The study analyzed the communicative interaction patterns of eight congenitally nonspeaking physically disabled children (between the ages of 4 and 6 years) and their primary caregivers. The dyads were videotaped in a free play situation for 20 minutes. The videotaped interaction was transcribed in its entirety and coded with respect to three categories of variables: discourse status, communicative function, and mode of communication. The data were analyzed to reflect: the frequencies of the specific communicative behaviors of the children and the interrelationships of the three categories of variables within the childrens turns. Findings revealed that the children used multiple modes to communicate: a mean of 81.8% of their communicative turns were conveyed by nonboard modes (e.g, vocalization, gesture, or eye gaze, used alone or in combination); 18.2% of their turns were conveyed by means of their communication boards. In general, the mode of communication was found to be strongly influenced by the discourse status and communicative function of the turn. Provisions of information and clarification were accomplished primarily by means of the childrens communication boards, while confirmations and denials were conveyed by means of vocalization or gesture. Directions for clinical intervention and for future research are discussed in light of the research findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing