Difficulties experienced by people with learning disabilities with communication can impact greatly on their ability to have control over their lives. Problems can be with receptive, expressive, or written domains.
The researchers in the present study set out to look specifically at the communication difficulties faced by 204 people described as having profound learning disabilities who lived in two large supports and services centres in the United States.
They collected data on receptive, expressive, and written communication skills for the participants using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) and conducted tests on the three domains of communication identified.
They found that the participants had a significantly larger proportion of receptive subdomain items than expressive subdomain or written subdomain items.
They also found that participants exhibited a significantly larger proportion of expressive subdomain items than written subdomain items.
The authors consider the implications of their findings for the organisation of support for communication in people with profound learning disabilities.
An examination of specific communication deficits in adults with profound intellectual disabilities, Belva B et al., in Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 2, 525-529