Tag Archive: research

Watch It Wednesday: Viva La Evidence

December 31, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch It Wednesday: Viva La Evidence

“A 21st century clinician who cannot critically read a study is as unprepared as one who cannot take blood pressure or examine the cardiovascular system.” What better way to end one year and usher in the new, than a reminder of the role of scientific study in our profession? In AAC, there isn’t as much research as we would like, but we sure do need to make it our business to evaluate and use the empirical evidence that we do have. P.S. We like Coldplay a little more now. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::  Glasziou, P., Burls, A.,& Gilbert, R. (2008). Evidence based medicine and the medical curriculum: The search engine is now as essential as the stethoscope. The BMJ, 337, 704. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUW0Q8tXVUc  

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Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

August 6, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

Today, we’ll take a look at a collaborative effort by researchers at University College London (Department of Developmental Science), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (Neurodisability Service), and Barnsley Hospital. These researchers are investigating the eye gaze patterns of children with cerebral palsy who have little or no functional speech. Could tracking eye movements be a useful way to assess language skills? This is a line of research we will be watching. Direct Link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/gaze

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Research Tuesday: Comparing Picture Exchange and SGDs

June 10, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Research Tuesday: Comparing Picture Exchange and SGDs

Picture exchange is powerful strategy for building symbolic communication in individuals with significant communication difficulties. We’ve posted about implementation of PECS a few times, and included references to research supporting its efficacy in some additional posts. Today, we look at a sequence of three single subject design experimental studies by Dr. Jeff Sigafoos and other researchers that looked at how the use of picture exchange and AAC devices (SGD condition) impacted social interaction. In the initial study, the team taught requesting skills either with picture exchange or AAC devices and then looked to see if there were any changes in social interaction. They hypothesized that the physical act of picking up a symbol and giving it to someone, as with the picture exchange condition, would make the learner less likely to turn away from his communication partner. So, in addition to measuring how well the participant learned to make requests,... [Read More...]

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Converting Disordered Natural Speech to Clear Synthetic Speech

February 20, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Converting Disordered Natural Speech to Clear Synthetic Speech

One of the exciting things about being in an AT-related field, is watching new developments  in technology. Many of us have worked with individuals who have intact language and severely impaired speech. When we last wrote about ViviVoca (Voice-Input, Voice-Output Communication Aid), it generated a lot of interest as a potential support for some individuals who struggle with face-to-face communication. The research efforts are lead by Dr. Mark Hawley, Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield, in the UK. We’re pleased to be able to share a video showing this emerging technology in aaction. Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTyjlM2jYMs  

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10 References Supporting AAC Use in Inclusive Settings

January 22, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

10 References Supporting AAC Use in Inclusive Settings

We sometimes get contacted by colleagues who are looking for references supporting the use of AAC. Here are some that are specific to inclusive settings in schools and in the community.*  Alquraini, T., & Gut, D. (2012). Critical components of successful inclusion of students with severe disabilities: Literature review. International Journal of Special Education, 27(1), 42-59. Balandin, S., & Duchan, J. (2007). Communication: Access to inclusion. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 32(4), 230-232. Batorowicz, B., Mcdougall, S., & Shepherd, T. A. (2006). AAC and community partnerships: The participation path to community inclusion. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 22(3), 178-195. Calculator, S. (2009). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and inclusive education for students with the most severe disabilities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13 (1) 93-113. Carter, M., & Maxwell, K., (1998). Promoting interaction with children using augmentative communication through peer-directed intervention. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education 45(1) 75-96. Daugherty,... [Read More...]

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Does AAC Really Work with Infants and Toddlers?

January 14, 2014 by - 5 Comments

Does AAC Really Work with Infants and Toddlers?

We are occasionally asked how old children have to be before you can begin teaching AAC. Our answer: There is no set minimum age. Nor is there any research evidence that one has to use an oral-language only approach for a set period of time before beginning AAC. Today, we’re delighted to be able to share an article on this topic with you. This article describes a research review in which Branson and Demchak identified a dozen research studies looking specifically at the use of various AAC tools and strategies with infants and toddlers. Data from 190 children up to 36 months of age were examined. Of the 12 studies reviewed, 7 met criteria for having conclusive findings. In 97% of all cases, the children’s communication skills improved. Looking only at the 7 most rigorous studies is even more encouraging: All 135 babies/toddlers demonstrated improved communication skills following AAC intervention.... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Research on Presuming Competence

June 25, 2013 by - 2 Comments

PrAActical Research on PResuming Competence

We love PrAACtical research that involves intervention that presumes competence.  In this post, we bring you an article by Drs. Anne Emerson and Jackie Dearden on how adopting a ‘full’ language approach and presuming competence can result in increased understanding of complex language and literacy skills.   (Emerson & Dearden, 2013).  They discuss the role of adopting a ‘minimal’ vs ‘full’ language teaching approach.  Checkout the Sage Journals online abstract here:   The effect of using ‘full’ language when working with a child with autism: Adopting the ‘least dangerous assumption’    Emerson, A., & Dearden, J. (2013). The effect of using ‘full’ language when working with a child with autism: Adoptingthe ‘least dangerous assumption. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 29(2), 233-244. doi: 10.1177/0265659012463370

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Weighing the Evidence

June 24, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

When people have significant communication difficulties that severely restrict their participation in daily life experiences, professionals and families alike sometimes find themselves attracted to the use of unproven methods. Although this usually comes from a good place, (i.e., the fervent desire to help someone), we have to be very careful in facing these decisions. Like you, we’ve heard comments like “Let’s try it. What’s the harm?” and they scare us. The harm can be difficult to quantify but is real nonetheless. Just talk to Gracie, whose mom cancelled therapies one summer and used the monies to take her swim with the dolphins. We’re not dolphin-haters, but there’s not much they can do for apraxia. We thought it was a good time to revisit this tutorial on differentiating science from pseudoscience. Many thanks to Dr. Caroline Bowen for hosting this article on her terrific website, Speech Language Therapy.com. Finn, P., Bothe,A.,... [Read More...]

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A Fresh Look at AAC & Aphasia with Dr. Kristy Weissling

June 17, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Fresh Look at AAC & Aphasia with Dr. Kristy Weissling

We’re so pleased to be able to share the thoughts of our friend and colleague, Dr. Kristy Weissling, on providing AAC supports to people with aphasia. She received her professional doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice and clinical supervisor at the Barkley Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research and teaching interests include, aphasia, cognitive communication impairments, and AAC. She participates in implementation of a portion of the RERC grant project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She has been an instructor in aphasia and cognitive linguistic impairments for 15 years and teaches in both online and live formats. Her clinical load includes individual and group treatment of individuals with aphasia, traumatic brain injury, and early cognitive decline.  In this post, Kristy reflects on three articles that have shaped her clinical services and teaching. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I have been working with people who... [Read More...]

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