The effect of responsiveness to speech-generating device input on spoken language in children with autism spectrum disorder who are minimally verbal

Kyle Sterrett, Alison Holbrook, Rebecca Landa, Ann Kaiser, Connie Kasari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of speech-generating devices (SGD) in early interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can improve communication and spoken language outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe children’s responsiveness to SGD input modeled by a social partner during adult-child play interactions over a 24-week intervention trial and explore the effect of that responsiveness on spoken language growth. This secondary analysis consisted of 31 children with less than 20 functional words at study entry who received a blended behavioral intervention (JASPER + EMT) as part of a randomized controlled trial. Significant improvements were seen in rate of responsiveness to both adult SGD models and adult natural speech models; only rate of responsiveness to SGD models at entry was a significant predictor of frequency of commenting and was a more robust predictor of number of different words post-intervention. Lastly, at entry, children with more joint attention and language responded to SGD models at significantly higher rates. Attention and responsiveness to SGD output may be important mechanisms of language growth and children who have more joint attention skills may particularly benefit from use of an SGD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Keywords

  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • language
  • minimally-verbal
  • speech-generating device

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