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Recounting of stories by children with Down Syndrome: influence of use of AAC

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Abstract
Down Syndrome (DS) is characterized by a series of repercussions in development, predominantly affecting cognitive and language aspects, including memory abilities. These impairments negatively impact social interaction. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can aid the development of language and various aspects of speech therapy. The objective of this study was to identify the contribution of AAC in the expression of children with DS. The present study included ten children with DS aged between 6 years and 10 years 11 months; participants of the Multidisciplinary DS Outpatient Clinic, with consent forms signed by their guardians. Vocabulary and phonology assessments were performed (ABFW Language Test Protocol). The intervention entailed the presentation of two stories using a CD-ROM during two separate sessions, standardizing the presentation procedure. For each story, participants were asked to recount the story and a comprehension test was applied. No assistance was given to aid communication for the first story. AAC boards were used for the second story. Better performance on the proposed tasks was observed with use of the AAC boards. Most of the children showed improvement in memory ability and expressive skills, with longer dialogue time and greater ease of interpersonal communication. When using AAC, the children exhibited better performance on the facts/events narrative and for answers to the comprehension questions about the stories. The results therefore suggest that the use of AAC for children with DS favors language development and should be exploited in the therapeutic approach.
Key words: Down Syndrome; Communication Aids for Disabled; Language

Author(s):

MARIA ISILDA MIELOTTI CARAFIZI    
SCHOOL OF SLP AND AUDIOLOGY - SANTA CASA DE SAO PAULO SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES
Brazil

SANDRA CRISTINA FONSECA PIRES    
SCHOOL OF SLP AND AUDIOLOGY - SANTA CASA DE SAO PAULO SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES
Brazil

 

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