Adaptations for Learning to Use Touch Effectively
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page contains the article COACTIVE SIGNING.
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guidance of the childs hand(s) to facilitate production of
a standard manual sign for expressive communication.
encourage the use of signs as expressive communication for the child
who is blind or deaf-blind.
Mariko is sitting in the swing. She shakes her legs when the swing
stops. Her big brother takes her hands and helps her sign MORE(coactive
signing) while saying "OK, you want to swing some more. Ill
Carlos is sitting at the lunch table. He searches for his milk
carton on the tray but cannot find it, so he touches his teacher.
She helps Carlos sign MILK (coactive signing) and then says "The
milk is on the counter, go get it" while she signs MILK ON
COUNTER GET IT as Carlos feels her hand movements (tactile signing).
communication partner and child should be positioned so that they
are both comfortable and able to produce signs.
the communication partner may vary in relationship to the child
(i.e., beside the child, in front of the child, or behind the
child), he or she should remember to facilitate sign production
from the childs perspective. Care should be taken to consider
the childs dominant hand in the production of signs.
partners should differentiate between communication input to the
child and output of the child and use coactive signs only to facilitate
the childs expressive communication (output).
who are visually impaired or who are not visually attentive can
kinesthetically feel signs being made tactilely. This may help
in the childs independent production of signs.
signing provides the child with a tactile-kinesthetic model for
promoting expressive communication.
signing may be used inappropriately and confused with tactile
signing may not be effective for children who do not like their
hands to be held and manipulated or who are limited in arm and
use of coactive signing may result in some children being dependent
on physical prompts to produce signs.
may have difficulty differentiating between messages from a communication
partner (input) and when communication partner is facilitating
the childs response (output). A child will be confused if
coactive signs are used for both receptive and expressive communication
coactive signing, communication partners may confuse the direction
and movements of a sign and produce the sign from their own perspectives
and not from the childs perspective.
partners may reverse signs by using their dominant hands to mold
the childs nondominant hand to produce a sign. This reversal
be confusing and lead to the childs incorrect production
of the sign.
all manual signs can be produced accurately in a non-visual manner
coactively, (e.g., signs that require finger movements such as
Signing represents a synthesis of information from Project SALUTEs
focus groups, National Advisory Co, staff activities, and a review
of relevant literature such as the following bibliography.
D., Taylor, C., & Calvello, G. (1990). Parents and visually
impaired infants. Learning together. A parent guide to socially based
routines for visually impaired infants. Louisville, KY: American
Printing House for the Blind.
Dunn, M.L. (1982). Pre-sign language
motor skills. Tucson, AZ: Communication Skill Builders.
SKI*HI Institute. (1990). Coactive
tactile sign language. [Video]. Logan, UT: HOPE.
SKI*HI Institute. (1992-93). Interactive
series [Video]. Logan, UT: HOPE.
SKI*HI Institute. (1992-93). Introduction
to tactile communication series. [Video]. Logan,
SKI*HI Institute. (1993). Using tactile
signs and cues [Video]. Logan, UT: HOPE.
SKI*HI Institute (1993). Tactile
signing project: Tactile interactive signing and primitive signaling
(Project TIPS). [Video]. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Department
of Communicative Disorders.
Van Dijk, J. (1966). The first steps
of the deaf-blind child towards language. International Journal
for the Blind,15(4), 112-114.
Watkins, S. (1989). A model of home
intervention for infant, toddler and preschool aged multihandicapped
sensory impaired children. The INSITE model. Logan, UT: Hope.
Watkins, S., & Clark, T.C. (1991).
A coactive sign system for children who are dual-sensory impaired.
American Annals of the Deaf, 136, (4), 321-324.
Writer, J. (1987). A movement-based
approach to the education of students who are sensory impaired/multihandicapped.
In L. Goetz, D. Guess & K. Stremel-Campbell (Eds.), Innovative
program design for individuals with dual sensory impairments.
(pp. 191-223). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
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