You are viewing the website for the aac-rerc, which was funded by NIDRR from 2008-2013.
For information on the new RERC on AAC, funded by NIDILRR from 2014-2019, please visit rerc-aac.psu.edu.
AAC for Persons with Degenerative Language Disorders
Melanie Fried-Oken (Oregon Health & Science University)
This project seeks to understand how communication systems can help people with progressive aphasia participate more fully in verbal conversations. The research compares how well adults with progressive aphasia and matched non-disabled adults converse when they are provided with AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) supports versus no AAC supports under controlled and natural settings
• To gain knowledge related to conversational strategies in progressive aphasia and normal aging for more effective diagnosis and treatment
• To establish intervention guidelines for AAC and progressive aphasia based on findings from this project
• Recruit 10 persons with primary aphasia and their caregivers/conversation partners
• Collect data with participants who have progressive aphasia in controlled settings (3 conversations with communication system and 3 without communication system. Conversations are between a research assistant and the person with progressive aphasia. The topic is autobiographical in nature.)
• Collect data with participants who are non-disabled age-matched peers during conversations with research assistants about autobiographical topics.
• Collect data with participants who have progressive aphasia in natural settings (3 conversations with communication system and 3 without communication system. Conversations are between caregiver/conversation partner and the person with progressive aphasia. The topic is about daily activities.)
• Collect data with participants who are non-disabled age-matched peers in natural settings with their peers talking about daily activities.
• Code data
• Analyze data
• Disseminate results
Annual Update (May, 2011)
• Research staff continue to run study subjects. Subjects include persons with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and their matched (age, education, gender, race) healthy peers. Two customized communication systems are made for each participant with PPA. One system is used for the first phase of the study and focuses on an autobiographical topic. Another system is used for the second phase of the study and includes more recent, daily activity-type topics.
• Each conversation in the first phase is held with a researcher and is very controlled. Each conversation in the second phase is held with a familiar friend or family member and is less structured – more natural. In both phases, half of the conversations are unsupported (no communication system present).
• Most recent analyses show, for the PPA group, that they retrieve the correct verbal responses to questions more frequently with AAC support than without AAC support. In addition, participants with PPA retrieve the correct responses to questions more quickly, requiring less effort by caregivers with AAC support than without AAC support. Low tech AAC provides meaningful lexical support during structured conversations for people with PPA.
Gibbons, C., & Fried-Oken, M. (October, 2009). AAC clinical pathways for neurodegenerative diseases. Presentation at Oregon Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention. Bend, OR. (Handout)
Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., Gibbons, C., Mills, C., Noethe, G., and Daniels, D. (April, 2010). Aging Well with Dementia: Supporting Conversational Skills of Individuals with Progressive Aphasia. Presented at the 26th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities. Honolulu, HI. (Handout)
Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., Gibbons, C., Noethe, G., & Schultz (July, 2010). Evidence for AAC treatment in nonfluent progressive aphasia. Presentation at the 14th Biennial Conference of the International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Barcelona, Spain. (handout)
Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., & Gibbons, C. (2010). Providing augmentative and alternative communication treatment to persons with progressive nonfluent aphasia. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 20, 21-25. (abstract)
Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., Gibbons, C., Daniels, D., & Noethe, G. (November, 2010). Communication Boards Support Conversation in Nonfluent Progressive Aphasia. Presentation at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention. Philadelphia, PA. (handout)