Knowledge Library

Systematic Review of Interventions Involving Aided AAC Modeling for Children With Complex Communication Needs

Building the communicative competence of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) requires intervention and support. This systematic review examined experimental studies involving aided AAC modeling to promote the expressive communication of children and youth (i.e., birth to age 21) with complex communication needs. A search yielded 48 studies involving 267 participants. Interventions were categorized according to three different approaches to aided AAC modeling—augmented input, models as prompts, and models within instructional demonstrations. Although the procedures varied, interventions were generally effective at improving diverse measures of expressive communication. This review provides insight for both researchers and practitioners by describing interventions involving three distinct approaches to aided AAC modeling, highlighting areas needing future research, and offering implications for practice.

INCREASING THE VOCAL RESPONSES OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES USING MANUAL SIGN MAND TRAINING AND PROMPT DELAY

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of manual sign mand training combined with prompt delay and vocal prompting on the production of vocal responses in nonvocal children with developmental disabilities. A multiple baseline design across participants verified the effectiveness of this intervention. All participants showed increases in vocal responses following the implementation of the independent variables.

The Benefits of Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior for Children with Autism

Behavior analysis has already contributed substantially to the treatment of children with autism,
and further gains can result from more use of Skinner’s analysis of language in Verbal Behavior
(1957) and in the resulting conceptual and experimental work. The approach emphasizes a unit
of analysis consisting of the relations between behavior, motivative and discriminative variables,
and consequences. Skinner identifies seven types of verbal operants—echoic, mand, tact,
intraverbal, textual, transcriptive, and copying a text—which function as components of more
advanced forms of language. This approach focuses on the development of each verbal operant
(rather than onwords and their meanings) and on the independent training of speaker and listener
repertoires. Five more specific contributions are described that relate to the importance of (a) an
effective language assessment, (b) mand training in early intervention, (c) establishing operations,
(d) an intraverbal repertoire, and (e) automatic reinforcement.

INCREASING THE VARIETY OF FOODS CONSUMED BY A PICKY EATER: GENERALIZATION OF EFFECTS ACROSS CAREGIVERS AND SETTINGS

A multiple baseline across settings was used to evaluate the effects of differential reinforcement of
alternative behavior, nonremoval of the fork (Hoch, Babbitt, Coe, Krell, & Hackbert, 1994),
and stimulus fading on consumption of food rejected previously. The study was conducted in
two separate settings, and caregivers were trained in the intervention technique to increase
generalization to natural settings. Food variety increased in both settings.