What is Intensive Interaction?

Intensive interaction is an approach to teaching the pre-speech fundamentals of communication to children and adults who have severe learning difficulties and/or autism and who are still at an early stage of communication development. The approach was developed during the nineteen-eighties by the team of staff working at Harperbury Hospital School Herfordshire. Harperbury was a school for people who have severe learning difficulties on the campus of a large long-stay hospital in southern England. The developments followed the work of the late Geraint Ephraim Ph.D, a psychologist who worked in the Hertfordshire long-stay hospitals.

Dave Hewett Ph.D and Melanie Nind Ph.D, were teachers at Harperbury School, and they carried out Intensive Interaction research projects at the school as part of the development work. They have published three books on the approach (e.g. ‘Access to Communication’ London: David Fulton 1994) and extensive other publications.