A comparison of two approaches for representing AAC vocabulary for young children (short summary)

Young Children

The authors developed developmentally appropriate symbols (DAS) based on children’s interpretations of 10 abstract early language concepts; all gone, big, come, eat, more, open, up, want, what and who.

They compared the abilities of typically developing, preschool children to identify the DAS symbols to the same concepts represented by Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) which are based on adult understanding of the concepts. They also investigated whether the children preferred one type of symbol over the other and why.

In the symbols identification task the children were 82% accurate with the DAS set and 58% with PCS. All items in the DAS group scored more highly except ‘who’ which was identified correctly by equal numbers of children in both groups.

The DAS symbols had consistently higher correct selections across all three word categories used; action words, descriptors and questions.

In choosing preferences for symbols sets there was no significant difference between the two, though higher numbers selected DAS.

Things you may want to look into:

Interpretation and Construction of Meaning of Bliss-words in Children

Teaching Conceptually Referenced Core Vocabulary for Initial Augmentative and Alternative Communication

The Iconicity of Picture Communication Symbols for Children with English Additional Language and Mild Intellectual Disability

Iconicity in the Development of Picture skills: Typical Development and Implications for Individuals with Severe Intellectual Disabilities

Added to site September 2016