Parents and Course Leaders' Experiences of the ComAlong Augmentative and Alternative Communication Early Intervention Course

Ulrika Ferm, Margareta Andersson, Malin Broberg, Torunn Liljegren, Gunilla Thunberg

Abstract


Keywords

early intervention, parental education, communication development, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), parents' experiences

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate parents and course leaders' experiences of the ComAlong early intervention course; a parental course about communication, communication development, play, responsive communication strategies and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). ComAlong targets parents of pre-school children with extensive communication difficulties and, at times, additional disabilities. Data consisted of course evaluation surveys filled out by 86 parents (57 mothers and 29 fathers) and one grandmother and interviews of four parents and four course leaders. Overall, parents were positive about the course. This was shown in ratings of 21 statements, in written answers to seven open questions and in the interviews. The total mean value for all statements was 4.4 (max 5) and the median was 4 or 5. The means for the 20 statements varied between 3.9 and 4.8 and half of all statements had mean values of 4.5 or higher. The mean value for the course (parents’ rating of the course on a 1 to 10 scale where 10 was the best) was 8.5 (Mdn and mode = 8, SD = 1.1). On the whole, parents and course leaders were satisfied. Parents learned about communication and AAC and experienced that communication with the child had changed to the better. In particular, parents appreciated meeting respectful and competent course leaders and other parents to children with varying disabilities. Information about the course before it started was a problematic issue. These and other findings are discussed with regard to early intervention for parents of children who use augmentative and alternative communication.


Keywords


early intervention; parental education; communication development; augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); parents' experiences

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v31i4.1718

Copyright (c) 2011 Ulrika Ferm, Margareta Andersson, Malin Broberg, Torunn Liljegren, Gunilla Thunberg



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