Parental identification of potential communication behaviour in young Hong Kong Chinese children with autism

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This study combined the theoretical areas of prelinquistic communication and functional behaviour to examine the idiosyncratic and subtle behaviours of young children with Autism with severe communication impairment. The prime aim of the study was to describe potential communicative acts in young Chinese children with Autism living in Hong Kong SAR and explore how two Chinese mothers interpreted the behaviour of their children as communicative. A verification phase followed the assessment phase in order to test the reliability of the data. The responding mothers confirmed that they were capable of interpreting body and facial movements as forms of communication in their children. For example movements such as body stiffening or pursing of lips were interpreted by these mothers as their child indicating “No.” Results showed that the Inventory of Potential Communicative Acts (IPCA) tool to be an efficient means of collecting accurate and verifiable data on the potential communicative acts (PCAs) of young children with Autism and severe communication impairment in Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR). There would appear to be benefits in using the IPCA, in conjunction with locally produced speech and language tools, to assess children’s nonverbal communication ability in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-65
Number of pages24
JournalCAISE Review
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • prelinguistic behaviour
  • communicative forms
  • communicative functions
  • communicative behaviours
  • autism
  • Hong Kong SAR


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