Date of Defense

Fall 11-9-2000


Speech Pathology and Audiology

First Advisor

Jan Bedrosian, Speech Pathology and Audiology

Second Advisor

Nickola Nelson, Speech Pathology and Audiology

Third Advisor

Yvette Hyter, Speech Pathology and Audiology


Children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) are faced with numerous communication problems. Most often, they lack the ability to produce intelligible speech and find it difficult to initiate and participate with communication partners. Children with SSPI require augmentative and alternative communication to help overcome such difficulties, but still exhibit a limited range of communicative functions, minimally contribute to conversations, and take passive communication roles. These problems are heightened by the fact that their literacy development is also delayed. Presently, there is limited research pertaining to intervention in the area of peer interaction skills for children with SSPI in the area of literacy skills development. The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, a literature review of peer interaction and literacy development in children with SSPI is presented. Next, participation in an intervention study in which peer interaction was targeted in a literacy context is described. Lastly, future directions for peer intervention studies involving a literacy context are discussed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only