Systematic review of interventions involving aided AAC modeling for children with complex communication needs

Elizabeth E. Biggs, Erik W. Carter, Carly B. Gilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Building the communicative competence of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) requires intervention and support. This systematic review examined experimental studies involving aided AAC modeling to promote the expressive communication of children and youth (i.e., birth to age 21) with complex communication needs. A search yielded 48 studies involving 267 participants. Interventions were categorized according to three different approaches to aided AAC modeling-augmented input, models as prompts, and models within instructional demonstrations. Although the procedures varied, interventions were generally effective at improving diverse measures of expressive communication. This review provides insight for both researchers and practitioners by describing interventions involving three distinct approaches to aided AAC modeling, highlighting areas needing future research, and offering implications for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-473
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican journal on intellectual and developmental disabilities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Complex communication needs
  • Language input
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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