LISTENING TO CHILDREN WITH COMMUNICATION IMPAIRMENT TALKING THROUGH THEIR DRAWINGS
Including children as research participants is an important new direction in early childhood research. However, it is rare for such studies to include the voices of children with significant communication impairment. This article suggests that drawing may be an appropriate non-verbal method for ‘listening’ to these children’s ideas and recording their perspectives. Three areas of inquiry are reviewed: (1) the use of drawings as a method of listening respectfully to children; (2) approaches to the analysis of children’s drawings; and (3) the analysis of drawings completed by children with communication impairment. We identify six aspects of children’s drawings — facial expressions, accentuation of body features (e.g. mouth and ears), portrayal of talking/listening, colours used, conversational partners, and sense of self — that are potentially pertinent for children with communication impairment.