Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Charlotte A. Wasson


This study was conducted to examine the effects of partner training on request behaviors with an AAC user. A review of literature indicated that AAC users are often placed in respondent roles rather than initiator roles. Additionally, speaking individuals tend to dominate conversations over individuals who are nonspeaking. Such domination puts AAC users at risk for a loss of independence in communication of the basic communication interactions. Thus, inadequate social interaction skills are a common problem among AAC users. Utilizing communication partner training as an intervention target may serve to increase active participation in all areas of communication. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of request training vs request training plus partner training on voice output request behaviors with a six year old male subject with cerebral palsy.

A single-subject research design using multiple baselines with alternating treatment (ABAC) was used to train a six year old boy with cerebral palsy to increase request behaviors utilizing a viable communication partner. This communicative intent was trained using specific treatment plans and highly motivating "drink" and "snack". Data was collected, plotted, and compared to determine the effects of Treatment 1 and Treatment 2.

Interjudge reliability was assessed to be 95% and 100%, respectively. Results of the study indicate that training partners to elicit request functions impacts on the number of requests used by an individual who is functionally nonspeaking.

Implications toward future research are discussed. These include the utilization of various partners to give the AAC user an opportunity to communicate in diverse situations to broaden the range of functions achieved. Future related studies should improve validity by eliminating the extraneous variables identified in this study.