Description and Evaluation of a Home-Based, Parent-Administered Program for Teaching Enhanced Natural Gestures to Individuals With Angelman Syndrome Purpose This article describes and presents outcomes of a home-based, self-administered version of the Enhanced Natural Gestures (ENG) program for individuals with Angelman syndrome. Method Parents of 18 individuals (11 boys and 7 girls) with Angelman syndrome, in consultation with their speech-language pathologists, participated in a quasi-experimental “B” ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   February 01, 2016
Description and Evaluation of a Home-Based, Parent-Administered Program for Teaching Enhanced Natural Gestures to Individuals With Angelman Syndrome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephen N. Calculator
    University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Disclosure: Stephen N. Calculator is the developer of the Enhanced Natural Gestures program discussed in this article.
    Disclosure: Stephen N. Calculator is the developer of the Enhanced Natural Gestures program discussed in this article. ×
  • Correspondence to Stephen N. Calculator: stephen.calculator@unh.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Nancy Brady
    Associate Editor: Nancy Brady×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   February 01, 2016
Description and Evaluation of a Home-Based, Parent-Administered Program for Teaching Enhanced Natural Gestures to Individuals With Angelman Syndrome
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2016, Vol. 25, 1-13. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-15-0017
History: Received February 19, 2015 , Revised June 2, 2015 , Accepted August 20, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2016, Vol. 25, 1-13. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-15-0017
History: Received February 19, 2015; Revised June 2, 2015; Accepted August 20, 2015

Purpose This article describes and presents outcomes of a home-based, self-administered version of the Enhanced Natural Gestures (ENG) program for individuals with Angelman syndrome.

Method Parents of 18 individuals (11 boys and 7 girls) with Angelman syndrome, in consultation with their speech-language pathologists, participated in a quasi-experimental “B” design in which they self-administered an instructional program to teach their children to use enhanced natural gestures at home and/or in the community. Parents integrated 2 teaching methods, Mand-Model with time delay and Molding–Shaping, into their everyday interactions with their children. Parents reported outcomes of the program through goal attainment scaling and completion of the ENG Acceptability Rating Form.

Results Children's overall achievements acquiring ENGs generally met or exceeded program (and parent) expectations. Most parents reported little difficulty self-administering the ENG program with their children and regarded the program positively across multiple dimensions.

Conclusions ENGs may, in conjunction with other forms of augmentative and alternative communication, represent a viable method of communication for many individuals with Angelman syndrome. Further research is warranted to explore the feasibility of ENGs with other populations of individuals with severe disabilities and complex communication challenges.

Acknowledgment
Special thanks to the families who participated in this investigation as well as the Angelman Syndrome Foundation USA (ASF) for their valuable assistance recruiting subjects by bringing the study to the attention of the Angelman syndrome community. ASF support of basic and applied research is critical in advancing our understanding of this syndrome and its treatment.
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