The Use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Methods With Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities: A Research ReviewBy Branson, Diane; Demchak, Maryann; Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 274-286
Review of relevant research sought to determine the evidence base for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) use with infants and toddlers with disabilities. The review identified 12 studies involving 190 participants aged 36 months or younger. The majority of the studies investigated unaided AAC methods such as gestures or sign language, with 42 percent of the studies also including aided AAC methods including the use of line drawings from Board Builder, Picture Communication Symbols, Blissymbols, and Makaton; photographs; voice output communication aid (VOCA). A variety of intervention procedures were used across the studies, primarily in the form of intervention packages to teach specific skills; in 9 of the studies, the intervention targeted child behavior. Only 2 studies compared AAC methods: sign language versus Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) with children with autism, and manual signs alone compared to manual signs plus a VOCA with a child with Down syndrome. Although all studies reported improvement in child communication following AAC intervention, in-depth analyses of study methodology indicated that only 7 out of the 12 provided conclusive evidence. Implications for early intervention AAC practice and future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: BLISSYMBOLS GALLERY
COMMUNICATION BOARD BUILDER
PICTURE COMMUNICATION SYMBOLS BOOK I, II, III & PICTURE COMMUNICATION SYMBOLS COMPLETE SET
Published by: International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) (Website:http://www.isaac-online.org)