This study evaluated the communicative interaction skills of seven young men (ages 19 - 23 years) who had used AAC systems for at least 15 years. Turn-taking patterns, use of communicative functions, and linguistic complexity were analyzed. Current performance was compared to the participants' skills when they were preschoolers and participated in another study of interaction skills (Light, 1985; Light, Collier, & Parnes, 1985a,b,c). Results indicated that the turn distribution between partners was more equitable than it had been when the participants were preschoolers; five of the participants approached reciprocity in turn taking during at least two of the interactions observed. During interactions with their caregivers, the participants fulfilled most of their obligatory turns and more than half of their non-obligatory turns. The communicative functions used most frequently by the participants were confirmations/denials and provisions of information. Three of the participants demonstrated the ability to use complete and complex syntax and committed few errors in grammar, while the other four participants demonstrated many syntactic errors. The results are discussed with implications for clinical practice and directions for future research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing