Setting the Stage for Leisure: Encouraging Reciprocal Communication for People Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems Through Facilitator Instruction


  • John Dattilo
  • Janice Light


communication disorders, facilitator instruction, augmentative/alternative communications system


Relegation to the role of responder in conversations decreases the ability of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems to communicate their preferences, make choices, and be spontaneous. As a result of these communication barriers, fewer opportunities to experience play and leisure exist. In response to this problem, a single subject multiple baseline design, replicated across three dyads, was used to examine the efficacy of instructing facilitators (i.e., significant others) to promote communication with individuals using AAC systems. Facilitators were instructed in four 1-hour sessions to decrease their conversational control and provide more opportunities for the participants using AAC systems to communicate. Post intervention, tum taking and initiation patterns in the dyads were more reciprocal. Generalization occurred to the natural environment. Results suggest that facilitator instruction is an effective and efficient means to promote greater participation in daily interactions by persons using AAC systems. Implications of enhanced interactive skills to leisure participation are discussed.



Research Papers