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1. Your intervention paper isn’t due for
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Today’s Topic:
Gesture as Communication:
Deictic and
Representational Gestures
Reference by means of an expression
whose interpretation is relative to the
context, not necessarily the content of
the utterance, such as:
who is speaking
the time or place of speaking
the gestures of the speaker, or
the current location of the discourse.
From: LinguaLinks (
Examples of deictic expressions
I/you (person deixis)
here/there (place deixis)
Ud./tú (social deixis)
yesterday/today/tomorrow or
now/then (time deixis)
From: LinguaLinks (
Deictic Gestures:
 protoimperatives
 protodeclaratives
Proto-imperatives: (usually
emerge around 9 months)
“gestures that function to
engage the adults as a tool
for obtaining a desired
(Iverson & Thal,1998, p. 60)
Proto-declaratives: (appear
after proto-imperatives)
“gestures that function to
indicate an object with the
goal of gaining the adult’s
(Iverson & Thal,1998, p. 60)
Representational Gestures:
 object related gestures
 culturally defined
conventional gestures
“Representational gestures both
establish reference and carry some
fixed semantic content”
(Iverson & Thal, 1998, p. 61)
Object related gestures:
•These are gestures that “represent
some aspect of a referent” and can
“be produced either with or without
the referent in hand.”
(Iverson & Thal, 1998, p. 61)
Culturally defined conventional gestures:
 social markers
 conventional (not
Example: waving bye-bye
Small Group Activity #1:
Discuss in small group:
o Gesture may be one aspect of
communication in which comprehension
does not precede production. What might
be some implications of this for students
with severe disabilities, particularly in a
classroom setting?
Quick Write
What have you learned about the
development of gestures that
seems important to you as an
Developing Coordinated
1. Attending to social
partners: looking at
people who draw
their attention.
Developing Coordinated Attention, cont.:
2. Supported joint
engagement: looking at
an object which
caregiver then also
attends to.
Developing Coordinated Attention, cont.:
3. Coordinated joint
engagement: Switching
attention between
caregiver and object they
are both attending to.
Small Group Activity #2:
Using the Iverson & Thal reading,
come up with a timeline for the
development of early communication,
including gestures and eye gaze.
Important Points about Gestures:
Early gestures are not true symbols -they are highly context bound (i.e.
within a certain routine). However,
they may develop into symbols as
children learn to use them creatively
and within a variety of different
Typically developing children use
both gestures and words when they
are learning to communicate.
Important Points, cont.:
When children are using word-gesture
combinations, this may indicate that they
are almost ready to start using two-word
The use of gestures (or alternative and
augmentative communication systems) by
caretakers does not delay oral language
development -- it may help it! This
supports the use of total communication
with children with language delays.
Looking ahead…
Spring Break!!!!!
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