Effects of a Conversation-Based Intervention on the Linguistic Skills of Children With Motor Speech Disorders Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Purpose This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a conversation-based intervention on the expressive vocabulary and grammatical skills of children with severe motor speech disorders and expressive language delay who use augmentative and alternative communication. Method Eight children aged from 8 to 13 years participated in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 12, 2017
Effects of a Conversation-Based Intervention on the Linguistic Skills of Children With Motor Speech Disorders Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gloria Soto
    Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, San Francisco State University, CA
  • Michael T. Clarke
    Research Department of Language and Cognition, University College London, UK
  • 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. ×
  • Correspondence to Gloria Soto: gsoto@sfsu.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Ann Tyler
    Associate Editor: Ann Tyler×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 12, 2017
Effects of a Conversation-Based Intervention on the Linguistic Skills of Children With Motor Speech Disorders Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1980-1998. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0246
History: Received July 15, 2015 , Revised December 1, 2015 , Accepted November 27, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1980-1998. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0246
History: Received July 15, 2015; Revised December 1, 2015; Accepted November 27, 2016

Purpose This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a conversation-based intervention on the expressive vocabulary and grammatical skills of children with severe motor speech disorders and expressive language delay who use augmentative and alternative communication.

Method Eight children aged from 8 to 13 years participated in the study. After a baseline period, a conversation-based intervention was provided for each participant, in which they were supported to learn and use linguistic structures essential for the formation of clauses and the grammaticalization of their utterances, such as pronouns, verbs, and bound morphemes, in the context of personally meaningful and scaffolded conversations with trained clinicians. The conversations were videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts (SALT; Miller & Chapman, 1991).

Results Results indicate that participants showed improvements in their use of spontaneous clauses, and a greater use of pronouns, verbs, and bound morphemes. These improvements were sustained and generalized to conversations with familiar partners.

Conclusion The results demonstrate the positive effects of the conversation-based intervention for improving the expressive vocabulary and grammatical skills of children with severe motor speech disorders and expressive language delay who use augmentative and alternative communication. Clinical and theoretical implications of conversation-based interventions are discussed and future research needs are identified.

Supplemental Materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5150113

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant R15DC012418-01, awarded to Gloria Soto. Special thanks to all the children, adults, and student clinicians who participated in this study. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Chicago, November 2013, and at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Lisbon, Portugal, July 2014. We are especially grateful to Gat Harussi-Savaldi, Catherine Lipson, Celia Hughell, and Renee Starowicz for their invaluable assistance in different project activities.
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