Early Sentence Productions of 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Purpose This study investigated the early rule-based sentence productions of 3- and 4-year-old children with severe speech disorders who used single-meaning graphic symbols to communicate. Method Ten 3- and 4-year-olds requiring the use of augmentative and alternative communication, who had largely intact receptive language skills, received instruction in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 12, 2017
Early Sentence Productions of 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cathy Binger
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Jennifer Kent-Walsh
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Marika King
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Lindsay Mansfield
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, 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
    Marika King is now at the Department of Psychology, Georgia State University×
  • Correspondence to Cathy Binger: cbinger@unm.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Linda Watson
    Associate Editor: Linda Watson×
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 12, 2017
Early Sentence Productions of 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1930-1945. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0408
History: Received November 25, 2015 , Revised March 27, 2016 , Accepted June 23, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1930-1945. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-15-0408
History: Received November 25, 2015; Revised March 27, 2016; Accepted June 23, 2016

Purpose This study investigated the early rule-based sentence productions of 3- and 4-year-old children with severe speech disorders who used single-meaning graphic symbols to communicate.

Method Ten 3- and 4-year-olds requiring the use of augmentative and alternative communication, who had largely intact receptive language skills, received instruction in producing up to four different semantic–syntactic targets using an Apple iPad with a communication app. A single-case, multiple-probe, across-targets design was used to assess the progress of each participant and target. Generalization to new vocabulary was assessed, and a subgroup also was taught to produce sentences using grammatical markers.

Results Some targets (primarily possessor-entity) were mastered in the baseline phase, and the majority of the remaining targets were mastered during intervention. All four children who completed intervention for grammatical markers quickly learned to use the markers accurately.

Conclusions Expressive language potential for preschoolers using graphic symbol–based augmentative and alternative communication systems should not be underestimated. With appropriate presentation and intervention techniques, some preschoolers with profound speech disorders can readily learn to produce rule-based messages via graphic symbols.

Acknowledgments
Preliminary data for this article were presented at the 2014 annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Orlando, FL, and the 2014 biennial conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Lisbon, Portugal.
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant 1R03DC011610 (awarded to Cathy Binger).
The authors thank University of New Mexico AAC lab students Esther Babej, Elijia Buenviaje, Aimee Bustos, Merissa Ekman, Jacqueline Garcia, Victoria Ortega, Jamie Ragsdale, and Jesse Trujillo for their assistance. Thanks also to the Albuquerque Public School Assistive Technology Team and the children and families who participated in this study and to AssistiveWare for the donation of ProLoQuo2Go software.
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