Young children with significant disability often have limited communicative repertoires. The means they have available to communicate with others might include natural gesturing, vocalizing, and occasionally challenging behavior. These forms frequently are unconventional, ambiguous, and idiosyncratic and are therefore difficult for partners to understand. As a result of these compromised repertoires, communication breakdowns are the rule rather than the exception and the children's capacity to repair these breakdowns becomes critical. This article focuses on communication breakdowns and repairs by (a) identifying and defining their variations, (b) providing a rationale for their importance (especially for children with substantial language delays), and (c) developing a conceptual framework to facilitate their assessment and to assist in the design of interventions that are logically related to the assessment results. Guidelines for conducting the assessments and for implementing the interventions are provided.
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
- Challenging behavior
- Severe language deficit
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing