A Right to Speak Supporting Individuals who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Guidance to be used by people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), their familes, strategic and operational heads within health boards, local authority social work and education departments and the voluntary sector

Appendix 3 A Summary of Systematic Reviews

Ref No. Year Title Author(s) No of studies reviewed Review conclusions Appraisal of review
24 2003 Speech and language therapy to improve the communication skills of children with cerebral palsy (Cochrane Review) Pennington, Golbart & Marshall 11 SLT for children with cerebral palsy might improve their communication skills but more research is needed.
23 2004 Speech supplementation techniques for dysarthria Hanson, Yorkston & Beukleman 19 Speech supplementation techniques may help speakers with any type of severe or profound dysarthria and any underlying medical condition however more research is needed. Quality of studies not described
Review methods not reported
22 2004 Interaction training for conversational partners of children with cerebral palsy Pennington, Goldbart & Marshall 4 Limited evidence of positive trends in communication changes resulting from interaction training but good quality research required. Single reviewer identifying studies for inclusion into review
21 2007 Social/communicative interventions and transition outcomes for youth with disabilities Alwell & Cobb 30 Review supports the efficacy of social skill training intervention for youth with disability Wide inclusion criteria
Limited reporting of review process
Limitations within statistical analysis
17 2006 The impact of augmentative and alternative communication on the speech production of individuals with developmental disabilities Millar, Light & Schlosser 23 AAC interventions should continue to be introduced to children with developmental disabilities and speech inadequate for communication needs. There should be no concern if gains in speech production. do not occur immediately following the introduction of AAC interventions. However more research is needed.

Single reviewer for 80% of studies
Limited reporting of review process
Double counting of participants included in more than one study

16 2000 Promoting generalisation and maintenance in augmentative and alternative communication Schlosser & Lee 50 AAC interventions are effective in terms of behaviour change, but poor in terms of generalisation and maintenance. Wide inclusion criteria
Studies not described in detail
18 2008 Effects of augmentative and alternative communication intervention on speech production in children with autism Schlosser & Wendt 11 AAC interventions do not hinder speech production and for some children with autism or ASD they may result in increased speech production. More research required. Wide inclusion criteria, definition of AAC: includes signing
19 2007 Augmentative and alternative communication practice in the pursuit of family quality of life Saito & Turnbull 13 AAC practice should take family perspectives into consideration & address problems in the joint contexts of child, family, school and community. Limited reporting of review process and validity assessment.
Wide inclusion criteria
20 2010 Literacy Interventions for students with physical and developmental disabilities who use aided AAC devices Machalicek, Sanford, Lang, Rispoli, Molfenter & Mbeseha 18 Systematic instruction that included scaffolding, direct instruction and least to most prompting with time delay may be the most effective strategies to teach literacy skills to students with significant physical and developmental disabilities. Number of reviewers conducting validity assessment not described


Email: Peter Kelly

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