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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Effects of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on Speech Production in Children with Autism: A Systematic Review

Schlosser, R. W., & Wendt, O. (2008).
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3), 212-230.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review of single-subject and group design studies investigating the effects of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention on speech production for children with autism or pervasive developmental disorder that is not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specified.

Population: Children with autism or PDD-NOS who were not functionally speaking prior to AAC intervention.

Intervention/Assessment: Augmentative and alternative communication, i.e. supplementing and/or replacing natural speech with aided and/or unaided symbols.

Number of Studies Included: 11

Years Included: 1975 - May 2007



  • Treatment
    • Speech
      • AAC - This review found no evidence that AAC intervention hinders speech production in children with autism or PDD-NOS and suggests that AAC may result in increased speech production. The authors note that the "observed gains in speech production may vary across individuals and, if they do occur, are typically small in magnitude" (p. 227). 

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

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