chapter  6
Parent-child conversational interaction with blind children
Pages 14

All children learning to talk acquire their conversational skills within the context of dialogue and, most commonly, within the context of caregiver-child dialogues (Gallaway & Richards, 1994). Thus, it is not surprising that much research has concentrated on examining the nature of mothers' dialogues with normal language learning children. It is also not surprising that researchers interested in atypical populations have addressed themselves to this area as well. Studies investigating the characteristics of mother-child dialogues with blind children have been few in number and methodologically too simplistic. The claim that the linguistic input to blind children is directive and controlling and lacks in description is no longer warranted. In addition, the characterization of conversations with blind children as asymmetrical and non-contingent, where blind children have very few initiations and are unable to sustain conversational interaction, is also brought into question.