Reply to Collisson and Long Collisson and Long remind us all that computer technology is a tool that does not operate independently of an interactive adult when communication training for children with severe disabilities is at issue. With this we totally agree. However, their letter seems to imply that our study (Schery & O’Connor, ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   July 01, 1993
Reply to Collisson and Long
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Teris K. Schery
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Lisa C. O'Connor
    California State University, Los Angeles
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   July 01, 1993
Reply to Collisson and Long
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 180. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.180
History: Received February 1, 1993 , Accepted February 2, 1993
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1993, Vol. 24, 180. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2403.180
History: Received February 1, 1993; Accepted February 2, 1993
Collisson and Long remind us all that computer technology is a tool that does not operate independently of an interactive adult when communication training for children with severe disabilities is at issue. With this we totally agree. However, their letter seems to imply that our study (Schery & O’Connor, 1992) was comparing the efficacy of computer intervention with comparable intervention given by a trained professional (in this case, a special education classroom teacher). If so, they are misinterpreting our design.
The question we were asking was not whether computer training was better than focused language training by a professional, but whether computer training was capable of showing effectiveness at all. The “control group” in this case was simply the baseline progress of the 52 children in their everyday special education environments. This was used to control for maturation effects. If we simply had given a pre- and post-test before and after the computer training, we would have had difficulty arguing that any increase in language skill was the result of the training; such change could have been due to growth the children experienced during the course of their everyday lives or the result of the general language stimulation in their classroom programs. By contrasting the children’s language progress during the “normal” school situation with language change over a comparable period of time when the children were getting the additional computer training, we documented more convincingly that the effects were specifically due to the training, not to maturation or to the general classroom program. We don’t doubt that similar progress could have been made if equivalent focused training on vocabulary and language was delivered by a trained professional—either in the classroom or as an adjunct. In fact, in an earlier study (O’Connor & Schery, 1986), we showed that very similar results were achieved when the two training approaches were direcdy compared.
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access