Semin Speech Lang 2008; 29(2): 101-111
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1079124
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Effects of Aided AAC Interventions on AAC Use, Speech, and Symbolic Gestures

Cathy Binger1 , Jacqueline Berens1 , Jennifer Kent-Walsh2 , Stacy Taylor1
  • 1Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 2University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 July 2008 (online)


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) service provision can be time-consuming, and it is important to ensure that the time invested in aided AAC interventions is worth the costs. As children who use AAC are multimodal communicators, it is important to understand the effects that aided AAC interventions may have not only on AAC use but also on other communication modes, including speech and symbolic gestures. Toward these ends, this article contains a review of commonly used AAC intervention techniques, a discussion of how use of these techniques affects aided AAC use, and an examination of the effect that AAC interventions have on other communication modes, including speech and various types of gestures. Overall, current research findings indicate that aided AAC interventions can be highly effective for teaching students who use AAC to become more effective communicators and that such interventions do not have a negative effect on speech—and may, in some cases, have a positive effect on speech.


1 A second coder reanalyzed between 20% and 40% of the data for all of the measures shown on Figs. [1] and [2]. Mean reliability for each measurement for each child ranged from 79% to 100% (grand mean = 93%), indicating that the data were reliably coded.

5 It should be noted that manual signs were excluded from these data. The children in these studies seldom used manual signs; Antonio and Adam each used one sign during the entire investigation, and Oscar used six. The remaining children used no manual signs.

Cathy Binger, Ph.D. 

Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, 1700 Lomas NE, MSC01 1195

1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131