Comprehension Assessment of a Child Using an AAC System A Comparison of Two Techniques Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   August 01, 1995
Comprehension Assessment of a Child Using an AAC System
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ann Sutton
    McGill University
  • Tanya Gallagher
    McGill University
  • Contact author: Ann Sutton, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University, 1266 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1A8, CANADA
Article Information
Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   August 01, 1995
Comprehension Assessment of a Child Using an AAC System
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1995, Vol. 4, 60-68. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0403.60
History: Received September 9, 1994 , Accepted February 13, 1995
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1995, Vol. 4, 60-68. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0403.60
History: Received September 9, 1994; Accepted February 13, 1995

This study explored the utility of two tasks for assessing past-tense comprehension of a child (SA) with severe physical impairments using an AAC system, and two chronologically age-matched children with normal speech and language development. One task, the Discourse Task, assessed comprehension by calculating the children's frequencies of contingent past-time responding within conversations with their mothers. The other task, the Nonsense-Enactment Task, assessed comprehension of past-tense "ed" affixation using nonsense verb stimuli. Data comparisons indicated that SA was as responsive and comfortable within the Nonsense-Enactment Task as were her chronologically age-matched peers. Subject performance differences within the Discourse Task reflected discourse use differences among the mothers, and limitations in the response opportunities and response options available in SA's AAC system compared to spoken discourse. When appropriate adjustments for these differences were made, SA and the comparison subjects demonstrated similar levels of past-tense comprehension. Clinical implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a Summer Research Bursary from the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, and a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the first author, and in part by National Multipurpose Research and Training Center Grant DC-01409 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to the second author. Some of the data were presented at the Seventh Biennial International Conference on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Philadelphia, PA, August 9, 1992. We thank the children and their families for their participation, and we acknowledge the cooperation of the staff of the Erin Oak Center, Mississauga, Ontario.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access