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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Pediatrics 1/2018

Augmentative and alternative communication in children with Down’s syndrome: a systematic review

BMC Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Renata Thaís de Almeida Barbosa, Acary Souza Bulle de Oliveira, Jennifer Yohanna Ferreira de Lima Antão, Tânia Brusque Crocetta, Regiani Guarnieri, Thaiany Pedrozo Campos Antunes, Claudia Arab, Thaís Massetti, Italla Maria Pinheiro Bezerra, Carlos Bandeira de Mello Monteiro, Luiz Carlos de Abreu
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12887-018-1144-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The use of technology to assist in the communication, socialization, language, and motor skills of children with Down’s syndrome (DS) is required. The aim of this study was to analyse research findings regarding the different instruments of ‘augmentative and alternative communication’ used in children with Down’s syndrome.


This is a systematic review of published articles available on PubMed, Web of Science, PsycInfo, and BVS using the following descriptors: assistive technology AND syndrome, assistive technology AND down syndrome, down syndrome AND augmentative and alternative communication. Studies published in English were selected if they met the following inclusion criteria: (1) study of children with a diagnosis of DS, and (2) assistive technology and/or augmentative and alternative communication analysis in this population.


A total of 1087 articles were identified. Thirteen articles met the inclusion criteria. The instruments most used by the studies were speech-generating devices (SGDs) and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).


Twelve instruments that provided significant aid to the process of communication and socialization of children with DS were identified. These instruments increase the interaction between individuals among this population and their peers, contributing to their quality of life and self-esteem.
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