Research Note  |   December 2010
Augmented Language Intervention and the Emergence of Symbol-Infused Joint Engagement
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lauren B. Adamson
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • MaryAnn Romski
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Roger Bakeman
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Rose A. Sevcik
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Contact author: Lauren B. Adamson, Georgia State University, Department of Psychology, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303. E-mail: ladamson@gsu.edu.
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language Disorders / Language
Research Note   |   December 2010
Augmented Language Intervention and the Emergence of Symbol-Infused Joint Engagement
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1769-1773. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0208)
History: Received September 21, 2009 , Revised January 18, 2010 , Accepted April 5, 2010
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2010, Vol. 53, 1769-1773. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0208)
History: Received September 21, 2009; Revised January 18, 2010; Accepted April 5, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose: This study sought to determine whether the effects of 3 parent-coached language interventions—2 focused on augmented communication using a speech-generating device and 1 focused only on speech—for toddlers with developmental delays and fewer than 10 words (M. A. Romski et al., 2010) generalized to children’s joint engagement during interactions with parents that took place outside the intervention context.

Method: Fifty-seven toddlers who participated in one of three parent-coached language interventions were observed both pre- and post-intervention interacting with their parents using a Communication Play Protocol that produced samples of communication related to social interacting, requesting, and commenting. Their engagement states were reliably coded from the videorecords of these interactions.

Results: Symbol-infused joint engagement of children in all 3 intervention groups increased significantly from pre- to post-intervention. The amount of symbol-infused joint engagement observed post-intervention was significantly associated with whether or not the child produced spoken words and, for children in the 2 augmented conditions, the number of augmented words used during the last intervention session.

Conclusions: The effects of parent-coached augmented language interventions generalize to children’s engagement in child–parent interactions outside the intervention context in ways that may facilitate additional language acquisition.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grants NIH DC-03799 and NIH HD-35612. We thank the families who participated in this study. We also acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of Pamela K. Rutherford, who helped manage the data set; Deborah F. Deckner, who coordinated engagement state data collection; and Melissa Cheslock, who coordinated the interventions. In addition, we thank Alicia Brady, Jesse Centrella, Sara Dowless, Ramona Blackman Jones, Tanya Kobek, P. Brooke Nelson, Lauren Pierre, Janis Sayre, Ashlyn Smith, Anjali Vasudeva, and Rebekah Walker for assisting in implementing the Communication Play Protocol and coding the video records.
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