relationships available in sheltered workshops. The implications of this oxymoron are discussed, and a brief description of a supported employment model for people with developmental disabilities is described in terms of its advantages for enhancing communication.
AuthorsMirenda, Pat
Year of Publication1996
Date PublishedSep
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume12
Issue3
Pages193-197
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434619612331277648
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), developmental disabilities, human, occupational & vocational rehabilitation, relationships, sheltered workshops, value system & opportunities

The experiences of adults with complex communication needs who volunteer

TitleThe experiences of adults with complex communication needs who volunteer
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of adults with complex communication needs (CCN) who engage in volunteering. Method: In-depth interviews were conducted with 24 adults with CCN who had worked as volunteers. Interview transcripts were analyzed according to grounded theory methodology. Results: 'Control' emerged as the most important factor determining the nature of the participants' volunteering experiences. Two key strategies for enhancing control were the provision of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and appropriate support to volunteer. A theoretical model to account for the experiences of volunteers with CCN is presented. Conclusions: Adults with CCN who want to volunteer must have access to an effective communication system and appropriate support if they are to volunteer successfully for the benefit of themselves and others.
AuthorsTrembath, David, Balandin Susan, Togher Leanne, and Stancliffe Roger J.
Year of Publication2010
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: An International, Multidisciplinary Journal
Volume32
Issue11
Pages885-898
ISSN0963-8288 (print), 1464-5165 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09638280903349537
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - aged (65 yrs & older), age - middle age (40-64 yrs), age - thirties (30-39 yrs), age - young adulthood (18-29 yrs), communication disorders, complex communication needs, employment, female, human, male, participation, special needs, speech-language disorders, volunteering

Volunteering and paid work for adults who use AAC

TitleVolunteering and paid work for adults who use AAC
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractVolunteering has been identified as a route to paid work for adults with disability, including those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). However, it is not known if adults who use AAC volunteer in an attempt to gain paid work or if such attempts are successful. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of 24 adult volunteers who use AAC in order to determine (a) their motivations for volunteering, (b) their views on the relationship between volunteering and paid work, and (c) the outcomes of their experiences. Based on in-depth interviews and grounded theory analysis, the results indicate that although some participants thought volunteering might be helpful in gaining paid work, few volunteered for this reason. Only one participant reported gaining permanent paid work as a result of volunteering, indicating that volunteering may not provide a route to employment for most adults who use AAC.
AuthorsTrembath, David, Balandin Susan, Stancliffe Roger J., and Togher Leanne
Year of Publication2010
Date PublishedJun
PublicationJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume22
Issue3
Pages201-218
ISSN1056-263X (print), 1573-3580 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10882-009-9170-8
NotesOutline of the article: Volunteering: A Route to Paid Work / Motivations for Volunteering / Barriers to Paid Work / Potential Risks
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - middle age (40-64 yrs), age - thirties (30-39 yrs), age - young adulthood (18-29 yrs), Australia, employment, female, grounded theory, human, male, physical & somatoform & psychogenic disorders, volunteering

role models

positive messages about the benefits of using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)


 

Making connections: veterans without speech master the art of conversation and living

Murphy, P. (2009), 'Making connections: veterans without speech master the art of conversation and living'. PN, December 2009, pp.30-35.

A magazine article about US veterans forced by complex disabilities to relearn many things, including the art of conversation.

KEYWORDS: hobbies, relationships, inner strength, employment

 

AttachmentSize
employment-open-making_connections__veterans.pdf1.98 MB

Networking towards employment: Experiences of people who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleNetworking towards employment: Experiences of people who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractDespite research that has documented the powerful role of social networks for obtaining employment, only recently has this issue been explored for people with disabilities. Drawing on qualitative data gathered from 38 individuals with severe communication disabilities who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), this study explores the ways in which individuals who use AAC built and used their networks to search for and obtain employment. Thirty-four of the participants used network contacts in their search for employment. The use of "weak ties," such as colleagues and acquaintances, and participation in professional, disability-related, and social activities emerged as common mechanisms for developing job-related networks and for job searching. Networks were perceived as helping the participants overcome some barriers to obtaining employment and as enhancing the likelihood of obtaining flexible, meaningful, and satisfying jobs.
AuthorsCarey, Allison C., Potts Blyden B., Bryen Diane N., and Shankar Jui
Year of Publication2004
Date PublishedSpr
PublicationResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Volume29
Issue1
Pages40-52
ISSN0274-9483 (print), 1540-7969 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tash/rpsd
Reseach NotesThis article is not included in publisher link!
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), communication disorders, employment, female, human, job search, male, severe communication disabilities, social behaviour, speech-language therapy, US

The Speech Generating Device (SGD) Mentoring Program: Supporting the Development of People Learning to Use an SGD

TitleThe Speech Generating Device (SGD) Mentoring Program: Supporting the Development of People Learning to Use an SGD
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractMentoring in speech generating device (SGD) use by adults who use an SGD proficiently offers the potential to improve the device usage of people learning an SGD. The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of SGD mentoring on the mentees’ SGD usage. Three mentors, aged 23, 31, and 54 years, and three mentees, aged 13, 14, and 32 years, participated. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess the outcomes. Mentee conversation samples were analyzed for the number of total words, the number of different words, and the number of bound morphemes produced in mentoring sessions. Improvements were made in these measures across the mentees following commencement of mentoring sessions with a trained SGD mentor. These results provide preliminary evidence of SGD mentoring success.
AuthorsBallin, Liora, Balandin Susan, and Stancliffe Roger J.
Year of Publication2013
PublicationJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume25
Issue4
Pages437-459
ISSN1056-263X (print), 1573-3580 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10882-012-9322-0
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, conversation, language development, speech generating device

The speech generating device (SGD) mentoring programme: an evaluation by participants

TitleThe speech generating device (SGD) mentoring programme: an evaluation by participants
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: In this paper the perceptions of three mentors and three mentees who took part in a speech generating device (SGD) mentoring programme are presented. The aims of the study were to investigate the participants’ views on taking part in the mentoring programme and their satisfaction with the outcomes. Method: Information was gathered through semi-structured interviews with the six mentoring programme participants. Interview data were analysed for content themes. Results: Thematic analysis revealed six themes. Of these themes, five were identified in both the mentor and mentee’s data. These themes were: satisfaction with the SGD mentoring programme, mentee improvement in SGD use, the importance of a role model of SGD use, the SGD mentoring relationship as a helping relationship, and SGD mentoring contributes to mentor self-esteem. The remaining theme, mentors who use an SGD learn from the mentoring experience, was generated from the mentor’s data only. Conclusions: The results of this study provide initial evidence in support of mentoring among people who use an SGD. A total of five of the six participants perceived that people learning an SGD can benefit from SGD mentoring by experienced users of SGDs and agreed on a need for such mentoring programmes to improve SGD use.
AuthorsBallin, Liora, Balandin Susan, and Stancliffe Roger J.
Year of Publication2013
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume8
Issue3
Pages195-203
ISSN1748-3107 (print), 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2012.699586
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, cerebral palsy, qualitative analysis, speech generating device

advocacy

improving the lives of people who use AAC

Evaluating the Impact of AAC Interventions in Reducing Hospitalization-related Stress: Challenges and Possibilities

TitleEvaluating the Impact of AAC Interventions in Reducing Hospitalization-related Stress: Challenges and Possibilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractHospitalization is a stressful context for all children and their families, but especially for children with communication difficulties. Effective communication using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies can play a critical role in preparing and supporting everyone involved in such situations to have discussions that minimize insecurity, allow children to express their concerns, and so decrease negative stress and anxiety. However, there is a critical need to identify robust and reliable ways of evaluating the effectiveness of interventions that seek to achieve this aim. This research note illustrates some of the challenges and problems that require attention and suggests possible new research tools, for example, the use of physiological measures. The evaluation of an AAC intervention on a day surgery ward is described and used to illustrate one potential physiological measure for evaluating the impact of an intervention.
AuthorsThunberg, G., Törnhage C. - J., and Nilsson S.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume32
Issue2
Pages143-150
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2016.1157703
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, children, nurses, pictures & photographs – pictorial stimuli

Exploring Communication Assistants as an Option for Increasing Communication Access to Communities for People who use Augmentative Communication

TitleExploring Communication Assistants as an Option for Increasing Communication Access to Communities for People who use Augmentative Communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis paper describes the results of a one-year intervention project that aimed to (a) learn about the communication supports required by people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) when accessing their communities, (b) develop and implement a funded communication assistant service as an accessibility support option for people who use AAC when communicating in their communities, (c) evaluate the impact of the communication assistant service on community access for people who use AAC, and (d) make recommendations relating to the role of communication assistants as an option for increasing communication access for people who use AAC in their communities. Nine people who use AAC participated in this project. The findings suggest that the majority of participants experienced a range of communication barriers when communicating with people in their communities, and that the provision of trained communication assistants significantly increased (a) their ability to communicate and participate in their communities; (b) their feelings of dignity, empowerment, autonomy, and privacy, and (d) the quality of their community services. Unfamiliar communication partners reported increased satisfaction communicating with people who used AAC when a communication assistant was present. Implications and recommendations are made for the development of communication assistant services and further research.
AuthorsCollier, Barbara, McGhie-Richmond Donna, and Self Hazel
Year of Publication2010
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume26
Issue1
Pages48-59
ISSN0743-4618 (print); 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434610903561498
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adult, communication barriers, communication training, daily living

Patient Communication in Health Care Settings: new Opportunities for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

TitlePatient Communication in Health Care Settings: new Opportunities for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractDelivering quality health care requires effective communication between health care providers and their patients. In this article, we call on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) practitioners to offer their knowledge and skills in support of a broader range of patients who confront communication challenges in health care settings. We also provide ideas and examples about ways to prepare people with complex communication needs for the inevitable medical encounters that they will face. We argue that AAC practitioners, educators, and researchers have a unique role to play, important expertise to share, and an extraordinary opportunity to advance the profession, while positively affecting patient outcomes across the health care continuum for a large number of people.
AuthorsBlackstone, S. W., and Pressman H.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume32
Issue1
Pages69-79
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/07434618.2015.1125947
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, communication, communication barriers, nurses

The use of Talking Mats to support people with dementia and their carers to make decisions together

TitleThe use of Talking Mats to support people with dementia and their carers to make decisions together
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPolicy guidelines insist that people with dementia should be involved in decisions about key life choices and transitions. However, as dementia affects both cognitive and communication difficulties, it becomes increasingly difficult to do this, and innovative and effective ways to support people with dementia and their carers to interact with each other are needed. This project, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, examined if Talking Mats, a low-tech communication framework, could support family carers and people with dementia to discuss issues around daily living with each other. The fieldwork phase took place from September 2008 to May 2009. Eighteen couples (person with dementia and their family carer) from Scotland and the North of England were involved. The couples were visited in their own homes and asked to discuss together four topics (Personal Care; Getting Around; Housework; Activities) under two different conditions: (i) using the Talking Mats framework and (ii) using their usual communication methods (UCMs). After the interviews, each participant was asked separately to complete a short questionnaire (Involvement Measure), which included five questions to evaluate how involved s ⁄ he felt in each type of discussion and a final question to measure satisfaction with the overall discussion. The findings show that both people with dementia and their carers feel more involved in discussions about how they are managing their daily living when using the Talking Mats framework, compared with their UCM. They also feel more satisfied with the outcome of those discussions. The use of Talking Mats could result in increased well-being and positive adjustment to accepting increasing levels of care for people with dementia. In addition, it could improve the relationship between the person with dementia and family carers, if all involved feel that the views of the person with dementia and the family carer have truly been acknowledged.
AuthorsMurphy, Joan, and Oliver Tracey
Year of Publication2013
PublicationHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume21
Issue2
Pages171-180
ISSN0966-0410
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hsc.12005/pdf
Keywords (MeSH)communication, daily-living, decision-making, dementia

outcomes

A meta-analysis of single case research studies on aided augmentative and alternative communication systems with individuals with autism spectrum disorders

TitleA meta-analysis of single case research studies on aided augmentative and alternative communication systems with individuals with autism spectrum disorders
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractMany individuals with autism cannot speak or cannot speak intelligibly. A variety of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) approaches have been investigated. Most of the research on these approaches has been single-case research, with small numbers of participants. The purpose of this investigation was to meta-analyze the single case research on the use of aided AAC with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Twenty-four single-case studies were analyzed via an effect size measure, the Improvement Rate Difference (IRD). Three research questions were investigated concerning the overall impact of AAC interventions on targeted behavioral outcomes, effects of AAC interventions on individual targeted behavioral outcomes, and effects of three types of AAC interventions. Results indicated that, overall, aided AAC interventions had large effects on targeted behavioral outcomes in individuals with ASD. AAC interventions had positive effects on all of the targeted behavioral outcome; however, effects were greater for communication skills than other categories of skills. Effects of the Picture Exchange Communication System and speech-generating devices were larger than those for other picture-based systems, though picture-based systems did have small effects.
AuthorsGanz, Jennifer B., Earles-Vollrath Theresa L., Heath Amy K., Parker Richard I., Rispoli Mandy J., and Duran Jaime B.
Year of Publication2012
Date PublishedJan
PublicationJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume42
Issue1
Pages60-74
ISSN1573-3432
Publisher DOIhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-011-1212-2
Notes*FULL TEXT ARTICLE PROVIDED*
Keywords (MeSH)autism spectrum disorders (ASD), communication systems, human, intervention, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD)

An examination of relations between participation, communication and age in children with complex communication needs

TitleAn examination of relations between participation, communication and age in children with complex communication needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe aim of this study was to examine variation in the frequency of children's participation in out-of-school activities as a function of speech intelligibility, perceived effectiveness of the child's communication aid, and age. Sixty-nine caregivers of children with complex communication needs provided with communication aids completed a questionnaire survey. Rate of participation was higher for younger than for older children, particularly in recreational activities. Younger children with partial intelligibility participated more frequently in recreational and social activities than both younger children without speech and older children. Results and limitations are discussed within the context of participation research in childhood disability, highlighting the impact of communicative resources and maturation on everyday participation.
AuthorsClarke, Michael, Newton Caroline, Petrides Konstantinos, Griffiths Tom, Lysley Andrew, and Price Katie
Year of Publication2012
Date PublishedMar
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume28
Issue1
Pages44-51
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.653605
Keywords (MeSH)age - adolescence (13-17 yrs), age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - preschool (birth-6 yrs), age - school age (6-12 yrs), age - young adulthood (18-29 yrs), age factors, communication disorders, complex communication needs, female, human, male, participation, recreation, schools, social behaviour, speech intelligibility

Association between therapy outcome and right-hemispheric activation in chronic aphasia

TitleAssociation between therapy outcome and right-hemispheric activation in chronic aphasia
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe role of the right hemisphere for language processing and successful therapeutic interventions in aphasic patients is a matter of debate. This study explored brain activation in right-hemispheric areas and left-hemispheric perilesional areas in response to language tasks in chronic non-fluent aphasic patients before and after constraint-induced aphasia therapy (CIAT). In particular, we analysed the relation between brain responses and therapy outcome. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain activation was measured during word-reading (REA) and word-stem completion (COM) in 16 chronic non-fluent aphasic and 8 healthy subjects. Before therapy, activation in right inferior frontal gyrus/insula (IFG/IC) was stronger in aphasics compared to controls during REA and in precentral gyrus (PCG) during COM. Therapeutic intervention per se did not change brain activation for either task across all aphasic subjects. However, therapeutic success correlated with a relative decrease of activation in right-hemispheric areas, including the IFG/IC. Most importantly, initial activation in right IFG/IC and other right-hemispheric areas correlated positively with subsequent therapy success. Thus, right-hemispheric activation prior to aphasia therapy strongly predicts therapeutic success, suggesting that brain activation in chronic aphasia indicates the patients' potential for further language improvement.
AuthorsRichter, Maria, Miltner Wolfgang H., and Straube Thomas
Year of Publication2008
Date PublishedMay
PublicationBrain: A Journal of Neurology
Volume131
Issue5
Pages1391-1401
ISSN0006-8950 (print), 1460-2156 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/131/5/1391
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - aged (65 yrs & older), age - middle age (40-64 yrs), aphasia, brain, female, human, language processing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), male, rehabilitation, right-hemispheric activation, Speech & Language Therapy [3385], speech-language therapy, therapy outcome, therapy/intervention

Enhancing Participation in Employment Through AAC Technologies

TitleEnhancing Participation in Employment Through AAC Technologies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Type of WorkPeer Reviewed Journal
AbstractDespite significant challenges, there are a growing number of documented cases of employment success for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). We review recent research on employment and AAC, and discuss the results within a framework that describes what is known about the worker, the workplace, technology, and society in achieving employment success for individuals who use AAC. Information on goals for future research and technology development is also provided.
Year of Publication2002
Date Published2002
PublicationAssistive Technology
Volume14
Issue1
Pages58-70
ISSN1040-0435 (print), 1949-3614 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400435.2002.10132055
Keywords (MeSH)employment, occupational success, participation, technology

Learning Disability: A Life Cycle Approach To Valuing People

TitleLearning Disability: A Life Cycle Approach To Valuing People
Publication TypeBook
AbstractWhat kinds of discontinuities in their life experiences do people with learning disabilities and their families face over the life-cycle? How can people with learning disabilities and their families be helped to lead more valued, healthy and socially included lives throughout the life-cycle? How best can practitioners and others support people with learning disabilities to lead valued and healthy lives? The book is intended as a reader for diploma and undergraduate students. It describes the experiences of people with learning disabilities and their families from cradle to grave, that is over the entire life-cycle. Importantly, it gives prominence to the voice of people with learning disabilities and their families. By adopting a life-cycle approach it is possible to address key questions in people's lives, and suggest how many of these can be anticipated or overcome. Lessons for health and social care practitioners are reviewed.
AuthorsGrant, Gordon, Goward Peter, Richardson Malcolm, and Ramcharan Paul
Year of Publication2010
PublisherOpen University Press
Edition2nd Edn
ISBN9780335238439
Publisher DOIhttp://mcgraw-hill.co.uk/html/0335238432.html
Notes... the book draws heavily upon multidisciplinary perspectives and is based on the latest research and evidence for practice. The text is informed by medical, social and legal models of learning disability ... Extensive use is made of real-life case studies, designed to bring theory, values, policy and practice to life. Narrative chapters describe, in the words of people with learning disabilities themselves, their lives and aspirations.
Keywords (MeSH)learning disabilities, life-cycle

Long-term outcomes for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication: Part I – what is a “good” outcome?

TitleLong-term outcomes for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication: Part I – what is a “good” outcome?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Type of WorkResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
AbstractOver the past 20 years, there have been many advances in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Despite these advances, there are no data on the long-term outcomes of AAC interventions. This study evaluated the long-term outcomes for a group of seven young men (ages 19-23 years) who had used AAC systems for at least 15 years and were part of the first generation to have received AAC services since they were in preschool. Outcomes were measured in the following domains: (a) receptive language; (b) reading comprehension; (c) communicative interaction; (d) linguistic complexity; (e) functional communication; (f) educational and vocational achievement; (g) self-determination; and (h) quality of life. The outcomes for the group were diverse, with individual variations across all measures. Evaluation of the data raised many issues surrounding the challenges of outcomes measurement; these are discussed with suggestions for future research.
AuthorsLund, Shelley K., and Light Janice
Year of Publication2006
Date PublishedDec
PublicationAAC: Augmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume22
Issue4
Pages284-99
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610600718693
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), cerebral palsy (CP), communication, communication aids & disability, comprehension, education, employment, human, language, male, outcome assessment / measurement, personnel, quality of life, reading skills, research methods - questionnaires, speech

Non-electronic communication aids for people with complex communication needs

TitleNon-electronic communication aids for people with complex communication needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractNon-electronic communication aids provide one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for people with complex communication needs. The aim here was to explore non-electronic communication aids as one AAC option and research challenges. This aim was addressed by reviewing funding for the provision of AAC systems, data from an Australian pilot project providing non-electronic communication aids, an audit of aided AAC published studies (2000-2009), and discussion of the review literature. Combined, these sources indicate that although there is great demand for non-electronic communication aids, funding schemes, both in Australia and internationally, have focused on electronic communication aids. Such funding has usually failed to meet the total device costs and has not provided for adequate speech-language pathology support. Data from the pilot indicated the demand for non-electronic communication aids, and patterns suggest potential factors that govern the types selected. Despite the high demand for non-electronic aids, the research literature has tended to focus on electronic communication aids, including within intervention studies and addressing design features and long-term outcomes. Concerns about ensuring that AAC systems are chosen according to the assessed needs of individuals are discussed within the context of limitations in outcomes research and appropriate outcome measures.
AuthorsIacono, Teresa, Lyon Katie, and West Denise
Year of Publication2011
Date PublishedOct
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume13
Issue5
Pages399-410
ISSN1754-9507 (print), 1754-9515 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2011.482162
Keywords (MeSH)Australia, complex communication needs, human, non-electronic communication aids, special needs, speech-language therapy

Post-School Quality of Life for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Who Use AAC

TitlePost-School Quality of Life for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Who Use AAC
Publication TypeJournal Article
Type of WorkPeer Reviewed Journal
AbstractEven when augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions enhance the communication skills and educational achievements of students with complex communication needs while they are in school, there is no guarantee that these gains will be maintained following students' transition to adult life. Unfortunately, information on the post-school quality of life and related outcomes of individuals with complex communication needs is scarce. This study addressed this issue by examining the post-school outcomes of eight Canadian individuals with developmental disabilities who used AAC technology while they were in school. Two surveys were used to compile the data: the Quality of Life Profile: People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities (Renwick, Rudman, Raphael, & Brown, 1998) and a Communication Survey designed specifically for this study. Four of the participants and the people who knew them best also participated in brief interviews in which they discussed the positive and negative aspects of their school and post-school experiences. Results indicated that participant outcomes in important life domains were generally discouraging. A high positive correlation was found between quality of life and quality of communication scores, and participants who achieved relatively better outcomes showed evidence of higher communicative competence. However, the majority of participants and their supporters were very dissatisfied with the lack of AAC and other services that were available to them as young adults. The results are discussed in relation to outcomes for adults with development disabilities who use AAC and their implications for future research, practice, and advocacy efforts related to transition planning.
AuthorsMirenda, Pat, and Hamm Bruce
Year of Publication2006
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume22
Issue2
Pages134-147
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610500395493
Keywords (MeSH)communication skills, developmental disabilities, quality of life, schools

Terminology and notation in written representations of conversations with augmentative and alternative communication

TitleTerminology and notation in written representations of conversations with augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThere is a need for a continuous discussion about what terms one should use within the field of augmentative and alternative communication. When talking and thinking about people in their role as users of alternative communication forms, the terms should reflect their communicative ways and means, their achievements and what they are doing, rather than focus on what they cannot do. There are rather few articles analyzing utterance construction and dialogue processes involving children and adults using manual and graphic communication systems. The aim of this paper was to contribute to reviving the discussion of terminology and to more analyses of signing and aided communication and an increase in the use of conversation excerpts in the AAC Journal and elsewhere.
AuthorsVon Tetzchner, Stephen, and Basil Carmen
Year of Publication2011
Date PublishedSep
PublicationAAC: Augmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume27
Issue3
Pages141-9
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.610356
Keywords (MeSH)age - adulthood (18 yrs & older), age - preschool (birth-6 yrs), age - school age (6-12 yrs), communication aids & disability, communication methods, computer graphics, human, interpersonal relations, non verbal communication, sign language, speech perception, symbolism, terminology as topic, verbal behaviour, writing skills

Use of augmentative-alternative communications in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

TitleUse of augmentative-alternative communications in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often associated with oropharyngeal weakness, which impairs oral communication. Augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) is sometimes used to compensate for this deficit. We reviewed our experience in providing AAC services to individuals with ALS in order to identify characteristics that might predict successful outcomes. Medical records of twenty-four patients with ALS who completed AAC evaluations were reviewed. A difference was noted between users and nonusers of AAC devices when combined scales measuring oral communication and total functional abilities were utilized. Highly motivated patients with specific communication goals are most likely to benefit from AAC services. Prospective studies, including technology acceptance, are needed to identify the ALS patients who will successfully use AAC systems.
AuthorsZeitlin, Debra J., Abrams Gary M., and Shah Bk
Year of Publication1995
PublicationJ Neurol Rehabil
Volume9
Issue4
Pages217-20
ISSN1552-6844
Publisher DOIhttp://nnr.sagepub.com/content/9/4/217.abstract
Keywords (MeSH)amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

A Communication-Based Intervention for Nonverbal Children With Autism: What Changes? Who Benefits?

TitleA Communication-Based Intervention for Nonverbal Children With Autism: What Changes? Who Benefits?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsGordon, K., Pasco G., McElduff F., Wade A., Howlin P., and Charman T.
Year of Publication2011
PublicationJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume79
Issue4
Pages447-457
Publisher DOIhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21787048
Keywords (MeSH)age-school age (6-12yrs), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children, communication interventions, communication training, education, picture exchange

A Metasynthesis of Patient-Provider Communication in Hospital for Patients with Severe Communication Disabilities: Informing New Translational Research

TitleA Metasynthesis of Patient-Provider Communication in Hospital for Patients with Severe Communication Disabilities: Informing New Translational Research
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPoor patient–provider communication in hospital continues to be cited as a possible causal factor in preventable adverse events for patients with severe communication disabilities. Yet to date there are no reports of empirical interventions that investigate or demonstrate an improvement in communication in hospital for these patients. The aim of this review was to synthesize the findings of research into communication in hospital for people with severe communication disabilities arising from lifelong and acquired stable conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disability, aphasia following stroke, but excluding progressive condi¬tions and those solely related to sensory impairments of hearing or vision. Results revealed six core strategies suggested to improve communication in hospital: (a) develop services, systems, and policies that support improved communication, (b) devote enough time to communication, (c) ensure adequate access to communication tools (nurse call systems and communication aids), (d) access personally held written health information, (e) collaborate effectively with carers, spouses, and parents, and (f) increase the communicative competence of hospital staff. Currently there are no reports that trial or validate any of these strategies specifically in hospital settings. Observational and evaluative research is needed to investigate the ecological validity of strategies proposed to improve communication.
AuthorsHemsley, Bronwyn, and Balandin Susan
Year of Publication2014
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume30
Issue4
Pages329-343
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2014.955614
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, communication disabilities, meta-analysis, nurses, patients-patient satisfaction, policy & practice

A comparison of two approaches for representing AAC vocabulary for young children

TitleA comparison of two approaches for representing AAC vocabulary for young children
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: Young children with complex communication needs often experience difficulty in using currently available graphic symbol systems as a method of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Information on young children’s performance with graphic representations based on this population’s conceptualizations of these vocabulary items may assist in the development of more effective AAC systems. Method: This study developed Developmentally Appropriate Symbols (DAS) for 10 early emerging vocabulary concepts using procedures designed to address both conceptual and appeal issues for graphic representations for young children. Using a post-test only, between-subjects comparison group design, 40 typically-developing 2.5 – 3.5-year-old children were randomly assigned to receive a brief training in either of two different types of graphic symbol sets: (a) DAS or (b) Picture Communication Symbols (PCS), a, commercially available graphic symbol system. Result: Results of a two sample independent t -test provide evidence that children in the DAS condition correctly identified more symbols than children trained with the PCS symbols. There was no evidence of a preference between the symbol sets. Conclusion: The results provide support for careful consideration of children’s use and understanding of language in developing AAC systems for young children.
AuthorsWorah, S., McNaughton David, Light J., and Benedek-Wood E.
Year of Publication2015
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume17
Issue5
Pages460-469
ISSN1754-9507 (print) 1754-9515 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2014.987817
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-preschool, CCN, communication systems, graphical displays, research reports, young children

A grounded theory of Internet and social media use by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

TitleA grounded theory of Internet and social media use by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis paper presents a conceptual grounded theory for how young people with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), perceive using the Internet and social media. The aims of the research were to understand and contextualise their perceptions of access and use and explore implications for self-representation and social participation; to date literature on this topic is limited. Method: A constructivist grounded theory research approach concurrently collected and analysed interview data from 25 participants (aged 14–24 years) who use AAC and additional sources. Results: A conceptual grounded theory was developed around an emergent core category that showed young people who use AAC have a clear desire to use the Internet and social media. This was underpinned by eight supporting categories: reported use, described support, online challenges, access technology, speech generating device (SGD) issues, self-determination, self-representation and online social ties. Conclusion: The conceptual grounded theory supports understanding of facilitators and challenges to use of the Internet and social media by young people with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy who use AAC. The grounded theory illustrates how the desire to use the Internet and social media is based upon perceived benefits for enriching social relationships and enhancing opportunities for self-representation and self-determination that are synonymous with identified antecedents for community-based social inclusion. Some of the participants are engaging with the Internet and social media through collaborative practice and the implications for how this phenomenon may impact on orthographic literacy and the personal care workforce are raised.
AuthorsHynan, Amanda, Goldbart Juliet, and Murray Janice
Year of Publication2015
PublicationDisability & Rehabilitation
Volume37
Issue17
Pages1559-1579
ISSN0963-8288 (print) 1464-5165 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/09638288.2015.1056387
Keywords (MeSH)age-young adulthood, cerebral palsy (CP), communication media, computer technology, grounded theory, Internet, social behaviour

A survey of augmentative and alternative communication used in an inner city special school

TitleA survey of augmentative and alternative communication used in an inner city special school
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis study surveyed staff use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) within a large inner city special school for children with complex needs and learning disabilities. A questionnaire asked 72 staff members about the range of AAC strategies they typically used during the working day and how often they used it; training they had received about AAC; and which AAC approaches they found easy to use and those they found difficult. A range of AAC approaches were identified by staff. Participant confidence and understanding of the reasons for using identified AAC strategies was reported to be one of the key barriers to implementing AAC effectively. The implications in relation to how children with complex needs receive support for their receptive and expressive communication within an education environment are discussed.
AuthorsNorburn, K., Levin A., Morgan S., and Harding C.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationBritish Journal of Special Education
Volume43
Issue3
Pages289-306
ISSN0952-3383 (print) 1467-8578 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8578.12142/full
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, attitudes, autism (ASD), CCN, children, communication interventions, communication skills training, education, intellectual disability, multiple & severe disabilities, research methods-questionnaires, schools

AAC to Support Conversation in Persons with Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

TitleAAC to Support Conversation in Persons with Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractEven though we know that external memory aids support communication in Alzheimer’s disease, the components of the communication aids for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have not been studied systematically. The goal of these two pilot experiments was to examine differences in conversational performance of adults with Alzheimer’s disease related to the presence and absence of an aid, the type of symbol embedded in the aid, and the presence or absence of voice output. In Experiment 1, 30 adults with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease participated in 10- min conversations with and without personalized AAC boards. There was no effect of AAC, regardless of symbol type, and a deleterious effect of voice output. In Experiment 2, modified spaced retrieval training preceded conversations, standardized prompts were presented, and semantically-based dependent variables were examined. For the 11 participants in the second experiment, there was a significant effect of AAC, showing that the presence of AAC was associated with greater use of targeted words during personal conversations. We discuss new information about the contribution of AAC for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, and demonstrate how the applied research process evolves over the course of a long-term commitment to a scientific investigation.
AuthorsFried-Oken, Melanie, Rowland Charity, Daniels Darlene, Dixon Mayling, Fuller Bret, Mills Carolyn, Noethe Glory, Small Jeon, Still Kevin, and Oken Barry
Year of Publication2012
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume28
Issue4
Pages219-231
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2012.732610
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, acquired communication disorders, adults, conversation, dementia, lexical retrieval

Acceptance of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Technology by Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

TitleAcceptance of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Technology by Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractA review of the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology by 50 persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was completed over the course of 4 years. Ninety six percent of the participants in this study accepted AAC technology, either immediately (90%) or after some delay (6%), and only 4% (n=2) rejected AAC technology. None of the participants discontinued use of their AAC technology. Reasons for acceptance decisions were discussed in interviews with study participants and the results are presented.
AuthorsBall, Laura J., Beukelman David R., and Pattee Gary L.
Year of Publication2004
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume20
Issue2
Pages113-122
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0743461042000216596
Keywords (MeSH)AAC acquired communication disorders, adults, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), communication aids, neurological disorders

Adolescence and AAC: Intervention Challenges and Possible Solutions

TitleAdolescence and AAC: Intervention Challenges and Possible Solutions
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAdolescence is a unique developmental period, spanning the gulf between childhood and adulthood. For adolescents who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), the major physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional changes associated with adolescence may have significant implications for their use of AAC. These challenges are reviewed here, and it is suggested that effective interventions targeting the needs of adolescents who use AAC address four main areas: social networks; peer relationships; language needs, particularly vocabulary; and curriculum access, including literacy development. It is proposed that interventions that harness the group connectedness of adolescents and that focus on preparing adolescents for the next life stage are most likely to be successful.
AuthorsSmith, M. M.
Year of Publication2015
PublicationCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Volume36
Issue2
Pages112-118
ISSN1525-7401 (print) 1538-4837 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://cdq.sagepub.com/content/36/2/112.abstract
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-adolescence (13-17yrs), intervention, literacy, peer group, speech-language pathologists, vocabulary

An Analysis of Reading and Spelling Abilities of Children Using AAC: Understanding a Continuum of Competence

TitleAn Analysis of Reading and Spelling Abilities of Children Using AAC: Understanding a Continuum of Competence
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe over-representation of reading and spelling difficulties in children with complex communication needs has been well documented. However, most of the studies reported have indicated that at least some children using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can achieve and demonstrate effective literacy skills, highlighting the heterogeneity of this group. This paper presents findings from a cross-linguistic study of 14 Swedish and 14 Irish children with cerebral palsy who use AAC, outlining their performance on a range of phonological awareness, reading, and spelling tasks developed for the purposes of the study. All participants were referred to the study as functioning in the average range of intellectual ability. Of the 28 participants, eight were classified as good readers, on the basis of their success on tasks involving connected text; while 10 presented with single-word reading skills; and 10 were categorized as non-readers. This paper explores the similarities and differences within and across these groups, in terms of associated skills and experiences. While analyses of group data suggests some common abilities and difficulties, exploration of individual profiles highlights the heterogeneity of the participants’ profiles, suggesting a need for detailed individual assessment and interventions.
AuthorsSandberg, Annika Dahlgren, Smith Martine, and Larsson Maria
Year of Publication2010
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume26
Issue3
Pages191-202
ISSN0743-4618 (print); 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2010.505607
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, cerebral palsy, children, complex communication needs, literacy

An Investigation of Aided Language Stimulation: Does it Increase AAC Use with Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs?

TitleAn Investigation of Aided Language Stimulation: Does it Increase AAC Use with Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Complex Communication Needs?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractA single subject ABAB design was used to determine the efficacy of aided language stimulation to teach the use of AAC techniques to adults with developmental disabilities. Sixteen participants were divided into two equal groups. In each group, half of the participants were able to communicate functionally using spoken language and half had complex communication needs and did not have functional, symbolic communication systems. Each group met twice weekly for 30 min per session. Researchers modelled the use of AAC and followed scripts during music-based interventions. Sessions focused on social greetings, choosing songs to play, learning words and movements for the songs, and discussing the songs. Participants were encouraged to interact with each other and to facilitate each other's communications. Results suggest that responsiveness and use of AAC increased for all participants with complex communication needs.
AuthorsBeck, Ann, Stoner Julia, and Dennis Marcia
Year of Publication2009
PublicationAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume25
Issue1
Pages42-54
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434610802131059
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adults, CCN, developmental disabilities, models

An exploration of pain-related vocabulary: implications for AAC use with children

TitleAn exploration of pain-related vocabulary: implications for AAC use with children
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractChildren with significant communication difficulties who experience pain need appropriate means to communicate their pain in order to receive appropriate treatment. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies could be used to enable children to self-report pain. The aim of this research study was to identify the common vocabulary children with typical development use to describe physical pain experiences and develop and socially validate an appropriate pain-related vocabulary list for children who use or could benefit from using AAC. A sequential, exploratory, mixed method design was employed. This paper focuses on the quantitative phase. A set of scenarios was developed to gather pain-related vocabulary appropriate for children aged 6;0–7;11 (years; months) and children aged 8;0–9;11, from 74 children, 61 parents, and 56 teachers. Some 629 pain-related words or phrases were suggested and then classified into seven categories. A composite list of the 84 most frequently occurring pain-related vocabulary items was compiled and socially validated by three adults who used AAC. They emphasized the need to individualize vocabulary and provided suggestions for vocabulary organization for display on any type of AAC system. Despite similarities in the categories of words offered by the various respondent groups, the differences underscore the importance of more than one perspective (particularly that of children and adults) in generating a comprehensive vocabulary list.
AuthorsJohnson, E., Bornman J., and Tönsing K. M.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volumeon-line
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434618.2016.1233998
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, CCN, child language, children, parents, vocabulary

An exploration of pain-related vocabulary: implications for AAC use with children

TitleAn exploration of pain-related vocabulary: implications for AAC use with children
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractChildren with significant communication difficulties who experience pain need appropriate means to communicate their pain in order to receive appropriate treatment. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies could be used to enable children to self-report pain. The aim of this research study was to identify the common vocabulary children with typical development use to describe physical pain experiences and develop and socially validate an appropriate pain-related vocabulary list for children who use or could benefit from using AAC. A sequential, exploratory, mixed method design was employed. This paper focuses on the quantitative phase. A set of scenarios was developed to gather pain-related vocabulary appropriate for children aged 6;0–7;11 (years; months) and children aged 8;0–9;11, from 74 children, 61 parents, and 56 teachers. Some 629 pain-related words or phrases were suggested and then classified into seven categories. A composite list of the 84 most frequently occurring pain-related vocabulary items was compiled and socially validated by three adults who used AAC. They emphasized the need to individualize vocabulary and provided suggestions for vocabulary organization for display on any type of AAC system. Despite similarities in the categories of words offered by the various respondent groups, the differences underscore the importance of more than one perspective (particularly that of children and adults) in generating a comprehensive vocabulary list.
AuthorsJohnson, E., Bornman J., and Tönsing K. M.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volumeon-line
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434618.2016.1233998
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, CCN, child language, children, parents, vocabulary

Augmentative and alternative communication in daily clinical practice: strategies and tools for management of severe communication disorders

TitleAugmentative and alternative communication in daily clinical practice: strategies and tools for management of severe communication disorders
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractResearch indicates that augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) approaches can be used effectively by patients and their caregivers to improve communication skills. This article highlights strategies and tools for re-establishing communication competence by considering the complexity and diversity of communication interactions in an effort to maximize natural speech and language skills via a range of technologies that are implemented across the continuum of care rather than as a last resort.
AuthorsFrankoff, Denise, and Hatfield Brooke
Year of Publication2011
PublicationTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Volume18
Issue2
Pages112-119
ISSN1074-9357 (print); 1945-5119 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21447459
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, acquired communication disorders, adults, aphasia

Augmentative and alternative communication supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders

TitleAugmentative and alternative communication supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractMany adults with autism spectrum disorders have complex communication needs and may benefit from the use of augmentative and alternative communication. However, there is a lack of research examining the specific communication needs of these adults, let alone the outcomes of interventions aimed at addressing them. The aim of this study was to explore the views and experiences of support workers and family members regarding the outcomes of providing low technology communication aids to adults with autism spectrum disorders. The participants were six support workers and two family members of six men and women with autism spectrum disorders, who had received low-technology communication aids. Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews and following thematic analysis, the results revealed strong support for, and the potential benefits of, augmentative and alternative communication for both adults with autism spectrum disorders and their communication partners. The results also revealed inconsistencies in the actions taken to support the use of the prescribed augmentative and alternative communication systems, pointing to the clinical need to address common barriers to the provision of augmentative and alternative communication support. These barriers include organisational practices and limitations in the knowledge and skills of key stakeholders, as well as problematic attitudes.
AuthorsTrembath, David, Iacono Teresa, Lyon Katie, West Denise, and Johnson Hilary
Year of Publication2014
PublicationAutism
Volume18
Issue8
Pages891-902
ISSN1362-3613 (print), 1461-7005 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://aut.sagepub.com/content/18/8/891
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adults, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), CCN, parents

Caregiver Perceptions of Children who have Complex Communication Needs Following a Home-based Intervention Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Rural Kenya: An Intervention Note

TitleCaregiver Perceptions of Children who have Complex Communication Needs Following a Home-based Intervention Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Rural Kenya: An Intervention Note
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractA high level of unmet communication need exists amongst children with developmental disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated preliminary evidence of the impact associated with a home-based, caregiver-implemented intervention employ¬ing AAC methods, with nine children in rural Kenya who have complex communication needs. The intervention used mainly locally-sourced low-tech materials, and was designed to make use of the child’s strengths and the caregiver’s natural expertise. A pretest-posttest design was used in the study. Data were gathered using an adapted version of the Communication Profile, which was based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) framework. The non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test was applied to data from the first two sections of the Communication Profile-Adapted. Qualitative analysis was conducted on the final section. The data provided evidence of statistically significant positive changes in caregiver perceptions of communication at the levels of Body Structure and Function, and Activities for Communication. Also, analysis of the Participation for Communication section revealed some expansion to the children’s social activities. The potential impact of the home-based intervention would benefit from investigation on a larger scale. Limitations of the study are discussed.
AuthorsBunning, Karen, Gona Joseph K., Newton Charles R., and Hartley Sally
Year of Publication2014
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume30
Issue4
Pages344-356
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2014.970294
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, children, developmental conditions, family

Communication Opportunities for Elementary School Students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

TitleCommunication Opportunities for Elementary School Students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAugmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems serve as the primary communication mode for many students with complex communication needs. The aim of this study was to describe the naturally occurring communication opportunities of students using AAC systems. We observed 23 students for a total of 117 hours across general education, special education, and non-academic settings. For each communication event, we recorded the setting, communication partner, student communication mode, availability of the AAC system, independent or prompted responses, and the consequence. Communication events primarily occurred with adults and very few spontaneous initiations were observed. On average, students were presented with 17 opportunities to respond per hour. However, in nearly half of these opportunities, students did not have access to their AAC system. Results from our observations indicated more deliberate efforts are needed to ensure students have appropriate access and opportunity to use AAC systems across school environments. Publication type: Journal article
AuthorsAndzik, N. R., Chung Y. - C., and Kranack M. P.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volume32
Issue4
Pages272-281
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434618.2016.1241299
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age (6-12 yrs), CCN, children, communication, communication interventions, developmental disabilities, education, schools speech generating device (SGD)

Communication aid requirements of intensive care unit patients with transient speech loss

TitleCommunication aid requirements of intensive care unit patients with transient speech loss
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAlert and transiently nonvocal intensive care unit (ICU) patients are dependent on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Unfortunately, the literature demonstrates that existent AAC devices have not been widely adopted, and unaided methods are often the primary modalities used despite being insufficient, and frustrating. We present the results of a qualitative semi-structured interview study with 8 ex-ICU patients, 4 ICU patient relatives, and 6 ICU staff, exploring their AAC needs and requirements. Participants identified important AAC hardware, software, and content requirements. Salient factors impacting on AAC adoption in the ICU setting were also highlighted and included the need for staff training and bedside patient assessment. Based on the study results, we propose a series of recommendations regarding the design and implementation of future AAC tools specifically targeted at this group.
AuthorsMobasheri, M. H., King D., Judge S., Arshad F., Larsen M., Safarfashandi Z., Shah H., Trepeki A., Trikha S., Xylas D., Brett S. J., and Darzai A.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volume32
Issue4
Section261-271
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2016.1235610
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adults, attitudes, communication methods, intensive care unit (ICU), patients-patient satisfaction, qualitative analysis, research reports

Communication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age

TitleCommunication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: Adults with cerebral palsy (CP) experience multiple, functional changes as they age, including changes to communication modes and methods that enable development and maintenance of relationships, communicative participation and quality-of-life. Little is known about the nature of communication changes experienced by this group. The aim of this study was to better understand how adults with CP experience changes in their communication abilities as they age and the subsequent psychosocial impact. Method: Twenty adults with cerebral palsy aged 40–72 years with complex communication needs (CCN) participated in a series of in-depth interviews, framing their experiences of loss and grief throughout their lives. The impact of changing communication abilities emerged as an important area of focus. Data were analysed using constructivist grounded theory methodology. Result: Themes arising from the participants’ perceptions of their communication included experiencing communication change as a loss with subsequent impact on self-concept; and how communication is integral to the process of managing losses associated with older age. Conclusion: Implications for speech-language pathologists working with older people with cerebral palsy and CCN include the need to understand the psychosocial impact of communication changes on social interaction, relationships and communicative participation. It is important to promote positive and meaningful communication options that maintain a coherent sense of self in addition to promoting functional communication skills and communicative participation.
AuthorsDark, L. J., Clemson L., and Balandin S.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume18
Issue6
Pages521-532
ISSN1754-9507 (print) 1754-9515 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3109/17549507.2016.1143976
Keywords (MeSH)adults, age factors, cerebral palsy (CP), communication, communication aids, research reports

Communicative participation changes in pre-school children receiving augmentative and alternative communication intervention

TitleCommunicative participation changes in pre-school children receiving augmentative and alternative communication intervention
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: This paper reports changes in communicative participation skills — systematically measured and described — in an empirical observational case series of eight children receiving augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions. Method: The eight children (seven boys, one girl), ranging from 1 year 4 months to 4 years 11 months (mean _ 2.8 years; SD _ 1.32 years) received varied AAC interventions (i.e. sign language, assistive technology, PECS), averaging 15 hours of treatment over a 12-month period. Parents completed an outcome measure (FOCUS) three times: at the start, mid-point (6 months) and end of the intervention period (after 12 months). They also completed the ASQ-SE at the start and end of intervention. Result: FOCUS scores increased over the treatment interval, indicating improvement in real-world communication skills as observed by their parents. The ASQ-SE items that pertained to communication also improved, while the items that did not correspond to communication did not. This divergence suggests that the communicative participation improvements resulted from treatment rather than general developmental gains. The largest improvements were noted in receptive language/listening, pragmatics and social/play skills. Improvements in intelligibility were also measured for several children. Conclusion: These results suggest that AAC intervention facilitated improvements in communicative participation skills in pre-school children.
AuthorsThomas-Stonell, Nancy, Robertson Bernadette, Oddson Bruce, and Rosenbaum Peter
Year of Publication2015
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
VolumeOnline
ISSN1754-9507 (print) 1754-9515 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2015.1060530
Keywords (MeSH)age-preschool, augmentative and alternative communication, children, communication interventions, outcome assessment/measurement, participation

Comparing Acquisition, Generalization, Maintenance, and Preference Across Three AAC Options in Four Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

TitleComparing Acquisition, Generalization, Maintenance, and Preference Across Three AAC Options in Four Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractWe compared acquisition, generalization, maintenance, and preference for three AAC options. Four children with autism spectrum disorder were taught to use (a) a manual sign, (b) a picture exchange card, and (c) a speech-generating device to request toys. Intervention was staggered across children in a delayed multiple-probe design with acquisition and maintenance compared in an alternating treatments design. Generalization to new settings and people and preference for using each option were assessed. Three of the four children reached the acquisition criterion with each AAC option in 15 to 65 trials. One child learned to use the speech-generating device and picture exchange card in 20 and 40 trials, respectively, but failed to learn the manual sign. Two children showed generalization across settings and people with picture exchange and the speech-generating device and one child showed generalization with all three options. One child showed generalization across settings with the picture exchange card. Maintenance was relatively better with the speech-generating device and picture exchange card and the children most often chose the speech-generating device during the preference assessments. The results suggest comparable acquisition, but better generalization and maintenance with AAC options that involve selecting a graphic symbol.
AuthorsMcLay, Laurie, van der Meer Larah, Schafer Martina C. M., Couper Llyween, McKenzie Emma, O’Reilly Mark F., Lancioni Giulio E., Marschik Peter B., Green Vanessa A., Sigafoos Jeff, and Sutherland Dean
Year of Publication2015
PublicationJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume27
Issue3
Pages323-339
ISSN1056-263X (print) 1573-3580 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10882-014-9417-x
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative & alternative communication, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children, picture exchange, sign language, speech generating device (SGD)

Designing AAC Research and Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs

TitleDesigning AAC Research and Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThere is a rapidly growing body of research that demonstrates the positive effects of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention on the communication of children and adults with complex communication needs. Despite the positive impact of many AAC interventions, however, many individuals with complex communication needs continue to experience serious challenges participating in educational, vocational, healthcare, and community environments. In this paper, we apply the framework proposed by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to illustrate the need to re-think AAC intervention to improve outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs, and to foster a new generation of intervention research that will provide a solid foundation for improved services. Specifically, the paper emphasizes the need to take a more holistic view of communication intervention and highlights the following key principles to guide AAC intervention and research: (a) build on the individual’s strengths and focus on the integration of skills to maximize communication, (b) focus on the individual’s participation in real-world contexts, (c) address psychosocial factors as well as skills, and (d) attend to extrinsic environmental factors as well as intrinsic factors related to the individual who requires AAC.
AuthorsLight, Janice, and McNaughton David
Year of Publication2015
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume31
Issue2
Pages85-96
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2015.1036458
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adults, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aphasia, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), CCN, cerebral palsy, children, complex communication needs, ICF, intellectual disability, outcome assessment/measurement

Early Augmented Language Intervention for Children with Developmental Delays: Potential Secondary Motor Outcomes

TitleEarly Augmented Language Intervention for Children with Developmental Delays: Potential Secondary Motor Outcomes
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis exploratory study examined the potential secondary outcome of an early augmented language intervention that incorporates speech-generating devices (SGD) on motor skill use for children with developmental delays. The data presented are from a longitudinal study by Romski and colleagues. Toddlers in the augmented language interventions were either required (Augmented Communication-Output; AC-O) or not required (Augmented Communication-Input; AC-I) to use the SGD to produce an augmented word. Three standardized assessments and five event-based coding schemes measured the participants’ language abilities and motor skills. Toddlers in the AC-O intervention used more developmentally appropriate motor movements and became more accurate when using the SGD to communicate than toddlers in the AC-I intervention. AAC strategies, interventionist/parent support, motor learning opportunities, and physical feedback may all contribute to this secondary benefit of AAC interventions that use devices.
AuthorsWhitmore, Ani S., Romski Mary Ann, and Sevcik Rose A.
Year of Publication2014
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume30
Issue3
Pages200-212
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2014.940466
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, developmental disabilities, early intervention, motor development, preschool children, speech generating device (SGD), young children

Effects of synthetic speech output on requesting and natural speech production in children with autism: A preliminary study

TitleEffects of synthetic speech output on requesting and natural speech production in children with autism: A preliminary study
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractRequesting is often taught as an initial target during augmentative and alternative communication intervention in children with autism. Speech-generating devices are purported to have advantages over non-electronic systems due to their synthetic speech output. On the other hand, it has been argued that speech output, being in the auditory modality, may not be compatible with the processing preferences of learners with autism. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether five children with autism and little or no functional speech learn to request more efficiently when provided with speech output during instruction (SPEECH condition) rather than without speech output (NOSPEECH condition). A secondary purpose was to monitor changes in natural speech production. An adapted alternating treatments design was used to evaluate the relative effectiveness and efficiency of both conditions. The results showed frequent requesting under both conditions. Two students requested more effectively with speech output and one student requested more effectively without speech output while there was no difference for the remaining two students. In terms of elicited vocalizations, only one student showed some improvement. The other children did not show any improvement in natural speech production. These data extend previous research on the effects of speech output on requesting in children with autism.
AuthorsSchlosser, R. W., Sigafoos J., Luiselli J. K., Angermeier K., Harasymowyz U., Schooley K., and Belfiore P. J.
Year of Publication2007
PublicationResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume1
Issue2
Pages139-163
ISSN1750-9467 (print) 1878-0237 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1750946706000134
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, autism, children, developmental disabilities, research reports, speech generating device (SGD)

Experiences of adults with complex communication needs receiving and using low tech AAC: an Australian context

TitleExperiences of adults with complex communication needs receiving and using low tech AAC: an Australian context
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: We explored the experiences of adults who received aids through the Non-Electronic Communication Aids Scheme (NECAS). Methods: Fifteen adults aged 21–74 years, with complex communication needs (nine males) associated with developmental (n=10) or acquired disabilities (n=5) who received NECAS aids, and 12 support people participated. Interviews provided data for thematic analysis. Results: Participants used multi-modalities, reflecting that there is more than one way to communicate, but differed in using their augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aids according to time and place. How NECAS and other forms of AAC, including electronic devices, were meeting communication needs varied, and reviewing needs was needed. Participants reported being empowered through reducing frustration, increasing independence and facilitating relationships. There were varied preferences for low versus high tech, according to speed of communication and tolerance for breakdowns. They differed in being concerned about what other people think when aids were used in the community, and reactions and attitudes of others. Owning the process emerged through varying degrees of participation in developing and updating their NECAS and other aids. Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of the benefits of multimodal options, consumer-desired outcomes in research into the effectiveness of AAC and need for ongoing supports.
AuthorsIacono, Teresa, Lyon Katie, Johnson Hilary, and West Denise
Year of Publication2013
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume8
Issue5
Pages392-401
ISSN1748-3107 (print), 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2013.769122
Keywords (MeSH)AAC acquired communication disorders, complex communication needs, developmental disabilities, outcome assessment/measurement, qualitative analysis

Eye gaze technology: a South African perspective

TitleEye gaze technology: a South African perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: Based on the bioecological model by Bronfenbrenner, this paper will provide a broad perspective on factors that need to be taken into account in order to facilitate communication and participation in preliterate children making use of electronic Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems accessed through eye gaze. Method: Two case studies of children who have been provided with the technology described are presented. The case studies were analysed using the four nested systems of the ecology as a framework to describe not only the environment, but also the processes and interactions between the persons and their context. Results: Risk and opportunity factors are evident at all levels of the ecology. Conclusions: While a good fit between the person and the technology is an essential starting point, additional factors pertaining to the partner, the immediate environment as well as meso-, exo- and macrosystemic issues (such as societal attitudes and funding sources) have a significant influence on benefits derived. In resource-limited environments, the lack of support at more distal levels of the ecology (meso-, exo- and marosystemic levels) seems to be a factor that differentiates these environments from more resourced ones. Implications for Rehabilitation • Within resource-limited environments lack of support from wider ecological systems pose a risk to the implementation of eye gaze technology. • Attempts to improve collaboration between all role players could provide the opportunity for the establishment of an integrated plan for intervention and set the stage for information sharing and multiskilling between role players. • Intervention should not only be aimed at addressing the needs of the individual client and their family, but also focus on building community capacity that could provide support to others.
Authorsvan Niekerk, Karin, and Tönsing Kerstin
Year of Publication2015
PublicationDisability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume10
Issue4
Pages340-346
ISSN1748-3107 (print) 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2014.974222
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative & alternative communication (AAC), cerebral palsy (CP), children, developmental conditions, early intervention, family, technology

Gaze-based assistive technology used in daily life, by children with severe physical impairments – parents’ experiences

TitleGaze-based assistive technology used in daily life, by children with severe physical impairments – parents’ experiences
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractObjective: To describe and explore parents’ experiences when their children with severe physical impairments receive gaze-based assistive technology (gaze-based assistive technology (AT)) for use in daily life. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted twice, with one year in between, with parents of eight children with cerebral palsy that used gaze-based AT in their daily activities. To understand the parents’ experiences, hermeneutical interpretations were used during data analysis. Results: The findings demonstrate that for parents, children’s gaze-based AT usage meant that children demonstrated agency, provided them with opportunities to show personality and competencies, and gave children possibilities to develop. Overall, children’s gaze-based AT provides hope for a better future for their children with severe physical impairments; a future in which the children can develop and gain influence in life. Conclusion: Gaze-based AT provides children with new opportunities to perform activities and take initiatives to communicate, giving parents hope about the children’s future.
AuthorsBorgestig, M., Rytterström P., and Hemmingsson H.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation
Volumeonline
ISSN1751-8423 (print) 1751-8431 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17518423.2016.1211769
Keywords (MeSH)cerebral palsy (CP), children, complex communication needs, family, motor skills disorders, qualitative analysis, technology

Happy and excited: Perceptions of using digital technology and social media by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleHappy and excited: Perceptions of using digital technology and social media by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractYoung people are using digital technology and online social media within their everyday lives to enrich their social relationships. The UK government believes that using digital technology can improve social inclusion. One well-recognized outcome measure for establishing social inclusion is to examine opportunities for self-determination. Individuals with physical disabilities and complex communication needs who use forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) have lower social participation opportunities. The integration of mainstream digital technology into high-tech forms of AAC (voice output communication aids), and the recent appearance of voice output applications, or ‘apps’, on Apple and Android products, has provided increased opportunities for people who use AAC to engage with digital technology. Research exploring this area, especially in regard to online social media, with people who use AAC is extremely limited, and a specific gap for self-reported experiences exists within the UK. This article describes qualitative, interview-based, grounded theory research with 25 adolescents and young adults who use AAC about their use of digital technology and online social media. The data presented here are part of a larger study, and the findings within this article suggest that participants have a desire to use the internet and online social media as it is perceived to increase opportunities for self-determination and self-representation whilst enriching friendships. The wide diversity of literacy and language skills amongst participants, as well as accessibility challenges, mean collaborating with others and receiving technical support from educational settings, families and friends are vital.
AuthorsHynan, Amanda, Murray Janice, and Goldbart Juliet
Year of Publication2014
PublicationChild Language Teaching and Therapy
Volume30
Issue2
Pages175-186
ISSN0265-6590 (print), 1477-0865 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://clt.sagepub.com/content/30/2/175
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-adolescence, age-young adulthood (18-29yrs), CCN, communication aids, computer applications, computer technology, grounded theory, participation, quality of life, research methods-questionnaires, social behaviour

Incorporating AAC and General Instructional Strategies in Requesting Interventions: A Case Study in Down Syndrome

TitleIncorporating AAC and General Instructional Strategies in Requesting Interventions: A Case Study in Down Syndrome
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis article provides clinicians and educators a useful conceptualization of general instructional strategies often used to promote the performance of requests in children with developmental disabilities, and which can be applied in interventions that utilize augmentative and alternative communication. A case study illustrates the specialized intervention of a 7-yearold boy with Down syndrome taught to make requests using a picture-based strategy. The intervention describes how environmental arrangement and generalized cues were used to promote spontaneous communicative attempts during a reinforcing social-communicative context, and explains how prompting and modeling were used to facilitate the performance of effective communication behaviors across multiple requesting opportunities. Following the intervention, the child showed significant increases in his use of functional communication, with collateral gains in speech, as demonstrated by the performance of requests. These results are discussed within the context of the extant research. Relevant practical considerations for clinicians and educators are provided.
AuthorsLanter, E., Russell S. D., Kuriakose A., and Blevins K. E.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Volume38
Issue1
Pages52-63
ISSN1525-7401 (print) 1538-4837 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://cdq.sagepub.com/content/38/1/52
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, cognitive development, developmental disability, intervention, speech, syndrome

Introducing the therapy outcome measure for AAC services in the context of a review of other measures

TitleIntroducing the therapy outcome measure for AAC services in the context of a review of other measures
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: This article discusses the importance of outcome measures in improving Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services, reviews existing methods and introduces a new approach. Method: Three methods were used in this study. 1. A literature review identifying outcome measures used in AAC research. 2. A questionnaire to AAC services in the UK which aimed to identify the objectives of their services and the outcome measures commonly used. 3. A working group of AAC experts provided additional information and interpretation. Central properties and conceptual framework were considered. Results: The literature review and questionnaire identified 23 outcome measures none of which cover the conceptual frameworks associated with all of the overall objectives of AAC provision. The review has informed the further development of a particular outcome measure the AAC Therapy Outcome Measure (AAC TOM) ensuring that basic principles of the International Classification of Functioning (ICFWHO) are retained and the measure can be used in benchmarking. Conclusion: An outcome measure needs to reflect change associated with service delivery. AAC services endeavour to impact on all of the domains of the ICF. A new measure is required in order to reflect the nature of these services. This article introduces an outcome measure which is in the process of being trialled by some services in the UK.
AuthorsEnderby, Pam
Year of Publication2014
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume9
Issue1
Pages33-40
ISSN1748-3107 (print), 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2013.823576
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, assessment, ICF, outcome assessment/measurement

Language Acquisition in Young AAC System Users: Issues and directions for future research

TitleLanguage Acquisition in Young AAC System Users: Issues and directions for future research
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis paper explores three questions regarding the development of language in young children with severe speech impairments who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The first question relates to how the process of language learning through augmented modes unfolds. In attempting to address this question, two issues are discussed: (1) the need for developing a methodology to describe this unfolding and (2) the impact of voice output communication aids (VOCAs) with pre-stored messages on this unfolding. The second question relates to the theoretical constructs underlying this process. An example of applying a model of normal language acquisition in conjunction with Vygotsky’s construct of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) to the longitudinal study of language acquisition in a child is provided. The final question pertains to the conditions that may best facilitate the language acquisition process. One particular natural context, that of interactive storybook reading, is examined as a means of promoting the development of early literacy and related language skills. Directions for future research are discussed throughout the paper.
AuthorsBedrosian, Jan
Year of Publication1997
PublicationAAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume13
Issue3
Pages179-185
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434619712331277998
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, language acquisition, speech disorders

Language Development of Individuals Who Require Aided Communication: Reflections on State of the Science and Future Research Directions

TitleLanguage Development of Individuals Who Require Aided Communication: Reflections on State of the Science and Future Research Directions
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractLanguage acquisition theories differ in the importance they assign to production as a learning mechanism. This review summarizes some of the theoretical issues linked to this debate and considers their implications for children with severe speech and physical impairments. The unique aspects of the language-learning contexts of these children are explored. Drawing largely on papers published within the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication, this review summarizes features of language development that have been described over the past 3 decades and considers how these findings might illuminate our understanding of language development across both spoken and aided modalities. Implications for assessment, intervention and for further research are suggested.
AuthorsSmith, Martine
Year of Publication2015
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume31
Issue3
Pages215-233
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477- 3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2015.1062553
Keywords (MeSH)augmented communication, child language, children, communication systems, language acquisition

Learning to use the Internet and online social media: What is the effectiveness of home-based intervention for youth with complex communication needs?

TitleLearning to use the Internet and online social media: What is the effectiveness of home-based intervention for youth with complex communication needs?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractYouth with complex communication needs (CCN) face increased barriers to their social participation due to limited communication abilities and opportunities. Youth today use the internet as a social tool and youth with CCN may also benefit from internet use to increase their social participation. Five youth between the ages of 10–18 with CCN who are unable to use speech for everyday communication and require augmentative and alternative communication were provided with assistive technology and a tailored 1:1 intervention at home to learn to use the internet for connecting with others. Pre and post assessments measured changes in performance on internet use goals, social networks, loneliness and self-concept. Multiple measures were used to examine the impact of internet use for social networking on a range of outcomes and to gather emerging evidence in this area. Results showed that the intervention was effective in increasing performance and satisfaction with goals for increasing internet use to connect with others and for increasing the number of online communication partners. There was no significant change in loneliness or self-concept. This study shows that the internet may be a viable tool in increasing the social participation of youth with CCN. However, some youth and their families required intensive support and technical assistance to gain confidence in internet use and in use for social purposes.
AuthorsGrace, Emma, Raghavendra Parimala, Newman Lareen, Wood Denise, and Connell Tim
Year of Publication2014
PublicationChild Language Teaching and Therapy
Volume30
Issue2
Pages141-157
ISSN0265-6590 (print), 1477-0865 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://clt.sagepub.com/content/30/2/141
Keywords (MeSH)age-adolescence, complex communication needs, Internet, intervention

Long-term effects of PECS on social–communicative skills of children with autism spectrum disorders: a follow-up study

TitleLong-term effects of PECS on social–communicative skills of children with autism spectrum disorders: a follow-up study
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a popular augmentative communication system frequently used with ‘nonverbal’ children with autism. Several studies suggested that PECS could represent an effective tool for promoting improvement of several social–communicative skills. Only sparse evidence is instead available on the long-term effectiveness of this treatment system. Aims: To test the long-term effects of PECS, for which a follow-up study was conducted by assessing social–communicative skills in nonverbal preschool children with autism after 12 months from treatment completion. Methods & Procedures: Two groups of children (N = 14) were assessed; one group had completed the PECS training and the other conventional language therapy (CLT). At follow-up all children received the same pre and post-treatment assessment. Outcome measures were the following: Communication and Social domains of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS); Language and Personal–Social subscales of the Griffiths’ Mental Developmental Scales (GMDS); Communication and Social Abilities domains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS); and several social–communicative variables coded in an unstructured setting. Outcomes & Results: The PECS group showed significant improvements compared with the CLT group on ADOS severity scores (Communication, Social and Total), on GMDS Social domain and on VABS Communication and Social domains. PECS-related gains on the VABS Social domain and on specific social–communicative measures coded during free-play, i.e. frequency of joint attention and initiation, and duration of cooperative play, were stable after 1-year follow-up. Cooperative play continued to improve on follow-up with respect to both post- and pre-treatment assessment. Conclusions & Implications: These findings demonstrated that PECS training can promote long-term enhancement of specific socio-communicative skills in children with autism.
AuthorsLerna, Anna, Eposito Dalila, Conson Massimiliano, and Massagli Angelo
Year of Publication2014
PublicationInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Volume49
Issue4
Pages478-485
ISSN1368-2822 (print), 1460-6984 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1460-6984.12079/abstract
Keywords (MeSH)autism spectrum disorders (ASD), children, communication skills, follow up studies, picture exchange, social communication disorder

Longitudinal Effects of Adaptive Interventions With a Speech-Generating Device in Minimally Verbal Children With ASD

TitleLongitudinal Effects of Adaptive Interventions With a Speech-Generating Device in Minimally Verbal Children With ASD
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThere are limited data on the effects of adaptive social communication interventions with a speech-generating device in autism. This study is the first to compare growth in communications outcomes among three adaptive interventions in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are minimally verbal. Sixty-one children, ages 5–8 years, participated in a sequential, multiple-assignment randomized trial (SMART). All children received a developmental behavioral communication intervention: joint attention, symbolic play, engagement and regulation (JASP) with enhanced milieu teaching (EMT). The SMART included three 2-stage, 24-week adaptive interventions with different provisions of a speech generating device (SGD) in the context of JASP+EMT. The first adaptive intervention, with no SGD, initially assigned JASP+EMT alone, then intensified JASP+EMT for slow responders. In the second adaptive intervention, slow responders to JASP+EMT were assigned JASP+EMT+SGD. The third adaptive intervention initially assigned JASP+EMT+SGD; then intensified JASP+EMT+SGD for slow responders. Analyses examined between-group differences in change in outcomes from baseline to Week 36. Verbal outcomes included spontaneous communicative utterances and novel words. Nonlinguistic communication outcomes included initiating joint attention and behavior regulation, and play. The adaptive intervention beginning with JASP+EMT+SGD was estimated as superior. There were significant (p < .05) between-group differences in change in spontaneous communicative utterances and initiating joint attention. School-age children with ASD who are minimally verbal make significant gains in communication outcomes with an adaptive intervention beginning with JASP+EMT+SGD. Future research should explore mediators and moderators of the adaptive intervention effects and second-stage intervention options that further capitalize on early gains in treatment.
AuthorsAlmirall, D., DiStefano C., Chang Y. - C. S., Shire S., Kaiser A., Lu X., Nahum-Shani I., Landa R., Mathy P., and Kasari C.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationJournal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
Volume45
Issue4
Pages442-456
ISSN1537-4416 (print) 1537-4424 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15374416.2016.1138407
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children, interventions, research reports, speech generating device (SGD)

Parachute without a ripcord: The skydive of communication interaction

TitleParachute without a ripcord: The skydive of communication interaction
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractIdentifying and rating the outcomes of an intervention is not a new concept, but has gained impetus and currency with the emergence of evidence-based practice to support clinical decision making. In this paper, we present a metaphor as a unifying framework for the many different goals and outcomes that may come into focus across extended interventions with individuals who use aided communication. The metaphor is that of skydiving. We explore the value of this metaphor in understanding outcome measures for interventions, using analysis of interview data collected with adults who have used high-tech aided communication devices over many years.
AuthorsSmith, Martine M., and Murray Janice
Year of Publication2011
Date PublishedDec
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume27
Issue4
Pages292-303
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (electronic)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.630022
Keywords (MeSH)outcome assessment / measurement
Full Text

Parental directiveness and responsivity toward young children with complex communication needs

TitleParental directiveness and responsivity toward young children with complex communication needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: The aim of the present study was to determine if parent responsiveness to their children with complex communication needs (CCN) during naturalistic play changed over an 18-month period and determine if any such changes were influenced by the child’s overall level of receptive and expressive language development, motor development or differing play contexts. This longitudinal information is important for early intervention speech-language pathologists and parents of children with developmental disabilities for whom the use of parent-directed responsivity interventions may be encouraged. Method: Over an 18-month period, 37 parents of young children who had physical and/or neurological disabilities participated in three home-based parent–child play episodes. Videotapes of each play episode were extracted and coded. Result: Results indicated parents who were initially responsive showed a significant tendency to continue to be so. Early on, parents were significantly more likely to be directive during object play than social play and significantly more likely to interact responsively during social play than object play. Conclusion: Parents of children with developmental disabilities were not consistently less responsive to their children based on motor or language capabilities. Previous reports of higher parental directiveness with children who have developmental disabilities may be attributable to object-based play interactions.
AuthorsDeVeney, S., Cress C. J., and Lambert M.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume18
Issue1
Pages53-64
ISSN1754-9507 (print) 1754-9515 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2015.1081282
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, communication style, developmental disabilities, neurological disorders, parents, research reports, young children

Parents' Reports of Patterns of Use and Exposure to Practices Associated with AAC Acceptance by Individuals with Angelman Syndrome

TitleParents' Reports of Patterns of Use and Exposure to Practices Associated with AAC Acceptance by Individuals with Angelman Syndrome
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe primary purpose of this investigation was to enhance our understanding of AAC use by individuals with Angelman syndrome (AS) in relation to two broad genotypes: Deletion Positive (DP) and Non Deletion (ND). Previous investigators have suggested individuals without deletions typically exhibit stronger cognitive and communicative abilities than their DP counterparts. This investigation focused on several aspects of AAC use: communication systems used; exposure to, success with, and acceptance of electronic AAC devices; and exposure to practices associated with AAC acceptance. Results indicated that both groups rely heavily on unaided, nonsymbolic methods of communication, with the ND group more likely to use conventional, symbolic systems. While the two groups were similar with respect to exposure to an array of electronic devices, the DP group appeared more likely to have gone no further than low-tech devices such as the BIGmack ™ . There was strong evidence of both groups’ capabilities for success with high-tech devices and overall acceptance of devices in terms of duration of use. This proved especially noteworthy in light of both groups ’ limited exposure to practices associated with AAC acceptance. Clinical implications of these findings are discussed along with future avenues of research.
AuthorsCalculator, Stephen N.
Year of Publication2013
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume29
Issue2
Pages146-158
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2013.784804
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, children, developmental disabilities, family

People with aphasia using AAC: are executive functions important?

TitlePeople with aphasia using AAC: are executive functions important?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: Many people with aphasia (PWA) who are introduced to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) struggle to become effective and independent users of AAC. Aims: In this article, we discuss how impairments of executive functioning (EF) might be expected to interact with ability to use AAC effectively. We also review the research literature that has investigated the relationship between EF and response to AAC treatment in aphasia. Assessment tools that may be useful in predicting successful use of AAC by PWA are also discussed. Main Contribution: Results from the few available studies are mixed with respect to the importance of EF to successful AAC use. At present, there is a paucity of research directly investigating which aspects of EF might be the best predictors for response to treatment to learn AAC, although some researchers have reported that EF tasks designed to measure cognitive flexibility (shifting) appear to have some predictive utility. Conclusions: Using terminology from two published models of EF, we suggest that executive attention, which includes working memory, as well as updating, shifting and inhibiting, are all necessary when using AAC for successful communication. This perspective is one that should receive more attention in clinical practice and when designing research on use of AAC by PWA.
AuthorsNicholas, M., and Connor L. T.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAphasiology
Volume18
Issue6
Pages521-532
ISSN0268=7038 (print) 1464-5041 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2016.1258539
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, acquired communication disorders adults, adults, aphasia, cognitive function, communication disabilties

Real-Life Challenges in Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication by Persons With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

TitleReal-Life Challenges in Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication by Persons With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractGiven the linguistic and cognitive demands of communication, adult Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users with acquired communication disorders may have difficulty using AAC systems consistently and effectively in “real-life” situations. The process of recommending AAC systems and strategies is an area of exploration, where clinicians need to treat each client as a unique individual. Speech-language pathologists are required to analyze speech, language, cognition, sensory, and motor skills of the client when attempting to choose appropriate AAC systems. Various challenges during the AAC implementation process may range from funding sources, time commitment, training, and device acquisition to effective use of the device in day-to-day situations. The AAC management strategies are discussed in light of functional and multimodal communications. Also, the perspectives of AAC user regarding environment, communication partners, social communication status, and quality of life are addressed, along with a brief case report highlighting challenges and successes with AAC systems.
AuthorsRay, Jayanti
Year of Publication2015
PublicationCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Volume36
Issue3
Pages187-192
ISSN1525-77401 (print) 1538-4837 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://cdq.sagepub.com/content/36/3/187
Keywords (MeSH)acquired communication disorders adults, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), assessment, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), functional assessment

Repeated Reading, Turn Taking, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

TitleRepeated Reading, Turn Taking, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis single participant multiple baseline research design measured the effects of repeatedly reading narrative books to children who used voice output augmentative communication devices to communicate. The study sought to determine if there was a difference observed in the number of turns taken when reading stories repeatedly. Three girls ranging in age from seven to nine listened to a different illustrated narrative book during each baseline session. During the intervention phase, a single illustrated book was read repeatedly to each child for six sessions followed by an additional intervention of a second illustrated book for six more sessions. Two of the three participants took more turns during the repeated reading when comparing mean scores. Upon visual inspection it appears the increases were generally in the first couple of repeated readings and then a slope return was displayed toward the baseline level over the six repeated readings. Implications for practice are shared.
AuthorsEdmister, Evette, and Wegner Jane
Year of Publication2015
PublicationInternational Journal of Disability, Development & Education
Volume62
Issue3
Pages319-338
ISSN1034-912X (print), 1465-346X (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2015.1020920
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age (6-12yrs), CCN, communication skills, speech generating device

Simultaneous Presentation of Speech and Sign Prompts to Increase MLU in Children With Intellectual Disability

TitleSimultaneous Presentation of Speech and Sign Prompts to Increase MLU in Children With Intellectual Disability
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractExpressive language is an important skill to develop in children with intellectual disabilities. It not only aids in decreasing the likelihood of challenging behaviors from occurring but also aids in increasing the individuals independence and assistance in them becoming successful members of society. No previous studies have examined the effectiveness of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions at increasing expressive language measured with mean length of utterances (MLU) in children with intellectual disabilities. The present study used an alternating treatment comparison design to evaluate the effectiveness of three communication interventions: (a) verbal imitation prompting, (b) American Sign Language prompting, and (c) simultaneous verbal imitation prompting and key word sign prompting on MLU in a 9-year-old child with intellectual disability. The study was conducted in the child’s classroom, and her teacher implemented the interventions. Results indicated simultaneous verbal and key word sign prompting were associated with the greatest MLU, although all three communication interventions appeared to increase MLU when compared with unprompted MLU. Implications for practice and future research in the area of simultaneous communication are discussed.
AuthorsPattison, A. E., and Robertson R. E.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationCommunication Disorders Quarterly
Volume37
Issue3
Pages141-147
ISSN1525-7401 (print) 1538-4837 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://cdq.sagepub.com/content/37/3/141.short
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, child language, communication interventions, education, intellectual disability, intervention, research reports, verbal communication

Social media experiences of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication

TitleSocial media experiences of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: This pilot study aimed to expand the current understanding of how adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and complex communication needs use social media. Method: An online focus group was used to investigate the social media experiences of seven individuals with CP who used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Questions posed to the group related to social media: (a) advantages; (b) disadvantages; (c) barriers; (d) supports; and (e) recommendations. Result: Adolescents with CP who use AAC used a range of communication media to participate in daily interactions, including social media. An analysis of the focus group interaction revealed that the participants used social media to: bypass the constraints of face-to-face interactions; communicate for a number of reasons (e.g. maintain relationships, share experiences); and support independent leisure (e.g. playing games, looking at pictures/videos). Despite the advantages, the participants discussed barriers including limitations related to AAC technologies, social media sites and literacy skills. Conclusion: The results suggest that service providers should implement interventions to support social media use, including enhancement of linguistic, operational and strategic competence. Technology manufacturers should focus on improving the designs of AAC apps and social media sites to facilitate access by individuals who require AAC.
AuthorsGosnell Caron, J., and Light J.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
ISSN1754-9507 (print) 1754-9515 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17549507.2016.1143970
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-adolescence, age-young adulthood, CCN, cerebral palsy (CP), communications media, computer applications, qualitative analysis, research reports, social behaviour, technology

Speaker Transfer in Children’s Peer Conversation: Completing Communication-aid-mediated Contributions

TitleSpeaker Transfer in Children’s Peer Conversation: Completing Communication-aid-mediated Contributions
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractManaging the exchange of speakers from one person to another effectively is a key issue for participants in everyday conversational interaction. Speakers use a range of resources to indicate, in advance, when their turn will come to an end, and listeners attend to such signals in order to know when they might legitimately speak. Using the principles and findings from conversation analysis, this paper examines features of speaker transfer in a conversation between a boy with cerebral palsy who has been provided with a voice-output communication aid (VOCA), and a peer without physical or communication difficulties. Specifically, the analysis focuses on turn exchange, where a VOCA-mediated contribution approach completion, and the child without communication needs is due to speak next.
AuthorsClarke, Michael, Bloch Steven, and Wilkinson Ray
Year of Publication2013
PublicationAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume29
Issue1
Pages37-53
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2013.767490
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, children, communication aids, peer group

Supporting communication for patients with neurodegenerative disease

TitleSupporting communication for patients with neurodegenerative disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBACKGROUND: Communication supports, referred to as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), are an integral part of medical speech-language pathology practice, yet many providers remain unfamiliar with assessment and intervention principles. For patients with complex communication impairments secondary to neurodegenerative disease, AAC services differ depending on whether their condition primarily affects speech and motor skills (ALS), language (primary progressive aphasia) or cognition (Alzheimer’s disease). This review discusses symptom management for these three conditions, identifying behavioral strategies, low- and high-tech solutions for implementation during the natural course of disease. These AAC principles apply to all neurodegenerative diseases in which common symptoms appear. OBJECTIVES: To present AAC interventions for patients with neurodegenerative diseases affecting speech, motor, language and cognitive domains. Three themes emerge: (1) timing of intervention: early referral, regular re-evaluations and continual treatment are essential; (2) communication partners must be included from the onset to establish AAC acceptance and use; and (3) strategies will change over time and use multiple modalities to capitalize on patients’ strengths. CONCLUSIONS: AAC should be standard practice for adults with neurodegenerative disease. Patients can maintain effective, functional communication with AAC supports. Individualized communication systems can be implemented ensuring patients remain active participants in daily activities.
AuthorsFried-Oken, Melanie, Moody Aimee, and Peters Betts
Year of Publication2015
PublicationNeurorehabilitation
Volume37
Issue1
Pages69-87
ISSN1053-8135 (print) 1878-6448 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://content.iospress.com/articles/neurorehabilitation/nre1241
Keywords (MeSH)acquired communication disorders, adults, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), aphasia, assessment, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), CCN, communication strategies, dementia, intervention, speech-language pathologists

Supporting the development of narrative skills of an eight year old who uses an augmentative and alternative communication device

TitleSupporting the development of narrative skills of an eight year old who uses an augmentative and alternative communication device
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractNarrative abilities have been linked to literacy, communicative competence and development of identity. Children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) may be at risk for difficulties in the development of narrative skills due to differences in their language learning opportunities and limitations of their AAC systems. The structural dimensions of the narrative discourse produced by children who use AAC have been observed to be poorly organized, limited in coherence and severely impoverished in both vocabulary and grammar. In addition, the children usually rely heavily on narrative co-construction and may not be given sufficient opportunities by their communication partners to provide narrative features. This study describes the process used to support the development of autonomous narrative skills of an eight-year old child who uses a voice output communication aid (VOCA) to communicate and who demonstrates significant delays in narrative formation. Results indicate that narratives produced with her VOCA improved in both linguistic and story complexity following intervention that targeted understanding and use of story structures.
AuthorsSoto, Gloria, Yu Betty, and Henneberry Solana
Year of Publication2007
PublicationChild Language Teaching and Therapy
Volume23
Issue1
Pages27-45
ISSN0265-6590 (print); 1477-0865 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://clt.sagepub.com/content/23/1/27.full.pdf
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, cerebral palsy, children, intervention, literacy

Teachers’ perceptions of implementation of aided AAC to support expressive communication in South African special schools: a pilot investigation

TitleTeachers’ perceptions of implementation of aided AAC to support expressive communication in South African special schools: a pilot investigation
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractAlthough the provision of assistive technology for students with disabilities has been mandated in South African education policy documents, limited data are available on the implementation of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in classrooms. This pilot investigation used a concurrent mixed-methods survey design to determine the extent to which aided AAC was implemented to foster students’ expressive communication in preschool to Grade 3 classrooms in special schools from six urban school districts in the Gauteng (the smallest, most affluent and most densely populated of the nine South African provinces), and also obtained teachers’ perceptions of this process. A total of 26 teachers who taught students who used aided AAC for expression participated. Although there is evidence of provision and also implementation of aided AAC in classrooms, various limitations still exist. Teachers identified an array of factors that influenced the implementation of aided AAC, including those related to themselves, the classroom context, the characteristics of aided AAC, students using AAC, and other stakeholders. These factors are discussed in the light of international literature as well as the local context, and are used as a basis to suggest a research agenda for AAC in the South African education system.
AuthorsTönsing, K. M., and Dada S.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volume32
Issue4
Pages282-304
EditorTönsing, K. M., and Dada S.
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2016.1246609
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, children, communication aids, education, research reports, special & remedial education, special needs

Team Consensus Concerning Important Outcomes for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assistive Technologies: A Pilot Study

TitleTeam Consensus Concerning Important Outcomes for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assistive Technologies: A Pilot Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractObstacles to assistive device outcome measurement include a lack of consensus about which outcomes should be evaluated. This article reports a case study of the use of a structured consensus-building approach called Technique for Research of Information by Animation of a Group of Experts (TRIAGE) to develop agreement among key professional team members with regard to outcome measurement. We also describe the changes in key professional team members’ perspectives on outcome measurement over time. Initially, participants expressed preferences for the measurement of about 33 different outcomes. Subsequent discussions and the TRIAGE process led to the choice of the five most important outcomes. Our case study provides evidence that professional team consensus could successfully be reached through the individual reflections and group sharing proposed by the TRIAGE technique. Future research directions include the development of strategies to give prominence to the opinions of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in the identification of important outcomes, and for aggregating and interpreting data gathered at local, regional, or national levels.
AuthorsLamontagne, Marie-Eve, Routier Francois, and Auger Claudine
Year of Publication2013
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume29
Issue2
Pages182-189
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2013.784927
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, outcome assessment/measurement

The Impact of IQ on using high–tech Augmentative Alternative Communication AAC in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD

TitleThe Impact of IQ on using high–tech Augmentative Alternative Communication AAC in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: ASDs with lower functioning have always been eliminated from using high–tech AAC based on myths that are too high for their abilities. The current study examined the role of IQ on using the augmentative and alternative communication system (AAC) that runs on an iPod touch to improve spontaneous communication of low functioning ASDs children in their daily communication needs. Material/Methods: 22 subjects, diagnosed with an ASD, were randomly assigned to receive a standardized AAC and were divided to three groups based on their IQ level; the AAC sessions were for a period of 8 weeks. Measures included changes in professionally completed Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behaviour Intervention (PDDBI), and Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC). Results: Results indicated no significant difference between the three groups in terms of ABC and PDDBI, the three groups gained the same benefits from the high–tech AAC. Conclusions: ASDs with lower functioning could gain benefits from high–tech AAC with the same rate as kids with high functioning.
AuthorsZeina, Rana, Al-Ayadhi Laila, and Bashir Shahid
Year of Publication2015
PublicationProcedia – Social & Behavioural Sciences
Volume171
Pages366-373
ISSN1877-0428 (print), 1877-0428 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815001640
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children

The behavioural process underlying augmentative and alternative communication usage in direct support staff

TitleThe behavioural process underlying augmentative and alternative communication usage in direct support staff
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: Research findings suggest that direct support staff use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) inconsistently. Various staff-related factors have been identified, and researchers agree that these factors somehow interrelate. Therefore, we approached AAC use as a behavioural process and examined the synergy between staff-related factors. Method: Fifteen direct support staff and 10 speech-language/occupational therapists who work with adults who have an intellectual disability and use AAC were individually interviewed. Transcripts were studied using thematic analysis. Results: Three main themes were discerned: consistent versus inconsistent AAC usage in direct support staff; time as a real and virtual barrier; friction in the peer–expert relationship. Conclusions: Direct support staff primarily used AAC when there was an acute need for communication support. In contrast, both direct support staff and speech-language therapists felt that direct support staff should consistently provide augmented input. This discrepancy was driven by team dynamics as well as actual and perceived lack of time.
AuthorsRombouts, E., Maes B., and Zink I.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issueon-line
Pages1-13
ISSN1366-8250 (print) 1469-9532 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2016.1219023
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, adults, attitudes, intellectual disability, speech & language pathologist

To what extent do children with cerebral palsy participate in everyday life situations?

TitleTo what extent do children with cerebral palsy participate in everyday life situations?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe aims of the study are to describe participation of children with cerebral palsy in everyday life situations, to investigate the relationship between participation (primary outcome variable) with child and parent characteristics (independent variables) and to compare the frequency of participation (secondary outcome variable) of children with cerebral palsy with children without disabilities. A cross-sectional survey of parents of children with cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland was undertaken in families’ homes using standard questionnaires. Children with cerebral palsy born between 31/8/1991 and 1/4/1997 were identified from a case register of people with the condition. A total of 102 parents opted in (51% response rate). Questionnaires included the Life Habits Questionnaire (Life-H) to measure difficulties in participation and The Frequency of Participation Questionnaire (FPQ), to measure frequency of participation with comparative data for children without disability. Overall, children with cerebral palsy participated less often than their non-disabled peers across a number of lifestyle and cultural pursuits. Among the 102 children with cerebral palsy, participation in ‘relationships’ was the least disrupted area of everyday life and aspects of ‘school’, ‘personal care’ and ‘mobility’ were the most disrupted. Children with cerebral palsy and severe co-impairments were significantly less likely to experience higher levels of participation in most areas of everyday life when compared to children with cerebral palsy and no severe co-impairments. Child physical and psychological well-being did not influence participation although higher parenting stress was significantly related to lower child participation in ‘community activities’. Participation is an important health outcome for children with cerebral palsy and should be incorporated in routine clinical practice. Professionals have a role to play both at the level of addressing individual child and family needs as well as influencing legislation and policy to ensure improved access to services and local communities.
AuthorsParkes, Jackie, McCullough Nichola, and Madden Ann
Year of Publication2010
PublicationHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume18
Issue3
Pages304-315
ISSN0966-0410 (print); 1365-2524 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00908.x/pdf
Keywords (MeSH)cerebral palsy, children, participation, survey

Toward a definition of communicative competence for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication systems

TitleToward a definition of communicative competence for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis paper proposes a definition of communicative competence for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The proposed definition suggests that communicative competence is a relative and dynamic, interpersonal construct based on functionality of communication, adequacy of communication, and sufficiency of knowledge, judgement, and skill in four interrelated areas: linguistic competence, operational competence, social competence, and strategic competence. Linguistic and operational competencies refer to knowledge and skills in the use of the tools of communication; social and strategic competencies reflect functional knowledge and judgement in interaction. The paper urges future research to validate the proposed definition of communicative competence and suggests some implications for assessment and intervention in the AAC field.
AuthorsLight, J.
Year of Publication1989
PublicationAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume5
Issue2
Pages137-144
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07434618912331275126
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, communication interaction, communicative competence, communicative strategies

Towards Advancing Knowledge Translation of AAC Outcomes Research for Children and Youth with Complex Communication Needs

TitleTowards Advancing Knowledge Translation of AAC Outcomes Research for Children and Youth with Complex Communication Needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe production of new knowledge in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) requires effective processes to leverage the different perspectives of researchers and knowledge users and improve prospects for utilization in clinical settings. This article describes the motivation, planning, process, and outcomes for a novel knowledge translation workshop designed to influence future directions for AAC outcomes research for children with complex communication needs. Invited knowledge users from 20 paediatric AAC clinics and researchers engaged in the collaborative development of research questions using a framework designed for the AAC field. The event yielded recommendations for research and development priorities that extend from the early development of language, communication, and literacy skills in very young children, to novel but unproven strategies that may advance outcomes in transitioning to adulthood.
AuthorsRyan, Stephen E., Shepherd Tracy, Renzoni Anne Marie, Anderson Colleen, Barber Mary, Kingsnorth Shauna, and Ward Karen
Year of Publication2015
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume31
Issue2
Pages137-147
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2015.1030038
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, communication, family

Use of a Picture Exchange Communication System for preventive procedures in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: pilot study

TitleUse of a Picture Exchange Communication System for preventive procedures in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: pilot study
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThe aim of the present study was to evaluate the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in order to facilitate patient-professional communication during preventive procedures. In this study, 26 patients with ASD, between 5 and 19 years of age (10±3.3 y), were divided into two groups: G1 (n = 13) with no previous experience of dental treatment, and G2 (n = 13), with such previous experience. The initial approach followed the principles of the Son-Rise Program®. The seven PECSs presented the routine of the dental office: “room,” “ground,” “chair,” “dentist,” “mouth,” “low,” and “triple.” Each PEC was used up to three times in order to acquire the skill proposed. It was verified that G2 required a greater number of times to achieve the acceptance of PECS “ground,” “dentist,” “mouth,” and “triple” (p < .05). We concluded that PECS facilitated patient professional communication during preventive procedures, including for ASD patients with previous dental experience.
AuthorsZink, A. G., Diniz M. B., Rodrigues dos Santos M. T. B., and Guaré R. O.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationSpecial Care in Dentistry
Volume36
Issue5
Pages254-259
ISSN0275-1879 (print) 1754-4505 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/scd.12183/full
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), CCN, children, communication disorders, developmental conditions, picture exchange

Using Talking Mats to support communication in persons with Huntington's Disease

TitleUsing Talking Mats to support communication in persons with Huntington's Disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: Many individuals with Huntington's disease experience reduced functioning in cognition, language and communication. Talking Mats is a visually based low technological augmentative communication framework that supports communication in people with different cognitive and communicative disabilities. Aims: To evaluate Talking Mats as a communication tool for people in the later stages of Huntington's disease. Methods & Procedures: Five individuals with Huntington's disease participated in the study. Three conditions were compared: unstructured communication, verbally structured communication, and communication using Talking Mats. The conversations were videotaped and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. Outcomes & Results: Talking Mats increased communicative effectiveness for all participants. Verbally structured conversation resulted in higher effectiveness than the unstructured counterpart and effectiveness differed depending on the type of conversational topic. Conclusions & Implications: Talking Mats could be a valuable resource for people with Huntington's disease and their conversation partners. It could be used for social purposes, for understanding a person's opinions and for making decisions. Additional research is necessary in order to generalize the results to the population of individuals with Huntington's disease and to understand better the mechanisms behind the positive effects observed.
AuthorsFerm, Ulrika, Sahlin Anna, Sundin Linda, and Hartelius Lena
Year of Publication2010
PublicationInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Volume45
Issue5
Pages523-536
ISSN1368-2822 (print), 1460-6984 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3109/13682820903222809/full
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, acquired communication disorders, adults, communication interventions

Using the Choiceboard Creator app on an iPad to teach choice making to a student with severe disabilities

TitleUsing the Choiceboard Creator app on an iPad to teach choice making to a student with severe disabilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractThis paper describes an intervention to teach the use of the Choiceboard Creator app on an iPad for choice making to a student with autism, severe intellectual disability, and challenging behavior. This app provides flexibility in the number of pictures and blank distractors displayed, produces voice output, shuffles the picture arrangement after each activation, and makes the selected picture more salient by enlarging it once it has been selected. The effectiveness of the intervention was explored using a multiple baseline across three settings. Pre- and post-assessments of the student’s ability to select a picture given the spoken word or the object and to select the object given the spoken word or the picture explored the further development of picture skills. The student learned to use a display of three pictures in free play, a display of two pictures in morning circle, and a display of five pictures at morning tea.
AuthorsStephenson, J.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume32
Issue1
Pages49-57
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/07434618.2015.1136688
Keywords (MeSH)autism (ASD), communication skills, computer technology, developmental disabilities, speech-generating device

Using the iPad to facilitate interaction between preschool children who use AAC and their peers

TitleUsing the iPad to facilitate interaction between preschool children who use AAC and their peers
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractSocial interaction is one of the key components of education, yet children with complex communication needs often face social isolation in the classroom, rarely interacting with same-age peers. This study investigated the impact of the provision of an iPadVR 1 with an AAC app with visual scene displays and a dyadic turn taking training on the number of communicative turns taken by children with complex communication needs in interaction with same-age peers. Two preschool children with complex communication needs and six peers without disabilities participated in this research. A single-subject, multiple probe across partners design with one replication was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on the frequency of communicative turns expressed by the children with complex communication needs. Parents, teachers, speech-language pathologists, and the children participated in social validation measures. As a result of intervention, Participant 1 showed immediate gains in the frequency of symbolic communicative turns after the first training session across all three partners (average gains of 30–46 symbolic communicative turns per 10-min session across peer partners). Participant 2 showed some initial gains, but they were not maintained over time (average gains of 11–24 turns across partners). Classroom implications and future research directions are discussed.
AuthorsTherrien, M. C. S., and Light J.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAAC
Volume32
Issue3
Pages163-174
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2016.1205133
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, communicative interaction, peer group, preschool children, research reports, technology, young children

Working Memory Demands of Aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

TitleWorking Memory Demands of Aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractWhen speech is not functional to meet some or all of an individual’s communication needs, aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems are often implemented. Although aided AAC systems offer some advantages over speech, they also impose some unique demands, especially on working memory, which is commonly defined as the cognitive system by which individuals maintain and manipulate information while completing tasks. For instance, the presence of an external aided AAC device containing arrays of symbols, not all of which are visible simultaneously, presents multiple working memory demands: individuals must maintain the target concepts in mind, all the while (a) navigating through multiple pages, (b) remembering the appropriate or most efficient navigation path, (c) locating the target symbols within the array once the host page has been located, and (d) inhibiting responses to potentially interesting distracters throughout the process. Each of these task demands involves one or more working memory operations that have been identified and studied extensively in research in the cognitive sciences. Failure to acknowledge or understand how working memory might interact with AAC use may place unintentional barriers to effective AAC interventions. This paper explores current information about working memory operations and highlights some of the most relevant issues that warrant further direct study.
AuthorsThistle, Jennifer J., and Wilkinson Krista M.
Year of Publication2013
PublicationJournal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume29
Issue3
Pages235-245
ISSN0743-4618 (print), 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2013.815800
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, developmental disability, intellectual disability

‘‘He Cares About Me and I Care About Him.’’ Children’s Experiences of Friendship with Peers who use AAC

Title‘‘He Cares About Me and I Care About Him.’’ Children’s Experiences of Friendship with Peers who use AAC
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractTypically developing children face multiple challenges in developing friendships with peers who have severe physical disabilities and use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), especially when these peers experience restrictions in mobility, educational participation, physical access, and communication. In this small qualitative study, six typically developing children were interviewed about their friendships with classmates who have cerebral palsy and use AAC. Data were analysed according to Riessman’s narrative methodology (2008). Overall, participants viewed these friendships positively. In this article, we discuss the main themes that characterized these friendships: communication, learning, helping, and shared time. This knowledge may help to facilitate friendships between children without disabilities and their peers who use AAC within mainstream educational settings.
AuthorsK.Anderson, S.Balandin, and Clendon S.
Year of Publication2011
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume27
Issue2
Pages77-90
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.577449
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age children, cerebral palsy, communicative interaction, conversation

‘‘He Cares About Me and I Care About Him.’’ Children’s Experiences of Friendship with Peers who use AAC

Title‘‘He Cares About Me and I Care About Him.’’ Children’s Experiences of Friendship with Peers who use AAC
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAnderson, K., Balandin S., and Clendon S.
Year of Publication2011
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume27
Issue2
Pages77-90
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.577449
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, age-school age children, cerebral palsy, communicative interaction, conversation

‘‘You Get More Than You Give’’: Experiences of Community Partners in Facilitating Active Recreation with Individuals who have Complex Communication Needs

Title‘‘You Get More Than You Give’’: Experiences of Community Partners in Facilitating Active Recreation with Individuals who have Complex Communication Needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractRecreation is an essential part of life that provides enriching experiences that may define one’s life course similar to careers or other interests. An understanding of the role of volunteers in active community-based recreational programs can help to generate ways to enhance participation and contribute to additional communication opportunities with people who have complex communication needs. Nine volunteers from two adaptive ski programs and one therapeutic horseback-riding program in the Northeast region of the United States participated in semi-structured interviews. Audio-recordings were transcribed and analyzed and resulted in five thematic areas: (a) benefits, (b) why individuals volunteer, (c) barriers, (d) successful program supports, and (e) who are the riders and skiers using AAC. The findings provided insight to support the notion that active community-based recreational activities foster an environment for communication, meaningful engagement, and social relationships between volunteers and people with complex communication needs.
AuthorsHajjar, D. J., McCarthy J. W., Benigno J. P., and Chabot J.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationAugmentative & Alternative Communication
Volume32
Issue1
Pages1-12
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2015.1136686
Keywords (MeSH)AAC, CCN, communication, disabled persons, recreation, volunteering

A qualitative study of adult AAC users’ experiences communicating with medical providers

TitleA qualitative study of adult AAC users’ experiences communicating with medical providers
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose: To study the experiences of adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and methods when interacting with medical providers, specifically primary care providers. Method: Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with 12 participants, four of whom also participated in an online focus group. Diagnoses of the participants included cerebral palsy, undifferentiated developmental disability, head and neck cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and primary lateral sclerosis. Transcripts from the interviews and the focus group were analyzed to create a list of codes. From these codes themes that captured particular concepts discussed were identified. Results: Participants described multiple frustrations in communicating with medical care providers. Themes that arose included: planning and preparing for the appointment, time barriers, inappropriate assumptions, relationship building and establishing rapport, medical decision making and implementing the plan. All but one participant reported bringing a caregiver with them to their appointments and this person, whether a family member, friend or paid aide, had a substantial role throughout the appointment. Conclusions: The participants’ stories highlight important barriers they experience when communicating with medical providers. These barriers bring attention to the need for education for physicians, caregivers and patients with communication disabilities, along with increased research to improve patient–provider communication. Implications for Rehabilitation Patients with communication disabilities face multiple barriers to communicating with medical care providers. Patients, caregivers, and medical care providers all play a role in effective and ineffective communication during appointments. Education for medical care providers, caregivers, and patients with communication disabilities, along with research is needed to improve patient-provider communication.
AuthorsMorris, Megan A., Dudgeon Brian J., and Yorkston Kathryn
Year of Publication2013
PublicationDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume8
Issue6
Pages472-481
ISSN1748-3107 (print) 1748-3115 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17483107.2012.746398
Keywords (MeSH)augmentative and alternative communication, cognitive function, communication disabilities, communication skills training
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