Identifying Intentional Communication in Children With Severe Disabilities Intentional communication can be identified in typically developing children as the ability to initiate and indicate a communicative interest to a listener. The ability to direct the attention of another to an event or an object emerges during the transition from pre-symbolic or prelinguistic to symbolic or linguistic communication ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2001
Identifying Intentional Communication in Children With Severe Disabilities
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Orit E. Hetzroni
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2001
Identifying Intentional Communication in Children With Severe Disabilities
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, June 2001, Vol. 8, 8-11. doi:10.1044/lle8.1.8
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, June 2001, Vol. 8, 8-11. doi:10.1044/lle8.1.8
Intentional communication can be identified in typically developing children as the ability to initiate and indicate a communicative interest to a listener. The ability to direct the attention of another to an event or an object emerges during the transition from pre-symbolic or prelinguistic to symbolic or linguistic communication (Bruner, 1981;Tomasello, 1988). This critical period in human development is associated with the ability to understand means-end and to regulate behaviors (Bates, 1976). At about 8-9 months of age, infants who are normally developing begin to act in ways that are intended to influence the listener (Bates, 1979). Although earlier in development infants do influence the caregiver’s behavior, their communicative behaviors are functional and not intentional. This communicative function has been defined as a perlocutionary stage (Bates, Camaioni, & Volterra, 1975). For example, a cry by an infant will have an effect on the mother who will check if the child is hungry or wet. However, although the infant has an effect on the parent, it does not mean that the infant deliberately intended to have that effect.
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