Children with severe multiple disabilities: review of foreign literature



This article is a review of foreign studies devoted to the organization of psychological and pedagogical assistance to preschool children with severe multiple disorders (SMD). Retrospective data and modern ideas about this nosological group in Russia are presented. In parallel, modern ideas about it in other countries, current research in the field of diagnostics, organization of education, upbringing and social rehabilitation of preschool children with severe disabilities are considered. Among the measures to address issues of development of the socio-communicative sphere, the effectiveness of measures aimed at teaching preschoolers and their immediate environment to use the means of alternative and additional communication, ensuring accessible and developing communication was noted. Among the features of the development and implementation of special educational programs, the importance of a team approach, cooperation with the family and orientation towards teaching disabled child vital skills are highlighted. When comparing the subject of discussion with domestic theory and practice, the similarity of terminological contradictions was noted, as well as the recognition and use in our country of many foreign methods and approaches.

General Information

Keywords: profound disabilities, severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, systematic instruction, embedded instruction, natural cues, natural consequences, learning prompts, fading assistance, active learning, collaborative learning, alternative communication, augmentative communication, ACC

Journal rubric: Medical Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to PhD in psychology, Professor of the Department of Special Psychology and Rehabilitation of MSUPE, Tatiana A. Basilova.

For citation: Vetrova M.A., Vetrov A.O. Children with severe multiple disabilities: review of foreign literature [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 101–112. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110209. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria A. Vetrova, MA in Psychology, post-graduate student, psychologist , Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexander O. Vetrov, master of psychology and pedagogy, special teacher, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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