IMPROVING ACCURACY OF PARTNER JUDGEMENT OF COMMUNICATION WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH SEVERE AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES

Open Access
Author:
Donnelly, Meghan Catherine
Area of Honors:
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kathryn D. R. Drager, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ingrid M. Blood, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • partner
  • communication
  • communication sciences and disorders
Abstract:
The idiosyncratic communicative attempts of those with multiple disabilities are often difficult to identify and interpret. Research shows that consistent responses to the communicative acts of these individuals can facilitate the development of intentional communication (Wilcox, Kouri, & Caswell, 1990, as cited in Carter & Iacono 2002). The current case study was completed to pilot a larger study that proposes an attempt to resolve the inconsistencies of partners’ responses to the communicative acts of individuals with multiple disabilities. A video inventory of the communicative acts of middle school students with multiple disabilities was used to improve the accuracy of partners’ interpretations. Parents and teachers’ perceptions of these communicative acts were documented for the purpose of creating consistency of responses among partners. A graduate student in Communication Sciences and Disorders was trained using this same video inventory to more accurately identify if an act is communicative and if so, to correctly interpret its meaning.