Teaching Prelinguistic Communication

The publication, Teaching Prelinguistic Communication, highlights findings from the study Promoting Communication Outcomes for Children with Deaf-Blindness Through Adaptive Prelinguistic Strategies.  This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (Award #H324D0003-05) and conducted by researchers Nancy Brady (University of Kansas) and Susan M. Bashinski ( East Carolina University).

  • Find a list of intentional communication gestures
  • Read about what was included in the Adapted Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching


The following video clips accompany the publication Teaching Prelinguistic Communication (click on the link above). The clips are from a study of the use of Adapted Prelinguistic Milieu Teaching (A-PMT) for children who are deaf-blind.  In these video clips, Dr. Bashinski and a student named Lance are engaged in A-PMT routines designed to facilitate the development of a variety of conventional gestures.

This clip shows the routine described on page three of Teaching Prelinguistic Communication. Susan is teaching Lance the "give to partner for help" gesture.
In this routine Lance is learning the gesture "move partner's hand to item." The purpose of this gesture is to ask for something to continue (e.g., "I want more"). Lance loves to have his head scratched and is asking Susan to keep doing it.
This clip shows Lance learning to use a “clap” gesture to show pleasure or enjoyment.
This clip shows Lance learning the "give high five" gesture to use as a greeting.
The purpose of the routine shown in this clip is for Lance to learn the “extend hand, open palm” gesture to request an item (e.g., “I want the ___________”).
The main goal of this routine is to teach Lance to isolate his index finger, as the first step in learning to use a pointing gesture (e.g., "What is this?" "Look at this!"). This routine is also meant to encourage Lance to use the "extend hand" gesture to request an item (e.g., "I want the ___").
Here, Lance is learning a "contact point" gesture (point to something by touching it) to make comment (e.g., "Look at this!").

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