Sofia Wallin

Research title: Communication and AAC in Schools for Students with Intellectual Disability: An Exploratory Study of a Partner Communication Intervention

Readers: Associate professor Anita McAllister, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (Karolinska Institutet) and Associate professor Alexandra Dylman, Department of Special Education (Stockholm University).

Supervisors: Professor Jenny Wilder, Department of Special Education (Stockholm University), Professor Helena Hemmingsson, Department of Special Education (Stockholm University), and Associate professor Gunilla Thunberg, Dart (Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg.)

Moderator: Professor Jenny Wilder, Department of Special Education (Stockholm University.)

Research topic/content of the thesis
Students with intellectual disability who have communication difficulties rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC includes a variety of communication modes, such as gestures, manual signs, or symbol communication. Partner strategies, such as responsivity techniques and AAC modeling by, for example, pointing at symbols while speaking (point-talking), are essential in AAC implementation and language development in students with communication impairments. Even though communication is emphasized in the Swedish curriculum of the compulsory school for students with intellectual disability (CSSID), communication and AAC practice in the Swedish CSSID has not been the focus of systematic research.
This doctoral thesis aims to describe communication patterns, AAC use, staff responsivity, and student communicative participation in naturally occurring activities in the compulsory schools for students with intellectual disability in Sweden. Furthermore, the thesis aims to explore an AAC-intervention: Communication using Point-talking in an Aided Learning environment (COMPAL) in the same setting, by exploring changes in communication patterns, AAC use, staff responsivity, and student communicative participation directly after the intervention completion, as well as in a follow-up measure about seven months after intervention completion. 

This doctoral thesis is part of the Research School in Special Education directed towards Early Interventions in Early Childhood Education (Swedish Research Council 2017-03683). Read more at Research School. 

Material for the seminar: Material for the seminar will be distributed two weeks in advance through 
Stockholm University Box-cloud for employees and in physical copies through research administration at the Department of Special Education. Please contact: forskaradministration@specped.su.se 

The seminar will be held in English, exclusively via Zoomhttps://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/65275208688

Contact: Sofia Wallin, sofia.wallin@specped.su.se