Article Type: Original Articles
Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Speech Prosody in Turkish-Speaking Children with Developmental Language Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Study of Awareness and Developmental Language Intervention
Cagla Dinsever Elikucuk, Gonca Ozyurt
Objective: One of the most common child psychiatry and language speech therapy problems in the preschool age group is Developmental Language Delay (DLD)’s. Voice output communication aids (VOCAs) are a key form of aided communication within the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).This study aimed to evaluate effectiveness of AAC, using a VOCA device on language and emotion regulation of children diagnosed with developmental language disorders (DLDs).

Methods: 44 children (36–72 months old), who were diagnosed with DLDs, were randomly placed in the experimental (n=22) or the control (n=22) group. The experimental group attended the AAC treatment while the control group received a routine treatment. Test of Early Language Development –Third Edition-Turkish (TELD 3-Turkish) was used to evaluate language profiles and emotion regulation skills were evaluated with the Emotion Regulation Checklist.

Results: After the intervention, children who were assigned to the experimental AAC treatment group gained significant improvements in receptive and expressive language skills. The Mean Length of Utterances (MLU) and Language Sample Size (LSS) increased significantly for both the experimental and the control group, but the ratio of change was higher for the experimental group. When the values obtained from language skills and the subscales of emotion regulation before the intervention, a significant relationship between language delay and speech prosody was found.

Conclusions: AAC can be useful for developing language skills of children with DLDs as well as supporting their emotion regulation. Our study is the first to be applied in the treatment of preschool age in terms of different models and practices that work to obtain successful results.

Key words: Developmental language disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, mean length of utterances, speech prosody, emotion regulation
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 2018;8(3):95-104
Online ISSN: 2636-834X
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License