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PoWRRS Play communication protocol for young children with physical disabilities: Moving evidence into practice

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The acquisition of clear, prelinguistic signals of intentional communication is pivotal for young children with severe speech and physical impairments such as cerebral palsy. These signals, which include vocalizations, gestures, and gaze, provide the foundation for the transition from preintentional to intentional communication and help the child develop early social relationships with a range of communication partners. Planning early intervention that focuses on this transition is challenging because these children are heterogeneous across sensory, motor, social and cognitive domains. Such diversity of characteristics and needs require that even evidence-based assessment and treatment procedures be adapted to the individual child. This interactive workshop will introduce one protocol, PoWRRS Play, which uses dynamic assessment to guide clinicians in planning individualized intervention for teaching prelinguistic signals to this population. Participants will learn the evidence supporting the protocol, as it was moved from research into one early intervention center. Case-based activities will be used to practice elements of the protocol, including: how to select appropriate treatment targets from a range of early communication behaviors and how to identify productive shaping cues for a given child. Participants will be given access to materials for subsequent use in their own clinical practice with this population.

Author(s):

Patricia Dowden    
University of Washington
United States

Julie Feuerstein    
University of Washington
United States

Lesley Olswang    
University of Washington
United States

 

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