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Summary of Systematic Review

The Impact of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention on the Speech Production of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Research Review
Millar, D. C., Light, J. C., et al. (2006).
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49(2), 248-264.

This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review states a clearly focused question or aim No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

Description:
This is a meta-analysis of studies investigating the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on the speech production of individuals with developmental disabilities including mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
Question not specifically stated.

Population:
Individuals with developmental disabilities who had significant speech impairments (ages ranged from 2 to 60 years). 31% with autism, 40% with mental retardation, 29% with other disabilities such as Klinefelter’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Intervention/Assessment:
Augmentative and alternative communication.

Number of Studies Included:
23

Years Included:
1975 to 2003

Conclusions:

Cerebral Palsy

  • Treatment

    • Speech and Language

      • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

        • “The present research review provides important preliminary evidence that AAC interventions do not inhibit speech production; instead, AAC may also support speech production” (p. 259).

        • The positive effects were observed across a wide age span (2-60 years of age) suggesting that “speech gains may still be realized by individuals with developmental disabilities well past the critical early childhood years” (p. 257).

        • The positive effects of AAC on speech were noted across different instructional approaches including highly-structured clinician-directed behavioral approaches and child-centered.

Social Communication Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

        • General Findings – "In keeping with evidence-based practices and outcomes measurement, clinicians should carefully monitor the effectiveness of AAC interventions with individual clients to determine the effects on communicative competence, social interaction, language skills, and speech production" (p. 258).

    • Speech

      • "In keeping with evidence-based practices and outcomes measurement, clinicians should carefully monitor the effectiveness of AAC interventions with individual clients to determine the effects on communicative competence, social interaction, language skills, and speech production" (p. 258). 

Spoken Language Disorders

  • Treatment

    • Cognition/Language

      • Treatment Modality

        • General AAC

          • "In keeping with evidence-based practices and outcomes measurement, clinicians should carefully monitor the effectiveness of AAC interventions with individual clients to determine the effects on communicative competence, social interaction, language skills, and speech production" (p. 258).

Sponsoring Body:
Not stated.

Keywords:
Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Congenital Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disabilities, Dysarthria, Developmental Disorders

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