Opening Up a ‘Whole New World’:Employer and Co-Worker Perspectives on Working with Individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Abstract Fourteen employers and co-workers who worked with individuals who used augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) completed a survey describing their employment experiences. A qualitative analysis identified four major themes in the responses: (a) benefits of employing individuals who use AAC, (b) challenges to the employment situation, (c) supports to the employment situation, and (d) recommendations for improving employment outcomes for individuals who use AAC. Continue reading “Opening Up a ‘Whole New World’:Employer and Co-Worker Perspectives on Working with Individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication”

Communicative Spontaneity of Children with High Support Needs who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems I: Classroom Spontaneity, Mode, and Function

Abstract In the present study, the communicative spontaneity of 23 children with high support needs who used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in a classroom setting was evaluated. In contrast to previous research, spontaneity was evaluated on a continuum rather than being treated as a binary variable. Spontaneity was found to be highly variable, but some students clearly lacked the range of spontaneity that would be associated with fully functional communication. Aided AAC systems were notably less spontaneous than signing or nonsymbolic communication. Continue reading “Communicative Spontaneity of Children with High Support Needs who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems I: Classroom Spontaneity, Mode, and Function”

Common Questions about AAC Services in Early Intervention

Abstract Children and adults with developmental delays have benefited from the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems to develop language skills necessary for more generative and functional communication. Beginning communicators however, have historically been considered too young or too pre-linguistic and therefore have not been introduced to AAC systems until behaviors, thought to be prerequisites, have been noted. Recent research and theories about early communication development have challenged this traditional practice and broadened the scope of what is considered to be AAC. Practitioners and parents unfamiliar with early AAC options may not recognize possible applications of communication strategies used with typically developing children and older persons with developmental disabilities. AAC is applicable at all ages for learning communication roles and behaviors as well as for functional communication for persons who do not yet demonstrate clear referential symbol use. Continue reading “Common Questions about AAC Services in Early Intervention”

Effect of Pre-utterance Pause Length on Perceptions of Communicative Competence in AAC-Aided Social Conversations

Abstract The effect of pause length on ratings of communicative competence of social interactions of three individuals who used AAC was investigated. The AAC systems utilized in the study were whole-utterance text storage and retrieval devices. Continue reading “Effect of Pre-utterance Pause Length on Perceptions of Communicative Competence in AAC-Aided Social Conversations”

Grammatical Morphology Acquisition by Children with Complex Communication Needs 

Abstract Acquisition of three grammatical morphemes was compared in three groups of children: one with extremely limited speech that resulted in complex communication needs, one with typical development, and one with typical speech but delayed language development. A grammaticality judgment task and a comprehension task involving picture selection were administered to all participants. Literate participants were also given a structured written output task. Continue reading “Grammatical Morphology Acquisition by Children with Complex Communication Needs ”