A systematic review on preferred aided augmentative and alternative communication system for requesting desired actions and objects by school-aged children with developmental disabilities

Date of Completion


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology


Disabled Children, Developmental Disabilities, Communication Disorders. Child


A systematic review was conducted to identify which aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system (high technology or low technology) was more preferred by school-aged children with developmental disabilities when requesting for desired objects and actions. Inclusion and exclusion criteria and quality indicators had been set to filter journals to be used in the systematic review. Eleven (11) journals were gathered at the start of the study. After three (3) levels of review, six (6) journals satisfied the set inclusion and exclusion criteria. Among the 6 journals, a total of 25 children with varying cases, such as autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay and intellectual disability, were assessed to find out the type of aided AAC system was most preferred. Children with development disabilities preferred using high technology AAC systems, such as a speech generating device (SGD), compared to low technology AAC systems, such as a picture exchange communication system (PECS), in which 64 (n=16) of the participants preferred high technology AAC system. Thirty-two percent (32%, n=8) of the participants chose low technology AAC system while one (1) child withdrew from the study. This research may not conclusively say that children with developmental disabilities preferred using high tech when requesting due to the type of journals gathered. However, it may be concluded that children with previous experience with the use of iPad, functional fine motor skills and high cognitive ability preferred high technology systems. More studies should be conducted for more valid and reliable results as there were only 25 participants in this study that did not represent quarter of the population of children with developmental disabilities.

First Advisor

Aileen P. Atienza

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