Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, S. Jay


Language disorders in adolescence; Teenagers with mental disabilities--Education


Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to determine if persons with moderate mental retardation, who have poor verbal skills, can improve the length of verbalizations through the use of a simple augmentative communication device.

Through a three-part study using an experimenter made pretest and posttest, the effectiveness of treatment could be determined, The study included two fifteen-year-old males with Down's Syndrome from a private school for the handicapped. Both subjects had significant difficulty with speech production and showed great weakness in the area of independently requesting services during community-based instruction. Baseline data was collected in the classroom setting. Each subject used a portable augmentative communication device with two preprogrammed messages during CBI outings. After simulated classroom instruction, the students were placed in the field and were to approach the worker, press the desired icon, listen to the message. then repeat the simple phrase. Data was collected over a ten-week period, where each word verbalized was recorded, the mean length of utterances was established and percentage of improvement was determined after removal of AAC device using posttest.

The results suggest that by using a simple AAC device as a tool to lengthen verbalizations showed an increased improvement between 66%-70%.