The social interaction of an adolescent who uses AAC: The evaluation of a peer-training program
AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION
Challenges relating to social interactions of children who use AAC in school settings have been well documented. In this study, a peer-training program was designed and implemented with the Grade 8 peers of an adolescent who had severe physical disabilities and who used AAC. Interactions between the adolescent who used AAC and his classroom peers were investigated before and after implementation of the peer-training program, using a descriptive single case study. An analytical model to describe the interactions and potential changes in the interactions of adolescents who use AAC was developed. The model also included various measures to evaluate pertinent psychosocial factors of the interactions of a person using AAC with peers. Results of the observational data reflected an increase in the frequency of interactions as indicated by the number of messages per hour and the extent of the interactions as signified by an increase in the number of messages per interchange. Changes were also noted in terms of the discourse structures and communication functions achieved by the interactions, the modes of communication used by the adolescent who used AAC and the responses of his peer partners.