Randomized Comparison of Augmented and Nonaugmented Language Interventions for Toddlers With Developmental Delays and Their Parents

  • Romski M
  • Sevcik R
  • Adamson L
 et al. 
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Abstract

Purpose: This study compared the language performance of young children with developmental delays who were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 parent-coached language interventions. Differences in performance on augmented and spoken word size and use, vocabulary size, and communication interaction skills were examined. Method: Sixty-eight toddlers with fewer than 10 spoken words were randomly assigned to augmented communication input (AC-I), augmented communication output (AC-O), or spoken communication (SC) interventions; 62 children completed the intervention. This trial assessed the children’s symbolic language performance using communication measures from the language transcripts of the 18th and 24th intervention sessions and coding of target vocabulary use. Results: All children in the AC-O and AC-I intervention groups used augmented and spoken words for the target vocabulary items, whereas children in the SC intervention produced a very small number of spoken words. Vocabulary size was substantially larger for AC-O and AC-I than for SC groups. Conclusions: This study found that augmented language interventions that include parent coaching have a positive communication effect on young children with developmental delays who begin with fewer than 10 spoken words. Clinical implications suggest that augmented communication does not hinder, and actually aids, speech production abilities in young children with developmental delays. KEY WORDS: augmentative/alternative communication, developmental delay, parents, intervention, language disorders S Purpose: This study compared the language performance of young children with developmental delays who were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 parent-coached language interventions. Differences in performance on augmented and spoken word size and use, vocabulary size, and communication interaction skills were examined. Method: Sixty-eight toddlers with fewer than 10 spoken words were randomly assigned to augmented communication input (AC-I), augmented communication output (AC-O), or spoken communication (SC) interventions; 62 children completed the intervention. This trial assessed the children’s symbolic language performance using communication measures from the language transcripts of the 18th and 24th intervention sessions and coding of target vocabulary use. Results: All children in the AC-O and AC-I intervention groups used augmented and spoken words for the target vocabulary items, whereas children in the SC intervention produced a very small number of spoken words. Vocabulary size was substantially larger for AC-O and AC-I than for SC groups. Conclusions: This study found that augmented language interventions that include parent coaching have a positive communication effect on young children with developmental delays who begin with fewer than 10 spoken words. Clinical implications suggest that augmented communication does not hinder, and actually aids, speech production abilities in young children with developmental delays. KEY WORDS: augmentative/alternative communication, developmental delay, parents, intervention, language disorders S

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Authors

  • MaryAnn Romski

  • Rose A. Sevcik

  • Lauren B. Adamson

  • Melissa Cheslock

  • Ashlyn Smith

  • R. Michael Barker

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