Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Communication success and AAC: A model of symbol acquisition  

Most children transition from presymbolic (e.g., gestures and vocalizations) to symbolic (e.g., words) communication during the first year of life. The transition into symbolic communication is at risk for many children with developmental delays including autism. When delays persist into preschool ages, children are frequently taught to communicate with some form of augmentative or alternative communication (AAC); however, little evidence exists linking specific child and environmental variables in AAC to communication outcomes. The researchers hope to identify variables that result in improved communication outcomes by prospectively studying 100 young children with developmental disabilities and 20 young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), all of whom will be learning to communicate with AAC. This research is likely to improve assessment and intervention practices for these children by identifying potential predictors of response to AAC interventions. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $343,664.00
Current Award Period 2007-2012
Project Number 5R01DC007684-04
Principal Investigator Brady, Nancy
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Technology-Based Interventions and Supports
Strategic Plan Objective New! Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SG. Support at least five studies on interventions for nonverbal individuals with ASD by 2012. Such studies may include: o Projects examining service-provision models that enhance access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports in both classroom and adult service-provision settings, such as residential service-provision and the impact of such access on quality of life, communication, and behavior; o Studies of novel treatment approaches that facilitate communication skills in individuals who are nonverbal, including the components of effective AAC approaches for specific subpopulations of people with ASD; and o Studies assessing access and use of AAC for children and adults with ASD who have limited or partially limited speech and the impact on functional outcomes and quality of life. IACC Recommended Budget: $3,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Kansas
State/Country Kansas
Web Link 1 Communication success and AAC: A model of symbol acquisition (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Communication success and AAC: A model of symbol acquisition | $347,412.00 | 2009 | 5R01DC007684-03
Communication success and AAC: A model of symbol acquisition | $347,678.00 | 2008 | R01DC007684-02
Communication success and AAC: A model of symbol acquisition (supplement) | $174,060.00 | 2009 | 3R01DC007684-03S1