Samuel C. Senott, Janice C. LIght, & David McNaughton
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
A systematic review of research on the effects of interventions that include communication partner modeling of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on the language acquisition of individuals with complex communication needs was conducted. Included studies incorporated AAC modeling as a primary component of the intervention, defined as the communication partners (a) modeling aided AAC as they speak and (b) participating in the context of a naturalistic communication interaction. This review used a best-evidence approach, including nine single-case studies, with 31 participants, and 70 replications, and one quasi-experimental randomized group design study, including 63 participants. The results of the review indicated that AAC modeling intervention packages led to meaningful linguistic gains across four areas including (a) pragmatics, marked by increases in communication turns; (b) semantics, marked by receptive and expressive vocabulary increases; (c) syntax, marked by multi-symbol turn increases; and (d) morphology, marked by increases in target morphology structures.