Computer-Assisted Language Intervention What Difference Does the Clinician Make? Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   July 01, 1993
Computer-Assisted Language Intervention
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Beverly Anne Collisson
    Ithaca College, NY
  • Steven H. Long
    Ithaca College, NY
Article Information
Language Disorders / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   July 01, 1993
Computer-Assisted Language Intervention
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 179-180. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.179
History: Received July 14, 1992 , Accepted November 23, 1992
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 179-180. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.179
History: Received July 14, 1992; Accepted November 23, 1992
Recently, Schery and O’Connor (1992)  reported on the effectiveness of school-based computer language intervention with children who have severe disabilities. Their study examined the effectiveness of computer-assisted vocabulary training implemented with a group of children with severe disabilities, 3 to 12 years of age.
In this study, all subjects were exposed to two treatment conditions in a crossover design. The computer-assisted condition consisted of 16 sessions of computer-facilitated vocabulary instruction over a period of 10 weeks. The Programs for Early Acquisition of Language software (Meyers, 1985) was used to introduce an established lexicon. A graduate student in communication disorders interacted with each subject to introduce toys that corresponded to lexical items displayed on the computer screen and to facilitate keyboard responses. The same two levels of the software were used with each subject, but “… the graduate student clinicians were given the freedom to vary the contexts and even the levels for individual subjects in order to maximize interest and attention” (Schery & O’Connor, 1992, p. 23). In the non-computer treatment condition, subjects received only their regular classroom instruction, which included language goals but which did not necessarily target vocabulary. Progress was defined as mastery of criterion vocabulary and improvement in general language abilities and social and interpersonal skills. The results of the study indicated that all of the children in the study profited more from the individual computer-assisted sessions. It was concluded that the computer is an effective tool in developing communication skills with children with severe disabilities. It further was suggested that a computer-based intervention program may provide a means of offering additional one-on-one attention to students through use of support personnel, while releasing the clinician to deliver other services.
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