Authors: Bartolotta TE, Remshifski PA
Title: Coaching Communication Partners: A Preliminary Investigation of Communication Intervention During Mealtime in Rett Syndrome
Source: Communication Disorders Quarterly 2013 34(3): 162-171
Year: 2013
Research Design: Single Case Design

Rett syndrome (RTT) occurs primarily in females and is characterized by deficits in cognition, communication, hand use and ambulation. This quasi-experimental study explored the use of a coaching program to increase communicative interactions between girls with RTT and their communication partners. Communication coaching strategies were provided to adults who worked with four girls with RTT during mealtime in their classrooms. Data analysis revealed that the number of bids for communication increased over time for all girls with RTT. Feeders waited longer for girls to respond, used fewer conversational fillers and responded to the girls’ behaviors as if they were intentional. These observations suggest communication coaching may be a valuable tool clinicians can use to enrich communicative interactions in the classroom for these individuals with severe communication impairments. Limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed.

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