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AAC intervention and communicative behaviors (Chavers et al., 2021)

journal contribution
posted on 29.09.2021, 19:59 by Tiffany N. Chavers, Madison Morris, Ralf W. Schlosser, Rajinder Koul
Purpose: To determine the effects of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention using a speech-generating device (SGD) on acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of multistep requesting and generic small talk in three children with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 7 and 13 years.
Method: A multiple-baseline design across participants combined with a posttreatment multiple-generalization-probe design was used to assess acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of target communicative behaviors with the experimenter and the participants’ familiar communication partners (FCPs). Intervention was composed of systematic instruction in the use of an SGD using least-to-most prompting, constant time delay, error correction, and reinforcement.
Results: Visual analysis established a strong functional relationship between the independent variable and the two dependent variables (i.e., requesting preferred activities, engaging in generic small talk) for all three participants. Effect size indicator analyses corroborated these findings, indicating strong effects for performing multistep requesting and medium effects for engaging in generic small talk. All participants were able to generalize the acquired communicative behaviors to request new and untrained snacks and activities and engage in generic small talk with FCPs who were not part of the training. Maintenance of acquired communicative behaviors was demonstrated 3 weeks post completion of intervention.
Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence that AAC intervention using an SGD and incorporating least-to-most prompting, constant time delay, error correction, and reinforcement is effective in terms of multistep requesting and generic small talk behaviors in children with severe ASD.

Supplemental Material S1. Procedural reliability: Intervention.

Supplemental Material S2. Procedural reliability: Generalization.

Supplemental Material S3. Treatment integrity checklist.

Chavers, T. N., Morris, M., Schlosser, R. W., & Koul, R. (2021). Effects of a systematic augmentative and alternative communication intervention using a speech-generating device on multistep requesting and generic small talk for children with severe autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-20-00353

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