Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


AAC Training Outcomes for Family Members of Adolescents with Complex Communication Needs Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
  • Studies show the need for parent and caregiver involvement in their child’s language development. For parents and caregivers of children with complex communication needs, developing their child’s language skills may be more difficult. Their children communicate using AAC devices and methods and parents are not used to communicating with these mediums. This study aimed to develop an AAC training for family members of adolescents with complex communication needs who use a high-tech AAC device. The team of Speech-Language Pathologists, including graduate clinicians and faculty from the University of Colorado Boulder, provided the AAC training to families from a Denver, Colorado high school whose adolescent children are new AAC users. All families and their children were involved in an AAC outreach project provided by the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic at the University of Colorado Boulder. Two questionnaires measured participant AAC knowledge and AAC beliefs and pre- and post-training scores were compared to determine if scores on the questionnaires increased after training. Results show increased scores on AAC knowledge and AAC beliefs during post-testing across all participants. Qualitative analyses show that participants increased accuracy and detail in their knowledge of AAC. Additional qualitative analyses show that participants felt greater confidence, less frustration, and a better sense of support from other parents and from the AAC outreach team. The family training created for this project can serve as a model for future training and the presentation materials can be shared with other speech-language pathologists who plan to provide their own AAC family training. Future research should aim to evaluate the efficacy of a AAC training with larger groups of participants and with family members from more diverse backgrounds.

Date Issued
  • 2022-08-02
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Last Modified
  • 2023-10-18
Resource Type
Rights Statement