Authors: Therrien MCS, Light J, Pope L
Title: Systematic Review of the Effects of Interventions to Promote Peer Interactions for Children who use Aided AAC
Source: Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2016 32(2): 81-93
Year: 2016
Research Design: Systematic Review

The goals of this systematic review were to investigate studies that implemented interventions to increase or improve peer interaction for children who used aided AAC, to evaluate the strengths and limitations of those studies, and to discuss implications for practice and directions for future research. A systematic search resulted in the identification of 19 studies (56 participants). Studies were coded and summarized in terms of participants, independent and dependent variables, outcomes, and quality of evidence. All 19 studies reported positive effects on interactions with peers, though the results varied in degree. Although the quality of evidence varied, three studies met the standards of conclusive evidence, and an additional five presented preponderant evidence. The most frequently used intervention components were teaching children with complex communication needs how to use AAC within social interactions and teaching peers skills and strategies to promote interaction. While the body of research suggests that intervention can promote positive peer interactions for children with complex communication needs, the evidence for preschool-aged children and children with autism spectrum disorders is relatively sparse.

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