Communication of Students with Severe Speech and Motor Impairments During Home-Based Literacy Activities
Rylance, Billie Jo
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The present study examined the effects of emergent literacy experiences on the communication of four students with severe speech and motor impairments who ranged in age from seven to eighteen. Specifically, the intervention brought students together with a family member or caregiver to videotape themselves reading familiar and unfamiliar storybooks in their own homes. Through a multiple baseline intervention the researchers examined the effects of (a) calming procedures and (b) the application of supportive communication strategies and augmentative and alternative communication on the quantity and quality of interactions between the student and adult partner. Readers were provided basic training, adapted reading materials, communication devices, and video equipment. Examination of recorded readings revealed that, by the completion of the study, three of four students demonstrated increases in their overall rates of identified communication. Further, three of four students successfully integrated communication device use into the reading process. These results support the idea that students with severe disabilities can benefit from emergent literacy instruction.