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Title page for ETD etd-03222019-161406

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Heidlage, Jodi K
Author's Email Address jodi.heidlage@gmail.com
URN etd-03222019-161406
Title The Effects of Augmentative Assisted Language Matrix Training for Young Children with Down Syndrome
Degree PhD
Department Special Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ann P Kaiser Committee Chair
Christopher Lemons Committee Member
Erin Barton Committee Member
Howard Goldstein Committee Member
  • language
  • Down Syndrome
  • early intervention
Date of Defense 2019-03-15
Availability restrictsix
Down syndrome (DS) is an intellectual disability (ID) characterized by a distinct profile of behavioral characteristics that impact language learning. One specific area of challenge is moving from producing single words to producing more complex syntax. Although there is a broad evidence base for existing interventions for children with DS, results from studies including children with DS compared to other children with ID indicates that children with DS may have less positive results. Early interventions that are tailored to the unique characteristics of children with DS are critical for preventing long-term impairments in communication and language. The following study evaluated the effectiveness of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) using a language matrix training approach to assess the impact of the intervention on production of trained agent-action combinations as well as generalization to novel (untrained) combinations. The results showed increases in the production of trained agent-action combinations for all three participants who completed the design. Participants 2 and 3 showed generalization to untrained combinations; generalization was minimal for Participant 4. Additional generalization measures conducted in a naturalistic play-based setting indicated minimal generalization of production of agent-action combinations to this setting, however all three participants increased their production of multiple word combinations. Future use of DTT instruction using a language matrix training framework should examine optimal training procedures for promoting generalization both within the language matrix training framework and in naturalistic contexts.
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