An Analysis of Teacher Responsiveness to Communicative Initiations of Preschool Children with Handicaps This paper presents data obtained in a preliminary study of teacher responsiveness to communicative initiation attempts of preschool children with developmental delays. Teacher-child interactions were analyzed during child- and teacher-directed activities to determine the types of teacher contingent responses to the children's communicative initiations and the initiation behaviors used by ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1990
An Analysis of Teacher Responsiveness to Communicative Initiations of Preschool Children with Handicaps
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula M. Pecyna Rhyner
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Donna H. Lehr
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Kenneth A. Pudlas
    University of British Columbia
  • Requests for reprints may be sent to Paula M. Pecyna Rhyner, Ph.D., Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201.
Article Information
Special Populations / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1990
An Analysis of Teacher Responsiveness to Communicative Initiations of Preschool Children with Handicaps
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1990, Vol. 21, 91-97. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2102.91
History: Received December 28, 1987 , Accepted March 16, 1989
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1990, Vol. 21, 91-97. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2102.91
History: Received December 28, 1987; Accepted March 16, 1989

This paper presents data obtained in a preliminary study of teacher responsiveness to communicative initiation attempts of preschool children with developmental delays. Teacher-child interactions were analyzed during child- and teacher-directed activities to determine the types of teacher contingent responses to the children's communicative initiations and the initiation behaviors used by the children. Teacher contingent responsiveness to the children's initiations was low for both activities and was much lower for the teacher-directed than the child-directed activity. Analysis of the child initiation behaviors revealed that combinations of behaviors were used most frequently by the children to initiate communication with their teachers. The results suggest that the level of teacher contingent responsiveness may not have been optimal for facilitating the children's language acquisition. Implications for future research and communication programming within classrooms for preschool children with handicaps are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We would like to acknowledge the staff of the early intervention program who participated in this project. Appreciation is also extended to Paula Felten, Carol Engebretson, and Kim DeLange for their assistance in data collection.
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