Personalized AAC Intervention to Increase Participation and Communication for a Young Adult with down Syndrome

Salena Babb, Sojung Jung, Ciara Ousley, David McNaughton, Janice Light

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Many adults with Down syndrome (DS) experience difficulty with speech production, and intelligibility challenges and communication breakdowns are common. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) intervention can provide important supports for persons with these complex communication needs but must be customized to address the goals, strengths, and needs of the individual. This article provides a description of a personalized AAC intervention for a young adult with DS whose speech was frequently unintelligible. The AAC intervention made use of a video visual scene display (VSD) approach and was investigated in 2 separate studies in 2 key community settings: An inclusive post-secondary education program (a single-case reversal ABAB design), and a community shopping activity (a nonexperimental AB case study design). The participant demonstrated sharp increases in successful communication and participation in both settings following the introduction of the video VSD, and both the participant and the key stakeholders viewed the intervention positively. The results provide preliminary evidence that personalized AAC intervention, including the use of a video VSD approach, can provide important supports for communication and participation in community settings for adults with DS and complex communication needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-248
Number of pages17
JournalTopics in Language Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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