‘‘It’s got to be more than that’’. Parents and speech-language pathologists discuss training content for families with a new speech generating device (short summary)


Parents have a central role in supporting children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to become competent and effective communicators. High-tech speech generating devices (SGDs) are complex systems that require a great deal of learning by new users in terms of understanding the technology and how to use it as well as maintaining it.

If parents lack confidence in using the device or are not adequately supported this can contribute to a lack of success or abandonment of the system.

It has been found that families often feel that there is insufficient training offered when a new SGD is recommended. The importance of this increases as systems become increasingly complex.

There has been limited research into which areas parents and professionals regard as priorities for training for families with a new SGD.

This study investigated the views of parents of children who used SGDs and speech and language pathologists (SLPs) working with people who use AAC about the training needs of families.

Parents and SLPs identified a range of training needs relevant to families of children with a new SGD. Each family is different and a family-led approach to training is suggested as likely to be most beneficial. Whilst some generic training can be useful there will always be a need for individual support.

There was an overlap between the SLPs perceptions of training needs and those of the families there were also differences, indicating the importance of consulting all stakeholders when planning support.


Things you may want to look into:

Alternative service delivery models for families with a new speech generating device: Perspectives of parents and therapists

Speech-language pathologists' views on mentoring by people who use speech generating devices

iPads, Mobile Technologies, and Communication Applications: A Survey of Family Wants, Needs, and Preferences

Professionals’ and parents’ shared learning in blended learning networks related to communication and augmentative and alternative communication for people with severe disabilities 

Added to site July 2016