Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)

Treating the actions of children as sensible: Investigating structures in interactions between children with disabilities and their parents

Catherine E. Brouwer, Dennis Day, Ulrika Ferm, Anders R Hougaard, Gitte Rasmussen, Gunilla Thunberg
Issued Date: 29 Aug 2011


In this study, we investigate patterns in interactions between children with communicative disabilities and their parents. The purpose is to demonstrate how, in play activities at home, parents with varying degrees of success make their children’s contributions sensible. A Conversation Analytic approach to interaction underlies our demonstration. We show that parents’ actions may be finely tuned and fine-grained, as well as locally situated with regard to treating their children’s actions as sensible contributions to an ongoing activity. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings in relation to early communication intervention.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v2i2.153


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