This paper aims to create an outcome measure for a specialist Augmentative and Alternative Communication Service based on parent’s perceptions and experiences using the service.
Parents of children seen by the service for specialist assessment and advice were interviewed by phone. They rated whether their questions for the team were answered and discussed influencing factors. The factors were used to interview one parent as a single case study to further explore these issues. The service was also interviewed to establish their perspectives on these issues.
There was 75% agreement with parents and the service on whether referral questions had been answered or not. The type of referral questions that parents asked the team did not have an influence on their rating. Influencing factors on ratings were: parent’s prior knowledge and experiences, parent’s expectations and what they gained from the session. Parents may be on an ongoing journey of learning and discovery and parent outlook and attitude is very important in ensuring positive outcomes. There is huge variation in parents’ needs and referral questions.
Suggestions are made for an outcome measure in the form of a parent questionnaire.