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Strategies used by Brazilian aided communicators in naming drawings using graphic symbols

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Background and Aim: The selection of vocabulary for aided communicators can be a difficult and time-consuming task. This process should consider communicative needs, goals, personal experiences and activities, and included the participation of professionals, family, friends and school. This study investigates the aid vocabulary of aided communicators, aged 5–15 years, and their use of the graphic system in a naming task.
Method: Ten Brazilian aided and eight naturally speaking communicators, aged 5-15 years, named 20 drawings of persons, animals and things.
Results: The children had 70–432 graphic symbols and other items in their communication boards and devices. The replies of the aided communicators included direct naming with one graphic symbol, naming by using a graphic symbol from the same semantic field, naming by combining two or more symbols, and naming with elements outside the communication aid, such as symbolic eye pointing at things in the environment. Some replies were incorrect, in a few instances due to misperception of the drawing. The naturally speaking children named with one word most of the time.
Conclusion: Naming is an important communicative function which put higher demands and require more complex processes in aided than in naturally speaking communicators.



Stephen von Tetzchner    
Department of Psychology/University of Oslo


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