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Parents’ and Speech-Language Pathologists’ Perceptions of Children’s Communication Skills Using a Tablet with Communication App

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Ongoing research is needed to determine how children with complex communication impairments are using the iPad/Android device in their daily environments. This project examined children’s parents’ and primary speech language pathologists’ perceptions of children’s communication skills in three environments: home, preschool/school and community. Questions of inquiry included;

1. Do parents and speech-language pathologists perceive a change in the communication skills (7 communication functions; initiation; and motivation) used by their child?

2. Do parents and speech-language pathologists perceive a change in the range of settings (home, school, community) in which their child communicates using the (iOS/Android) device?

3. What differences, if any, exist between parent and speech-language pathologist perceptions?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of iOS/Android-based communication applications as perceived by parents and speech-language pathologists?

Sampling method: convenience sample
Type of research design: within subjects, repeated measures design
A survey (oral or via email) is administered (to parents and to the speech-language pathologist) at the time the child receives their communication App on their iOS/Android device (Time 01) and then re-administered 6 months (Time 02) and 12 months (Time 03) later. Statistical analysis ongoing - see long abstract.
Results & Conclusions:
Data collection continues until May 2016. Results thus far indicate perceived changes by parents and SLPs in all three environments (home, school, community); correlations between communication functions and increased time; perceived changes differ with respect to diagnosis, age, and between parents and speech language pathologists.


Karen Derry    
Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

Kathie Marina    
Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

Cassandra Savage    
Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children


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