Authors: Sigafoos J, Laurie S, Pennell D
Title: Teaching children with Rett syndrome to request preferred objects using aided communication: Two preliminary studies
Source: Augmentative and Alternative Communication 1996 12(2): 88-96
Year: 1996
Research Design: Single Case Design

Two studies were conducted on teaching children with Rett syndrome to request preferred objects using aided communication. In Study 1, two children were taught to request preferred objects by selecting the generalized symbol “WANT” from a communication board. Intervention consisted of differential reinforcement, verbal, gesture, and physical prompting. With intervention, one child showed a steady increase in the percentage of independent requests to the 80 to 100% range. Although the other child never obtained a similarly high level of performance, she did become more consistent during intervention. Study 2 involved two other children who failed to show progress during the initial generalized request training. For these children, the response requirements and intervention procedures were modified. One child was taught an explicit request for a single preferred item and the other child was taught to operate a switch to access music. With these modifications, the children’s responses increased. The studies provide a preliminary demonstration of teaching aided communication to children with Rett syndrome.

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