Dynamic Assessment for 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Evaluating Expressive Syntax Purpose The developmental readiness to produce early sentences with an iPad communication application was assessed with ten 3- and 4-year-old children with severe speech disorders using graduated prompting dynamic assessment (DA) techniques. The participants' changes in performance within the DA sessions were evaluated, and DA performance was compared with performance ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   June 14, 2017
Dynamic Assessment for 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Evaluating Expressive Syntax
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cathy Binger
    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Jennifer Kent-Walsh
    University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Marika King
    University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Marika King is now at the Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta.
    Marika King is now at the Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta.×
  • Correspondence to Cathy Binger: cbinger@unm.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Linda Watson
    Associate Editor: Linda Watson×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   June 14, 2017
Dynamic Assessment for 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Evaluating Expressive Syntax
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0269
History: Received July 31, 2015 , Revised November 25, 2015 , Accepted June 23, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0269
History: Received July 31, 2015; Revised November 25, 2015; Accepted June 23, 2016

Purpose The developmental readiness to produce early sentences with an iPad communication application was assessed with ten 3- and 4-year-old children with severe speech disorders using graduated prompting dynamic assessment (DA) techniques. The participants' changes in performance within the DA sessions were evaluated, and DA performance was compared with performance during a subsequent intervention.

Method Descriptive statistics were used to examine patterns of performance at various cueing levels and mean levels of cueing support. The Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was used to measure changes within the DA sessions. Correlational data were calculated to determine how well performance in DA predicted performance during a subsequent intervention.

Results Participants produced targets successfully in DA at various cueing levels, with some targets requiring less cueing than others. Performance improved significantly within the DA sessions—that is, the level of cueing required for accurate productions of the targets decreased during DA sessions. Last, moderate correlations existed between DA scores and performance during the intervention for 3 out of 4 targets, with statistically significant findings for 2 of 4 targets.

Conclusion DA offers promise for examining the developmental readiness of young children who use augmentative and alternative communication to produce early expressive language structures.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute of Health Grant 1R03DC011610, awarded to Cathy Binger. Preliminary results were presented at the 2014 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Orlando, FL, and the Annual Convention of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association in San Antonio, TX. The authors thank University of New Mexico AAC lab students Esther Babej, Nathan Renley, Aimee Bustos, Bryan Ho, Lindsay Mansfield, and Eliza Webb for their assistance; Barbara Rodriguez for inspiring this work; the Albuquerque Public School Assistive Technology team for assistance with locating participants; and the children and families who participated in this study. Thanks also to AssistiveWare for the donation of Proloquo2Go software.
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