Authors: Binger C, Kent-Walsh J, Berens J, Del Campo S, Rivera D
Title: Teaching Latino Parents to Support the Multi-Symbol Message Productions of their Children who Require AAC
Source: Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2008 24(4): 323-338
Year: 2008
Research Design: Single Case Design

Many children who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) have difficulties shifting from the single- to multi-symbol stage of language development. Ensuring that children who use AAC receive evidence-based interventions to address this problem is critical. Furthermore, there has been little AAC treatment efficacy research to date that addresses the needs of multicultural populations, particularly those of Latino children who use AAC and their families. To address these issues, the current investigation used a mixed methodology, which included a focus group to determine if any changes needed to be made to an existing instructional program; and a single subject, multiple probe, across participants design to evaluate the effects of a caregiver instructional program on the multi-symbol utterance productions of Latino children who used AAC. Specifically, a cognitive strategy instructional approach that has been used to teach turn-taking skills to both Caucasian and African American children who use AAC was modified and used to teach caregivers how to support the production of their children's multi-symbol messages. In order to foster emergent literacy skills, caregivers implemented the strategy during book reading activities. Focus group results revealed that changes to the instructional program may be required for some Latino families. With regard to the instructional program, all caregivers successfully learned to use the instructional strategy, and all children increased their use of multi-symbol messages. Research and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

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