American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review


Augmentative and Alternative Communication Interventions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: Narrative Review of Comparative Single-Subject Experimental Studies

Schlosser, R. W., & Sigafoos, J. (2006).
Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27(1), 1-29.

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 No

Description: This is a review of comparative studies investigating the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with children or adults with developmental disabilities. While this review includes participants with a variety of developmental disabilities (e.g., cerebral palsy, intellectual disability and/or autism), some recommendations are based on studies of specific populations, such as autism.

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Children and adults with developmental disability

Intervention/Assessment: AAC intervention

Number of Studies Included: Not stated

Years Included: Not stated

Findings:

Conclusions:

  • Treatment
    • Cognition (Autism)
      • AAC
        • General Findings - Use delayed prompting rather than fading to increase receptive graphic symbol discriminations (Suggestive Evidence) (p. 22).
        • Picture Exchange Communication Systgem (PECS) - Teach the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) rather than manual signing to expedite expressive use, increase initiations during free choice, and to increase eye contact (Conclusive Evidence) (p. 24).
        • Sign Language
          • Use simultaneous communication rather than sign-alone to improve expressive signing, natural speech production and receptive speech (Suggestive Evidence) (p. 22).
          • Teach Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) rather than manual signing to expedite expressive use, increase initiations during free choice, and to increase eye contact (Conclusive Evidence) (p. 24).
        • Total Communication - Use simultaneous communication rather than sign-alone to improve expressive signing, natural speech production and receptive speech (Suggestive Evidence) (p. 22).
      • Speech and Language (Cerebral Palsy)
        • AAC
          • Choose one of three positions (chair, stander, prone-wedge) over the sidelyer position to facilitate access to communication displays (Suggestive Evidence) (p. 23).
          • Use inverse scanning rather than automatic or step scanning regardless of type of cerebral palsy (CP) for selection technique. Automatic scanning for children with spastic CP is not recommended (Suggestive Evidence) (p. 23).

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Congenital Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, American Sign Language, Voice Output Communication Aids

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

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