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Preschoolers’ Attitudes toward a Peer Who Uses Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Scott, Erica and Millar, Diane and Bucy, Jayne and Rossi, Patricia (2012) Preschoolers’ Attitudes toward a Peer Who Uses Alternative and Augmentative Communication. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Children may begin to develop negative or rejecting attitudes toward individuals with disabilities by four years of age (Gerber, 1977). Unfortunately, children who use AAC may reject their communication systems if they feel the system makes them appear different or if peers display negative attitudes toward them. Without access to AAC, a child may become isolated. There can be detrimental effects on the child’s development of language, social relationships with peers, and self-confidence (McCarthy and Light, 2005). The current study was designed to explore issues related to preschoolers’ attitudes toward children with disabilities who use AAC. Primarily, the study explored the attitudes that were specifically related to the use of an AAC device. Additionally, the study investigated whether providing a personal experience with the device influenced preschoolers’ attitudes. Finally, the study measured the children’s performance on a false-belief test to investigate the possible relationship between theory of mind and attitudes toward peers who use AAC. Results suggested that the use of an AAC system did not negatively affect preschoolers’ attitudes toward the user. Furthermore, personal experience with the device made the children more aware of the use of the device but did not influence their opinions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Erica Scott
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 14:47
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2013 14:47
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/72

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