Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 4, No 2 (2013)

That’s my story! Resisting disabling processes in a therapeutic activity

Gitte Rasmussen
Issued Date: 17 Sep 2013


This study investigates how processes of disablement may be part of sequentially organized teaching/learning actions in therapeutic activities. Employing Membership Categorization Analysis and practices of Conversation Analysis, the paper will present examples of two specific kinds of processes of disablement arising as products: (a) of training activities in which clients are trained by professionals in using and relying upon specific methods and techniques for conveying specific kinds of meaning; (b) of sense-making processes in training activities known as ‘doing talk about ordinary things’ in everyday life as experienced by the clients. The paper makes use of a training interaction between a non-speaking boy and his speech-language pathologist to exemplify such processes. The activity mixes routine conversational tasks and training tasks. The analysis demonstrates how the boy is taught to use specific signs for conveying meanings that have been produced by the speech-language pathologist previously through a combination of talk and signs. The speech-language pathologist repairs non-conforming signs produced by him. The boy accepts the disabling process that emerges from this kind of training. The analysis also demonstrates another kind of disabling process, which emerges as a feature of repairing techniques used by the speech-language pathologist to make sense of what the boy tells her about what he has experienced during the weekend. The analysis demonstrates how the boy resists this kind of process of disablement.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v4i2.273


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