Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Howard Goldstein, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Keri Madsen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Cara Babon, M.S., CCC-SLP


Augmentative and Alternative Communication, storybook reading, speech output technology


The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effect of aided Alternative and Augmentative Communication-Modeling (AAC-MOD) intervention on the communication skills of preschool-age children with Down syndrome (DS) during dialogic book reading. The study investigated to what extent AAC-MOD is effective in increasing the acquisition of target vocabulary and expressive communication acts by children with DS who use few words functionally. Two children aged 3;10 and 5;4, with repertoires of less than 75 intelligible words were selected. A repeated acquisition experimental design was used to examine the effects of instruction on target vocabulary word learning and symbolic communication. Results indicate a functional relation between intervention and both target vocabulary acquisition and expressive symbolic communication for both participants. AAC-MOD embedded within dialogic reading appears to be a promising strategy to teach target vocabulary words and increase expressive symbolic communication acts in this population. Social validity interviews also indicated that the participants’ primary caregivers considered the intervention appropriate and beneficial for their children, specifically increasing their engagement with shared book reading.