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Attitudes towards AAC among teachers/parents of children with disabilities and support analysis in China

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Aim
Teachers and parents are the key communication partners of children with disabilities with little or no speech. Their attitudes and perspectives will strongly impact the communication opportunities and participation level of the children.

Method
Questionnaires about AAC and its application was used to explore the perspective of teachers (n=175) and parents (n=162) from six special schools and early intervention centres for children with disabilities. Semi-structured Interviews were conducted to investigate the views of parents and teachers of three children with autism spectrum disorders on people, activities, setting and communication aids.

Results
Twenty-four percent of the teachers did not know about AAC. Seventy-six percent of the teachers knew about AAC but among them 10.3% had received training or practiced AAC. According to the parents, more than 77 percent of the students had speech or communication difficulties. The general attitude toward AAC was positive among teachers (M=4.08) and parents (M=3.92). Earlier experience with AAC was decisive for the attitudes of both special teachers and parents, the more experience, the more positive.

Conclusions
The teachers and parents expressed positive attitudes to AAC and willingness to learn about and practice AAC. They wished more policy support ,professional support, and more public education to create a positive environment for AAC users.

Author(s):

Xueyun Su    
Department of Special Education, East China Normal University
China

Fei Wang    
Donglifengmei Special School
China

Stephen von Tetzchner    
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
Norway

 

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