Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award

2015

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

College

College of Education & Allied Health

Department

Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Susan T. Lenihan

Third Advisor

Carmen Russell

Keywords

speech delay, impairment, literacy, preschool, school-age, AAC

Abstract

Children who use speech generating devices (SGDs) depend on others for support in learning and utilizing the device. Family members have been recognized as the most significant communication partners for children and credited with helping their children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to achieve their communication potential (Huer & Lloyd, 1990; Parette, Brotherson, & Huer, 2000). However, there is little specific research on the effect parental involvement has on device use at home. The purposes of this study were to examine parental involvement in daily management and device implementation on actual use of the AAC system at home and if there were elements of a child’s system that were more likely to be used at home than others. This was accomplished through a semi-structured interview process with the parents of children and young adults who use AAC systems. The study also examined the amount of parental involvement on system use through a parent questionnaire. Twenty-one parents of individuals with complex communication needs who use AAC participated in an interview and completed a questionnaire. The results indicated that even with active parents, individuals who use AAC seldom used the device at home.

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