Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax 614 447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com

Communicating Partners

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Helping Parents Help Children. Programs for Parents, Therapists & Educators


Paula Rabidoux investigated the interactive style of mothers and 20 language-delayed preschoolers. Half of the children were preverbal, the other half were minimally verbal but not conversational. The studied the relationship between the parents responsive and directive style to the interactive participation of the children. The major finding was that the more parents used the responsive strategies of matching, balancing, sharing control and being emotionally playful, the more the children stayed interacting, related with the picture book events and communicated their intentions. A parallel study analyzed the same children's behavior when the investigator deliberately used the Communicating Partners responsive strategies with the same storybook materials. The findings showed that all but one child interacted and communicated more frequently, more maturely and with fewer off topic distractions with the 'responsive' investigator than with the mothers who were primarily directive with their children.

The study suggests that storybook times are ideal communication learning times due to several factors

  1. the child is captive rather than on the move,
  2. concrete cues are available to develop semantic relatedness, and
  3. communicative interactions facilitate a child's motivation to become literate.

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Dr. James MacDonald 332 Mimring Columbus, Ohio 43202 Phone/Fax (614)447-0768 macdonaldj86@gmail.com