Speaking children learn to communicate effectively through interactions with their friends and adults by repeatedly relating past experiences. Missing out on the experience of relating personal narratives may have implications for the language and communication development of augmentative and alternative communication users. This article presents a detailed case study of Anne, a dyspraxic 10-year-old girl. Researchers introduced Anne to a narrative-based communication device and supported her use of it over a 1.5-year period. Changes in Anne's communication skills were monitored and measured both quantitatively and qualitatively during this time. The results showed that Anne's stories were constantly used and updated. The device appeared to have a therapeutic effect on Anne's verbal skills, and improvements in her narrative and social skills and self-esteem were also observed.
- Assistive technology
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Conversational narrative