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Maintenance of key word signing in adults with intellectual disabilities: novel signed turns facilitated by partners’ consistent input and sign imitation

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TitleMaintenance of key word signing in adults with intellectual disabilities: novel signed turns facilitated by partners’ consistent input and sign imitation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Abstract(KWS) by support staff and by adults with intellectual disabilities (clients) who had experience with using KWS. Specifically, we explored whether these clients were more inclined to use KWS when support staff used KWS or imitated signs. One-to-one conversations between 24 clients and their support staff were filmed and transcribed. Partner turns were coded for communication mode (spoken or signed) and KWS response type (i.e., imitation, repetition, or new), while client turns were coded for communication mode and novelty (novel or non-novel). Using Cramer’s V, strength of association was measured between each partner and subsequent client turn. Results indicated a moderate to strong association between partners’ and clients’ communication mode. In addition, partner turns containing newly introduced signs were associated with non-novel signed client turns, whereas sign imitations and repetitions by partners were more often followed by novel than non-novel signed client turns. These findings suggest that a balanced KWS input that includes new signed lexical items and sign imitations/repetitions may help to facilitate clients’ KWS production and maintenance. This study was exploratory, and further research is needed to validate these results.
AuthorsRombouts, E., Maes B., and Zink I.
Year of Publication2017
PublicationAAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume33
Issue3
Pages121-130
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2017.1326066
Keywords (MeSH)adult, caregivers, communication, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, manual communication, sign language
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