Forum: “Repair Work Ahead”: The Importance of Assessing Communication Breakdown and Repair in AAC Suppose that an intervention team has decided to introduce a graphic mode AAC device to a child with limited expressive communication. Presumably, this decision has followed appropriate assessments, including observations of the child communicating in her or his natural environment. Chances are that the initial teaching will focus on ... Forum
Forum  |   December 01, 1999
Forum: “Repair Work Ahead”: The Importance of Assessing Communication Breakdown and Repair in AAC
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy C. Brady
    Department of Communication Disorders University of Minnesota
Article Information
Forum
Forum   |   December 01, 1999
Forum: “Repair Work Ahead”: The Importance of Assessing Communication Breakdown and Repair in AAC
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 1999, Vol. 8, 10-11. doi:10.1044/aac8.4.10
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 1999, Vol. 8, 10-11. doi:10.1044/aac8.4.10
Suppose that an intervention team has decided to introduce a graphic mode AAC device to a child with limited expressive communication. Presumably, this decision has followed appropriate assessments, including observations of the child communicating in her or his natural environment. Chances are that the initial teaching will focus on enabling the child to initiate social and non-social interactions and to respond to the questions of their communication partners. In my observations, however, the chances are slim that teaching will also focus on enabling the child to repair failed communicative interactions.
We know from research with typically developing children (Brinton, Fujiki, Winkler, & Loeb, 1986; Golinkoff, 1986), speaking children with disabilities (Coggins & Stoel-Gammon, 1982) and AAC users (Calculator & Delaney, 1986) that communication breakdowns occur frequently in ongoing conversational exchanges. Most communicators, even those with very limited communication repertoires, will attempt to repair these communication break-downs (Brady, McLean, McLean, & Johnston, 1995). For example, children who communicate with natural gestures will often repeat these gestures when not understood. We have little research, however, evaluating the effectiveness or efficiency of different repair strategies by individuals with disabilities, including AAC users.
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