Supporting the Use of Rudimentary Vocalizations Children with Rett Syndrome (RS) are reported to use multiple modalities to communicate although their intentionality is often questioned (Bartolotta, Zipp, Simpkins, & Glazewski, 2011; Hetzroni & Rubin, 2006; Sigafoos et al., 2000; Sigafoos, Woodyatt, Tuckeer, Roberts-Pennell, & Pittendreigh, 2000). This paper will present results of a study analyzing the ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2014
Supporting the Use of Rudimentary Vocalizations
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lauren Zubow
    University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Richard Hurtig
    University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Disclosure: Financial: Lauren Zubow and Richard Hurtig have no financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosure: Financial: Lauren Zubow and Richard Hurtig have no financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Portions of the data have been presented at the ISHA and ISAAC Conventions.
    Nonfinancial: Portions of the data have been presented at the ISHA and ISAAC Conventions.×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Language Disorders / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2014
Supporting the Use of Rudimentary Vocalizations
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 132-139. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.132
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 132-139. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.132

Children with Rett Syndrome (RS) are reported to use multiple modalities to communicate although their intentionality is often questioned (Bartolotta, Zipp, Simpkins, & Glazewski, 2011; Hetzroni & Rubin, 2006; Sigafoos et al., 2000; Sigafoos, Woodyatt, Tuckeer, Roberts-Pennell, & Pittendreigh, 2000). This paper will present results of a study analyzing the unconventional vocalizations of a child with RS. The primary research question addresses the ability of familiar and unfamiliar listeners to interpret unconventional vocalizations as “yes” or “no” responses. This paper will also address the acoustic analysis and perceptual judgments of these vocalizations. Pre-recorded isolated vocalizations of “yes” and “no” were presented to 5 listeners (mother, father, 1 unfamiliar, and 2 familiar clinicians) and the listeners were asked to rate the vocalizations as either “yes” or “no.” The ratings were compared to the original identification made by the child's mother during the face-to-face interaction from which the samples were drawn. Findings of this study suggest, in this case, the child's vocalizations were intentional and could be interpreted by familiar and unfamiliar listeners as either “yes” or “no” without contextual or visual cues. The results suggest that communication partners should be trained to attend to eye-gaze and vocalizations to ensure the child's intended choice is accurately understood.

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