Differences in communication strategies used by residential support workers when working with verbal and non verbal children with learning difficulties: A conversational analysis study
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: There are vast amounts of legislation supporting a person with learning disabilities in making choices about their own life. However, in the field of learning disabilities support may be required to do this. Aim: This study seeks to assess the interactions between support workers and children with cerebral palsy. It assesses if there are differences in the number of choice-making opportunities provided for verbal and non verbal children, as well as looking at the question forms used by the support workers. Method: A conversation analysis was carried out of interactions of support worker/child dyads over a mealtime. The questions used were analysed. Results: There was little difference in the number of choices made by the verbal and non verbal children in the study. Closed "Yes/No" questions were used most regularly with the children. Other factors, such as question length, use of objects/symbols and familiarity with the options influenced the child's ability to respond to the question.
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