A Gestural Communication Program for Severely and Profoundly Handicapped Children A communication program involving 21 severely and profoundly mentally retarded children was developed. All participants had failed to progress in previous therapeutic attempts directed towards communication. The success of the trial program led to its continuation the following school year. The average number of signals acquired increased from 5.5 in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1981
A Gestural Communication Program for Severely and Profoundly Handicapped Children
 
Author Notes
  • Joanne Daniloff is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Vermont Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (doctoral candidate). Audrey Shafer is affiliated with the Camelot School, Logansport Community School Corporation, Logansport, Indiana. Requests for reprints and additional information regarding specific clinical characteristics should be directed to Joanne K. Daniloff; Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology; Given Building, Medical Center; University of Vermont; Burlington, Vermont 05405.
    Joanne Daniloff is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Vermont Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (doctoral candidate). Audrey Shafer is affiliated with the Camelot School, Logansport Community School Corporation, Logansport, Indiana. Requests for reprints and additional information regarding specific clinical characteristics should be directed to Joanne K. Daniloff; Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology; Given Building, Medical Center; University of Vermont; Burlington, Vermont 05405.×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1981
A Gestural Communication Program for Severely and Profoundly Handicapped Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1981, Vol. 12, 258-268. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1204.258
History: Received March 31, 1981 , Accepted June 1, 1981
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1981, Vol. 12, 258-268. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1204.258
History: Received March 31, 1981; Accepted June 1, 1981

A communication program involving 21 severely and profoundly mentally retarded children was developed. All participants had failed to progress in previous therapeutic attempts directed towards communication. The success of the trial program led to its continuation the following school year. The average number of signals acquired increased from 5.5 in the trial program (Phase I) to 11.8 over the duration of a year (Phase II). Spontaneous verbalization and vocalization increased dramatically, and several participants learned to combine signals. Seizures, medication, and ability to walk were not good indicators of final progress, but successful toilet training, preprogram vocalization, and verbal behavior proved to be strong predictors of success.

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