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. It is possible that the use of icon 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 icon prediction on the performance of 5-year-old children with typical development 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 icon 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 icon prediction group did not perform more accurately than the children who did not have prediction available. There was some evidence, however, that using icon prediction may help to facilitate generalization of the use of iconic encoding to novel vocabulary. Potential implications, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing