Life's a bonding experience: a framework for the communication of a non-verbal intellectually disabled teenager
This paper presents a framework for the description of the semiotic world of a male adolescent (17 years) with a severe intellectual disability who does not use speech as his primary form of communication. The framework is based on selected aspects of systemic functional linguistic theory, including exchange structure analysis and affiliation theory. The framework is based on a proficiency model, showing what a person can do, rather than what they can't do. It presents a new way of describing nonverbal multimodal communication. The research was conducted by a linguist, who happens to be the young man's mother.