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Effects of introducing AAC resources in the preschool and daycare

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In Brazil, the number of children enrollment in kindergartens and preschool has increased sharply in the last decade, enabling greater access for children with disabilities. This study aimed to introduce and analyze the effects of the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and other Assistive Technology (AT) resources for children with disabilities and complex communication needs in the context of early childhood education. The methodology was both qualitative and quantitative, with questionnaires, interviews, and protocols to characterize the development of three nonvocal children. Also a quasi-experimental A-B-C single subject research design was conducted to evaluate the effects of introducing AAC in the classroom. The intervention took place in the context of a collaborative action of an occupational therapist with the teacher with the purpose to benefit all students in the classroom. The results showed positive effects in various categories analyzed as the increase in interaction time, in responding to requests from both teachers and mediators; the expressive possibilities using different response modalities; the involvement of children in targeted activities; in interaction with colleagues in free activities. The study reaffirmed the benefits of using AAC, resource in promoting participation for children with complex communication needs; also it pointed out the need to start using AAC and AT resources, as soon as there is the identification of students communication difficulties. All students can benefit from their participation in the activities of early childhood education. Finally, the research stressed the need for collaborative action between health and education professionals.

Author(s):

Vera Lucia Vieira de Souza    
State University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Brazil

Leila Regina d'Oliveira de Paula Nunes    
State University of Rio de Janeiro
Brazil

Rafaela Faria    
State University of Rio de Janeiro
Brazil

 

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