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Outcomes for Children with Complex Needs assessed for Communication Aids
Some children with significant difficulties communicating, and in particular producing intelligible speech, may be provided with communication aids including for example, voice output communication aids (VOCAs). Communication tools such as VOCAs are introduced to children and families with the aim of supporting and developing children's participation in every-day life. While the benefits of communication aid provision for children has been established in many cases, for others communication aids may not facilitate participation in ways hoped and expected, and communication aids may be under-utilised or abandoned. Establishing the many factors that foster or inhibit the take-up of communication aids and children's participation is an under-represented area of research. In the absence of clear research evidence for outcomes of communication aid provision it is possible that service provision is falling short, with important consequences for children as well as their families, friends and service providers and commissioners. This pilot study aims to begin to address this gap in knowledge by: (1) developing a parent self-completion questionnaire measure of outcomes of communication aid provision, and (2) making an opening analysis of relationships between parents' perceptions of environmental, child, and communication aid related factors, and children's participation.
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