Research in social interaction and nonverbal communication among individuals with severe developmental disabilities also includes the study of body movements. Advances in analytical technology give new possibilities for measuring body movements more accurately and reliably. One such advance is the Qualisys Motion Capture System (QMCS), which utilizes optical markers to capture body movements. The aim of this study was to explore the practicality of measuring body movements in the nonverbal communication of a child with severe developmental disabilities. A preliminary case study has been undertaken. The social interaction between a boy with developmental disabilities and his teacher was analyzed (1) using observer ratings on psychological aspects of the social interaction and (2) measuring body positions, velocity, and angles of body movements using the QMCS. Associations between observer ratings and measured body movements were examined. This preliminary case study has indicated that emotional response and attention level during the social interaction corresponded with local, synchronized movements and face-to-face orientation. Measurement of motor behavior is suggested as being a potentially useful methodological approach to studying social interaction and communication development.

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