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Teaching VOCA Use as a Communicative Repair Strategy


Sigafoos, J and Drasgow, E and Halle, J and O'Reilly, M and Seely-York, S and Edrisinha, C and Andrews, A, Teaching VOCA Use as a Communicative Repair Strategy, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, (4) pp. 411-422. ISSN 0162-3257 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1023/B:JADD.0000037417.04356.9c


Students with developmental disabilities often rely on prelinguistic behavior (e.g., reaching, leading) to communicate. When listeners fail to attend to prelinguistic behaviors, students may benefit from responding with an alternative form of communication to repair the breakdown. In the present study, we taught two students with developmental disabilities to repair communicative breakdowns by using a voice-output communication aid (VOCA). Intervention occurred at morning snack time when the students had the opportunity to access preferred items through prelinguistic behavior (e.g., reaching, guiding). Breakdowns occurred when the listener failed to attend to the student's initial request. Effects of the intervention were evaluated in a multiple-baseline design across subjects. Both students learned to use the VOCA to repair communicative breakdowns. As VOCA use was acquired as a repair strategy, the students also began to use the device to initiate requests when there had been no breakdown in communication. The intervention appeared to be an effective approach for supplementing prelinguistic behaviors with an additional option for communicating a request.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Special education and disability
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Inclusive education
UTAS Author:Sigafoos, J (Professor Jeffrey Sigafoos)
ID Code:36328
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2007-10-11
Last Modified:2007-10-11

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