Augmentative & Alternative
POINTS OF INTEREST
usefulness of visual schedules
total versus aided communication
Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are used to help
children who are unable to speak, children who have mobility issues,
children with vision or hearing impairments, and children with cognitive
limitations to communicate with others using methods other than traditional
speech. Communication devices range from very low-tech devices, such as picture
communication boards, on which children communicate by pointing to pictures, to
very high-tech devices, such as computer voice output devices where children
can program a computer to speak for them.
THE REVIEWS Of the 65 review articles included in this project, only 3 address AAC
interventions and none reflect eitology or assessment. These
reviews of research examine evidence for the effectiveness of specific
augmentative and alternative communication techniques commonly used in
therapy such as visual schedules, functional communication training, and
REVIEWS CONCLUDE Overall, functional communication training has been shown to increase
children’s use of functional signs and to reduce problem behaviours as long
as clinicians match the new functional communication goals to existing
problem behaviours. Visual schedules have been shown to help children,
particularly children with autism, to predict and understand activities, and
to reduce problem behaviours.
research evidence suggests that there is little agreement and limited
evidence to determine which communication strategy is better for children
with limited expressive language skills: total or aided. In
general however, research suggests that total communication may be the more effective method
for children with good fine motor abilities, while aided communication may
be the better method for children with poor fine motor difficulties.
on total communication have focused on naming vocabulary, while studies using aided communication have focused on
communication such as requesting which may be more beneficial
for children in terms of social success. Research on teaching
communication rejecting to children revealed three empirically validated
strategies for clinicians to use in intervention: rejecting when offered
non-preferred objects, discrimination rejecting, and rejecting as a
communicative repair strategy. This review may be beneficial to clinicians in selecting which evidence-based AAC strategies to use with specific children.
©2006 by Canadian Centre
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