The Effect of Aided Language Stimulation on Vocabulary Acquisition in Children With Little or No Functional Speech PurposeTo describe the nature and frequency of the aided language stimulation program and determine the effects of a 3-week-long aided language stimulation program on the vocabulary acquisition skills of children with little or no functional speech (LNFS).MethodFour children participated in this single-subject, multiple-probe study across activities. The aided language stimulation ... Research
Research  |   February 2009
The Effect of Aided Language Stimulation on Vocabulary Acquisition in Children With Little or No Functional Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shakila Dada
    Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Erna Alant
    Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Contact author: Erna Alant, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. E-mail: ealant@gmail.com.
  • © 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody
Research   |   February 2009
The Effect of Aided Language Stimulation on Vocabulary Acquisition in Children With Little or No Functional Speech
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2009, Vol. 18, 50-64. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0018)
History: Received March 12, 2007 , Revised August 15, 2007 , Accepted April 24, 2008
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2009, Vol. 18, 50-64. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0018)
History: Received March 12, 2007; Revised August 15, 2007; Accepted April 24, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

PurposeTo describe the nature and frequency of the aided language stimulation program and determine the effects of a 3-week-long aided language stimulation program on the vocabulary acquisition skills of children with little or no functional speech (LNFS).

MethodFour children participated in this single-subject, multiple-probe study across activities. The aided language stimulation program comprised 3 activities: arts and crafts, food preparation, and story time activity. Each activity was repeated over the duration of 5 subsequent sessions. Eight target vocabulary items were taught within each activity. The acquisition of all 24 target items was probed throughout the duration of the 3-week intervention period.

ResultsThe frequency and nature of the aided language stimulation provided met the criterion of being used 70% of the time and providing aided language stimulation with an 80:20 ratio of statements to questions. The results indicated that all 4 participants acquired the target vocabulary items. There were, however, variations in the rate of acquisition.

ConclusionsThis study explores the impact of aided language stimulation on vocabulary acquisition in children. The most important clinical implication of this study is that a 3-week intervention program in aided language stimulation was sufficient to facilitate the comprehension of at least 24 vocabulary items in 4 children with LNFS.

Acknowledgments
The financial support of the Mellon Foundation Mentoring Program toward this research program is hereby gratefully acknowledged. Opinions expressed in this report and conclusions arrived at are those of the authors and not necessarily attributable to the Mellon Foundation. Preliminary results of this article were presented at the 41st ENT Annual National Congress of the South African Society of ORL & HNS in conjunction with Speech Therapy & Audiology, Bloemfontein, South Africa, November 2005, and First Regional African AAC Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, February 2004. The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable input of Dr. Lyle Lloyd, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), during the development of the design of this study.
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