CHILDREN WITH PROFOUND AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND THEIR COMMUNICATION NEEDS
Keywords:inclusion, communication, disability, persons with PIMD, special needs, enviornment, education
The concept of intervention for people with communication disabilities has been developing since the beginnings of the 70’s, moving from a response to people who could not use speech as a form of communication, to a more integrated approach which stresses the need for natural approaches to support the development of functional communication. The concept of Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities (PIMD) refers to a specifi c population showing combinations of profound intellectual challenges combined with sensory and/ or motor disabilities.As a result of these combination, children with PIMD are not able to spontaneously and consistently explore environments, get involved in daily life activities and, attend to people in the environment. Communication as a right and an educational resource for the population of PIMD is not consensual. An approach to communication with this population requires a change in paradigm regarding the goals for their education as well as a defi nition of the role of all team members involved with particular attention to their role as communication partners. In this article we discuss a few theoretical contributions to the understanding of the needs of the new population of people with PIMD, the challenges of developing appropriate services to meet their needs, the role of communication in the process, and new trends in service provision.
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