Document Type

Special Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Professional Studies


Special Education

First Advisor

Jane M. Leatherman, PhD, chair

Committee Members

Jane M. Leatherman, PhD, chair, Phyllis J. Agness, EdD, Jeong-il Cho, PhD

Date of Award



Children who have a tracheostomy are presented with communication challenges on a daily basis. This project was created for and inspired by a preschool student who is four years old and experiences expressive language delays due to his tracheostomy. The project involved the use of Boardmaker pictures to create vocabulary words and sentences to teach the student pictures to communicate. The study takes place over a sixweek timeframe in a special education preschool classroom within a large urban school district. The special education teacher, along with the speech therapist, was able to increase this child's scores on a standardized speech/language assessment through this particular intervention. A handbook has been created to describe this intervention. Included in this handbook you will find research findings about this topic along with the explanation of the intervention as well as an example of the Boardmaker pictures.


Special Education and Teaching