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Supporting a Team in Planning and Implementing AAC for a Child with Intellectual Disability

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Aim. We present the results of a mixed methods study examining the effectiveness of a supports package for a child’s augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) team that included both school employees and family members. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of a team who is supporting a child with intellectual disability and complex communication needs in elementary school.
Method. We used mixed methods, combining qualitative case study and experimental single-case methodologies, to examine the effects of a supports package on (a) the team’s functioning, (b) the team’s implementation activities, and (c) the child’s communication. The supports package included a structured team meeting and one-on-one coaching.
Results. The study is in progress and is anticipated to conclude in February of 2016. In our preliminary analyses of data collected to date, we have found ways in which the supports package has improved the team’s functioning and AAC implementation and supported changes in the child’s communication via AAC. We have also found ways in which the supports package can be modified to better achieve the desired outcomes. We will present final and complete results.
Conclusion. Coordinating AAC services for individuals with intellectual disability across all relevant supporters and settings has long been a challenge for families, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals (e.g., teachers). We present the results of an intervention with one team for a Kindergartener who uses AAC and the implications of our findings for other school teams who are supporting individuals with intellectual disability who use AAC.


Melinda Snodgrass    
University of Illinois
United States

Hedda Meadan    
University of Illinois
United States


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