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The Effect of a Checklist on School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists’ Descriptions of AAC Assessment

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Aim. This session will present methods and results of a study designed to determine the effect of a checklist on school-based speech-language pathologists’ descriptions of augmentative and alternative communication assessment.

Methods. A pretest-posttest control group design was used to determine the effect of a checklist on speech-language pathologists’ descriptions of augmentative and alternative communication assessment. Participants in both groups described assessments for students with complex communication needs (CCN) during pre- and posttests. Participants in the experimental group received a checklist for augmentative and alternative communication assessment during the posttest.

Results. School-based speech-language pathologists’ descriptions of augmentative and alternative communication assessment were scored on their inclusion of (a) students’ communication needs; (b) student skills; and (c) partner and environmental supports and limitations. A two-way ANOVA compared the mean differences between the experimental and control groups on pre- and posttests. The results indicate that checklists improve school-based speech-language pathologists’ descriptions of augmentative and alternative communication assessment.

Conclusions. Augmentative and alternative communication assessments are difficult to implement because (a) children with CCN are diverse in diagnosis, age, and skills; (b) speech-language pathologists receive limited preservice preparation in augmentative and alternative communication; and (c) there are limited practice guidelines for augmentative and alternative communication assessment. The results of this study indicate the potential of checklists to improve school-based augmentative and alternative communication assessment and intervention.

Author(s):

Julia Birmingham    
The Pennsylvania State University
United States

Janice Light    
The Pennsylvania State University
United States

 

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