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Clin Commun Disord. 1993 Spring;3(2):31-42.

Communication intervention for individuals with dual sensory and intellectual impairments.

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University of Arizona, Tucson.


For individuals with dual sensory and intellectual impairments, the lack of effective communication skills places severe limitations on their learning potential and sense of belonging. Educational intervention for this population has recognized the critical need to develop communication skills, yet the complexity of the individual's needs continues to plague progress. Unique needs and situations of individuals in this category, coupled with extremely limited numbers of trained and experienced professionals, challenge the field to develop creative means of addressing this vital issue. Documented case studies provide the field with examples of potential options to employ when addressing the communicative needs of individuals with dual sensory and intellectual impairments. However, these case studies provide partial communication systems that address partial communicative needs. Providing individuals having severe sensory, intellectual, and other disabilities with a true language that can meet all communication needs, both receptive and expressive, is still beyond our grasp. Future efforts with this focus will need to combine early intervention, creative technology, and principles of normalization in order to be successful.

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