Main content

Alert message

Handout G: Examples of Adaptive and Nonadaptive Transactional Interactions That Impact Communication Development

Sapp, W.K. (2005). Examples of adaptive and nonadaptive transactional interactions that impact communication development. Chapel Hill, NC: Early Intervention Training Center for Infants and Toddlers With Visual Impairments, FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-CH.

Adaptive Interaction

Step 1

Sophia, 18 months old, has optic-nerve hypoplasia with object perception. She is sitting on a blanket with a few favorite toys. While playing, her toys roll out of her field of vision.

Step 2

Sophia briefly searches for the toys but does not find them. She remains seated on the blanket and begins using her hands to press her eyes.

Step 3

Sophia’s mom notices she has stopped playing and is pressing her eyes. She walks over and joins Sophia on the floor. Calmly she says to Sophia, “I see you cannot find your toys. Let Mommy help you.” She gently uses hand-under-hand to help Sophia locate her toys.

Step 4

After this happens several times, Sophia begins to vocalize when her toys move out of reach. Her vocalizations let her mom know that she needs assistance.

Nonadaptive Interaction

Step 1

Sophia, 18 months old, has optic-nerve hypoplasia with object perception. She is sitting on a blanket with a few favorite toys. While playing, her toys roll out of her field of vision.

Step 2

Sophia briefly searches for the toys but does not find them. She remains seated on the blanket and begins using her hands to press her eyes.

Step 3

Sophia’s mom notices she has stopped playing and is pressing her eyes. Discouraged that once again Sophia is eye pressing, she calls out across the room, “Sophia, hands down!” She walks over and pushes the toys back onto the blanket.

Step 4

After this happens several times, Sophia begins to call out “Hands down” when her toys are out of reach.