Speech and Hearing Sciences ETDs


Marika King

Publication Date



Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the readiness of 5-year-old children to produce semantic-syntactic structures via a graphic symbol-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device during a dynamic assessment (DA) task and whether performance during DA was predictive of performance on a subsequent experimental task. Method: This study included four 5-year old children who demonstrated normal receptive language and limited speech intelligibility. The participants received DA, using a graduated prompting framework, for 6 semantic-syntactic targets followed by a static experimental task. Measures included amount of support required to produce the targets, modifiability within a DA session, and predictive validity of DA. Results: DA tasks revealed that participants accurately produced target structures with varying amounts of support. In general, participants were successful across all targets with minimal-to-moderate supports. Results indicated that modifiability within DA sessions was evident for some participants, and partial support was provided for the measures of predictive validity. Conclusions: Findings indicated that DA was a viable measure of preschool childrens ability to sequence simple, rule-based messages via aided AAC. Production of multi-symbol messages is a critical step to achieving generative language abilities in children who use AAC. Thus, the findings of this study have significant implications for improving the language outcomes of this population. Further implications and theoretical and clinical applications are discussed.'

Degree Name

Speech-Language Pathology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Binger, Cathy

Second Committee Member

Dale, Philip

Third Committee Member

Rodriguez, Barbara

Fourth Committee Member

Patterson, Janet

Project Sponsors

American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, National Institute of Health, University of New Mexico




augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), dynamic assessment (DA), graduated prompting, modifiability, semantic-syntactic relations

Document Type