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Fostering social engagement in Romanian children with communicative impairments: the experiences of newly trained practitioners of Intensive Interaction

Suzanne Zeedyk, M, Davies, Cliff, Parry, Sarah ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5666-1997 and Caldwell, Phoebe (2009) Fostering social engagement in Romanian children with communicative impairments: the experiences of newly trained practitioners of Intensive Interaction. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37 (3). pp. 186-196. ISSN 1354-4187

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Abstract

This article describes the benefits of using an intervention technique called ‘Intensive Interaction’ to make connections with children who are socially withdrawn because of communicative impairments. It summarises the accounts of 12 new trainees who used the technique while working as volunteers with abandoned, special needs children living in state care in Romania. The comments of the volunteers showed that they could identify improvements in the children’s communicative abilities once they began to use Intensive Interaction. For example, the children looked at them more often, they were calmer, and they were more likely to turn the interactions into games. The volunteers’ comments also made it clear that they felt closer to the children as a result of these changes in the interaction style. These results are encouraging, because they suggest that practitioners can be trained in the basics of Intensive Interaction quickly and at a low cost, enabling them to reach children who often have trouble connecting to other people.

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