Authors: Walker VL, Snell ME
Title: Effects of augmentative and alternative communication on challenging behavior: A meta-analysis
Source: Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2013 29(2): 117-131
Year: 2013
Research Design: Systematic Review

The purposes of this review were to (a) use meta-analytic procedures to examine the effectiveness of single-case AAC intervention research on challenging behaviors exhibited by individuals with disabilities, (b) identify study characteristics that moderate intervention effects, and (c) evaluate the quality of research. The authors provided inferential and descriptive analyses of 54 studies representing 111 participants and estimated effect sizes using the Nonoverlap of All Pairs (NAP) method. Overall, AAC interventions were found to be equally effective across a broad spectrum of participants and interventions. AAC interventions were more effective with younger children than with adults. Interventions in which functional behavior assessments (FBA) were used had significantly larger effect sizes than those that did not use FBAs. Further, functional communication training interventions resulted in larger effect sizes than Picture Exchange Communication System interventions. Descriptive analysis revealed that (a) interventions often occurred in atypical environments (e.g., therapy room, experimental room) and with atypical interventionists (e.g., therapists, researchers), and (b) numerous studies did not exhibit quality characteristics of single-case research.

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