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“Expanding Boundaries” – A Communication School for Parents

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“Expanding Boundaries” – A Communication School for Parents

Olga Aksenova and Svetlana Leschenko
The Rehabilitation Center for Children with Limited Opportunities, Arkhangelsk, Russia

Stephen von Tetzchner
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo

Background: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a recent addition to intervention for children with little or no speech in Russia. The Center has used AAC since 2005, in collaboration with international professionals. Parents are children’s most important communication partners and they are included in the habilitation process and in creating a communication-supportive environment in the home.
Aim: Creating a communication school for parents, “Expanding boundaries”, a forum for generating, sharing and disseminating ideas and practical experiences related to AAC.
Method: Parents of children aged 0–7 years with significant communication disorders were interviewed about the family’s needs with the aim of building effective strategies for each family. They were lectured about communication, intervention and the acquisition of AAC. Discussions focused both on the importance of communication in human life and the experiences and needs of the families. Parents and professionals assessed the children together and provided AAC.
Results: The parents raised many questions and gained new insights into their children’s development and need for AAC, as well as theoretical and practical skills related to AAC.
Conclusions: Parents may benefit from attending communication schools and future schools will have more topics and sessions. ‘To expand the border’ allows children to be understood and active in any mode.

Author(s):

Olga Aksenova    
The Rehabilitation Center for Children with Limited Opportunities
Russian Federation

Svetlana Leschenko    
The Rehabilitation Center for Children with Limited Opportunities
Russian Federation

Stephen von Tetzchner    
Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
Norway

 

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