Original Research

Communication intervention in an adolescent with profound cognitive impairment and autistic features

Ilze Pansegrouw, Erna Alant
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 43, No 1 | a239 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v43i1.239 | © 2019 Ilze Pansegrouw, Erna Alant | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 1996

About the author(s)

Ilze Pansegrouw, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Erna Alant, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The service delivery model currently used with a large proportion of profoundly cognitively impaired (PCI) persons, results in the under-utilization of their potential and often contributes to social isolation. By providing communication and independence training the self-actualisation potential and the right to power and control, is recognised. This single case study describes the implementation of a communication intervention model with a PCI adolescent. His mother was trained in the use of picture symbol task analysis as well as positive reinforcement to promote change in the adolescent's communication skills and independence. Results indicated significant changes in the skills of both participants and highlighted the mother's need for support to meet the demands of change.


profound cognitive impairment (PCI); communication intervention; independence training


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1. Quality of life interventions for primary caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder: a scoping review
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doi: 10.2989/17280583.2019.1659146