Typical Toddlers’ participation in “JIT” programming for VSD AAC apps — Publication

Holyfield, C., Drager, K., Light, J., Caron, J. (2017).  Typical toddlers’ participation in “Just-in-Time” programming of vocabulary for Visual Scene Display Augmentative and Alternative Communication apps on mobile technology: A Descriptive Study.   American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-13.

Purpose:   Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) promotes communicative participation and language development for young children with complex communication needs. However, the motor, linguistic, and cognitive demands of many AAC technologies restrict young children’s operational use of and influence over these technologies. The purpose of the current study is to better understand young children’s participation in programming vocabulary “just in time” on an AAC application with minimized demands.

Method:  A descriptive study was implemented to highlight the participation of 10 typically developing toddlers (M age: 16 months, range: 10–22 months) in just-in-time vocabulary programming in an AAC app with visual scene displays.

Results: All 10 toddlers participated in some capacity in adding new visual scene displays and vocabulary to the app just in time. Differences in participation across steps were observed, suggesting variation in the developmental demands of controls involved in vocabulary programming.

Conclusions: Results from the current study provide clinical insights toward involving young children in AAC programming just in time and steps that may allow for more independent participation or require more scaffolding. Technology designed to minimize motor, cognitive, and linguistic demands may allow children to participate in programming devices at a younger age.

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