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Mobilizing others when you have little (recognizable) language

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Getting another person to engage with you is, for most people, most of the time, a merely trivial challenge. Of course, there are times when our attempts are awkward, or misfire; nevertheless, usually we bring them off smoothly and successfully. But it is far from easy if you have an intellectual impairment; and, a fortiori, dauntingly challenging if the impairment is profound. For someone with severe cognitive and communicative incapacity, the attempt to get others to do things is highly, perhaps entirely, dependent on the others' doubtful construction of just what it is that they are supposed to do. This chapter is about those attempts: how they succeed, and how (as they often do) they fail.