Enhancing Vocabulary Selection for Preschoolers Who Require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems (e.g., communication books of line drawings, computer-based voice output systems) offer children with severe communication disabilities increased opportunities for participation in home, school, and community activities. However, without the appropriate vocabulary, AAC systems will not be effective. This project addressed the challenge of vocabulary ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2001
Enhancing Vocabulary Selection for Preschoolers Who Require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen A. Fallon
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Janice C. Light
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • Tara Kramer Paige
    The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2001
Enhancing Vocabulary Selection for Preschoolers Who Require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2001, Vol. 10, 81-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/010)
History: Received August 29, 2000 , Accepted December 26, 2000
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2001, Vol. 10, 81-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/010)
History: Received August 29, 2000; Accepted December 26, 2000
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems (e.g., communication books of line drawings, computer-based voice output systems) offer children with severe communication disabilities increased opportunities for participation in home, school, and community activities. However, without the appropriate vocabulary, AAC systems will not be effective. This project addressed the challenge of vocabulary selection for children who require AAC through two studies: (1) analysis of the vocabulary of typically developing preschoolers and (2) subsequent development and field testing of a vocabulary selection questionnaire. Language samples from five typically developing preschool children were analyzed to determine the words used and the content of the preschoolers’ language. Results indicated that a large portion of the words used by the participants was accounted for by a relatively limited number of words. Using these data and data from other studies in the field, a vocabulary selection questionnaire for professionals and parents was developed and field-tested. A total of 45 speech-language pathologists, teachers, and parents indicated a high level of satisfaction, with 93% of informants reporting that they would use the tool again and 98% of informants indicating that they would recommend it to other parents and professionals. Results from both studies are presented and discussed with reference to clinical implications and future research directions.

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