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ERIC Number: EJ1013879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Predicting Language Outcomes for Children Learning Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Child and Environmental Factors
Brady, Nancy C.; Thiemann-Bourque, Kathy; Fleming, Kandace; Matthews, Kris
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n5 p1595-1612 Oct 2013
Purpose: To investigate a model of language development for nonverbal preschool-age children learning to communicate with augmentative or alternative communication. Method: Ninety-three preschool children with intellectual disabilities were assessed at Time 1, and 82 of these children were assessed 1 year later, at Time 2. The outcome variable was the number of different words the children produced (with speech, sign, or speech-generating devices). Children's intrinsic predictor for language was modeled as a latent variable consisting of cognitive development, comprehension, play, and nonverbal communication complexity. Adult input at school and home, and amount of augmentative or alternative communication instruction, were proposed mediators of vocabulary acquisition. Results: A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that measures converged as a coherent construct, and a structural equation model indicated that the intrinsic child predictor construct predicted different words children produced. The amount of input received at home, but not at school, was a significant mediator. Conclusions: The hypothesized model accurately reflects a latent construct of Intrinsic Symbolic Factor (ISF). Children who evidenced higher initial levels of ISF and more adult input at home produced more words 1 year later. The findings support the need to assess multiple child variables and suggest interventions directed to the indicators of ISF and input.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A