The purpose of this research is to develop a communication training package, in collaboration with families of young people with complex communication needs.
Families will identify the content of the training package by taking part in semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
Key themes from the interviews will be identified using a thematic analysis approach and may include the following: observe the young person; recognise and acknowledge the young person's communication behaviours; respond to the communication behaviours observed; give plenty of time to engage in communication with the young person; make time to identify the young person's motivations and work with them; involve the young person in communication opportunities; document the young person's communication behaviours using resources such as personal passports, personal communication dictionaries and/or multi-media profiling.
The research acknowledges the key part that families play in understanding how their child communicates, and how best to respond to their child's communication behaviours. It also acknowledges their wish to be involved in the training of people who work with their children. Long term aims of the research will be to pilot the effectiveness of the completed training package with healthcare assistants, working with young people with complex communication needs.