ERIC Number: ED335862
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Conversation Skills to Individuals with Severe Disabilities with a Communication Book Adaptation. Instructional Handbook.
Hunt, Pam; And Others
Research on communication instruction for students with severe intellectual disabilities is reviewed, focusing on the pragmatic elements involved in accomplishing a successful communicative exchange. A federally funded project, called the "Conversation and Social Competence Research Project," is then described. The project sought to develop an effective conversation training program that would provide students with severe disabilities with the skills and adaptations they need to initiate communicative social interactions and maintain reciprocal turntaking. The project conducted four studies, which investigated: the relationship between conversation skills and inappropriate social interaction behaviors; interacting with peers through conversation turntaking with a communication book adaptation; generalized effects of conversation skill training; and using a communication book adaptation at home with informed family members. Results of these studies led to the development of a conversation training program for elementary to high-school age students. Program components include generation of topic menus to guide the content of each participant's conversation; development of individualized communication books (containing photographs and drawings of objects, places, actions, and people associated with the topic menu items) to serve as the conversation medium; and training on a specific "turntaking" structure. Appendices contain pages from conversation books, a Partner Training Script, a description of conversation training, and a conversation data sheet. (Includes 39 references) (JDD)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Demonstration Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Involvement, Generalization, Individualized Programs, Interaction, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Competence, Picture Books, Pragmatics, Severe Mental Retardation, Skill Development, Social Behavior, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: San Francisco State Univ., CA. Dept. of Special Education.