Teaching Requesting to Individuals with Rett Syndrome Using Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) Through Caregiver Coaching via Telehealth

Rebecca L Kolb, Jennifer McComas, Shawn N Girtler, Jessica J Simacek, Adele F. Dimian, Emily K Unholz-Bowden, Alefyah H. Shipchandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rett syndrome is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder that results in both motor and language skill regression with a wide range of severity in symptom presentation. Communication intervention may be particularly challenging for this population due to the decline in speech, motor skills, and motor planning difficulties that characterize the disorder (Townend et al., 2020), often resulting in the need for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology. Very limited research has evaluated communication interventions for individuals with Rett syndrome and even fewer have targeted expressive communication, an important skill required for improved autonomy and quality of life (Sigafoos et al., 2009; Townend et al., 2020). The current study sought to systematically replicate the Simacek et al. (2017) mand training procedures to teach three girls with Rett Syndrome to use AAC to make requests through caregiver coaching by researchers via telehealth. Results suggest that mand training was successful in increasing AAC use for all three participants. Barriers to intervention for this population and implications of results for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1090
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by National Institute of Health/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant No. 1R21DC015021.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • AAC
  • Communication
  • Complex communication needs
  • Mand training
  • Rett syndrome
  • Telehealth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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