The effects of telepractice to support family members in modeling a speech-generating device in the home

Sarah N. Douglas, Hedda Meadan, Elizabeth E. Biggs, Atikah Bagawan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Family members are an integral support for children with complex communication needs (CCN). However, there is limited research exploring “whole family” intervention to support children with CCN, including evidence-based approaches such as aided language modeling and innovative delivery options such as telepractice. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the use of telepractice-based training and coaching is a valid means of delivering intervention to the whole family unit to implement aided language modeling. Method: A 4-year-old child with CCN who uses a speech-generating device and her four family members participated in the study. A single-case multiple-probe design across the four dyads was used to determine the effect of the memory aid, namely, Prepare, Show, Wait, and Respond, via telepractice intervention to teach family members to provide aided language modeling with fidelity during natural routines. Results: We found that telepractice-based training and coaching increased family members’ high-fidelity models and rate of modeling. The target child also showed an increase in independent communication and rate of augmentative and alternative communication use. Social validity interviews indicated that the participants found the intervention to be socially valid. Conclusions: Given the findings of this study, speech-language pathologists should encourage the involvement of the whole family in augmentative and alternative communication interventions. Future research should examine the impact of training and coaching all family members together in their natural environment, explore specific adaptations for participants, and investigate the effects of intervention delivered by speech-language pathologists who work directly with families and utilize family-centered practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1169
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Linguistics and Language


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