Illuminating the fluidity of naturalistic social interactions across educational settings for children with PMLD

Simmons, B (2019) Illuminating the fluidity of naturalistic social interactions across educational settings for children with PMLD. In: Where Next for People with Cognitive Disabilities & Electronic Assistive Technology? Communication Matters Study Day, London, UK.

Official URL: https://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/what-we-do...

Abstract

‘Profound and multiple learning difficulties’ (‘PMLD’) is a term used in England to refer to children with extensive cognitive impairments. These impairments are commonly framed in terms of ‘global developmental delay’ and children with PMLD are understood as operating at the pre-verbal stage of communication. A major area of research in the PMLD field is the design of approaches that can help children develop symbolic communication skills. However, the research has largely focused on the development of adult-led interventions within the context of a special school, and to date there has been very little research that has examined what may be dubbed ‘naturalistic’ social interactions. This paper addresses the research gap by presenting the findings of a three-year project that explored how different learning environments (special and mainstream, from nursery to secondary) and communication partners (peers and adults) afforded alternative interaction opportunities for seven children with PMLD. The research employed a richly interpretivist design that included participatory and non-participatory observation, as well as on-going informal interviews with school staff. The research found that (i) staff embodied different interaction styles depending on which context they were in; (ii) that special school interaction was largely monadic or dyadic in nature, whilst interaction in the mainstream included a heavily pluralistic dimension, and (iii) that mainstream peers embodied a unique mode of engagement that was rarely seen in the special school. Implications for practice will be discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Note:

The Study Days programme is organised by Communication Matters in collaboration with The Children’s Trust.

Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 14:28
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2021 14:28
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/12943
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