Communication breakdown at home and at school in young children with cerebral palsy and severe disabilities

Martha E. Snell, Lih Yuan Chen, Janet H. Allaire, Eunhye Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Data about communication breakdown were gathered through interviews of care providers and mailed surveys of special education teachers and speech and language pathologists of 17 children with cerebral palsy and significant language delay. Most care providers indicated that children used personalized communication systems and that these frequentlymet their communication needs. School staff reported that personalized systems were used less often, but that the same children made use of additional communication systems (e.g., pictures, devices) and that these systems sometimes met their needs. Care providers reported communication breakdown to be more frequent than did school staff, but both reported similar frequencies of problem behavior following breakdown.Qualitative results were reported for the strategies adults used during breakdown, the ways children reacted, and the types of problem behavior children displayed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Care providers
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Communication breakdown
  • Severe disabilities
  • Survey


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