“Shhhh! Alex Has Something To Say”: AAC-SGD Use in the Classroom Setting The present qualitative study was designed to examine augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) practices, particularly surrounding speech-generating devices (SGDs), in the classroom setting. We focused on three key child participants, their classroom teachers, and associated speech-language pathologists across three different schools. In addition to semi-structured interviews of all participants, six ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
“Shhhh! Alex Has Something To Say”: AAC-SGD Use in the Classroom Setting
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa M. Mellman
    The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, University Park, PA
  • Laura S. DeThorne
    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
  • Julie A. Hengst
    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2010
“Shhhh! Alex Has Something To Say”: AAC-SGD Use in the Classroom Setting
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2010, Vol. 19, 108-114. doi:10.1044/aac19.4.108
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 2010, Vol. 19, 108-114. doi:10.1044/aac19.4.108
Abstract

The present qualitative study was designed to examine augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) practices, particularly surrounding speech-generating devices (SGDs), in the classroom setting. We focused on three key child participants, their classroom teachers, and associated speech-language pathologists across three different schools. In addition to semi-structured interviews of all participants, six classroom observations per child were completed. Data were coded according to both pre-established and emergent themes. Four broad themes emerged: message-focused AAC use, social interactions within the classroom community, barriers to successful AAC-SGD use, and missed opportunities. Findings revealed a lack of SGD use in the classroom for two children as well as limited social interaction across all cases. We conclude by highlighting the pervasive sense of missed opportunities across these classroom observations and yet, at the same time, the striking resiliency of communicative effort in these cases.

Acknowledgment
This work was completed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the first author's James Scholars Undergraduate Honors Thesis.
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