Drager, K., & Light, J. (2010) A Comparison of the Performance of Typically Developing 5-Year-Old Children Using Iconic Encoding In AAC Systems With and Without Iconic Prediction on a Fixed Display. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, March 2010 VOL. 26 (1), pp. 12-20 (doi: 10.3109/07434610903561464) (Full Text)
Iconic encoding, or the use of a sequence of icons to retrieve a word or phrase from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies, has previously been shown to be challenging for young children to learn to use (Light et al., 2004). It is possible that the use of iconic prediction may facilitate learning in such systems by providing additional visual cues. The goal of the current study was to determine the effect of using iconic prediction on the performance of 5-year-old typically developing children who were learning to locate and generalize vocabulary prestored in AAC technologies using iconic encoding. Twenty 5-year-old children were introduced to 30 vocabulary items and asked to locate them using iconic encoding during four learning and testing sessions. Ten of the children completed this task without iconic prediction, and 10 completed the task with iconic prediction. They were also asked to locate an additional 30 vocabulary items, not previously introduced, during one generalization session. The results indicated that the children in the iconic prediction group did not perform more accurately than the children who did not have prediction available. There was some evidence, however, that using iconic prediction may help to facilitate generalization of use of iconic encoding to novel vocabulary. Potential implications, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.