The Impact of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on the Speech Production of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Research Review PurposeThis article presents the results of a meta-analysis to determine the effect of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on the speech production of individuals with developmental disabilities.MethodA comprehensive search of the literature published between 1975 and 2003, which included data on speech production before, during, and after AAC intervention, was ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   April 2006
The Impact of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on the Speech Production of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Research Review
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Diane C. Millar, who is now at the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Radford University, P.O. Box 6961, Radford, VA 24142. Email: dcmillar@radford.edu
  • © 2006 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article/Report   |   April 2006
The Impact of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on the Speech Production of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities: A Research Review
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 248-264. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/021)
History: Received March 3, 2004 , Revised April 21, 2005 , Accepted August 25, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 248-264. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/021)
History: Received March 3, 2004; Revised April 21, 2005; Accepted August 25, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 101

PurposeThis article presents the results of a meta-analysis to determine the effect of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on the speech production of individuals with developmental disabilities.

MethodA comprehensive search of the literature published between 1975 and 2003, which included data on speech production before, during, and after AAC intervention, was conducted using a combination of electronic and hand searches.

ResultsThe review identified 23 studies, involving 67 individuals. Seventeen of these studies did not establish experimental control, thereby limiting the certainty of evidence about speech outcomes. The remaining 6 studies, involving 27 cases, had sufficient methodological rigor for the “best evidence analysis” (cf. R. E. Slavin, 1986). Most of the participants (aged 2–60 years) had mental retardation or autism; the AAC interventions involved instruction in manual signs or nonelectronic aided systems. None of the 27 cases demonstrated decreases in speech production as a result of AAC intervention, 11% showed no change, and the majority (89%) demonstrated gains in speech. For the most part, the gains observed were modest, but these data may underestimate the effect of AAC intervention on speech production because there were ceiling effects.

ConclusionsFuture research is needed to better delineate the relationship between AAC intervention and speech production across a wider range of participants and AAC interventions.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank the graduate students at The Pennsylvania State University and Northeastern University who contributed to the project. Portions of this research were presented at the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Washington, DC, August 2000.
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