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Communicative Interaction with and without Eye-Gaze Technology between Children and Youths with Complex Needs and Their Communication Partners.


ABSTRACT: Use of eye-gaze assistive technology (EGAT) provides children/youths with severe motor and speech impairments communication opportunities by using eyes to control a communication interface on a computer. However, knowledge about how using EGAT contributes to communication and influences dyadic interaction remains limited.

Aim

By video-coding dyadic interaction sequences, this study investigates the impacts of employing EGAT, compared to the Non-EGAT condition on the dyadic communicative interaction.

Method

Participants were six dyads with children/youths aged 4-19 years having severe physical disabilities and complex communication needs. A total of 12 film clips of dyadic communication activities with and without EGAT in natural contexts were included. Based on a systematic coding scheme, dyadic communication behaviors were coded to determine the interactional structure and communicative functions. Data were analyzed using a three-tiered method combining group and individual analysis.

Results

When using EGAT, children/youths increased initiations in communicative interactions and tended to provide more information, while communication partners made fewer communicative turns, initiations, and requests compared to the Non-EGAT condition. Communication activities, eye-control skills, and communication abilities could influence dyadic interaction.

Conclusion

Use of EGAT shows potential to support communicative interaction by increasing children's initiations and intelligibility, and facilitating symmetrical communication between dyads.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8151590 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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