The expressive communication of individuals with cognitive impairments may be directly influenced by a partner's input, because such individuals often have limited conversational skills. Sequential analyses of dyadic interactions examined the effects of input by 32 normally developing adolescents on responses by male subjects with mental retardation whose communication modes included augmented communication. Results suggested that (a) verbal prompts in the form of questions were significantly more likely to receive responses from subjects with mental retardation than directive prompts, (b) comments were significantly more likely to receive responses from subjects with retardation than were directive prompts, when the nondisabled peer was male, and (c) male subjects with mental retardation were more likely to respond to input from male peers than from females. These data suggest that questions facilitate naturally occurring conversations but underscore the importance of evaluating gender-related effects on interaction involving persons with severe cognitive and communication impairments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes