Experiences from a support group for families of preschool children in the expressive AAC user group.
- Published Article
- Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985)
- Publication Date
- Mar 01, 2017
- DOI: 10.1080/07434618.2016.1276960
- PMID: 28121175
Children using aided language need communication partners who are competent in modeling language, but most parents of children who use AAC will not have extensive experience with aided communication and will therefore need support to become competent language models. In this participatory observational study the experiences of a support group for parents of young children with age-expected language comprehension who use aided communication expressively are outlined. The group was established in 2012 at a habilitation unit in a hospital, and involved five families of children who use AAC. Field notes were taken during each group meeting and related activities. Parents and professionals agreed on the following topics for discussion: child development, aided communication, communication devices, and policy affecting AAC implementation. The group developed and implemented a range of innovative interventions: (a) a Children's Day at the hospital, (b) a communication plan template, (c) a school preparation workshop, (d) a network for teachers, (e) education of hospital staff, (f) dissemination of knowledge about AAC, and (g) making aided resources available for the ISAAC-Norway website. The aim of increasing the parents' confidence and competence was achieved through a combination of discussions and teaching. The children benefitted not only from the parents' new knowledge, but also from the interventions implemented.