Communication Interventions for Individuals with Severe Disabilities: Exploring Research Challenges and Opportunities

Volume Editors: Rose A. Sevcik Ph.D., MaryAnn Romski Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 376 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598573633
Price: $59.95

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What does the latest research tell us about communication interventions for people with severe disabilities? Find out in this authoritative research volume, which investigates the effectiveness of today's communication interventions, synthesizes evidence from current studies, and identifies urgent research directions for the future.

Shaped by a conference of The National Joint Committee on the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC),* this interdisciplinary book includes contributions from more than 30 top scholars from diverse fields, including psychology, special education, and speech-language pathology. Each chapter gives readers a brief summary of research studies on a key intervention topic, insights on research design and measurement challenges, thoughts on future advances, and real-world clinical and educational recommendations. Essential for the reference libraries of educators and professionals, this book offers powerful insights about today's communication interventions—and sets a clear agenda for tomorrow's groundbreaking research.

  • prelinguistic communication intervention for young children with intellectual disabilities
  • challenging behavior and communicative alternatives
  • interventions for children who are deafblind
  • augmented language interventions for children with severe disabilities
  • parents as partners in communication intervention
  • the role of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences
  • targeted and phenotypic communication interventions for children with Down syndrome or ASD
  • issues related to research study design, including sample size, the effectiveness of randomized controlled trials, and integration of single-case and group designs
  • assessment and measurement of communication and language skills in individuals with severe intellectual disabilities
  • and more

*The NJC conference was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.


Review by: Linda Bambara, Professor of Special Education, Lehigh University
“A phenomenal synthesis of researchcomprehensive, authoritative, envelope-pushing. A must read for anyone interested in advancing communication interventions.”
Review by: Juan Bornman, Professor and Director, Centre for AAC, University of Pretoria
“This edited volume provides accessible interdisciplinary viewpoints and valuable insight into measurement and design challenges confronted by researchers seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of communication and language interventions. It will stimulate and enrich both researchers and clinicians towards deeper reflection of their own practices whilst the advances from research evidence will leave all readers with a sense of optimism for the future. An indispensable up-to-date book by the leading minds in our field.”
Review by: David Yoder, Professor Emeritus, Speech & Hearing Sciences, Director Emeritus, Center for Literacy & Disability Studies, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine

"The strength of this book is its interdisciplinary approach to a very complex set of issues related to a diverse population, a diverse set of intervention strategies, and a diverse set of research approaches to providing communicative competencies for persons with severe communication challenges.

"This book demonstrates that the current themes of intervention and research have come a long way since the 1972 publication of Language Intervention with the Retarded: Developing Strategies by McLean, Yoder and Schiefelbusch, and the respective authors of this book 'are encouraged by the advances evidenced in the research presented and are optimistic about research and practice endeavors that will emerge in the future.' P.xxii

"This book is a must read for persons providing education and clinical services, and who are conducting research with persons demonstrating severe communication disabilities."

Review by: Susan Johnston, University of Utah
“Kudos to the authors.this comprehensive analysis of research challenges and future directions is a must-read for all stakeholders who support the communication needs of individuals with severe disabilities.”
Review by: Jon Miller, ASHA Fellow and Honoree, Emeritus Professor, University of WisconsinMadison
“An enormous contribution to the field, bringing together internationally recognized interdisciplinary experts to document the state-of-the- science on improving the language and communication of persons with severe disabilities a must read for everyone engaged in fostering the communication abilities of this population.”
Review by: Pat Mirenda, Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, The University of British Columbia
“This book provides thorough overview of the research evidence on interventions for individuals who experience significant communication challenges. Equally as important is that it points the way forward and provides a roadmap for the next decade of research in this important area. Bravo to the National Joint Committee for this exciting and timely synthesis!”

Table of Contents

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Foreword Author: Leonard Abbeduto

I. Communication Interventions for Individuals with Severe Disabilities: What Is the Evidence?
  1. What Is the State of the Evidence?
    Nancy C. Brady, Martha E. Snell, and Lee K. McLean

  2. Prelinguistic Communication Intervention for Young Children with Intellectual Disabilities: A Focus on Treatment Intensity
    Tiffany G. Woynaroski, Marc E. Fey, Steven F. Warren, and Paul J. Yoder

  3. Challenging Behavior and Communicative Alternatives
    Joe Reichle and Mo Chen

  4. Research on Communication Intervention for Children Who Are Deafblind
    Charity Mary Rowland and Amy T. Parker

  5. Are We There Yet? Targeted and Phenotypic Communication Interventions for Children with Down Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Stephanie Yoshiko Shire and Connie Kasari

  6. Augmented Language Interventions for Children with Severe Disabilities
    Ashlyn L. Smith, R. Michael Barker, Andrea Barton-Hulsey, MaryAnn Romski, and Rose A. Sevcik

  7. Parents as Partners in Effective Communication Intervention
    Ann P. Kaiser, Lauren H. Hampton, and Megan Y. Roberts

  8. Putting It Together: Discussion Synthesis of Communication Interventions for Individuals with Severe Disabilities
    Ellin B. Siegel, Diane Paul, and Lorraine Sylvester
II. Challenges for Communicative Intervention Research: Design Method Issues
  1. Behavioral Heterogeneity in People with Severe Intellectual Disabilities: Integrating Single-Case and Group Designs to Develop Effective Interventions
    William J. McIlvane, Anne-Therese Hunt, Joanne B. Kledaras, and Curtis K. Deutsch

  2. Randomized Controlled Trials: Do They Tell Us What We Want to Know About Interventions for People with Severe Disabilities?
    R. Michael Barker and David J. Francis

  3. Boxed in by Small Sample Size? Some Ways Out of the Box
    Roger Bakeman
III. Challenges for Communication Intervention Research: Measuring Outcomes
  1. Recent Innovations in the Assessment of Auditory Discrimination Abilities in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Who Are Nonspeaking
    Richard W. Serna

  2. The Role of Cultural, Ethnic, and Linguistic Differences
    Katherine T. Rhodes and Julie A. Washington

  3. Measuring Communication and Language Skills in Individuals with Severe Intellectual Disabilities
    Billy T. Ogletree

  4. Where does Social Validity Measurement Fit into Identifying and Developing Evidence-Based Practices?
    Howard Goldstein

  5. Section Discussion Summary: State of the Evidence: Research Design and Measurement Issues
    Krista M. Wilkinson, Beth A. Mineo, Diane Paul, and Christine Regiec
IV. The Future
  1. Communication Interventions for Individuals with Severe Disabilities: Research and Practice Gaps, Opportunities, and Future Directions
    Rose A. Sevcik and MaryAnn Romski

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