Patti L. Solomon-Rice & Gloria Soto
Communication Disorders Quarterly
Toddlers benefiting from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) often demonstrate delayed expressive vocabulary. However, a paucity of AAC intervention research exists for children under the age of 3. There have also been few AAC studies comparing language intervention techniques across children of any age. This study investigated two intervention techniques on the expressive vocabulary of three toddlers who were beginning AAC users. In one condition (focused stimulation), the speech-language pathologist (SLP) verbally modeled each target word 10 times during an intervention session. In the other condition (augmented input), the SLP modeled each target word 10 times during an intervention session by simultaneously speaking the word and using the child’s AAC system. The results revealed the participants’ expressive vocabulary improved during both conditions and was sustained and generalized for two of the three toddlers. The study provides preliminary, empirically based guidelines to consider during communication intervention with toddlers who are learning to use AAC.