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Teaching VOCA use as a communicative repair strategy


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Sigafoos, J and Drasgow, E and Halle, JW and O'Reilly, M and Seely-York, S and Edrisinha, C and Andrews, A (2004) Teaching VOCA use as a communicative repair strategy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34 (4). pp. 411-422. ISSN 0162-3257

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Students with developmental disabilities often rely on prelinguistic behavior (e.g., reaching, leading) to communicate. When listeners fail to attend to prelinguistic behaviors, students may benefit from responding with an alternative form of communication to repair the breakdown. In the present study, we taught two students with developmental disabilities to repair communicative breakdowns by using a voice-output communication aid (VOCA). Intervention occurred at morning snack time when the students had the opportunity to access preferred items through prelinguistic behavior (e.g., reaching, guiding). Breakdowns occurred when the listener failed to attend to the student�s initial request. Effects of the intervention were evaluated in a multiple-baseline design across subjects. Both students learned to use the VOCA to repair communicative breakdowns. As VOCA use was acquired as a repair strategy, the students also began to use the device to initiate requests when there had been no breakdown in communication. The intervention appeared to be an effective approach for supplementing prelinguistic behaviors with an additional option for communicating a request.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Augmentative and alternative communication; behavior indication; communicative repair; prelinguistic behavior; requesting; voice-output communication aid
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Page Range: pp. 411-422
ISSN: 0162-3257
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1023/B:JADD.0000037417.04356.9c
Additional Information: The original publication is available at
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:21
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